Go Chicago Pass Review 2019 – Is the Chicago Go Pass Worth it?

Chicago is a city of culture and is filled with fantastic things to see and do. It is also a City of attractions where the normal plan of action is getting out and about and seeing exactly what the city has to offer. It’s not a place to go to relax, but to get out and be part of the City. Unfortunately, this can mean spending rather a lot of cash on the different sights and attractions the city has to offer! One solution to this is to purchase an attractions Pass, such as the Go Chicago Pass.

Go Chicago Card Reviews

Attraction Passes can get a bad rep on some internet travel boards, and they do not suit every type of traveler but on the whole, we are fans of the products and we think, especially first-time visitors can get great value from them. So in our Go Chicago Pass Review post, we take a look at the Pass to see if the Go Chicago Pass is Worth it? if the attractions included are worthwhile and analyze the Pros and Cons of the Pass. A family could spend hundreds of dollars on a pass like this or on attractions in general so it is important to be sure its a good deal!

Is the Chicago Go Card Worth it
  • Product: GO Chicago Pass – All Inclusive
  • Price: $114- $229
  • Price Child: $77 – $156 (Child 3-12yrs)
  • Where to Buy: GoCity.com – Direct
  • Number Of Attractions: 29+ Top Attractions
  • Time Limit: 1,2,3, or 5 Consecutive Calander Days.
  • Rating: 4.7/5


Attractions Included – Unlimited All-Inclusive Attractions:

  • Shedd Aquarium
  • Skydeck Chicago
  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • 360 Chicago
  • Hop On Hop Off Big Bus Chicago – 1 Day Classic Tour
  • Field Museum
  • Museum of Science and Industry
  • Shoreline Architecture River Cruise
  • and Many more…
  • Price
  • Ease of Use
  • Attractions

In A Nutshell

The All inclusive Go Chicago Pass is a very comprehensive pass that covers nearly all the Paid attractions you would want to Visit in Chicago. It has a low Price and is easy to use, with Priority access to some of the attractions. The biggest issue is finding time to do even some of what the pass offers as there really is so much included on the Pass.


What is the GO Chicago Pass?

The Go Chicago Pass is an All-inclusive Pass that allows you to visit any number of attractions you like for a set number of days, 1, 2, 3, or 5 days. This allows you to visit as many attraction as you like from the list of 29+ attractions. This list covers most of the Citys most popular headline attractions and should have something for everyone. You simply arrive at your chosen attraction scan the pass and you are in. No pre Booking, not carrying around multiple tickets just one simple easy to use Pass the covers everything.

The Go Chicago Pass is the All-Inclusive option but there are a few other passes available from the Go City People. Such as the Explorer Pass, Build your Own and Package Options.

What is the Go Explorer pass?

The alternative to the Go Pass – All-Inclusive is the Chicago Explorer Pass. This is similar but works in a slightly different way. Here you pick the number of attractions (3, 4, or 5 attractions) you wish to visit and can visit them at your leisure during a 30 Day Period. As we discuss below a major downside to the all-inclusive pass is trying to cram too much in or chasing the pass, the explorer passes way of doing things stops the temptation to do this as you only have so much to get packed it.

In Practice, it works pretty much the same as the Go Chicago Pass so you can continue reading this review and decide later if the Go Chicago All-Inclusive Pass or explorer options are right for you. However it is important to remember the Shedd Aquarium which is very highly rated by us, is missing from the Explorer pass.

Click here to Buy the Explorer Pass

Build Your Own Pass

The third option is the build your own. This option is great if you know exactly what you want to see and do. For most people, this is the most appealing option as you get exactly what you want but it’s actually in most cases the worst option. You save between 20-25% Maximum and when using the Explorer or All-Inclusive the saving can add up to much more than this.

also with the Chicago Pass, the Options on BYO are pretty limited. you lose some of the better attractions. There is also the Packages option but on this pass that is very limited and can pretty much be ignored!

Which is the best?

