Go City San Francisco – How to Save BIG in 2024

A city steeped in fog, free love, and an abundance of breathtaking attractions, San Francisco is a dreamy destination year-round. Unfortunately, Fog City adventures don’t always come cheap.

Follow along to uncover the best things to do with a small budget in San Francisco with GO City.

Feast on steaming sourdough bread from Boudin, wander through Fisherman’s Wharf or explore Golden Gate Park. San Francisco Go city makes it easy to take in the city by the Bay.

Get your hands on a great deal whether you purchase a San Francisco All-Inclusive or San Francisco Explorer Go Pass.

Whether you are looking to hit up historical hot spots, such as Alcatraz and Angel Island, or venture under the sea at the Aquarium by the Bay, there are endless ways to spend a San Francisco vacation.

Go City® San Francisco is your secret weapon in making the most of your time in the Golden Gate City. See, do, and eat everything on your ‘can’t miss’ San Francisco list with your Go City San Francisco!

GO City San Francisco All-Inclusive Pass

Calling all choosy travelers! Raring to conquer every last San Francisco attractions tour? Step into the driver’s seat, and embrace that San Francisco bucket list with a San Francisco All-Inclusive Pass.

Maximize your savings and your flexibility when you purchase either a one, two, three, or 5-day San Francisco pass.
So how does it work? Whatever the number of San Francisco Day Pass you select, you will be allowed to visit unlimited attractions on the subsequent number of days.

Please note that most attractions will allow you to walk in on the day, but a few attractions may require reservations. We highly recommend checking out the All-Inclusive Pass reservations page prior to your trip to see where required reservations are necessary.

View looking down at the Painted ladies at sunset with the city behind them in San Francisco, California, USAOther Important San Francisco All-Inclusive Pass Facts

  • Your pass offers you discounts of up to 50% off retail rates.
  • Passes are activated when you visit your first attraction.
  • Passes are valid for the number of consecutive days you have purchased
  • Choose from over 25 exclusive San Francisco attractions.
  • Stay flexible – pick attractions as you go!
  • No travel snafus here; just use the San Francisco Go City® Pass App for seamless attraction entry, especially for attractions require reservations.

GO City San Francisco Multi-Attraction Explorer Pass

More a go-with-the-flow type of traveler? Traverse the Golden Gate City at your own speed, and maximize your savings with a Multi-Attraction Explorer Pass.

Choose from Go City San Francisco Explorer Pass 1, 2, 3, or 5 choice passes and cover only the top-tier landmarks, attractions, and entertainment you’re dying to see.

Conquer the ‘Rock,’ play mad scientist at the Exploratorium, or burn out those quads on a Golden Gate Bridge bike tour with your exclusive access to San Francisco discount attraction tickets.

Other Important San Francisco Multi-Attraction Explorer Pass Facts

  • Your pass offers you discounts of up to 50% off retail rates.
  • Pick a 2, 3, 4, or 5-day pass and enjoy 60 days to use it
  • Choose from over 35 exclusive San Francisco attractions
  • Live life in the moment, choose attractions as you go!
  • Bye-bye, paper tickets! Use the Go City® App for seamless attraction entry
close up of streets of chinatown in san francisco, California USA
photo credit: Kevin turcios via Unsplash

The App

Conquering San Francisco’s rolling hills and public transport – not so easy! Activating your San Francisco Go Pass via the Go City® App as easy as can be.

Using your smartphone or mobile device simply:

  • Download the App to your mobile device (Apple | Google Play)
  • Use your order confirmation number to add your pass to your phone.
  • Double-check if any of your desired attractions need a reservation and book.
  • Show your pass at each attraction for easy entry.

San Francisco Hotels

Stunning architecture, scintillating history, and an enviable culinary and wine scene make San Fran a thriving travel mecca. Squeeze every fog-soaked attraction out of your San Francisco Go City by planning to spend at least a night or three in the city.

From quaint hotels in Union Square to award-winning luxury boutique hotels downtown, we offer a plethora of options for San Francisco Hotels.

