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Chicago CityPass vs. Go City

Updated: February 23, 2024

This post covers Chicago tourist passes to help you determine which tourist attraction discount passes may be best for you, including the CityPass, Go City Chicago All-Inclusive Pass, and the Explorer Pass.

Our tour guides in the windy city are always being asked about how to save money at popular attractions, and in many cases, we find that these passes are a great discount option for travelers.

In addition to comparing each pass directly, we'll also provide details about all of them and special advice from members of our Facebook Group.

Let's get started!


With so many options, we break down the tourist passes by type and then go into detail about each pass.  

The Go City Chicago All-Inclusive Pass is an all-inclusive pass (think all-you-can-eat buffet) that includes entrance/access to 26 top attractions, tours, and activities.

This pass is the most expensive but has the potential to save you the most money and it gives you the most flexibility, but to get those savings, you will need to stay busy.

Next is the pick'em passes, such as the Go City Chicago Explorer Pass.

It's one set price with a specific number of attractions, tours, or activities (typically between 3 and 5 ) and you pick from their list of attractions.

In general, the range of attractions is fewer than what is available with the all-inclusive pass above, but the selection is still large.

You won't likely save as much as the above-mentioned pass, but you will have more flexibility. 

Lastly, there are prepackaged passes that bundle several specific popular attractions, thereby saving you money. These passes are like a Prix-Fixe/set-menu dinner. 

CityPass Chicago

These have the least amount of flexibility, but you will be certain about what you are getting.  

Things to Consider

If at first glance some tourist passes seem too pricey, take the time to do some math.

When you calculate the regular cost of the attractions you want to see and compare to the price of a pass, you'll find that you will save money.

We recommend that you decide in advance what you want to see, then find a pass that includes most, if not all, of those activities. 

The biggest mistake travelers make is overestimating the time and stamina that they will have, so be realistic.

Of course, we encourage you to consider our pay-what-you-like tours and our Chicago bus tour comparison post when deliberating about these passes.


To see the most on a visit to Chicago lasting between 1 to 5 days, the Go City Chicago All-Inclusive Pass can be hard to beat! 

Purchasing this all­-inclusive pass gives you admission to as many attractions as you can fit into the number of consecutive days you purchase.

You'll save up to 45% when you purchase a Go City Chicago All-Inclusive Pass.

There are 29 attractions to choose from.

For less intense sightseeing pass options, check out Go City's Explorer Pass (3 or 5 Attractions) below.  

All Go City Chicago All-Inclusive Passes have a 30-day zero-risk refund policy, and you have up to 1 year from the date of purchase to activate your pass. 

Before you buy:

As recommended with any of these packages, you want to plan ahead in order to get the most out of Go City Chicago All-Inclusive Pass.

While you have unlimited access, you do have limited time. Make sure you look at days and hours of operations for each attraction, and factor in travel time.

Grouping activities in nearby locations can be a great way to get in more than just a few things in a single day! However, there are some places you’ll want to spend more time in than others.

Do your research and this could be a very good buy.

Prices (as of November 2023):

NOTE: Prices listed below are full retail prices. Often discounts are available.

  • 1­ Day: Adults $129 | Children (ages 3-­12) $94
  • 2­ Day: Adults $189 | Children $139
    • Price per day: Adults $94.50 | Children $69.50
  • 3­ Day: Adults $239 | Children $154
    • Price per day: Adults $79.66 | Children $51.33
  • 5­ Day: Adults $274 | Children $194
    • Price per day: Adults $54.80 | Children $38.80
  • More information or to purchase.

Pro tip: In the city for 3 days? Consider getting a 2­ day pass instead of a 3 ­day. You don’t want to lock down all your time in the city; you never know what you might discover while exploring place to place.

Purchase the Go City Chicago All-Inclusive Pass online and show your phone or printed copy at the gate.

Sample Itinerary

If you're curious about how one could get the most out of this pass, this 3-day itinerary will give you an idea of how much you can expect to save.

Day 1

  • Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour | $54
  • Skydeck Chicago | $50
  • Field Museum | $35.57
  • Chicago Pizza & Drink | $13.50

Day 2

  • Shoreline Architecture River Cruise | $54.49
  • Navy Pier Ferris Wheel and Rides | $51.23
  • Shedd Aquarium | $49.29
  • Adler Planetarium | $35

Day 3

  • Museum of Science and Industry | $37.95
  • Robie House Guided Tour | $20
  • Bike and Roll Bike Rental | $38.15

Total Value: $439.18

Total Cost: $239

Total Savings: $200.18 (46% off)

Tips From Tourists:

While members of our Facebook Group do recommend this pass, they also note that some activities cannot be booked ahead of time.

