Chicago CityPASS Review – Is it Worth the Price?

Chicago City PASS Review - Is it Worth the Price?:
Victor Sevale

Reviewed by:
On February 23, 2019
Last modified:February 24, 2019


Read Chicago CityPASS review before planning a trip to Chicago. Find out how the Chicago CityPASS works and huge amount of savings on admission to attractions in Chicago. Find out if Chicago CityPASS is right for you trip or not.

Chicago CityPASS Review

Chicago CityPASS Review

In this Chicago CityPASS review, we’ll explore what the pass offers, explain how it works, and determine if the Chicago CityPASS is worth it for you. Enjoy!

Today, I am going to publish Chicago City Pass review that can help understand benefits of using Chicago CityPass including how it works. In my opinion, Chicago CityPass is one of the best Chicago attraction passes to explore our windy city.

Chicago city is famous in world for iconic architecture, fine dining and world famous museums, landmarks and attractions. If you love beach then Chicago city has ocean like Lake Michigan lake front that you can enjoy during summer season. Overall, sightseeing in Chicago is full of fun for solo travelers or visitors with kids.

There are plenty of things to do in Chicago for everyone, not a single dull moment, even during harsh winter weather. During winter season, you need to accept the weather and live the moment and enjoy what our windy city has to offer for entertainment.

Chicago city has many free things to do, but major world famous top attractions requires admission tickets to explore. You would be surprised to know that not only visitors explores attractions but also Chicagoans regularly visit our local attractions.

When you add up admission ticket cost together for all top attractions, it might end up breaking your wallet. But thanks to Chicago’s popular attraction passes. Yes, you can save lot of money on admission tickets to attractions.

Chicago CityPASS Review

There are two Chicago attraction passes available: Go Chicago Card and Chicago CityPass. Both attraction passes are unique in some way and fits specific groups of visitor’s needs. Let’s find out what’s good and bad about Chicago CityPass in my Chicago CityPass review.

The Chicago CityPASS is one of the best options for the first time Chicago visitors as they will be exploring at least 4 to 5 attractions in Chicago. Let’s dig into Chicago CityPASS details and find out.

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Chicago CityPASS Review: How It Works

This Chicago CityPass review reveals the total savings on admission tickets to included Chicago’s top attractions. If you purchase admission tickets to those included attractions individually then you will end up paying more money.

Chicago CityPASS can save you big amount of money that you can spend on something else. As of now today, with Chicago CityPASS you can save up to 51% on admission to included top attractions in Chicago.

I highly recommend to use one of the Chicago’s attraction passes because you are guaranteed to save money on admission fees.

Chicago CityPASS includes admission to 5 attractions from the given options that gives you free entry to those selected attractions. Chicago CityPASS holder can visit included attractions in any order, according to their schedule, they do not have to be in sequence.

You have 9 days to visit each attractions once, from the first use of the pass. After 9 days of first use, your Chicago CityPASS will get expired.

Chicago CityPASS Review: What is Included with CityPASS?

There are total top 5 attractions are included with the CityPASS. Each card gets three pre-selected attractions by the company, plus get choice for two attractions from the given options. Please find following list of pre-selected and selection options for Chicago CityPASS.

Shedd Aquarium – PRIORITY ENTRY
Skydeck Chicago – FAST PASS
Field Museum – VIP ENTRY
Adler Planetarium – VIP ENTRY OR Art Institute of Chicago – FAST PASS
Museum of Science and Industry OR 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck – EXPRESS ENTRY

Buy Chicago CityPASS

Chicago CityPASS Review: How to Get Chicago CityPASS?

You can purchase Chicago CityPASS online to receive it in email or in form of physical ticket booklets shipped to you.

Email tickets: This option delivers your Chicago CityPASS tickets via email which you can print or show it on your mobile phone at attraction entry.

Shipped ticket booklets:
You can also get your Chicago CityPASS tickets booklets shipped to you in certain countries.

As of now, Chicago CityPASS tickets booklets can be shipped to you in the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Australia, New Zealand and UK.

You can also get these tickets shipped directly to your hotels in USA or Canada. Customers will have to pay shipping costs for the booklets.

I recommend you to go for email tickets as you can save shipping cost. Plus, you can always print those tickets if you like paper copies.

Chicago CityPASS Review: How Much Does the Chicago CityPASS Cost?

You can save up to 51% on admission to included top attractions in Chicago. If you were to purchase admission tickets at the gate then you would pay more for the entry.

This top 5 Chicago attractions CityPASS you can get it for $106 for adult, and $89 for Child between age of 3 and 11.

Chicago CityPASS Price Comparison to understand savings

Regular tickets at gate: $217.90
Chicago CityPASS price: $106
Savings with Chicago CityPASS: $111.90 (51% Savings)

Child (7-11)
Regular tickets at gate: $184.85
Chicago CityPASS price: $89.00
Savings with Chicago CityPASS: $95.85 (51% Savings)

In my opinion, if you are planning to visit five or less attractions, then Chicago CityPASS is the right choice as you can save 51% by purchasing five attractions Chicago CityPASS.

As in general, sightseeing in Chicago with family can be very expensive, but if you are planning to visit Chicago to explore limited numbers of attractions, then use five attraction Chicago CityPASS and save large amount of money.

How? Let’s do the Math

Let’s compare the Chicago CityPASS savings in detail for one adult.

General Admission Tickets at the gate for one adult

Pre-Selected Attractions in Chicago CityPASS
Shedd Aquarium + 4-D Experience (Priority Entry) – $44.90
Skydeck Chicago (Fast Pass) – $49.00
Field Museum (VIP Entry) – $38
Total cost of pre-selected attractions: $131.90

Now let’s say we select Art Institute of Chicago and 360 Chicago Observation Deck from the available choices.

