Hey there! Planning a trip to Salzburg, Austria? Wondering if the Salzburg Card will save you money?
My family visited Salzburg in December 2023. My kids were ages 16 and 19 and our day to use the Salzburg Card was Christmas Day.
What is open in Salzburg on Christmas Day? A lot more than we expected… In Austria, Christmas Eve is the day when everything shuts down and then many people are out and about on Christmas Day. Altstadt (the Old Town of Salzburg) was crowded and festive. Some shops and restaurants were closed, but popular attractions were open and we had no problems filling our day with fun activities on the Salzburg Card.
Was the Salzburg Card worth it? Well, we saved money with it on Christmas Day without really trying. The Salzburg Card should easily save you money if you fill your itinerary with the included activities.
Read on to find out what we did and how you can get the most for your money from the Salzburg Card.
How We Used the Salzburg Card
The Salzburg Tourism office gave us two 72-hour Salzburg Cards for review. We bought two more Adult 24-hour Salzburg Cards for €28 each, at the winter rate. In warm weather months, prices are a few euros higher, and more activities are open.
Our goal for Christmas Day was to visit Hohensalzburg Fortress (with funicular) and Mozart's Birthplace in Altstadt. There are several other included activities in Altstadt but we didn't plan for them in advance. We just wanted to soak up the sights and flavors of Altstadt Salzburg.
We loved the first two activities and they took a few hours combined. From there we ate kebab for lunch (yum!) and wandered Altstadt, which is filled with sculpture, architecture, shopping, and dining.
We decided to take the Mönchsberg Lift to the Museum der Moderne Salzburg Mönchsberg (modern art museum). Like the Fortress, this museum sits on the cliffs above Altstadt. The museum was closed but the views of Altstadt and the Fortress were fantastic! This was one of the best parts of our day.
We walked along the trail at the top of the cliff past medieval fortress walls, stopping often to take photos of the city view. Eventually, we found stairs back down to Altstadt. We walked through the grounds of St. Peter's Abbey but did not use the Salzburg Card to visit the catacombs. We considered visiting the museums of Dom Quartier but decided to enjoy the Christmas Market and Mirabell Gardens (both free) instead.
How Much Did We Save?
When we have an all-inclusive pass we usually build our itinerary around it and do a lot for a budget price. But that wasn't our goal in Salzburg. It was Christmas Day. Not everything was open, we wanted a relaxed pace, and there were a lot of free activities we also wanted to enjoy.
Honestly, we didn't try to maximize the Salzburg Card and I didn't do the math until just now. AND… WE STILL SAVED MONEY!
- Hohensalzburg Fortress with Basic Ticket and Funicular both ways – €14.50 per adult (age 15+)
- Mozart's Birthplace – €13.50 per adult (age 19+)
- Mönchsberg Lift, ascent only – €3 per adult (age 15+)
- TOTAL – €31 (a savings of €3 per adult)
We paid €28 per adult for the 24-hour Salzburg Card and broke even on two of Salzburg's Top 10 activities. If we had visited the museums of Dom Quartier (€13 per adult), used public transportation, or done any of the other included activities in Altstadt, our savings would have grown.
The Salzburg Card is available in 24-hour, 48-hour, or 72-hour options. If you buy the 48 or 72-hour Salzburg Card, you need to use it on consecutive days. If you start using it in the middle of the first day, it will end in the middle of the day 24, 48, or 72 hours later.
The Salzburg Card is intended for children and adults over age 6. Children under age 6 will get in free to most activities. The Child Salzburg Card is for ages 6-15. The Adult Card is for ages 16+. Youth discounts vary between activities, and the Salzburg Card was not a good deal for my 16-year-old on the activities we chose.
How to Save More
There are two ways to save money on activities with the Salzburg Card:
- Included Activities
- Discounted Activities
The Salzburg Card currently includes 25-30 included activities. These are activities that charge admission but are free to you with the Salzburg Card. The more you do, the more you save.
Hellbrunn Palace and Trick Fountains is on the list of included activities. If it had been open during our winter trip, this would have been a must-do activity and the Salzburg Card would have saved us €15 per adult. I would have done this on Day 2. The difference between the 24-hour card and the 48-hour card is €9 in the summer.
Add the included Salzburg Zoo Hellbrunn to that day and save another €15 per adult. With the Altstadt activities we did on Day 1 (€31) and these Hellbrunn activities on Day 2 (€30), you would save €21 (34%) with a 48-hour pass – plus anything you saved with the public transportation benefits and any additional included activities.
The Salzburg Card will get you discounts on other activities. We visited the Salzburg Salt Mine in Hallein and it was one of our teens' favorite activities of our whole Austria trip. The tour included a train, two slides, and a boat, and we walked into Germany – all inside the mountain!
I booked the Salt Mine tour on the official website before our trip and paid full price. But I could have had a $5 discount per adult if I had made reservations by phone and mentioned the Salzburg Card.
Add the Keltenblitz Alpine Slide (summer) and Museum of the Celts in Hallein – both 20% off with Salzburg Card – and we could have saved €10 on Day 3. The summer 72-hour Salzburg Card is €6 more per adult than the 48-hour card.
With this 3-day itinerary, the Salzburg Card saves €25 per adult on these popular Salzburg activities.
You can also get public transportation and hotel discounts with the Salzburg Card.
Some public transportation is included with the Salzburg Card. Just show your card as you board a bus or trolley. A day pass for the Salzburg core zone currently costs €4.70 per adult if you buy before you board. So, a 72-hour Salzburg Card could save you €14.10 more per adult on transportation.
The list of included lines is limited on the Salzburg Tourism website. Trains are not included. We used it on the bus to the Salt Mine and I'm not certain that it was included. But the bus driver didn't say anything…
You should be good to go with the Salzburg Card if you board a bus or trolley in Salzburg. If you want to use the Salzburg Card beyond that, I would find the route on Google Maps and then check the included lines on the Salzburg Tourism website. In our experience, you'll probably be OK on most Salzburg buses.
The official Salzburg Tourism website offers hotel+Salzburg Card packages starting at €69 for one-night accommodation and a 24-hour Salzburg Card for one adult. I had a hard time finding that price in a search, but rates looked competitive. It's one more option that could save you money as you plan your Salzburg trip.
When and How to Buy
You can buy the Salzburg Card anytime. I recommend that you buy the Salzburg Card online before your trip to save time or whenever you are ready to use it. It is immediately available on your smartphone when you buy online. You can buy up to 5 cards per order and share them with family or friends. The Salzburg Card will activate when you use it at your first activity.
You can also buy a physical Salzburg Card at
- Tourist Information Offices
- Salzburg Airport
- Some Activities
- Some Hotels
- and other heavily visited places
We decided to buy physical cards and hoped to buy them at our hotel. But our hotel didn't sell the Salzburg Card. So we bought it first thing in the morning of our first day from the Salzburg Tourism office in Altstadt.
I love all-inclusive activity cards like the Salzburg Card because they make planning a trip easier and less expensive. They usually include a city's most popular activities – like Hohensalzburg Fortress and Mozart's Birthplace – and make it easy to try other activities for one budget-friendly price.
It's easy to plan your day around a set list of activities and get a lot for your money.
The Salzburg Card includes many of the city's top activities and offers discounts on many more. Starting at €28 per adult and €14 for kids, it's one of the most affordable city cards I've seen – and it includes public transportation! We broke even with just two activities.
I hope that our experience with the Salzburg Card helps your family plan a great trip!