You’ve just arrived in Turin ready to start your fabulous vacation. You’ve checked into your hotel or Airbnb and you’re heading out to explore all the amazing historical and cultural POIs of the city. But you’re faced with a dilemma. Do you buy a Turin Piedmont museum card (such as the Torino+Piemonte card or the Abbonamento Musei Piemonte card) in advance to save yourself money for when you visit the individual museums? Or will it be more cost-effective to just pay at the door given how long you will stay? Don’t worry, I’m here to help you make that decision. I’ve visited all of the key places, calculated the costs and determined the best choices for you having visited Turin many times as a tourist and having lived here as a resident for the past 5 years.
Museum cards available in Turin
First, let’s review all your options. There are two different types of cards that you can buy that will give you free access to all the most important (and many lesser-known) museums, exhibits, castles and royal residences. The first is the Torino+Piemonte card from Turismo Torino & Provincia (Turin & Province Tourism), and the second is the Abbonamento Musei Piemonte card (Piedmont Museum Membership) from the Association Abbonamento Musei.
Torino Piemonte Card
This card is primarily targeted to tourists who are visiting the city and the surrounding areas for short trips, like a weekend getaway in Turin. It will give you free entrance to all of the main museums and royal residences in Turin and the surrounding area as well as discounts on other purchases and transportation. It comes in 1-day, 2-day, 3-day and 5-day formats (prices are listed in the Useful INFO section at the bottom of the post). It also has the advantage that it bestows the free entrance privileges not only to the owner but also to a child under 12. Though this benefit is negated somewhat by the fact that the National Museums and the Municipal Museums already give free access to those under 18.
Turismo Torino also sells a Torino+Piemonte Contemporary Card for 29€ valid for 7 days providing access to all the Art Museums and Exhibitions such as GAM Torino and the Museum of Contemporary Art at Rivoli Castle. Then there is the Royal Card for 35€ valid for 7 days that gives free access to all the Royal Residences. If you are just interested in seeing only contemporary art or only royal residences, then these cards are a good deal. Otherwise, for the average tourist, the Torino+Piemonte Card is better value as it gives you access to a much wider variety of museums even if it does cost a bit more.
All the Turismo Torino cards come with other benefits such as discounts on public transportation and bus tours, but these are typically only a 10% discount and they also require you to spend money to get something. I prefer to judge by what you really get when you buy the card, which is the free entrances to the museums and ignore the extra stuff you have to pay for to get a benefit.
Abbonamento Musei Piemonte Card
The Abbonamento Musei Piemonte card (Piedmont Museum Membership) is a museum membership card that gives you free access to all the museums, royal residences, castles and all the temporary exhibitions in Turin and Piedmont and the Aosta Valley. You can use it for as many times as you want to visit for a year from the purchase date. This card is targeted towards residents and those who will be staying in the region for a week or longer.
Free things to do in Turin
In reality, if you follow our tours in our posts for the top 10 things you must see for your first time in Turin and the top 15 must-see things in Turin during your visit, you can see practically everything for free. The only things you need to and should pay for are the entry to the museums and royal residences. Otherwise, there are a lot of free things to see in Turin such as the churches, the piazzas, the architecture of the palaces and historic buildings, the parks, the cafes, and the lovely tree-lined boulevards that earnt Turin the nickname, the “Paris of Italy”.
1 Day in Turin – What can you do in Turin for a day?
If you just have one day to spend in the beautiful city of Turin and you want to visit some museums, my advice is to visit the Royal Museums (15€) (which is actually a fascinating collection of museums including the Royal Palace, the Chapel of the Holy Shroud, the Royal Armory, Sabauda Art Gallery, and the Antiquity Museum) and then the Turin Egyptian Museum (15€). If you buy the Torino+Piemonte Card – 1d (27€) you can visit up to 3 places (e.g. add the National Cinema Museum and Panoramic lift at the Mole Antonelliana (15€)), but I don’t recommend it. You would be too rushed and would not have enough time to appreciate all the free things in Turin such as the piazzas, churches and parks as we mentioned in our first time in Turin tour. Thus, if you buy the 1-day card and visit the two museums you would only save 3€ (10%), which is not really worth it.
2 – 3 Days in Turin – What can you do in Turin for a Weekend?
If you have a few more days to spend in fabulous Turin, such as a weekend getaway, then the Torino+Piemonte cards start to make a lot of sense. On a two-day trip, in addition to the Royal Museums and the Egyptian museum, I would also recommend adding the National Cinema Museum and Panoramic Lift in the Mole Antonelliana (15€) and one other royal residence a little further out of town such as the Royal Hunting Residence of Stupinigi (12€). This would be a total cost of 57€ if you visited them all individually but with the 2-day Torino+Piemonte card (36€) you can enter them all for free and save 21€ (37%).
For a three-day trip, you can really start branching out based upon your personal tastes. Don’t miss the Reggia of Venaria (25€), a spectacular palace reminiscent of Paris’s Versailles. And then chose one of the following: sports fans can visit the Juventus Museum (15€), car aficionados can visit the National Automobile Museum (12€), art lovers the Gallery of Modern & Contemporary Art GAM-Torino (10€), coffee drinkers have the Lavazza Museum (10€) and for history buffs there is the Palazzo Madama Museum (18€). So, adding the Reggia of Venaria and one of the above to the 2-day trip, if you visited them individually you could pay between 92€ and 100€. Instead, if you buy the 3-day Torino+Piemonte card (43€), you get free entry to all and you would save between 49€ (53%) and 57€ (57%), a huge savings. The other thing to consider though is that six museums in three days is a lot and it doesn’t give much time for exploring the free attractions that I mentioned before. In fact, you may be better off just buying the 2-day card and using the third day of your trip (or maybe the first) just to explore, relax and enjoy the beauty of Turin.
