Is Vienna Pass Worth It?

Vienna is a city with many attractions and a tourist card might help you to organize your travel itinerary with very convenient proposals.

Matías Rodríguez

Matías Rodríguez

11 min read

Is Vienna Pass Worth It?

Vienna, Austria | ©Leyre

There are many activities to see and do in Vienna and it is no surprise that the museums, palaces and gardens of the Austrian capital offer the best alternatives, so if you plan to tour the city, buying the Vienna Pass or the Vienna Card might be a good idea.

With the Vienna Pass you will have free access to more than 60 attractions without queues or unnecessary delays in passes of 1, 2, 3 or 6 days that also include unlimited use of the Vienna tourist bus with free stops at different points of the city, while with the Vienna Card you will have access to public transport and airport transfers for 24, 48 or 72 hours, plus discounts at major attractions.

Within the Vienna Pass you can also add the Travel Card for free access to public transport for a complete experience. So, is it worth buying a Vienna Tourist Card? I'll break it down for you below so you can make the decision that best suits your trip.

When is it worth buying a Vienna Sightseeing Card?

Sightseeing bus through the streets of Vienna| ©Marco Verch Professional Photographer
Sightseeing bus through the streets of Vienna| ©Marco Verch Professional Photographer

You can buy the Vienna Pass tourist card to use it for 1, 2, 3 or 6 days so it is worth having it if you plan an intense tour of the city during the days of your stay.

If, on the other hand, you opt for the Vienna Card, you will have to choose a 24, 48 or 72-hour pass with which you will be able to access public transport, tourist buses, airport transfers and discounts at the main attractions. Let's see what they are and when each one is convenient.

Vienna Pass

This card is activated from the first use and from then on with the Vienna Pass you will have access to more than 60 attractions including a visit to Schonbrunn Palace, tickets to the Belvedere Palace and the best museums in Vienna, so if you want to know the main attractions it will be useful and will also give you the possibility to know other options.

Note also that the card includes free access during the time of the pass to the Vienna sightseeing buses with free stops, so you can also move around the city enjoying the sights and comfortably while saving money. If you add the Travel Card option to the Vienna Pass you will be able to access local public transport.

In order to make your decision it will be important to take into account the pace of your trip, since you will have to accumulate the visits in the few days that the validity of the tourist card lasts.

Remember that the activation period will begin to run from the first time you use it, so I advise you to visit the first excursion early in the morning so you can get the most out of it from the first day.

Vienna Card

This card is also activated from the moment of first use, but unlike the Vienna Pass, the Vienna Card has an estimated duration in hours.

You can buy passes for 24, 48 or 72 hours that focus mainly on access to public transport, and can be used on trains, subways, buses and streetcars, as well as tourist buses and transfers to and from Vienna airport.

This card will be useful if you plan to move around the city and if you arrive or plan to leave the city by plane, as it will save you a lot of money on airport transfers.

It also has small discounts on hundreds of attractions in Vienna, although its main focus is on public transport, so it will only be useful if you plan to use it intensively.

Details of interest

  • Price of the 1-day Vienna Pass... From 86 euros.
  • Price of the 2-day Vienna Pass... From 119 euros.
  • Price of the 3-day Vienna Pass... From 149 euros.
  • Price of the 6-day Vienna Pass... From 188 euros.
  • Price of the 24-hour Vienna Card... From 61 euros.
  • Price of the 48-hour Vienna Card... From 69 euros.
  • Price of the 72-hour Vienna Card... From 73 euros.

Buy your Vienna Pass

Is it worth buying a Vienna Pass for a long trip?

Close-up of St. Stephen's Cathedral| ©Fred Romero
Close-up of St. Stephen's Cathedral| ©Fred Romero

The Vienna Pass tourist card is very useful if you are going to spend a few days in the city and plan to make an intensive tour of the attractions of the Austrian capital, but it also offers many options, so it will be difficult for you to make several excursions in such a short time.

To achieve a balance I advise you to choose the two-day options if you decide to buy the tourist pass.

It is worth buying the tourist card for a long trip if you plan to visit several sites and if most of them are included in the Vienna Pass that way you can save money and also a lot of time, because the attractions include skip the line tickets to museums and palaces in Vienna.

