Best of Salzburg
Updated: May 9
Salzburg is one of Austria's most beautiful cities. Salzburg has a picturesque historic center on the UNESCO list, a romantic promenade along the Salzach river, and views of the impressive Alps. The city also became the birthplace of one of the world's most famous composers. You are correct; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg. His influence can be found all over the city.
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What not to miss?
The Hohensalzburg Fortress, which rises high on a hill above the city, is a clear dominant feature of Salzburg. You'll have the city in the palm of your hand from here. You will be greeted by the best-preserved castle complex in Central Europe and a stunning view of the nearby Alps. The cable car that has connected the city to Hohensalzburg for over 120 years provides easy access to the fortress. Several museums are housed within the castle complex, including the Puppet Museum. It is open throughout the year.
Mirabell Palace and Gardens
Mirabell Castle and its surrounding gardens are stunning examples of Baroque art. Little Wolfgang and his father Leopold had already performed in Mirabell Castle's Marble Hall. Today, the most extravagant weddings in Austria are held here. The Mirabell Gardens are not to be missed. The view of the Hohensalzburg fortress and the Alps in the distance is one of the most beautiful in Salzburg.
The cathedral is Salzburg's most important sacred structure among its numerous churches. Its mighty dome and two towers leave their distinct and impressive imprint on the city skyline. A closer examination of the cathedral reveals numerous surprising and exciting details.
Hellbrunn Castle is located just outside of Salzburg and has thus become a popular retreat for visitors. You might think, at first glance, that I've seen dozens of such castles. A surprise, however, awaits you in the gardens. Here is a literal water kingdom. Not only will dozens of fountains cool you down, but so will a slew of hidden water jets. A water theater is also available.
Mozart Square and the Mozart Statue
The Mozartplatz is located in the heart of Salzburg's Old Town, near the Residenzplatz and the Salzburg Cathedral. While the buildings surrounding the square tell many stories, the Mozart statue is unmistakably the focal point.
What else to visit?
Getreidegasse + Mozart Birthplace
Getreidegasse is the artery of the historic city of Salzburg, and you can find almost all famous fashion brands in it. To stop shopping, it is also necessary to mention that the famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on this street, in house number 9. Today, the house houses a museum dedicated to this musical genius, so Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lives on here, at least symbolically.
Hangar-7 at Salzburg Airport is a one-of-a-kind structure that houses the historic Flying Bulls aircraft fleet and a Formula 1 race car collection. Hangar-7 can also be used for art exhibitions. With its Restaurant Ikarus, two bars, an Outdoor Lounge, and one café, it is not only a venue for events but also a gathering place for art lovers and bon vivant.
Saint Peter's Abbey
St. Peter's Abbey and Cemetery is the oldest monastery in the German-speaking world and is truly a time capsule. Although the abbey is beautiful, the cemetery is the church's most notable feature. St. Peter's was once known worldwide for their monk-led writing classes that taught students expected literature, penmanship, and printing skills. It still houses Austria's oldest library, which contains manuscripts dating back to 734 AD.
A pleasant hike up the wooded Kapuzinerberg, one of Salzburg's city mountains, begins at Linzergasse and proceeds along a paved path to Franziskischlössl. You can either take the same route back or take Imbergstiege and Steingasse back to the starting point. You will be rewarded with many breathtaking views of Salzburg along the way.
Salzburg Zoo Hellbrunn
The Salzburg Zoo is a short distance from Hellbrunn Castle. Large enclosures for the animals replicate their natural habitat, making you feel like you're in the African savannah. During the summer, the ZOO offers special night tours that allow you to observe the animals after dark when they are most active.
How to travel there?
Salzburg is easily accessible from all directions due to its ideal location between Munich and Vienna. The modern train station, a nearby airport, and numerous local and long-distance bus connections make it simple to visit the City of Mozart.
Salzburg W. A. Mozart Airport is Austria's second-largest airport and is served by various airlines. Furthermore, the major international airports in Vienna and Munich are only about 2 to 3 hours away using public transportation.
Salzburg is an ideal destination for rail travelers due to its excellent rail network and international connections. The possibilities are endless, whether for a day trip or a stopover on a grand tour of Europe.
