Salzburg Card review and proposed itineraries

Why it's not a rip-off

Salzburg has a lot more to offer than a few Sound of Music filming locations. The Salzburg Card provides the proof with free access to 24 world class attractions including the Hohensalzburg Fortress, Hellbrunn Palace and the birthplace of Mozart.

The view over Salzburg from the Hohensalzburg Fortress included in the Salzburg Card.

We bought the Salzburg Card on two occasions and each time got more than our money’s worth. The first time was on a family day trip from Innsbruck and the second on a 3-day visit with a friend.

Why consider the Salzburg Card?

The Salzburg old town is a UNESCO world heritage site. As such, there are plenty of historical sites to explore in quite a small geographical area. One of these is the Hohensalzburg Fortress that watches over the city. Even if you’re not interested in the history, you would want to get up there for the excellent views it offers over Salzburg and surroundings.

However, the Salzburg Card doesn’t only include historical sites and museums. It also takes you on a river cruise, gives you a taste of famous Austrian beer, introduces you to the animals in the Salzburg Zoo, ferries you up a mountain, and lets you get wet in the gardens of Hellbrunn Palace.

A cruise on the Salzach River is included in the Salzburg Card.
You can take in the sights of Salzburg from a boat on the Salzach River.

What’s more is that the Salzburg Card includes the public transport that takes you to the included attractions. AND it is valid for 24, 48 or 72 hours from the time you first use it and not only on specific calendar days. In addition, you receive a discount on some other attractions and activities like the hop on hop off bus tours.

The Salzburg Card Price

SALZBURG CARD ADULTS CHILDREN 6-15 YEARS
24 Hours €27      *€24 €13,50     *€12
48 Hours €36      *€32 €18           *€16
72 Hours €42      *€37 €21           *€18,50

*Winter price from 1 November to 30 April

How do you know the intention is not to rip you off? The Salzburg Card Price is reduced in winter when some of the attractions are closed.

Read more: Plan your Salzburg to Hallstatt day trip with my detailed guide

Where to buy the Salzburg Card

Buy the Salzburg Card online or at any Salzburg information and ticket office. In addition, most hotels sell the Salzburg Card. If you buy it online, you must exchange your voucher for the actual card at the main tourist information office on Mozart Square in the Salzburg old town or the one at the main station. Remember to grab a Salzburg Card booklet, listing all the attractions with their opening times, when you get your card.

The tourist information office where you buy the Salzburg Card is on Mozart Square where the horse carriages depart from.
The tourist information office where you buy the Salzburg Card is at Mozart Square where the horse carriage rides also depart from.

List of attractions with normal prices

ATTRACTION NORMAL PRICE ATTRACTION NORMAL PRICE
Hohensalzburg Fortress €12.00 Hellbrunn Palace & Trick Fountains €12.50
Salzburg Zoo €11.50 Salzach Cruise €15
Bible World Interactive Centre €8.00 Museum of Natural History €8.00

 

Catacombs €2.00 Domquartier Salzburg €12.00
Cathedral Excavations €3.00 Festival Halls €7
Folklore Museum €3

 

Stiegl-Brauwelt  €12.50

 

Mozart’s Birthplace €11.00 Mozart’s Residence €11.00
Museum of Modern Art Salzburg – Rupertinum €6.00 Museum of Modern Art Salzburg – Mönchsberg €8.00
Cable Car Untersberg €23.50 Panorama Museum €4.00
Salzburg Christmas Museum €6.00 Salzburg Museum – New Residence €8.50
Salzburg Open Air Museum €11.00 Georg Trakl Memorial & Research Centre €5
Toy Museum €4.50 Mönchsberg Lift €3.60

How we made the most of our Salzburg Card

24 Hours

Our day trip to Salzburg from Innsbruck started at the tourist information office where we bought our tickets. As we already had an idea what we wanted to see and do, the tourism official helped us by marking everything on a map. She also gave us valuable advice on how to get to Hellbrun Palace with the help of the free public transport included in the Salzburg Card.

The excavations at the Salzburg Cathedral is included in the Salzburg Card.
Use your Salzburg Card to see the excavations at the Salzburg Cathedral.

We started our tour at the Salzburg Cathedral and had a look at the cathedral excavations (€3). From here, we took a leisurely stroll through the Salzburg old town to Mozart’s birthplace (€11). After learning some fascinating facts about the musical wunderkind we grabbed some brunch-on-the-go at the little Spar supermarket in the same building.