If you are planning a long stay in the Austrian capital and for the itinerary of your trip it is useful to buy the tourist card, a good idea would be to visit the attractions of the pass during the validity of the Vienna Pass and once completed opt for the rest of the excursions that are not included, such as classical music concerts or a tour of the center of Vienna.

On the other hand, the Vienna Card can be purchased for 24, 48 or 72 hours, so it will not be useful for a long trip, especially because one of its main benefits is the transfer to the airport, so if the maximum period of 72 hours is met, you can no longer use it. In conclusion, the Vienna Card is a tourist pass focused on public transport and especially useful for a short stay or a weekend getaway.

Book a guided tour of Vienna

Is it worth buying a tourist card for a short trip?

Hofburg Palace| ©Dennis Jarvis
Hofburg Palace| ©Dennis Jarvis

During a short trip is when you can get the most out of the Vienna Pass, because it will allow you to organize a travel itinerary to tour the attractions saving time by avoiding queues and also moving efficiently in the tourist buses, so you can discover both the traditional side of Vienna and its modern profile

The same goes for the Vienna Card, as it has a maximum term of 72 hours, but if you have planned a short stay in the city or a weekend getaway you can use it and get the most out of public transport.

If you plan to visit Vienna for three days and are traveling by plane, you can save a lot of money with its main benefit, which is the transfer to and from the airport.

Keep in mind that the Vienna Pass gives you access to more than 60 attractions, so if you buy the pass for only one day you will be able to visit some sites but you will be left with many more to do.

That is why I recommend that if you decide to buy the Vienna Pass you choose the options that give the card validity for two days or more, especially the cards of three or six days, which will allow you to visit many attractions, but not in such a hurry.

Book a Vienna sightseeing bus tour

Is it worth buying a sightseeing card if I only want to see the main attractions?

Blue Chinese Room| ©Dennis Jarvis
Blue Chinese Room| ©Dennis Jarvis

The Vienna Pass is very comprehensive, as it includes more than 60 activities and, among them, the vast majority of the main attractions of the Austrian capital. This makes buying the card an interesting option even if you only want to see the most popular sites.

With this card, you can save money and time by being able to enter without queuing. Some of the sites included in the pass are the following:

  • Schonbrunn Palace
  • Hofburg Palace
  • Belvedere Palace
  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • Albertina Museum
  • Sigmund Freud Museum
  • Leopold Museum
  • Jewish Museum Vienna
  • Schonbrunn Zoological Gardens
  • House of Music of Music
  • Danube Tower
  • The Prater

Perhaps the only criticism of the list of attractions included in the Vienna Pass is that it does not include city tours or excursions, one of the best things to do in Vienna is to discover it on foot. Nor does it include cycling options or gastronomic tours.

Apart from the activities offered by the Vienna Pass, the best contribution is the free access to the city's tourist buses during the validity of the pass.

The Vienna Card, on the other hand, does not offer free admission to the main attractions, but small discounts of one or two euros at each attraction included in the list of benefits, but it will give you access to the entire public transport network, so you can travel freely around the city and access the main sites quickly and saving money on transfers.

Book your ticket for the Casa de la Música

Is it worth buying a tourist card if I am traveling with children?

Schönbrun Zoo| ©bruno_mesmin
Schönbrun Zoo| ©bruno_mesmin

The Vienna Pass offers a special rate for children between the ages of 6 and 18, and children under 6 get free admission to all attractions when accompanied by an adult, so this sightseeing card can be a good option for combining sightseeing in the Austrian capital with children.

This is especially useful if you visit some of the options that seem most fun for the little ones, such as the old Ferris wheel in the Prater or the Schonbrunn Zoological Gardens.

Children can also enjoy the colors and lights of Vienna during Christmas, and tour bus tours during the festive eve or the Natural History Museum, which is also included in the Vienna Pass.

The Vienna Sightseeing Pass can offer many options to enjoy Vienna with children at a good value for money.

In this aspect the Vienna Card is where it has its biggest advantages, because for each tourist card you buy can travel a child under 15 years for free in any of the transport services included in the pass, so you can save a lot of money on trains, subways, buses and streetcars in Vienna if you plan to travel with children.

Book your ticket to Schonbrunn Palace

Is it worth a tourist card if I go to Vienna in summer?