Thankfully, most of the attractions that don't allow you to book tickets before arriving won't have long queues, so there's not much to worry about.

Even so, it is important to note that some activities will require you to book tickets before arrival, and the GoCity app will make a note when this is necessary.


This pass lets you pay one price and grants admission to 3, 4, 5, or 7 attractions from a list of 25+ at a discounted rate.

You can save up to 40% off normal ticket prices.

This pass is flexible in that you do not need to pre-select your choices and it is valid for 30 days from your first visit, so you can take your time making your choices.  

All Go City Chicago Explorer Passes have a 30-day zero-risk refund policy, and you have up to 1 year from the date of purchase to activate your pass. 

Prices (as of November 2023):

NOTE: Prices listed below are full retail prices. Often discounts are available.

  • 2 Attraction Pass: Adults $87 | Children (ages 3-12) $52
    • Price per choice: Adults $43.50 | Children $26
  • 3 Attraction Pass: Adults  $106 | Children (ages 3-­12) $81
    • Price per choice: Adults $35.33 | Children $27
  • 4 Attraction Pass: Adults  $129 | Children (ages 3-12) $99
    • Price per choice: Adults $32.25 | Children $24.75
  • 5 Attraction Pass: Adults $148 | Children (ages 3­-12) $113
    • Price per choice: Adults $29.60 | Children $22.60
  • 6 Attraction Pass: Adults $176 | Children (ages 3-12) $126
    • Price per choice: Adults $29.33 | Children $21
  • 7 Attraction Pass: Adults $189 | Children (ages 3-12) $139
    • Price per choice: Adults $27 | Children $19.86
  • More information or to purchase.

Before you buy:

The Go City Chicago Explorer Pass doesn’t have the time pressure of the Go City All-Inclusive Pass and gives the most options for visitors looking for discounts on a wide range of attractions.

But it takes more planning and research than the All-Inclusive Pass.

This means you’ll need to use your calculator to see your potential savings, but if you visit the more expensive attractions with your pass, you can save a bundle.

Also, keep in mind that the 4 attraction pass costs more per activity than either the 3 or 5 choice pass. This version of the pass is arguably the worst deal, although you can still save money with it.

Depending on how many attractions you wish to visit, you could pay as little as $24.14 for each activity.

With that in mind, we recommend choosing tickets for activities and locations that are more than $25.

We recommend instant delivery via online purchase, as the lines at the ticket booth locations can get long.

You can also have the tickets sent to your mobile device.

Sample Itinerary

If you're wondering just how much you can save using this service, we'll provide a sample itinerary with the 5 attraction Explorer Pass.

  • Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour | $54
  • Shoreline Architecture River Cruise | $54.49
  • Navy Pier Ferris Wheel and Rides | $51.23
  • Skydeck Chicago | $50
  • Shedd Aquarium | $49.29

Total Value: $259.01

Total Price: $148

Total Savings: $111.01 (43% off)

Tips From Tourists:

Although this isn't the most popular tourist pass discussed in our Chicago Travel Tips group on Facebook, some visitors swear by the service.

In the case of Emily here, you can see that she found it very useful since she only had an interest in a few specific attractions, all of which were included with the Explorer Pass.

If you know what you want to do and you do some planning ahead of time, this pass could be the best option.


Chicago CityPASS

The CityPASS is a booklet of 5 admission tickets that saves 53% off the most popular attractions in Chicago, and you skip the long entrance lines.

CityPASS is a must if you plan to visit all of these popular educational attractions because the savings are huge.

You have a consecutive 9-day period from the first use to visit all of the attractions, so you can take your time. Each of these stops has a ton to see and do, especially if you bring kids along.  

An unused CityPASS can be returned within 365 days of the purchase date for a full refund.

Sites included on CityPass:

  • Shedd Aquarium – All-access admission including permanent exhibits, animal presentations, special exhibit and Stingray Touch (seasonal), plus a 4-D Experience.
  • Skydeck Chicago – Expedited Entry to Willis Tower’s 103rd Floor. Also includes admission to The Ledge. 

