Is the Vienna Pass worth it? Vienna Pass 2020 review and prices

ViennaOperaHouseCity passes such as the Vienna Pass seem to almost be too good to be true. They offer scores of “free” museums and attractions for a fairly modest price, usually including an expensive bus tour and all of the most expensive attractions. The Vienna Pass is similar to the others in that it's easy to be confused, so I've broken down the best and most worthwhile attractions below, which can all be visited in 2 or 3 days.

Once you take a closer look you realize that on a typical visit the average traveler will only have time for 3 or perhaps 4 attractions per day. As long as the important and included attractions are worth enough, a pass like this is usually a good deal. In the case of the Vienna Pass, it's pretty straightforward as good value for enthusiastic visitors, but not for those who are unable to plan their days out at least a bit in advance.

Is the Vienna Pass worth it? (short version)

ViennaArchitectureVienna is one of Europe's grandest and most important cities, and fortunately for the first-time visitor, it has a fairly short list of must-see attractions and tours. If you are the typical visitor with 2 or 3 days to explore Vienna and you want to see most or all of these famous top attractions, the Vienna Pass will save you money and at least some time as well.

If you have only exactly one day to explore Vienna, the Pass can be good value if you plan well and allow the full day. Otherwise, it's probably best to just focus on 2 or 3 main attractions and assume you'll come back again to see the rest.

Visitors to Vienna who don't care to plan their days out at all, or who just prefer to wander around the city center and sip a drink at one of the gorgeous cafes are obviously better off without the Vienna Pass. This pass is a very good deal for those who really want to see the best the city has to offer in a short time. But those without a plan will struggle to make proper use of it.

Prices of the 2019 Vienna Pass

  • 1-Day Adult Vienna Pass (ages 19+) with travel: €78.00
  • 1-Day Adult Vienna Pass (ages 19+) no travel: €70
  • 1-Day Child Vienna Pass (ages 6-18) with travel: €43
  • 1-Day Child Vienna Pass (ages 6-18) no travel: €35
  • 2-Day Adult Vienna Pass with travel: €109.10
  • 2-Day Adult Vienna Pass no travel: €95
  • 2-Day Child Vienna Pass with travel: €61.60
  • 2-Day Child Vienna Pass no travel: €47.50
  • 3-Day Adult Vienna Pass with travel: €142.10
  • 3-Day Adult Vienna Pass no travel: €125
  • 3-Day Child Vienna Pass with travel: €79.60
  • 3-Day Child Vienna Pass no travel: €62.50
  • 6-Day Adult Vienna Pass with travel: €189.20
  • 6-Day Adult Vienna Pass no travel: €1555
  • 6-Day Child Vienna Pass with travel: €111.70
  • 6-Day Child Vienna Pass no travel: €77.50

EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT for Price of Travel readers

If you decide to buy you can use promo code POT10 for 10% off on 2, 3 and 6 day passes at The Vienna Pass using this link. Expires December 31, 2020.

Look for Step 4 in the checkout process to enter code: POT10

The Vienna Pass is only available online so you can't buy it at any of the attractions once you get to Vienna.

What's included with the Vienna Pass

The Vienna Pass includes free admission to over 60 of the top attractions in the city, including queue-skipping FastTrack entry to several of these.

Officially you get the following 4 items:

  1. Free admission into 60+ top attractions as well as the hop-on-hop-off bus tour for the duration of your card
  2. Optional travelcard covering all public transport for the duration of your card
  3. A detailed guidebook
  4. Fast-track (skip the queue) entry to many popular attractions

As is typical with the city passes, this one includes many attractions that are either relatively cheap on their own, or fairly obscure, but it also includes every top attraction that nearly all visitors come to experience.