Book with complete confidence, knowing you are always guaranteed our lowest rates. 

exterior of The Marker Hotel during sunset with view of street in San Francisco, California, USA
photo credit: The Marker San Francisco

Popular Attractions in San Francisco

Hop On Hop Off Big Bus San Francisco 1-Day Classic Tour

The beauty of the bay, the architectural genius of the Golden Gate Bridge, and the groovy charm of Haight Ashbury will be at your fingertips on the Hop On Hop Off Big Bus 1-Day Classic Tour.

Get acquainted with the ‘Fog City’ as you board your open-top bus and cruise by such impressive landmarks as North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Ferry Building, Union Square, and more. 

Let the storied history of San Francisco wash over you as you listen to pre-recorded narration detailing the fascinating facts and tales regarding the city’s most stately buildings. 

As your one-hour tour commences, feast your eyes on the diverse and colorful neighborhoods of the Golden City. 

Adapt the Big Bus Tour to your own unique travel predilections by hopping off as you please to further investigate points of interest, such as Golden Gate Park and the Alamo Square Painted Ladies.

Pro Tip: Still not sick of sightseeing? Your Hop On Hop Off Big Bus ride includes a free Chinatown walking tour, so be sure to take advantage!

close up of Fisherman's Wharf sign with crowds of people walking through the streets in San Francisco, California, USAThe Walt Disney Family Museum

Fans of Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and the whole gang won’t want to miss this stirring testament to the man behind the mouse. The Walt Disney Family Museum is a timeless attraction that features equal parts education and entertainment.

Dive into Walt Disney’s dream as you learn all about the origins of this beloved American legacy. Visitors of all ages will be in awe as they explore 40,000 square feet of interactive exhibits and galleries. Pause in front of an intricate model of Disneyland, or take in video animations, 3D models, and more.

From Walt’s humble beginnings in the Midwest to the financial gamble of his first full-length feature, you’ll see firsthand how the creator of the ‘Most Magical Place on Earth’ built his empire.

Admire hand drawings, or go behind the screen with Gallery 9’s dedications to EPCOT and Magic Kingdom. True Disneyphiles won’t want to miss Walt and the Natural World, an exhibit that covers his little-known nature documentaries. Or seasonal galleries showcasing behind-the-scenes secrets of your favorite childhood films.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

A city renowned for its style and creative inspiration simply demands an incredible art museum! Put cable cars and Alcatraz on hold when you carve out an afternoon for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Lovers of all things modern, abstract, and contemporary will be agog at the mesmerizing variety and artistic talents on display at one of the largest modern and contemporary art museums in the United States.

From Georgia O’Keefe to Henri Matisse, visitors will have unparalleled masterpieces at their fingertips.

Wander through seven floors of murals, paintings, and more as you experience everything from Diego Rivera’s America to vivid commissions from local Bay area artists.

Say hello to Warhol prints or observe the majesty of a sculpture seaweed chair. Before refueling with a cappuccino and pastry at their outstanding cafe, find serenity in front of the over 19,000 plants on their thirty-foot-tall Living Wall.

people standing around the gallery at the san francisco museum of modern artBlue Gold Fleet San Francisco Bay Cruise

Take in all the glory of the Golden Gate City when you hit the sea on a Blue Gold Fleet San Francisco Bay Cruise. Let the stunning scenery of the Bay area wash over you as you spend an hour sailing on the city’s most popular cruise. For over 40 years, visitors to San Fran have delighted in the sweeping views and unlimited photo opportunities presented by this multi-language tour.

Take in one of the Modern Wonders of the World, spot catch sea lions basking in the sun, and snap tons of photos of the infamous Alcatraz.

Swoon over the picturesque Angel Island, California’s very own version of Ellis Island, which once saw as many as one million Asian immigrants pass through its gates.

In addition to plentiful sights, your guided tour will spill the beans on this area’s fascinating history and tall tales featuring such legends as Al Capone and 1930s gangster George Kelly Barnes better known as “Machine Gun Kelly.”

