“City Passes” — sometimes known as “Sightseeing Passes” or “Attraction Passes” — are becoming more and more a part of the travel landscape. While long a feature of the European travel scene, they are a more recent arrival in the U.S. and can be a great way to take in the many great things to do in and around Seattle.
In many ways they are overdue. Nobody walks into a hotel to request a room or walks up to the airline ticket counter and expects to get the best price, and yet that is still largely the case when it comes to people purchasing things to do while on a trip. City Passes let people buy their admissions in advance to get the best deal and to do so in a more convenient way that trying to by individual tickets separately.
The basic idea behind any city pass is that it bundles together the entry tickets for multiple museums, sights, and tours and puts them on a single ticket. In doing this, the pass provides a discount compared to the cost of buying separate tickets. It may often have other benefits such as the ability to skip lines and/or come with a free guidebook.
One popular example is the Go Seattle Card. 35 of Seattle’s top sights accept the Card as an admission ticket. Travellers choose the number of days they want to sight-see and buy a Card for that number of days. The Go Seattle Card then works for that many days for whichever of the participating sights the holder wishes to visit. For example if a customer bought a 3-Day Pass, they could then use it to visit the Space Needle, the Museum of Flight, a Harbor Cruise, the Ground Zero Museum, Pacific Science Museum, the Experience Music Project… and/or any other sights they wanted to see over the three days.
Other examples include the Musee Pass which covers 60 museums and monuments in Paris, the Go Oahu Card with 30 sights and activities in Hawaii, the Smartvisit Card that covers sights in and around Sydney, Australia, and so on.
In addition to being available directly from their own websites, these passes are available from leading travel sites. There are even sites like Smart Destinations that are dedicated exclusively to selling city passes and offer them for a variety of destinations. They also have a video explaining how passes work, so if you need more info access the video on their home page.
And for those who don’t want to plan ahead, passes can often be bought directly in their locales. The Go Seattle Card discussed above lists four locations where it can be bought in the City and the surrounding area.
If your next trip involves taking in the sights, its worth doing your research on your in destination activities just like you would for your flights and hotels. The savings can be significant.