Go Boston Pass Review – Is The Go Boston Pass Worth It?

Boston is a wonderful Historic City that is packed with amazing sights and things to see and do. Steeped in rich history and blessed with a stunning coastal position Boston is a Tourist Destination often overlooked on the USA City Break Line-up. IT is far less visited than its northern Neighbors of New York and Chicago, but every bit as fantastic and has far more history and natural beauty than its densely built-up neighbors.

Anyone heading to this fantastic City is likely considering checking out a few of Boston’s paid attractions, along with some of its free historic sights such as the Freedom Trail. If so you may be looking for ways to keep costs down and save a bit of cash while doing so. The Go Boston Pass is designed to do exactly that and it claims it can save you over 50% while letting you see more of the City! In our Go Bosont Pass Review, we take a look at the Pass to see if those claims are true and if the Go Boston Pass is Worth it or a tourist trap rip-off!

Go Boston Pass Review 2021

Go Boston Pass Review 2021

  • ProductGo Boston Pass
  • Price: $76- $179
  • Price Child: $51 – $136(Child 3-12yrs)
  • Where to Buy: GoCity.com
  • Number Of Attractions: 40+ Top Attractions
  • Time Limit: 1-7 days (60 days on the Explorer Pass)
  • Expiry: 90 Days Refund (No Quibble) – 2 Year Expiry for First Use
  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – 4.5/5

Attractions Included on the Go Boston Pass – 40 +

  • CityView Hop On Hop Off Trolley: 2-day Ticket – $54
  • New England Aquarium – $32
  • Boston Duck Tour – $48
  • Museum of Science – $29
  • Fenway Park Tour – $23
  • Historic Sightseeing Cruise – $36
  • Museum of Fine Arts – $25
  • Salem Witch Museum – $15
  • USS Constitution Museum – $15.00
  • Boston Bike Rental – $42
  • Plus Many More…
Go Boston Pass Review
  • Price
  • Ease of Use
  • Attractions
4.5

In A Nutshell

Some really great attractions are included on this Attractions pass that will really open up the City Of Boston and let you see more of the City and Pay Less while doing so. The pass has a Low Price and great features that really help compliment any trip to this wonderful historic City. 

What is the Boston Pass?

The Go Boston Pass is an attraction pass allowing you to visit multiple paid attractions in the Boston Area all for one flat fee. There are two options to choose from and both offer different styles of visit and varying levels of value. The All-Inclusive Option and the Explorer.

Go Boston Pass – All Inclusive

The All-Inclusive option lets you choose the number of days the Pass is valid for and then you can visit as many attractions as you like on the days your pass is activated. You simply head straight to the attraction and scan the Pass and you are in.

The Pass works on Consecutive Calendar Days, so once you activate the pass, which is done by visiting the first attraction, the clock is ticking. This means you need to pack quite a few attractions into the time period to get the best of the pass but if used wisely can save a huge amount of money.

Go Boston Explorer Pass

The Explorer Pass Option is similar, only instead of choosing the length of the Pass you choose the number of attractions you wish to visit. This works better for those wanting to spread their attractions out or know exactly what you wish to visit. Savings are more limited as you can only visit the number of attractions you pick up to 5, but you have 60 days to visit them so you do not need to cram them in.

new england aquarium

How much does the Go Boston Pass Cost?

The Passes are not inexpensive, but they offer considerable savings compared to paying for attractions alone. The Key Figures are the per day and per attraction price, you can then easily see how many attractions you need to visit to get good value.

Go Boston All Inclusive Prices:

  • 1 Day Pass – Adult – $76 ($76 per day) Child – $51
  • 2 Day Pass – Adult – $102 ($51 per day) Child – $77
  • 3 Day Pass – Adult – $122 ($40 per day) Child – $84
  • 5 Day Pass – Adult – $152 ($30 per day) Child – $112
  • 7 Day Pass – Adult – $179 ($25.50 per day) Child – $136

Go Boston Explorer Pass Prices:

With the Explorer Pass, it is worth noting some attraction prices, such as the Salem Witch Museum at $15, are lower than the Per Attractions Price, meaning if you visit too many of these on the Explorer pass you may not get good value. We explore that in-depth below.

