Those who choose Salzburg as a vacation destination can look forward to a city with fortresses and palaces, historical houses and squares, authentic alpine tradition and a growing art scene, and the “sound of music” all over town.
The Salzach River runs through the city, dividing the Salzburg into two areas:
- Downtown Salzburg or Altstadt (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Kaiviertel district, Festungsberg and Monchsberg mountains
- New city or Neustadt (including Linzergasse, Platzi, and Steingasse)
Located 89 miles from Munich, 185 miles from Vienna and 112 miles from Innsbruck, Salzburg is closer to Germany’s Bavaria region than its capital city Vienna. That means, to get to Salzburg fast, you can choose to fly into Munich and drive to Salzburg. Only 11 airlines fly into Salzburg, but almost 80 airlines fly into Munich.
Wondering what you can do in Salzburg? Here’s a list of 5 captivating things to do:
1. Follow Mozart’s footsteps -Mozart Museum
Salzburg is the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the greatest classical composers that has ever lived. Mozart spent most of his short life in Salzburg. To trace his footsteps, take a guided tour or follow the itinerary given by Salzburg Tourism Board.
Suggested places to visit:
• Mozart Monument – the monument in Mozart Square erected in 1842
• Mozart’s Birthplace – Mozart was born in the house in 1756, and his family lived in the third-floor apartment from 1747 to 1773.
• Mozart Residence in Makartplatz Square – Mozart lived there from 1773 to 1781.
• Attend a classical concert in Salzburg
2. Visit the museums, fortress, and palaces
There are endless options of museums, fortresses, and palaces to visit in Salzburg. But if you must pick two, we recommend Hohensalzburg Fortress and DomQuartier Salzburg.
This hilltop medieval fortress and palace on Monchsberg is the most recognizable building in Salzburg. Built in 1077 and open to visitors since 1892, visitors can choose to hike up or take the funicular to the fortress. Guests can tour the torture chamber, watchtower, Regency Chambers, Fortress Museum, Marionette Museum and more.
The DomQuartier Salzburg presents 2,000 exhibits with 1,300 years of history in 161, 458 square feet (15,000 square meters) of space. One entrance ticket at the DomQuartier takes you to:
• State Rooms of the Residenz
• Residenz Gallery – European painting
• Terrace above the cathedral arches (offering views)
• North Oratory
• Cathedral Organ Loft
• Cathedral Museum – 1,300 years of art treasures
• Chamber of Art and Wonders
• Long Gallery
• St. Peter’s Museum
3. Swing to the Sound of Music
Just within 30 minutes from Salzburg are at least six beautiful lakes, and if you venture out a little more, you’ll be mesmerized by the beauty of the many “see” (lakes), villages, mountains, and farms in the region. You will need a car to get around but if you’re not driving, join one of the excursion tours offered from Salzburg.
The world famous Original Sound of Music Tour is the most popular tour from Salzburg. Don’t miss this tour even if you’re not a Sound of Music fan. The Sound of Music tour takes you to Leopoldskron Palace, Hellbrunn Palace, Nonnsberg Abbey, Mondsee town and the cathedral, Salzburg Lake District, and Mirabell Gardens.
4. Walk on the cobbled streets and squares
Salzburg is a walkable city making it ideal for a leisurely stroll through old cobbled streets and the many squares. The pedestrian-only Altstadt is ideal for window shopping and photographing the many iron, copper, and gilded signs hanging on doorways and above the shops.
5. Eat Salzburger Nocker and drink coffee
After a day excursion or museum hopping, it’s time to take a rest in one of the coffee shops. Just like Vienna, Salzburg boasts of its many famous coffee shops. One such place to relax and have coffee and dessert is Café Mozart, located just steps from Mozart House.
Café Mozart’s most famous dessert is Salzburger Nockerl, a Salzburg specialty dessert shaped like three mountains representing the Monchsberg, Kapuzinerberg, and Reinberg mountains. It has whipped egg white, cranberries, and powdered sugar and only baked when you order.
Have you been to Salzburg? What were your favorite things to do?