We do really like the GO All-Inclusive Pass in this instance. The Inclusion of the Shedd aquarium really sells it. The Nature of any Visit to Chicago is always quite hectic and the all-inclusive pass suits this quite well. For short trips, the Explorer pass does work very well though simply having a few good attractions to visit in the City really helps make the trip special without the stress of cramming things in. For longer visits, we prefer the Go All-Inclusive Pass though.

How Much is the Go Chicago Pass?

Go Chicago All Inclusive

  • 1-Day – $114 – Adult – $77 Child (3-12)
  • 2-Day – $160 – Adult – $113 Child (3-12)
  • 3-Day – $192 – Adult – $134 Child (3-12)
  • 5-Day – $228 – Adult – $156 Child (3-12)

Go Chicago Explorer Pass

  • 3 – Choice Pass – $81 Adult – $52 Child(3-12) – $27Per Attraction
  • 4 – Choice Pass – $107 Adult – $70 Child(3-12) – $26.50Per Attraction
  • 5 – Choice Pass – $121 Adult – $81 Child(3-12) – $24Per Attraction

Labor Day Sale – 10% Promo Code

The Go Chicago Pass is excellent Value but Right now you can get an additional 10% off with our Labor day Promo Code. Check our Discount code page now to get your 10% code to save even more!

Go Chicago Pass Promo Code and Discounts Page

Go Chicago Pass in Practice?

Chicago Pass Mobile

The pass is a Digital Pass. This means there is no physical item to be delivered and as such you get the pass instantly. It is then used directly from your phone or you can print it out and use it that way. It’s basically just a QR code that you show and scan at the attractions.

The Go Pass is activated upon first use and then you have 1,2,3 or 5 consecutive calendar days to use the pass as much as you like.

It is important to remember that the pass is CONSECUTIVE CALENDER Days. Meaning If you activate a 3-day pass on a Tuesday, you have Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday to use the pass. It is not 24hr blocks so if you activate late on Tuesday you only have till midnight that day, so it’s important to visit your first attractions early to get the FULL day, or you may only be getting 2 1\2 days or less!

Using the pass is very simple it’s a simple scan of the QR code at the attraction’s entrance, and you are in. Some attractions offer Priority entry, This is essentially the fact you Pass is your ticket meaning you head straight for the entry queue whereas walk-up visitors will have to queue for tickets first.

The exception to this is the Cruises where you need a timed ticket. For this, you will have to queue up to get the timed ticket then queue for the cruise. This is a bit of a pain really and could be avoided if you bought a timed ticket online beforehand. However, in practice, we often miss our timed slots and need to queue for new tickets anyway (they will swap missed slots for free)

On the plus side the Cruise’s sail from Navy pier which is one of our favorite places in Chicago. So it’s easy to arrive at the pier, grab a timed ticket for the next hour or two and then explore the Pier while you wait for the ticket! It makes for a fun afternoon/ evening.

Overall the pass does work very well and incredibly simple. We use these passes all over the States and never had a serious issue. There are always drawbacks, which we discuss below,  but on the whole, they make our trips SO much more rewarding and can turn a pretty mundane aimless trip into a trip to remember for a lifetime! While the pass is a great idea for many people, they are not the right choice for everyone.

Is the Pass Right for me?

Chicago at night

With the Choice between the Go Chicago All-Inclusive and the Explorer pass, most types of visitor are covered by these passes. For very short trips or trips where your reason for visiting is a Festival, Convention or some specific reason but you also have time to get out and see a bit of the city the Explorer pass is fantastic. You can get just the highlights at a huge discount with no time pressure at all.

For longer trips or where the City is the reason for visiting the Go Pass All Inclusive is the perfect option, The pass gets you right t the heart of the best attractions the city has to offer and you will find yourself touring the best tourist part of the city as you travel from attraction to attraction.

For those who detest planning, the Go Pass All Inclusive is a poor choice, it does require a certain amount of planning so those with an aversion will hate it. A lot of people want to experience what they feel is the “real” City or get an “authentic” experience. The pass encourages an unashamedly Touristy approach to sightseeing. For those attempting this type of travel will probably be disappointed.

