What should you do when visiting Salzburg Austria? You might be thinking ‘Is there even anything to do in Salzburg?’ Yes! Fortunately, there is plenty to keep tourists occupied during their stay. Here’s our list of the top things to do in Salzburg: get out and enjoy the beautiful sights, explore the architecture and culture of this historically rich city,
visit one of its amazing museums or churches, have a bite at an eclectic restaurant, take part in guided tours or boat rides on River Salzach, experience the thrilling nightlife, take advantage of its various outdoor activities – from arts to cycling – or get lost amongst its picturesque alleys! Ensure you’re well prepared for your trip by researching travel insurance policies.
The Top 10 Activities and Attractions in Salzburg
1. Hohensalzburg Fortress – Uncovering a Salzburg Treasure
Hohensalzburg Fortress is one of Europe’s largest and best-preserved castles. It lends gravitas to the city’s skyline, drawing attention to its towering white walls and showcasing its vast cultural heritage.
This shining beacon has witnessed 900 years of history and undoubtedly has a few tales to tell. Take a tour of Fortress Hohensalzburg to learn about the castle’s legendary past. You can hike the hill on foot or take the funicular to the top. You can visit the Golden Hall and Golden Chamber inside the castle, as well as the spooky dungeon.
Address: Mönchsberg 34, 5020 Salzburg
Opening hours: Daily 9:30 am to 5 pm (The hours may differ during winter)
Entrance Fee: Adults’ € 9,90 see the full list of available tickets
2. Exploring the Gothic Splendor of Salzburg Cathedral
Salzburg Cathedral is a stunning Baroque structure. The cathedral is home to some incredible art and architecture, including a beautiful statue of St. Rupert and a 3-meter-tall pipe organ that has been played by many famous composers.
This cathedral is well worth seeing if you are in Salzburg!
The structure that now stands on the Domplatz is not the same as the one established in 774, even though portions of the main church was discovered during the Cathedral Excavations.
Address: Domplatz 1a, 5020 Salzburg
Opening hours: Friday to Saturday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, Sunday 1:00pm to 6:00pm
Entrance Fee: Free
3. Discover the Beauty of the Domquartier Salzburg
Walking around the magnificent baroque state rooms of Domquartier is one of the unique things to do in Salzburg. Domquartier, a museum complex located in the heart of the city, gives us a deep insight into the Baroque history of Salzburg.
If you take a walking tour of the complex, you will get to see the elaborate stuccowork decorations on the Cathedral’s Northern Oratory rooms. Special exhibitions are held in this space, and it is said to have the most spectacular interior.
The Southern Oratory consists of the Cathedral Museum. The artworks displayed in this museum are from the Gothic to Baroque periods, and these artworks are enough to leave you astonished.
The terrace above the cathedral arches of Domquartier offers views of Salzburg’s Baroque city centre. You can also take a walk around the Long Gallery to check out some of the most beautiful paintings.
As Domquartier is a huge architectural complex, there are actually so many other things to check out. For example, you can go to the Residenz Gallery, which holds internationally acclaimed exhibitions of European painting. Then there is the Cathedral Organ Loft offering tourists a unique view of Salzburg’s spiritual heart.
Moreover, there are the Chamber of Art and Wonders, and St. Peter’s Museum displaying the age-old exhibits, curiosities, and treasures. Every nook and corner of the complex is gorgeous so that you can click on some good pictures.
Address: Residenzplatz 1, Domplatz 1a, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Opening Hours: Wednesday – Monday | 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (closed on Tuesday)
Entry fee: Adults € 13.00 / € 10.00*, Children (up to 6 years) free, Families € 27.00 / € 22.00*, Youths (up to 25 years) € 8.00 / € 6.00*, SalzburgCard: one-time free admission. See the full list of available tickets and prices
4. Where History Comes Alive – The Streets of Getreidgasse
Getreidgasse is a beautiful medieval commercial avenue. You can take a short break while hanging out in Getreidgasse and can have a refreshing drink. On Getreidgasse, there is also a posh McDonald’s in which you get a beautiful plate and forks.
