Monday, October 26, 2015

Is the Leipzig Card worth buying?

Some cities offer special discount cards for tourists. The cards often offer transportation on the local bus, tram, and subway system, in addition to discounts and free admissions to local museums and attractions. When I visited Leipzig, I made the decision to buy the Leipzig Card because I thought it might be worth it from a cost-saving perspective. Was I right? Is it cost-effective to buy the Leipzig Card?

Let's look at my thought processes for buying it. My trip to Leipzig was from Friday-Monday. I planned to visit some museums and take public transport. I usually buy a day pass for public transport since it works out to be cheaper than buying individual tickets for most of my wanderings. For example, the day ticket was 6,90 euro, whereas individual tickets are 1,80. It would only take four trips to make it worth it for a day card. Four trips would really be two roundtrips.

The Leipzig Card is 10,90 for a one day or for 21,90 for three days and includes public transport and discounts on museums, stores, etc. It also includes free entrances to some attractions, though this is limited. Since my visit was 3 days and it averaged out to 7,30 a day, I thought that it would be worth to get the card.

However, upon tying up the trip, I had to re-evaluate that. I didn't realize how compact the main sights are within Leipzig. I stayed mostly in the center of the city, pinpointed on the map as Markt. In that vicinity are many museums, stores, restaurants, etc. My hostel was right in the area so I didn't need transportation to that either. I found several free museums that took up a lot of my time. I also could have used very little, if any, public transportation. In order to try to get my value out of the ticket, I did take some tram rides to see the city but I could've walked.

I used the card to get a discount at the fine arts museum (I think 2 euros discount) and on a bus/walking tour (4 euros). I only heavily used the travel portion on one day. My take is this: I don't think it was money totally down the drain but had I realized how easy it was to see most of the sights in a compact area, I probably wouldn't have bought the card. For those considering it, it would be wise to figure out how far everything you want to see it and if the discounts are worth it to justify buying the card. For a short visit, it might worth it just to walk and visit free museums.

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