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Vienna City Card or Vienna Pass?

Public Transportation in Vienna - Tickets, Cards or Passes?

When visiting Vienna, the options for availing the sightseeing tickets and buying the public transport tickets can lead you to spend more money than you should be, if you are not careful or have not done your homework. Vienna’s top attractions and transport tickets can either be bought separately as and when needed (on the spot), or you can buy one of the official passes or city cards beforehand, to have a combined option that serves all-purpose. You basically have 3 options -

📌 Single Tickets (on the spot tickets)
📌 Vienna City Card
📌 Vienna Pass

What does the City Card offer?

It is a tourist city card that helps a visitor gain:
Free unlimited travel on the metro, tram and bus networks for 24, 48 or 72 hours (based on the validity of your card)
⭐ Discounts on Vienna’s main tourist attractions (~6% to 50%)
⭐ Discounts and offers at certain bars and restaurants.

How much does it cost?

There are 4 types of Vienna City Card :

Type of Card24 hr48 hr72 hr
Vienna City Card (Public Transport)€ 17€ 25€ 29
Vienna City Card Transfer (Public Transport + Airport Transfer)€ 34€ 42€ 46
Vienna City Card Tour (Public Transport + Hop-on-hop-off Bus)€ 43€ 51€ 55
Vienna City Card Transfer + Tour (Public Transport + Hop-on-hop-off Bus + Airport Transfer)€ 60€ 68€ 72

The Vienna hop-on-hop-off buses are funky looking double-decker sightseeing tour buses covering a total of 45 stops, running on 4 different routes covering the city of Vienna, with onboard audio guides in 16 languages!

How much do I save?

SchönbrunnPalace (Sisi Ticket)€ 3
Strudelshow€ 1
Schönbrunn Panorama Train€ 2
Imperial Carriage Museum Vienna€ 1
Gasthaus Tirolergarten, Lunch€ 2
Zoo€ 3
Horse-drawn carriage€ 15
Hat Museum Piaristenkeller, Dinner€ 6
TimeTravel Adventure World€ 5
Shopping in the city center€ 10
Café Leopold, Lunch€ 4,80
Kunsthalle Wien, Museum€ 4
Leopold Museum Shop€ 2
Addicted to Rock Burger & Bar, Dinner€ 4
Musical€ 15
Café Schwarzenberg€ 1
Vienna Ring Tram€ 3
Madame Tussauds€ 7,20
Prater Package€ 10
Windobona Indoor Skydiving€ 4,90
Hard Rock Café€ 7,95
Lounge Vienna International Airport€ 3,50
Total savings€ 115,35

It is recommended to buy and activate the card online prior to your Vienna trip. There are 2 ways to activate the card:

  • Activate When Buying (if you know the exact date and time of arrival)
  • Activate Later (if you have not yet decided on the dates)

Note: The activation procedure is online as well. So it is suggested to activate your card before you land in Vienna to save you from the hassle of network and connectivity issues in a foreign land.

What does the Vienna Pass offer?

It is a tourist city pass similar to the city card that helps a visitor gain:
Free fast track skip-the-line entry to top 60+ Vienna’s main tourist attractions
Free unlimited travel on the metro, tram and bus networks for 24, 48 or 72 hours (*based on the add-on Travel Card)
Free Hop-On-Hop-Off access to Vienna Sightseeing Tour bus
Free pocket-sized Guide book (You don’t need that: save our app to use offline Vienna Guide 😉)

Buy your Vienna Pass at the cheapest rates

How much does it cost?

Type of Card24 hr48 hr72 hr6 days
Vienna Adult Pass€ 79€ 99€ 129€ 159
Vienna Child Pass (6-18 yrs)€ 39.5€ 49.5€ 64.5€ 79.5
Add on Travel Card+ € 8+ € 14.10+ € 17.10-

How much do I save?

Top 10 Attractions (Free)Normal Adult Entry Charges
Schönbrunn Palace Grand Tour€ 26.50
Schönbrunn Zoo€ 21.50
Hofburg Imperial Palace€ 15.00
Belvedere€ 22.00
Hundertwasser House€ 12.00
Madame Tussauds€ 23.00
Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour (72 hrs)€ 49.00
Spanish Riding School Morning Exercise€ 13.00
Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel€ 12.00
Albertina€ 17.90
Museum of Art History€ 16.00
Danube Tower€ 14.50
Dom Museum Wien€ 8.00

The best way to buy the Vienna Pass is online. The Pass is automatically activated when its barcode is scanned at the first attraction visited or with the first use of a hop-on-hop-off bus.

Comparison of all the available options

The trick lies in knowing what each of these offers, and can help you save money and ease out your trip. Just a bit of prior planning is required to choose the option that best suits your travel arrangements.