Here are the key attractions that you'll want to focus on:

Hop-on, Hop-off bus tour: €28.00

ViennaHOHObusVienna has a compact center, but several key attractions are in other districts. This hop-on, hop-off bus tour features 6 different routes and is justifiably popular. One route covers the central Ring area, which is where most landmarks are located. Another goes out to Schönbrunn Palace, which everyone wants to see. This is one of the few HOHO buses that can efficiently be used as transportation by many visitors due to the layout of the city.

Schönbrunn Palace Grand Tour: €17.50

This amazing palace is the number one attraction in Vienna, in spite of its location outside of the center. You are going to want to do this tour whether you buy the Vienna Pass or not.

Hofburg Imperial Palace: €13.90

ViennaPalaceThis slightly less impressive palace is located on the Ring in the center of Vienna so you'll be passing it many times no matter what.

It's also smaller so you can do a quick visit and still see a lot.

Vienna Ring Tram: €9.00

You'll want to do this whether you buy the Vienna Pass or not. Central Vienna is surrounded by its famous Ring Road and this tram takes you past the majority of the city's most famous buildings and amazing architecture. There is an audio commentary in 8 languages and it leaves every 30 minutes from 10:00 to 17:30 each day. Once you do this quick loop you'll know where almost everything is located, and you can hop off at your next included attraction.

City Cruises Vienna: €23.00

Especially if the weather is nice, you'll want to take this 75-minute cruise leaving from a pier near the center of Vienna and returning to the same pier. It goes along the Danube Canal (which makes up one edge of the Ring Road) past many of Vienna's most famous landmarks and then turns around once it reaches the Danube itself, so you can see everything on the other side. In winter this one might not be as enjoyable.

Schönbrunn Zoo: €20.00

The world's oldest zoo (dating to 1752) is a fantastic stop for visitors with children. This is one of Europe's finest zoos and it's located on the Yellow hop-on, hop-off bus line that also goes to Schönbrunn Palace.

Madame Tussauds Vienna: €23.00

This one is optional, but if you have a Vienna Pass it's definitely worth stopping in for an hour or two. These wax museums might not sound all that interesting, until you actually visit one and see how impressive they are.

Giant Ferris Wheel in Prater Amusement Park: €10.00

ViennaFerrisWheelPerhaps Vienna's most famous landmark, this Ferris Wheel was famously featured in the movie The Third Man, and is incredibly popular with first-time visitors. You can reach it easily on the HOHO bus or a regular tram, and the views from the top are the best in the city.

Vienna Sightseeing Tours: Guided Walking Tour (1 hour): €15

The HOHO Bus is great to see the majority of Vienna's most famous buildings and landmarks around the Ring, but it can't get into the pedestrian-only area in the middle of the city. These walking tours are the best and fastest way to see and understand the history and incredible architecture in the center.

The above attractions can all be done in 2 days

ViennaCathedralIf you only have 2 days in Vienna, you still have enough time to cover all of the top attractions mentioned just above, and still have your evenings free and maybe time for 1 or 2 more things. The price of these on their own is over €100, so the Vienna Pass is clearly a good deal for anyone who wants to cover these top things in 2 or 3 days.

However, if you are the type of visitor who mainly likes to walk around and only see 1 or 2 sights each day, then the Vienna Pass would not be good value. It's best for first-time visitors who really want to experience as much of this gorgeous city as possible in an efficient and organized way. If you are not this type of traveler, you'll probably still enjoy Vienna in your own way.

Is the Vienna TravelCard worth it?

ViennaPostModernThe add-on price of the Vienna TravelCard is essentially the same as you'd pay if you bought it on your own once you got there. So if you think you'll need an unlimited transport card for all of the subways, trams, buses, and local trains in Vienna, you might as well order it with the card so you'll have it when you arrive without having to stand in line and try to buy one from a German-speaking attendant.

The central Ring area of Vienna is fairly compact, and if you are staying in a hotel within the Ring you might save a bit of money by buying individual transit tickets. But, a few of the best attractions such as the Schönbrunn Palace and the famous Ferris Wheel in Prater Park are on the edge of the city and you'll definitely need public transport. Hotels outside of the Ring area are cheaper as well, so you can save quite a bit by staying a bit outside of the center and then jumping on the frequent trams or subway to be in the center in just a few minutes.