Plus your choice of admission to 3 of the following attractions:

  • Field Museum – All-Access Pass (admission to all permanent and regularly-priced ticketed exhibitions, and your choice of one digital 3D film). Film selection is subject to availability. Additional charges may apply for specially ticketed exhibitions outside of the All Access Pass.
  • Art Institute of Chicago – Fast Pass Admission to permanent collection and non-ticketed special exhibitions
  • Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago – Museum entry (Science StormsNumbers in Nature: A Mirror MazeYOU! The Experience, and much more), plus one timed-entry experience (Giant Dome Theater film, Coal Mine tour, Fab Lab, or our current temporary exhibit, Wired to Wear) 
  • 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck – Express Entry Admission
  • Adler Planetarium - will fully reopen in March 2022 and will be one of the option attractions included in CityPASS.
  • Shoreline Sightseeing Architecture River Tour – Admission to a cruise that will take you right through the heart of Downtown Chicago to see its most historic buildings.
360 Chicago Tilt, interior

Prices (as of November 2023):

  • Adults: $134 (full admission price $257.55)
  • Children (ages 3-­11): $104 (full admission price $209.04)

Purchase the Chicago CityPASS or learn more.

Here is our suggested three-day itinerary which leaves you enough time to spend at each location to get your money’s worth.

  • Suggested Day One: Shedd Aquarium/Field Museum
  • Suggested Day Two: Art Institute/Skydeck Chicago*
  • Suggested Day Three: 360 Chicago OR Museum of Science and Industry

Pro Tip: This package fills up your itinerary, but if you only want to visit one or two of the attractions listed, see the Explorer Pass above for a more flexible/cheaper option.

It's also worth noting that the Chicago CityPASS does not currently include public transportation, so you will need to purchase those tickets or travel passes separately.

For the CityPASS, we suggest that you purchase tickets online. Once you buy, you can show your tickets from your mobile device at the gate and get a fast VIP entrance. Easy!

Sample Itinerary

If you're trying to figure out exactly how much you can save with this service, the following itinerary will give you an idea of how the Chicago CityPASS can be used to save the most money.

  • 360 Chicago | $35
  • Skydeck Chicago | $50
  • Shedd Aquarium | $49.29
  • Museum of Science and Industry | $37.95
  • Shoreline Architecture River Cruise | $54.49

Total Value: $226.73

Total Cost: $134

Total Savings: $92.73 (41% off)

Tips From Tourists:

Some members of our Chicago Travel Tips group recommend this pass for anyone who is planning to spend more than a week in the city because you don't need to use the service on consecutive days.

While you can save a lot with all-inclusive passes, the 9-day duration of validity for the Chicago CityPASS is certainly a selling point for many travelers.

Chicago Top 3 Attractions Pass

This pass is offered by Tiqets, and it includes admission to 3 of the most popular locations in Chicago.

  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • Field Museum of Natural History
  • 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck
  • 10% Discount on Additional Activities

Each of these attractions is also included with the Chicago CityPASS, but this pass is somewhat less expensive. If you're not interested in the other 2 activities included with that pass, this is an excellent alternative.

  • $89/Adults
  • $81/Youth (14-17)
  • $77/Youth (12-13)
  • $69/Children (4-11)
  • $64/Seniors (65+)
  • $19/Toddlers (3)

Purchase the Chicago Top 3 Attraction Pass or learn more.

Before you buy:

In addition to the 3 tickets covered with this pass, it also includes a 10% discount on dozens of other popular locations, tours, and activities in Chicago.

This discount is only available for services provided by Tiqets.

Here are a few examples of attractions that are 10% off with this discount:

  • Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Chicago Architecture Center
  • Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Chicago Crime & Mob Tour
  • Architecture River Cruise
  • And more!

If you're interested in any of these activities and you want to visit the top 3 attractions included, this pass might be worth considering!

Chicago Skyline Pass

This is another discount pass offered by Tiqets, and it includes admission to 3 of the most popular activities in the Windy City.

If you're interested in learning about the architectural history of Chi-town, this might be one of the best options on our list.

Here are the included attractions with the Skyline Pass:

  • Skydeck Chicago (Sears Tower)
  • 360 Chicago Observation Deck
  • Architectural River Cruise
  • 10% Discount on Additional Activities

As with the other Tiqets pass, this one includes 3 activities that are already included with the Chicago CityPASS, so we recommend comparing these two services before deciding which one to purchase.

  • $87/Adults
  • $71/Youth (12)
  • $56/Children (3-11)

Purchase the Chicago Skyline Pass or learn more.

Before you buy:

Much like the other pass offered by this company, the 10% discount included with this service can be used on a variety of fun activities and attractions, including the following.

  • Chicago Architecture Center
  • Chicago History Museum
  • Navy Pier Centennial Wheel
  • American Writers Museum
  • iFLY Indoor Skydiving
  • Chicago Food Tours

If any of these attractions sound like fun, make sure to use your discount to save a bit of money!

