Is the Vienna Pass Worth It?

One key aspect of our 7-day Vienna itinerary was visiting Vienna’s museums. After some quick calculations, we decided to spring for the Vienna Pass, hoping we’d see enough attractions to make it worth the purchase price. Now, with the trip over and our brains (and phones) crammed with as much art, history, and antique furnishings as we could see in a week, we can answer the question….

Was the Vienna Pass worth it? 

A quick run-down on the Vienna Pass

Before we can really answer if the Vienna Pass is worth it, we have to first assess what it offers. They have a few different options:

  • 6-Day Vienna Pass: 155.00
  • 3-Day Vienna Pass: 125.00
  • 2-Day Vienna Pass: 95.00
  • 1-Day Vienna Pass: 70.00

For those prices, the Pass offers admission to (practically) all the major Viennese museums. And it lets you skip the line at many of the crowded attractions.

In terms of ease of use, your Pass can be either picked up in Vienna, or accessed through the Vienna Pass app. If you pick it up in Vienna, you get a physical card. We used the Vienna Pass app, to keep things simple. The app offers a guide to city, the attraction list, a map, and of course, your scannable Pass. I would have preferred to have my Pass in my Apple Wallet—I found it was annoying to have to tap so many times to pull the Pass up. But not as annoying as wearing a card around my neck.

A quick run-down on the Vienna museum scene

To be honest, I tend to be doubtful about the value of these passes. I don’t care to see attractions like Madame Tussauds or city zoos and aquariums, and these typically headline the Pass offerings. 

But Vienna has over 100 museums. They range from the obscure (The Imperial Carriage Museum) to the historical (The Military History Museum) to major art collections (The Albertina). So it’s not difficult to get your money’s worth of quality and worth-seeing museums in this city, by any means! 

Determining the worth of your Vienna Pass

Calculating if it’s worth it to get your Vienna Pass is simple. Have a look at the attractions included in the Pass (there are over 60 total). Choose the ones that look good to you. Add together the prices of the full-price tickets. And then compare with the price of the Vienna Pass. I’d say doing more than three museums a day is a stretch—typically even two is a lot. And for larger museums, like Schönnbrunn, you’ll likely want a full day (though Schönnbrunn includes multiple museums within one complex).

Read my full post on visiting Schönnbrunn here! 

In my humble opinion, the must-see list of Vienna museums is: 

  • Schönnbrunn Palace – Grand Tour (door price 26,50€) 
  • Albertina (16€)
  • Upper Belvedere (16€) 
  • Stephansdom (6€)
  • Spanish Riding School Morning Exercises (15€)
  • Museum of Military History (7€)
  • State Hall of Austrian National Library (8€)

That already puts you at 94.5€, roughly the price of the 2-day pass (though you’d need 3 days to really see all of these).  

Nice to see’s (depending of course on your interests) are:

  • Hofburg Imperial Palace (15€)
  • Museum of Natural History (12€)
  • Jewish Museum + Museum Judenplatz (12€)
  • Ferris Wheel (8€)
  • Lower Belvedere (13€)
  • City Cruises Vienna (23€)
  • Imperial Treasury Vienna (12€)

This is already another 95€. So if you did all 14 recommended museums on this list separately, you’d already have exceeded the cost of the 6-Day Vienna Pass. 

One of the nice things about the pass is that, once you’ve hit your personal  “must-see” list, anything else is icing on the cake. Sometimes, we popped into museums simply because we could. And sometimes, it’s entirely worth doing that. The museum architecture is Vienna is astounding; the buildings themselves are sometimes more interesting than their contents. So just having the freedom to pop in and out and have a quick wander (and let’s be honest, use the bathrooms!) is a value in itself. 

The museum architecture is Vienna is astounding; the buildings themselves are sometimes more interesting than their contents. So just having the freedom to pop in is a value in itself. 

Our experience with the Vienna Pass

We wound up hitting up the following museums:

  • Schonbrunn Palace (door price 26,50€) 
  • Albertina (16€)
  • Upper Belvedere (16€) 
  • Stephansdom (6€)
  • Spanish Riding School Morning Exercises (15€)
  • Museum of Military History (7€)
  • State Hall of Austrian National Library (8€)
  • Hofburg Imperial Palace (15€)
  • Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna (16€)

This totals exactly 125, which you’ll remember is exactly the price of our 3-day pass. Quick note: The only thing we saw attraction-wise that was not on the Vienna Pass was the Stephansdom roof, which cost 6€ (for the North Tower). I would have liked to also hit the Natural History Museum, which would have saved us 12€. Not super compelling? There’s one thing we haven’t talked about yet. 

The Bonus* 

The Vienna Pass also includes the Hop On-Hop Off sightseeing bus. Like me, you might be quick to dismiss this. So terribly touristy and cliché, right? Wrong! (as I was so proven) Having the buses included was actually a legit bonus. For one, Vienna’s got sprawl. With the buses, we saved money on transport from location to location (and took the literal scenic route to boot). For another, the bus tour, which you can choose to plug into or not, was actually really informative and interesting.

All that to say, don’t underestimate the value of the Hop On-Hop Off bus. It might actually be the deciding factor in whether the Vienna Pass is worth it.