What to Do in Salzburg, Recommendations from the Local ExpertRuss Bily
If you decided to visit the country of Mozart, you should definitely go to the city in which he was born. This 4th largest city in Austria is less crowded than in Vienna, but nevertheless, the flow of visitors is increasing every year. Arriving in Salzburg, you will find yourself in a beautiful medieval city, in which each street is a trace of the past, firmly frozen in the walls of time-enduring structures.
Salzburg is more than the City of Mozart and home of the Salzburg Festival. Besides Salzburg’s rich history, there are also countless fascinating insights and surprising moments around practically every corner.
All this and not only will become an indispensable incentive to pack suitcases and prepare yourself for the journey. This article with recommendations from a local expert will help you to get a many-sided view of Salzburg.
Get an exceptional view over Salzburg from the Hohensalzburg Castle
Upon arrival in Salzburg, you should determine which attractions deserve your attention. There are many of them in the city, but there are some, without which your idea of this city will seem incomplete.
First of all, Hohensalzburg Castle is the main place in the city. The Medieval castle complex and the modern castle tower dominate above Salzburg. The view over the city and the mountainous region is spectacular. The panorama alone is worth visiting Hohensalzburg. By the way, the International Academy is organized here, collecting artists from all over the world.
It is open 365 days a year, even on holidays.
Due to the high number of visitors, there can be long queues at the cash desk especially in July and August. Therefore, it is recommended buying tickets online.
Ticket price: the All-inclusive online ticket is from €11.90
Cash desk basic ticket is €12,20
You can buy tickets here.
Explore Mirabell Gardens, the “pearl of Salzburg”
Mirabell Gardens are rightly called the “pearl of Salzburg”. Getting here, you are immersed in a completely different world, lost, forgotten somewhere in the Baroque times and in the imperial luxury. On the balustrades, you will see statues of Roman gods. In the heart of the garden, you will see a large fountain, with four statue groups around it.
It is nice to visit the gardens early in the morning when they are relatively quiet and calm. By the afternoon, the gardens are a hub of activity, a favorite gathering place for both tourists and locals, who are dressed in traditional Austrian clothing for special events, giving a sense of the local culture.
The Dwarf Garden is also worth visiting there. It is an old bastion, a little bit removed from the main part of Mirabell Gardens. It features a display of misshapen dwarfs, sculpted from Untersberg marble.
Mirabell Palace is open to visitors on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 8:00 am- 4:00 pm. On Tuesdays and Fridays, you can visit it from 1:00 pm- 4:00 pm. There are no visits allowed during special occasions.
Admission to Mirabell Palace and Gardens is free.
Mozart House and Museum should be one of the first places in your itinerary. How can you come to the city where the composer was born and spent the best years of his life, and not visit his birthplace?
Salzburg lives this man’s past, carefully storing and honoring his masterpieces. Visitors can explore Mozart’s historical apartment as well as enjoy exhibitions and displays of his major works. Hurry to come before the main influx of groups of tourists (before 12:00).
It is open daily from 10.00 to 19.00.
Located at Mozarts Geburtshaus, Getreidegasse 9.
Ticket price is 10 euro.
Ticket price: Adults – €11
Children – €4.50
Related: Day trip from Munich to Salzburg
Visit Salzburg Cathedral
Salzburg Cathedral is famous for its giant domes and towering facade. It demonstrates the pinnacle of early Baroque ecclesiastical architecture.
During your visit, pay particular attention to the structure’s smaller details, such as the statues of apostles Peter and Paul. And music lovers will appreciate the cathedral’s prominence in Mozart’s life: The building served as the location of the musical prodigy’s baptism, as well as where some of his pieces were composed during his time as an organist.
It is free to enter Salzburg Cathedral, however, admission hours vary depending on the month. Typically, the cathedral is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays and holidays. And during the warmer months and around the holidays, the cathedral stays open until 6 or 7 p.m.
Located in the southern Morgz district of Salzburg, Hellbrunn Castle or Palace is surrounded by a beautiful park and also has the Salzburg Zoo close by. Created in the 1600’s as a residential villa much like Mirabell Palace, Hellbrunn has a lively yellow rendering and its front façade is fully symmetrical.
The main attraction of Hellbrunn Palace, however, is the gardens and trick fountains. The gardens are magical and contain many different Grottos, Fountains and Water Automats.
