Top 20 UNIQUE Things to Do in Salzburg
Salzburg, with its many attractions and the gorgeous old town is, along with Vienna and Graz, certainly one of the most beautiful cities in Austria. There are so many things to see and to do in Salzburg! The historic center is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1977 and thrilled with numerous attractions, an incredibly imposing architecture, the many historic buildings and spectacular viewpoints. Of course, the city is also world-famous for its prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who was born in the famous Getreidegasse. In addition, Salzburg was a filming location for the internationally famous movie “Sound of Music”, and many visitors still come to visit the original locations in the old town and surrounding area. But what are the best things to do in Salzburg, what are the most amazing attractions and the best tips for a Salzburg itinerary?
In this travel guide you will find the most amazing things to do in Salzburg. In addition, we show you stunning pictures, reveal the most beautiful viewpoints, give useful tips and show where to find the best accommodation in Salzburg.
Good to know!
If you are still looking for a fantastic accommodation or hotel in Salzburg, then we can recommend the charming Numa I Mozart in boutique hotel style.
You can save money with the Salzburg Card, which includes the most important attractions, museums, and even rides on public transportation.
To explore all the beautiful places and attractions in Salzburg, you should definitely plan 2 or better 3 days for your city trip.
There are plenty of things to do in Salzburg! On GetYourGuide you can find the coolest excursions, city tours, cooking classes, tickets for classical concerts and boat trips.
The Best Things to Do in Salzburg
Salzburg really has plenty of things to do to offer. Fabulous palaces and castles, beautiful parks, interesting museums, imposing churches, breathtaking viewpoints, traditional breweries and musical events. All this and much more awaits you on a perfect visit to Salzburg. We have compiled here the best activities, places, and attractions of Salzburg that you should certainly see.
Salzburg Cathedral & DomQuartier
A visit to Salzburg Cathedral is certainly one of the things to do in Salzburg because this building is absolutely impressive from the inside as well as from the outside. The imposing church dates back to the early Baroque period and shapes the cityscape of Salzburg with its mighty dome and towers. The cathedral square is also the site of the annual Christmas market in winter and the famous Salzburg Festival in summer. Next to the cathedral is the DomQuartier, a massive complex of five museums. You should definitely visit the panorama terrace, where you can enjoy a magnificent view of baroque Salzburg and the cathedral square.
The Getreidegasse is Salzburg’s most famous shopping street and the pulsating heart of the city. Particularly characteristic are the neat old guild signs, the advertising signs on the house facades, which adorn the stores and restaurants. If you take a closer look, you will notice that the older houses are also often decorated with dates, the name of former owners and also with the eye of God. Moreover, in Getreidegasse No. 9 there is one of the most important attractions of Salzburg, the Mozart House. In this beautiful yellow town house, the world-famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in 1756.
Visiting the Mozart’s Birthplace is a real highlight for Mozart fans from all over the world, and the museum is one of the most famous attractions in Salzburg. It is located in the yellow “Hagenauer Haus” at Getreidegasse 9. During a tour of the exhibition, there is much to see on 3 floors, and you get exclusive insights into Mozart’s past. Historical instruments such as the children’s violin, documents, photos, and letters can be marveled at during a tour. The museum focuses mainly on Mozart’s earlier years, as he spent his childhood and youth here.
Tip: A real insider tip for a vacation is the Next2Mozart Apartment. It is located directly in the famous Getreidegasse, just a few steps away from Mozart’s birthplace.
The 508 meters high Mönchsberg is one of the most important attractions in Salzburg, and a walk along the panoramic path with a view of the old town is a dreamlike experience. You should visit the viewing platform, which is located right next to the Museum of Modern Art and Café M32, and which inspires with the most stunning view of Salzburg. But also the Museum of Modern Art is fascinating. Here, international art treasures from the 20th and 21st centuries can be admired. The Mönchsberg is easily accessible by elevator or via the panorama-path. During this walk, you can experience the green Salzburg from its most beautiful side!
The spectacular Hohensalzburg Fortress is one of the main landmarks of Salzburg and also the heart of the historic old town. A visit to this stunning place is an absolute highlight and definitely this impressive fortress is one of the most beautiful attractions in Salzburg. The 900-year-old Hohensalzburg Fortress is located at the top of the Mönchsberg and can either be climbed on foot, or you can comfortably take the fortress train, which is located next to the Stieglkeller and the Festungsgasse. The view from the top over the roofs of Salzburg is simply stunning! If you have time and want to, you can also visit the interesting castle museum.