But for most, those wanting to see the City from on high, For those wanting to see the cities world-class museums and exhibits, for those wanting to really explore everything the City has to offer the Go Pass All-Inclusive gives you everything you could want, at a fixed low price!

Really the most important aspect of any pass is are the Attractions what you WANT to see? So on that basis, we take a look at what is on the pass and point out our favorites.


The Attractions included on the card are some of the best attractions in the City. We put together our list of the best things to do in Chicago and most of the attractions included on the pass came up on the list! So really we do think for most people the pass does have almost everything they would want to do in Chicago included, as far as paid attractions go that is.

Shedd Aquarium – $39.95

shedd Aquarium Chicago

We Make no secret of the fact we love Auqauriums, most Cities we visit we head to the Aquarium (if there is one) and love seeing the wonders of the undersea world. In Chicago, The Shedd Aquarium is one of the best in the country. We would rank it at number 3 just behind the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Georgia Aquarium, which both rank as some of the best in the world. The Shedd is a little behind but it is absolutely world-class.

We couldn’t visit Chicago without heading to the Shedd, and it’s great to see it on the pass, it’s a good half-day attraction so make sure you factor in a full morning or afternoon to get the best of it!

Skydeck Chicago – $25.00

skydeck gallery ledge

In any City getting up high and getting a good view of the Skyline is one of our favorite attractions. This is especially true un such heavily vertically built Cities such as Chicago. The Willis Tower, Formally the Sears tower was the tallest tower in the USA and has only just been surpassed by the freedom tower in Ne York. The Skydeck Chicago id the Towers 103rd floor oversedation deck, and at 1353ft is the highest observation deck in the country.

The View is simply mind-blowing. From the Skydeck, you have 360 views of the entire city and can see 4 States, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and across Lake Michigan into Michigan itself.

You also have the gut-churning “ledge”! A glass Balcony that suspends you over the 1353ft drop to the pavement below. It is perfectly safe but try telling your brain that!

360 Chicago – $24.00

360 Chicago John Hancock Tower

Another observation deck is the 360 Chicago. While it might seem unnecessary to have two observation decks on the pass, But the 360 is a fairly different experience. It’s not as high but as the Willis Tower but the 1000ft + is pretty tall. The John Hancock Building is located on the shore of Lake Michigan and give stunning views of the City, Magnificent mile and the Coastline. Unlike the Willis tower that is tight in the heart of things, the 360 is away from the downtown area meaning you get a better view if the imposing skyline of the City.

As is the case with most towers these days the view is apparently not enough. They need a Gimmick like the “ledge” on the Skydeck or the SkySlide in L.A. The 360 has “Tilt”. This is a window that tilts outwards over the City as to hold on leaving you face-first over the plunge. It’s a bit gimmicky and not as terrifying as it sounds and has an extra fee on top of the Go Card!

Most people ask which is best? Our answer is if you are going for the Pass, do BOTH. They are both great in their own right and quite short experiences, so it’s well worth making your own mind up! It also gives you the opportunity to see Chicago from height at both day AND night!

Art Institute of Chicago – $35.00

Art Institute of Chicago

Not as Famous as the Louvre (Paris), The Britsh Museum (London) or the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, but in reality, every bit as good a museum the Art Institute is a genuine world-class museum. What it lacks in prestige it makes up for in incredible pieces of art, culture, and history. This Monster of a Museum can take a full day to see properly, which can be a problem for pass users wanting to pack a bit more in! However, a good half day will easily pack in the highlights and give you a great idea of just how special this collection is! Personally, we don’t really want to spend a whole day in a museum anyway?

Any art lover will need little enticement to visit the location, but many of us are not the biggest art fans. We might pretend to be artier than we are just to appear a bit more cultured. But there are works of art here that are truly awe-inspiring such as Edward Hopper’s famous Nighthawks, Chagalls, America windows, Grants American Gothic and Matisse Bathers by a river. 

