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.
Have you ever wondered if they are worth purchasing?
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.
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!
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.
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!