20 Best Things To Do in Salzburg, Austria
Salzburg in Austria is definitely one of the most beautiful and fascinating cities in Europe! This city has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1977 and without a doubt, there are some amazing things to do in Salzburg: It is home to some of the most gorgeous architecture, historic buildings, attractions and beautiful views. The city of Salzburg is mostly famous because it’s the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and it was the setting for the popular film “The Sound of Music”. Honestly, no trip to Austria is complete without checking out Salzburg! But what are the best places to visit in Salzburg, what are the most amazing attractions and must-dos for a perfect Salzburg itinerary?
In this blog article is a complete travel guide for visiting Salzburg in Austria. We present you the ultimate best thing to do, the most amazing places and attraction in town. Additionally, you will get plenty of travel info’s about unforgettable excursions, about getting there and best accommodations.
Best Things to do in Salzburg
There are lots of great things to do in Salzburg. Surely enough to spend 2 or better better more days in this awesome city. Impressive palaces and old churches, beautiful parks, interesting museums, breath-taking viewpoints, delicious restaurants and classical music are just a few of the city’s main attractions. Here is a selection of the best places to visit on a trip to Salzburg in Austria.
Salzburger Dom & DomQuartier
The Salzburger Dom (Salzburg Catherdral) is the absolute jaw-tropper of the historic townscape and one of the best attractions in Salzburg. Without a doubt, the cathedral is Salzburg’s most important sacred building in the old town and the inside, as well as the outside, is worth a visit! On the cathedral square, the annual Christmas Market takes place in wintertime and in summer you will enjoy the famous Salzburg Festival.
Tip: Next to the cathedral is the DomQuartier, a complex of five museums. From the terrace you have a magnificent view of the baroque Salzburg and the cathedral square.
The Getreidegasse is Salzburg most famous shopping street and the bustling heart of the city. The beautiful old-fashioned iron guild signs above the pedestrian’s heads are especially eye-catching. Stop at Getreidegasse No. 9: It’s the place where Mozart was born 1756. Mozart Birthplace is nowadays a museum and a really popular place to visit in Salzburg.
Tip: During the daytime the Getreidegasse is quite busy and crowdy. Those who prefer quiet, should visit this marvelous street better in the early morning.
Mozart House (Mozart Birthplace)
Visiting the Mozart Birthplaces surely is the absolute highlight for all Mozart fans around the world. The museum is spread out over three floors and gives a great convey of Mozart’s past and childhood. Historic instruments such as the children’s violin, certificates, photos and letters can be admired on a tour through Mozart Birthplace Museum. Plan at least an hour for your visit, because there are many interesting things to discover!
Tip: Really brilliant and a real insider tip is the Next2Mozart Apartment. It is located right inside the famous Getreidegasse, just a few steps from Mozart’s birthplace and close to all the major attractions of Salzburg.
The Kapuzinerberg with its 640 meters offers some of the top views of Salzburg. The steep climp is a bit exhausting but at the end the panorama of Salzburgs old town and the fortress Hohensalzburg will reward you. For getting there you will have several possibilities: Ether you take the beautiful Imbergstiege stairway from Steingasse or another possibility is to start the walk to Kapuzinerberg from the Franziskustor Gate in Linzergasse. Visiting the Kapuzinerberg an marvel at the most amazing view is one of the best things to do in Salzburg.
The Hohensalzburg Fortress is Salzburg landmark and a visit of this 900-year-old cliff-top fortress is one of the top tourist attractions in Salzburg and a must-visit! Located on top of the Mönchsberg, you can reach the fortress by a 20-minute walk or via the funicular railway starting from Festungsgasse (near Stieglkeller). The far-reaching views from the top are really amazing and also exploring the castle and visiting the castle museums is interesting too. Furthermore, Hohensalzburg Fortress is a popular venue for classical concerts in Salzburg.
Recommendation: Tickets for dinner experience at Salzburg Fortress with Mozart concert can be booked.
Alter Markt & Cafe Tomaselli
The Alter Markt in Salzburg is the old market of the town an. The square is really picturesque and nowadays this place thrills with an incredible ambience, with the pretty Florian fountain and the old town houses. If you visit Alter Markt, stop by the traditional coffeehouse Café Tomaselli which has been run for 150 years and enjoy your coffee from the rooftop terrace.