Top attractions that are included in the Vienna Pass

  • Hop-on, hop off bus tour: €28.00
  • Schönbrunn Palace Grand Tour: €17.50
  • Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel: €10.00
  • Hofburg Imperial Palace: €13.90
  • Vienna Sightseeing Tours: Guided Walking Tour (1 hour): €15
  • Madame Tussauds Vienna: €23.00
  • City Cruises Vienna: €23
  • Spanish Riding School: €15
  • Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts) & Neue Burg: €15
  • Imperial Palace Schloss Hof: €13
  • Imperial Treasury Vienna: €12
  • House of Music: €13
  • Mozarthaus Vienna: €11

There are about 45 more attractions that are included, but most of those cost less than €10 on their own, so the ones above are the ones to consider when deciding on a Vienna Pass.

Top attractions that AREN'T included in the Vienna Pass

  • Vienna Opera House Tour: €7.50

Is the Vienna Pass a good deal?

ViennaDanubeAs mentioned near the top, the Vienna Pass definitely delivers on its promise of saving visitors time and money if they are interested in seeing most of the top sights. It literally does include everything that all visitors are interested in, except for the Opera House Tour, but you can actually get a cheap ticket to an opera on performance day for that evening, which is better than a tour.

The important thing about the Vienna Pass and other city passes like it is that it rewards visitors who spend some time planning before they arrive, and visitors who get an early start in the morning. If you just plan on buying a Vienna Pass and then finally opening the included guidebook on the first morning you are ready to use it, you'll struggle to get proper use out of it. A few of the key attractions are on the edges of Vienna so you have to get an early start and plan on seeing them in a logical order on public transport or the HOHO bus.

Who should buy the Vienna Pass

  • First-time Vienna visitors who want to see the top sights in limited time
  • Visitors who are organized with a genuine interest in seeing Vienna
  • Visitors who want to do the HOHO bus and a walking tour as well

Who should NOT buy the Vienna Pass

  • Visitors who don't enjoy HOHO bus tours or walking tours
  • Vienna visitors on very-low “backpacker” budgets
  • Visitors who will be spending 3 or more days in Vienna and who prefer to space out their sightseeing

EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT for Price of Travel readers

If you decide to buy you can use promo code POT10 for 10% off on 2, 3 and 6 day passes at The Vienna Pass using this link. Expires December 31, 2020.
Look for Step 4 in the checkout process to enter code: POT10

32 Responses to “Is the Vienna Pass worth it? Vienna Pass 2020 review and prices”

Samadrita says:

Hi Roger,
You have a wonderfully succinct and helpful blog here that is of great help.
I will be travelling to Europe this upcoming June with my family of 7 and our last stop is Vienna. We will be spending about two days there and our itinery is as follows:
Day 1-Reach Vienna from Salzburg at around 10 in the morning and do the city tour comprising of the Schonbrunn Palace and garden,HofburgPalace alongwith the Imperial Treasury and the Silver Collection,the Providentia Fountain and finally a ride on the Ferris Wheel.
Day 2-Take a train to Melk,followed by a boat ride to Durnstein,a train to Krems and then back to Vienna.
Do you think that this plan is feasible and if so should we avail a Vienna Pass?



    Thank you for the nice comment. It sounds like you are referring to a specific Vienna tour that might include those places you have listed. If so then the Vienna Pass would not be good value for you, and hopefully you can get those attractions bundled in your tour. You could buy the Vienna Pass and do all of those things on the hop-on, hop-off bus, but you’d need to do both routes in order to make it to Schonbrun and all the others. It could be done, but the timing might be tight because it would take almost four hours to do both bus routes even if you stayed on the whole time. Since they only come every 30 minutes, each time you hopped off would probably take 60 to 90 minutes before you are back on board.

