If you are planning a trip to San Francisco then the chances are you might be planning on seeing a few of the paid attractions around the city on top of the many wonderful free sights and attractions that the City offers. If that is the case then you will find out soon enough how expensive this can be! One great way to save is with an Attraction pass. One of the Pass’s available is the San Francisco Sightseeing Pass.
Every trip and every traveler are different and not everyone will get good use out of an Attractions pass in our San Francisco Sightseeing pass Review we take a look at the pass and see if it is good value for money and if it covers the best that San Francisco has to offer. We also take a look to see if it is right for you or if another pass may be better suited, or if you need a pass at all. So is the San Francisco Sightseeing Pass Worth it?
San Francisco Sightseeing Pass
- Product: San Francisco Sightseeing Pass
- Price: $64-$129 Flex – $74-$169 Day (13+)
- Price Child: $40-$85 Flex – $52-$141 Day (3-12)
- Where to Buy: Buy Direct here for the Best Price
- Number of Attractions: 20+
- Time Limit: 30days or Day Pass
- Rating: 2.6/5 Stars
- Aquarium of The Bay
- Big Bus Tour
- At&t Park Tour
- Madame Tussauds
- San Francisco Dungeon
- 1 Day Muni Pass
- Full List here
In A Nutshell
A Low Price makes this a tempting offer but the lack of some of San Francisco’s best attractions means we would look elsewhere. Hopefully, the future is brighter and they continue to add attractions in order to make this a great offering in the future.
What is the San Francisco Sightseeing Pass?
The San Francisco Sightseeing pass is an attraction pass to help reduce the cost of seeing paid attractions in the city. It is a Digital Pass meaning you will be Emailed a QR Code and can print this out or use it directly from your mobile and scan this code to gain entry to the attractions. The Pass has a large number of Purchase options that fit into two types.
- 2 Attractions – $64 Adult $40 Child
- 3 Attractions – $79 Adult $52 Child
- 4 Attractions – $89 Adult $59 Child
- 5 Attractions – $109 Adult $74 Child
- 6 Attractions – $129 Adult $89 Child
The Flex Pass allows you to pick the number of attractions and then just visit any attractions from the list until you have used the purchased number. This is a great option for those just wanting to see a little of the City and not rush around as there is no pressure to fit too much in. It’s also good for short trips as the price is low so you can just see a few choice attractions.
- 1 Day – $74 Adult $52 Child
- 2 Day – $109 Adult $93 Child
- 3 Day – $124 Adult $119 Child
- 5 Day – $170 Adult $142 Child
The Day Pass is a very different beast. Here you choose how many consecutive days the pass is valid for and then visit as many attractions as you want. This, in theory, gives you everything the city has to offer and can pack tons into your trip. Great for first-timers who want to see and do it all! The reality of the pass can be a little different.
A Note on Pricing – The Sightseeing Pass Marketing people seem to take the route of a perma-Sale. Meaning the passes are pretty much always on sale. This makes giving you the LATEST prices pretty hard as the sale always alters slightly. Rest assured if there is no sale on At the minute, you should wait as there is sure to be a price cut along soon. The sale tends to affect the higher-priced options and means some price points are real bargains.
is the San Francisco Sightseeing Pass Worth it?
We have done a lot of in-depth reviews into many City Passes and we have to say this one is quite a letdown. The Pricepoint is pretty sharp. It is one of the Cheapest passes for San Francisco. However, it just seems to lack any meaty attractions.
There are very few options here that cannot be found on the rival pass’s and a heck of a lot missing. There is no Cruise option, There is no Acadamy of Sciences and there are no Big headline attractions to really meat out the offering. What’s left are some good but not great options and some very touristy attractions such as Madame Tussauds and the San Francisco Dungeon.
Most of the attractions on offer are well worth visiting and the pass does represent good value if these are your intended attractions it’s just there are better attractions on offer in San Francisco so would feel wrong recommending this pass’s offering over those. We don’t feel it’s the best representation of what San Francisco has to offer.
This is a shame as the Pricing along with a large number of purchase options means if there were more on offer it would be a great buy. But as it is we would prefer to point you in another direction!
If you are looking for a Basic and cheap City pass that just gives you the highlights of the city at a great price you would be hard pushed to beat the San Francisco CityPASS. It includes a 3-Day Muni pass that gives you access to the iconic Cable Cars it also has some of the best San Francisco Attractions. A Blue and Gold Bay Cruise, The California Academy of Sciences, the Aquarium of the Bay, and the SFMOMA! It is great for short Trips.
If you are looking for a little more, the Smart Destinations Go San Francisco Card or Explorer pass has a lot more attractions available. They are more expensive but cover some pretty high-priced attractions. Well worth a look for a longer more in-depth stay
Overall we feel those are better options whatever your budget and plans. While the Sightseeing pass is good value IF you fancy the attractions if offer it just seems too light on Quality options. Check out our full comparison review for more info
Do We Need A City Pass at all?
No. Not everyone needs a Pass and you can quite happily visit San Francisco without but if you are planning in seeing a number of paid attractions then it just makes sense to use a pass to reduce the costs. There are a number of other benefits that we highlight below. But the bottom line is a pass should only be used to help you see more or save less. If all you plan on doing in San Francisco is sightseeing and eating and drinking there is little advantage of a pass. But if the paid attractions on offer are of interest to you why pay more?
Generally, we are big Attractions Pass fans, and even as experienced travelers we still love many of the advantages of City Passes. They help you budget your trip, plan an itinerary and help deliver inspiration into what is available in the City. All this is on top of the cost-saving.
We find these advantages are lacking here, apart from budgeting and cost-saving. The lack of things to do could mean you have a pretty poor trip compared to using some of the more complete Attraction lineups.
There are not too many drawbacks to this pass apart from the lack of attractions.
Because some of the attractions are on the cheaper side as far as attractions go it could be hard to get value especially from the Flex pass as choosing poorly could mean it costs MORE than just paying at the gate!
With an All-Inclusive you may also run out of things to do. Normally with these passes doing too much is the pitfall here, the roster is so light it might be the opposite and you run out before you have finished using the card.
We hope this pass is finding its feet. The New York version of this pass is fantastic and we hope they continue to add more to this pass to make it well worth it but it’s just not up to it at the minute! The bottom line is we will continue to monitor the Pass in the hope it can be a tougher competitor in the coming months and years!
Have Your Say?
Let us know if you have tried a San Francisco Sightseeing Pass? Were the available attractions suited to you? Or did you feel the attractions on offer were a letdown? Was there something you wished was included but wasn’t? Let us know in the comments below if you have any comments or questions.