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    San Francisco City Pass, Go City or Explorer Pass: which one to choose?

    Who I am
    Lluis Enric Mayans
    @lluisenricmayans
    SOURCES CONSULTED:

    wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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    If you plan to spend a few days of vacation in San Francisco you will probably want to enjoy the main attractions of this fascinating city. As soon as you start studying it, you soon realize that there are so many activities and things to do that time is running out and your wallet cries.

    Whether you visit the city for long or short periods (from 1 day to over a week), it might be useful to know that there are city passes that allow you to access at a discounted price (and skip the queues at the ticket offices) to the main activities and things must see in San Francisco.



    The types of passes are essentially 4. Let's see the services offered by each one, the differences and when it is convenient to do them or not.

    Please note:Pass characteristics may vary over time (e.g. number and type of attractions, as well as percentage savings). We therefore invite you to check on the official website, indicated in the article, for any changes.

    Index

    • Pass, covid and refunds: how do they behave?
    • San Francisco City Pass
      • Attractions included in this Pass:
      • When is the San Francisco City Pass worth it?
      • How to buy the San Francisco City Pass
    • Go City San Francisco – All Inclusive Pass
      • Attractions included in the Go San Francisco Card:
      • Convenience and prices of the Go San Francisco Card
    •  Go City San Francisco Explorer Pass
      • Activities included:
      • Convenience and prices of the San Francisco Explorer Pass
    • Sightseeing Flex Pass San Francisco
      • Operation and savings
      • Some attractions included
    • Sightseeing DAY Pass
    • Last solution: cumulative package
    • Build Your Own Pass
      • Convenience and pricing of the San Francisco Build Your Own Pass

    Pass, covid and refunds: how do they behave?

    Recent events have also introduced changes in the way the various companies that sell San Francisco passes issue refunds.



    Let's see what are the procedures adopted to meet the needs of tourists for greater flexibility in organizing their vacation.

    • San Francisco City Pass: you can request a refund for free up to 365 days from the date of purchase.
    • Go City San Francisco (All Inclusive e Explorer): Both passes of this company can be refunded free of charge within 90 days of purchase.
    • Sightseeing Pass Flex e Day: in order to obtain a refund on these passes it will be necessary to purchase a special insurance whose price will be equivalent to 4% of the cost of the pass. With this insurance you will have 2 years to ask for reimbursement.

    The above does not apply if you decide to buy the passes on third-party sites such as Viator and not on the official website. In this case the refund policies of the respective sites will be applied, which may differ from those just indicated.

    San Francisco City Pass

    It is a book of tickets that, with just under 70 euros, grants access to 4 San Francisco attractions allowing you to save 44% of the non-discounted price. Tickets are valid for 9 consecutive days (from first use) and allow you to skip the queues at the ticket offices.

    Attractions included in this Pass:

    • California Academy of Sciences- Fascinating living museum including aquarium, planetarium and rainforest. The City Pass includes general admission, access to a special exhibit and the ability to take advantage of certain extras.
    • Blue & Gold Fleet San Francisco Bay Cruise: a suggestive one-hour trip to the San Francisco bay that will allow you to admire the famous Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and Angel Island up close.

    In addition, you can choose two of these other attractions:



    • San Francisco Bay Aquarium: is the aquarium dedicated to the native animals of the bay, with transparent underwater tunnels and interactive tanks. For an additional $ 10, you can also access the behind-the-scenes tour.
    • San Francisco Zoo & Gardens: the city museum that houses more than 2000 animal species.
    • The Walt Disney Family Museum: the museum dedicated to the famous creator of the most famous characters in animated films.
    • Exploratorium: a museum dedicated to the enthusiasm and amazement of scientific discoveries. In addition to the exhibits, you will also enjoy incredible views over the bay.

    When is the San Francisco City Pass worth it?

    If you want to visit at least 3 of these attractions, this San Francisco Pass is worth it. Interesting extras to which it allows you to access at a discounted price and not to underestimate the possibility of using the attractions and activities over a period of 9 days.