Viator VIP Package

This package isn't currently available, but they may bring it back in the future.

Fill your Saturday and see all the top spots with this package!

Begin with early access to the Willis Tower Skydeck, before you hop on a trolley for a narrated tour of top Chicago attractions, grab a snack (own expense) at Navy Pier, and finish on a cruise with a free drink on the Chicago River with an architecture savvy guide.

The tour lasts about 6 hours (8 am­ - 1 pm) and ends at the Navy Pier, a tourist hot-spot.


Option A

  • 8 am: Access to the Skydeck
  • 9:15 am: Board the trolley for a 2 ­hour city tour
  • 11:15 am: Arrive at Navy Pier
  • 1 pm: Architecture cruise

Option B

  • 8:30 am: Access to the Skydeck
  • 9:45 am: Board the trolley for a 2­ hour city tour
  • 11:45 am: Arrive at Navy Pier
  • 1 pm: Architecture cruise



To purchase the VIP Package, click here.

Before you buy:

Because this is a VIP package, you’ll experience perks such as first dibs on Willis Tower views, which after opening hours can be obstructed by crowds, but what you’re paying for here is a full day’s itinerary planned out for you.

The Willis Tower general admission costs $22, which means you're paying about $50 apiece for the trolley and boat tour.

But for six hours of guided Chicago sightseeing, and its great customer reviews, this package is worth including.

Pro tip: It looks like from the ratings that this tour is NO fun when the weather is wet. We recommend this package on clear, sunny days only.

Trusted Tours Grand Tour of Chicago and 360 Chicago Combination

For a reputable bus tour of the city that ends with a view from up high, Trusted Tours offers a great combo.

You’ll travel around the city, stopping at Lincoln Park Conservatory and Adler Planetarium, and of course the 360 Chicago attraction.



  • Adult: $70.25
  • Child (ages 5-­14): $44.60
  • Children under 5 are free when seated on a parent’s lap.
  • Purchase this combo here

NOTE: This tour isn't currently available as of November 2023, but it will likely return in the near future.

Before you buy:

The savings aren’t as big here, so you’re paying for the convenience of hotel pick-up/drop-off and a full day's itinerary planned for you. 


This is a question we see frequently in our Chicago Travel Tips Facebook Group, as travelers are always asking for advice about how to save money while visiting the windy city.

Of course, this isn't an easy question to answer, because the reality is that it depends on a variety of factors.

For instance, if you aren't interested in more than half of the activities a Chicago pass covers, it probably wouldn't make sense to pay for it.

With that in mind, this section provides a helpful chart to make it easier to compare each of the tourist passes in Chi-town and pick the right one for your needs.

Basic DetailsChicago Go City All-Inclusive PassChicago Go City Explorer PassChicago CityPASSChicago Top 3 Attractions PassChicago Skyline Pass
Pass TypeAll-InclusiveSet # of AttractionsPrepackagedPrepackagedPrepackaged
Duration / Attractions Included1-5 Days3-5 Attractions5 Attractions3 Attractions3 Attractions
Validity30 Days30 Days9 DaysDependent on Dates SelectedDependent on Dates Selected
# of ActivitiesTo Choose From30308 Attractions3 Attractions3 Attractions
Price Range$129-$274$87-$189$134$89$87
SavingsUp to 50% offUp to 40% offUp to 48% off5% - 10% off5% - 10% off
Additional DiscountsNoNoNoYes (10% off)Yes (10% off)
Included Activities of NoteChicago Go City All-Inclusive PassChicago Go City Explorer PassChicago CityPASSChicago Top 3 Attractions PassChicago Skyline Pass
360 ChicagoXXXXX
Shoreline Architecture River CruiseXXXX
Skydeck ChicagoXXXX
Hop-on Hop-off Bus TourXX
Shedd AquariumXXX
Field MuseumXXXX
Adler PlanetariumXXX
Art Institute of ChicagoXX
Museum of Science and IndustryXXX
Museum of Contemporary ArtXX
LEGOLAND Discovery CenterXX

It's worth noting that while the Skyline Pass and the Top 3 Attractions Pass won't save you a lot of money, the addition of a 10% discount on other activities in Chicago makes it an excellent way to get at least a small deal on some of the attractions that you won't find on any pass.

The period of validity for these passes is dependent on which dates you select because you can book each ticket individually for the specific day and time you want to visit.

Technically, you should be able to purchase tickets months in advance, or perhaps even one ticket early in the month and another later in the month.

This amount of control over the pass makes it invaluable, but you certainly trade off a lot in potential savings for access to that control.

And much, much more

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