View from the Kahlenberg| ©Ben
View from the Kahlenberg| ©Ben

Summer is the best time of the year to visit Vienna, especially because the warm weather can become your best ally when visiting the open spaces such as the Prater or the great gardens and zoos, such as Schonbrunn, or to take the interactive excursions that are included in the Vienna Pass such as the Spanish Riding School.

Summer will also be the ideal time to get the best views of the city from the Danube Tower or to enjoy a ride on the MS Blue boat on the river. It also gets darker later so you will have more usable time for sightseeing and the sightseeing bus tours will be more enjoyable.

The Vienna Pass can also be a good option to get to know Vienna at night and avoid the snowfall and cold of the city during the winter.

During the summer you will also find the Vienna Card useful, as you can travel comfortably and save money on air-conditioned public transport to cope with the hot days of the Austrian summer.

Is it worth a Vienna Card if I go to Vienna in winter?

Ice Skating in Vienna| ©Alfred Lex
Ice Skating in Vienna| ©Alfred Lex

It may seem that Vienna during the winter is not at its best, but if you are visiting the city during the snowy and cold season you will find a way to make the most of it.

The Vienna Pass can help you combat the inclement weather with a wide range of museums and palaces as well as covered sightseeing buses that will keep you out of the cold.

The same goes for the Vienna Card, which in this sense is more convenient because in addition to the tour buses you can also use the city's extensive public transport network to keep out the cold.

Is it worth a tourist card if I am going to visit the city for only a couple of days?

Palace Gardens| ©Vernaccia
Palace Gardens| ©Vernaccia

Vienna has many attractions to see, so it can be a bit overwhelming to organize an itinerary to discover it.

However, it is a small city that can be visited on foot and also has an extensive network of public transport and tour buses that you can access with the Vienna Card, so it can be very useful if you only visit the Austrian capital for a weekend, especially because this tourist card can be contracted for a maximum period of 72 hours.

Keep in mind that if you are going to visit Vienna for a weekend, ideally, to save time, you should organize the itinerary between the different excursions based on the proximity to achieve effectiveness in the movements. This will help you in case you decide to buy the Vienna Pass, as it includes many activities that provide entrance without queues or delays, so you will optimize your income.

Keep in mind that if you travel during the winter the days get dark earlier. Here I leave you a list with a recommended itinerary to visit Vienna in only 2 days.

Is it worth buying a tourist card if I want to see Vienna's palaces and museums?

Vienna Hofburg Palace| ©Brian Dooley
Vienna Hofburg Palace| ©Brian Dooley

The palaces and museums are the main attractions in Vienna, so if you are one of those many visitors waiting to get to the city to see them with the Vienna Pass you will have access to most of them.

The Vienna Pass also includes other attractions, but most of the activities are related to the palaces and museums of the city and also to some activities twinned with them as the visit to the Schonbrunn Zoological Garden or the Belvedere Palace museums.

If your main goal is to discover the best palaces and traditional museums of the Austrian capital at its best, without queuing and saving money, you can certainly do it with the Vienna Pass.

In this case the Vienna Card will not be too useful for you, which does not include free tickets but small discounts, beyond the fact that with the public transport available to you you can reach the main palaces and museums of the city.

Book your ticket for the Belvedere Palace

So... Is the Vienna Sightseeing Card worth it?

Vienna pass| ©Michelle B
Vienna pass| ©Michelle B

The answer will depend on your travel plan, the pace at which you want to tour the city and also the budget you have for your visit to the Austrian capital.

Tourist passes are not usually cheap options and that is a fact to consider, but I can also tell you that the Vienna Pass has a very complete offer of attractions and if you opt for the 3 or 6 day pass you will have enough time to see the city in detail and save money.

If you opt for the Vienna Card you should keep in mind that to get the most out of it you will have to use mainly public transport and tourist buses, and that it will be particularly useful if you plan to arrive and leave the city by plane, as it includes the transfer to the airport.

If you finally decide to buy one of the tourist passes, the best way to get the most out of your visit with the Vienna Pass, will be to organize an itinerary for each day of validity of the pass to move comfortably with the free hop on-hop off bus that is included in the tourist card and thus optimize your tour of the city.

With the Vienna Card, meanwhile, you can use it for urban transfers if you plan to make an intensive tour of the city,