Tip: Looking for the original Mozartkugeln? Then you have to visit the Café-Konditorei Fürst (opposite to Tomaselli Café) to try the “Original Salzburg Mozartkugels”.
Mirabell Gardens & Palace
The Mirabell Gardens are wonderful to visit in spring and summertime when the colorful flowers are blooming. Additionally, it’s one of the famous shooting locations from the movie “The Sound of Music”. Built in 1606 the Mirabelle Palace is one of the most romantic locations in Salzburg. Maybe that’s why the Marble Hall does not only host concerts but is also used as a wedding location! This place is an highlight in town and should be high up on any itinerary to Salzburg!
Mozartplatz & Residence Square
The Residence Square with its unique fountain, the Residenzbrunnen, is located in the heart of Salzburg´s old town. This place is a particularly splendid forecourt between the prince-archbishop residences and can hardly be missed due to its central location. Just around the corner you are going to find the Mozartplatz with the impressive bronze Mozart statue, another important attraction of Salzburg
Mönchsberg & Museum of Modern Art
Like the Hohensalzburg Fortress, the Museum of Modern Art in Salzburg is situated at the Mönchsberg. Up here, take in the far-reaching views across Salzburg old town’s roof-tops and the castle – Probably the most impressive photo motif of Salzburg. You can access the restaurant/cafe M32 as well as the viewpoint without paying an entrance fee. But also the Museum of Modern Art is very interesting: Here you can admire international art treasures from the 20th and 21st centuries.
Tip: For getting there take the lift from Salzburg’s old town straight to the entrance. Sportive ones take one of the walkways up the hill or another option would be the walkway from the Hohensalzburg Fortress.
Salzburg’s Cemeteries & Catacombs
Salzburg has a few beautiful and old cemeteries. The St. Peters cemetery has a unique setting just next to the cliffs of the Mönchsberg. Absolutely you should also visit the catacombs, which are hewn out of the rocks. Above all, the view over the cemetery and the historic buildings is worth the cheap entrance!
Also very interesting is the St. Sebastian cemetery, a real gem of the historic center. The old cemetery is the final resting place of some well-known personalities, such as Mozart’s father Leopold and his wife Constanze. The ancient tombs are exceedingly mystical and impressive.
Haus der Natur
Roaming through the museum “House of Nature”, visitors have the chance to discover the most fascinating aspects of Mother Nature. The exhibitions are interactive and there is so much fun connected with science for adults and children. With more than 7000 m² you should take enough time to visit the Haus der Natur. Explore the underwater worlds in the aquarium, the outer space hall, colossal dinosaurs, take a journey into the human body and the interactive science center. Visiting The Haus der Natur is one of the best things to do in Salzburg and you should definitely put on your travel list.
Bridges of Salzburg
If you have some time left, you should definitely take a walk along the Salzach River. It is especially nice to stroll over the Mozart Bridge and across the Markatsteg, which is covered with countless colorful locks, and to enjoy the wonderful panorama on the river. Another beautiful bridge with a gorgeous view is the Müllnersteg. From there you can admire the city panorama including river and fortress.
If you are up to visit a brewery topped with a marvelous view, then you have to go to Stieglkeller for a beer. The location is really cool, located below the Fortress of Hohensalzburg, you are going to have one of the best views of Salzburg. From the open seating gardens of the traditional brewery you will enjoy in addition to the beer and nice food a magnificent view of the old town of Salzburg.
Hellbrunn Palace & Trick Fountains
The Hellbrunn Palace is a palace like no other and for sure a top highlight of a Salzburg city trip. The palace with its yellow colors is amazingly beautiful and also its romantic park attracts visitors from all over the world. Unmissable is a visit of the nearby Trick fountains: mysterious grottos, water-powered figures and hidden water jets waiting to surprise you! Especially in summer, the “wet” surprises provide a welcome respite. Visiting Hellbrunn is a real insider tip for an unforgettable trip to Salzburg.
The Salzburg Zoo is one of the most beautiful zoos in Austria. Located in a really unique and beautiful landscape, the zoo hosts a wide range of interesting animals. The zoo entrance is just a short walk from the Hellbrunn Palace and another top place to visit in Salzburg!