It’s not just old paintings, however, There are huge pottery collections, Sculptures, Modern and Contemporary art, suits of armor on horseback. The varied collection ranges from Ancient artifacts to modern-day masterpieces. Really you would have to really really hate art to not be very impressed with this wonderland of culture!

This is one of the reasons we love passes. We would probably skip places like this without the pass, but not having to pay means we check them out and are normally very thankful we did! The Art Institute of Chicago is a revelation in that sense!

Hop On Hop Off Big Bus Chicago – 1 Day Classic Tour – $45.00

Hop On Big Bus Tours Chicago

Hop On Hop Off Buses are pretty poor in terms of transport. They are irregular slow, have long queues and are pretty packed. For getting around, we don’t really recommend them! However, that doesn’t mean we don’t like them!

When arriving in a new City, your bearing can be shot to hell you have no idea where you or anything else is and these tours are great an orientating yourself and learning the basics of the City. The elevated views from the top decks are great and it really can be the perfect intro into the City. This tour is worthwhile in its own right.

However, it’s not completely useless as transport. It certainly links up many of the top attractions so on the first day we always use it and hop off a few times at certain points before hopping back on and completing the loop. After that, we revert to more reliable and regular forms of transport!

Field Museum – $32.00

The Field Museum

The Art Institute of Chicago is one of Chicago’s top museums and ranked up in the worlds top 10…So Don’t tell anyone, but we prefer the Field Museum!

Really they are completely different offerings. The field is a natural History Museum showing the wonder and beauty of the world in a really modern and spectacular way. Huge Dinosaur Skeletons, Egyptian Tombs, Giant Insect room, and many enthralling exhibits of the wonders of our planet it’s anything but a stuffy exhibit of stuffed animals. We love the Field Museum and it’s a great addition to the Pass

Museum of Science and Industry – $33.95

Museum of Science and Industry

Another really fantastic Museum that shuns the concept of boring stuffy museums. This interactive playground museum showcases all things science and does so in a really fun way that is really suited to younger audiences, as well as adults. If the regular museums are a bit too grown-up for you the Science and industry museum is far more likely to excite.

Navy Pier, Centennial Wheel and 4 Ride Pass – $45.00

Chicago, Illinois Visitors Guide

Chicago is a fairly serious city. Filled with Museums and culture. Fun can often be pretty hard to come by so the Navy Pier can be a welcome relief. An old town type fair with rides and attractions for all ages. The Highlight of the prier, apart from the fantastic setting, of course, is the 200 ft Centennial Wheel. And really this is where the pass’s value comes into its own. The Pier itself is actually free to explore but to actually do or see anything costs extra. With the PAss, you get access to any of the piers rides, including the Centennial wheel.

You can also board one of 3 Cruises included on the pass from the pier and we highly recommend arriving at the pier booking your cruise then enjoying the pier until your time slot. Head out ion the cruise then carry on at the pier into the evening!

Remember that during the summer on Wednesdays and Saturday Evening there are fireworks at the pier too so plan your trip here for one of those days…but count on it being busy!

If you have kids do not miss the pier, but with loads of food and drink options, and generally fantastic setting even an adult only trip should definitely head to the pier too.

Shoreline Architecture River Cruise – $46

Shoreline Sightseeing Architectural River Cruise

As we mentioned before there are three cruises available on the pass. Whenever a location is on the water we really love getting out onto the waves to see the city from a different angle. All three Cruises can be boarded at the Navy Pier and use timed tickets. So you turn up show the pass and then wait until your allotted time. The Navy Pier is the perfect place to pass that time.

  • Architecture River Cruise
  • Classic Lake Tour
  • Tall Ship WINDY

Our Favourite is the Architecture tour. It isn’t your regular boat tour as it explores the city from the 3 branches of the river as it winds around the city. This 70 Min cruise takes in many of the Cities amazing landmarks, highlighting the impressive architecture of the city. Real Architecture buffs may be disappointed as it’s a friendly take on the cities buildings but it gets you up close and personal to the city from a completely different angle to what you would expect, and after all most of us are not real architecture buffs!

