Vienna City Card
All About the City Card
What’s the Vienna City Card?
The Vienna City Card is the longest-serving city pass for the City of Vienna, as the City Card has been in existence for over 25 years. It is a mobility and discount card.
In the basic version, you can use public transport free of charge for 24, 48 or 72 hours with unlimited use. Optionally, you can book an airport transfer and a 24-hour ticket for the Hop-on Hop-off bus. With the Vienna City Card you are extremely mobile.
The City Card also gives you discounts on over 200 sights, guided tours, sports and leisure activities, restaurants and cafés, shops, concerts and theatres. The discounts are usually between 10% and 20%, but they can add up to considerable savings.
You can buy the card online and then download it to your phone, print it out as a valid ticket or print it out as a voucher which you exchange for a physical card in Vienna.
Benefits of the Vienna City Card
- Public transport free of charge (24, 48 or 72 hours)
- Optional: Airport transfer
- Optional: 24 hours Hop-on Hop-off bus
- Discount on 200+ attractions, shops, restaurants etc.
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How Much Does the City Card Cost?
The following table gives an overview of the prices:
There is no separate City Card for children. However, every adult city card holder can be accompanied by one child up to his or her 15th birthday free of charge. Even two children can use the airport transfer free of charge until their 15th birthday. Families with more than one child per parent must purchase additional tickets for public transport.
Unfortunately, the child bonus does not apply to the discounts. However, children and young people do receive a discount or free admission to many attractions anyway.
What’s Included in the Vienna Card?
The Vienna City Card is divided into a mobility and a discount component. First we would like to take a look at mobility.
1. Public Transport and Add-ons
With the Vienna City Card, you can use public transport within Vienna for 24, 48 or 72 hours as often as you like. If you would buy these services individually, i.e. not with the Vienna City Card, the following costs would apply:
- 24h ticket: €8.00
- 48h ticket: €14.10
- 72h ticket: €17.10
The City Card is considerably more expensive than the tickets of the Wiener Linien. Therefore, the City Card may not be worthwhile if you buy it exclusively for public transport. Savings can only be made through additional add-ons or through discounts.
There are two (optional) add-ons.
1) Transfer: With the Transfer-Add-On you get a free transfer from the airport to the city of Vienna. You can use all means of transport, because the Transfer-Add-On is valid for City Airport Train, ÖBB Railjet First Class, Schnellbahn S7 and Vienna Airport Lines (bus).
The airport transfer can be used several times, so you can commute between the airport and the city as often as you like within 7 days. Per Vienna City Card with transfer option, two children up to their 15th birthday travel free of charge.
The transfer add-on costs €17. If you were to organise your airport transfer yourself, the following costs would be incurred for the outward and return journey:
- City Airport Train: €19
- ÖBB Railjet: €8.40
- rapid transit railway S7: €8.40
- Vienna Airport Lines: €13
With the Transfer Add-On you only save money if you use the fast City Airport Train or if you travel back and forth between the airport and the city several times. If you just want to get to the city as cheaply as possible, you should do without the add-on and buy a single ticket.
2) Tour: With the tour add-on you will receive a 24-hour ticket for the Hop-on Hop-off buses of Big Bus or Vienna Sightseeing. You can travel on the red and blue lines as often as you like. A guided walking tour is also included in this ticket. Each Vienna City Card with tour option includes one child up to 15 years of age free of charge.
The Tour Add-On costs €26. If you would book the Hop-on Hop-off bus for 24 hours individually, you would have to pay €28.80, and you would have to pay for the walking tour. This is only included in the 48-hour ticket for €33.30. The tour add-on is therefore worthwhile if you want to use the buses and take part in the city walk.
All services can be activated independently. For example, you can first use the Hop-on Hop-off bus for 24 hours and only then activate your public transport ticket.