  • 2 Attraction Pass – Adult – $54 ($27 per attraction) Child – $36
  • 3 Attraction Pass – Adult – $74 ($24.60 per attraction) Child – $54
  • 4 Attraction Pass – Adult – $94 ($23.50 per attraction) Child – $69
  • 5 Attraction Pass – Adult – $104 ($20.80 per attraction) Child – $79

We do regularly get discount codes made available to use so check our Promo Code Page to see if we have any available right now for you to save EVEN more money!

How Long is the Pass Valid for and Can You Cancel?

The Pandemic has added a large amount of uncertainty to travel and one thing people really value now is flexibility. Trips are regularly changed and canceled due to restrictions and people’s individual risk assessments. The Bottom line is people like a lot of flexibility.

The Good News with the Go Boston Pass is Go City recognized this and has baked a lot of extra flexibility into its products.

First up is the 90-day Cancellation. All passes now come with a 90-day cancellation period so if you cancel your trip within 90-days of buying the pass you can get a refund, no questions asked, for any reason. So if you wait until 90 days of your trip to buy the pass then you are fully covered.

We should note this is a two-stage cancellation policy. with full refunds only within 30days and 31-90 incur a small cancellation fee. Again if you wait until 30days out you are guaranteed a FULL refund if you need to cancel.

On top of this, if your trip is merely postponed or you fall outside of the 90day limit the pass is Valid for a FULL two years from purchase. We still think it’s best to purchase within the 30/90 day period, but then prices right now are exceptionally low, the lowest we have seen in several years, so you could lock in a great price now even if you are not planning on traveling for a while, safe in the knowledge you have two years to actually use the Pass.

The Explorer Pass option also now gives you 60 Days to use the pass, great for locals looking to save and visit a few attractions over a couple of months!

How does Go Boston Pass Work in Practice?

Go Pass Boston

The Go Boston Pass is a Digital Pass. In the past, these types of attraction passes were physical cards or booklets but these have been superseded by digital products. The Pass is simply emailed to you instantly after purchase.

The pass essentially consists of a QR-Code that is scanned at the attraction entrances and grants instant access to the attraction, in most cases. As is it a QR Code it can be accessed in a multitude of ways, either via Email, the Go City App, or the old-fashioned printout.

We always use the super convenient app that is also linked to the free city guide that comes with the Pass, we just whip out our phone and scan directly from the app. We also print out some backup copies just in case of a technological failure on our end!

The Pass is activated by scanning the Pass at the first attraction. With the All-Inclusive Pass, this starts the clock rolling on your selected number of days. Remember these are CONSECUTIVE Calander Days. So if you have a 3-day pass and activate it on a Friday, you have Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to use the pass. You cannot skip days and the validity ends at midnight on the last day even, if you activated much later in the day on the first day. Make sure you activate early on the first day to get the most out of that day!

The Explorer is more forgiving giving you a huge 60-days from activating to use the pass. This is only really useful for locals as most tourist trips are much much shorter than this. But it removes any time pressures to try and cram everything in (unless of course, you have planned too much, to begin with!)

Be aware some attractions need pre-booking, especially since Covid. These tend to be the tours and such like, but also some Museums to ensure social distancing. While this can detract from some of the spontaneity the pass offers, it’s understandable. It is important to note that booking a reservation at an attraction DOES NOT count as activating the pass, the pass is only activated when you arrive and scan the pass, so you don’t need to wait to get things booked.

Finally, some of these reservation-required attractions will charge for no-shows so ensure you make the reservation or cancel within the required cancellation period.

Is the Go Boston Pass Right for Me?

The Go Boston Pass really does seem to cover most bases in Boston. Almost all the attractions and sights are covered on the Pass that most people what to see, along with a few you didn’t think of. There are a couple missing, due to covid restrictions but hopefully, these will return soon.

So if you are planning on visiting a number of these attractions then there is probably a pass that will help you see more and pat less, the holy grail of travel. But not everyone will benefit from a pass. There is a lot to see and do in Boston without visiting paid attractions and a pass may just be an unnecessary distraction. You may just be visiting the historic sights of the City or here to catch a game at Fenway, maybe you are in town for the Marathon.

However, with the two different pass options, there is normally a Pass that can help reduce costs and let you actually see more. If you are just here for the History, then the trolly is a great way to get around and see the sights combined with the historic boat tour, you will get more history packed in than you would have if you just freeballed it!