The Leopoldskron Palace is situated just a short walk from the historic center of Salzburg. This fairytale castle is picturesque located next to an idyllic small lake.Built in 1736, the castle of its time was a meeting place for the cultural and art scene and is nowadays one of the most important attractions in Salzburg. It also served as the location for the world-famous movie “Sound of Music”. Today Schloss Leopoldskron is one of the most exclusive hotels in town and the ultimate place to stay for a very special trip to Salzburg.
Recommendation: 2 or 3 nights staying at Schloss Leopoldskron including the Sound of Music tour can be booked here.
Salzburg Card (Salzburg Pass)
Getting yourself the Salzburg Card is a great way if you are planning to discover the attractions of Salzburg. Compared to other city-passes the Salzburg card is it really worth it: Free admission to the best tourist attractions, museums and to public transport makes it easy, cheap and convenient to explore the city. The Salzburg Card can be organized in advanced and is a great deal if you want to save money!
Tours in Salzburg
As you can see, the beautiful city of Salzburg offers a wide range of amazing sights and activities. If you are looking for a guided city tour, a boat trip, a typical Austrian cooking class, a Sound of Music Tour or concert tickets, you will find on getyourguide an amazing choice of unforgettable activities. Click here for the best tours:
Things to do around Salzburg
As you can see, there are many wonderful attractions to admire in the old town. But also around Salzburg some lovely places and attractions await you. Here are our top tips for unique things to do around Salzburg:
- Zell am See: Beautiful Zell am See is located in the south of Salzburg. It delights with a wonderful idyll of high mountains, glaciers, gorges and crystal-clear lakes. A great area for nature lovers and for active vacationers.
- Krimml Waterfalls: The Krimml Waterfalls are another highlight in the area around Salzburg. The huge waterfalls are the largest in Europe and an excursion to it is highly recommended.
- Wolfgangsee: The Wolfgangsee is probably one of the most beautiful places to visit around Salzburg. Especially recommended is a ride with the Schafbergbahn, a visit to the famous Weißen Rössl and a hike on the Postalm.
- Hallstatt: The famous Hallstatt in Austria probably belongs to one of the most popular excursions from Salzburg. This place is one of the most beautiful in Austria and is a must on every trip.
- Vienna: If you like combine your holiday in Salzburg with a trip to the Austrian capital Vienna. It takes about 3 hours from Salzburg to Vienna, and also there are many exciting things to discover.
How to get to Salzburg?
Good public connections make the journey to Salzburg uncomplicated. The city is ideally located between Vienna and Munich and can be easily reached by train or bus and long- distance buses. Salzburg also has its own airport, the second largest airport in Austria. But even from the larger airports such as Vienna or Munich, the city of Salzburg can be reached in 2 to 3 hours.
- From Munich to Salzburg 1:30 hour by car or train
- From Vienna to Salzburg 2:30 hour by car or train
- From Grazto Salzburg 3 hours by car and 4 hours by train
- From Hallstatt to Salzburg 1 hour by car and 2:30 hours by train
Tip: Cheap flights to Salzburg can be found online, for example on Skyscanner.
Where to stay in Salzburg
Salzburg offers a wide range of hotels. We stayed at the beautiful and stylish Berglandhotel situated in walking distance to Salzburg Old Town. The staff was amazing, providing us some of the best travel tips of Salzburg, best places for local food etc. Parking is also available!
Best accommodations in Salzburg:
- Mönchsbergapartment: The apartment inside the Altstadt is a great choice for travelers interested in culture, history and atmosphere.
- Hotel & Villa Auersperg: The small and elegant boutique Hotel & Villa Auersperg enjoys a quiet location in the heart of Salzburg and features a charming garden terrace, a spa area with a roof terrace
- Hotel Stein: The lifestyle and design hotel offers guests a panoramic rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city and its surroundings.
Conclusion: As you can see, we really loved our city trip to Salzburg and we spent some wonderful days exploring the historic center. Two days in Salzburg is the perfect amount of time to hit the towns best places and tourist attractions. We were most impressed by the breath-taking views and the fact, that for the small size there are so many amazing things to do.
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