While planning my trip to Alsace, France, I contemplated if I should buy the regional discount card, named the Pass’Alsace. This is the local tourist pass for Alsace. For research purposes, I decided to buy the Alsace tourist card and see if it would offer value for money.
Here you can read my experiences and calculations to see if the pass is worth the initial costs. Over time, the prices of attractions might change, but I’m sure the overall conclusions will be the same.
For accurate prices, always consult the sales prices at the time of purchase.
I paid for everything in full myself. I was not paid or sponsored. All my opinions and experiences are my own.
Probe around the Globe does use affiliate links. If you decide to follow one of my links and make a purchase, I’ll earn a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you.
Do you need the Pass’Alsace Tourist Card
and is it worth the money?
- What is the Pass-Alsace?
- How to get the Alsace Pass?
- Costs of the Pass’Alsace
- Alsace Tourist Card: is it worth it?
- Main attractions included in the Pass’Alsace tourist card
- Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle near Kintzheim
- Birds of Prey show at Kintzheim Castle
- Monkey Mountain near Kintzheim
- Cigoland near Kintzheim
- Batorama boat tour in Strasbourg
- NaturOparc in Hunawihr
- Hohlandsbourg Castle
- Tellure Silvermines
- Mausa Street-Art museum in Neuf-Brisach
- Electropolis Museum in Mulhouse
- Mulhouse Zoo
- Full list of attractions included in the Alsace tourist pass
- How easy is it to make use of the pass?
- What is not included in the tourist card for Alsace region?
- Things to know about the Alsace tourist pass
- A sample itinerary for Pass Alsace
- Should you buy the Pass-Alsace when visiting Alsace?
What is the Pass-Alsace?
So what is the Pass-Alsace?
Basically, it is one tourist card that offers you many attractions in the Alsace region for free and some discounts on tours and shops.
It can be bought as a physical card that you have to pick up, or as a digital product that you can download to your smartphone and can be scanned at the entrance of the attractions.
The pass covers several major attractions in the Alsace region, ranging from north-Alsace and Strasbourg and Colmar to Mulhouse in the south.
Different Alsace Passes
There are different passes to be used in the Alsace. Here are the options
- MiniPass for 24h
- MiniPass for 48h
- Pass’Alsace for 3 days (to be used in 14 days)
- Pass-Alsace for 5 days (to be used in 14 days)(only online)
- Pass for Strasbourg and North-Alsace for 3 days
Prices for adults and children are different. The MiniPasses can only be used for consecutive hours. So if you activate the 24h pass at 2 pm, the pass is valid until the following day at 1.59 pm.
However, if you use the 5-day Alsace Pass, it doesn’t have to be used for 5 days in a row. You can use the pass for 2 days and 1 week later, you can use the next 3 days.
How to get the Alsace Pass?
There are several options to purchase the Pass-Alsace. If you wish to have a physical product, you need to purchase it at one of the local tourist offices, for example at Colmar or Strasbourg.
BUY YOUR PASS’ALSACE TOURIST CARD HERE
Costs of the Pass’Alsace
Depending on which duration and adult or children pass you purchase, prices may vary. I’m just going to talk about the prices for adults as I’m sure at least one adult is buying the pass when they purchase for their children too.
At the time of visit, these were the different prices. As said, prices may vary in the future, but this will give you a guideline:
- MiniPass for 24h : € 25 / €17
- MiniPass for 48h : €35 / €22
- Pass’Alsace for 3 days : €40 / € 27
- Alsace Pass for 5 days : €60 / € 40
- Pass for Strasbourg and North-Alsace for 3 days: € 25 / € 17
- Winter Alsace Pass for 3 days : €25 / €17 (only available in winter and not all attractions are included)
Alsace Tourist Card: is it worth it?
Before I went, I really was hesitant to purchase the pass.
Would it be worth the money?
Because although it offers free access to the major attractions, you need to do a lot of those attractions to break even and actually benefit from the pass.
Here are my experiences with the Pass-Alsace:
What is included in the Alsace tourist pass?
A lot of small and bigger museums are included in the pass.
In total, they have a list of 58 attractions that give you free access with your Pass’Alsace. The value is more than €400 but it is humanly impossible to do everything.
But I found most of these museums quite obscure and specific.
You really need to be into ancient bread-making to visit the bread and spice museum to actually appreciate what you’re looking at.
Or the luggage museum. Or the wallpaper museum.
Main attractions included in the Pass’Alsace tourist card
The main attractions, and most expensive options to visit, that are included with the Pass Alsace are:
Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle near Kintzheim
The adult entry fee is €9 but free with Pass-Alsace. This is one of the top attractions in the region. You can enjoy the view from the castle, roam the rooms and climb the towers. I think you need at least 2 maybe even 3 hours to fully visit the castle.