Unfortunately, you can only do one cruise per day with the pass. But TBH how much time do you want to spend on a boat each day?

Is the Go Chicago Pass Worth it

So, Is the Go Chicago Pass Worth it?

From a purely financial point of view, it’s pretty hard to argue a case against the pass. It really can save you a stack of money. Below is a costed example of a very reasonable and do ale itinerary. We always take care not to suggest too much or pack out the pass to give unrealistic expectations. Of course, simple maths is not the only thing to consider with a pass so we take a look at the pros and cons afterward.

Day 1:

  • Hop On Hop Off Big Bus Chicago – 1 Day Classic Tour – $45.00
  • Skydeck Chicago – $25
  • Magnificent Mile Shopping – Free

Total –$ 70

Day 2:

  • Shedd Aquarium – $39.95
  • Field Museum -$32.00
  • Navy Pier – $45.00
  • Shoreline Architecture River Cruise – $46
  • Centennial Wheel and Rides – $included with Pier

Total – $163

Day 3:

  • Art Institute of Chicago – $35
  • Museum of Science and Industry – $33.95
  • 360 Chicago – $24.00 (Sunset)

Total – $ 93

  • Full Price $ 326
  • Pass Price $ 192
  • Saving $ 134

That’s a saving of 42% Saving over paying full price on the gate. That’s a big lump of cash you could put towards something else! But as we said it’s not just about the money. there are some pretty meaningful advantages to getting a pass.

Labor Day Sale – 10% Promo Code

The Go Chicago Pass is excellent Value but Right now you can get an additional 10% off with our Labor day Promo Code. Check our Discount code page now to get your 10% code to save even more!

With an extra 10% off, A 3-Day All-Inclusive pass is only $173.34 This would take the Above savings to over $153 per PASS!

Go Chicago Pass Promo Code and Discounts Page


Chicago_navy Pier


Often when Visiting any new City you do not always really know what there is to actually do. We have headed to many new places only to arrive and not really know what we should do or where we should go? The pass solves this problem pretty well. With access to many of the Citys best attractions, we find ourselves doing and seeing a lot more than we would if we just winged it!

You may have found just scanning our list of attractions something you didn’t know about but actually really like the look of?


While we would all love money to not be an issue, unfortunately for most it is the defining characteristic of any trip. It’s awful to miss out on things because the budget won’t stretch, or worse get home to building credit card bills you didn’t plan for. With a pass in hand you know all this is taken care of beforehand! As far as attractions go you know exactly what you will spend and can even get that out of the way before the trip.

Then you only have spiraling food and drink costs to contend with!


Equally, Once this is paid for, you can do as much as you like. We find with a Pass we will do a lot more than we would without. We will see and do things we would not have considered before and often have a great time. How often have toy looked at an entry fee and just thought I am not paying that! but with a pass, you can check it out knowing it’s all covered! After all, Travelling is all about seeing and doing new things!


Planning is most peoples least favorite part of any trip and it can always be hard to know where to start. The pass can really help out on this front as you map out the attractions you most want to visit on the pass. You can then tie these up to free attractions and other things you want to do in the city. It really does help pull a trip together.


The other great thing about the pass is it makes that planning very flexible. With pre-booked timed tickets and rigid planning then it’s all set in stone. But life doesn’t really work that way. If you have your River Cruise all booked and the day breaks and it’s given torrential rain all day, then said cruise will be pretty miserable, Same with an open-top bus ride. This would be doubly frustrating if yesterdays sunshine was enjoyed inside a museum!

With the Pass and the fact, nothing is set in stone means you can chop and change to suit mood and weather! We recommend planning days. lumping attractions together based on location and weather appropriateness. Then these days can be taken in any order as you see fit! So if the forecast is for rain head to the museums, sunny, do the outdoor options.

What We don’t like!

Polar Bear Lincoln Park Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo is free so not included on the Pass!

Not everything is as rosy as you may think, however. There are always downsides to everything. And really these passes can get some pretty severe stick from online travel forums. Most of this stems from timed ticket issues.