  • Single Tickets: These let you travel in one direction from a point to another using any means of public transport (bus+tram+train+subway). The caveat is that you should not pause in between your journey. However, there are also tickets issued for multiple time validity with unlimited travel option (24 hrs/ 48 hrs/ 72 hrs).
    To be bought on the spot (from ticket machines in stations/tobacco shops/newspaper outlets etc)
  • Vienna City Card: Free unlimited usage of Public Transportation to and from any place during the validity of the card. Comes with additional perks like discounts on major museums, selected restaurants and shops. This too can be bought for multiple time validity: (24 hrs/ 48 hrs/ 72 hrs).
    To be bought online.
  • Vienna Pass: Extended version of the City Card which allows you free unlimited public transportation and free entry to Vienna’s popular attractions. Available with multiple time validity: (24 hrs/ 48 hrs/ 72 hrs).
    To be bought online.
BenefitsSingle Ticket Estimate (Entrance / Transport)City Card (Public Transport)City Card (Public Transport + Airport Transfer)City Card (Public Transport + Hop-on-hop-off)City Card (Public Transport + Hop-on-hop-off + Airport Transfer)Vienna PassVienna Pass (with Travel Card)
Entry to Famous AttractionsFull price individual ticket (spot ticket)DiscountedDiscountedDiscountedDiscountedFreeFree
Public TransportFull price individual ticketFreeFreeFreeFree-Free
Hop-on-hop-off BusFull price individual ticket--FreeFreeFreeFree
Selected Restaurants and Shops-DiscountedDiscountedDiscountedDiscounted--
Airport TransferFull price ticket-Free-Free--
Vienna Guide Book-----FreeFree
Wait time due to long queuesCan go up-to an hourCan go up-to an hourCan go up-to an hourCan go up-to an hourCan go up-to an hourSkip-the-lineSkip-the-line
Cost (24hr Card/Pass)Pay full price on spot€ 17€ 34€ 43€ 60€ 79€ 87

Final Verdict: Card or Pass or Single Tickets?

  • Choose Single Ticket if you don’t intend to travel much and have come to Vienna to relax and unwind and would only visit limited places. Also, if you have an unplanned trip and would go with the flow covering just larger distances by public transport and the rest on foot.
  • Choose a City Card if you are travelling a lot on public transport and would like to get discounts on the attraction entry points and would like to dine and shop at a discounted rate. You would be able to utilize it to its maximum potential when you do a mix of visiting places, utilizing transport, shopping and dining out at the places included in the card. Note that the discounts provided are not applicable to privately organized guided tours.
  • Choose the Vienna Pass if you are travelling extensively and plan on covering a lot of attractions and are not looking for the benefits of the card in terms of shopping and dining out. Also, you get to travel on the hop-on-hop-off bus for free. Also, with the pass, you zoom through the frantically long lines at popular attractions saving valuable time.

Good To Know

Public Transportation in Vienna (operated by Wiener Linien) is robust and if you buy point to point tickets (or use any card/pass), you are at liberty to choose the tram, city train, subway, or catch the bus. Or for the matter, you can utilize all of them to complete the journey.

  • All Public transportations carry the same weight and do not require buying separate tickets. One ticket is valid for all transport options (bus+tram+train+subway) as long as its time validity has not expired.
  • Most passes/cards are valid in the City zone which covers all touristy places. Airport falls outside the City Zone and requires separate tickets.
  • The Westbahn rail service, and sightseeing services like the yellow Ring Tram fall outside the jurisdiction of passes/cards and require that you purchase separate tickets.
  • Night lines only operate between 0.30 am and 5 am.
  • On weekends and public holidays, the Vienna underground remains at the service of its passengers all night.
  • Children under 6 do not need a ticket and travel free.
  • Under 15s can travel free if it’s a Sunday, a public holiday or official school vacation period in Vienna (e.g. the summer holidays). This applies to all nationalities, not just locals.
  • Most of the various Wiener Linien network cards and passes are transferable; they’re valid for the bearer and not for anyone particular person, unless they carry your name (usually only with tickets bought online).

Note: All Transport Cards/Passes and Tickets require Validation/Activation. Depending on the ticket/card/pass you hold, make sure it is activated before using them. For point-to-point tickets, this is done by punching your card in one of the available machines in the public transport. Without a validated (punched) ticket, you are considered as travelling ticketless.

Some other lesser-known passes that you may be interested in:

📌 Sightseeing Flexi Pass in Vienna: Tickets

📌 Vienna Family Pass: Tickets

Gute Reise! :)
  • europe
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  • transport and travel

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