What people love most is the water features that try and trick you such as the seats with holes in that spurt water on the unsuspecting guest when you sit down – Its loads of fun and during the summer months a wonderful outdoor space to enjoy.
Related: Transfer from Munich to Salzburg
Well, it’s not the biggest nor is it the most astounding zoo in the world, but as I know from having children of my own, this doesn’t impact on their fun at all. There are still plenty of animals, lions, tigers, bears, rhinos and many more. In the nearby Hellbrunn Park, there is a great children’s playground and the “Wundergarten der Sinne” where kids can explore the element water.
Ticket price: Adults – €11.50
Children – €5
Stroll along Getreidegasse
This famous and popular street runs for a stretch in the old town and is a standout destination for shopping. The narrow street has many buildings packed together that stretch far back and have beautiful designs and quaint little windows.
Many passageways and courtyards spring from the main street and create romantic areas to explore, while small details like the wrought iron guild signs give Getreidegasse extra charm and character. Shops include fine Jewellery, fashion, antiques, traditional costumes, and many boutiques. There is also a mouth-watering selection of eateries and cafes to enjoy, and several historical buildings and points of interest.
You may think that a Toy Museum is purely for children, well the Salzburg Toy Museum thinks otherwise. Located close to Mozartplatz and Mirabell Palace, this fantastical place will provide hours of fun and wonder for children and adults alike.
Split into two sections – The “museum” part contains various historical displays of old toys and games, while the “hands-on” part contains different interactive rides and activities such as a marble run, a mini race-circuit, and an imitation shop where children can learn how an old shop looked and worked. With seasonal and special themed activities too, you can be guaranteed to always find something different and entertaining in this brilliant museum.
Walk along the Mönchsberg
The Mönchsberg, at 507 meters above sea level, is one of the five mountains in Salzburg. Start from the “Müllner side” next to the Mülllner church and the Augustiner Bräu.
At first, the path is fairly steep, however, after 10 minutes you see spectacular views over Salzburg. Take the path which overlooks the river, further ahead you will pass the “Museum der Moderne”. For those of you feeling less energetic, the easy way up to the mountain is to take the lift to the “Museum Mönchsberg Aufzug”. The outdoor “skyspace” can be visited for free and gives a different view of the sky.
Keep on walking towards the fortress, and either visit it or walk down to the Altstadt by one of many different pathways or staircases. It is also possible to explore the various alternative woodland paths, which give you the feeling of being completely outside and away from the city.
From there you will have spectacular views over the other side looking towards the Untersberg, especially from The Richterhöhe. Refreshments are available in three venues.
Admission to Mönchsberg is free.
Walk on the Kapuzinerberg
Walk along the old wall on the Kapuzinerberg for the totally different views of Salzburg. Start by walking a little way up the Linzergasse to the stone archway on the right-hand side. Follow the steep pathway and steps, on the way to the Capuchin Monastery. You will pass the area, where the crosses are situated, which will lead you toward three large crucifixes and the monastery.
It is possible to enter the church, but not the monastery itself. The view is well worth the climb and a perfect place to pause and a recharge whilst taking some great views, before deciding to continue along the old city wall or to take the steps down into the Steingasse, the oldest street in Salzburg. You also have the option to take a long walk through the trees, to the Franziskanerschlössl for some refreshments.
Admission to Kapuzinerberg is free.
Zauberflöten Playpark and Labyrinth
Along the west side of the Mirabell Garden is a nice playground with a high slide and nearby is a hedge labyrinth to play in. You can listen to free concerts in the Mirabell Garden on Wednesday evening and Sunday morning. Summertime only.
Admission to Zauberflöten Playpark and Labyrinth is free.
Very worth a trip to the crystal clear lakes in the Salzkammergut region. In the village of St. Gilden you can take a boat trip across the Wofgangsee or the cable car up to the Zwölferhorn for spectacular views over the lake district and the mountains. In Mondsee, you will find the famous wedding church from the movie “ The Sound of Music”. You can cycle around the lake, go for a swim on natural beaches or use the fun water park and slides in the “Alpenseebad”.