Have that camera at the ready, as your Instagram feed just won’t be complete without some spellbinding shots of the historic waterfront and the city’s breathtaking skyline.

close up of Old Blue ship part of the Blue and Gold Fleet under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, USAAquarium of the Bay

Who lives in a pineapple under the Bay? While everyone’s favorite sea sponge might not call Aquarium of the Bay home, an impressive 24,000 marine animals do.

Budding conservationists and marine lovers alike will flip tail over fin for a visit to the Aquarium of the Bay

Overflowing with hands-on exhibits, displays, and the cutest river otters you ever did see, a day here is chock full of educational fun.

Spend a moment (or two) being mesmerized by the Moon Jellies floating peacefully in a 725-gallon cylinder tank, or test your bravery in the Sharks of Alcatraz Tunnel, by coming face to fin with the largest predator in the Bay.

More watery and wonderful Aquarium highlights include:

  • Discover the Bay – learn all about San Francisco Bay’s unique ecosystem and view seven different animal habitats, including that of the bright orange Garibaldi (the California State Marine Fish).
  • Under the Bay – walk in wonder through 300 ft of acrylic tunnels housing schools of anchovies, skates, sharks, and bay rays.
  • Touch the Bay – ever been tempted to touch a sea anemone or a ray? Carefully get up close and personal with these Bay residents at the touch pools.
  • Sea Lion Center – sea lions, are synonymous with San Fran! Discover all there is to know about these barking beasts at this informative center in the marina.

Entrance to the Aquarium of the Bay - San Francisco, California, USACalifornia Academy of Sciences

A butterfly-studded rainforest, NASA-level space presentations, and an 87-foot-long Blue Whale skeleton come together to create a universe of curiosity, passion, and discovery.

Welcome to the California Academy of Sciences, a comprehensive 2.5-acre center of science, entertainment, and education. 

Related Post: 5 of the Best Museums in San Francisco

Housing an all-digital planetarium, a natural history museum, an aquarium, and a four-story rainforest, the California Academy of Sciences is a museum like no other!

Prepare to be transported out of Golden Gate Park and halfway around the universe when you experience the:

  • Steinhart Aquarium – One of the most diverse aquariums on earth. This vibrant space is home to over 900 unique species. Check out the charming colony of endangered African penguins, or take a gander at the ghostly albino alligator, Claude.
  • Morrison Planetarium – Powered by cutting-edge science, this only all-digital planetarium in the world showcases a state-of-the-art projector that gives visitors the most accurate and interactive digital universe ever created. Keep your eyes glued to the 75-foot dome and travel to the farthest reaches of the known universe.
  • Kimball Natural History Museum – a towering T Rex, a 30 ft Foucault pendulum, and a dazzling array of gems and minerals make Kimball a must-stop for any natural history lover. Don’t sleep on their newest exhibit, Sharks which brings a new appreciation to these most maligned apex predators.
  • Rainforests of the World – journey deep into the Amazon as you step inside a lush four-story rainforest brimming with exotic reptiles, amphibians, golden silk orb-weaver spiders, and a slithering tree boa. Look up, and be sure not to miss the 250 free-flying birds overhead or the magical Butterfly Emergence Chamber.

Family participating at an Interactive Exhibit at California Academy of Sciences - San Francisco, California, USAExploratorium

Dare to dream about the world around you at the Exploratorium, located on historic Pier 15. At this museum, science is something to be explored, touched, and tinkered with. Best described as a ‘living laboratory,’ the Exploratorium was created so visitors could learn about natural phenomena.

Related Post: Current Events and Festivals in San Francisco

Observe the beautifully ethereal underwater creatures in ‘Life on the Rocks’, or experiment with generating your own waves over water with ‘Confused Sea.’ Biology nuts will relish the opportunity to turn their inquisitive eye inward as they study a 3-D animation of cell movement. 