    Really it’s just Schonbrun Palace and the Ferris wheel that are somewhat distant, so you might be able to do only partial routes with few hop offs. Still, if you only have that one day it’s probably better to book a bus tour that goes to those places, so you don’t have to rely on the HOHO bus. I hope this helps. You’ll love Vienna. -Roger

Samadrita says:

Thanks a lot Roger. This was very helpful.

Aileen says:

My sister and I have to go to Vienna this July to take language courses there and plan to look around the city on weekends, do you have any suggestions about getting the Vienna pass or not ? If it’s anything, both of us aren’t fluent in German



    The Vienna Pass is a good deal if you want to see enough included attractions within a short period of time. If you had to do all of your main sightseeing over a weekend it could be helpful to get a 2-day pass, as long as those attractions interest you. The language situation won’t be a problem as English is widely spoken in Vienna, and especially by people who deal with tourists. At a supermarket or that sort of place the clerks will probably only speak German, but at museums and restaurants and cafes and such, you can just speak English and you’ll be understood. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Aileen says:

Thank you for the reply, it helps a lot. Can you also give us the advice of which SIM cards to use or such? Since we aren’t likely to get phone calls, the mobile data (wifi) is our main concern.



    I didn’t buy a SIM card last time I was in Austria so I don’t have good advice. There are a few websites that cover the mobile phone situation very well, so I’m sure you’ll get a good answer. And recently the situation changed a bit when Europe enforced a law where countries have to allow roaming at reasonable prices. Best of luck on this. -Roger

Rishi says:

Hi Roger
I’m planning a visit to vienna, landing 23 June, staying till 27th. I am keen to see most of the places covered by the Vienna pass however, me and my wife are traveling along with our 10 month old son. I am not sure considering the same reason that a Vienna pass would be justified.A superfast visit to all tourist attractions will be tiring for the little one as well.
Please advise



    I’m sorry but I don’t think I’m much help with this situation. I know Vienna’s attractions and how the city is laid out, but I don’t have any children of my own and I don’t know how a 10-month-old is likely to react on a sightseeing trip. I can tell you that Vienna is great for things like bathrooms with baby-changing tables and sidewalks and ramps that make strollers easy to use, and the trains and public transport tend to be quite well adapted for strollers as well. I hope that helps at least a little. -Roger

Joel says:

Hi, We are planning 9 sightseeing days in Vienna & vicinity in late September including as many museums & historic sights as possible. Six days for visiting sights and the other days for day train trips to place like Melk. Is the six day pass worthwhile?
thank you.



    This isn’t an easy call because you’d have to do most of the more expensive included attractions in order to save money. In six sightseeing days you’ll have time to do pretty much all of them, and you’ll be passing right by probably all of them as well. One example is Madame Tussauds. If it wasn’t included you might scoff at €23 per adult to go in, but if you have the Vienna Pass you can just pop in for an hour and have a look. I’ve done it at a few of these Madame Tussauds locations and they are WAY more impressive than I was expecting. The hop-on, hop-off bus is a great way to see a lot on your first day, and I’d recommend it with or without the Vienna Pass. The City Cruise is also quite good, so with six days you should be able to get very good value out of a Vienna Pass. The main thing is to go through the list and make sure that enough of the included attractions interest you.

