Is the Boston CityPASS Worth It?

Boston CityPASS Benefits

CityPASS is available in 11 U.S. Cities and includes admission to each city’s top attractions for up to half the cost it normally would. CityPASS is a great choice if you are visiting a city and visiting all the top attractions on vacation.

The Boston CityPASS includes four popular attractions and is $55 for adults 12+ and $42 for ages 3-11. CityPASS also includes the ability to skip most lines at an attraction which is a perk if you are limited on time at a popular location!

I have a post Is the Boston Go Card Worth It? that breaks down the attraction card to see if the card is worth it for your travels to Boston. Just like the Go Card, the CityPASS really depends on what type of traveler you are and what you plan to see and do in Boston (or another city if you are traveling elsewhere from Boston this summer!)

The Boston CityPASS is a little easier to break down since it only includes 4-5 attractions in the pass. The nice thing about the CityPASS is that you have 9 days to use it so you don’t have to rush around the city to see everything in a few days.

Below are the attractions included in the Boston CityPASS, the price of admission, and some tips for saving money on these attractions if you decide not to do the CityPASS.

1. New England Aquarium: $26.95 for adults 12+, $18.95 for children 3-11, and $24.95 for adults 60+. Members, New England Teachers, visitors in wheelchairs, and children under 3 are free.

DISCOUNTS: Boston Public Library Cardholders (any MA resident can become one!) can request a FREE New England Aquarium library pass for up to 4 people from September to June only. College students, MBTA (plastic) Charlie Card holders, and AAA members can save $2 on admission. Active duty military can get $10 off adult admission and $5 off children admission.

2. Museum of Science: $25 for adults 12+, $20 for children 3-11, and $21 for adults 60+. Members and children under 3 are free.

DISCOUNTS: Boston Public Library Cardholders can request a FREE MOS library pass for up to 4 people.

3. Skywalk Observatory: $18 for adults, $13 for children 3-12, and $15 for adults 62+. College students with ID are $14. Children under 3, Active military personnel and those with dependent cards, and MTA members with valid cards are free.

DISCOUNTS: $2 off admission with the Pruferred Shopper Card (you can get a free card at the Customer Service desk at the center of the Prudential Center–anyone can do this). Also, the Skywalk Observatory is under Top of the Hub restaurant, which has similar views. You may want to consider grabbing a drink at the bar or dining at the restaurant to get similar views. Keep in mind that there is a dress code and meals aren’t inexpensive so it may not work for you, but is another option for great city views.

4. Museum of Fine Arts: $25 for adults, $10* for youth 7-17, and $23 for adults 65+ and students 18+. Youth are free weekdays after 3pm, weekends, and Boston Public school holidays and children 6 and under and members are always free.

DISCOUNTS: The MFA is by suggested donation on Wednesdays after 4pm and there are a few free days each year. Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders receive free admission the first full weekend of every month. College students from particpating colleges are free. Mass EBT Cardholders can get $3 admission, MTA members get $2 discount and BPL cardholders can pay $10 when you request a library pass.

OR

Boston Harbor Cruises: $26.95 for adults, $22.95 for children 3-11, and $24.95 for seniors. Children under 3 are free.
*If space allows, CityPASS holders may choose to take a USS Constitution Cruise, Sunset Cruise or Charles River & Locks Cruise in lieu of the Historic Sightseeing Cruise. 

DISCOUNTS: Goldstar Boston will often have Boston Harbor cruises and other Boston cruises for a discount. Discount tickets through Goldstar Boston start at $14 for adults for the BHC Sunset Cruise but discounts are only available for certain nights through Goldstar but there are many different cruise options to choose from!

 

If you are planning to visit the New England Aquarium, MFA, Skywalk Observatory and MFA or a cruise and don’t plan on using any discounts, the CityPASS is a great deal. Even if you only make it to 3 attractions on the list, you would still be saving at least $13.

However, the CityPASS may not be a good deal if you weren’t planning to visit these attractions in the 9-day period or you can get better discounts.

The CityPASS isn’t a great option for Massachusetts locals, because we can reserve free passes (if availability allows) for both the Aquarium and Museum of Science which saves over $50 alone as well as qualify for other discounts with our MTA card or Charlie Card.

However, if you are visiting from out of state, aren’t a military family and don’t have many discount options, the CityPASS may work perfectly for you and your family if you plan to do a lot in your Boston vacation!

The CityPASS (and Go Boston Card too!) really depend on what you are looking to do on your Boston vacation.

I think the CityPASS is a great option for families who are looking to go to the Aquarium, Museum of Science and more and may want to spread out their Boston vacation. The Go Boston Card may be a better option for people who want to do it all in a very short time.

Both attraction cards really depend on what type of traveler you are, what you are planning to see, and how much time you have. I hope you find this post helpful (and the Go Boston Card post too) in deciding whether a card is worth it or not for your travel plans.

If you are visiting Boston soon, I hope you have a great Boston vacation!!

For more information or to purchase a Boston CityPASS, please head here.

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