Things like cruises cannot be pre-booked beforehand with the passes. So you need to turn up at the cruise, use the pass to get a timed ticket then wait for your allotted time. This is fine when quiet but at busy times it can be quite a bit of queueing. As we have pointed out through the Cruises depart from Navy Pier Which is a great place to pass time waiting for your cruise. Also, some other attractions such as the Shedd Aquarium and the Art Institute offer priority entry so it’s kind of swings and roundabouts.

It is a shame that the pass is consecutive days as some passes offer Non Consecutive days. This means packing quite a lot into a short window. This is fine on shorter trips, and most peoples trips to Chicago tend to be shorter trips, but if you have more time to spend it can make things a bit hectic. It’s not a big thing with Chicago but it’s always nice to have the option of having days where you don’t do paid attractions and just relax, shop or maybe explore further afield

As with all passes, the temptation can be to Chase the Pass. This is where you attempt to pack too much in and not properly enjoy what you do see as you are in a race to get to the next attraction. A pass should improve your enjoyment of the City, so worry less about getting value and more about enjoying the city the best you can.

Cramming too much in can also be very very tiring, you need to factor in getting to and from the attractions and tearing around the City will leave you pretty exhausted. It’s likely you will be ready for you bead whatever you plan in Chicago but planning too much can leave you feeling like you have run a Marathon!

You also should not skip the free things the City has to offer that are not included on the pass, the many parks, the incredible coastline of Lake Michigan and Lincoln Park Zoo. These are all free and as such not included. You should not skip these though just to get the best use of the pass or toy will not be getting the best of the City!

We find a lot of complaints come from people not knowing properly what they are getting, and not properly planning out how to use the pass. If you have got this far in our review we like to think we have helped you understand exactly what the pass is and how to maximize its use. But we hear all the time from people who felt it wasn’t good value, or they were misled. We think most of these are complaints come from lack of understanding as everything is in black and white and we have never personally experienced any issues in using any pass that we were not aware of prior!


Overall we are big fans of the Chicago Go Pass. It really does help you get to see the best Chicago offers. In most, cases it adds to your experience far more than it takes away. We find ourselves visiting far more than we would ever do without a pass and for us, it’s the biggest strength of the pass. Money-saving should always be secondary to an improved experience (after all we could just stay at home for free!) and we find the Go Chicago Pass really gets us to the best Chicago has to offer.

Labor Day Sale – 10% Promo Code

The Go Chicago Pass is excellent Value but Right now you can get an additional 10% off with our Labor day Promo Code. Check our Discount code page now to get your 10% code to save even more!

Go Chicago Pass Promo Code and Discounts Page

Have Your Say?

Have you tried a pass? Did you get good value from it? Did it help or hinder your trip? Would you recommend it to friends and family? We certainly would but would love to hear your take in it? Just drop us a comment below. Also if you have any questions regarding the Pass just fire away in the comments below and we will get right back to you.


  1. First off let me say that I love Chicago. I was lucky enough to stay there for 3 weeks for absolutley FREE thanks to my work sending me there for training.  It is a great city with so much to offer. I don’t know that I would have ever visited there if I wasn’t sent there for work.

    That was probably about 15 years ago, and now I would like to go back for a visit, but this time I have a family.  Paying for it out of pocket this time, I am definitely interested in saving some money. 

    The Go Card seems like a great option, but for me I think the Chicago Explorer Pass would work out better. Chicago is a big city, and just walking around can be exhausting.  Plus I want to leave a little room in my itinerary for just milling around freely.

    Great options though, any of them sound like great deals!

    1. Hi James,

      Glad you think the Pass would save you some money.

      We do love the explorer pass for that reason. There is no need to rush just see the attraction you want at your pace. The Go Card does promote the need to do something all the time, but you would be surprised how much other things you can pack in along with the paid attractions and still get great value.

      We know what you mean about it being exhausting. you end up covering a huge amount of steps and by the end of the day all you want to do is crawl into bed and pass out.

