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Salzburg Card - Free access to Salzburg's top attractions | Is Salzburg Card Worth the Price?

Salzburg is an inviting and beautiful city whatever time of the year you visit. Salzburg's 'Old Town' known for its baroque architecture was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Many tourists and visitors come for the 'Sound of Music' connection but the city has so much more to offer -  a number of historical sites, museums, a magnificent fortress, churches & cemeteries, beautiful gardens and many interesting places on the outskirts as well.

Salzburg Card - Free access to Salzburg's top attractions


Is Salzburg Card Worth It?


Considering that there are so many tourist attractions in the city, Salzburg Card is the best way to explore and discover Salzburg. The card is available in three validity versions (24, 48 or 72 hours) and offers one-time free access to Salzburg's top attractions. Not only that, it also gives you free use of public transportation. You can also avail many additional discounts on cultural events. The price for Salzburg Card is as follows:

Salzburg Card* Adults Children ages 6-15
01/01 – 30/04 & 01/11– 31/12 01/05 - 31/10 01/01 – 30/04 & 01/11– 31/12 01/05 - 31/10
24 hours € 24 € 27 € 12 € 13.50
48 hours € 32 € 36 € 16 € 18
72 hours € 37 € 42 € 18.50 € 21

*Prices correct at the time of publishing this post.

You can order your Salzburg Card online, or pick one up at your hotel reception or from any tourist information centres in and around the city. To give you an idea of the kind of savings you would make with the Salzburg Card, I have listed down some of the popular attractions in Salzburg below. All of these attractions are included in the Salzburg Card. If you were to visit these places without a card, the total would be around € 90+ per adult. Now, if you have a 48-hours Salzburg Card, it would work out to just € 36 per adult. Plus you get entry to so many other attractions as well.

In addition to the 10 attractions I have listed down you can visit the Toy Museum, enjoy a Salzburg City Cruise, visit the Mozart buildings, go on a guided tour of the Festival Halls and visit a number of other museums. Additional perks of the card include free public transportation (as already mentioned), a complimentary guidebook and a map of the city. You also get discounts from a number of companies like Avis Car Rental, City Tour Hop-On Hop-Off buses, Salzburg Walking Tours and even the Hallstatt Salt Mines.

Based on my experience, the Salzburg Card is an amazing deal and well worth its value especially if you are in the city for 2-3 days and plan to visit the popular attractions. I would recommend it without any hesitation as it works out to be excellent value for the money.


Hohensalzburg Castle


One of the biggest fully preserved castles in Central Europe, the Hohensalzburg Fortress is a popular tourist attraction and one of the key landmarks in the 'City of Mozart'. Ordered to be built in 1077 by Archbishop Gebhard, the main purpose of the fortress was to protect the state and the archbishops from antagonistic attacks. The successors of Archbishop Gebhard continuously developed the fortress and it acquired its current appearance under archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach. It is an impressive castle that is today open to the public.

You can hike up to the castle or take the funicular ride (also free with the Salzburg card) and then explore the castle at your own pace. We had amazing weather during our visit to the fortress and the views from the top were fabulous - the river Salzach and the town of Salzburg, all looking stunning from the fortress. And the best part - you can look out from all four sides of the fortress. The museum/exhibitions were interesting and offered an insight into the time gone by. Definitely worth a visit.

Hohensalzburg Castle

Hohensalzburg Castle

Hohensalzburg Castle

Hohensalzburg Castle

Hohensalzburg Castle


Marionette Museum


This one is a very small museum (takes around 10-20 minutes to see all the exhibits) within the Hohensalzburg Fortress. The exhibits include items from Mozart’s Magic Flute and the Sound of Music among other displays. May not be on everyone's list but I found it interesting.