With over 650 indoor and outdoor installations and exhibits to uncover, it’s no wonder the Exploratorium has taken home numerous awards, including ‘Best Interactive Museum’ and Traveler’s Choice.

Fun Fact: Did you know there are no docents at Exploratorium? Instead, they have ‘Explainers’ who are specially trained to both teach and learn.

Woman and Child at Exploratorium - San Francisco, California, USAEscape from the Rock

Think you have what it takes to plan a cunning escape from Alcatraz? Visit one of the City’s most infamous landmarks with your San Francisco Go Pass Alcatraz pass.

Grisly prison legend and history clash together on the epic 90-minute Escape from the Rock Cruise tour that gives you an inside look at life in Alcatraz. Alcatraz was in use as a maximum-security prison until 1963 and, during its time serving as a penitentiary, garnered a fearsome reputation.

Your fully narrated tour will captivate you with daring stories of prison riots and escapes by famed killers like Al Capone, Billy Cook, the Killer, and Clyde Johnson. Feel the icy spray of the Pacific Ocean on your skin as you imagine the frigid temperatures convict escapees endured during their watery retreat.

Snake under the majestic Golden Gate Bridge and past Angel Island State Park before arriving on the feared Rock and disembarking to get an up-close look at this haunting island and penal institution. 

Fun Fact: In the entire history of Alcatraz, there were only 14 recorded escape attempts!

view of alcatraz island during daytime in San Francisco, California, USASix Flags® Discovery Kingdom

Nothing gets your blood pumping more on a chilly San Francisco day than an afternoon of high-speed thrills and exhilaration at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom.

Wander through 135 acres of rides, attractions, and wildlife at this beloved Northern Californian theme park with your general admission ticket.

Related Post: A Weekend in San Francisco: How to Plan the Perfect Trip

Little ones will go Looney Tunes for the medley of leisurely kid’s rides, including Road Runner Express and Pepe Le Pew’s Rafts of Romance. While adrenaline junkies will flip for the vertical free falls and unexpected drops of the Batman coaster.

Take a walk on the wild side while purusing the incredible animal attractions that call Discovery Kingdom home. Marvel at the majestic cougars, or prepare to get splashed at Drench!, the aquatic spectacular featuring the fabulous streamlined and smart bottlenose dolphins.

The Joker Roller Coaster at Six Flags Discovery KingdomGolden Gate Bridge Bike Tour by Unlimited Biking

Get ready to work those quads on your Golden Gate Bridge Tour by Unlimited Biking. Relish the incredible San Francisco sights (if not the hilly terrain) on your 3-hour scenic tour.

Keep your camera handy as you pedal over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, historic Fort Mason, and stunning Crissy Fields. Bask in the sunny charm of quaint Sausalito, and don’t forget to check out their boardwalk and breathtaking views.

Traversing rolling hills and picturesque waterfront by bike tour, you’ll experience the Golden City from a completely unique perspective. 

Your all-inclusive outdoor adventure features:

  • An intimate tour group of no more than 15 attendees
  • A state-of-the-art Cannondale bike rental
  • A helmet and bike bag/basket
  • An illustrated map

Pro Tip: Are your calf muscles already quaking? If so, for an additional fee, you can upgrade to an E-bike.

Looking over the beach with rocks on the right side and the Golden Gate Bridge in the background on China Beach at sunset in San Francisco, California, USA
photo credit: Adam Rion Birmingham via Facebook

LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Bay Area

Experience even more awesomeness at the incredible indoor Lego playground by the Bay. Future builders of America will have loads of brick-heavy fun as they create, play, and imagine in this Lego-inspired universe.

With over ten interactive play areas, tiny tykes will have trouble deciding what to do first! 

Test your flexibility, agility, and ninja skills at the interactive Ninjago Training Camp. In addition, you can sit back and relax in the 4-D theater and take in a special effects-laden Lego flick like Lego City: Report For Duty.

