Spend less but go more places with this round-up of some of the best transport and tourist attraction passes around the globe.
Railway Passes: In many of the destinations that Singaporeans love to travel to, they often have a local equivalent of the EZ-Link card. These transport passes are essential to moving around the city or across the country with ease. Train rail passes are also incredibly helpful to have if you’re going from city to city without hopping on a flight. Instead of 1-way train tickets, a train pass or railway pass may offer significant discounts.
Multi Attraction Tourist Passes: When you’re there, chances are you’ve got a list of things to do and places to see which include many of the popular tourist attractions. Buying the local tourist multi-attraction pass is a very useful way to skip queues at individual attractions. Use 1 card to get into the zoo, the museum, the tour bus.
We recommend being kiasu in this case – buy your railway pass and tourist multi-attractions pass online before you go. Or as soon as you hit the first city. Not only does this maximise the value you get, but immensely helps to answer questions on what to see and how to get around.
All prices below are for adults and, unless otherwise stated, cards can be purchased in advance online.
Europe Multi-City: Eurail Global Pass
Explore the continent with the Eurail Global Pass covering more than 25 countries along the railway. Opt for a continuous pass, available for 15 days, 21 days, one month, two months or three months, or take advantage of the flexipass, available for five days of travel within a 10-day period or 10 or 15 days of travel within a two-month period.
The Rail Europe site also offers passes to individual countries’ rail networks.
Amsterdam: I Amsterdam City Card
Choose from a 24-, 48- or 72-hour I Amsterdam City Card to enjoy access to unlimited free public transport (bus, tram and metro), a free canal cruise and free or discounted entrance to a number of galleries and museums, including the world-renowned Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum. Prices start from €49.
Barcelona: Barcelona Card
Valid for two to five consecutive days, the Barcelona Card allows free travel on the public transport network (including the train service that connects the airport to the city centre) and free or discounted access to attractions such as the Museu del Futbol Club Barcelona. The card also includes discounts at a number of restaurants and boutiques, and a city guide that’s available in six languages. Prices start from €20.
Berlin: Berlin WelcomeCard
For free transport on buses and trains as well as discounts of up to 50% at more than 190 museums, shops, tours, theatres and restaurants in Berlin and Potsdam, pick up a 48-hour, 72-hour or five-day Berlin WelcomeCard. Prices start from €19.50.
Copenhagen: Copenhagen Card
Prices for the Copenhagen Card start from 359,00 DKK with 24-, 48-, 72- and 120-hour options available, granting access to 74 museums and attractions and free transport by train, bus, harbour bus and Metro, including transport to and from the airport. Discounts are also available via the card on car hire and selected restaurants.
Valid for 72 hours after entering your first gallery, the Firenzecard is a must for art lovers and history buffs. Costing €72, it grants admission to many museums, villas and historical gardens, with priority access to many attractions.
London: The London Pass
Offering access to more than 60 attractions and tours, as well as fast-track entry to selected locations including the London Bridge Experience and Hampton Court Palace, and a free hop-on, hop-off bus tour with a choice of three routes, The London Pass is valid for one, two, three or six days and costs from £55. It’s also possible to add on the Oyster Travelcard, valid for the city’s bus, train and Tube networks.
Madrid: Madrid Card
Valid for one to seven consecutive days, the Madrid Card gives free access to metro lines, urban buses, inter-urban buses, suburban trains and light rail. Prices start from €47 and cards can be purchased from tourist offices, Madrid‐Barajas Airport Terminal 2 and major transport hubs in the city.
Paris: Paris City Pass
The Paris City Pass offers unlimited transport throughout zones 1 to 3 (bus, Metro, tramway and RER), admission to more than 60 museums and monuments in Paris and Ile-de-France, a sightseeing bus tour and a one-hour Bateaux Parisiens cruise on the Seine. Valid for one to five days, pay a supplement of €15 for skip-the-line access to the second floor of Eiffel Tower.
Benefits of the ZurichCARD include free second-class travel on trams, trains, buses, boats and cable railways, free entrance to the majority of museums and a 50% discount on guided city tours through Zürich Tourism. Valid for 24 or 72 hours, prices start from CHF 24.
Beijing: Smart Card
Enjoy reduced fares by using the Beijing Smart Card on subway trains, buses, airport express train and some taxis. Use it too to pay for goods at some supermarkets and to purchase long-distance bus tickets. Buy and reload it at more than 170 points including the ticket offices of all city subway stations.
Hong Kong: Octopus
Travel on the MTR, bus, ferry, public light bus, coach and tram networks with the Octopus card, which can be pre-loaded and also spent on a number of tourist attractions, as well as various restaurants and supermarkets.
Buy one at the airport counter as you arrive into Hong Kong so you’re ready from the get go.
The MTR is very similar to our MRT so there’s not much room for confusion here.
Japan: JR Pass
Enjoy seven, 14 or 21 days of unlimited Japan Rail travel from SG$331. The JR Pass must be ordered in advance and activated on arrival before tourists can board any number of bullet and regional trains with only one ticket during their stay.
The prepaid Suica pass can be used to travel on JR East trains, Tokyo’s various subway lines subways and buses. The card can be purchased in major JR East stations and can be used on smart card transportation systems across the country. Use it also to make purchases wherever you see the Suica logo.
Kyoto: Kyoto Tourist
Use the one- or two-day Kyoto Tourist pass on buses and subways, and follow the accompanying map to find sites that offer discounted entry to cardholders. Passes can be purchased at subway ticket machines or the main Kyoto bus station information centre, and are priced from 1,200 yen.
Kuala Lumpur: KL TravelPass
Use the KL TravelPass (a single costs RM50), to travel on the MRT, LRT, train and bus. The card comes with RM10 credit and can be topped up at most public transport stations and convenience stores.
AUSTRALIA & NZ
AUSTRALIA Multi-City: iVenture Card
Available at a number of destinations across Australia, the iVenture Card grants free or discounted access to a range of local attractions and activities.
Travel on Melbourne’s trains, trams and buses, and V/Line commuter train services and buses in Seymour, Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, the Latrobe Valley and Warragul with the reusable myki smart card – simply load it at a number of transport hubs and train stations.
Hop on and off trains, buses and ferries with the prepaid Opal transportation card, which also covers bus services in the Blue Mountains and the Central Coast, as well as Hunter and Illawarra regions.
Auckland: AT HOP
Use the reusable prepaid AT HOP card to travel on trains, ferries and buses and save money – at least a 20% discount off single-trip cash fares. It can also be used at a number of retailers.
Available at a number of destinations across America, the CityPASS offers free and discounted entrance to a number of attractions and other perks – for example, the San Francisco CityPASS grants free access to cable cars, historic streetcars and diesel and electric trolley buses operated by the Muni system.
Rio de Janeiro: MetrôRio
This prepaid card can be purchased at subway stations or ATMs with an initial minimum charge of R$5. It can be used across the network and includes the MetrôRio bus service. It also offers special discounts on theatre tickets.