Is the Chicago CityPass worth it? We crunch the numbers to tell you if you will save money with the popular Chicago attraction pass

If you click on the links in this post, we may earn money from the companies mentioned in this post, at no extra cost to you. You can read the full disclaimer here.

Sharing is caring!

Chicago has a lot of amazing tourist destinations. If you’re planning a Chicago vacation, you might be wondering how you can visit a number of attractions while still keeping your trip affordable.

Well, one solution is to get a Chicago CityPASS.

With the Chicago Citypass, you buy one pass that will get you admission into 5 Chicago attractions.

Here’s what’s included, as well as what it normally costs an adult if you were visiting each attraction separately:

  • Skydeck Chicago ($55.00)
  • Shedd Aquarium ($44.90)
  • Field Museum ($40.00)

And then you can choose 2 out of these 3 activities:

  • 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck ($44.00)
  • Art Institute of Chicago ($35.00)
  • Museum of Science and Industry ($33.95)

Now, if you were going to visit the 5 most expensive of those attractions individually, this would cost you $55.00 + $44.90 + $40.00 + $44.00 + $35.00 = $218.90.

The Chicago CityPASS only costs $109.00.  This means you’ve saved about 50%!

But that’s only if you visit the 5 most expensive attractions. What if you chose less expensive activities? Or fewer than 5? Would this Chicago sightseeing pass still be worth it?

Today, we’re going to take a look at just that! We’ll see when the Chicago City Pass is – and isn’t – worth it. We’ll be looking at the adult prices, which is for people ages 12 years old and up.

Visiting 3, 4 or 5 Attractions

What if you only wanted to visit the 3 cheapest attractions?

That would be:

  • Museum of Science and Industry – $33.95
  • Art Institute of Chicago – $35.00
  • Field Museum – $40.00

Without the CityPASS, it would cost $33.95 + $35.00 + $40.00 = $108.95.

Since the price of the Chicago CityPASS is $109.00, you would technically be losing money. But it would only be $0.05.

And if you did any other combination of 3 attractions – or 4 attractions, or 5 attractions – that would raise the total cost of the attractions over $109.00. So the Chicago CityPASS would be saving you money.

Visiting 1 or 2 Attractions

Let’s say you planned on stopping by the 2 most expensive attractions.

Those would be:

  • Skydeck Chicago $55.00
  • Shedd Aquarium $44.90

Without the CityPass, you’d pay $55.00 + $44.90 = $99.90. And that is less expensive than the Chicago CityPass.

If you picked 2 cheaper attractions, or just 1 attraction, that would also be less expensive than the Chicago CityPass. So the CityPass would not be saving you any money.


In most cases, yes, the Chicago CityPASS is worth it.

If you’re going to visit 4 or 5 attractions, you will definitely save money.

If you plan on visiting 3 attractions, you will most likely save money. The only exception is if you happen to choose the 3 least expensive attractions. In that case, it’s practically the same price (there’s a $0.05 difference), so you will be out very little money.

So when should you not get the Chicago CityPASS? Well, if you think you’ll only do 1 or 2 attractions on your trip, then it’s not worth it. You’d be better off financially just paying for the attraction or attractions separately.

You can click here to purchase the Chicago CityPass for your next Chicago vacation.

Additional Notes

Before your trip, make sure to check if the attractions you want to visit require reservations. (For example, at the time of writing this, advanced reservations are required for the Shedd Aquarium and recommended for Skydeck Chicago.) It’s also possible that they will require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination. You’ll need to check for the most up-to-date requirements when you make your travel plans. Click here for additional information about reservations and entry.

Choosing One or Two Activities

Now, if you have decided after this you only want to do one or two activities that would be cheaper than buying the Chicago CityPass, then click here to book them at great rates:

Comparison to Explorer Pass

Wondering how the Chicago CityPASS stacks up next to the Chicago Explorer Pass?  Click here to see a side-by-side comparison!