If you are staying for four or five days and you want to max out your savings by visiting museums and palaces every day, then, by all means, buy the 5-day Torino+Piemonte card (51€). You’ll want to visit at least four places, such as the list above for the 2-day trip which would cost individually 57€. Then for any extra places that you visit you would essentially be saving the normal ticket price. Otherwise, for a more relaxed vacation, you may want to consider just buying the 3-day card, relax days one and five and visit all the museums etc from days two to four. This is the only concern with the cards is that once you start using them, the clock starts ticking. So, you must use the cards for consecutive days and cannot pick and chose the days to visit museums on your trip.
Staying longer than a week or moving to Turin and Piedmont?
If you are travelling through-out Turin and Piedmont for a week or longer or you are moving here or are already living here, I highly recommend that you invest in your cultural education and buy an Abbonamento Musei Piemonte (Piedmont Museum Membership). At 52€, it is only 1€ more than the 5-day Torino+Piemonte card but it gives you free access for a year to pretty much every museum, palace, castle, residence and exhibition in Turin, Piedmont and the Aosta Valley. And for 87€ you can also throw in all the museums etc in Milan and Lombardy.
We’ve travelled a lot through-out Piedmont this year but have barely scratched the surface of what is available to be visited. What was great was that in every place I was able to use my Abbonamento Musei Piemonte card to visit for free such as Casa Menabrea and the Cittadellarte – Pistoletto Foundation in Biella, the Grinzane Cavour Castle in the Lange, the Staffarda Abbey in the Po Valley, to name a few. Also, if you are living in Turin and it is a rainy day or you just want some culture, art and/or history to view, you can pop into any of the museums or residences such as the GAM-Torino Art Gallery, the Egyptian Museum, or the Queen’s Villa (Villa of the Regina) and always have an enriching and rewarding experience. It beats sitting at home and watching TV or your cell-phone all day!
Final Thoughts on the Museum Cards of Turin & Piedmont
Hopefully, our guide has helped you make sense of the variety of choices for museum cards to visit for free on your trip to Turin and Piedmont. Remember, if you just have one day, skip the card and make the most of the free sites. If you have between two and five days, buy the Torino+Piemonte card 2- or 3-day version and visit as many great museums, exhibits, castles and royal residences that you can, while enjoying the great savings and convenience of free entry wherever you go. And if you are staying a week or longer, travelling around Piedmont, or moving to live in Turin or another part of Piedmont, treat yourself to the Abbonamento Musei Piemonte card. You’ll be able to visit so many fascinating places and really immerse yourself in the history and the culture of the region. You won’t regret it!
Torino Piemonte card
The Torino+Piemonte card is available in the following formats:
1 Day* – 27€ (* you can only visit a maximum of three sites during the 24 hour period)
2 Days – 36€
2 Days Junior (under 18) – 15€
3 Days – 43€
3 Days Junior (under 18) – 19€
5 Days – 51€
Where to buy it:
In-Person: https://www.turismotorino.org/en/your-trip/our-cards/where-buy list of locations.
The best location is at the Turismo Torino – Tourism Information Centre in Piazza Castello at the corner with Via Garibaldi (see on map). When you enter the office, there is a separate line to the left just concerning the museum cards.
Abbonamento Musei Torino Piemonte (Turin Piedmont Museum Membership)
Full Price – 52€
Discounted – 48€ (see the website for the various organizations that if you are a member, you get a discount, and also for the disabled)
Seniors – 45€ for those 65 and over
Youth – 32€ for those from 15 to 26 years old
Junior – 20€ for those 14 and under
Where to buy it:
In-person: https://piemonte.abbonamentomusei.it/Info-utili/Punti-vendita list of locations.
Call: +39 800.329.329 from 9am to 6pm.
The best location is at the “InfoPiemonte – Torino Cultura” Tourism Information Centre in Piazza Castello at the corner with Via Garibaldi (see on map). When you enter the office, there is a separate line to the left just concerning the museum cards.
Ticket Prices for all the Main Attractions in Turin
|The Royal Museums||15€|
|Madama Palace + Exhibits||18€|
|Turin Egyptian Museum||15€|
|National Cinema Museum + Panoramic Lift at Mole Antonelliana||15€|
|The Royal Tombs and Dome at the Basilica of Superga||8€|
|Villa of the Regina||5€|
|Hunting Residence of Stupinigi||12€|
|Reggia of Venaria Reale||25€|
|Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art GAM-Torino||10€|
|National Automobile Museum||12€|
Where to Stay – Hotels in Turin
Whenever we travel in Italy, we always try to stay at an NH Hotel. They are simply the best! The rooms are comfortable and well-appointed. The staff are always very friendly and helpful. And they have the most delicious breakfast! In Turin, we are fortunate to have several NH Hotels but there are definitely two centrally located that we can highly recommend: the NH Collection Torino Piazza Carlina and the NH Torino Santo Stefano. Both are beautiful hotels in the city centre, walking distance from all the main tourist attractions.
If you are looking for something a little more economical, we can also highly recommend the Le Petit Hotel, a sweet little hotel in the heart of Turin, just next to Piazza Solferino and walking distance to all the main attractions and museums.