The Austrian Tourist Cards: is it worth it?

belvedere-palace-vienna-austria

Having the tourist cards is one of the ways I was able to save up on my Austrian trip when I visited three cities: Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck. Here’s the detailed run down of how I used the card, including how much I saved and the verdict for all of you who are curious and asking, “is it worth it?”

VIENNA CARD

Vienna card

48 / 72 hours priced at €18.90 / €21.90 respectively

In a nutshell

More than 210 discounts at museums and sights, theatres and concerts, in shops, cafés, restaurants, the ‘Heurige’ wine tavern, and free travel on Vienna’s public transport system.

My experience

The Vienna card is probably the most comprehensive tourist card. When you buy it, you get a 119 page coupon book listing more than 210 discounts available to Vienna card holders. There were discounts for museums, tours, concerts, cafes and shops. I was overwhelmed going through through the coupon book and asked myself, “Where should I go to be able to get the card’s worth?” I won’t deny, I felt pressure!

Vienna tram

Photo credit

As I looked through the booklet though, I started to realize that most of the discounts were for things I didn’t have interest in seeing, doing or buying or simply didn’t have time to. The few places that I was interested in visiting, offered a very small discount.

And I had only 24 hours in Vienna.

So…I only used my Vienna card for the train and tram rides around Vienna and I didn’t compute. I don’t think I saved using the 48H card that costs €18.90 because I walked around most of the time and did not enter any museum!

Would I recommend it?

Yes and no.

YES – If you plan on being in Vienna for 48 hours at least and if you were interested in visiting a lot of museums, you would get more value out of it. But if not, then you might spend your trip going places you weren’t initially interested in visiting, just to get your money’s worth.

NO- for very brief stay in the city. Option would be to take the standard short term train ticket.

Reference: Full list of included services *discounted* with the Vienna card

SALZBURG CARD

Salzburg Card

24 / 48 / 72 hours priced at €27.00 / €36.00 / €42.00 respectively

In a nutshell

The Salzburg Card provides FREE admission to Salzburg’s museums, free use of the Fortress funicular, the Untersberg cableway, Salzach ship service (tour 1) and public transport. Salzburg Card holders can also take advantage of a number of discounts on concerts, theater performances or Excursions to destinations in the Salzburg vicinity.

My experience

Again, just like in Vienna, I only had a brief time in Salzburg too but unlike when I was in Vienna, I did not use public transport at all! However, I used my Salzburg card for the following (with the respective full price if without the card):

  • Funicular railway to reach the Hohensalzburg Fortress and entrance to the fortress €11.30
  • Mozart’s birthplace €10.00
  • Mozart’s residence €10.00
  • Museum of Modern Art €6.00
  • Cathedral museum €12.00

TOTAL: €49.30 – 24H Salzburg card €27.00 = SAVINGS €22.30

You see, entrance to museums and attractions are costly in Austria so I’m glad I had the card!

Hohensalzburg

Photo credit

It’s unfortunate though that I wasn’t able to take more advantage of the Salzburg card because of my limited time in the city. I was too engrossed with walking around the Old Town and even sitting for a while to join the midday Oktoberfest (I needed to rest from all the walking, you know…with a glass of cold beer at the side). I would have wanted to join cruise along Salzach river (€14.00) or the Untersberg cable car (€22.00) which is free for card holders!

Would I recommend it?

Yes! But plan your itinerary carefully, though without rushing through it all. It’s difficult, I know! Salzburg is such a charming city that it’s easy to forget the time just sitting at the plaza and listening to the church bells!

Reference: Full list of included services free of charge with the Salzburg card

INNSBRUCK CARD

innsbruck card

24 / 48 / 72 hours priced at €33.00 / €41.00 / €47.00 respectively

In a nutshell

Entrance to Innsbruck’s museums and attractions FREE of charge. Plus free travel on public transport provided by the IVB, the Sightseer hop-on hop-off bus and the lifts and cable cars around Innsbruck.

My experience

This time, I had 3.5 days allotted in Innsbruck, yay! I wanted to spend a day hiking with a friend who lives there so I had the 48H Innsbruck card which I used for (with the respective full price if without the card):

  • Innsbrucker Nordkettenbahnen cable cars (ascent and descent) €30.50
  • Patscherkofel cable car (ascent and descent) €20.00
  • Ambras Castle €10.00
  • The Sightseer hop on hop off bus €12.00
  • City Tower €3.50
  • Golden roof museum €4.00

TOTAL: €80.00 – 48H Innsbruck card €33.00 = SAVINGS €47.00*

*do not include the savings I made with the bus and tram rides. I lost count of the the number of times I used the bus and 1 trip averages about €2.00.

cable car innsbruck

Would I recommend it?

YES! This is the card where I saved the most! I used the Innsbruck card half day only for Day 1, spending most of it at the Hafelekar summit using the Patscherkofel cable car. And then Day 2 was spent strolling around the Old Town, visiting a couple of museums, getting on the hop on, hop off bus and going to Ambras Castle.

Reference: Full list of included services free of charge with the Innsbruck card

* All prices and hours were correct at the time of publishing. I am not responsible for any changes that have been made after the date of publishing. Please confirm costs and times directly with service providers.

Huge thank you to Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck Tourism offices for providing me the city cards to facilitate this review. As usual, all opinions are mine.

One thought on “The Austrian Tourist Cards: is it worth it?

  1. Who can write more in relation to you about these things!
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    If so, so please note it because it is somewhat unusual for me at the current moment, and not just for me, that is my opinion. I personally will locate an in-depth guide of yours
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    Like

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