Art Institute of Chicago – $42
360 Chicago Observation Deck – $44
Total cost of your choice of attractions: $86

Total of all five attractions: $131.90 + $86 = $217.90

Total Savings with Chicago CityPASS: $217.90 – $106 = $111.90 (51% Savings in total)

Overall, let’s say you visit just three pre-selected attractions, still you will be saving $131.90 – $106 = $25.90

Pretty cool deal, isn’t it?

No doubt about the 50% or more savings with the Chicago CityPASS.

Chicago CityPASS Review: Benefits of the Chicago CityPASS

Skip the Line
With Chicago CityPASS you do not have to wait in line. You can show your Chicago CityPASS at the gate and get access to the attraction by skipping the line.

But, still sometimes you have to be ready to wait in line, especially during weekends in peak summer season, when thousands of tourists visit Chicago.

Valid for 9 Days:
Your CityPASS is valid for 9 consecutive days, starting from the first day of use. You can visit attractions in any order at your own pace.

Also, you have one year to activate Chicago CityPASS from the date of purchase. You can use anytime within one year period.

Chicago CityPASS Review: Chicago CityPASS Attractions Guide

Skydeck Chicago

Willis Tower, originally known as the Sears Tower, is today the most famous landmark of Chicago. It’s one of the “Seven Wonders of Chicago”. You won’t find a higher man-made construction in the western hemisphere.

Visitors are allowed to go up to 1,353 feet. It’s an experience. You’ll catch an amazing 360 degree view of the city down below, its neighborhoods, and even the suburbs.

John G. Shedd Aquarium

Plan a day at Shedd Aquarium, one of the oldest indoor aquarium in United States, built in 1930. Today, the Shedd Aquarium contains over 32,000 aquatic life.

The Shedd Aquarium is known for the combined total of 5,000,000 US gallons of water tanks. The aquarium features animals from ocean, rivers and reefs, including award-winning exhibits to explore the aquatic life in-depth.

There many activities that can give you an opportunity to get close to ocean life.

Field Museum of Natural History

The Field Museum of Natural History is known as the home of the largest T-Rex, Sue. The Field Museum of History host so many collections and exhibits that can eat up your entire day.

Yes, your full day will go in the blink exploring different kinds of exhibits and collection. Keep your camera with you, do not forget to take pictures by giant African elephants and our favorite Sue, the T-Rex skeleton.

Adler Planetarium

Named after astrologer Max Adler in 1930, the Adler Planetarium is Chicago’s public museum to study astronomy and astrophysics. One of the best things to do in Chicago with kids.

Adler Planetarium is one of the best science education for kids to have in Chicago while having fun. I also recommend you their special events called Adler After Dark and Astro-Overnights.

Art Institute of Chicago

If you love art then you would never get tired exploring unique collections at the Art Institute of Chicago. It is one of the oldest and largest art museums in United States of America.

I was surprised to know that every year, the Art Institute of Chicago is visited by over 1.5 million visitors. Amazing, isn’t it? The Art Institute of Chicago is world famous because of the collections that spans centuries and the globe.

Buy Chicago CityPASS

Museum of Science and Industry

I also recommend you to plan a visit to Museum of Science and Industry. At the museums, my favorite exhibits are coal mine and German submarine U-505 captured during World War II. US 505 is the only German submarine in the United States.

Kids will have fun taking a ride on the rail and learn how coal mining works. There are also other exhibits full of knowledge and learning new things.

360 CHICAGO Observation Deck

It’s one of the best way to see Chicago’s skyline from the top of the John Hancock Center. It features exhibits on Chicago history. You will be able to enjoy excellent views of Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan from top of the John Hancock Center.

I would recommend you to skip this attraction and go for Museum of Science and Industry because you will already have great views of Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan from Skydeck Chicago on Willis Tower.

Chicago CityPASS Review: Who can benefit from the Chicago CityPASS?

Families and Groups – Whether you are Chicago locals or visitors, if you are planning to explore Chicago’s top attractions on budget then you must use Chicago CityPASS as you can save 51% per person on admission tickets to included top attractions.

Visitors to Chicago – Whether you are first time visitors to Chicago or visiting Chicago regularly, there is always ways to save money on admission to attractions. The Chicago CityPASS and Go Chicago Card are the way to save huge amount of money.

Go Chicago Card is good for those who are looking for more options and attractions to explore in Chicago.

If you are planning to visit at least 3 or more top attractions in Chicago then the Chicago CityPASS is your ticket to savings. You will save over 50% total when you use card at all five attractions.

As I mentioned above, you get 9 consecutive days, starting from the first use of the card. So if you are planning to stay longer in Chicago then you can explore Chicago at your own pace.

Sightseeing in Chicago might end up expensive if you do not plan in advance.

If you are planning to visit Chicago for a short period of time and have time on hand to visit less than 3 attractions in Chicago then I would recommend you to purchase tickets at the gate.

Chicago CityPASS Review Summary….

  • Save over 50% on admission to Chicago’s top attractions.
  • Chicago CityPASS is definitely worth it!
  • Visit all included 5 top attractions in Chicago.
  • You have 9 consecutive days to use from the start of first use.
  • You have one year validity period to activate Chicago CityPASS from the date of purchase.
  • You can purchase Chicago CityPASS and receive tickets booklet in mail or get it delivered via email, which you can print later or show them on the mobile phone at the gate.
  • Chicago CityPASS is perfect for those who are planning to visit 3 or more attractions.

Buy Chicago CityPASS

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Thanks for Reading

Hi, I'm Victor Sevale - My goal is to share information on everything I see, do, eat and drink in Chicago. Let me inspire you to explore Chicago more with reviews, photographs, and useful tips from my personal experience.

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