The Hellbrunn Palace trick fountains are included in the Salzburg Card
Be prepared to get a little wet on a tour of the unique Hellbrunn Palace trick fountains.

Brunch in hand, we made our way along the Salzach River to the docking station for a leisurely cruise (€15). A bus trip (€4,80 return) to Hellbrunn Palace followed where we had lots of fun getting wet under Archbishop Markus Sittikus’ trick fountains (€12.50).

Back in Salzburg, we used the Salzburg Card for the last time to explore the Hohensalzburg Fortress (€12.00). Our day was rounded off perfectly with a beer and some traditional food at a local festival on Mozart square before heading back to Innsbruck.

Salzburg Card Price = €27

Normal Attraction Prices = €58.30

Total Savings = €31.30

Read more: Also planning on visiting Innsbruck? Then my Innsbruck Card review will be helpful too.

48 Hours

This time, I had a day and a half to explore Salzburg with a good friend from South Africa. Irma and I bought the 48-hour Salzburg Card at the Altstadt Hotel Hofwirt where we stayed. Since our room wasn’t ready yet when we arrived around noon, we set off immediately for the Salzburg old town with our cards in hand.

Read more: An honest review of the Altstadt Hotel Hofwirt Salzburg

Our first stop was the Domquartier Salzburg (€12), the cathedral museum complex. We were quite disappointed to find some areas closed with no reasons given. However, we marvelled at Rembrandt’s Old Woman Praying in the art gallery and took in the views of Mozart Square from the terrace above the cathedral arcade.

When it was time to go inside the cathedral, entry was denied. It was only when we stepped outside that we found out why we couldn’t access so many areas. The reason was a very important meeting of the Order of the Holy Grail to Jerusalem. I kid you not. It was like a scene from a Dan Brown novel, and the arrival of the knights and other very important guests kept us intrigued and entertained for a long time.

Knights arrive at the Salzburg Cathedral which is included in the Salzburg Card.
Knights of the Order of the Holy Grail to Jerusalem arrive at Salzburg Cathedral.

After all the excitement, we took the funicular to the nearby Hohensalzburg Fortress (€12) before heading back to our hotel.

Our first stop on day 2 was the Mozart Residence (€11). From here, we walked across the street to Mirabell Gardens before taking the bus (€4,80 return) to Hellbrunn Palace (€12.50). It was our best intention to go to the Stiegl-Brauwelt and taste some beer from here, but we got side-tracked by a flea market on the banks of the Salzach River.

Hellbrunn Palace is included in the Salzburg Card.
A visit to Hellbrunn Palace is a must when in Salzburg.

We attended the Mozart Dinner Concert in the evening for which we could have received a 5% discount if we bought the tickets after buying the Salzburg Card.

Salzburg Card Price = €36

Normal Attraction Prices = €52.30

Total Savings = €16.30

The bottom line: We saved money with the Salzburg Card even on a very relaxed 48-hour schedule. The 72-hour card gives you even more flexibility.

When not to consider the Salzburg Card

Obviously, if your time is limited or you just want to visit the Hohensalzburg Fortress and otherwise walk through the Salzburg old town and Mirabell Gardens, you might be better off buying individual tickets.

  • This article is only meant to illustrate that the Salzburg Card is indeed good value for money. Visit the official website for a complete list of all the attractions and services as well as the opening times and other relevant information.

Read more: Visiting Austria in winter? Find out what to do if you don’t ski.

Disclosure: Where appropriate, I include affiliate links in blog posts or pages to help you access relevant services and attractions. I may earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you, to help me maintain the blog and bring you more content if you click through and make a purchase.

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Lois Alter Mark

The Salzburg Card sounds like a good deal and a great way to see the city’s highlights. I’d love to visit, and I would definitely take advantage of this. Those trick fountains look awesome!

interNATionalcaty

I will be there next month and I can’t wait. I will most likely be doing a day trip. Looks like that there is so much to see and do.

Sreekar

Absolutely stunning views of the castle from boat on the Salzach River. Amazing picture! Having heard the pros of the Salzburg card, guess its worth it when in Salzburg:)

Bob R

I second your vote – like similar cards in other cities, it’s a terrific deal. I used one last year on a whim, deciding to spend about 20 hrs in the city while in transit. Mostly museums I hadn’t been to you yet but also another trip up to the Hohensalzburg Fortress.