Marionette Museum in Salzburg

Marionette Museum in Salzburg

Marionette Museum in Salzburg

St. Peter's Monastery, Cemetery & Catacombs


It might sound strange, but I actually love visiting cemeteries - there is something very peaceful and calm about such places. When we had visited Lloret de Mar many years back, we stumbled upon the Modernist Cemetery which was very close to the hotel we stayed in. I used to love going there. Similarly, the St. Peter's Monastery & Cemetery (right next to the entrance to the Hohensalzburg Fortress) was beautiful. With an interesting location (rocky facade on one side) and impressive mausoleums and sculptures throughout, the place is definitely worth a look. Everything looked well cared for. You can also visit the catacombs if interested.

St. Peter's Monastery, Cemetery & Catacombs

St. Peter's Monastery, Cemetery & Catacombs

St. Peter's Monastery, Cemetery & Catacombs


DomQuartier


One of the highlights while visiting Salzburg is the DomQuartier which is a museum complex with loads to see. The complex includes the State Rooms of the Salzburg Residence, the Curiosities Cabinet hall, the Cathedral, an art gallery and artworks of St Peters Abbey. The place is huge and you can easily spend the entire day just walking through the linked buildings. The audio guides are very informative and add to the overall experience. We were very surprised at how vast the complex was. Definitely, a must see if you are in Salzburg.

DomQuartier

DomQuartier

DomQuartier


Mirabell Palace and Gardens


Just beautiful! That is how I would describe the Mirabell Gardens. We visited twice - once during the day and once in the evening and both times the vibe and ambiance were enchanting. The baroque pleasure gardens right in the heart of the city was an important shooting location for the popular Hollywood musical 'The Sound of Music'. With an impressive view of Hohensalzburg Fortress and with a number of features within the garden (the Pegasus Fountain, the Grand Fountain with four groups of figures, a Rose garden) this garden is not to be missed. There are plenty of park seats and benches to relax on and just while away the time in the peaceful surroundings. Yes, the place can get crowded at times, but the palace and gardens have to be on your Salzburg itinerary.

Mirabell Palace and Gardens

Mirabell Palace and Gardens

Mirabell Palace and Gardens

Mirabell Palace and Gardens

Mirabell Palace and Gardens


Salzburg Museum | Neue Residenz


Housed within the Neue Residenz (new residence) in Salzburg's old town is the Salzburg Museum. Neue Residenz used to be the residence of Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau's brothers. Today it is home to the most visited museum in Salzburg. The museum is well laid out and informative. There are a number of different sections with permanent exhibits and some continuously changing exhibitions - all very interactive and well presented. Overall, it is a very comprehensive museum covering Salzburg's history from its early days to the present. Worth going if you have an interest in history or museums in general.

Salzburg Museum

Salzburg Museum


Panorama Museum


When we visited Salzburg, maintenance work was going on at this museum and the main entrance was closed. We had to take a passage from the Salzburg Museum to the Panorama Museum. It is a small museum so perfect for a short visit. The key attraction here is a large round painting (26-meter circumference) of the city of Salzburg and its surroundings. Telescopes are provided to allow the visitors to take a closer look. It is a unique and interesting installation that offers an amazing panorama of the city.



Hellbrunn Palace and Trick Fountains


Hellbrunn Palace is located outside of central Salzburg. You can drive down to the place or take Line 25 from the main train station in Salzburg. The palace stands in a large park which it shares with the neighboring Salzburg zoo. Commissioned by Prince Archbishop Markus Sittikus von Hohenems, this beautiful summer residence at the foot of the Hellbrunn mountain was built by the famous Cathedral architect, Santino Solari. The palace was where Markus Sittikus hosted his extravagant parties.  Today, the palace serves as a museum, offering an insight into the life of Markus Sittikus.

The trick fountain tours at Hellbrunn are guided tours conducted at certain times of the day. And true to their name, the fountains are definitely tricky and lots of fun. It starts off slow but builds up as you progress from one fountain to the other. The guide during our visit was a lovely lady who made sure that all of us had a wonderful time - lots of laughter as people got unexpectedly squirted with water during the tour. A visit to the Hellbrunn Palace and Trick Fountains is highly recommended while visiting Salzburg.

