Salzburg

Your Guide to the Salzburg Card

So here’s the deal: the Salzburg Card is a steal! As in, you will save money with this card, especially if you will be in Salzburg for a few days. It’s by far the best city discount card I’ve ever heard of, and we absolutely, without hesitation, recommend getting one when you get to Salzburg! Here are the things you need to know. 

I’d like to make sure you know this is not a sponsored post, and I did not receive a free or discounted Salzburg Card. I’m not working with the City of Salzburg or their tourism board, I just want to make sure people know about this incredible card!

The Essentials

Here are the quick facts you need to know to help you decide which card to get!

This card is good at all the Salzburg area attractions and museums. 

All of them. As in, every single one. Once you pay for this card (with cash or credit card, by the way), you don’t have to pay for anything else but food. It is truly your pass to the city! My husband was commenting on how convenient it was not to have to worry if a place will take a credit card or cash (some only take cash). You also won’t have to stop at an ATM multiple times a day, and you won’t constantly be reaching for or flashing your cash for the world to see!

Everything you see in this photo is included in the Salzburg Card, and then some!
You can use it on all public transportation in and around Salzburg. 

That’s right! All buses, cable cars, etc., are included in the price of your ticket. Salzburg is very walkable, and most things are close together, but if you want to visit Hellbrunn Palace, the Salzburg Open Air Museum, or other attractions farther afield, you can get there for free on the bus! 

The card of your choice is good for hours, not calendar days. 

This is genius! For example, if you get a 48 hour pass and you start using it at 1:00pm on Friday, you can use it until 1:00pm on Sunday. This “two-day” pass just became a three-day pass. Additionally, you don’t have to leave wherever you are at 1:00pm on Sunday, you just have to be in by 1:00pm. Save the Hohensalzburg Fortress, Salzburg Museum, or other time-consuming attraction for last and you can effectively score some extra hours this way! 

Sneak peek inside the Domquartier Museum!
Here are the Top 6 biggest “bang for your buck”:
  • Salzach River Boat Tour, worth 15 Euros
  • Domquartier Salzburg, worth 13 Euros
  • Hohensalzburg Fortress, worth 12.50 Euros
  • Hellbrunn Palace, worth 12.50 Euros
  • Mozart Birthplace, worth 11 Euros 
  • Mozart Residence, worth 11 Euros
Get the most bang for your buck by visiting Hellbrunn Palace!

How it Works

You can pick up your card at one of two places: the Salzburg Hauptbahnhof Tourist Information Office or the Tourist Information Office on Mozartplatz (Mozart Square) in the Old Town. You will write your name, the date, and your start time on the card, and you’re ready to go! You can also purchase your cards online, but you will have to pick up your card at one of the two locations mentioned above before you start exploring the museums. 

You will, however, receive an email confirmation after your online purchase good for one bus ride to one of the card pick up locations. 

You will have your card scanned at each attraction or on the bus. Sometimes you’ll scan it yourself (like for the cable car-funicular to the Hohensalzburg Fortress), sometimes you’ll hand it to a ticket taker to scan and receive a paper ticket in return, and sometimes the ticket taker will simply scan your card for you and let you through. We did not end up taking the bus anywhere, but I would imagine you simply scan your card on the bus’s card reader and take a seat! 

Where can you get this amazing view? From the Lookout Tower at Hohensalzburg Fortress. It’s included with your Salzburg Card!

Good to Know

As always, I like to give a few quick lessons learned from my own experiences so you can be just as prepared, if not more! Here is a quick run-down of the things you need to know: 

  • There are plenty of restrooms inside the museums. I always need to know where the FREE restrooms are, and I always assume others want to know, too! I have this thing against paying to use a public toilet, which is the standard in Europe!
  • Your card will be good for one entry into each attraction. 
  • You can take photos in most attractions and museums, but not in the Mozart Birthplace or Mozart Residence.
  • There are multiple museums within the Hohensalzburg Fortress that cost more than the basic ticket price, including the Marionette Museum, State Rooms, and the Fortress Museum. All these are included with your Salzburg Card without any extra charges!
Don’t miss the Marionette Museum inside the Fortress!

What We Did

We were in Salzburg from about 4:00pm Thursday until 6:00am Sunday. We could have planned a little better, but we ended up starting our Salzburg cards at 10:15am on Saturday, so they would have been good until 10:15am Monday (so if we had been staying all day or even half a day on Monday, we could have gotten in at least 2-3 more museums Monday morning, or used them for the bus to the train station on our way out of town!). 

We ended up spending 38 Euros each for the 48 hour card, and we visited 11 attractions. If we had paid for all these attractions separately, we would have spent 104.60 Euros each! Y’all. That’s HUGE! Here is the list of the attractions we visited and the cost for each. 

You can visit Salzburg Cathedral for free, but this balcony view can only be had with a ticket to the Domquartier Museum—included with the Salzburg Card!
Day 1

We started at 10:15am and went basically non-stop until 5:30pm! Bring your walking shoes, folks.

  • Salzburg Museum Neue Residenz: €9
  • Salzburg Christmas Museum: €6
  • Panorama Museum: €4.50
  • Domquartier Salzburg: €13
  • Sound of Music World: €8
  • Mozart’s Birthplace: €11
Day 2

We wanted to do the fortress first thing and beat the crowds. I definitely recommend doing it this way! You can go up to the Fortress on the Funicular at 9:00am, though the Fortress itself does not open until 9:30am. We picked up some breakfast to-go on our way there and ate it picnic-style with a view of the town from the Fortress! We started at 9:00am and were absolutely pooped by 4:00pm!

  • Fortress Funicular: €8.80
  • Hohensalzburg Fortress: €16.30
  • St. Peter’s Catacombs: €2
  • Salzburg City Cruises: €15
  • Mozart Residence: €11
I insisted that the City Cruise people let me take charge!
Pro Tip: Get your Salzburg City Cruise ticket in advance! Time slots are limited some times of the year, and the time you want may sell out quickly!

There are many other attractions beyond just this list, so if these are not your cup of tea, don’t worry! You can find the full list along with prices and opening hours on the Salzburg Card web page!

So what do you think? Is the Salzburg Card for you? 

Want more? Check out my Austria Page!

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