Overall, for most people coming to the City the pass can be a great help, it reduces the cost but opens up attractions you would never have thought of or considered without the pass, this is what we really love about attraction passes they really unlock the heart of the City and let you experience far more than you would have without. Really it’s all down to choosing the best option for your trip the Explorer or the All-Inclusive.

Go Boston Pass Attractions

The most fundamental part of the Pass is the Attractions, there have to be enough really worthwhile attractions on the pass, or it is completely pointless. The pass can open up opportunities you possibly never considered before, but there has to be the core offering of attractions that really stand out to you. One that gets you really excited and just can’t wait to visit. With this in mind, we take a look at our favorite attractions included on the Go Boston Pass.

CityView Hop On Hop Off Trolley: 2-day Ticket – $54

CityView Trolley Hop-On Hop-Off

In many US cities, there are Hop-On Hop-Off Transport options, and while we are big fans of them, we see them as tours rather than viable ways to get around the City. The CityView is a smaller trolly type of transport that is much better suited to getting around the City than some of the Big Bus Double Decker options in other Cities.

The Trolley is designed as a tour of the City with the fully narrated routes taking you to all the best historic parts of the City along with many of the attractions included on the pass. It’s actually a really useful addition to the pass and definitely a must-do attraction if you have the pass.

The Explorer Pass only provides a one-day ticket, but it’s still great value.

New England Aquarium – $32

new england aquarium

Almost every pass we review has some kind of aquarium included and we normally start by saying it’s a nice Aquarium but not one of the best in the country, but with the New England aquarium we can categorically state that it is one of the best in the country. We rate it at number 7 in the USA, but it really is up against some tough competition.

The Giant circular Ocean Tank is the star of the show, filled with Trevvaly, Turtles, barracuda, sharks rays, and Reef Fish. There is a stunning Amazon Exhibit with Pirahna Arapaima, Anacondas, and all the cold stuff from the world’s largest River System. There is a Giant Floor-to-ceiling Coral Reef Exhibit that is one of the biggest marine reef tanks we have seen. And don’t miss out on the Cutest inhabitants to the FAcility the Penguins!

It’s an absolute top attraction and something not to miss in the City. Even Ted enjoys his visits here!

Boston Duck Tour – $48

Boston Duck Tour

The Mighty DUKW’s are a relic of World War II and Korea and are now repurposed as tourist attractions. Their innate ability to run on both land and water makes them both great fun and really handy for seeing the best the city has to offer from both Land and Sea/River.

The Boston Duck Tours are one of the most loved tours in the city giving you an excellent elevated view of some of the Cities best landmarks before going for a swim and getting a ducks eye view of the Charles Riverside. Ther really are a lot of fun and you get to see a lot of the city on these 80 minutes amphibious tours.

Museum of Science – $29

Boston Museum of Science

A fantastic half-day out is to be found at the Boston Museum of Science. Part Science Museum Part Natural History there is a lot on offer at one of the countries finest museums. There is plenty to keep kids (big and small) entertained and (secretly) educated as you explore the many exhibits.

A huge Human Biology Exhibit is one of the newer exhibits as the Museum is constantly evolving. There Dinosaur Exhibits are much loved by Bostonites and feature a 65million-year-old Triceratops discovered in the Dakota BAdlands. The theater of Electricity is one of our favorite exhibits as one of the largest Van de Graaff generators creates 2 million volt indoor lightning bolts, and Tesla coils arc electricity through the air.

There is also a Butterfly house, Living Species Exhibit, Planetarium, and 4-D Theater. It really is a fascinating and exciting attraction and well worth the time to head over here.

Fenway Park Tour – $23

fenway park peskys pole

Fenway Park is a true Icon of American sport and one of Boston’s most loved attractions. While we highly recommend getting to a Red Socks game, a visit to the Stadium during the day for a tour of the grounds is also a really worthwhile endeavor.

America is a comparatively new country and one that is not too big on traditions, meaning sports stadiums have a tendency to be bulldozed and rebuilt or teams up sticks and move on leaving the ground ripe for redevelopment. This means that unlike Europe, where sports stadiums can be many decades old and rich with history, in the US they are more a replaceable commodity. Fenway is one of the notable exceptions here, and while it has been altered and upgraded throughout the years it remains true to its past and has many quirks of being an original stadium.