Birds of Prey show at Kintzheim Castle
The adult entry fee is €7 but free with Pass-Alsace. I first thought the castle was the main attraction. Or the birds of prey show was separate from a visit to the castle. This is not the case.
Kintzheim Castle is a ruin now. It is located in the woods and you need 10 minutes to walk from the nearest car park to the castle. To view the ruins and the birds of prey in their cages might take less than 30 minutes. The birds of prey show is the main attraction.
Unfortunately, the whole show is in French, but the birds flying are pretty impressive. Also, the tricks and flights they perform, are unlike what I’ve ever seen before. The show takes 1.5 hours and is worth it, even if you don’t understand French.
Allocate 2 hours for the walking up to the castle, the show, and a viewing of the ruins. Maybe a little bit more.
Monkey Mountain near Kintzheim
The adult entry fee is €9,50 but free with Pass-Alsace. I didn’t visit this myself but it is a small zoo with the main focus on monkeys. There are set feeding times but if it is like anything else in Alsace, the explanations are only in French.
Cigoland near Kintzheim
The adult entry fee is €18 but free with Pass-Alsace. This park is mostly steered at young children between the age of 2 to 12 years old. The park offers insight into the local symbol, the white stork, and has some rides. It doesn’t look too spectacular so your 12-year-old might roll their eyes at you for suggesting it.
Batorama boat tour in Strasbourg
The adult price is €14. You need to add an extra €5-Batorama charge to your Pass-Alsace when you purchase it, but then it is free. This gives you a €9 discount.
Strasbourg offers a nice network of waterways and the 1.5-hour boat tour takes you along for the ride. You get some headphones and I believe they offer commentary in every language under the sun.
Especially passing the locks is pretty nice. They offer covered boats and open boats and I thought it was a nice tour. For young children with a short attention span, it might be too much.
Will you only visit Strasbourg? Then the Strasbourg and North-Alsace pass might be best for you. You can purchase it here.
NaturOparc in Hunawihr
The adult entry fee is €11 but free with Pass-Alsace. I visited the small, local animal zoo as I figured it was ‘free’ with the pass and it would offer me some insight into the how and what of the white Stork in Alsace.
Unfortunately, all commentary was in French. Almost every hour, they offer a feeding or explanation about storks, otters, and other small animals but when everything is in French, it is not very foreign tourist-friendly.
I still thought it was a nice way to escape the heat but I didn’t spend more than an hour there. With young children, you might need more time.
The adult entry fee is €9,50 but free with Pass-Alsace. And you need to climb a very steep hill to get there. Allocate 10-15 minutes of steep climbing to get there from the nearest car park.
Once up there, you have spectacular views of the Alsace plains and you can walk the ramparts. Most of Hohlansbourg Castle is in ruins, like the inner castle and tower. But you can walk the ramparts and this offers you 360-degree views of the region.
There are display rooms and depending on the day of the week and the season, there are several interactive ‘medieval’ displays. I only came to see the castle and spend maybe 1 to 1.5 hours there.
If you sit down for a drink, interact with the archers or read everything on display, it might take you the recommended 2-2.5 hours.
The adult entry fee is €12,50 but free with Pass-Alsace. Sadly, I didn’t visit the mines as it was out of my way.
Now I wonder why in the hell I didn’t make the effort as it was scorching hot during my visit and a visit below ground to view the mining of silver sounds really interesting!
Mausa Street-Art museum in Neuf-Brisach
The adult entry fee is €10 but free with Alsace Pass and I highly recommend going to Neuf-Brisach. I absolutely loved my visit to the museum.
It is hip, vibrant and something completely different than all the wood-timbered houses and cute flowers everywhere. It is raw and fresh and really for all ages. I spent over an hour there!
Electropolis Museum in Mulhouse
The adult entry fee is €10 but free with Alsace Card. It shows you everything about the early ages of electricity and the different ways to apply it through the ages.
Sadly, it is located on the outskirts of Mulhouse. As I visited on a day trip by train, I was just too tired to walk all the way up there.
The adult entry fee is €18,50 but free with an Alsace Tourist card. I didn’t really feel like visiting a zoo on my day trip but it is known as one of the nicest zoos in this part of Europe. Part of the perimeter is reserved for a large botanical garden.
It doesn’t have much to do with the Alsace but if you feel like entertaining your kids for a couple of hours, I’m sure it does the trip.
The rest of the museums and options to visit range from 3 to 5 or 6 euros entrance fee which is a nice added bonus.
However, the attractions are spread out throughout the region. Although I had a whole week, I did not go as far north to visit some of the castles there.
And major tourist cities like Colmar actually had very few attractions to offer with the Alsace tourist card.
