December 17, 2017

Easily Save Money While Traveling

Many cities in Europe offer tourists a city card which includes discounts or free admission to many of the local museums, castles, tours and some even include transportation.

Munich has one.  London has one.  Paris has one. Prague has one.  Innsbruck and Salzburg both offer one too!Eiffel Tower Paris France

Have you ever wondered if they are worth purchasing?

During my trip this summer I purchased cards in both Innsbruck and Salzburg and I can definitely tell you that the answer to the question is a definite . . . maybe!

Let’s look at the details of what they offered.Innsbruck Card Innsbruck Austria

The Innsbruck Card says it offers “free entrance to all museums and places of interest in and around the city.  Plus free use of cable cars, local public transport services, the “Sightseer” city tour bus and the “Kristallwelten Shuttle” bus, discounts on shopping, sports and fun.”

Due to my schedule I only had about 24 hours to enjoy Innsbruck on my own so I purchased a card for 24 hours which was 29 Euros.  It is important to note, these cards are good for 24 hours from the time you start your touring and not just 1 day.Innsbruck Austria

During my 24 hours I was able to visit the Hofburg, Hofkirche, Schloss Ambras, Swarovski Kristallwelten and the Nordkettenbahnen plus the buses getting to/from both Schloss Ambras and Swarovski Kristallwelten.  If I had purchased each of these separately I would have spent 64.50 Euros.

So in Innsbruck my 29 euro expenditure was worth every penny!


Salzburg Card Salzburg Austria

The Salzburg Card includes “. . . free admission to Salzburg’s museums, free use of the Fortress funicular, the Untersberg cableway, Salzach ship service 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.”

I decided to purchase a 48 hour Salzburg Card for 34 Euros.  While in Salzburg not only did I visit many of the sights included for free; Hellbrunn Palace and Trick Fountains, the Catacombs, Hohensalzburg Fortress and Cable Railway, Residenz Gallery and State Rooms and the Stiegl Brauwelt; but I also used the bus system fairly extensively getting to my hotel, Hanger 7, Stiegl Brauwelt, Hellbrunn and Augustiner Beer Gardens.  If I had not had the Salzburg Card I would have spent 58.70 Euros.Hellbrunn Palace and Trick Fountain Salzburg Austria

Again my expenditure was worth every penny!

Besides the savings both cards afforded me I enjoyed not waiting in line for tickets, not needing to carry so much cash, and the transit systems were very easy since I was able to get on the bus I wanted.

So why did I say they were maybe worth purchasing?

While in my case both cards were worth purchasing but every traveler or city may be different.  My advice is to look into the cards beforehand knowing what you would like to visit. Also make sure you temper your wants down a bit because reality can be a totally different thing! This is the only way you can see if it makes financial sense to purchase the cards.

I have heard that people don’t recommend purchasing these cards because the savings is only a few Euros.  I disagree.   Even if I had not saved any money on these cards, the ease of use at each site or transportation was well worth it, in my humble opinion!


Have you purchased any city cards?
Did you think they were worth it?

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  2. Lisa says:

    I love that it saves money and simplifies your travel experience. No wasting time figuring out the subway or train ticket machines because you have your ticket in the card. Little details that simplify the travel day and save you money.

  3. Love finding ways to stretch a dollar – I have bought passes for trains and some cities and found it worth it
    Eileen Ludwig recently posted..Colors Universal Islands of Adventure Zeus Landing

  4. Cheryl says:

    I think you’re right and it all depends on what you want to see. The one in Berlin is worth it as public transit here is expensive … my issue is that the museums that are actually included in the card are not ones I’m interested in seeing. 🙁
    Cheryl recently posted..The Doors of Szentendre, Hungary.

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Very true! You do have to check each card carefully to make sure the sights you want to visit are included.

  5. I used the one in Paris and it was a good deal. You really need to make sure you hit the museums on the card but for most cities this is worth it. The only one I might hesitate on is London since many of the museums there are free anyways. The Paris one including just about everything!
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..Where in the world am I?

  6. Sophie says:

    These cards are usually very good value, especially in places where public transport is expensive. I always seem to forget to buy one, though…
    Sophie recently posted..Where in the World?

  7. robin says:

    Would be a great idea if you only had a day and were determined to squeeze every drop of cultural value out of it!
    robin recently posted..Las Estaciones

  8. 24 hours? hmmmm… i hope they also come with a free foot massage voucher after running all around to squeeze everything in 24 hours.

    thanks for the helpful tip!
    RON | recently posted..suck, squeeze, bang and blow

  9. Laurel says:

    I liked seeing the breakdown of how much money you would have spent without the card and seeing that you did save a lot of money. I’ve never purchased one, but can see how they would be worthwhile, especially if you were trying to pack a lot in a short period of time.
    Laurel recently posted..Old South Cemetery Photos at Twilight

  10. Denise says:

    The Dublin Pass and the Zurich card also save you loads of money. I checked the Budapest one but it’s not really worth it at all.
    Denise recently posted..Back from Bali…and already worrying about Vietnam and Australia

  11. inka says:

    I never bother to buy one because I often decide on the spur of the moment which place in a city I want to see. But, I should revise my attitude. Great tips you have offered here.
    inka recently posted..Van/Turkey- where the earthquake hit

  12. jade says:

    Depending on how much time we have and if we haven’t seen and want to see what is offered, we’ll buy one. We are all about saving money- so we’ll do whatever possible to save a few pennies!
    jade recently posted..Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

  13. Jan Ross says:

    These are also available in most big U.S. cities. We had one in New York recently that really saved us a lot of money.
    Jan Ross recently posted..Stupid Travel Mistakes We Made

  14. Renee says:

    I almost always buy either a city card or an entertainment book depending on which city I’ll be visiting. It usually pays for itself with one purchase because I save so much money by using it. It’s a definite smart buy.
    Renee recently posted..Staycations: learning to love the best of where you live on a budget

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I have purchased entertainment books before and stopped because I never had the coupon with me when I needed it! It’s a personal flaw 🙂

  15. I’ve never done a city card because I don’t usually like to pack things into one or even a few days. But I always look into them, and if the math works out one day, I’ll definitely buy it.
    The Travel Chica recently posted..A Foreigner’s Perspective on Argentina Elections


  1. […] my last visit to Mozart’s city I purchased a Salzburg card which included free use of the busses and many discounted or free entrances to Salzburg’s sights […]

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