Fenway Park really is one of Boston’s must-see’s and whether you catch a game or not, a tour of the grounds really does fill in the blanks as to why this is such a well-loved icon of the game.

Historic Sightseeing Cruise – $36

Historic Sightseeing Cruise Boston

Take a 90-minute cruise down Boston’s famous waterways and get to see the locations and sites where the country really was born. Visit the inner and outer harbor areas, the working port, the oldest manned lighthouse in the country, the Harbor Islands National Park Area, along with the upscale waterside residential areas.

Bostons’ waterfronts are intrinsic to the city and these cruises are a great way to get a real feel for the City and explore its incredible history and iconic architecture.

Museum of Fine Arts – $25

Museum of fine arts

The Boston Museum of Fine Arts is one of the world’s lesser-known Museums but actually has one of the largest and most comprehensive collections in the country, second only to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. There is a huge and important collection of American Art, very fitting for a city of such historical importance. There are works from Copley, Sergent, Homer, and Cole.

There is also a huge European collection with some incredible pieces from some of the most famous artists in the world, such as Weyden, Greco, Rembrandt, Turner, Renoir, Cezanne, Gauguin, Van Gough, and an extensive collection of some of Monet’s best works. The Museum also hosts the best collections of Japanese art outside of Japan.

Finally, there is a large selection of antiquities showcasing Art from over 3000+ years of human endeavor.

Despite the museum’s low-key reputation it is a titan in the art world and anyone in town looking for a culture injection with be thrilled with the Museum and its world-class exhibits. The Museum ranks as the 52nd most visited Art Museum in the world and this is simply a tragedy as the impressive collection really deserves far more recognition than it gets!

Salem Witch Museum – $15

Salem Witch Museum

Salem and its legendary witch trials are something that has fascinated and enthralled us for years. The supernatural aura around the town is quite (dark) magical. The Museum catalogs and details all the bizarre goings-on and the terrible persecution inflicted on the female residents (in fact men were prosecuted and killed as well!)during the witch trials.

While it is almost certain that very few of the victims were employing satanic powers the intense mass hysteria that embroiled the town was symptomatic of a hysteria that swept the nation and led to the deaths of many innocent people.

The Museum focuses on the historical reality of the trials, the reason for the suspicion, and the hysteria that surrounded the town and the country at the time, it’s not a look at witches and witchcraft as supposed in modern times, pointy hats and black cats, etc… but does look at how the practice’s image has developed over the years.

It’s a great museum looking at a fascinating period of history and an absolute must-see. Salem is situated around 22miles outside of downtown Boston, about 40mins drive or catch the Newburyport/Rockport Train direct to Salem.

USS Constitution Museum – $15.00

the USS Constitution Museum

The USS Constitution sits proudly on Boston’s historic waterfront and can be visited free of charge, making it one of Boston’s must-see attractions. However, you don’t need a Pass to see a free attraction. The USS Constitution Museum however supports the continued preservation of the historic Vessel and adds a lot of context and information to your visit.

It is definitely worth a visit, even without the pass, but having it included just really enriches the experience. The interactive experience brings to life what life at sea was like in the era along with the history of this iconic warship.

Boston Bike Rental – $42

Boston has quite a small city center and is quite compact by US City Standards this makes it perfect for getting around by bike. Simply hiring a bike and exploring the freedom trail and waterfront is an attraction in itself and we love seeing this on the pass.

Is the Go Boston Pass Worth It?

Now we have looked at the attraction it should be clear to you if these are of interest. If the thought of visiting the Wiche Museum or the New England Aquarium has you giddy with excitement then the pass is possibly a good idea, but you don’t NEED a pass to visit them you can always pay separately, or trawl the internet for individual discounts and build up the itinerary that way. The Pass has to be of good value or there is simply no sense in buying one. So let’s take a look at the Math and see how it stacks up.

There are a few intrinsic advantages to the pass too, but we come to those after, along with looking at the potential pitfalls of buying a pass…nothing is perfect! But first, the money side as if this doesn’t add up, the pass is a failure!

