I fell head over heels in love with Austria and I wish I allotted for more time in the beautiful country. We were traveling from the Czech Republic to Germany and decided to make a quick stop in Salzburg. I was worried that 2 days wouldn’t be enough time, but the city ended up being smaller than I thought. We had enough time to not only see everything on my list, but to relax and take in the city as well. Here is my list of top 10 things to do in Salzburg:
Take in the View from Festung Hohensalzburg
If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know that I always try and find the best views in every city. This view from the castle (Festung Hohensalzburg) is definitely the best in Salzburg.
Unfortunately, in order to get up the hill you have to pay for admission into the castle. I didn’t necessarily have an interest in exploring the castle but there’s no way around it. You ride up the hill on the Festungsbahn (furnicular railway) and then find yourselves on the top of Salzburg. The view of the city is stunning from this vantage point, it was well worth € 12.00.
If you have the SalzburgCard you get a one time free admission and quick access to the castle.
As strange as it sounds, Petersfriedhoff cemetery is one of my favorite places in Salzburg. It’s the most visually beautiful cemetery I’ve ever been in. Every gravesite is decorated by the families with colorful flowers and candles, and and each one is unique.
The cemetery is free but if you want to go into the catacombs, there’s a small fee (€ 2.00).
The Salzburg Cathedral is a short walk from Petersfriedhoff Cemetery. This is where Mozart was baptized and where he served as a organist for several years. Mozart created a lot of music for the cathedral and many of his compositions were performed here for the first time.
Mozart’s Birthplace and Residence
Salzburg is most famously known as the birthplace of Mozart and if you didn’t know, you will when you get here. His photo follows you wherever you go. There are shops, chocolates and even squares named after the composer.
If you’re a classical music fan, there are two buildings in Old Town worth checking out. Mozart’s Birthplace and Mozart’s Residence. Mozart was born in what is known as the ‘Hagenauer House’ at no. 9 Getreidegasse in 1756. He lived in the house until he was 17 years old. Walk through the original rooms where he and his family lived. Mozart’s childhood violin is on display as well as his clavichord, portraits and letters belonging to the Mozart family.
The Mozart family moved to a more spacious house in 1773, now known as Mozart’s Residence. During his time in this house, Mozart wrote many symphonies, divertimenti, serenades, and other important music. The Mozart’s residence is reconstructed as most of it was destroyed in WWII.
Admission to both Mozart’s Birthplace and Residence are included with the Salzburg Card.
|Admission Fees To Either Mozart’s Birthplace or Residence 2016:
Adults € 10.00
Children (6-14 years) € 3.50
Youths (15-18 years) € 4.00
Handicapped persons (handicapped ID) € 8.50
Families (2 adults and children under 18) € 21.00
Groups of 10 adults or more, students, senior citizens € 8.50
School groups (6-18 years) € 3.50
SalzburgCard: one time free admission
|Combined ticket: Birthplace and Residence
Adults € 17.00
Children (6-14 years) € 5.00
Youths (15-18 years) € 6.00
Handicapped persons (handicapped ID) € 14.00
Families (2 adults and children under 18) € 36.00
Groups of 10 adults or more, students, senior citizens € 14.00
School groups (6-18 years) per person € 5.00
SalzburgCard: one time free admission
Wander through Old Town
Altstadt (Old Town Salzburg) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s the most popular tourist area in the city. The architecture is unique, I’ve never been anywhere (yet) that resembles it. The buildings are so pale and pastel, it makes the city look really soft and clean.
You will most likely spend the majority of your visit here, as most tourist attractions are located in Altstadt. Be sure carve out some time to simply wander through the streets, getting lost and discovering some off the beaten path gems.
Sing ‘Do Rei Mi’ in Mirabell Gardens
Mirabell Gardens are a beautiful place to relax and spend the afternoon. If you’re a Sound of Music fan, you’ll recognize the early-baroque gardens from the scene where Julie Andrews and the Von Trapp children sing “Do Rei Mi.”
Run up the musical steps, skip down the hedge tunnel, dance around the fountain and wave hello to the dwarfs in the dwarf garden.
The gardens are huge and you could easily spend an hour or two wandering around, taking it all in.
While you’re here, you can also explore Schloss Mirabell, the adjoining palace which was remodeled by the famous baroque architect Lukas von Hildebrandt between 1721 and 1727. Today Schloss Mirabell houses the official offices of the Mayor of Salzburg.
Have a Beer at the Biggest Beer Inn in Austria
Our AirBnB host highly recommended that we check out Augustiner Bräustuben, and he didn’t have to twist our arms. It ended up being one of my favorite beer halls ever.
Located inside an old monastery, Augustiner Bräustuben is Austria’s largest beer inn. There’s a massive outdoor beer garden that sits 1,400, plus multiple halls inside. Near the entrance you can order something to eat at one of the many market stalls selling local foods. We grabbed a few liter steins and people watched for hours.
Related Post: Augustiner Brau- The Largest Beer Tavern in Austria
Participate in the Music Scene
Salzburg has a prominent, classically based music scene. There are music festivals, dinner concerts, orchestral performances, operas and organ concerts happening year round. I especially loved the vibe that the street performers add to the city as you walk around.
We were here during the Salzburg Music Festival and every day there were opera, drama and concert performances all throughout Old Town.
Click Here for more info about music in Salzburg and for a list of events happening during your visit.
Try the Local Foods
Mozartkugel, also known as Mozart Balls, are chocolates made with layers of filling, pistachio marzipan in the middle, and nougat. They are everywhere. I’m not going to lie to you, Mozart Balls are gross, but you can’t leave Salzburg without eating one.
Apple Strudel is one of the most popular and famous deserts in Austria. It’s a rolled pastry filled with apple, breadcrumbs and raisins, and often served with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.
Schnitzel is basically the national dish of Austria. While I primarily avoid eating meat, I do order it occasionally when I travel, especially if it’s at the top of every “foods you must try” list. I wasn’t overwhelmed with the schnitzel we tried, but people go crazy for it.
Take a Day Trip
While this isn’t technically something to do in Salzburg, I highly recommend giving yourself an added day or two in order to venture outside the city. We only had 48 hours in Salzburg which left us no time to do any day trips and I was so disappointed. I’m dying to see Hallstatt, King’s Lake and the ice caves so it looks like I need to start planing another trip back to Austria.
Click Here for a great article about day trips from Salzburg.