Quick Links

Chicago’s location and history make it a popular destination for travelers, but how to get the best out of a trip to the city? Travelers will find that there are two different companies offering passes that both allow increased access to the city while also saving money.

It all comes down to the traveler and their trip. The right pass from one traveler may not be right for the other as they all offer something a bit different, and they are all honestly great deals for exploring Chicago.

THETRAVEL VIDEO OF THE DAY

The Chicago CityPass

The Chicago CityPass is a prepaid pass that allows visitors to Chicago to experience some of the best attractions the city has to offer while allowing travelers to save some money. The process works by the travelers making their digital purchases and reservations if needed. Everyone who purchases a Chicago City Pass will have access to Shedd Aquarium, Skydeck Chicago, and Field Museum. They will then have to select two of the following four Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck, and Adler Planetarium. Then they are good to venture into Chicago and enjoy the five attractions they chose.

  • Adult - $114 (value $220)
  • Child Ages 3-11 - $93 (value $188)
  • Includes - Shedd Aquarium, Skydeck Chicago, and Field Museum
  • Add 2 of 4 - Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck, and Adler Planetarium
  • Purchase Now...

Chicago C3 by CityPASS Perfect for a Shorter Stay

The Chicago C3 is a reduced version of the CityPass which is perfect for those who aren’t going to be in the city long enough to truly enjoy the value of a full Chicago CityPass. The C3 works quite the same as the CityPass except travelers will have three attractions at a reduced cost. They may select three of the following Shedd Aquarium, Skydeck Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry, 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck, Shoreline Sightseeing Architecture River Tour, and Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier.

  • Adult - $88
  • Child, ages 3-11 - $64
  • Includes 3 of the Following - Shedd Aquarium, Skydeck Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Science and Industry, 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck, Shoreline Sightseeing Architecture River Tour, and Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier

Related: 10 Road Trips From Chicago That Make Leaving The City Worth It

The Go City Chicago Pass

The Go City Chicago Pass is an alternative to the Chicago CityPass. What makes it different is really the function of the pass as well as options for which attractions to visit. There is the All-Inclusive Pass, which includes unlimited access to all attractions until the pass duration is up. Then there is the Explorer Pass which allows travelers to pay a little less and instead get a number of times they may access these attractions.

All-Inclusive Pass

Travelers looking into the Go City Chicago Pass should consider the all-inclusive pass if they plan on really getting around to see the city. This pass truly does give travelers to Chicago an awful lot of freedom to explore around and with the options of one, two, three, or five days. This makes the pass quite adaptable and great for itinerary travelers getting the most in as possible.

  • Adult - $99 (1-day) to $199 (5-day)
  • Child, ages 3-12 - $69 (1-day) to $143 (5-day)
  • Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Chicago: 1-Day Classic Tour - (usual cost) $49.99
  • Shedd Aquarium - (usual cost) $39.95
  • Skydeck Chicago - (usual cost) $42
  • Shoreline Architecture River Cruise - (usual cost) $51.23
  • 360 Chicago - (usual cost) $30
  • And More…

Related: 10 Museums In Chicago You Need To See To Believe

Explorer Pass

The Explorer's Pass is an alternative to the All-Inclusive Pass as it functions slightly differently and has a significantly cheaper cost. Instead of having unlimited access to the 25 possible attractions, travelers will have the choice of visiting two, three, four, five, or seven different destinations.

  • Adult - $65 (2 attractions) to $135 (7 attractions)
  • Child - $37 (2 attractions) to $95 (7 attractions)
  • Navy Pier (4 Ride Pass) - (usual cost) $45
  • Field Museum - (usual cost) $35
  • Museum of Science and Industry - (usual cost) $33.95
  • Adler Planetarium - (usual cost) $35
  • 360 Chicago - (usual cost) $30
  • And More…

So What Is The Best Choice?

With two companies offering a similar service and then with each of them offering an alternative discount service as well, it can be challenging for travelers to make this choice. However, this problem can be simplified into three aspects: the pace travelers like to travel at, their interests, and their budget. The All-Inclusive pass doesn’t make any sense for the slow-paced traveler. For those that prefer to take their time and perhaps just experience an attraction per day, then the Explorer Pass or the C3 makes the most sense. For those zooming around everywhere, the All-Inclusive Pass by Go City Chicago becomes the best option. The CityPass sits as a great value somewhere in the middle of all these conditions. Once travelers know what they want, this choice becomes much simpler.