Costed Examples

Here we take a look at both the All-inclusive and the Explorer Pass and see how they stack up. These are really basic and easily achievable itineraries that will leave you loads of time to visit other free attractions and explore the City.

Go Boston Pass – All Inclusive

3-day Pass – $122

Day 1

  • CityView Hop On Hop Off Trolley: 2-day Ticket – $54
  • New England Aquarium – $32
  • USS Constitution Museum – $15.00
  • Attractions – 3
  • Running Cost – $101

Day 2

  • Boston Duck Tour – $48
  • Museum of Science – $29
  • Museum of Fine Arts – $25
  • Attractions – 6
  • Running Cost – $203

Day 3

  • Salem Witch Museum – $15 (morning)
  • Fenway Park Tour – $23 (afternoon)
  • Attractions – 8
  • Running Cost – $241
  • Total Cost – $241
  • Pass Price – $122
  • Savings – $119 or 50%

As you can see these are some big savings and we really have gone for a light itinerary, there is a lot more you could cram in and save even more, but your trip may be a bit hectic, but this itinerary lacks the Historic Sight Seeing Cruise, Bike Rental and a whole lot more.

Also, the 5 and 7-day passes are only marginally more expensive and allow you to pack in loads more for only a little extra!

Go Boston Explorer Pass

5 Attraction Pass – $104

  • CityView Hop On Hop Off Trolley: 1-day Ticket – $41
  • New England Aquarium – $32
  • Boston Duck Tour – $48
  • Museum of Science – $29
  • Fenway Park Tour – $23
  • Total Cost – $173
  • Pass Price – $104
  • Savings – $69 or 39%+

The savings here are not as great but the pass still offers huge savings. The TRolly lets you get around and see the best of the City while the remaining attractions are all top-rated and really worthwhile. It is important to avoid the lower-priced attractions though as they can pull down the possible savings. Some included attractions are as low as $15 and these might be better paid for separately.

Advantages

So it is clear the pass can save you some serious money if used correctly, but on top of this, there are some other benefits to using a pass. We always use passes whenever we visit a City, as on top of the cost-saving the other benefit just makes the experience so much better.

Inspiration

When heading somewhere new it can be tough to know exactly what is on offer in the City. The Go Boson Pass covers most of the possibly paid attractions available in the City to it really opens your eyes up as to what’s on offer. There are always attractions on the Pass that you will not have thought about or known existed and the Pass really opens the door up o these opportunities.

Planning

The Pass also really helps with the planning phase of the trip. The pass can be used as the backbone of your itinerary with other sites and attractions factoring depending on where the pass will take you. Such as the Uss Constitution Museum, or exploring the Freedom Trail as part of the Trolley Tours.

Flexibility

It is essential for any rewarding trip to do a little planning and have a basic itinerary, otherwise, you will find you are constantly trying to find things to do and work out where you are going. But it is also equally important not to be a slave to any itinerary. You need to be flexible and able to alter plans on the fly. Things change, the weather can throw spanners in the works and you may just not feel like doing the things you have planned.

The Go Boson Pass allows a huge amount of flexibility and as the attractions are not pre-selected you really can just change your mind and do something else instead. This is particularly useful when the weather does not play ball. If you have a lot of outdoor attractions planned but rain is forecast you can simply swap it to a Museum day or more inside-based attractions and head outside on a better day!

Budgetting

With any trip, budgeting is a big issue. It is incredibly hard to know how much to take, how fast the cash will run out and how big the credit card bill will be when you get back. Food, Drinks, Transport, and attractions all add up and can spiral out of control. The Go Boston Pass will not solve this problem, but it certainly helps.

It’s great to know beforehand exactly how much the attractions portion of the trip will cost you and to get that squared away before the trip. Meaning if you do get a shock when the credit card bill arrives, it’s probably from eating and drinking far too much than you should!

Simplicity

It is also a blessing that you no longer need to carry endless tickets and vouchers around. Our 3-day Iintary above has 8 attractions on it, that’s 8 separate tickets/vouchers, 8 separate bookings, 8 separate searches to try and find some discount codes. It is quite a hassle. With the Go Pass however all your tickets are in one place, and entry is via a simple scan of the Go Pass QR Code. There is no need to hunt around for the best prices as you are saving huge amounts by buying the pass.