The banner that hangs just above the store reflects the tiny commuter street’s Ancient heritage. Because practically no one can ever read in the Medieval Era, shops posted a symbol for their business or skill rather than just business names on the boards.
5. Take a Tour of St. Peter’s Abbey and Cemetery
A Benedictine monastery and former cathedral, St. Peter’s Abbey, was founded by Saint Rupert in 696, and it’s definitely not a part of Salzburg Cathedral. The monastery was established to boost missionary efforts in the eastern half of the alps. The present-day abbey church holds Romanesque style architecture.
It has the oldest library in Austria that has around 800 old manuscripts stored. Over the years, the library has grown to 100,000 volumes, mainly focussing on Benedictine conventionalism, items concerning the local history of Salzburg, history of art, and medieval church history. Unfortunately, the library is only accessible with special permission, which means that it is accessible by a few selective guided tours.
St. Peter’s Cemetery, adjacent to the abbey, is the oldest graveyard in Salzburg. You can walk around the peaceful cemetery grounds and admire some of the oldest beautiful tombstones. And if you are in search of a spooky adventure time, you can go down into the catacombs.
The magical and mysterious catacomb caves date back to the 11th century. So, for those of you who love spooky adventures, going down into the catacombs is definitely one of the most adventurous things to do in Salzburg, Austria.
Address: Sankt-Peter-Bezirk 1, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Opening Hours of Abbey: Monday – Friday | 8:00 am – 12: 00 pm, 12:30 pm – 6:30 pm (closed on Saturday and Sunday)
Opening Hours of Cemetery: Everyday | 6:30 am – 6:00 pm
Opening Hours of Catacombs: Everyday | 10:00 am – 12:30 pm, 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Entry fee of Catacombs: Adults € 2.00, Children/youths (6-18 years) € 1.50, Groups of 10 adults or more, per person € 1.50, Salzburg Card: one-time free admission
6. Mozart’s House: Experience the Life of a Legendary Composer
Mozart’s legacy and popularity will be seen everywhere around Salzburg — he was raised in a tiny cottage and eventually transferred to what is now known as “Mozarts Wohnhaus” in Makartplatz. After World War II, the building was carefully restored to its original structure and opened to the public as a museum.
This fascinating gallery exhibits life stories from family members and demonstrations of their daily lives and how they lived them. If you’re a dedicated Mozart fan, I’d say that visiting this museum is a must when in Salzburg!
Address: Getreidegasse 9, 5020 Salzburg
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9:00 am to 5:30 pm closed on Monday
7. A Historical Look at Hellburnn Castle
Hellbrunn Castle or Palace, nestled in Salzburg’s southwestern Morgz area, is enclosed by a gorgeous park adjacent to the Salzburg Zoo.
This castle was initially constructed in the 1600s as a guest residence with a pretty yellow colouring and a perfectly aligned front entrance. The landscapes and spectacular ponds at Hellbrunn Palace, on the other hand, are indeed a massive attraction.
The landscapes are very fantastic, with a mixture of ancient ruins, ponds, and water replicants. The water aspects that attempt to surprise you, including the benches with vents in them and that spray liquid on unprepared guests whenever you sit quietly – seem to be what people adore the most. It’s a tremendous amount of fun, especially in the summer.
Address: Fürstenweg 37, 5020 Salzburg
Opening Hours: Daily 9:30 am to 5:30 pm (Opening & closing time may varies during winter)
Entry Fee: Adults’ € 13.50 See the full list of available tickets and price
8. Take a Hike Up Gaisberg Mountain in Salzburg
This mountain is ideal for adventurous journeys or trekking through the eastern provinces of Salzburg. If you enjoy views and outdoor activities, Gaisberg is the place for you. Nearly 20 kilometres of well-marked routes varying in length and complexity emerge, as well as a variety of recreational activities such as skydiving and mountain biking.
Leave the city and explore the stretches of the Gaisberg for a unique view of Salzburg‘s historic district.
How to get to there: The hiking trails on the Gaisberg range in length from 15 minutes to 3 hours and are well marked. If you want to hike closer to the mountain’s summit, we recommend taking the No. 151 bus from the city centre.
