Sydney Passes – do they save you money?

Sydney Attraction Passes

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If you are thinking about buying a Sydney pass to help keep the cost of attractions down, you probably have a bunch of questions. Well, lots of people have been asking in our Facebook Group, so we have gone and done the research for you (and it took ages!). Read on to see what we discovered. 

Citywide Passes and Apps

Types of Passes

Two main passes offer visitors discounts across a range of attractions both in the city and in other key tourist spots like the Blue Mountains and Illawarra.

  • iVenture Card (33 attractions/tours or meals)
  • Go Sydney Pass (25 attractions/tours or meals)

The cards offer similar conditions:

  • Once you activate Flexi passes are valid for 30 days
  • Both offer apps for paperless use or vouchers you can exchange for cards on arrival in Sydney

Then there is the Entertainment App Membership it has over $20,000 worth of valuable up to 50% off and 2-for-1 offers

  • Valid June 1 – May 30 following year
  • can be installed on up to 3 devices

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What do the passes cover?

It’s essential to consider which specific attractions you want to see rather than choose the card with the biggest number of attractions on offer. There are some key differences between these passes, so we have put them together in a graph. This will help you to compare what’s included in each one quickly and easily.

Attractions on both cards

Attraction Go Sydney iVenture Entertainment App
Taronga Zoo  X X   X (25% Off)
Sealife Aquarium X X X
Sydney Tower X X X
Wildlife Zoo X X X
Madame Tussauds X X X
Maritime Museum X X X
PowerHouse X X X
Opera House Tour X X  N/A
HOHO Blue Mtns X X N/A
HOHO cruise X X X
Jetboard Road X X X
Harbour Cruise X X X

Here’s where the decisions come in.

  • If you like walking and culture, you would probably get better use from the Go Sydney card.
  • If you like museums or prefer bus tours, then the iVenture is likely your best bet.
  • If you plan on dining and are travelling with a family, perhaps the Entertainment App will be the best value.

Attractions only on some passes 

Attraction Go Sydney iVenture Entertainment App
Bondi Walking tour X
Kings Cross Walking tour X X
Sydney with conviction Walking tour X X
Luna Park 4 ride pass X X
Bondi surf rental 2 hrs X X
4 hr Bonza Bike rental X X
Urban winery tasting flight X X
Virtual Reality room X X
Escape room X X
Race Car simulator X
Illawarra Fly X X
Sydney Observatory X X
Living Museums Pass X
Queen Victoria Building Tour X
Chinese Garden X
ANZ Stadium tour X
Manly half-day bus tour X
Bondi half-day bus tour X
Featherdale Wildlife Park X X
2 hr Manly Bike Tour X X
Rocks walking tour X X

How much do they cost?

Both pass operators offer Flexi cards with 3, 5 and 7 attraction options.  Go Sydney also provides a 4-day option.

3 attractions 4 attractions 5 attractions 7 attractions
iVenture 125 n/a 185 249
Go Sydney 119 154 184 229
Entertainment App  Valid one year  $70

iVenture has the Sydney Unlimited Attractions Pass  that allows you to visit as many attractions as you can in 3 or 7 days

3 day $270                       7 day $345

Alternatively, the Entertainment App has a one-year membership for $70

With Go Sydney, you can also choose the build your own pass option where you mix and match whatever attractions you want for a 20% or greater discount rather than the numbered day passes.

Multi-Attraction Passes

The best-known multi-attraction passes are:

  • Sydney Attraction Pass*
  • Sydney Living Museums Pass
Sydney Aquarium
A visit to Sydney Aquarium is popular with families

The Sydney Attractions

This pass covers the Merlin properties:

  • Sealife Sydney
  • Wildlife Sydney Zoo
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Sydney Tower Eye

You can buy multi tickets to combine any two attractions ($50) three attractions ($60) or four attractions ($70) of these at a reduced price compared to single admissions. You can also buy annual family passes that cover their other Australian locations. These are cheaper booked online either direct with Merlin or with a ticketing site.  It will cost you more in person.

Madane Tussauds Sydney
Snap a pic with Olivia (or Sandy)

You can also bundle them with a bunch of other Sydney attractions including:

Sydney Bonus Pass: 4 Attractions and Captain Cook HOHO Harbour Cruise

Related: Check out our article on the best places to see Australian animals in Sydney

The Sydney Living Museum

Sydney Living Museum Pass property Susannah Place museum pass
Heritage-listed Susannah Place includes a grocery store and workers’ cottages

This pass is my personal favourite, and if you love cultural history as much as I do you, then you will enjoy it too. Most of these you will probably not want to spend time visiting on a short holiday to Sydney, so I have listed them in order of those I think best suited to visits of less than a week.

  • Museum of Sydney – Great spot to learn more about Australia’s Colonial History
  • Susannah Place Museum – Fascinating museum that chronicles the changes in the Rocks over the 150 years.
  • Hyde Park Barracks – Closed until the end of 2019.  My favourite of these and the new design looks to be brilliant.
  • Elizabeth Bay House – Good for a short visit if you are in Potts Point
  • Justice and Police Museum – Interesting but limited opening hours
  • Vaucluse House – choose this or Elizabeth Bay House
  • The Mint – Not much to see inside here
  • Elizabeth Farm – in Parramatta, pop by if you are in the area
  • Rose Seidler House – Likely to be of interest only to architecture buffs or long term visitors
Elizabeth Bay House Sydney on the Pass
Explore this heritage-listed Colonial Regency home

Cost for a pass to entry to all these museums $24 and is valid for one month.