You can also take the bus to Salzburg. It depends on where you want to go, but there are buses that go through several states and cities as well as direct buses to Salzburg. Long-distance coach travel is frequently the best option for travelers looking for the best combination of price and comfort. They are an affordable alternative for travel to Salzburg, with excellent connections from Germany and throughout Austria and central stops in Salzburg.
When to travel there?
All year long, Salzburg entices visitors. The summer months have the warmest weather, but it can be too hot to visit the city, and tourists from all over the world visit during this time. Spring is a lovely time to visit because everything is waking up and blooming.
The second peak of the season occurs during Advent. It would help if you didn't miss the pre-Christmas time in Salzburg either. The whole city is magically lit up, and the local Advent markets are among the most beautiful in Austria. Choose a weekday when the town is not full of weekend tourists.
A day in Salzburg as a low-cost tourist would cost us around 51€ if we wanted to travel cheaply, walk through the entire historic city, take the bus, and save primarily on food and accommodation.
If we want to treat ourselves a little more, we can become standard tourists and pay a little more for accommodation, food, and transportation; on average, a day in Salzburg costs 123€.
If we want to treat ourselves to true luxury, experience Salzburg at full speed, and enjoy a luxury hotel, food, and transportation, our daily average as a luxury tourist will be 278€.
Where to eat?
While Salzburg is best known as Mozart's birthplace and the setting for The Sound of Music, the city has also become a culinary hotspot, attracting visitors from all over the country and beyond. Ilse Fischer, a restaurant expert, walks Culture Trip through the best places to eat in Salzburg.
Ikarus in Hangar-7. This two-Michelin-starred restaurant is housed within Hangar-7, a Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz-owned aircraft hangar near the city's airport. The cuisine matches the unique setting. "Ikarus has top guest chefs 11 months of the year, with their staff taking over the other twelve," Ilse explains. The menu changes every four weeks due to the unusual concept, allowing regulars to try dishes from all over the world, with a good range of plant-based options always available. Allow time before or after your meal to explore Hangar-7's collection of historical planes and take photos of the impressive glass structure.
Restaurant Brunnauer is known for its primarily Austrian dishes that use seasonal, regional, and organic ingredients sourced from the owner's private garden. "Richard Brunnauer's place is a foodie hotspot at any time of day," Ilse says, "but it's trendy around noon - they have the best lunch menu in town." Before opening his restaurant with his wife, Sybille, a well-traveled tourist industry expert who now manages the restaurant, the award-winning chef had over three decades of cooking experience under his belt. Brunnauer is housed within the historic Villa Ceconi, only a short walk from the Hohensalzburg Fortress.
If you want a traditional, rustic food experience in Salzburg, Silvia and Peter Bernhofer's place is a must. They serve everything from roast pork to schnitzel, as well as traditional Austrian desserts. We recommend Silvia's famous powidl pofesen for dessert (the Austrian version of French toast stuffed with plum stew). Gasthaus Hinterbrühl is located in the heart of the old town in a 1380 building that was once part of the city wall. The charming dining room, with its old-fashioned wooden benches and tables, is always full of regulars and visitors.
Salzburg Easter Festival
Herbert von Karajan founded the Salzburg Easter Festival in 1967 as an addition to the Salzburg Festival in August, and it quickly established itself as an exclusive and artistically brilliant festival. The basic idea behind Herbert von Karajan's founding of the Easter Festival was to develop the festival concept in Salzburg further so that the Easter Festival did not see itself as an offshoot of the Salzburg Festival in the summer but was able to develop a completely independent profile. Only first-rate directors, top-tier performers, and sophisticated opera productions could accomplish this.
The Salzburg Festival is the world's most important opera, music, and drama festival. The varied program includes classics, world-renowned artists, and a growing number of events for children.
Salzburg, the world's music capital, is the summer festival. During Mozart Week, you can feel the city's distinct flavor, especially in the concert halls. The City of Mozart celebrates Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's birthday with an internationally acclaimed concert series on and around January 27. Since 1956, the Mozarteum Foundation Salzburg has hosted Mozart Week, a festival with a global reputation that attracts the world's best artists and audiences from all over the world.
We hope you find this Salzburg travel guide useful and that it saves you time. So make a detailed plan and get started! If you want to go somewhere else, we have articles about Bern, Zurich, and more. To make sure you don't miss anything, follow us on Instagram @thewalkingparrot! If you decide to visit Salzburg, please tell us what you liked best.