The Golden Ticket: A Guide to Multi-Day Activity Passes

Posted on October 7, 2011


Many student travelers are curious about the best ways to find and use multi-day passes. Here’s a guide to where you can find passes in most major European cities, as well as a guide to how to use them effectively to explore a city and its attractions to the fullest.

By Katherine Filippo

If you are staying in a city for a weekend (or longer) and plan on sightseeing and museum touring, you may want to pick up a multi-day activity pass. Unfortunately for the budget traveler many famous sights now have a hefty entrance fee, and just visiting three or four major attractions could cost €50 or more. A multi-day city pass includes entrance into a set number of attractions for one price, which allows you to do everything you want and still save money.

These passes can be bought online from a city’s main tourism website, at tourist offices, at the attractions themselves, and even at vendors located throughout the city. For a list of major cities in Europe and their activity passes, see the bottom of this article.

Tips for using multi-day passes:

Book at the student price. Some passes come at a rate specially discounted for students — so don’t forget to book with your student ID card, or ask for the student rate.

Read the fine print. Know exactly what you are paying for before you buy a pass. Some passes only get you admission to a set number of attractions while others are unlimited. Check to see if the pass also covers transportation: some double as bus/metro passes or even offer free airport transfers. Also look to see if you can receive any discounts at restaurants or stores by showing them your pass.

Do the math. Compare the sights you want to see and their admission fees with the cost of purchasing the pass. In some cases if you only have time to see a few attractions, or if you can get significant student discounts anyway, it isn’t worth it to buy a pass.

Plan ahead. Once you know how long your trip will be, you can decide what type of activity pass will work best for you. It varies by city but often you have the choice to purchase a single day, two day or even six day pass. If you decide to get a pass look at the list of attractions and decide which ones you want to visit and how much time you will need. Also note the hours of the attractions and what days they are open.  You don’t want to buy a pass and then not be able to even visit any of the sites.

Use it for popular sights. Having a pass means you don’t have to wait in line to buy a ticket at each attraction. Often having a pass will also let you skip the long lines to get in. This can save a lot of time. For major attractions, like the Colosseum in Rome, it can be worth purchasing a pass just so you can bypass the endless queues.
Before you decide to purchase a multi-day city pass make sure you are a knowledgeable traveler and do a little research beforehand. Often times you can save yourself time and money by buying a pass and hopefully with it you will get to experience all that your destination has to offer!

Websites for City Passes Across Europe


What do you think of multi-day passes? Do you ever use them? Let us know your tips and thoughts in the comments below.