Koen
Koen

Awesome to read this post with a clear overview of what’s included in the Card, and, what you can save.
We are budget travellers, so this is very useful if we would visit Salzburg.

Carolina Colborn
Carolina Colborn

I will visit 4 in 48 hours and save the same amount as I pay for the card. Great value!

Nick Wheatley

The Salzburg card does sound like a great deal. We often wonder if we should buy these city cards as we’re worried we’ll spend so much time rushing from one attraction to the next trying to fit everything in within the allotted time that we won’t stop to enjoy ourselves.

Salzburg seems so compact and filled with cools sites that it would be easy to get your money’s worth with this card though. Especially if you get a river cruise and a chance to sample some beer!

Jenna

Thanks for the great breakdown! I always wonder if these cards are a good value for their money. Salzburg looks like such a wonderful city and I will definitely get the Salzburg Card when we visit next summer. Looks like so many great things are included with the card! I’d love to visit the Hohensalzburg Fortress, take the Cable Car and take a river cruise. Can never resist trying some local beer, too!

Haze Tolentino

I am a lover of UNESCO sites. I’ve never been there but I will include it on my list! And I think, based on the photos, Salzburg Card is really not a rip-off. Were you able to explore everything in the area?

Travelling Dany

I’ve been musing over a trip to Salzburg for their Christmas markets and thus this article has been particularly useful to me. I think that the Salzburg Card might be a great option to save some money, as we’re not going to rent a car. Thank you very much for the info!

sabrina

Great post! I always enjoy insights of this kind of “tourist options”.. I’m always like “naaah, not worth it”. But when you look deep into what’s included (as you’ve done here) it’s actually very convenient!! Especially for weekend getaways, I gues. Safe travels!

Anisa
Anisa

I have done cards like this in other cities and I agree the thing that determines if they are a good value or not is what you are planning on doing! I usually want to see as much as possible so these cards are a great deal. Looks like you did a good job of making the most of them too.

Anya Carion
Anya Carion

I adore Salzburg! I visited about two years ago and fell in love! I had no idea about the Salzburg card, I probably wasted so much money ahhh 🙁 Next time I’ll be sure to get it!

Ariana del rio

There are two things I love in the world, and both are mentioned in this article, Sound of music and Mozart! The card is the way to go, and we did something similar for 3 days in Copenhagen. Was totally worth it. So many places to visit when I finally make it over to Austria. Waiting for a spring or Summer trip though

This Epic World

This is a fab idea! I love these cards that allow you to explore a place by yourself rather than going with a tour agency

yasmin
yasmin

Salzburg seems like a cool city! I’ve never been there and usually i’m not much of a planner, so i wouldn’t even think about this haha. So thanks for the tip! It will definately safe some money!

Nathalie Salcedo

I love this <3 very detailed and informative. The card seems to be a very good deal as well I supposed. So much things to see and do here.

Sarah

Thank you for sharing, I really appreciate all the prices you put in the post. It make it so helpful when planning a trip and this Salzburg Card sounds great!

Lizzie

Amazing – I did not know there was so much to do in Salzburg! The city card sounds like a really good deal, normally I find them a bit of a rip-off! You’ve placed Salzburg firmly on my to-do list, thanks for sharing!

Josephine

I’ll definitely remember the Salzburg card next time I go to visit. Great post and thank you for the tip!

Erin | The Rendezvous Spot

We have been talking about heading to Salzburg in the next year or two, love this card! We’re always looking to make the most out of our travel budget!

Amy

Really helpful article, I’m never sure if cards like this are worth the money. This one seems like you can save a lot with some careful planning

Nerissa

I had no idea a Salzburg card even existed! So great to know, I really want to visit here, so this is super helpful.

Rachel Silverwood
Rachel Silverwood

Great post! The card looks like a really good deal if you want to see all the highlights of Salburg thanks for the tips 🙂

Brittany
Brittany

This makes me want to go back to Salzburg so bad! We loved the Hohensalzburg Fortress and can’t wait for our kids to see it all with us someday.

Josy A

That does sound like a good deal, especially if you’d like to squeeze a lot into a small amount of sightseeing time!

I’m not sure if i’d be up for this, or if I’d just choose a couple of the places I am most interested in and buy single tickets. It’s good to know there are options though!!

Yvette Benhamou

What a great deal. I can’t believe it includes transportation. Those trick fountains look like a good time.