    How to buy the San Francisco City Pass

    You can buy the City Pass directly from Official site, or from Viator: the price (the first in dollars, the other in euros) basically does not change, but on Viator you can find special offers.

    Go City San Francisco – All Inclusive Pass

    La Go San Francisco Card (also known as All Inclusive) is a decidedly different type of pass, with greater flexibility and the number of attractions available (as many as 26). The validity can be 1, 2, 3 and 5 days, depending on the solution we have chosen (obviously with relative price change), it includes a free pocket guide of the city and gives access to further discounts and special offers.


    Attractions included in the Go San Francisco Card:

    • Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus San Francisco: 1 Day Classic Tour
    • California Academy of Sciences
    • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
    • Madame Tussauds
    • Bike rental for 24 hours by Blazing Saddles
    • USS Pampanito
    • Escape from the Rock – Blue & Gold Fleet
    • de Young Museum
    • The Contemporary Jewish Museum
    • GoCar San Francisco Tour (rental for 30 minutes)
    • Exploratorium
    • Aquarium of the Bay
    • Oracle Park Tour
    • Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
    • The Beat Museum
    • Asian Art Museum
    • Angel Island (Crociera Roundtrip) – Blue & Gold Fleet
    • USS HORNET Museum
    • California Historical Society
    • K1 Speed Indoor Karting
    • San Francisco Zoo & Gardens
    • The Walt Disney Family Museum
    • Golden Gate Bridge Bike Tour by Unlimited Biking
    • LEGOLAND Discovery Center
    • Fisherman’s Wharf Walking Tour by ExperienceFirst
    • Tiled Steps Urban Hiking Tour

    Note: Included attractions may vary over time. I recommend that you always consult the list of tours and attractions on the official website for updated information.


    Convenience and prices of the Go San Francisco Card

    One of the main advantages is the flexibility of the offer, allowing you to buy this pass per San Francisco based on the number of days you intend to go to certain attractions. By making wise choices you can get to save up to 60%.

    Here is the price list:

    • 1 day: $ 63
    • 2 days: $ 94
    • 3 days: $ 119
    • 5 days: $ 147

    You can buy the pass directly from Official site

     Go City San Francisco Explorer Pass

    As a type of pass, it is closest to San Francisco City Pass than at the All Inclusive. It allows access to 2, 3, 4 or 5 attractions at a discounted price (which can be chosen from a list of 20 possible tourist activities), includes a pocket city guide supplied and offers the possibility to access additional discounts and offers.

    Activities included:

    The attractions that can be accessed can be 2, 3, or 4 5, selectable from the following shortlist of 26 activities. Here are some of those available:

    • Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus 1-Day Classic Tour
    • Aquarium of the Bay
    • California Academy of Sciences
    • Exploratorium
    • Escape from the Rock
    • Madame Tussauds
    • Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
    • San Francisco Zoo & Gardens
    • All-Day Comfort Bike Rental by Blazing Saddles
    • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
    • The Walt Disney Family Museum
    • LEGOLAND Discovery Center
    • GoCar 1 Hour Tour
    • Subpar Miniature Golf
    • The Escape Game San Francisco
    • K1 Speed Indoor Karting
    • Golden Gate Bridge Bike Tour by Unlimited Biking
    • Fisherman’s Wharf Walking Tour by ExperienceFirst
    • Angel Island with Roundtrip Ferry
    • Tiled Steps Urban Hiking Tour
    • de Young Museum and Legion of Honor
    • USS Pampanito
    • The Contemporary Jewish Museum
    • Asian Art Museum
    • USS HORNET Museum
    • Oracle Park Tour

    Note: Included attractions may vary over time. I recommend that you always consult the complete list of tours and attractions on the official website for updated information.

    Convenience and prices of the San Francisco Explorer Pass

    The price makes the pass competitive and interesting, especially from the point of view of timing: in fact, you will have well available 30 days to visit the chosen attractions (starting from the first entrance). You can save money more than 58% on the total of admissions or tours.