2. Discounts and Rebates
The second benefit of the Vienna City Card is the discounts in over 200 museums, sights, theatres, restaurants and shops. You can take advantage of these discounts for seven full days. The following list contains some examples of savings with the Vienna City Card:
- Schönbrunn Palace: €3 saved
- Belvedere Palace: €2.50 saved
- Schönbrunn Zoo: €3.50 saved
- Madame Tussauds: €7.20 saved
- Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel: €1 saved
- Haus der Musik: €4 saved
- Carriage ride (Fiaker): up to €15 saved
- Kunsthistorisches Museum: €1 saved
- Albertina: €2.90 saved
- Airport Taxi TTC: 10% savings
The price reduction is often only 10% or one to two euros. Sometimes 15, 20 or 30% discount is also possible. Since there are so many discounts, but most of them are small, it is difficult to say how much you will save with the Vienna City Card. However, if you want to do a lot of sightseeing and you consistently remember to show your City Card, you will save money with the discounts.
Attention: For seniors, it may be cheaper to bet on senior discounts. These discounts are sometimes higher than the discounts with the City Card.
Validity of the Vienna City Card
The Vienna City Card is activated when you use it for the first time to travel on public transport or to benefit from a discount. From this point on, the City Card is valid for seven calendar days. That’s how long you have to take advantage of the discounts. You can also use the optional airport transfer service seven days as often as you like.
You can use public transport for 24, 48 or 72 hours from your first journey, depending on which option you choose. You don’t have to use public transport from the first day, but you can move it back if you want to take a day Hop-on Hop-off bus, for example.
Is the Vienna City Card Worth it?
The Vienna City Card can only be worthwhile if you use public transport in Vienna extensively, because the ticket is the central component of the City Card. But that alone is not enough to make the Vienna Card worthwhile. You also have to take advantage of some discounts to save money.
If we compare the purchase price of the Vienna City Card with the purchase price of individual day tickets, we can see how much you need to save with the discounts to make the City Card worthwhile.
- 24h City Card (€17) vs. 24h public transport (€8.00): difference = €9.00
- 48h City Card (€25) vs. 48h public transport (€14.10): difference = €10.90
- 72h City Card (€29) vs. 72h public transport (€17.10): difference = €11.90
You’ll have to save at least between €9 and €11.90 by using discounts in order to make the City Card worthwhile. If you want to do a lot of sightseeing in Vienna and visit shops and restaurants, this should not be a problem. Even if the discounts are mostly small, they quickly add up.
A difference of €11.90 in 72 hours means that you only have to take advantage of discounts of €4 per day to recoup the purchase price of the City Card. This is possible by visiting just one or two attractions, restaurants, shops etc.
Whether the optional add-ons are worthwhile is another question. The transfer add-on (airport transfer) may be too expensive for most travellers. You can get from the airport to the city more cheaply as long as you don’t take the City Airport Train. The tour add-on for the Hop-on Hop-off bus is worth it if you wanted to use this bus anyway.
Even if the Vienna City Card doesn’t promise great savings, it still has another advantage: it’s very convenient! Once purchased online and downloaded to your phone (or printed out), you can use it to travel throughout Vienna and benefit from small discounts in many places.
When Isn’t the City Card Worth it?
The Vienna City Card is not worthwhile if you hardly ever use public transport because your hotel is located in the city centre or you like to walk a lot. Public transport is the most important part of the City Card.
The Vienna City Card is also not worthwhile in the opposite case: If you want to use it exclusively for public transport, individually purchased tickets would be much cheaper.
By the way, the City Card for just one day is the least worthwhile, because you’ll have to save at least €9 by using discounts in order to recoup the purchase price of the card. This is possible, but requires you to do a lot of sightseeing in one day.
The airport add-on is too expensive. It is only worth it if you want to take the City Airport Train or commute several times between the airport and the city.
Where Can You Get the Vienna Card?
You can purchase the Vienna City Card on various websites. But if you want to book the add-ons or use the City Card on your phone, you should buy it on the official website viennacitycard.at. There you can pay by instant bank transfer and credit card.