Mirabell Gardens & Mirabell Palace
A visit to Mirabell Palace and Mirabell Gardens is definitely one of the best things to do in Salzburg. In spring and summer, when the flowers are in bloom, the setting is simply fabulous. This place was also one of the filming locations of the most famous movie scenes of “Sound of Music” and is therefore a popular attraction for fans from all over the world. Surrounded by the gardens is also the Mirabell Palace, which was built in 1606. The historic castle is definitely one of the most romantic castles in Salzburg, with beautiful concerts being held in the famous Marble Hall.
Tip: Almost daily classical concerts are held in the stunning Mirabell Palace. On GetYourGuide you can find tickets for this popular event!
The 640-meter high Kapuzinerberg is located on the right bank of the Salzach River and offers one of the most spectacular viewpoints of Salzburg. To get there, there are several options. Either you choose the Imbergstiege from the Steingasse, or you take the path from the Franziskanertor in the Linzergasse. The climb is a bit steep, but the panorama of the old town and Hohensalzburg Fortress is simply fantastic. The view from the Kapuzinerberg is probably one of the best in the city and should not be missed during a stay in Salzburg.
Tip: With a little luck, you can also observe chamois during your walk on the Kapuzinerberg. An experience that is most likely unique during any city trip.
Salzburg’s Cemeteries & Catacombs
Salzburg is home to several interesting cemeteries, two of which are particularly worth visiting. St. Peter’s Cemetery is located on the edge of the Mönchsberg next to a spectacular rock face. You should definitely visit the catacombs, which were cut into the rock there. Especially the view over the cemetery and the historical buildings is worth the low entrance fee! The St. Sebastian cemetery, a true jewel of the city of Salzburg, is also very interesting. The old cemetery is the final resting place of many famous personalities, such as Mozart’s father Leopold and his wife Constanze.
Haus der Natur
The Haus der Natur is definitely one of the best museums in Salzburg. On an area of 7,000 m², visitors can explore interesting and interactive exhibitions around the topic of nature and science. This museum inspires both young and old! Among other things, there is a fascinating underwater world to discover, a reptile zoo and a wide variety of themed rooms, ranging from the Arctic to the rainforest. The interactive science center is also unique, as is the exhibition on space travel. The House of Nature is one of the best places to see in Salzburg and should therefore definitely be put on your travel list.
Bridges of Salzburg
The many charming bridges are a real gem of Salzburg, and a walk along the picturesque Salzach River is a great experience. One of the most beautiful attractions is the Mozartsteg, which was opened as a toll bridge back in 1903. The Markatsteg, which is hung with countless colorful castles, is also worth a visit, especially since you can enjoy a wonderful panorama over the river from there. Beautiful night shots are often taken from the Müllnersteg. From there you can best capture the city panorama, including the river and the fortress.
Hellbrunn Palace & Trick Fountains
Visiting the Hellbrunn Palace is one of the best things to do on any Salzburg city break. The beautiful grounds with the romantic park and the enchanting surroundings captivate visitors from all over the world. Particularly famous are also the Hellbrunn Trick fountains, a fun experience for young and old. Mysterious grottos, water-powered figures and hidden splash features provide numerous wow moments. Especially in summer, the “wet” surprises offer welcome cooling. A real insider tip for a successful Salzburg trip.
Mozartplatz & Residence Square
One of the most stunning attractions in Salzburg is the picturesque Residence Square with its impressive 17th century Residence Fountain. It is located in the immediate vicinity of the famous Salzburg Cathedral. This square is a particularly magnificent forecourt between the prince-archbishop’s residences and, due to its central location, can hardly be missed during a city tour. Just around the corner, you can also visit the picturesque Mozartplatz with its bronze statue of Mozart, another important place to see in the old town of Salzburg.
Alter Markt & Cafe Tomaselli
The so-called Alter Markt is the old marketplace in Salzburg and moreover one of the most beautiful squares in Salzburg. It was founded as early as the 13th century and was once used as a weekly marketplace. Traditional festivals such as the Whitsun dance or summer solstice celebrations were also celebrated there. Nowadays, this square inspires with an incredible ambience, with the pretty Florian fountain and with the old town houses. Why not take a coffee break at the traditional Tomaselli coffee house, where Salzburgers have been enjoying their coffee for over 150 years. The seats on the roof terrace are highly sought after.
Tip: If you’re looking for the original Mozartkugeln, Salzburg’s most famous treat, you’ll find them at Konditorei Fürst on Alter Markt, across from Café Tomaselli.
