The Salzburg Card arguably is the best deal you can get on sightseeing in Salzburg. What is a Salzburg Card? Salzburg Cards include almost all the paid attractions in Salzburg for a fixed price. If you would like to go all-in on sightseeing in Salzburg, the Card is a must. In this article, I will introduce all the Salzburg Card attractions to you and will give you tips on how to best use your Salzburg Card.
What’s included in the Salzburg Card?
- FREE ADMISSION to all tourist attractions and museums
- Free PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION in the city center
- DISCOUNTS at numerous excursion destinations
- Some sights offer FAST TRACK ENTRANCE so you don’t have to wait in line
Salzburg Card Attractions in the City Center
The Salzburg Card basically includes all of the paid attractions in the city of Salzburg for a fixed price. That makes it an incredible deal, as soon as you are planning to visit two or more paid attractions and have a day to make the most of your Salzburg Card. Check out this article if you’re not sure yet whether or not a Salzburg Card is right for you. Here are all the Salzburg Card attractions in the city.
None of them are more than 5 minutes walking apart.
The Hohensalzburg Fortress and the Funicular
The Hohensalzburg Fortress is the landmark of Salzburg. If there is only one attraction you pay for in Salzburg, make it the Hohensalzburg fortress! It’s not only historically relevant as the namesake of Salzburg and as the best-preserved fortress in Europe but the best part about the fortress is actually the views. Furthermore, there are several museums telling the history of the fortress and of Salzburg itself. One of which takes you up to a tower, the highest point on the fortress and therefore one of the best views. If you have a Salzburg Card, the fortress is an absolute must.
The Salzburg Card does not only include the entrance fee to the fortress but also the funicular which enables you to reach the attraction in less than a minute without any effort and even without waiting in line. The funicular to the fortress is one of the fast track attractions What’s not included in the card are the staterooms. For a while, there was an early bird ticket available which included the staterooms before 11 am but I think that doesn’t exist anymore. I would not bother paying extra for the staterooms, except if you are an art history buff, since you have many free Salzburg Card attractions anyway.
Salzburg and Panorama Museum
The Salzburg Museum is the oldest history museum in Salzburg. If you have even a hint of interest in the history of Salzburg and are in possession of a Salzburg Card, the Salzburg Museum is one more must-see Salzburg Card attraction. Located on the main square, Residence square, the museum is housed in the new archiepiscopal residence. On several floors, you get to learn about different chapters of the history of Salzburg. Besides the Salzburg Museum, the Panorama Museum is also included in the Salzburg Card. The Panorama Museum is always part of a ticket to the Salzburg museum but, for €4,50, can also be visited separately and has a separate entrance. Make sure, therefore, not to miss the Panorama museum when you visit the Salzburg Museum with the Salzburg Card. Both attractions are included in the Card.
Domquartier is another history museum but while the Salzburg Museum dates back to the 19th century, Domquartier opened in 2013. Domquartier is located in the old archiepiscopal residence and includes the residence gallery, the archbishop’s stateroom, and parts of the cathedral and saint peters monastery that would otherwise not be accessible.
The latter two are the reason you should visit Domquartier with a Salzburg Card, no matter if you care about history or museums. When walking from the old residence into the Salzburg Cathedral you walk on the balconies, on the arches that connect these buildings, and that alone offers a unique viewpoint. From those arches, you enter the west gallery of the cathedral which provides a stunning view of the church.
In 2021 the archdiocese of Salzburg, unfortunately, introduced an entrance fee to the cathedral. Sadly, the cathedral now is one of the only sights that is not included in the Salzburg Card attractions but with the Salzburg Card, you can get a free glimpse of the interior of the cathedral from the Domquartier museum.
Besides the fortress, Mozart’s Birthplace is the most popular sight in Salzburg. Everyone has to take a look at the birthplace, at least from the outside. Inside the birthplace, you find information about Mozart on three floors. There is no original furniture but there are some original souvenirs. Now, if you would not have the Salzburg Card, I would tell you only to visit the birthplace, if you are genuinely interested in Mozart. With a Salzburg Card, the interior of the birthplace is of course a must-see attraction as well.
Here is an article, if you would like to know more about Mozart’s birthplace in Salzburg.
The residence of Mozart is, same as the birthplace, a must with a Salzburg Card. The residence is where Mozart moved from his birthplace when he was 17 years old before he moved on to Vienna at the age of 35. Without a Salzburg Card, I wouldn’t recommend paying the €12,- entrance fee unless you are a real fan of Mozart but with a Salzburg Card you already know the deal. The Mozart residence is one of the Salzburg Card attractions.
