Not All Tourist City Cards Are a Good Buy

Written by Karen Bryan

It can be tempting to purchase a city card for sightseeing when you are on a trip. Most city card promote themselves as a way to save money.

However, it’s a good idea to check out if buying a city pass will actually save you money.

Before my recent trip to Porto, I did attempt to do some research into the Porto Card. But the website wasn’t very user-friendly. The Porto Card listed 170 benefits and discounts.

As a four-day Porto Card, including transport on the buses, Metro and local trains, only cost 33 Euro, I decided to buy one.The price for a four-day Porto Card with no transport included was 15 Euro.

As the Porto Card listed eleven free museums and reductions at many other museums, I reckoned that I would save at least 15 Euro on admission fees.

But that wasn’t the case. On my first day, I visited the Portugese Centre for Photography to discover that it offered free entry to everyone. It was exactly the same scenario at the Casa Oficina Antonio Carreiro.

In fact, paying 15 Euro for non-transport part of the Porto Card only saved me 5 Euro.

I received a 25% discount on the standard admission price of 10 Euro at the Serralves Park and Museum, and 50% off the standard admission price of 5 Euro at the Museu Nacional Soares Reis. That meant that I wasted 10 Euro on the Porto Card, never mind it saving me money.

If you only plan to visit a couple of museums in Porto, I’d advise that you only buy the Andante transport card.