The Stieglkeller is located in the heart of Salzburg, and its guest garden is one of the most amazing in the old town. From the terrace of the traditional brewery you can enjoy a cool beer and delicious food with a magnificent view of the old town of Salzburg. The location, directly under the fortress, is unique and if you have time, you can sit there even longer. You should try the Austrian specialties such as the traditional Wiener Schnitzel, the Bier-Bratl and of course there is also the local Salzburg dessert, the famous “Salzburger Nockerl“.
Salzburg Hellbrunn Zoo
The Salzburg Hellbrunn Zoo is a real must-see, as it is definitely one of the most beautiful zoos in Austria. A large part was already from the 15th century the archiepiscopal game park, with the zoo today a popular destination for families. Nestled in a gorgeous landscape, this place is home to a variety of interesting animal species on 14 hectares, which are kept in enclosures that are as close to nature as possible. One of the main attractions in the zoo is the African section, with the lion house and the savannah enclosure. The entrance to the Salzburg Hellbrunn Zoo is not far from the Hellbrunn Palace Park, and a visit can therefore be easily combined.
The fairytale-like palace Schloss Leopoldskron is located on a small idyllic lake and can be explored via a short walk from the old town, but also by bike. Built in 1736, the castle was a meeting place for the cultural and art scene at the time and is now one of the most important attractions in Salzburg. It also served as the filming location for the world-famous movie “Sound of Music”. Today, Schloss Leopoldskron is one of the most exclusive hotels in the city and a real insider tip for an exceptional stay in Salzburg!
Things to do around Salzburg
As you can see, there are plenty of wonderful attractions to admire in the old town. But also in the surrounding area around Salzburg some great sights and destinations are waiting for you. Here are the best tips for unique things to do nearby 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.
- Krimml Waterfalls: The Krimml Waterfalls are another highlight in the area around Salzburg. The waterfalls are the largest in Europe and an excursion is highly recommended.
- Wolfgangsee: Lake Wolfgang is a fabulous tip for a trip from Salzburg. Especially recommended, is also a ride with the Schafbergbahn!
- Hallstatt: Famous Hallstatt in Austria 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, you can also combine your vacation in Salzburg with a visit to Vienna, the Austrian capital, which is 3 hours away.
Where to Stay in Salzburg
In Salzburg you will find a terrific offer of different accommodations. Most of the best places to stay are city hotels, but there are also excellent guesthouses, apartments and backpacker hostels to choose from. If you are still looking for the perfect accommodation in Salzburg, we can give you these tips…It’s worth a look!
- 4-Star Hotel with Rooftop Bar: The Hotel Stein scores with a great roof terrace. The rooftop bar offers a fabulous view of the fortress and the old town.
- Lovely Vacation Apartment: The modern City-Center Apartments are really great. They are in a prime location, right in the middle of the famous Getreidegasse.
- Chic Boutique Hotel: The Hotel & Villa Auersperg is a fantastic boutique hotel in the heart of Salzburg. Guests love the charming garden terrace and lovely spa area.
- Hotel with Free Parking: The Bergland Hotel is family-run hotel just a bit outside the center. Here, the good price and the free parking spaces are fantastic.
Find the best accommodation in Salzburg:
Read more about Austria:
Hallstatt, Austria | Best Attractions & Places to Visit
Zell am See, Austria: 15 Amazing Things to Do!
The Green Lake (Gruener See) in Austria
Top 15 Unique Things To Do in Vienna
3 Days in Vienna Itinerary: Travel & Sightseeing Guide
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I feel a little embarrassed about never having been to Salzburg after reading this post. It sounds so cozy, relaxing and interesting. I should really go – yes, I will go!
I would love to see Mozart’s home and filming locations for the Sound of Music. Your photos from Müllnersteg at night were absolutely stunning. Salzburg seems like a beautiful city.
2 hours from Innsbruck and we will be there in October this year! I can get to Salzburg. Yay!
You covered all the sights so well in your post. I would add the Sound of Music tour…for a convenient round-up of the stunning countryside around. Cafe Tomaselli pastries are to die for.
This looks incredibly beautiful! I’ve been there a couple of years ago, but only for an afternoon and I didn’t remember it being this gorgeous. I think that next time I’m in Munich, I just jump over the border for a day….
The Getreidegasse shopping street looks like it would a wonderful place to spend the afternoon. Great itinerary.
Wow your pictures are beautiful! You managed to see so much in just 2 days! The architecture in Salzburg is gorgeous. We would love to visit one day!
I’ve been to Salzburg when I was still a kid. Definitely worth revisiting.