Haus der Natur (Natural Science Museum)
Haus der Natur, the natural science museum is a must, if you are traveling with children but even if you are not traveling with children and have the time and a Salzburg card, you should probably have a look at Haus der Natur. Parts of Haus der Natur were exactly like they were 30 years ago when I was a child. I have vivid memories of the dinosaur at the entrance, the crocodile, the astronaut section, and many other fascinating things.
Mönchsberg Elevator and Museum of Modern Art
In a decade working in tourism, I have not met many travelers who liked their experience at the modern art museum. It might be interesting if you are really into modern art, but most people are not and there are better modern art pieces in public space and free of charge as a part of the Salzburg Foundation. Here you find an article on the Free Walking Tour blog explaining all of the modern art pieces by the Salzburg Foundation.
But even if the modern art museum is not a must, it’s included in the Salzburg and what is also included in the Salzburg Card is the elevator to the museum of modern art. The museum is located on Mönchsberg mountain, about 200 meters above the old town. Inside the museum, there is also a restaurant. That’s why the elevator often runs late in the evening and offers an effortless way to get a fantastic night view but also during the day it’s worth taking the elevator to admire the view.
Catacombs at Saint Peter’s Cemetery
It is believed that early Christians hid in the catacombs of Saint Peter’s cemetery. Saint Peters Cemetery is free of charge anyway, but the catacombs at Saint Peter’s Cemetery would cost a few euros without a Salzburg Card. The catacombs are a Salzburg Card attraction and the cemetery is a must-see sight, which also makes the catacombs a must-see sight, in case you have a Salzburg Card.
Guided Tour at the Concert Hall
The only way to see the inside of the concert hall without attending a concert during the Salzburg Festival is the guided afternoon tour. Luckily the guided tour at the concert hall is another Salzburg Card attraction. With the Salzburg Card, you can join the tours free of charge instead of paying €7,-. If it fits your schedule (in 2022 they usually happen at 2 pm) I would highly recommend taking the tour. They take about 50 minutes are conducted in English and German and show you at least 2 of the 3 concert halls. Here is an article on the Free Walking Tour Blog in case you want to know more about the Salzburg Festival.
Salzburg City Boat Cruise
Salzburg is not London or Budapest. Taking the sightseeing boat is slightly pointless but still fun. The ride takes about 40 minutes but after about 5 minutes you are outside of the old town area. There are no attractions, just trees to the left and to the right but the captain usually has great humor, and before the boat docks again, it dances the Waltz on the river. Since the boat is included in the Salzburg Card, I would recommend taking it. Note that you should get the ticket beforehand. Here you find another article that helps you perfect your plan to make the most of your Salzburg Card.
If you are traveling with children, the toy museum is a must-see Salzburg Card attraction, just like Haus der Natur, the natural science museum. Besides featuring their famous collection of toys, the museum also encourages kids to participate and try out a variety of toys.
The Christmas Museum is a private collection of Christmas decorations. They were collected by one single person over a period of 40 years. The museum is small but it’s right in the heart of the old town in front of the Mozart statue, so you will pass by anyway and it offers an authentic idea of what Christmas in Austria is like, even in the middle of summer.
Salzburg Card Attractions in the Surroundings of Salzburg
Most of the attractions included in the Salzburg Card are within walking distance in the old town but some of them are in the surroundings of Salzburg. Most of them are on the same bus line, bus number 25.
Untersberg Cable Car
The last stop of bus number 25 is probably the best attraction of all the attractions that are included in the Salzburg Card. The Untersberg Cable Car is a cable car that takes you up to 1800 meters. The Cable Car alone makes the Salzburg Card worth it since the Cable Car costs €26,50 in 2022 and the Salzburg Card includes the bus and the cable car for €30,-. If you are still not convinced about the value of a Salzburg Card, here you can figure out, if a Salzburg Card is worth it for you.
Hellbrunn Palace and the Trick Fountains
Hellbrunn Palace and the trick fountains are on the same bus line as the Untersberg Cable Car, bus number 25, about halfway to the Cable Car. You can, therefore, take the cable car first, and on your way back to the city, hop off the bus and visit Hellbrunn Palace. Hellbrunn palace houses an interesting museum but the highlight of Hellbrunn are the trick fountains.