    Here is the price list:

    • 2 attractions: $ 55
    • 3 attractions: $ 67
    • 4 attractions: $ 85
    • 5 attractions: $ 100

    You can purchase the Explorer Pass directly from official page del pass.

    Sightseeing Flex Pass San Francisco

    If you have already heard of this product provided by Gray Line, you have probably read our article on the New York Sightseeing Flex Pass, where we explained in detail the advantages and disadvantages of the pass. Recently, the Sightseeing Flex Pass di San Francisco, which is presented as a valid alternative to the passes presented so far, and above all enters into competition with the Explorer Pass.

    Operation and savings

    The operation of the Sightseeing Flex Pass is very simple: yes select 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 attractions to choose from more than 25 attractions (+ options). You have 60 days (starting from the first use) to visit the attractions and you can save money more than 59% on the total cost of admissions! The price of the pass goes from 64 to 129 dollars approximately per person (excluding discounts).

    Compared to the competitor Explorer Pass, the prices are a bit higher, but the savings are a bit higher.

    Some attractions included

    • 1 day hop-on hop-off bus tour by Citysightseeing SF
    • Madame Tussauds
    • At&t park tour
    • Aquarium of the bay
    • DeYoung Museum
    • Asian Art Museum
    • Night Tour by Citysightseeing SF
    • Legion of honor
    • Go lorries – One way airport shuttle
    • Bay City Bike – golden gate park guided bike tour
    • Bay City Bike – 2 hour comfort bike rental
    • Gocar 1 hour tour 7d Experience
    • Ride & Maze combo
    • San Francisco Dungeon
    • Radical SF – Wild sf walking tours the castro & mission
    • Burger Bar – $30 toward lunch or dinner
    • USS Hornet Sea, Air & Space Museum

    Il pass you can buy it on Viator (in Spanish), or directly from the official website, where you can also find additional info and detailed cards of the individual attractions. Please note:: the list of tours and activities may vary over time, so always consult this resource!

    Sightseeing DAY Pass

    In addition to the Flex, just like in the case of the New York passes, there is also a version of the Sightseeing similar to the Go San Francisco Card, that is for days and not for attractions. Here are the main features of the so-called Sightseeing DAY Pass:

    • there are passes for 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 days. Attention: the days are consecutive!
    • the savings percentage is identical to the Flex: more than 59%
    • there is no maximum number of attractions: you can visit as many as you want during the days of the pass.
    • la list of attractions it is the same as the Flex: check it at this link.
    • the price it ranges from $ 74 to $ 169 (excluding discounts).

    You can purchase the Sightseeinh DAY Pass from the official website, being careful not to select the Flex !.

    Last solution: cumulative package

    In addition to the tourist passes, there is also a cumulative package that offers numerous attractions and visits to the city. The offer can be activated for 48 or 72 hours and includes the following:

    • Alcatraz Island Sightseeing Tour
    • 3 walking tours in the main districts of the city
    • Hop on hop off bus tour
    • Visit of Sausalito
    • Bike rental 1 hour
    • Spanish translation in headphones

    Find all the information about the package a This Page.

    Build Your Own Pass

    Please note:: this type of pass is no longer available

    This is a pass that will leave you complete freedom of choice among more than 35 attractions (therefore more than the previous passes), and you can choose to enter only and exclusively the things you actually want to visit, avoiding waste. It is particularly suitable for those with limited time and limited interest in a few attractions. The discount you are going to accumulate will in fact be stable around 20%.

    Convenience and pricing of the San Francisco Build Your Own Pass

    Convenience, as mentioned, lies in the total freedom which leaves you in the choice of attractions, the disadvantage is that you will not get a more substantial discount of 20%. The final price will therefore be determined by the chosen attractions and their number.

    You can purchase the Buil Your Own Pass directly from Official site del pass.

    And you? Which Pass do you prefer?

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