    By the way, I’m trying to get that 10% discount going again, so hopefully I’ll have that in place Tuesday or Wednesday of this week. -Roger

Joel says:

Thank you Roger. I was able to buy the pass for 10% off as it was offered to us by an e-mail. We will see as much as we possibly can in the six days! Thanks again. – Joel

Kasia says:

I would like to know if the holder of this 6 days vienna pass get also free access to the Haus des Meeres? Thanks for the post



    Unfortunately I don’t see anything about the aquarium in Vienna in the information about the Vienna Pass, so it doesn’t seem to be a partner at all. Sorry about that. -Roger

Kasia says:

Thanks for the answer, now I also wonder if I can take with me both my kids, 2 and 4 years old as I travel alone. One way I’ve found that they are “2 categories – “Adult” and “Junior” (for children from 6 to 18 years) this way they shouldnt need a tickets.
on the other site I’ve read that “Each holder of a Vienna Pass is allowed to take one child aged 0-6 years with them for free”

So what with lonely parents who take care for more than just a one infant? Do they tell me to buy another ticket if mostly everywhere kids under 6 have free access like to the zoo for example?



    You’d have to ask Vienna Pass about that policy, but in cases like yours it does sound silly. I’ve seen that “one child per parent” rule on almost all of these city passes and attraction cards, as well as transportation cards, so Vienna isn’t alone. However, I think it’s probably only an issue on a very few attractions. I believe that pretty much all museums and places like that will allow anyone 5 and under in for free. On the other hand, when it comes to something like a hop-on, hop-off bus, if one paying adult brings on their 5-year-old quintuplets and the group of them takes up six prime seats on the top deck for the price of one, you can see why that could be a problem.

    In Vienna I’d guess that kids that young will be free to just about everything with or without a Vienna Pass, and if you want to take a bus or something like that you’d probably be okay or at worst have to buy one child ticket as the other one rides with you for free. I hope this helps. -Roger

Jose Julio Duarte says:

Dear Mr(s)

In your site:
EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT for Price of Travel readers
If you decide to buy you can use promo code POT10 for a 10% discount on all Vienna Passes using this link. Expires December 31, 2019.
I tried obtain the discount and when I click the link to buy the tickets 3 days for two persons and try applie the code POT10 apears Not a valid promotion code or code has expired.

Best Regards

Jose Julio Duarte



    Sorry about that. The company told me a few days ago that they are trying to get the codes activated again and that it should be by the end of this week, which would mean by the end of the day today (Friday, 18-January). If it doesn’t work today it should be working by Monday. Thanks for your patience. -Roger

Jackie Taylor says:

Your post has been really helpful in our decision proces ofr our short stay in Vienna after a month in France,.
I was assuming a lot of the value would be in the skip the line aspect, even if we do not actually see enough sights to add up to the cost of the pass. Do we really save a lot of time because of “fast track entry”?



    With Fast Track Entry it is really hard to predict how much time you’d save. If you get to one of the more popular attractions shortly after it opens, the queues will be very short in either side, but if you arrive at 11am on a Saturday or even at 2pm on a weekday the normal queue might be 30 to 60 minutes. On the other hand, once or twice I’ve seen where the Fast Track queue is slightly longer than the normal one. Generally speaking, from 11am until 4pm and especially on weekends, the Fast Track will save you at least 15 to 30 minutes. Best of luck with this. -Roger

Vasilia says:

Hello,i am from Greece so forgive me for my English.
I”ll go with my husband in Christmas to Vienna 24-12 till 28-12.
I think two days Vienna pass card will be fine but i would like to ask you if you know what happen with “everything” in Christmas day. Will be the museum’s open because of tourists? I mean, what do you suggest us? Vienna pass card for 26,27/12 must be better?
Thank you very much.



    Your English is quite good by the way. This is an interesting question. Many years ago I think nearly all of these things would have been closed on Christmas Day, but in the last 10 years or so I’ve noticed that most large attractions are open and usually quite busy. So many people are visiting family and friends over Christmas that it looks like palaces and museums are open. I just checked Hofburg Imperial Palace and they are open every day of the year. I also checked Madame Tussaud’s and it says they close a bit early on Christmas Eve, but are open normally on Christmas Day.