      Thanks for reading


  2. I was thinking about going on a trip with my family to the woods or something like that. The other option was to go to a aquarium. Now after reading your article I am thinking about going to Chicago, I didn’t know there wete so many attractions. And also I can’t let the opportunity of 43% discount pass

    Thanks to this information I can save some cash!

    1. Hi Fredery,

      Well if you do Chicago then be sure to Check out the Shedd Aquarium as then you have got two birds with one stone! Glad we alerted you to the many great things to see and do in Chicago.

      Hope You have a Great trip!


  3. Hi Steve and Katie,

    Love the site.

    I were researching a USA Road Trip when we came across this article. The Pass looks a great idea for when we are in Chicago, we will only be there a few days so the explorer pass looks great! 

    I Kept looking around your site in detail and I have to tell you that your have a “FLABBERGASTING” site. We  love your beautiful Photography. You have given us some great ideas for our road trip, We found the Car rental in the USA post very useful and also your Road Trip Tips are just great. 

    I really CONGRATULATE ON SUCH A WONDERFUL SITE. I personally added it to my favorites and will certainly refer it to all of my friends.  Well, that is it, happy travel and have a great day.  


    1. Hi Jules, Wow thanks for the kind words.

      It’s great to hear we helped out with your road trip and that you are considering a Chicago Explorer pass. It’s a great choice if you just want to see a few highlight s of this great City.

      Have a great Trip


  4. I would definitely think that a pass is the way to go.  have used passes in various places, and I have almost ways found the to be good value or money.

    Also, if you don’t know too much about a city, so may not really be sure what are the best places to see, again a pass will really help you.

    I know very little about the tourist attractions in Chicago, the only one I had heard of was the Sears tower, and now I find it isn’t the Sears tower any more!! So if I were to visit Chicago, for me a pass would be a must.

    Would you recommend a pass for all cities which be visited in the US?

     had never really considered visiting Chicago, as I had always assumed that it was mainly a industrial city. But your post has made me think again.

    Very many thanks for your most interesting post 🙂

    1. Hi Chrissie,

      Yeah I know what you mean about Chicago. It conjures up images of freezing weather and heavy industry, but the reality is very different.

      We tend to use passes for pretty much every Location we visit in America yes, we just find we have a much better trip when we do. You never really know what you are going to enjoy until you try it and often the most unexpected attractions that we would probably have slipped without are our favourites!

      Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy your trip to Chicago


  5. Great post and good info.

    This looks like a card you can use in London, where I’ve been a few years ago, and it is such an advantage to have it.

    Me and my wife want to go to USA, and Chigaco is one of the places we want to visit.

    With this card we can visit everything we want, and with a discount, how good can it be?

    Thanks for sharing it!

    1. Hi Emmanuel,

      Glad you like the Article, We too have used the London Pass and found that great. You are right the Chicago Pass is very similar. 

      Hope you get to Chicago soon, It is a really great place to visit. If you are looking at visiting a few places in the USA feel free to check out our other City Pages.

      Thanks for reading


  6. This looks like a great deal, and something we may take up this summer, but I get the impression that we won’t be there long enough to visit all the attractions included on the pass. 

    Considering we are pushed for time when in Chicago, which of the attractions listed would you go for – which are ‘must see’ from a family point of view?

    1. Hi Chris,

      It’s unlikely you will get round all 29+ attractions, it’s definitely a case of picking out your favourites. The roster is pretty diverse so there are normally a few things that don’t interest you.

      We point out the must see in the review, but the Shedd Aquarium, the sky-deck and the 360, the field museum and a visit to the Navy pier are very high up on the MUST do list!

      Have a great trip to Chicago in the Summer

      Thanks for reading


  7. Chicago is most certainly on my bucket list as a place to visit.

    Its a shame the Build your own pass is not cost effective so i think the explorer card looks like the best option. If i am going to go to Chicago i really want to explore and see as much as I possibly can

    1. Hi Dianne, 

      Remember the Explorer and the Build Your own work pretty similarly as you simply visit the attractions you would have chosen on the build your own. Simple!