See More Pay Less

Really the pass does allow you to See More and Pay Less. Travel is all about experiences and we all want to see and do as much as possible, so to be able to do this while actually paying less, rather than more is a real killer perk f the pass. Normally the more you do the more you pay as the entry fees rack up, but with a pass, doing more actually feels like the pass is better value.

What we find is we just end up doing so much more than we would without a pass. We visit places and attractions we would have skipped without, sometimes these work out for the better, as they turn out to be things we LOVED. Sometimes the attractions were not so good, but at least we hadn’t forked out a $25-35 entry fee per person.

The difference when we visit places with and without a pass is quite startling, the pass just opens up the City and lets you get the best out of it!

Boston Duck Tours

Disadvantages

Nothing in Life is perfect, and the Go Boston Pass is no exception! Some of the below are drawbacks, downsides to saving so much money, others are merely potential pitfalls to be avoided to get the best of the Pass.

Planning too much – When you first start looking at the pass there is so much on offer you can get a bit ahead of yourself. You think you can plan 4 or 5 attractions a day and cram them all in and still have a good time. The truth is the pass does not add any hours to the day and there is only so much you can fit in and only so much energy a person can exert in tearing around a City.

Plan just 2-3 attractions per day and ensure they are grouped together for minimal travel time.

Chasing the Pass – The Go Pass is great value, but it is still a pretty big outlay, so it is natural to want to get the best out of it. This can lead you down the path of Chasing the Pass. Similar to planning too much but it’s more a case of rushing things to get to the next attraction. Some locations require you to linger and take the location in, not just tear around trying to cram as much in as possible to get the best value.

Work out what you really want to do and focus on those attractions.

Free Sights and Attractions – Again there is the danger you will focus ONLY on things that are on the pass, or higher value attractions in order to get more perceived value. There is tons to see and do in Boston that are totally free and you should not let the Pass distract you from that. Otherwise, your trip will be less rewarding than if you just focus on Pass attractions.

Walk the Freedom Trail, Explore the Historic Water Front, Relax on Boston Common, explore the Charles River Esplanade, or head up Bunker Hill. Plan your days around the paid attractions but take the time to enjoy the whole city!

Low-Value Attractions – Explorer Pass ONLY – We have already pointed this out but there are some low-valued attractions included on the Pass. This does not matter at all on the All-inclusive as you can visit as much as you like, but on the explorer pass, if more than one attraction is less than the per attraction price, you might be better booking separately.

Consecutive Days – All-Inclusive Pass Only – We are never really fans of Consecutive Day Passes as they limit your options. Sometimes we like to take a day off heavy sightseeing and the Go Pass does not really allow that. Maybe on the 5 and 7 day passes you could get away with it as the per-day price is so low, but on the 1, 2, or 3 day passes you need to be sightseeing most of the time.

Fortunately, most people’s trips to Boston are short affairs so you tend to be busy and packing things in any way but it’s something to be aware of.

Which Go Boston Pass to Choose?

Explorer or All Inclusive?

The first answer to this is do you want to visit over 5 attractions? If so then the All-Inclusive is the only answer. If not then you may be better with the Explorer. Its lower price and more relaxed way of seeing the City means it’s a great deal.

You do only get a 1-day trolly pass, and some of the attractions from the all-inclusive pass are missing, but really to get the best value from the All-inclusive you need to be hitting at least 6-7 attractions.

We think the 1-day and 2-day passes are a little expensive considering how much you need to pack in and definitely would be considering the Explorer in these instances. There is also the Official CityPASS that offers great value at only $64 for 4 attractions but has a limited choice of attractions.

Overall

We really like the Go Boston Pass. It covers most of Boston’s best sights, tours, and must-do attractions and comes in at a really good price point. Savings are really high and there is no real complexity to the pass, just buy the pass, and get straight into whichever attractions you want.

With the two-pass types, the explorer and All-Inclusive you really can build the type of trip you want and get the absolute best out of your trip to Boston. Whether that’s a fun-filled trip or a deep dive into the history and culture of the City there is something for everyone.

Have Your Say

Have you used the Go Boston Pass before? What did you make of your experience with the pass? Did you find the attractions worthwhile? which did you enjoy the most and was the pass good value overall? What issues did you have with the pass? We would love to hear from you in the comments below. And if you have any questions just fire away.

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