Related: Travel from Prague to Salzburg
Cable car on the Untersberg
Take the number 25 bus from the center town to the end of the line, the ‘Untersbergbahh’. Ride the cable car to the top of wonderful views. Walk to the large cross at the peak of the mountain for a breathtaking panoramic view, however-keep a sharp eye on the weather, it can change very quickly from one minute to the next. Take extra clothing as it will be several degrees colder than the city. There are cafes at the cable car stations stop and bottom.
Ticket price: Adults – €23.50
Children up to 14 years – €11.50
Children under 6 years—free
Explore the bottom of the Untersberg
Take Bus 21 to Fürstenbrunn get off at the last stop and follow the river which comes out of the gorge. On a hot day, it is a great place to be, out in the wild but also relatively close to the city. In the Untersberg Museum, you get information about the mountain and the Marble Mill.
From there a path leads through the forest (approx. 1,5 h) to the Salzburger Open Air Museum where you will discover a great variety of historical buildings and lifestyles from earlier times. For kids, there is a nice water play park. A bus will bring you back to town.
A ticket price of an open-air museum: Adults – €11
Children up to 14 years – €5.50
Children under 6 years—free
Please visit the more detailed information on the website
Red Bull Hangar 7
In this ultra-modern Red Bull aircraft hangar built of glass and steel, you can find an old bi-plane or a paper plane, a Formula 1 car or artistic design made of Red Bull cans. It all depends on which exhibition is showing, but nevertheless, the architecture is worth seeing and there is also a permanent display of vintage and veteran aircraft. Go in the evening too and hear the grand piano whilst watching the colored spotlights, reflecting off the glass walls and roof. It’s truly a magical, unique place and it’s free! There is also a restaurant, bar, and café.
Admission is free.
Please visit the more detailed information on the website
And please remember that you can buy Salzburg Card and use public transport for free, including the cable car to Hohensalzburg fortress, funicular on Untersberg mountain, lift to Mönchsberg mountain and river tram.
You will also get free admission to over 30 most popular attractions, tempting discounts when visiting cultural events and concerts, additional discounts for trips around the city, free guidebook and map of Salzburg, and in some cases, rapid passage without a queue at the cash register.
There are some additional bonuses in the form of a free cruise on the river, a tour to Stiegl brewery with three 200 ml beer tastings, and some other. It’s worth noting that the journey to Untersberg Mountain, which is located outside the city, is completely within the validity of the card.
As for the economy, if you are already planning a visit to the Hohensalzburg Fortress, which includes Cable Railway, you’d spend over €26, and buying a pass will allow you to visit a lot more than just a fortress.
Moreover, Salzburg river cruise fee varies from €15 to €29 (depending on the tour, for more details, please check on). However, with Salzburg Card it is free. And there are many more examples of a real economy.
At the foot of the Mönchsberg, in Salzburg’s Mülln neighborhood, beer has been brewed and then enjoyed amongst social circles since 1621.
With an indoor seating area of 5.000 m2, the Bräustübl tavern is world famous and boasts a further 1400 seats in the outdoor beer garden. The brewery is Austria’s largest and the beer is drawn from wooden barrels and served in stone jugs or stein. Regional and traditional dishes can be bought directly from various food stands in the “Schmankergang” (Delicatessen arcade) which is set up to resemble a traditional marketplace.
The Bräustübl is a well-respected traditional meeting place– a piece of living history in the world heritage center of Salzburg.
Address: Lindhofstraße 7, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Hours: 3-11 pm
Phone: +43 662 431246
A totally non-smoking venue in Salzburg. It is also vegetarian and vegan. The food is unusual for Salzburg with homemade soup and various special meal offers daily.
Address: Franz-Josef-Straße 3, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Hours: 8 am – 8:30 pm
Phone: +43 662 890773
A popular place for a brunch with the locals.
Address: Franz-Josef-Straße 5, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Hours: 9 – 12 am
Phone: +43 662 881099
Feel Good Food’ is more than just a food concept. My Indigo serves a variety of healthy food ideal for everyone, especially those in a hurry but wants to eat nutritional meals. With food inspired from around the globe you will find, creative sushi, fresh salad choices, tasty curries and soup, couscous or rice. Bio brownies, fair trade coffee, organic juices or homemade lemonades. You can mix and match food to suit your individual taste.
Address: Auerspergstraße 10, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Hours: 11 am – 10 pm
Phone: +43 664 8308377
Just opposite from our meeting point you can enjoy great burgers for a reasonable price.