The Entertainment Book App

Sydney tourist Passes Entertainment app

The Entertainment Book has been sold across Australia for over 20 years. There is both a print and app-based digital membership, offering discounts on dining, travel, shopping, beauty and accommodation from more than 10,000 businesses across Australia.

The books and apps memberships are sold by the city. They are also available for Bali. When you buy a membership for one city, you can purchase another city for a much-reduced rate so these can be great value if you are visiting a few cities.

They are sold as fundraisers for non-profit groups with 20% of each sale going to the charity. The Sydney Greeters group that I manage sells them to cover the cost of our insurance each year.  The deals include lots of tourist attractions, sporting events and hire, fine dining and cafes, take away restaurants and even cinemas and day spas.

There are discounts for hotels and car hire too. Generally, there is at least 20% off or buy one get one free (BOGOF).  I have personally had one of these for years and get great value out of all the dining options.

Examples of the way you could use this book to save money in Sydney are:

Savings based on two people

Attractions popular with visitors to Sydney 

Attractions Type of discount Saving
Taronga Zoo 25% (for 4 ppl) $21 pp
Featherdale BOGOF $32
Australian Museum BOGOF $15
Powerhouse BOGOF $15
Rocks walk BOGOF $32
Sydney Tower BOGOF $29
Madame Tussauds BOGOF $35
Sydney Aquarium BOGOF $36
Wildlife Sydney BOGOF $40
Manly Kayak Centre BOGOF $45
Manly Bike tour BOGOF $45
Sydney Jet BOGOF $80
Capt Cook HOHO ferry 25% off (4 ppl) $12.50
Fish Market tour BOGOF $45

If you wanted to do all these things you would pay $70 for the app plus $517  a total of $577 = value $1034 which is a saving of $457

Say you had three days

  1. Taronga Zoo (am) Kayak hire (pm)
  2. Rocks Walking tour (am) Australian Museum (afternoon) Sydney Tower (sunset)
  3. Harbour Jet Cruise, (am) Sydney Aquarium (afternoon)

Total cost for two adults without Entertainment App – $535
Total cost for two adults with Entertainment App $267  for two adults – saving – $201

Buy your Entertainment membership now and support Sydney Greeters while you save money.

Related: Read our review of the Sydney Hop on Hop Off bus

Which Sydney Travel Pass/App is best?

So while we may have done some of the work, this is just the starting point.  I suggest you use these tables to work out which attractions you want to visit and then armed with that see which pass will be cheaper for your situation.

Personally, and these are our opinions, you NEED to double-check your own needs.

  • For families, we think the Entertainment book might be the best bet if you consider the meal deals and fast food savings it can really add up to significant savings. They also have several deals that are valid for 4-10 people so good for groups.
  • For people happy to pack in busy days then the iVenture unlimited 3 and 7 days passes can be worthwhile, but you need to have your skates on to really get the value.
  • If you are travelling solo, then the buy on get one free model of the Entertainment app will be no use, and the other Flexi cards with their 30-day validity might work out best.
  • If you want to do some bus tours, then iVenture is your best option as the others don’t offer these
  • If you are into activities like bikes, surfing and walking tours then consider a Go Sydney pass
  • Another consideration is the simplicity of the iVenture and Go Sydney options – you can pay for everything before you leave home and not need to worry about currency on arrival.
  • You can save money by checking out Groupon and similar sites for individual deals but if you do this read the fine print very carefully – many of these block out public holidays and school vacations.

We hope this helps you determine if a Sydney attraction pass is the best choice for you.

Do you have specific questions about your circumstances? Head over to Facebook and join our Sydney Expert Facebook Group where you can ask questions and find friendly locals and other travellers happy to share their advice!

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11 Comments

  1. Depending on your personal interests, it’s always a difficult question which city pass will pay off. Especially when Sydney has so much to offer. This is a very comprehensive overview that will make this decision much clearer. Thank you for combining all this information together!

  2. Thanks for sharing wonderful details of both passes Sydney Pass and iVenture. I did not opted for Sydney pass when I was in Sydney but now I will seriously consider it as it has many attractions and offers.

  3. Thanks for sharing this comprehensive comparison ! I prefer to travel at a slower pace, and enjoy comfort, convenience and some occasional luxury. I think Entertainment app is best for my style. Will consider this when I get to visit Sydney ! =)

  4. I’m leaning towards the iVenture Card as it has 33 attractions, versus only 25 with the Go Sydney Pass. I wouldn’t go with the Entertainment App as it doesn’t include a tour of the Opera House, which I want to do. Thanks for the research.

  5. I agree that the Living Museums are really interesting and $24 is really good to visit all these places. I’ve seen most of them but I didn’t know about the pass though, thank you for sharing.

  6. I think the city passes are actually pretty good. With the two you introduce here, I like the long runtime. However, I do not like the fact that they already determine when buying how many attractions you can use. From other cities I know a very short term, but you have to be able to select from all included offers also all. I think with each pass you have to calculate exactly before, if you really save money.

  7. I wasn’t aware of the Sydney Passes, so this is great. When we make our way down there as a family, I’ll definitely look into them if we decide to do a fair amount of activities. Thanks for all of the comparative info.

  8. As I have a family and hope to get to Sydney in the next couple of years, the goSydney would suit us. Great ideas here and enough to keep the children entertained.

  9. My take away from this, I need to get back to Sydney, there is still so much to see and do. I think the goSydney would be best for us, as we love walking and exploring. Thanks for doing this, it makes it much easier to choose.

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