Full list of attractions included in the Alsace tourist pass
I also made a near academic study out of the subject and decided to throw all the attractions into a spreadsheet with the adult saving price next to it.
If you want, you can download it too. You just sign up to my mailing list and then you can download the spreadsheet.
Of course, the listed attractions and their prices may change over time. It is always a good idea to do your own research and check actual updated prices on local websites but the list can offer you some guidance.
How easy is it to make use of the pass?
I figured I’d make good use of the pass in Strasbourg. It was mentioned on the website that the pass would offer one city walking/ geocaching tour. Nice, I thought.
Turns out, the tours only run once a day, in French.
Once a week they offer a tour in German, but not in English.
On the website, the times and options are not mentioned. I figured I’d ask at the local tourist office. That was when I discovered they only run in French.
Ok. Then maybe make use of their 4-hour bike rental, which would be free with the pass.
But the link on the website to reserve a spot doesn’t work and nowhere in Strasbourg center (not even at the tourist office) mentions the bike rental place or offers bikes.
With the pass, you can visit 3 museums in Strasbourg, but it turns out: visits to the museums in Strasbourg are currently free anyway.
What is not included in the tourist card for Alsace region?
None of the tourist trains that run in many of the different villages and towns are included. Only the train in Wissembourg offers a reduction with the pass.
Nor the world-famous train museum in Mulhouse is included.
Or the tourist train + cruise near Neuf-Brisach are included or offer discounts.
The pass offers you some discounts at shops and shows, but I’d expect at least a discount at local tourist offices for maps and souvenirs.
Or discounts for at least a few wineries, or bike rental places. Anything to make the pass more attractive.
Things to know about the Alsace tourist pass
I felt the pass was very much steered towards families with young children as many of the bigger attractions are full-day activities for children.
Or older people who like browsing the wallpaper museum (?).
However, there is no family pass or discount when two (grand)parents buy a pass or you buy for more than 4 children, one adult is included or reduced price, or something similar.
Of course, it was lovely that the Zoo & Botanical garden in Mulhouse and the Cigopark near Kintzheim were included in the pass. An entry to these attractions is €18 for adults. But these are full-day activities and don’t leave much room for anything else to do that day.
If you, for example, purchase the 48-hour pass, you really need to work hard on the 2nd day to get your money’s worth.
A lot of the smaller museums are very specific (I’m looking at the bread museum and the wallpaper museum).
Ok, the entrance fee is only a few euros but they don’t sound hip and vibrant and for young people or international travelers.
Most of the attractions (castles, shows, museums) have information in French. Watching birds of prey show for 1.5 hours with only French commentary is a whole different experience. I can imagine that children lose interest quickly if they can’t understand.
The only thing hip and modern and for younger generations, I’ve found was the Mausa museum in Neuf-Brisach.
This underground street-art museum was included in the tourist pass, much to my surprise. And I highly recommend this museum (with the pass or not).
Prebooking time-slots with the Alsace tourist card
Another thing to note is the option to pre-book time slots and tickets.
Of course, I don’t know if this is only pandemic-related, but I figured it would be a good idea to book some time slots before I went.
Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle had the option to reserve a time slot for €0 because of the pass.
However, Hohlandsbourg Castle didn’t have this option at all. Once I arrived, I actually had to wait in line, to show my pass and get entrance to the castle.
For some reason, I had a difficult time deciding if I wanted the pass because I could not figure out what I wanted to do and what was included.
They have quite elaborate website but it is extremely slow.
The website offers the option to switch different languages, but I experienced that the English option doesn’t translate everything and doesn’t have the same information as the French site.
There is no map to see what is near you. You just have to know the region and all the names of places to determine if it is for you.
You can’t immediately see what the price of an attraction is and if it is worth buying the pass.
It takes 4-5 clicks to get this information and with the super slow loading times, it is tedious and time-consuming (and frustrating!!).
Download the Pass’Alsace App
I’ve finally downloaded the app on my smartphone and this offers much more user-friendly options for locations, information, and prices.
This helps a lot but I still feel the website should offer the same services.
A sample itinerary for Pass Alsace
Ok, I know, I don’t sound overly excited about the pass. And maybe with good reason. You really need to plan to make good use of your pass. Otherwise, you might as well pay for the different entrance fees out of pocket and break even in the end.
To make things easier for you, I’m going to give you my sample itinerary for the 5-day Alsace Pass.
And, I’m going to imagine I’m traveling with children and have limited time, and give you my suggestions for a 3-day pass too!
My 5-day Alsace Pass Itinerary
As mentioned before, I had a full week in Alsace. My main focus would be on good food and discovering new wines, but I also wanted to see some castles. I planned to visit Strasbourg and Mulhouse too, so I figured I could use the pass there too.
