Salzburg Public Transport
No matter what the local tourism mafia is trying to tell you: Salzburg′s public transport system is expensive, unreliable and an eternal source of anger for most locals. No wonder that Salzburg is Austria′s cycling capital, with more than 20 percent of all transport of persons being done by bicycle. That being said, if you are a tourist in Salzburg, the city busses are still the best and least expensive mean of transport through the city. In this article, we try to give you some advice on how to make the best of it.
First of all: Purchasing the tickets in advance is always the least expensive option (please note that we avoid the use of the word "cheap" in this context). You can buy ticket packages at "Trafiken" (kiosks), which you will find on every other corner. The second least expensive option for single tickets are the machines that you will find on almost every bus stop; the most expensive option is to buy single ride tickets from the driver. Make sure to devalue your ticket by putting it into the box with the ping inside of the bus.
Getting Discounts & Other Tricks for Public Transport
At the machines mentioned before, 24 hour tickets are available (good if you need a bus for at least three rides); if you are staying in Salzburg for longer than three days, a 1 week ticket will be better. Note that all public transportation in Salzburg is covered by this, so basically the city busses as well as communal and some local trains. Children between the ages of 6 and 14 get discounts. The use of city busses is included in the Salzburg Card.
In theory, most city busses come in 10 minute intervals during rush and business hours (in practice, they often don′t, but that′s a different story). The coverage of the city is actually pretty good, but note that the more "remote" a neighbourhood is, the less frequent busses will go there. The connections between hubs such as the airport, the central station, most P&R parking lots and the city centre are generally very good and reliable. Late at night (after midnight), the nocturnal "BusTaxi" and "Nachtstern" shuttle bus services supplement the regular public transport.
Finally an important note: Keep in mind that most things in Salzburg are very walkable. This applies especially to those who have a central hotel and who are of the sportive kind. Do also consider to rent bicycles - the cycling paths in Salzburg are exceptionally well-developed and the bicycle is by far the fastest mean of transport in this city, especially during rush hours. Maybe your hotel has special deals with local bicycle rental firms - it is worth asking.
Official Website of the Salzburg public transport company
Official Website of Salzburg city bus and other public transport