  8. Hello there,

    Thanks for such informative and detailed article, I found it to be very helpful and enjoyable! I’ve learned a lot of new things today 😉 As far as Chicago card goes, I have to say- I am very impressed by it. In my opinion it offers truly an amazing value for the money You pay. When You consider the amount of very unique and engaging atractions it has to offer while being very user-friendly and maintaining relatively solid price tag- it’s really hard to deny the chicago card and what it brings to the table! This package covers many crucial things which every visitor needs to experience when visiting Chicago, which is great! However, it’s a bit dissapointing to discover that there are such downsides to this card, as not being able to pre-book cruises and the fact that this pass is consecutive days, which is truly a bummer 🙁 All in all, thanks for the amazing review and keep up the great work 😉 

    1. Hi Evald, 

      Yeah, we don’t really like the consecutive day’s way of doing things especially when some of Smart Destinations Passes offer Non-Consecutive. The truth is People are only in Chicago for a limited time so normally want to have the Pass to cover the time they are there but are exceptions.

      Still, We guess you can’t have everything and the upside is the longer you buy the cheaper per day so you can technically have a day off or a light day and still get good value, and overall we still think it’s great value. The Pre Booking is a shame but it’s not the end of the world as the cruises depart from the excellent navy Pier that is well worse exploring while you wait.

      Thanks for reading


  9. I would never know about Chicago Card if I did not read this article. This is safe and awesome opportunity that one can get a digital pass like Chicago Card and will get the opportunity to visit lot’s of attraction together. I want to know about family package and other’s related opportunity also. Thanks for sharing this information.

    1. Hi Mzakapon,

      Glad you like the look of the pass.

      Unfortunately, there are no Family packages as such. They offer cheaper prices for children but no bulk discount. So you need to buy for each Family member. Sorry


  10. It looks like the Go Chicago card is a great deal if you are travelling to the city as a tourist or even if you live there. It has been a long time since I visited Chicago. I was there on business the last time and didn’t get a chance to take in many of the sites you are featuring. If I go back, I will definitely look closer to the card in planning my itinerary.

    1. Hi Rich, 

      Glad you like the look of the card. Chicago can be very different to visit for work rather than pleasure. Hope you get back soon to enjoy the city a bit more



  11. Sounds like an awesome deal, since I would definitely be interested in the aquarium plus the Art Institute as well. While my main reasoning for visiting Chicago would include a trip to Wrigley Field due to its historicity, taking a detour to a few of the places you have listed here would be worth the time. Besides, I’d be seeing Chicago for the first time and since it’s likely I’d be on a budget, this card is a steal. 

    1. Hi Todd,

      Yeah, most of the cities “must do’s” are all on the pass so it’s a really great idea and a great money-saving tool. Hope you have a great trip 


  12. This is a place I would indeed love to visit because of the architecture. And the passes…the Go Chicago card would definitely be something I buy. I did this pas-thing once for just  the Universal parkpass in Orlando once with my young family and like you said…it was a 5 day consecutive pass. I wasn’t sure about it when I bought it but it made math sense to save the money. Now…after that experience I will always look for passes…I saved a ton of money! SoI’m glad to find your website for the lowdown!

    I also agree that the queuing when its busy did not work…you spend most of the time in a lne. But we found a trick round this. We would go as doors opened and by around 11am when everyone started strolling in , we had done 3 or so tours and felt we had our money’s worth and would head off to restaurants and the pool.Then the consecutive days were not so bad and we did everything in the non peak times!

    1. Hi Liz,

      Hope you get to Chicago soon. It is a wonderful City.
      We always use passes now as they really do bring the City to life. We have used passes all over the USA and have never been disappointed. Orlando is a crazy expensive city if you want to “do it all” and the passes really help her. Again with Chicago, the pass really does cover all the must-see sites and attractions so it just makes so much sense.
      Like you, we time our attractions so we hit them early when possible to minimize queues. We are lucky as we can usually use Jet Lag to our advantage and get to locations super early as we are still on UK time.

      Hope you have a great time when you finally make it to Chicago.


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