San Francisco CityPASS: Review

Diana Chan September 30, 2016 San Francisco, travel


For our trip to San Francisco, we used the CityPASS to tour around town to see a few of the attractions in the Bay area. I’ve used CityPASS in the past before and they have some of the top attractions for tourists.

The hand-picked attractions include:

  • 7-day Cable Car and Muni Bus Passport
  • California Academy of Sciences
  • Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise Adventure
  • Exploratorium OR de Young Museum
  • Aquarium of the Bay OR Monterey Bay Aquarium

We went to explore the city of San Francisco and below is our experience at each attraction.

7-day Cable Car and Muni Bus Passport


The CityPASS in San Francisco gives you 7 days of unlimited travel on cable cars, Heritage street cars and Muni Buses. This starts on the first day of CityPASS use.

We used this quite a bit since it was easy to hop on buses and the trolleys through most of the popular areas of town.


If you plan on taking public transportation, the CityPASS is worth it. You just flash it to the driver and hop in. We didn’t have any issues using this.

I found this to be best part of the CityPASS.


Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise Adventure


What better way to explore the city than by the water so you can see the city from afar. When you get to their box office, you have 2 options cruise adventures to choose from:

  • One-hour narrated Bay Cruise Adventure
  • 30 minute high speed ‘RocketBoat’

The 1 hour Bay Cruise Adventure takes you close to Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Angel Island on a narrated tour around the breathtaking pier.

We opted to go with the 30 minute RocketBoat, the fastest and thrilling boat ride in the harbour.


We were all given ponchos and instructed to secure any loose items as they will most likely fly off due to the intense speed. We took a quick ride out of Pier 39 and headed towards Oakland Bridge past the Ferry Building. For a majority of the ride, it was light mist into the boat, as we sped and spun all over the harbour.


As we returned back to the pier, we went at higher speeds ended with an unforgettable ending. Definitely really exciting and great for those looking for a short adventure.

Monterey Bay Aquarium or Aquarium of the Bay


With both options, we went with Aquarium of the Bay as Monterey Bay Aquarium was quite a ways way from the Downtown San Francisco area.


The Aquarium of the Bay is right outside Pier 39 close to Blue & Gold Fleet, so you can do this before or after your Bay cruise adventure as it’s just steps away.


The Aquarium is pretty small compared to some other aquariums in other cities, but you start off seeing different varieties of fish like anchovies and clown fish swimming around the tanks and then the calm serine jelly fish. You can go to another deeper level to explore the water tunnel filled with shark, bat rays, and other sea creatures.
You will also be able to touch sea stars, anemones, baby bat rays, and sea cucumbers.


There are also 2 adorable sea otters at the end of the aquarium, that were just so cuddly with each other.

de Young Museum + Legion of Honor


de Young Museum is located in Golden Gate Park and the CityPass gets you general admission to both de Young + Legion of Honor Fine Arts Museums, if visited on the same day. You won’t be able to see their special exhibitions unless you pay a bit more.

We came here instead of the Exploratorium since we were already in Golden Gate Park and we were excited to go to the Hamon Tower to check out the sights from high up.


The view from Hamon Tower was amazing.

Legion of Honor is on the other side of Golden Gate Park, so you’ll either need to drive there or take the bus. We ended up not coming here since we were a bit tight on time.

California Museum of Sciences


CityPASS gives you general admission to all exhibits including their aquarium, rainforest, planetarium, natural history museum and living roof. It’s right across from de Young Museum. Super easy to go before or after.


What we linked out the California Academy of Sciences is that you get a little bit of everything here.


Final thoughts

Overall, the San Francisco CityPass takes you into a few key areas to explore attractions – Pier 39 and Golden Gate Park. Other alternate attractions are definitely out of the way if you are exploring the core areas of San Francisco.

The Muni pass was great at utilizing the public transportation system and made getting around much quicker. Plus, you can even use it for trolley rides. it’s definitely worth it if you are using it for the full 7 days.

The pass is worth it if you plan on visiting all the attractions and taking public transit.


About The Author

Diana started Foodology in 2010 because she just eats out everyday! She started a food blog to share her love of food with the world! She lives in Vancouver, BC and adores the diversity of food around her. She will go crazy for churros and lattes.

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