Hellbrunn Palace and Trick Fountains

Hellbrunn Palace and Trick Fountains


Salzburg Zoo


A huge cliff on one side acts as a natural compound to the Salzburg Zoo, which is located very near Hellbrunn Palace. You could club a visit to both these places because of their close proximity. The layout of the zoo was unusual - a long line - so you might double back on certain animal enclosures. A good place to spend some time especially if you have kids.

Salzburg Zoo


Cable-Car Ride at Untersberg


One of my favourite activities with the Salzburg Card was going up to the top of the Untersberg mountains for some really amazing views. The place is around half an hour away from Salzburg and is very popular with visitors and locals alike. There are two gondola lifts operating here and the journey to the top is around 10 minutes. Once you reach the top, you can admire the stunning panoramic views or choose one of the many hiking routes. We did a bit of both and thoroughly enjoyed it. If you plan to hike then ensure you have the right gear as some of the trails are really rugged. But be assured you will find the most amazing views from the top of the peaks. We spent a few hours here and enjoyed it a lot.

Cable-Car Ride at Untersberg

Cable-Car Ride at Untersberg

Cable-Car Ride at Untersberg

Cable-Car Ride at Untersberg

Cable-Car Ride at Untersberg


Thank you to Tourismus Salzburg for providing us with Salzburg Cards. All views, as always, remain solely our own.

30 comments:

  1. These photo's are stunning!!

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  2. Great post. I would love to go there. Looks like there is lots to do

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  3. This is one of my bucket list Christmas break places to visit.

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  4. This looks so beautiful - I love your pic of the bear in the water!!

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  5. This looks so beautiful - I love your pic of the bear in the water!!

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  6. I've never thought of visiting Salzburg until now. It looks absolutely beautiful. I've spoken to hubby already about visiting. Mission Salzburg is on.

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  7. Looks beautiful and your photography is stunning. This is a place on my bucket list.

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    1. Thank you. I am glad my photos have inspired you to visit Austria!

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  8. I spent a lot of time in Salzburg as a child, this has brought back so many happy memories. I used to love going to the Mirabell Gardens, I whiled away many an hour there. Beautiful city.

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    1. We loved Mirabell Gardens - very beautiful and such an amazing location.

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  9. It's a few years since I visited Salzburg now but I found it quite enchanting and the torte were to die for.

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  10. Wow this looks a fascinating place to explore!

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  11. Your information is so so helpful. Stunning photos. Salzburg is on my to do list

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  12. Thank you for the information. What an interesting looking place. I hope I can get to go to Salzburg one day.

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  13. How interesting !! I have been to Zell am Zee but only for skiing... Would love to have gone to Salzburg .. and these pics show me how much I would have enjoyed it ... and I spy lots of Sound of Music sights there too

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    1. Yes, there are a number of 'Sound of Music' sights (Mirabell Gardens and the Pegasus Fountain, Schloss Leopoldskron and the Hellbrunn palace to name a few) all over the city.

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  14. It looks delightful, culture & country side so close. The panoramic views are simply beautiful!

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  15. Looks lovely and I hope to visit soon. I have found similar city cards to be good value in other European destinations.

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  16. Its amazing how beautiful places are so close to home! we are so lucky to live so close to these amazing places. Think I'll be adding this to my to see list.

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  17. Definitely on my bucket list. I've been lots of places but not Austria yet and it looks stunning

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  18. I would love to visit Hohensalzburg Castle someday.

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  19. Fantastic :-) I am planning on visiting in the next couple of years.

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  20. Would love to visit Salzburg after these great photos!

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  21. beautiful place to visit,culture scenery good food and happy relaxe people well worth a visit

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  22. Looks like an amazing place, think my husband would love it there!

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  23. LOVED THIS! We are heading to Germany, Austria, and Prague 3 months from tomorrow and this just got me all excited again :) Can't wait to see all the amazing sights and some of the Sound of Music sites. Thanks for sharing your amazing pictures.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Samantha. I wish you a fabulous and memorable holiday x

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