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Things to do in Salzburg, Austria

The fourth largest city of Austria is Salzburg. Salzburg is a beautiful city with great surroundings and the old Town of the city is one of the best preserved city centers north of the Alps and has internationally renowned baroque architecture.

Salzburg was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 and millions of tourists come every year to see the beautiful city. The famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in the famous Getreidegasse. The best time of the year to visit Salzburg is in Summer, Salzburg weather during summer is very sunny and hot. Around the Salzach river you will find a good Hotel in Salzburg.

For those that want a nice hotel that isn’t too expensive should try the Motel One at the Mirabell Park, which is in walking distance from all the sites and the city center!

Motel One Salzburg* | short walk to the city center | nice hotel | comfortable clean rooms

If hotel is no option and you rather stay in a hostel, I have exactly the right option for you. These are two of my favorite Salzburg hostels in Salzburg.

The urban ho(s)tel. I love the MEININGER* concept. It’s half hostel and half hotel and the location of most properties is really good. The Ho(s)tel is located behind the Kapuzinerberg and about 15 minutes walking distance to the city center and the old town. Prices are bid more expensive than at Yoho Hostel and start at 28 €!

Yoho International Youth Hostel Salzburg* | next to the main train station | bar area | Nice and clean room

MEININGER Salzburg City Center* | 10 minutes from the old city | great hostel | clean rooms

I lived 4 years in Salzburg and here are some of the places I recommend you to visit while visiting the city:

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To do in Salzburg Nr. 1: Visit the Hohensalzburg Castle

You can get there by taking an elevator from the foot of the hill or you can walk up there. I would recommend to safe the Euros for the lift and invest them for a nice cold beer once arrived at the castle. There is an admission fee of 7,40 €. If you decide to take the lift you have to pay 10,50 €.

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To do in Salzburg Nr. 2: M 32

Most people take a picture from Salzburg from the Makartsteg. Go to the M32 at the Mönchsberg. You only have to take a lift up there to the Restaurant and you have a magnificent view over the roofs of Salzburg and to the Hohensalzburg Castle. From the M 32 you can also walk to the castle.

Cruise, Dinner & Fortress Concert* | cruise along the River Salzach | panorama restaurant | tour in the center

To do in Salzburg Nr. 3: Salzburger Dom (Catherdral)

The cathedral is a 17th century baroque cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Salzburg, dedicated to Saint Rupert of Salzburg. It is also the site of Mozart’s baptism.

DomQuartier Salzburg* | ticket & audio guide |

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To do in Salzburg Nr. 4: Getreidegasse (Grain Lane)

That’s the busy shopping street in the old-town of Salzburg, as mentioned before Mozart was born here in house no. 9. You cannot miss this house. Just look for the big crowd of people in front of it, mostly asians and spaniards.

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To do in Salzburg Nr. 5: Schloss Mirabell (Mirabell Palace)

The Mirabell Palace is a beautiful palace in baroque style. The main attraction of the palace are the geometrically arranged gardens and mythology themed statues which date from 1730.

To do in Salzburg Nr. 6: Frauenstift Nonnberg (Nonnberg Abbey)

It’s a Benedictine monastery which was founded in 714 by Saint Rupert of Salzburg. It’s the oldest women’s religious house in the German-speaking world. From the Nonnberg Abbey you have a fantastic view over the city and the Hohensalzburg castle which is situated at the other side of the River Salzach.

To do in Salzburg Nr. 7: Schloss Klessheim

Like nearly every old building in Salzburg the Schloss Klessheim is also a baroque palace situated about 4 km west of Salzburg. To get there you can take a train or a bus. It was a former summer residence of the Archbishops of Salzburg and later used by Hitler. Nowadays it is the Casino of Salzburg.

To do in Salzburg Nr. 8: Salzkammergut (Estate of the Salt Chamber)

Not directly in Salzburg you can find the austrian resort area called Salzkamergut, it stretches from Salzburg to the mountain range of Dachstein. The name derives from the Imperial Salt Chamber, the authority charged with running the precious salt mines in the Habsburg empire.

The Salzkammergut is a great place to enjoy nature. It has many opportunities to be active in water, sports, bathing, hiking, cycling and golf and of course you can relax around one of the many lakes.

Large parts of the region were listed as a World Heritage Site in 1997, with the description: “Human activity in the magnificent natural landscape of the Salzkammergut began in prehistoric times, with the salt deposits being exploited as early as the 2nd millennium B.C. This resource formed the basis of the area’s prosperity up to the middle of the 20th century, a prosperity that is reflected in the fine architecture of the town of Hallstatt.”

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To do in Salzburg Nr. 9: Schloss Hellbrunn (Palace of Hellbrunn)

The palace has well known water games and is totally worth a visit during summer. It is situated outside of Salzburg next to the Zoo. To get there you have to take the Busline 25 and it takes about 25 minutes.

Hellbrunn* | Boat Ride to the Hellbrunn Palace | Duration 2.5 hours | discover the two sides of the old city

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To do in Salzburg Nr. 10: Wolfgangssee

If you have seen everything in Salzburg, take the train and visit the Wolfgangssee.  It’s a beautiful lake about one hour away from Salzburg. During summer you can rent small electro boats and skip around the lake. Prices for a boat are between 6-10 € for one hour.

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To do in Salzburg Nr. 10: Hangar 7

Salzburg Airport is about 5 km’s outside of the city and if coming by car you must exit one street before the airport to get to the Hangar 7 of Red Bull. Didi Mateschitz, the founder and owner of Red Bull, built himself two hangars at the Airport of Salzburg. One he uses privately, where he stores all his planes and helicopters and the second one is a little museum with trophies and vehicles of sports which are sponsored by Red Bull like the car of Sebastian Vettel of the Formula 1.

On the second floor there is a very good and expensive restaurant called ikarus and on the third there is an awesome bar with view over the airport and a high tech bar with touch screen where you can flirt and send messages with other people in the bar.

Getting to Salzburg by train

from Munich to Salzburg* | from Munich to Salzburg and back | day trip | Visit the home town of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on a full-day tour from Munich

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16 comments on “Things to do in Salzburg, Austria

  1. The Travel Chica on

    Unfortunately during my one hour stop in Salzburg, the only thing I saw was a fast-food restaurant. We were on our way from Vienna to Munich and had to stop for food and gas. But the city did look beautiful and definitely worth stopping for a few days.

    Reply
  2. Jessica on

    great post! I lived in Salzburg for a short time a few years ago, and these are all great things to do. One of my favorite things to do that is “off the path” is to visit the ice caves in Werfen. You can only do it in the summer, but you take a gondola and small hike up to the top of a mountain, and then take a guided tour of the ice formations in a cave at the peak of the mountain. It is incredible.

    Reply
  3. Sarah on

    I fell in love with Salzburg when I went a few winters ago. The snow just made the whole experience even better! I enjoyed an almost private Sound of Music tour (I’m sorry, but it has got to be done!), as normally they go in big buses, we went in an 8 seater car!
    Also, the mountain and cable car at Untersberg (a bus ride out of the city) is a MUST! It borders Germany so my phone was going crazy with the networks! I got a fantastic view of the mountains and Salzburg from above, and the fortress and airport looked so small! The only other way down? Black ski runs!
    Want to to go back to this gorgeous city!

    Reply
    • sebastian on

      Hey kieu,

      If you only stay for a day I would recommend to visit the castle, the cathedral, walk through the narrow streets and getreidegasse and visit the mirabell garden. I think this is enough for one day!

      Reply
  4. Ellen on

    I went to Salzburg for the day while visiting friends in Munich, but it was on a gray day in February. It looks completely different in your beautiful, sunny photos!

    Reply
  5. Nette on

    I was in Salzburg last sept. 2011.. Its a very beautiful city. I was travelling alone that time but people are nice. Love the mirabell garden.May I suggest when you are planning to travel to Salzburg just buy the Salzburg card you will save a lot. And most of all HALLSTATT is a very very beautiful place.

    Reply
  6. Eartha on

    I loooove Salzburg! I was there briefly last year and I did the (don’t hate me) Sound of Music tour! Haha 🙂 I thought it was a great way to see Salzburg… and it just so happens that I’m a HUGE fan of the SOM. I had a blast! Running around, singing songs… It’s beautiful.
    My last name also happens to be Austria (no joke) and when people over there found out, they treated me like their queen.
    I loved every minute of it 🙂

    Reply
  7. Brooke on

    Driving from Budapest to Vienna to Salzburg this September. Looking forward to driving through Austria and staying in Vienna for a week and Salzburg for four days. Thank you for the helpful tips. We chose to stay in apartments rather than hotels or hostels. When I travel I try to live like a local to experience their culture and apartment renting is the way to go. Thanks again.

    Reply
  8. Riley on

    I am traveling to Salzburg this summer and I can’t wait! I will definitely take your recommendation on hostels. Where do you recommend eating on a budget?

    Reply