Address: Mirabellplatz 7, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Hours: 11 am – 8 pm
Phone: +43 662 904488
Even though they are in the middle of town they have a small “Gastgarten” A very traditional Gasthaus off the beaten track with room for larger groups.
Address: Linzer G. 47-49, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Hours: 12 am – 12 pm
Phone: +43 662 882022
A traditional and modern place to drink a “Weiβbier” and eat “Brezeln”. Good food and a nice bar for the evening as well so you can hang around there for quite a long time. There is also a beer garden.
Address: Rupertgasse 10, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Hours: 10 am – 12 pm
Phone: +43 662 872246
Only open in the evening, great atmosphere in the old convent cellar. Huge portions for a fair price.
Address: Richard-Mayr-Gasse 1, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Hours: 5 pm – 12 am
Phone: +43 662 265536
Traditional restaurant in the heart of the new town, however, it has limited spaces so it is better to reserve or only take your best friend.
Address: Priesterhausgasse 8, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Hours: 5 pm – 12 am
Phone: +43 662 877361
Close to our “office”, this restaurant offers various kinds of schnitzel and pizzas for a reasonable price. Great for families and is very spacious.
Address: Bergstraße 18, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Hours: 12 am – 10 pm, reopens 11:30 pm – 12 am
Phone: +43 662 887536
Famous for its pizza and pasta, with pizzas bigger than the plate and even possible to have one pizza with two different toppings. For example one-half Capricciosa the other vegetarian.
Address: Dreifaltigkeitsgasse 10, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Hours: 11 am – 12 am
Phone: +43 662 87065810
For more than 100 years this has been a famous place to eat and drink wine. Very Austrian!
Address: Steingasse 65, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Hours: 6 pm – 1 am
Phone: +43 662 87276
Mexican food in a living room atmosphere, with fresh juices and a small shop.
Address: Priesterhausgasse 20, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Hours: 4-10 pm
Phone: +43 699 10886555
Here you can enjoy the unique tastes of Africa with a range of traditionally inspired dishes or simply enjoy a delicious cup of Afro tea or Afro coffee in this one-of-a-kind setting, a celebration of contemporary African culture. The Afro Café is filled with designs, fabrics, and colors which evoke the spirit and vibrancy of Africa.
Address: Bürgerspitalpl. 5, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Hours: 9 am—11 pm
Phone: +43 662 844888
Famous for the ‘Mozart Dinner Concerts’. Great atmosphere in the oldest restaurant in Salzburg (1200 years!!) Not the cheapest option but they offer an appealing combination of history, innovation, great food, superb wine, charm and excellent service.
Address: Sankt-Peter-Bezirk 1/4, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Hours: 11:30 am—11 pm
Phone: +43 662 841268
This is the place to go after a strenuous day in the city. Sit in the shad in the beer garden, overlooking Salzburg and enjoy traditional meals and good beer.
Address: Festungsgasse 10, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Hours: 11:30 am—10 pm
Phone: +43 662 842681
Same features as in the Stieglkelle but not so well known by tourists. Surprisingly there is a shady guest garden which you cannot see from the outside.
Address: Herrengasse 16, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Hours: 5 pm—1 am
Phone: +43 662 843220
Experience one of the most exciting sights of Salzburg. Explore their unique 270◦ brew-cinema and sense the fascinating world of beer. Afterward, you can enjoy a freshly tapped beer in one of their restaurants, order from a well-matched menu for each of their special brews and discover a world of enjoyment with all of your senses!
Address: Bräuhausstraße 9, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Hours: 10 am—12 am
Phone: +43 50 1492 1492
You will be fascinated by the Altstadt (Old City) and it will be difficult to part with it. Hohensalzburg Castle, visible almost from anywhere in the city, Mirabell gardens, Hellbrunn Palace, Mozart’s Birthplace, Getreidegasse, various museums, abbeys and Salzburg Zoo are not the only things worth seeing.
Plan your route carefully. Most attractions are central and the transport system is excellent. But the further you have to go between locations, the less time you have for actually sightseeing.
By the way, if you are looking forward to having a really suitable and comfortable way to travel to Salzburg, be sure that traveling in a private car with a local English-speaking driver, using our service, is an ideal solution for you.
We can drive you to these or other destinations in Eastern and Central Europe every season of the year and with a great comfort!