Are you planning a trip to Chicago and considering buying the Chicago CityPASS? Find out if it’s worth the price and whether this sightseeing card is a good fit for your Chicago trip!
Chicago is the third most populous city in the United States and home to some of the highest-rated tourist attractions in the country, including Skydeck Chicago (where you can stand on a glass floor) and the Art Institute of Chicago (where you can see The Bedroom by Vincent van Gogh).
Chicago is also known for being an expensive travel destination for tourist. While there are some free things to do in the city, such as walking through Millennium Park and checking out the Chicago Cultural Center, its best attractions and tours can be quite pricey.
There’s good news though!
The Chicago CityPASS can get you fast-track entry into the city’s most popular attractions for a significant discount. It’s silly to pay full price at Chicago’s popular tourist attractions when you can save money with the CityPASS.
My boyfriend and I traveled to Chicago when we were students and found the CityPASS was the best way to save money and visit all the top attractions without blowing our budget.
And the best part was, we were able to check out more attractions than we had originally planned, because everything we wanted to see was included in the pass!
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What is the Chicago CityPASS?
✓ Pick from over 5 top-rated Chicago attractions
✓ Valid for up to 9 days
✓ Save up to 50% compared to purchasing tickets at each attraction
✓ Fast-Track entry at many attractions
CityPASS currently has a TrustScore rating of 9.6/10 on Trust Pilot, making it the one of the highest rated sightseeing passes. With over 5,000 five-star customer reviews, it’s safe to say that the Chicago CityPASS can be an excellent option for travelers looking to save money on sightseeing.
How it Works
Simply purchase your pass online for one flat rate and download your pass instantly to your smartphone (or get it delivered). Then you can skip the long ticket lines and scan your pass to enter any 5 out of the 7 attractions. No cash or tickets needed.
This can be a great option for those who want to take their time experiencing the best of what Chicago has to offer while saving money.
And with a big city like Chicago, it can be tricky trying to decide where and what to spend your money on. That’s where the Chicago CityPASS can come in handy, because it bundles entry fees to some of the city’s top-rated attractions.
This tourism pass is also one of the most popular with visitors to Chicago because it’s designed to help you spend LESS money and do MORE sightseeing.
Plus, your CityPASS is valid for nine consecutive days (activated when you visit your first attraction), which means you can take your time sightseeing. So go ahead and enjoy Chicago at your leisure!
Many of the top-rated attractions in Chicago cost $30-$45 per person to visit, which can get pretty expensive for travelers. If you’re already planning to visit some of these popular attractions, buying the Chicago CityPASS can easily save you up to 50% off the regular ticket price. Who wouldn’t want to save extra money?
Attractions included with your Chicago CityPASS
When you purchase the Chicago CityPASS, you’ll get FREE access to 5 of the city’s most popular attractions. There are three attractions included with every pass. Then you’re allowed to pick an additional two attractions from a list of four options.
There’s no need to decide upfront which you want to see – simply choose when you get there. Here’s a full list of the attractions you can visit with your pass:
- Shedd Aquarium (normally $44.90)
- Skydeck Chicago (normally $45)
- Field Museum (normally $38)
- Adler Planetarium (normally $35) OR Art Institute of Chicago (normally $42)
- Museum of Science and Industry (normally $33.95) OR 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck (normally $44)
All these attractions are worth visiting and you’ll find them included at the top on any list of “best things to do in Chicago”.
If you’re planning on going up Skydeck Chicago and 360 CHICAGO, which costs $89 if you purchased individual tickets, it’s a no-brainer to get the CityPASS. Because with the CityPASS, you’ll get free access to these attractions, PLUS you’ll get to check out three other popular Chicago sites.
PRO TIP: When I went to Chicago over Labor Day weekend, there was a 90-minute wait to get inside the Shedd Aquarium. By using the CityPASS, I was able to go directly to the front. I cannot stress how much time I saved by using the Chicago CityPASS.
Benefits of the Chicago CityPASS
The Chicago CityPASS can be so helpful when you’re visiting the city. This is because you can purchase the pass online before your trip and activate it when you visit your first attraction. You don’t have to worry about waiting in long ticket lines or dealing with cash. With your Chicago CityPASS, you can use the “Fast Track Entry” feature to skip all the long lines and enjoy more time sightseeing.
The Chicago CityPASS makes it easy to save time and maximize the fun on your vacation. As I already mentioned, you can skip the ticket lines at attractions and head through the “Fast Track Entry” with your pass.
Don’t want to feel rushed visiting each attraction? No problem. Once activated, your Chicago CityPASS is valid for nine consecutive days. This means if you’re in Chicago for a week, you can take your time visiting one attraction per day. You can even skip a day sightseeing and still get great value from the CityPASS.
The Chicago CityPASS was created to help you save money when visiting the city. Free entry to 5 of the city’s top attractions are included in your pass, so you don’t have to think twice about visiting an attraction due to its cost. This can be a great option for budget-conscious travelers.
Extra benefits available with your Chicago CityPASS
- Fast Track Entry– With your pass, you can use the “Fast Track” feature to skip the long lines at popular attractions, which can save you a ton of time when sightseeing. At some attractions, you may need to pass through security first. For more details, be sure to read the entry instructions you receive with your tickets.