    In other words, even if a few of the smaller places are closed that day, you’ll still have some major things to choose from so you can research each place and just make sure you are aware of which places are open normally. Have a great trip. -Roger

Marilyn says:

Hi Roger, My husband and I will be visiting Vienna in July. As we live in Australia, would it be possible to order our Vienna Pass and have it posted to Australia or is it better to collect it in Vienna when we get there. If so, where would we collect our Vienna Pass from?
Thank you.
Kind regards, Marilyn



    It’s much better to get the Instant mobile Vienna PASS, which is delivered for no additional cost on your smartphone right after you order. You can also pick up a Vienna Pass for free at the Vienna Airport or the Vienna Pass desk in the city center, and those are also free, but I’d do the mobile pass if you can. You can also pay €11 to get physical passes mailed to you, but that takes almost a month (or at least that’s the estimate). All of the options are laid out on the Vienna Pass collection page. Have a great trip. -Roger

Flavia says:

Hi Roger

How easy is it to commute by HOHO buses since you mentioned 2 lines.



    I’m not sure if this has changed, but it appears the HOHO bus now has four lines. I have mixed feelings about using the HOHO buses to get between attractions. The Red Line in Vienna goes along the Ringstrasse (Ring Road) that circles the city center, and many of the included attractions are very close to those stops. On the other hand, HOHO buses are rarely the fastest way to get from one place to another. My advice is to get a good seat on the HOHO bus and stay on for most or all of a loop first so you have a good view and can enjoy the commentary. If you get off after only a few stops it’s sometimes common that all the seats on the top level are taken and you have to ride down below without a great view.

    The Vienna Pass also comes with an option transit card for about €7 per day. The subway system in Vienna is quite nice and very fast and this is usually the fastest way to get between places. On the other hand, the Yellow Line goes out to Schönbrunn Palace, which is a bit out of town, and that can be handy since many people on the bus will get off and when you get back on your can usually get a good seat. -Roger

Eliana says:

Hi… after reading your post, i am still not sure what is the difference between the Vienna Pass with travel and the Vienna Pass no travel



    The Vienna Pass includes the hop-on, hop-off bus, but it’s actually pretty inefficient to use those to get from place to place. So they offer an optional travelcard for 1, 2, or 3 days, which is good for unlimited transportation on the local metro and buses. For getting to the remote attractions such as the palace and the Ferris wheel, using public transportation is usually faster and more pleasant. I hope this helps. -Roger

Jingers says:

Hi, I’ve just stumbled into your blog. My sister and I are planning to visit Vienna during 18-21 Oct. Our flight will arrive at 3pm of Fri 18 Oct and leave on the morning of 21 Oct so we’ll have a few hours on the afternoon/evening of 18 Oct and the whole weekend for sight-seeing. We’re good walkers and wouldn’t mind having a reasonably early start. Do you think it would be worth buying a 3-day pass? (I know even one hour use would still count as a full day.) Would you have any suggestions in terms of the route to make the most of the pass? We’d definitely like to visit the places you mentioned in your 2-day schedule. Would it also be worth buying a travel card due to the infrequency in the hop on-off buses?



    I think it would be hard to use the Vienna Pass more than once that first day if your plane touches down at 15:00, and you’ll probably be a bit tired as well. So I’d go with the 2-day pass and focus on starting as early as possible the next morning.

    As for the travel pass, it really depends on where you are staying. If your hotel is within walking distance of any of the central attractions or within the Ring itself, you might not need to take many metro rides. As long as you start early and are well organized, you should be able to use the HOHO bus for transportation to most or all of the outer attractions. Take it out to Schönbrunn Palace in the morning and on your way back you can hit any others that interest you. Then you can focus the rest of your stay in the central Ring area, which is flat and easily walkable for fit people.

    You might end up taking a few metro rides if you are in a hurry, but the HOHO bus actually works pretty well in Vienna because the traffic is rarely too crazy. I’m sure you’ll have a great time. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger

Jingers says:

Thank you! Our schedule has actually already changed but your advice is still very useful. Do you also happen to know which places can be visited in the evening, covered by the pass?


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