The trick fountains consist of attractions powered by water. In particular, the archbishop’s table seats unexpectedly splash water, but of course, water does not come out of the archbishop’s seat, but only from his guests’ seats. In addition, there is a crown that floats on water, fountains and statues, and the mechanical theatre. The mechanical theater features 200 water-driven figures representing society from the 1600s and performing different tasks. Here is an article, if you would like to know more about Hellbrunn.
Salzburg Zoo Hellbrunn
The Salzburg Zoo is also located in Hellbrunn and one more of the Salzburg Card attractions. The Zoo is of course not a must, but it’s nice, if you are traveling with children, if you like Zoos or if you have plenty of time. The Zoo is one bus stop after Hellbrunn when coming from the city and one-stop before the palace when coming from the cable car but you could also just walk from the Zoo to the Palace or from the Palace to the zoo. Bus number 25 by the way runs every 20 minutes.
The folklore museum is also located in Hellbrunn, between the zoo and the palace on a hill. It featured traditional Austrian costumes, Krampus masks, antique furniture, and more. The folklore museum is included in the Salzburg Card, the hike to the castle is worth it, since there is a great viewpoint right next to it, but if you want to take the effort and the time, is up to you. The Folklore Museum is certainly not a must-see Salzburg Card attraction.
Stiegl beer brewery and Museum
The Stiegl beer brewery is the only Salzburg Card attraction in the surroundings of Salzburg that is not reached by bus number 25. Bus lines 1 and 10 will take you to the bus stop “Bräuhausstraße” and these buses are included in the Salzburg Card since the Stieglbrauwelt is still within the boundaries of the city.
I’m not a typical Austrian. I dislike beer. The Stiegl brewery would not be of much interest to me. Consequently, it would depend on what you are interested in. Since you must take the bus, take a guided tour, and taste the beer, a Stiegl Brauwelt visit requires about half a day. The guided tours take about 1,5 hours and there are three beers included in your visit and in the Salzburg Card.
What is not included in the Salzburg Card?
Sadly, the Salzburg Card is not an attraction that’s included in the Salzburg Card. The Salzburg Cathedral was free of charge, since a church and in my opinion, should remain free of charge. But in addition to charging for entering a church, the Cathedral is the only paid attraction in the old town, that is not included in the Salzburg Card. Maybe that’s gonna change but for now, I recommend getting the Salzburg Card and having a look at the Cathedral from the west gallery that you can only access by accessing Domquartier museum.
What else is not included in the card? Most tours, for example, the popular Sound of Music tours are not included in the card. Mirabell Palace is also not included in the Card but that’s because there is no entrance fee for the garden and not much to see at the Palace. I also need to mention, that if you don’t want to spend any money on sightseeing, there is enough to in Salzburg for free. Here is an article. if you are looking for free things to do in Salzburg.
What discounts does the Salzburg Card offer?
The Salzburg Card includes discounts, for example on the Residence Concerts, on the original Sound of Music Tour, the Hohenwerfen Fortress, the hop on hop off bus, the salt mines in Berchtesgaden, and various other tours and attractions in and around the city. Most of these discounts are 20%. However, these discounts are officially only valid during the validity of your Salzburg Card.
During the validity of your Salzburg Card, however, you have plenty of free things to do. Attending a concert might be an option since other attractions are closed in the evening but a visit to the salt mines would be a day trip and even something like a Sound of Music tour would take half a day. In my opinion, the discounts you get with the Salzburg Card are, therefore, not really worth considering.
What you might want to consider is asking nicely, if the discount can be applied, even if your Salzburg Card is expired or has not yet started or you could just show the card and see what happens.
What public transport is included in the Salzburg Card?
Public transport is included in the Salzburg Card in the center of Salzburg and to the Untersberg Cable Car. In the center of Salzburg, you don’t need public transport. As mentioned before, none of the attractions in the city are more than 5 minutes walking apart. You most likely need bus number 25 to the Untersbergs Cable Car since the cable car is one of the best Salzburg Card attractions. Maybe you also need bus number 1 or bus number 10 to get to the Stiegl Brauwelt.
Day trips, such as the bus to Hallstatt, Berchtesgaden, or Werfen Ice Caves, are not included in the Salzburg Card and the tickets to these destinations must be purchased separately. However, if you already have a Salzburg Card, taking a day trip at the same time doesn’t make much sense anyway.
How to buy a Salzburg Card?
The Salzburg Card used to look like a bank card and you got it at the tourist information or at every hotel and hostel front desk. That was convenient and still is but nowadays you can also purchase the Salzburg Card online and use it on your phone, like here on Get your Guide. Getting an online Salzburg Card saves you 3 euros and showing your phone instead of an actual card, might be more convenient.