Other amazing Legoland Discovery Center Highlights include:

  • Miniland – witness the Bay come to life with this 1.5 million lego brick recreation of San Francisco’s most famous landmarks
  • Pirate Adventure Island – Yo, ho, ho! Test your pirate swag on this swashbuckling ride that will have you walking the plank, capturing the flag, and activating air cannons
  • Imagination Express – wizards unite! Wave your wand on this colorful ride and collect points
  • Lego Racer Build & Test – hey, speed racer, try your hand at building the fastest car and then race to see who makes it across the finish line first.
  • Meet and greets with your favorite Lego characters, like Kai, Bertie, and the entire impressive gang
Child and her dad high-fiving a LEGO Ninja at the Legoland Discovery Center in Chicago, Illinois
photo credit: Legoland Discovery Center via Facebook

Fisherman’s Wharf Walking Tour by Experience First

Breathtaking waterfront views, rich Ghirardelli chocolate, and the famous basking sea lions on Pier 39. Is there anything more San Fran than a walking tour of Fisherman’s Wharf?

Pull on your comfortable shoes and prepare to play tourist for a day, as you won’t want to miss a moment of this one-hour attraction-packed walking tour.

Related Post: Which Pier 39 Attractions are Worth Your Time? 

Feel the sights, sounds, and tastes of the Bay city come alive as your expert guide paints a vivid picture of the city’s incredible transformation from a small sleepy village to a massive metropolis. 

You’ll even learn how watershed events such as the Gold Rush and the great earthquake of 1906 shaped San Francisco’s fate.

Making your way through Fisherman’s Wharf, be sure to pause and revel in the fog-lined views. Next, sample some Golden Gate delicacies such as Crab Dungeness and clam chowder served out of sourdough bread bowls.*

Round out your Wharf journey with a walk through the historic Barbary Coast Trail, the Embarcadero Promenade. Also, take a visit to Pier 39, where native California sea lions congregate in all their glory. 

*food not included in the tour

Angel Island with Roundtrip Ferry

A hidden gem of the Bay, no San Francisco sojourn is complete without a visit to Angel Island. Often called the ‘Ellis Island of the west,’ Angel Island is an attraction that boasts not only great historical significance but awe-inspiring natural beauty.

This 740-acre park was once a U.S. Immigration Station that was the first stop for millions of immigrants entering the country from 1910 through 1940. 

Once you arrive on the pristine island, be sure to check out the military garrisons and compounds. These played an integral role in events dating back to the Civil War. In addition, partake in a guided tour of the Angel Island Detention Barracks.

Nature lovers should have their gear and their camera ready. The state park features a number of beautiful beaches, picnic areas, and hiking trails. 

The island’s specific location provides a unique vantage point to capture swoon-worthy views of the San Francisco skyline. This includes the Marin County Headlands and Mount Tamalpais.

Pro Tip: Up the adventure ante by participating in (for additional cost) mountain bike rental, segway, or kayak tours.

Looking to refuel? Purchase one of the Angel Island Cafe’s top-rated barbeque pork sandwiches made with a secret sauce for an impromptu island picnic.

Aerial view of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands in San Francisco, California, USAReady to Visit San Francisco While on a Budget?

Stately architecture, world-class museums, and unparalleled outdoor beauty. Rudyard Kipling wasn’t wrong when he stated, “San Francisco has only one drawback – tis’ hard to leave.”

From biking across the Golden Gate Bridge to sampling delicious dim sum in Chinatown to diving under the sea with your favorite finned residents of the Bay, there is no shortage of incredible activities to tackle with your San Francisco Go Pass.

Share with us below!

Whether you are seeking to hit up historical sights like there’s no tomorrow or take a leisurely cruise around Fisherman’s Wharf and Sausalito, the San Francisco GO City will be your trusted companion.

Ready to go ‘all in’ on your San Francisco on a budget adventure? Purchase your GO City San Francisco today!

Tell us, Have You Traveled With an SF Go City?

What’s your favorite San Francisco attraction?

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Written by Isis Maya Nissman

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central...

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