For some reason, it was not clear to me that you don’t have to use the tourist card for 5 consecutive days. I was under the impression that I had to, so I didn’t make optimal use of the pass.
However, I didn’t want to drive 50-60 km out of my way for one attraction included in the card, so I tried to fit everything into a somewhat logical itinerary.
I bought the pass online and downloaded it to the app. I paid €65 for an adult 5-day pass + Batorama boat cruise option in Strasbourg.
- Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle (saving €9)
- Birds of Prey show at Kintzheim Castle (saving €10)
- Wine tour and tasting at Zeyssolff (reduction of €2.40)
- Gingerbread and Alsation Folk museum in Gertwiller (saving €3)
The last museum was a total farce and I couldn’t get out of there quick enough. This might have caused me to dismiss any other local museum during the rest of my trip
You can stay local and visit Monkey Mountain (a monkey park in the woods) or Cigoland (a stork and leisure park with rides for 2-12-year-olds) near Kintzheim. This would save you €9,50 or €18.
NaturOparc near Hunawihr (saving €11)
Hohlandsbourg Castle near Wintzenheim (saving €9,50)
Batorama Boat Tour in Strasbourg (saving €9)
You can rent a bike for 4 hours, which saves you €15 but see my comments above about how to arrange it.
You can visit 3 of the 5 Strasbourg museums (on average €6,50 each) but at the time of my visit, they were free of charge anyways.
Mausa Street-Art museum in Neuf-Brisach (saving €10)
Hansi Museum in Colmar (saving €5)
Toy Museum in Colmar (saving €6)
Electropolis Museum in Mulhouse (saving €10)
and/or the Mulhouse Zoo (saving €18,50)
As you can see, you really need to visit 1-2 attractions in Alsace a day, to get value for money with the pass. Although you can spread these 5 days out over a period of 14-day, it still is a lot of work!
In the end, I actually broke even as I didn’t take full advantage of my pass. But this could have been nearly €30 if I wasn’t that tired the last day.
My proposal for a 3-day Alsace Pass with young children
Say, you are a single parent or a family with children under the age of 12.
I can imagine you’re looking to entertain your little ones and maybe make different choices than I did.
Here are my suggestions to make the most of your 3-day Alsace pass.
Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle (saving €9)
- And choose any of these 3 options:
- Birds of Prey show at Kintzheim Castle (saving €10)
- Monkey Mountain near Kintzheim (saving €9,50)
- Cigoland (a stork and leisure park with rides for 2-12 year-olds) near Kintzheim (saving €18)
Hohlandsbourg Castle near Wintzenheim (saving €9,50)
Tellure, silver mine in Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines (saving €12,50)
For Strasbourg: do the Batorama boat tour (saving €9)
For Mulhouse: Electropolis Museum in Mulhouse (saving €10) and/or the Mulhouse Zoo (saving €18,50)
And for Colmar and region: choose any of these 3 options that you didn’t do the first day:
- Birds of Prey show at Kintzheim Castle (saving €10)
- Monkey Mountain near Kintzheim (saving €9,50)
- Cigoland (a stork and leisure park with rides for 2-12-year-olds) near Kintzheim (saving €18)
If you follow this Pass’Alsace 3-day itinerary within 14 days, you should be able to save anywhere between €10 to €20 with the pass and be able to visit some of the smaller museums and get discounts with the pass.
Buy your 3-day Pass’Alsace here
Should you buy the Pass-Alsace when visiting Alsace?
As you can read from my story, I’m not undivided and jumping up and down to convince you to use the pass.
I missed some attractions with free access or at least discounted possibilities that other cities and regions do offer in their card.
I also found it a hassle to work out what was worth my time, what each attraction actually was, and how much time to allocate for it.
In the end, I think the pass can save you some money, but you really need to do 1 or 2 or even 3 of the big attractions a day to get your money’s worth from it.
One big advantage is the mental aspect. With the tourist card, you don’t have to think about spending money all the time.
I don’t know about you, but the frugal side of me finds it difficult to spend 3 times a day € 10 for an attraction of 1 or 2 hours worth.
With the Pass Alsace, you just spend money once, and don’t even have to worry anymore about the entrance fee and should we visit or not?
In the end, it is of course completely up to you if you want to buy the Alsace tourist pass or not. I hope I was able to offer you some insights into what the pass is and how it is best used.
If you do want to buy the pass, I recommend buying it online in advance. You can do so via this link.
Will you visit the Alsace soon? Are you considering what to do and if you should purchase the Alsace pass? I hope I was able to help you a little bit with my personal experiences. Now that you’re aware of everything, you might be able to make an informed decision.
Do you have remarks or questions? Let me know! You can drop a comment in the comment section below.