After ordering, you have six months to activate the Vienna City Card. You have to activate it yourself on the official website (the link can also be found in the order confirmation). You need the 12-digit order number to activate the Vienna City Card.
You can activate your Vienna City Card immediately after purchase, if you already know for sure on which day you will arrive in Vienna, because this day has to be specified during activation. From this day on, the seven-day term of the City Card begins. If you don’t know this for sure at the time of purchase, you can activate the card later. When activating, you also enter the date and time from which you wish to use the ticket for the first time for 24, 48 or 72 hours.
When you activate the City Card online, you specify how you want to use the card:
- App = delivery to phone
- Print@Home = print at home. The card is already activated and validated. You just show the printout at the included attractions.
- Voucher = This voucher can be redeemed at all tourist information offices in Vienna and exchanged for a physical card.
Tourist Information Offices in Vienna
- Vienna Airport in the arrivals hall
- Vienna Central Station
- Touristinfo Vienna at Albertinaplatz
It is not possible to receive the card by mail.
By the way: Using the app on your phone is recommended. The Vienna City Card App also helps you with sightseeing. The app contains a map of the transportation network as well as a map of the bus network of the Hop-on Hop-off buses. The app also lists the locations of the tourist information offices.
What We Like About the Vienna Card
You can use public transport as often as you like. Vienna’s public transport system is considered exemplary.
The additional mobility options are convenient: airport transfer and/or Hop-on Hop-off bus.
There is a discount on many top attractions. Those who do a lot of sightseeing will save money with the pass.
Downloading the pass to your phone or printing it out is very convenient.
What We Don’t Like About This Card
The City Card does not include free admission, only discounts.
The discounts are often small. Those who do only little sightseeing will not save any money with the City Card.
The public transport ticket is valid for a maximum of 72 hours.
FAQ About the Vienna Card
Can I visit the attractions more than once?
You can use public transport as often as you like during the validity of the Vienna City Card. However, you can only take advantage of each discount once.
How long is the Vienna City Card valid?
After you have purchased the Vienna City Card online, you have several months to activate it. After activation you can take advantage of the discounts for seven days.
You can use public transport for 24, 48 or 72 hours and Hop-on Hop-off buses for 24 hours. You can use the airport transfer for seven days.
Can I freely choose the visiting hours?
Basically, yes. However, you should consider the opening hours of the participating attractions, restaurants etc. Some attractions are closed on Mondays and not all are open in winter.
Do I need a ticket for my children?
There is no Vienna City Card for children, but in most cases it is not necessary either. One child per adult with a City Card can travel free of charge on public transport until their 15th birthday. Two children can use the airport transfer free of charge until their 15th birthday. With the Hop-on Hop-off buses, one child per adult with Vienna Card up to their 16th birthday travels free of charge.
Please note: Children do not benefit from the discounts of the Vienna City Card. However, they do receive free or reduced admission to many attractions anyway.
Who can I contact if I have questions?
If you have any questions, you can contact the local tourist information offices or write to the issuing company using the contact form.
Can I use public transport in Vienna?
The Vienna City Card is valid for public transport within Vienna. This includes trams, buses and underground trains.
Alternatives to the Vienna Card
Vienna Pass: The Vienna Pass is the most comprehensive city pass for the city of Vienna. With this pass you can visit more than 60 sights for free, including Belvedere Palace, Hop-on Hop-off bus and a boat cruise. Public transport tickets are optional.
Vienna Flexi Pass: The Flexi Pass is based on the Vienna Pass. However, the Flexi version contains fewer attractions and you have to choose 3, 4 or 5 out of 33 offers. The pass can be worthwhile when you’re interested in expensive attractions.
Public Transport Day Pass: If you are mainly interested in public transport but do not want to do much sightseeing, you can also buy single tickets for 24, 48 or 72 hours.
Single tickets: If none of the Vienna city passes appeal to you, you can also buy tickets for your favourite attractions individually. It is often worth doing this online, as there are discounts on the internet compared to the box office. Here you can find tickets for the most important offers: