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So you're planning a trip to Salzburg? Dive into our comprehensive Salzburg travel guide guide covering everything you need to know about Mozart's birthplace and the must-do experiences awaiting you.

Kapuzinerberg Trail_Salzburg
Mirabell Palace Gardens_Salzburg Fortress_Salzburg
Austrian Alps_Salzburg

Salzburg Travel Guide

An Introduction

Salzburg, Austria, nestled at the heart of the Alps, mesmerizes with a blend of rich history and charm. Its roots trace back to Roman times, with the name Salzburg meaning "Salt City" or "Salt Fortress," a nod to its historic salt mining industry. Over the centuries, Salzburg has evolved into a cultural gem, earning its UNESCO World Heritage status for its well-preserved Baroque architecture and musical legacy.

The city's modern-day story begins in the 8th century when Saint Rupert founded St. Peter's Abbey, marking the beginning of Salzburg's religious and cultural prominence. The iconic Hohensalzburg Fortress, perched atop Festungsberg hill, stands as a testament to the city's medieval heritage and offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.

In the realm of music, Salzburg holds a special place as the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The composer's legacy is celebrated throughout the city, from his childhood home, Mozart's Birthplace (Geburtshaus), to the Salzburg Cathedral - where Mozart was baptized, regularly attended mass with his family, and served as an organist. Salzburg's musical legacy lives on with the renowned Salzburg Festival held each summer, a highlight of the classical music calendar attracting artists and enthusiasts from around the globe.

Salzburg's Altstadt (Old Town), a labyrinth of narrow streets and historic squares, invites exploration. Get lost in the charm of Getreidegasse, with its traditional shops and Mozart-themed souvenirs, or visit the DomQuartier, where the Residenzgalerie and the Cathedral Museum offer insights into the city's artistic and cultural heritage.

Nature lovers will find solace in Salzburg's natural wonders, from the serene Mirabell Gardens to the majestic Untersberg mountain, offering hiking trails and panoramic vistas. The Salzach River, meandering through the city, provides a picturesque backdrop for leisurely walks and boat cruises.

As the setting for "The Sound of Music," Salzburg continues to enchant visitors with its alpine beauty and musical heritage. Whether attending a classical concert, savoring local delicacies like Mozartkugel chocolates and Salzburger Nockerl, or simply soaking in the ambiance of this historic city, Salzburg promises an unforgettable experience blending history, culture, and natural splendor.

Salzburg Travel Guide: Quick Tips

Salzburg Travel Guide: Can't Miss Attractions

Embark on an enchanting trip through Salzburg's timeless treasures, from the musical wonders of Mozart's Birthplace (Geburtshaus) to the imposing Hohensalzburg Fortress, the picturesque Mirabell Gardens, the charming Getreidegasse, and a wealth of other captivating attractions that collectively epitomize the magic of this historic Austrian gem.

We've highlighted all the attractions we visited and adored with the universal symbol of love, ♡.

  • Salzburg Cathedral: Salzburg Cathedral, also known as Salzburger Dom, is a stunning Baroque-style cathedral, famous for its elaborate architecture, intricate interior decorations, and historical significance as the site of Mozart's baptism.
  • Hohensalzburg Fortress: ♡ Hohensalzburg Fortress is a medieval fortress perched atop a hill overlooking the city of Salzburg, renowned as one of the largest and best-preserved fortresses in Europe, offering panoramic views of the city and surrounding Alps, and serving as a symbol of Salzburg's rich history and architectural heritage.
  • Getreidegasse: ♡ Getreidegasse is a charming, historic street in the Old Town (Altstadt) renowned for its picturesque medieval architecture, narrow cobblestone streets, wrought-iron guild signs, and vibrant atmosphere with numerous shops, boutiques, and cafes, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
  • Mirabell Gardens: Mirabell Gardens is a beautiful formal garden renowned for its exquisite Baroque design, manicured lawns, vibrant flower beds, grand statues, and geometrically arranged pathways, offering a picturesque setting that has been featured in films such as "The Sound of Music." The gardens are part of the larger Mirabell Palace complex and are a popular attraction for visitors to enjoy leisurely strolls, take photographs, and admire the splendid views of Hohensalzburg Fortress and the surrounding cityscape.
  • Mozart's Birthplace (Geburtshaus): Mozart's Birthplace, also known as Mozart's Geburtshaus, is a historic house located in the Getreidegasse area of Salzburg where the renowned composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756. The house has been preserved as a museum dedicated to Mozart's life and works, showcasing artifacts, memorabilia, and exhibits related to his childhood, family, musical achievements, and legacy. 

Mirabell Palace Gardens_Pegasus Fountain_Salzburg

Salzburg Travel Guide: Landmarks


Mozartplatz is a central square located in the heart of Salzburg's historic Old Town (Altstadt), dedicated to the renowned composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The square features a large statue of Mozart created by sculptor Ludwig Schwanthaler in 1842, surrounded by elegant Baroque buildings, cafes, and shops. 


Residenzplatz is a historic square located in the heart of Salzburg's old town, known for its grandeur and architectural beauty. It features the impressive Salzburg Residenz, a former palace of the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg, which now houses the Residenzgalerie museum showcasing European paintings from the 16th to 19th centuries. The square is also notable for the stunning Baroque fountain adorned with sculptures, including horses, dolphins, and mythological figures. Residenzplatz is a popular gathering spot for locals and tourists, offering a picturesque setting for leisurely walks, cultural events, and enjoying the historical charm of Salzburg.

Additionally, Residenzplatz was featured in the iconic film "The Sound of Music." It appeared in the movie during the song "I Have Confidence," where Maria, played by Julie Andrews, walks through the square while on her way to the Trapp family home, the Villa von Trapp.

Kapitelplatz is a spacious square located in the historic center of Salzburg. Kapitelplatz is home to the imposing facade of the Salzburg Cathedral, providing a striking backdrop to the square. One of its most notable attractions is the large spherical sculpture called Sphaera, created by the German artist Stephan Balkenhol in 2007. This modern art installation stands nearly 30 feet (9 meters) tall and depicts a man standing atop a golden sphere.

The Kapitelplatz is also home to the Kapitelschwemme, a historic fountain-type structure. Constructed in 1732 with the grandeur of Baroque design, its aesthetic and statue of Neptune draws a delightful parallel to Rome's famed Trevi Fountain. Funny enough, the Kapitelschwemme was actually built as a horse bath (think: car wash but for horses) and not a traditional fountain. 

Visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the cathedral and the surrounding old town from Kapitelplatz. Additionally, the square often hosts events, markets, and outdoor performances, adding to its vibrant atmosphere and appeal as a gathering place for locals and tourists alike.

Salzach River

The Salzach River is a significant waterway that flows through the city of Salzburg, Austria, dividing the city into two parts: the Old Town (Altstadt) on the left bank and the New Town (Neustadt) on the right bank. The river originates in the Kitzbühel Alps and merges with the Inn River near Hallein.

In Salzburg, the Salzach River is not only a geographical feature but also an integral part of the city's identity and charm. Numerous picturesque bridges span the river, including the iconic Mozartsteg and Makartsteg bridges, offering stunning views of the cityscape and the Hohensalzburg Fortress.

The riverbanks of the Salzach are popular spots for leisurely walks, cycling, and enjoying outdoor activities. During the summer, you'll often find locals and tourists relaxing by the river, picnicking, or taking boat tours to admire the city from a different perspective. It was too cold when we visited Salzburg for a boat tour, but there are a number of different boat tour operators available on GetYourGuide, at varying price points. If you book an experience or tour through our GetYourGuide affiliate link, we may earn a small commission. 

Mozart Statue_Salzburg

Salzburg Travel Guide: Top Museums

Salzburg boasts a diverse array of museums, each filled with cultural, historical, and artistic wonders. As operating times and holiday closures can differ among these institutions, visitors are advised to check the official websites of each museum for the most current hours and any unexpected closures.

For the art aficionado: 

  • DomQuartier: The DomQuartier Salzburg is a unique museum complex located in the heart of Salzburg's Altstadt (Old Town), showcasing the rich cultural heritage and artistic treasures of the city. The term "DomQuartier" translates to "Cathedral Quarter," referring to its location around the Salzburg Cathedral (Salzburger Dom) and the adjacent Residenzplatz. The DomQuartier Salzburg combines several historic buildings, including the State Rooms of the Residenz Palace, the Residenz Gallery (Residenzgalerie), the Cathedral Museum, and the Museum of St. Peter's Abbey. This unique combination allows visitors to explore a wide range of exhibits, artworks, and historical artifacts spanning different periods and styles. Visitors to the DomQuartier can explore these interconnected sites through guided tours or self-guided visits, immersing themselves in Salzburg's cultural and artistic heritage. The museum complex also hosts temporary exhibitions and cultural events throughout the year.

For the history lover: 

  • Hohensalzburg Fortress: ♡ Hohensalzburg Fortress is an iconic medieval fortress located on a hilltop overlooking the city of Salzburg. It is one of the largest and best-preserved castles in Europe, dating back to the 11th century.

    The fortress was initially built as a defensive structure to protect the city and its ruling prince-archbishops from potential threats. Over the centuries, it underwent expansions and renovations, eventually becoming a symbol of Salzburg's rich history and architectural heritage.

    Visitors to Hohensalzburg Fortress can explore its impressive fortifications, towers, courtyards, and medieval chambers. Highlights of the fortress include the Golden Hall, a lavish room adorned with intricate Gothic decorations, and the Fortress Museum (Festungsmuseum), which showcases historical artifacts, armor, weapons, and exhibits related to the fortress's history and significance.

    One of the most popular ways to reach the fortress is by taking the funicular railway, which offers breathtaking views of Salzburg and the surrounding Alps. From the top of Hohensalzburg Fortress, visitors can also enjoy panoramic vistas of the cityscape, the Salzach River, and the picturesque landscape of the Salzburg region.

    Today, Hohensalzburg Fortress is not only a major tourist attraction but also a venue for cultural events, concerts, and exhibitions, adding to its allure as a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Salzburg's fascinating past and scenic beauty.
  • Mozart's Birthplace (Geburtshaus): Mozart's Birthplace, also known as Mozart's Geburtshaus, is a historic house located in the heart of Salzburg, Austria. It is the place where the world-renowned composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756. The house has been preserved as a museum dedicated to Mozart's life and works, offering visitors a glimpse into the early years of the musical prodigy.

    The museum features a collection of Mozart's original instruments, personal belongings, and family portraits, providing insight into his upbringing, education, and musical genius. Visitors can explore the rooms where Mozart and his family lived and exhibition spaces showcasing his achievements and influence on classical music.

    Mozart's Birthplace is a significant cultural landmark in Salzburg and a pilgrimage site for music enthusiasts from around the world. It offers an immersive experience, allowing visitors to connect with Mozart's legacy and appreciate his contributions to the world of music during his time in Salzburg.
  • Schloss Hellbrunn (Hellbrunn Palace): Schloss Hellbrunn, known as Hellbrunn Palace, is a magnificent Baroque palace located in the southern outskirts of Salzburg, Austria. It was built in the early 17th century by Markus Sittikus von Hohenems, the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, as a summer residence and a place for entertaining guests.

    One of the most famous features of Hellbrunn Palace is its trick fountains, designed to surprise and amuse visitors with unexpected water jets, grottos, and hidden mechanisms. These trick fountains are operated manually and are still in working order, providing a fun and interactive experience for tourists exploring the palace grounds.

    In addition to the trick fountains, Hellbrunn Palace boasts beautiful Baroque architecture, manicured gardens, and a charming park with statues, sculptures, and walking paths. The palace interior features richly decorated rooms, including the prince-archbishop's living quarters, reception halls, and a ceremonial staircase.

    Hellbrunn Palace is famous for its connection to the iconic film "The Sound of Music." In the movie, the palace's beautiful gardens and trick fountains were featured during the song "I Am Sixteen Going on Seventeen," where Liesl, played by Charmian Carr, and Rolf, played by Daniel Truhitte. The palace's romantic atmosphere was also captured in the movie during Captain von Trapp and Maria's performance of their duet "Something Good." Additionally, the palace's distinctive yellow walls are recognizable from Maria's song "I Have Confidence," where she explores several iconic sites in Salzburg, including Hellbrunn Palace.

For families: 

  • Hangar-7: Hangar-7 is a unique museum  located near Salzburg Airport. It was designed by the renowned architect Volkmar Burgstaller and opened in 2003. The Hangar-7 complex is owned by Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz and serves as a showcase for his private aircraft collection as well as a venue for cultural events, exhibitions, and dining experiences.

    One of the main attractions of Hangar-7 is the impressive aircraft collection, which includes historic planes, helicopters, and Formula 1 racing cars. Visitors can explore these exhibits and learn about the history of aviation and motorsports.

    In addition to the aircraft displays, Hangar-7 features rotating art exhibitions, a restaurant called "Ikarus" with a Michelin-starred chef, a lounge area, and a rooftop bar with panoramic views of the surrounding area. The museum's combination of aviation, art, and gastronomy makes it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, offering a unique and memorable experience in Salzburg. Entry to the Hangar-7 museum is free of charge.
  • Salzburg Zoo Hellbrunn: Salzburg Zoo Hellbrunn is a zoological garden located in Hellbrunn Palace Park near Salzburg, Austria. It covers an area of about 34.5 acres and is home to a diverse range of animal species from around the world.

    The zoo was founded in 1961 and has since become a popular attraction for visitors of all ages. It focuses on providing natural and spacious habitats for its animals, promoting conservation efforts, and educating the public about wildlife and environmental conservation.

    Visitors to Salzburg Zoo Hellbrunn can see a wide variety of animals, including mammals like lions, giraffes, elephants, and primates, as well as birds, reptiles, and amphibians. The zoo also features educational programs, guided tours, and interactive exhibits to enhance the visitor experience and promote awareness of animal welfare and conservation issues.
  • Haus der Natur: The Haus der Natur, which translates to "House of Nature," is a science museum. It is one of the city's most popular attractions, especially for families and individuals interested in natural history, science, and interactive learning experiences.

    The museum covers a wide range of topics related to nature, technology, and the environment. Visitors can explore various exhibitions and interactive displays that showcase the Earth's ecosystems, wildlife, geology, astronomy, and the human body. The museum often incorporates hands-on activities, multimedia presentations, and immersive simulations to engage visitors and enhance their understanding of scientific concepts.

    One of the highlights of the Haus der Natur is its extensive collection of animal specimens, including taxidermy displays, skeletons, and preserved specimens that allow visitors to learn about different animal species and their adaptations. There are also sections dedicated to dinosaurs, fossils, minerals, and space exploration.
Mozarts Birthplace_Salzburg

Salzburg Travel Guide: Popular Churches

While Salzburg is dotted with churches, we've curated a list of some of the most popular ones for visitors to explore.

Salzburg Cathedral (Salzburger Dom)

Salzburg Cathedral, known as Salzburger Dom in German, is a magnificent Baroque-style cathedral located in the historic Altstadt (Old Town). It is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city and holds great historical, cultural, and religious significance. The cathedral's construction began in 1614, and it was consecrated in 1628. However, it underwent several renovations and additions over the centuries, particularly after damage sustained during the Allied bombing campaigns of World War II.

Salzburg Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Rupert and Saint Virgil, two important figures in the city's Christian history. The interior of the cathedral is adorned with magnificent decorations, including stunning frescoes, intricate stucco, and beautiful altars. One of the most impressive features is the main dome, which rises above the nave and is adorned with elaborate paintings and ornate details.

Mozart has ties to Salzburg Cathedral as it was not only the place where he was baptized (upon entering the cathedral, you will find the medieval baptismal font where Mozart was baptized, prominently displayed to the left), but was his home parish for a good portion of his life, and where he served as an organist for a couple of years. 

The cathedral is also home five organs, including one of the largest and most historically significant organs in Europe. The organs are regularly used for concerts and performances, showcasing its rich musical heritage and importance in the city's cultural scene. Information about upcoming concerts at the cathedral, can be found here.

The cathedral offers daily organ concerts at 12:00 PM (except on Sundays and public holidays), after the church bells ring. The concerts are €9 and tickets can be purchased from the cathedral's ticket office. The concert is a lovely demonstration of the five different organs within the cathedral. If you are available to attend an organ performance, we cannot recommend it enough! 

Visitors to Salzburg Cathedral can admire its architectural beauty, explore its rich history through guided tours, and attend religious services or musical events. The cathedral's location in the heart of Salzburg's old town makes it a must-visit destination for tourists exploring the city's cultural and historical treasures.

St. Peter's Abbey Church (St. Peter's Church or Stiftskirche St. Peter)

St. Peter's Abbey Church, also known as St. Peter's Church or Stiftskirche St. Peter in German, is a historic Roman Catholic church located in the heart of Salzburg. It is one of the oldest churches in the city, with its origins dating back to the late 7th century. St. Peter's Church underwent multiple renovations and remodels, leading to the current rococo-style of St. Peter's Church which dates to the mid-18th century.

The church is renowned for its impressive rococo architecture, ornate interior decorations, and rich artistic heritage. Visitors to St. Peter's Church can admire its beautiful frescoes, intricate stucco, and stunning altar pieces, showcasing the talent of artists from the Late Baroque era.

One of the highlights of St. Peter's Church is its striking façade and a distinctive onion dome. 

Additionally, St. Peter's Church is associated with St. Peter's Abbey (Stift St. Peter), a Benedictine monastery located adjacent to the church. The abbey is one of the oldest monastic foundations in Austria and is known for its historical significance, library (closed to the public), and connection to Salzburg's cultural heritage.

Overall, St. Peter's Church is a significant landmark in Salzburg, attracting visitors with its architectural beauty, religious importance, and contributions to the city's artistic legacy.

St. Peter's Cemetery (Petersfriedhof)

St. Peter's Cemetery, known as Petersfriedhof in German, is a historic cemetery located in the Altstadt (Old Town), near St. Peter's Abbey. It is one of the oldest Christian cemeteries in Austria, with graves dating back several centuries and featuring intricate tombstones, crypts, catacombs, and memorial sculptures.

One of the notable aspects of St. Peter's Cemetery is its serene and picturesque setting, nestled against the backdrop of the Hohensalzburg Fortress and surrounded by lush greenery. The cemetery's peaceful atmosphere and beautiful surroundings make it a tranquil place for reflection and remembrance.

St. Peter's Cemetery is a famous and popular spot amongst tourists thanks to its appearance in "The Sound of Music." In the film, this historic cemetery is where the Von Trapp family hides from the Nazis after their performance at the Salzburg Festival. Although the scene was not filmed on-site, a replica of St. Peter's Cemetery was meticulously recreated on a Hollywood soundstage to capture the family's dramatic hideaway among the gravestones and crypts.

Salzburg Cathedral_Exterior_Sazlburg

Salzburg Travel Guide: Gardens & Parks

Mirabell Gardens

The Mirabell Gardens are renowned for their stunning Baroque design and historical significance, forming a part of the larger Mirabell Palace complex. These meticulously landscaped gardens feature beautifully symmetrical flower beds, grand alleys, and ornamental sculptures, including the iconic Pegasus Fountain with its mythical winged horse. The quirky Dwarf Garden is another popular site at Mirabell Gardens - located at the north end of the gardens.

The gardens also boast a vibrant Rose Garden that blooms during the summer months, creating a picturesque setting for visitors. Adjacent to the gardens is the Mirabell Orangerie, a greenhouse that is open to the public. With their cultural significance, especially as a filming location for "The Sound of Music," the Mirabell Gardens offer visitors a blend of natural beauty, historical charm, and panoramic views of Salzburg's landmarks.

Botanischer Garten Universität Salzburg

The Botanischer Garten der Universität Salzburg (also known as The Botanical Garden of the University of Salzburg in English), is home to a diverse collection of plants from around the world, offering educational programs and guided tours on plant biology and conservation. The Botanical Garden is easily accessible to the public, located in the Hellbrunn neighborhood. It welcomes visitors of all ages, including families, students, tourists, and nature enthusiasts.

Hiking Trails

Nestled within the breathtaking Austrian Alps and alongside the tranquil Salzach River, Salzburg is a haven for nature lovers, especially those with a passion for hiking. Two of the most beloved (and easier) trails are explored in greater detail below. As with any hiking trips, make sure to check current weather conditions and trail closures, bring water, and dress accordingly before setting off on your hike. Additional hiking trails in Salzburg and the surrounding area can be found here.

Kapuzinerberg from Mirabellplatz (Moderate)

The Kapuzinerberg hike offers exquisite views of Salzburg. Brian completed this hike during his visit in November 2022 and highly recommends it if you have a few hours to spare during. your trip to Salzburg. 

Starting from Mirabellplatz, an iconic square adjacent to the famous Mirabell Palace & Gardens, this trail presents a moderate challenge, perfect for those of decent physical condition. As you ascend Kapuzinerberg, the route winds through scenic pathways and forested areas, featuring occasional uphill sections and uneven terrain, but proper hiking boots are not required as long as you have sneakers with decent tread on the bottom. Along the way, hikers are treated to breathtaking panoramic views of Salzburg, including iconic landmarks such as the Altstadt (Old Town), Hohensalzburg Fortress, and the Salzach River. The hike also passes historical sites like the Kapuziner Monastery and the Kapuzinerberg Church, adding cultural depth to the experience. Depending on your pace, the hike typically takes around 1.5 to 2 hours to complete, making it accessible to families and individuals seeking a scenic and moderately challenging activity in Salzburg. Remember to start early or opt for late afternoon hikes to avoid midday heat during the summer months, carry a camera to capture the stunning vistas, and follow trail markers and guidelines to ensure an enjoyable and respectful hiking experience. 

The Sound of Music Trail Werfen (Easy)

While not technically in Salzburg, the Sound of Music Trail is in Werfen, located about 40-45 minutes from Salzburg by car. The Sound of Music Trail in Werfen offers an easy and delightful hiking experience that combines natural beauty with iconic film locations from the beloved movie "The Sound of Music." The trail takes you through scenic meadows, rolling hills, and charming forests reminiscent of the movie's settings. This leisurely hike is suitable for all ages and fitness levels, making it a family-friendly activity in Salzburg's countryside.

As you follow The Sound of Music Trail, you'll come across a couple of landmarks featured in the film, such as the iconic Gschwandtanger Meadow (where Maria twirls during the opening scene of the movie) and the area where the von Trapp children sing "Do-Re-Mi". These spots offer opportunities to reenact scenes from the movie and capture memorable photos. 

Mirabell Palace Gardens_Salzburg Fortress_Salzburg

Salzburg Travel Guide: A Taste of Bavaria 

From traditional Bavarian dishes like pretzels and sausages to international cuisine, Salzburg serves up an array of food options. Enjoy a taste of Bavaria by sampling local delicacies and seasonal specialties at traditional beer halls, or learn how to make iconic Bavarian dishes at hands-on a cooking class. 

Cooking Class:

One of our favorite activities of our trip to Salzburg was a cooking class at the Edelweiss Cooking School. It was a really unique opportunity to learn how to make a few classic Austrian dishes, including: pretzels, spec dumplings, and apple strudel. Conducted in English and in a small group setting, the classes were engaging and hands-on, and provided a great opportunity to meet fellow travelers. The instructor was extremely attentive and everything we made was absolutely delicious! We have even made the apple strudel again at home! We took the dinner cooking class, but lunch options are also available and can be booked via GetYourGuide

If you book an experience or tour through our GetYourGuide affiliate link, we may earn a small commission. 

Beer Gardens & Beer Halls:

Salzburg is known for its beer culture, with numerous traditional beer halls and beer gardens scattered throughout the city. These establishments offer a quintessential Austrian experience, where locals and visitors gather to enjoy freshly brewed beers and hearty pub fare. From historic beer halls with centuries-old brewing traditions to scenic beer gardens nestled along the Salzach River, Salzburg's beer scene provides a welcoming and convivial setting to savor authentic Austrian beers and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Beer Halls & Beer Gardens in Salzburg >


Bakeries in Salzburg are cherished for their artisanal bread, pastries, and sweet treats that reflect the region's culinary heritage. From traditional Austrian bread like Laugengebäck (pretzel bread) and Salzstangerl (salt sticks) to indulgent pastries such as Apfelstrudel (apple strudel), Salzburg's bakeries offer a delightful variety of baked goods. Many bakeries also showcase seasonal specialties like Christmas stollen during the holidays or fresh fruit tarts in the summer. Visitors can experience the aroma of freshly baked goods wafting through the streets, making a stop at a local bakery a must for anyone exploring Salzburg's culinary scene.

Bakeries in Salzburg >

Speciality Foods & Drinks:

Salzburg is home to a variety of specialty foods and drinks that are a must-try for any visitor looking to indulge in the city's unique culinary offerings.

  • Mozartkugel: One of Salzburg's most famous treats is the Mozartkugel, a small round chocolate confection filled with marzipan and nougat. Named after Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who was born in Salzburg, these sweet treats are often packaged in distinctive gold foil.

  • Salzburger Nockerl: This fluffy soufflé dessert is a specialty of Salzburg, resembling three peaks symbolizing the city's surrounding mountains. Made with egg yolks, sugar, and a hint of vanilla, Salzburger Nockerl is baked until golden and typically served dusted with powdered sugar.

  • Stiegl Beer: Salzburg is the beer capital of Austria and home to the famous Stiegl Brewery. Stiegl Brewery produces a range of renowned beers including Stiegl Goldbräu, Stiegl Weisse, and Stiegl Radler. These beers are crafted using traditional brewing methods and quality ingredients, offering a taste of Salzburg's brewing heritage.

  • Salzburger Landkaese: A regional cheese variety, Salzburger Landkaese is known for its creamy texture and mild flavor. It's often enjoyed sliced on bread or used in traditional Austrian dishes like Kaspressknödel (cheese dumplings).

  • Erdäpfelsalat: This Austrian potato salad is a staple in Salzburg cuisine, featuring boiled potatoes tossed with onions, vinegar, oil, and fresh herbs. Erdäpfelsalat is a popular side dish served with schnitzel, sausages, or other hearty mains.

  • Schnürlbraten: A traditional Salzburg dish, Schnürlbraten is roast pork marinated in a savory sauce and slow-cooked to tender perfection. It's often served with dumplings (Knödel) and red cabbage for a comforting and flavorful meal.

  • Sturm: Available only in the fall, Sturm is a seasonal specialty in Salzburg. It's a partially fermented young wine known for its fruity and effervescent character, perfect for autumn celebrations.

  • Sachertorte: While the Sachertorte might hail from Vienna, you can savor this decadent chocolate cake in Salzburg without the long waits typical of Vienna's cafés. The city boasts its own Hotel Sacher, complete with the legendary Café Sacher, offering an exclusive taste of this famous dessert.

Popular Restaurants:

Salzburg is home to a number of fantastic eateries. Our dining experiences were largely centered around beer halls, drawn in by their inviting ambiance. This selection is not exhaustive, but it encapsulates a handful of establishments in Salzburg where we had memorable meals.

Looking for additional restaurant recommendations for your trip to Salzburg? Check out the links below. 

MICHELIN Guide: Salzburg >
Restaurants in Salzburg >

Pretzles_Sazlburg Cooking Class

Salzburg Shopping Guide

Salzburg offers everything from traditional Trachten to high-end luxury shops selling international brands. It is important to note that most shops, including grocery stores, are closed on Sundays in Austria. Some popular shopping areas in Salzburg include:

  • Getreidegasse: One of Salzburg's most iconic shopping streets, Getreidegasse is lined with historic buildings featuring intricate wrought-iron guild signs. This pedestrian-friendly street is renowned for its upscale boutiques, fashion stores, jewelry shops, souvenir shops, and traditional Austrian crafts. Visitors can also explore Mozart's Birthplace located on Getreidegasse.

  • Old Town (Altstadt): The Old Town of Salzburg is a treasure trove of shopping opportunities, with narrow alleys and picturesque squares filled with high-end luxury boutiques, art galleries, antique shops, and specialty stores. You'll find a diverse range of goods including clothing, accessories, home decor, artwork, and handmade crafts.

  • McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Salzburg: Located just outside of Salzburg, shoppers at McArthurGlen Designer Outlet can find discounted prices on designer brands, fashion items, accessories, and home goods. 

Trachten Retailers

Trachten, traditional Bavarian clothing, which includes Lederhosen and Dirndls, is an integral part of Salzburg's cultural heritage. Below is a list of some notable Trachten retailers in Salzburg where you can find authentic and high-quality traditional Bavarian attire. 

Traditional Souvenir Shops

From beer steins to Nutcrackers, beautifully made Christmas ornaments, and even cuckoo clocks, there are plenty of traditional souvenirs to bring home from your trip to Salzburg. Below is a couple of notable retailers in Salzburg's Altstadt neighborhood where you can find authentic and high-quality traditional Bavarian souvenirs. 

Grocery Stores

Grocery stores in Salzburg are convenient spots to purchase chocolate souvenirs, local food items, or essentials like snacks and drinks. Whether you're looking for souvenirs to bring home or need to stock up on essentials during your stay, Salzburg's grocery stores offer a wide selection of products to meet your needs.

We visited SPAR on a few occasions since it was conveniently located near our hotel in the Neustadt. SPAR was a great place to pick up souvenirs, including Mozartkugel, and snacks while we were in Salzburg. A few notable SPAR locations are as follows:

  • Getreidegasse 9 (Mozart's Birthplace)  
  • Linzer Gasse 57 (Near Hotel NH Collection Salzburg City)
  • Faberstraße 6 (Near Schloss Mirabell) 

Christmas Markets (Christkindlmarkt)

Salzburg's Christmas markets, known as "Christkindlmarkt," are a magical and cherished tradition during the holiday season. Most Christmas markets open towards the end of November and remain open through New Year's Day, on January 1st. More information about the Christmas markets in Salzburg can be found here.

The most popular and largest Christmas market in Salzburg is the Christkindlmarkt at Residenzplatz Square - outside of the Cathedral. Here, you can find an array of items for sale such as handcrafted ornaments, wooden toys, intricate nativity scenes, festive decorations, and traditional Bavarian crafts like nutcrackers. Christmas markets also offer the ability to indulge in seasonal treats like gingerbread cookies (Lebkuchen), traditional Christmas fruit cakes (Stollen), mulled wine (Glühwein), roasted almonds (Gebrannte Mandeln), roasted chestnuts (Maroni) and savory snacks like bratwurst. 


Salzburg Travel Guide: Transportation

Salzburg boasts a well-developed and cost-effective public transportation network, offering a reliable way to explore its surrounding towns. Leveraging navigation tools such as Google Maps can significantly streamline and improve the experience of moving around Salzburg.


Salzburg welcomes visitors through a main airport, easily connected to the city center. 
  • Salzburg's international airport, W. A. Mozart Airport (SZG), serves as a key transportation hub connecting the city to numerous domestic and international destinations.
  • Located approximately 2.5 hours from Salzburg, Munich Airport (Flughafen München), also known as Franz Josef Strauss International Airport (MUC), is another option for travelers. Trains connect MUC to Salzburg Hbf via Munich's Ostbahnhof Station with trains departing a few times each hour.

Transportation To/From Airport:

  • Public Buses: Public buses provide a convenient and efficient transportation option from Salzburg Airport to the city center. The bus service is operated by Salzburg AG, and several bus routes serve different parts of the city, including the airport. The most commonly used bus route from Salzburg Airport to the city center is Line 2. Line 2 runs regularly throughout the day, and it connects the airport with Salzburg Hauptbahnhof (Salzburg Central Station) and other key locations in the city center. The journey from the airport to the main train station typically takes around 20-25 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. More information about public buses can be found here.
  • Taxi: Taxis are available at Munich Airport, providing direct transportation locations within the city center. A taxi is the fastest way to get into the city center. 
  • Rideshare Apps: Both FREENOW and Uber operate in Salzburg. Prices for rideshare services are generally on par with traditional taxis. However, it's important to note that rideshare vehicles cannot linger at taxi stands or directly by the curb, so you may need to allow extra time for your ride to arrive after booking it at SZG.

Local Transit:

Navigating Salzburg is best done on foot, especially considering that much of the Altstadt restricts car, bus, and taxi access for long portions of the day. This setup, combined with the compact layout of the Salzburg City Center and its major tourist attractions, makes it easy to hop from one attraction to another on foot. We only used taxis to get to/from the train station and otherwise walked everywhere we visited while in Salzburg. However, other means of transportation are available and outlined below.
  • Buses: Public buses in Salzburg form an extensive and reliable network that complements the city's other modes of public transportation. Buses in Salzburg operate with regular schedules, and many routes have frequent services during peak hours. More information about bus timetables, tickets, and costs, can be found on the Salzburg Verkehr website.
  • Rideshare Apps: As previously mentioned, both FREENOW and Uber operate in Salzburg. Rides can be easily requested from the respective apps. Rideshare apps are great for travelers concerned about the language barrier or those who are traveling to destinations within Salzburg that are not as readily serviced by other public transportation methods or when traveling with luggage. 
  • Taxis: Taxi stands are readily available throughout Salzburg, making it convenient for residents and visitors to access taxi services. These taxi stands are typically located at key locations such as the main train station, major squares, tourist areas, and hotels. Additionally, taxis can also be hailed on the street. While many taxis accept credit card payment in Salzburg, it is recommended that you verify this payment method is in fact accepted before you hop in.

More information regarding public transportation in Salzburg can be found here.

Local & Long-Distance Trains:

Train Stations

In Salzburg, there is one major train station that serve as key transportation hub for the city - Salzburg Hauptbahnhof (Salzburg Hbf). 

Salzburg Hauptbahnhof (Salzburg Hbf or Salzburg Central Station)
  • Salzburg Hauptbahnhof, commonly known as Salzburg Hbf or Salzburg Central Station, is the main railway station in Salzburg and serves as a major transportation hub for both domestic and international travel. Salzburg Hbf serves as a hub for both long-distance and regional/local train services. 
  • From Salzburg Hauptbahnhof (Hbf), travelers can access a wide range of popular train connections, including direct routes to major Austrian cities like Vienna and Innsbruck; international trains to destinations in Germany (e.g., Munich, Frankfurt), Switzerland (e.g., Zurich, Geneva), Italy (e.g., Milan, Venice), Czech Republic (e.g., Prague), and Hungary (e.g., Budapest); regional trains serving nearby towns and villages in the Salzburg region; and high-speed rail options such as Railjet and EuroCity trains for efficient travel across Europe.
Salzach River_Salzburg

Why we loved Salzburg

We absolutely loved Salzburg for so many reasons! The town's picturesque beauty and undeniable charm left us enchanted from the moment we arrived. What stood out the most was the warmth and friendliness of the people; it was a refreshing change from the more abrasive encounters we had with locals in Munich and Vienna.

Exploring the Old Town was one of our favorite parts of our trip to Salzburg, with its cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and cozy cafes tucked away in every corner. The Salzburg Fortress towering above the city added a sense of grandeur to the landscape, and the panoramic views from the Fortress itself were simply breathtaking.

Being immersed in Salzburg's classical music scene was a dream come true. The city's musical heritage, from Mozart's lasting influence to the filming locations of The Sound of Music, made our trip to Salzburg that much more surreal. Attending an organ concert in the Salzburg Cathedral further enriched our journey.

However, the real highlight of our trip was a cooking class at the Edelweiss Cooking School where we learned how to make delicious pretzels, speck dumplings, and the best apple strudel of our trip. The hands-on experience, learning from a local chef and using fresh ingredients, added a whole new dimension to our appreciation of Austrian culture and cuisine.

Brian has been lucky enough to visit Salzburg twice now, and we both cannot wait to return again, next time to experience the magic of Salzburg's Christmas markets. We have heard so much about the festive atmosphere and the delicious treats that fill the air during the holiday season in Salzburg, that a trip to see the Christmas markets is on our list for our next visit!

Salzburg Neighborhoods

Altstadt (Old Town)

Altstadt, or the Old Town, is the beating heart of Salzburg, celebrated for its enchanting narrow lanes, picturesque squares, and immaculately preserved Baroque architecture, all of which have earned it UNESCO World Heritage status.

For tourists, staying in Altstadt is a quintessential Salzburg experience, offering direct immersion into the city's rich history, cultural vibrancy, and top-tier attractions. However, it's important to note that accommodations in Altstadt are generally pricier compared to other neighborhoods in Salzburg due to its historical significance and popularity among tourists. Despite the higher cost, many travelers find the unique experience of staying in Altstadt well worth it, offering unparalleled access to Salzburg's cultural treasures, numerous restaurants, and the timeless charm of this historic district.

Among the must-visit places in the Altstadt are the beautiful Salzburg Cathedral, a masterpiece of Baroque design; the iconic Hohensalzburg Fortress, a medieval stronghold commanding breathtaking views and historical insights; Mozart's Birthplace, now a captivating museum dedicated to the musical genius; the bustling shopping street of Getreidegasse with its charming boutiques and cafes; and the DomQuartier Salzburg, a cultural hub comprising museums and galleries showcasing the city's art and heritage. 

UNESCO Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg >
Expedia's Guide to Altstadt >

Hohensalzburg Fortress_Salzburg

Neustadt (New City) 

Neustadt, which translates to "New City," is a modern and dynamic district located just west of Salzburg's historic Old Town (Altstadt). It offers a mix of residential areas, commercial spaces, and cultural attractions, making it a convenient and comfortable place to stay for tourists.

For tourists, Neustadt offers several attractions and amenities within easy reach. One of the key landmarks is the Mirabell Palace and Gardens, a stunning Baroque palace with beautifully landscaped gardens that are perfect for a leisurely stroll or picnicking. The Mirabell Gardens are famous for their geometrically arranged flower beds, sculptures, and panoramic views of the Hohensalzburg Fortress.

Additionally, Neustadt is home to the Mozarteum University of Salzburg, a renowned institution dedicated to music and the performing arts. Visitors can explore the Mozarteum campus and attend concerts, recitals, and other cultural events hosted by the university.

Neustadt is well-connected to other parts of Salzburg via public transportation, including bus routes and is in close proximity to the Salzburg Hauptbahnhof (main train station), making it easy to explore the city's other attractions such as the Hohensalzburg Fortress, Salzburg Cathedral, and Getreidegasse (a historic shopping street).

Fodor's Travel: North of the River Salzach >

Mirabell Palace Gardens_Pegasus Fountain_Salzburg

Elisabeth Vorstadt

Elisabeth-Vorstadt is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood located just south of Salzburg's city center. It's named after Empress Elisabeth of Austria, also known as Sisi, and is characterized by its mix of residential areas, commercial spaces, and cultural attractions. 

One of the notable landmarks near Elisabeth-Vorstadt is the Salzburg Hauptbahnhof, which is the city's main train station. This makes the neighborhood a convenient location for travelers as it provides easy access to regional and international train services. From here, you can easily explore other parts of Salzburg as well as travel to nearby cities and attractions.

In terms of accommodations, Elisabeth-Vorstadt offers a range of options including hotels, guesthouses, and vacation rentals. It's a good place to stay if you prefer a more affordable area with convenient transportation links. 

The neighborhood itself has its own charm with local shops and restaurants serving diverse cuisines. It's a lively area that gives you a taste of everyday life in Salzburg while still being well-connected to the city's main attractions and transportation hubs.

Expedia's Guide to Elisabeth Vorstadt >


Hellbrunn is a charming neighborhood located in the southern part of Salzburg. One of the key attractions in Hellbrunn is the Hellbrunn Palace (Schloss Hellbrunn), a magnificent Baroque villa built in the 17th century by Markus Sittikus von Hohenems, the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg. The palace is famous for its trick fountains, playful water features, and beautiful gardens, making it a popular destination for visitors exploring Salzburg's cultural heritage.

Another highlight of Hellbrunn is the Salzburg Zoo Hellbrunn, a 34-acre zoo home to a diverse collection of animals from around the world. The zoo offers educational experiences for all ages and is a great place to spend time with family.

Additionally, Hellbrunn is known for its natural attractions, including the Hellbrunner Allee, a scenic avenue lined with chestnut trees perfect for walks and cycling. The area also features hiking trails, picnic spots, and picturesque views of the surrounding mountains, making it ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

While Hellbrunn offers a range of attractions and recreational opportunities, it is not typically considered a primary area for tourists to stay. The neighborhood is more residential in nature, with fewer accommodation options compared to central districts like Altstadt or Neustadt. However, Hellbrunn can still be a delightful area to visit during the day to explore its historical sites, enjoy outdoor activities, and experience a quieter side of Salzburg away from the city center.

Hellbrunn Palace & Trick Fountains >

LB_Residenzplatz Fountain_Salzburg

Our Take on Salzburg

Our stay at Hotel NH Collection Salzburg City was fantastic. We chose this hotel strategically because of its ideal location, nestled between Salzburg Hauptbahnhof (Salzburg Hbf or Salzburg Central Station) and the Aldstadt (Old Town), offering easy access to major attractions within walking distance. Price was also a factor, as the hotel was a more budget-friendly option compared to accommodations directly in the Aldstadt. 

The hotel itself exceeded our expectations. The rooms were spacious by European standards, providing a clean and comfortable stay to relax after long days of exploring Salzburg. The amenities and services were top-notch, ensuring a pleasant and enjoyable stay.

Overall, Hotel NH Collection Salzburg City provided us with a convenient base to explore the city, combined with excellent value and comfort, making our experience in Salzburg all the more memorable. While our stay at Hotel NH Collection Salzburg City was wonderful, we must admit that for our next visit to Salzburg, we would seriously considering splurging on a stay at Hotel Sacher. Its picturesque location right on the banks of the Salzach River promises an experience that combines luxury, history, and breathtaking views of some of the city's iconic landmarks. 

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A Deep Dive: Mozart & The Sound of Music in Salzburg

Salzburg's influence in the realm of classical music, particularly through its most famous son, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is profound. Mozart's legacy permeates every corner of the city, from the cobblestone streets of the Altstadt (Old Town) to the grandeur of the Mirabell Palace where he once performed as a child prodigy. Mozart's influence is intricately woven throughout the city, from the Mozartplatz—a quaint square in the Old Town named in his honor, to the Salzburg Cathedral where he was both baptized and employed as an organist. Even the beloved Mozartkugel chocolates, adorned with his image, serve as a sweet homage to his enduring legacy. Visitors can also explore Mozart's Birthplace, a meticulously preserved museum showcasing his life, musical genius, and personal belongings, offering an intimate glimpse into his extraordinary legacy.

In addition to Mozart's influence, Salzburg's musical history resonates with a younger generation thanks to its connection with the film The Sound of Music, a beloved classic that has immortalized the city on the silver screen. Visitors can follow in the footsteps of the von Trapp family by visiting filming locations such as the Mirabell Gardens, where parts of the iconic "Do-Re-Mi" scene was filmed, or the Schloss Hellbrunn where you will find the gazebo from “16 Going On 17”. These locations not only showcase Salzburg's architectural beauty but also evoke a sense of nostalgia and wonder for fans of the beloved film. Looking to see other locations in Salzburg that are depicted in the movie? Check out this article from Forbes that details seven of the most iconic locations in Salzburg that are depicted in the film. Otherwise, consider embarking on a Sound of Music themed tour of Salzburg with GetYourGuide.

Salzburg's streets honor its musical heritage, with statues of Mozart (including this abstract statue by Markus Lüpertz) and tributes to other musicians like Joseph Mohr, who wrote one of the most popular Christmas carols of all time - "Silent Night." The city's buildings, including the majestic Salzburg Cathedral, serves as a backdrop for its musical and cinematic legacies, offering venues for classical performances and concerts. The Salzburg Cathedral offers daily organ concerts at noon (except on Sundays and public holidays), after the church bells ring. The concerts are €9 and tickets can be purchased from the cathedral's ticket office. The concert is a lovely demonstration of the five different organs within the cathedral. 

Each summer, the streets of Salzburg come quite literally alive with the sound of music during the Salzburg Festival, a testament to the city's enduring commitment to artistic excellence and cultural enrichment. From opera performances to orchestral concerts, the festival showcases the talents of world-renowned musicians and artists, honoring Salzburg's legacy as a cultural capital. More information about the Salzburg Festival can be found on the festival's website. This year's Salzburg Festival is being held from Friday, July 19 to Saturday, August 31, 2024. 

Overall, Salzburg's rich musical heritage, embodied by Mozart and celebrated through classical music to this day, combined with its allure immortalized by The Sound of Music, makes it a captivating destination for music lovers of all ages.

Nearby Destinations

Our Salzburg Travel Guide & Trip Planning Resources 

Curious about the resources that shaped our Salzburg trip? Dive into the links below for additional insights and valuable information we used to plan our own unforgettable trip.

Looking for more information on Austria? From when to visit, popular souvenirs, train information, and more, check out our Austria Travel Guide.

Kapizomernerg Hike_Salzurg Fortress_Salzburg
View of Fortress Hohensalzburg (Salzburg Fortress) from Kapuzinerberg

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