Few cities in Europe offer a better package than the Salzburg Card. Offering 25 attractions free with the Salzburg Card and discounts for concerts, tours, car rentals, and more, this should be in every Salzburg visitor’s possession. Adult and child rates are available in a 24 hour, 48 hour, or 72 hour card for your convenience.
One of the card’s many uses is as a trip planner. Most everything you would want to see in and around Salzburg is either free or discounted with the card. Start perusing the list before you arrive in Salzburg to line up your “must-see” list.
Life's better at the top
Unless you are scared of heights, the cable car ride up Untersberg Mountain is a must. Just taking this ride will more than pay for your one day card purchase fee. Grab the number 25 city bus out to the cable car stop and get ready for some high altitude fun. The cable car is a marvel of engineering as it seems to take you right into the rock cliffs of this spectacular mountain. At the top you can hang out and sip your favorite beverage in the café or go for an invigorating hike high above Salzburg. Choose the time to descend but be sure and pay attention to the last ride down, as times vary depending on the season.
Head back to town and set your sights on ticking off the “must-see” items on your list. The Hellbrunn Palace ought to be on everyone’s list if it’s your first time in Salzburg. Forget the 12.50 EUR/15.31 USD fee for adults and 5.50 EUR/6.73 USD for children. Your Salzburg Card gets you in free. The number 25 bus stops at the Hellbrunn Palace on the way to and back from the Untersberg. Scamper around the grounds like a child of royalty enjoying the trick fountains in the summer. Walk the grand halls of this gleaming royal residence taking in all the art and beauty of the walls and ceilings. For over 400 years, this has been one of Salzburg’s most impressive buildings and doesn’t disappoint.
After the Hellbrunn Palace is checked off your list, it’s time to dive into the Old City. This is the heart and soul of Salzburg and holds most of the attractions on the Salzburg Card. It’s a good idea to orient yourself to this maze of narrow, twisting, and confusing streets. Two of the best attractions on the card that offer a sweeping view of the city are the Hohensalzburg Fortress and the Museum of Modern Art. Each of these attractions offer a way for you to see the city and surrounding area from high above the bustling streets. At the Museum of Modern Art, take a break for lunch at their m32 Restaurant for the view as much as the food. Reservations are recommended to secure a window seat. Enjoy a free ride up the funicular to the Hohensalzburg Fortress and pay attention to the Salzburg Card’s “Quick Access” benefit that applies for the Fortress visit.
Back on the ground
Back down in the Old City, consider the Salzburg Museum where you’ll learn about the Roman influence hundreds of years ago. Find the eye-popping display of gold and silver coins that were found buried in a clay jar. Also of interest is the 17th century wooden room that was dismantled and reconstructed in the museum.
For a trip back into the Baroque era, the Domquartier Salzburg Residence is a must for the history buffs. Tour state rooms, ornate staircases, and splendid art on this Salzburg attraction. Your Salzburg Card saves you 12 EUR/14.69 USD upon entering. After the Domquartier, take a coffee, tea, or cake break at Tomaselli Café, known for their excellent cakes and apple strudel. There’s nothing like a “cake break” to get in the mood for touring Salzburg.
If you have youngsters in tow, be sure and stop at the Toy Museum where kids can get hands-on play time. Just down the street towards the river find the Museum of Natural History. Both of these kid-pleasing museums can get quite busy so consider going early.
Salzburg is a city that adores Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It wasn’t always that way. Poor Wolfgang was nearly forgotten but you can retrace his story during his life at the Mozart Residence and Mozart Birthplace. Skip the 11 EUR/13.47 USD fee at both museums and don an audio guide for free to listen in English or several other languages. Tours are available upon request and to save time have your hotel call ahead for availability and tour times.
The arts and Mozart
To catch a Mozart influenced concert, consider the marble and gold decorated Mirabell Palace Church. The Mirabell concert offerings vary throughout the year but are worth the time and money spent to take in the stunning beauty of classical music in this unique venue. Save 20% off the regular ticket price for the Salzburg Classics-Music in Mirabell with your Salzburg Card.
Other concert venues of note are the Romanesque Hall, St. Peter, Mozart In Residence, Johann Michael Haydn Society, and others that offer 20% off with your card. There’s also a Mozart dinner concert at St. Peter’s Baroque Hall and the Schloss Konzerte Mirabell. The Salzburg Card gives you a 5% and 10% discount, respectively, for these concerts. Salzburg is famous for the movie The Sound of Music. You will find many Sound of Music themed attractions and tours. The Salzburg Card gets you 30% off a seat and one drink at the Sound of Salzburg, a show that highlights famous music including some songs from The Sound of Music movie.
In warm weather months, the Salzach River Cruise is a fun way to see the city from the water. Your Salzburg Card gets you one free trip. Use your card to get a ticket at the sales booth and enjoy the ride. Try the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus to spare your feet of the ancient cobblestone streets. The card reduces the price from 19 EUR/22.04 USD adult and 9 EUR/11.02 USD children to 15 EUR/ 18.37 USD or 7 EUR/ 8.57 USD, respectively. If you love to walk and don’t mind the cobblestones, take a one hour walking tour and save 20% off the 10 EUR/12.24 USD fee.
How many days?
There are dozens more attractions, tours, and events listed on the Salzburg Card website. Follow the attached link to buy your Salzburg Card online. This travel writer suggests the three day option to get the most out of your trip to Salzburg. You will be able to see the attractions and concerts that appeal the most to you and leave knowing you did your best to see it all. It’s good to leave some things unexplored so you can come back someday for another taste of this European gem.