Other hiking trails leading up the Gaisberg begin near bus stops (mainly on the No. 6 and No. 7 lines). The Salzburg Card includes all buses. The Gaisberg map includes detailed descriptions of all hiking routes.
9. Explore Salzburg’s Toy Museum & Celebrate Playtime Fun
Hearing the name, you might think that this toy museum is only for children. But the fact is utterly inverse to what you’re imagining. This unique recreational place will be promised to provide you hours of fun, and your children will be amazed to see the beauty of this place as well. The museum component has different displays of antique toys and games.
The other section includes many experiential activities and sports such as a marble run, a small race circuit, and a counterfeit shop wherein kids could experience how well an old business resembled and performed. You can always find everything new and exciting at this magnificent museum that features regular and unusual themed events.
Address: Bürgerspitalgasse 2, 5020 Salzburg
Opening Hours: Daily 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Entry Fee: Adults’ € 4.00 See the full list of available tickets and price
10. Explore the Treasures of Mirabell Palace Gardens in Salzburg
The Mirabell Castle and Gardens have become as synonymous with Salzburg as the city itself. Mirabell, made famous by “The Sound of Music,” has developed a reputation as a dream wedding and honeymoon destination.
The magnificent Marble Hall is dubbed the “world’s most beautiful wedding venue,” and with reason. Mirabell is worth a visit whether you’re looking to marry in Austria or want to soak up some of the romantic energy.
With their impeccably kept rose garden and breathtaking views of Festung Hohensalzburg, the gardens only add to the palace’s abundant beauty. You might catch a happy couple posing for their wedding photograph, or who knows; you might even pose for your own.
Address: Mirabellplatz 4 5020 Salzburg
Opening Hours: Always open
Opening Hours: Free
Best time to visit Salzburg
Mozart’s birthplace, Salzburg, is a delightfully picturesque city in any season, with its historic Altstadt city centre and Alpine river valley.
To avoid crowds, visit during the low season, from September to October. Prices are lower, availability is greater, and the weather has the autumn colours and cool temperatures associated with the end of summer.
As early as November, snow begins to cover the town and surrounding peaks, transforming Salzburg into a winter wonderland. The snow-covered rooftops and cobblestone streets, framed by the clifftop Hohensalzburg Fortress perched above the icy Salzach River, create a romantic winter scene.
Except for Christmas, the winter months are also considered low-season. The Salzburg spring brings the hills to life – after all, The Sound Of Music was filmed here.
However, it can remain chilly until May, when warmer temperatures – and the high season of visitors – arrive. Throughout the warmer months, the weather is pleasant, though not unbearably hot.
While the summer months of June to August are nice, prices, visitor numbers, and rainfall can be higher. August is best avoided because Austrians and the majority of Europeans vacation during this month.
How to get to Salzburg
By Air: Mozart Airport serves as the primary entry point for international visitors and is the simplest way to reach Salzburg. The airport is about ten kilometres from the city centre.
By Train: The Hauptbahnhof train station is located in the town centre, roughly a ten-minute walk from the Old Town.
By Bus: The best way to get around Salzburg is by bus. However, be sure to purchase your tickets from a Trafik Kiosk, as they are significantly less expensive than buying on board.
Buses arrive at the Südtirolerplatz stop, which is located directly outside the central train station. Another way to get to Salzburg is to simply drive there.
Tips for visiting Salzburg
Get a Salzburg Card: If you’re visiting Salzburg for the first time, make sure to have a “Salzburg Card.” Free access to tourist hotspots and museums, free public transportation, and various other discounts combine to create an unforgettable Salzburg vacation.
Salzburg is best experienced on foot. The city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is sublime and can be appreciated only from the ground level.
Mozart Week takes place in January and February and features arguably the finest programme of classical concerts in the world.
There is a lot to see and do in Salzburg. It might even be worth your while to spend at least one full day just walking around the Old Town. But don’t let yourself get overwhelmed!
The best way to see the city is surely by foot. With that in mind, we’ve narrowed down the list of things to do in Salzburg, and provided some recommendations on how you can make the most out of your visit to this picturesque town. Enjoy your stay!
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