- Stress-Free Sightseeing – You don’t have to worry about dealing with cash or tickets. Your CityPASS makes it easy for you to save time and money. This convenience factor can help take the stress out of sightseeing in a busy city like Chicago.
- Valid for 9 days – Your CityPASS is valid for nine consecutive days, starting with the first day of use. This is one of the best perks included with your pass.
- 4-D experience at Shedd Aquarium– Your CityPASS comes with General Admission to the Shedd Aquarium. PLUS, you’ll also get entry to special exhibits, a Stingray Touch (seasonal), and a 4-D Experience.
- Same-Night Entry at Skydeck Chicago – Your CityPASS includes Daytime General Admission to Skydeck Chicago, PLUS Same-day Bonus Night General Admission. Yes, the view is absolutely amazing during the day and at sunset. This can be a great way to see the city light up at night.
Who is the Chicago CityPASS Good for?
Chicago is a must-visit city in the USA. If this is your first time to the windy city, then investing in the Chicago CityPASS can be a great option. The pass is specifically designed to help first-timers save time and money when sightseeing. Use the built-in “Fast Track Entry” to skip the long ticket lines and enjoy more time at each attraction.
Families and Groups
If you’re traveling with your family or friends, the cost of buying individual tickets at each attraction can add up quickly. The Chicago CityPASS can save a single adult $105, which means a family of four can easily save $423 with the pass. That’s a lot of money!
Traveling with children? If you’re traveling with children under 17 years of age, you have the potential to save even more money. The Child CityPASS allows you to save over $85 per child, which can be a great option for families. Plus, being able to skip the long ticket lines can help make your trip go smoother with kids.
You’re Interested in Seeing the Top Attractions
If you’re interested in checking out the city’s most popular attractions, then the CityPASS can be a great option. With your pass, you’ll save up to 50% off the regular ticket price to 5 top-rated Chicago attractions and get priority entry. Being able to save money and time by using the pass can be a huge stress-relief, especially in a busy city like Chicago.
Who is the Chicago CityPASS NOT Good for?
Those Who Want to See More than the Top 5 Attractions
If you’re interested in visiting ALL of Chicago’s popular attractions, such as riding the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour, the Shoreline Architecture River Cruise, and getting a Navy Pier Ride Pass, then you may want to consider getting the Chicago Explorer Pass instead.
Those NOT interested in Sightseeing
If you’re not interested in visiting Chicago’s popular tourist attractions, then the Chicago CityPASS may not be a good option for you.
Those Who Want to Explore Off-the-Beaten-Path
If you’re not interested in sightseeing and prefer to explore off-the-beaten path, then buying a sightseeing pass is probably not a good fit for you.
How to Buy Your Chicago CityPASS:
Step 1: Head to the official CityPASS website here. Purchase your pass online to save time and hassle.
Step 2: Download your pass instantly to your smartphone. If you prefer a physical pass, simply opt for delivery or you can print your tickets at home.
Step 3: You now have FREE access to any of the 5 top Chicago attractions included with your pass. You can activate your pass anytime within six months from the date of purchase. Once activated, your pass is valid for nine consecutive days.
Does the Chicago CityPASS Provide Good Value?
Yes! If you’re interested in visiting the popular attractions in Chicago, such as the Art Institute of Chicago, Skydeck Chicago, the Shedd Aquarium, and 360 CHICAGO, then yes, the Chicago CityPASS provides great value for your money.
By visiting the five attractions included with your pass, you can save up to 50% off regular admission. This can be a great way to sightsee in Chicago without going broke.
Another reason why the Chicago CityPASS is a popular tourism pass with travelers is because it includes FREE entry to the city’s main attractions AND you can take your time visiting each site. You don’t have to worry about jumping from attraction to attraction trying to get your money’s worth.
With your pass, you have nine full days to see all five spots. This means you can spread out visiting the attractions for longer trips, or bunch them together for shorter trips.
Where the Chicago CityPASS Falls Short
Your CityPASS tickets include one or more options that let you choose between two attractions. You don’t need to decide upfront what you want to see, which means you can choose when you get there.
I guess this is the only drawback of the Chicago CityPASS. Some visitors may wish to see both attractions rather than picking one of the two. If you want to see both, many of the “option attractions” offer exclusive admission discounts for CityPASS holders.
If you’re interested in visiting more than just the five attractions included on the CityPASS, then you may want to consider getting the Chicago Explorer Pass instead. This pass includes access to your choice of 29 attractions and tours.
As you can see, the Chicago CityPASS can be a great way for travelers to save time and money when exploring Chicago’s best attractions and tours. The “Fast Track Entry” feature can let you skip the long ticket lines, which is a huge time saver in a busy city like Chicago.
If you’re visiting Chicago for the first time, the Chicago CityPASS can provide an easy and stress-free way to sightsee. If you’re interested in visiting some of the city’s most popular attractions, then getting the pass is a no-brainer.
However, for those who are planning to hit up ALL the major attractions and tours, you may want to consider the Chicago Explorer Pass instead. And if you’re traveling on a super tight budget, don’t worry, there’s plenty of free things to do in the city.
Remember, this is your trip to Chicago. You can plan it to suit your travel style and interests.