Skip Navigation

Top 21 Must-Do Things to do in Salzburg: Embrace the Magic of Mozart’s City

Welcome to Salzburg, a place that embraces the magic of music, history, and stunning architecture. With its rich cultural heritage, attractive old town, and the continuing memory of its most well-known son, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Salzburg, hidden in Austria’s stunning scenery, wins over visitors’ hearts. 

“Salzburg… is a mountain town with a rushing river running right through the center, everything in the rain various shades of green and brown.” _ Jonathan Carroll

Salzburg provides a wide range of experiences that will take you to a world of harmony and magic, from seeing lavish palaces to engaging yourself in the pleasant sounds that fill the air. I’ve compiled a list of the best 21 things to do in Salzburg to encourage you to experience its charming attractiveness.

Here is a list of the top 21 must-do activities in Salzburg:

1. Discover the Old Town of Salzburg (Altstadt Salzburg)

Altstadt Salzburg

The Old Town of Salzburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is covered in beautiful Romanesque, Baroque, and Renaissance architecture examples.

A protective law that the city passed has helped it to maintain its unique traditions and continue to impress tourists. 

There are always walking tours available to take visitors around the Old Town.

These tours take them to places like Mozart’s birthplace on The Getreidegasse, the Old Town’s most well-known shopping street, one of the oldest cemeteries in the world called St. Peter’s Cemetery, the charming Kapitelplatz Square and the golden sphere, which is the subject of many visitors’ photos, the Salzburg Cathedral, and more.

2. Check out the Mirabell Palace and Gardens

Schloss Mirabell

The Mirabell Palace (Schloss Mirabell) in Salzburg, designed in 1690 and features multiple terraces, marble statues, and fountains, served as the backdrop for The Sound of Music. Between 1721 and 1727, the palace underwent Baroque renovations, and after a fire in 1818, it was rebuilt in the more straightforward Neoclassical style. 

The beautiful Grand Staircase, the Marble Hall, and the Schloss Mirabell Baroque Museum are among the highlights of a visit. The modest open-air theatre is situated at the southwest corner of the grounds, and the previous 18th-century aviary is currently used for exhibitions.

3. Explore Hohensalzburg Fortress

Hohensalzburg Fortress

“Framed by mountains, crowned by the Hohensalzburg Fortress and divided by the turquoise Salzach River, the Salzburg landscape is pure drama.” – Frommers

On the Mönchsberg’s southeast summit stands an impressive historic enhancement known as the fortress of Hohensalzburg (Festung Hohensalzburg). The majority of what is visible today comes from the early 1500s. However, it was constructed in 1077. It can be reached by foot from the Old Town’s center or by a funicular train from Festungsgasse. 

The highlights of the courtyard, St. George’s Church, Salzburg Bull, Princes’ Apartments, Golden Room, Golden Hall, Fortress Museum, Rainer Regiment Museum, and English-speaking guided tours.

4. Visit Mozart’s Birthplace

Mozart's Birthplace

Make sure to include Mozart’s home on your list of things to do in Salzburg since Salzburg is regarded as the city where Mozart was born. The Mozart Residence, which has a canary yellow front and is located on the renowned Getreidegasse Street, is simple to locate and enter so that you can see the incredible 18th-century treasures that belonged to the musical genius.

Visit the residence where Mozart lived and view the items on display, including his violin, certificates, and music notation. To recreate the appearance of the 18th Century, the flat has been kept and gently refurbished.

5. Tour Salzburg Cathedral

Salzburg Cathedral

The Salzburg Cathedral is one of Salzburg’s oldest and most important sights. It was first built in 767 and destroyed and rebuilt three times before its eventual enlargement in the 17th Century. Visitors can visit the baptismal font and the studio where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote his musical masterpieces.

The Salzburg Cathedral is a Baroque example of architecture with stunning stained glass windows, frescoes, statues, and altars. The renovation fee is 5 EUR per adult, and visitors can attend an organ performance in the middle of the day with excellent acoustics.

6. Visit Hellbrunn Palace and Trick Fountains

Hellbrunn Palace

The Hellbrunn Palace in Salzburg is renowned for its entertainment center, which includes a theatre, grottos, and unusual fountains. Prince-Archbishop Markus Sittikus, an original troll, designed the palace as a haven of pleasure and leisure and built the Trick Fountains, which had covert water jets. 

These fountains are intended to surprise and amuse visitors.  

The Salzburg Card covers all of Hellbrunn Palace’s attractions, but admission costs 13.50 EUR per person without it. Visitors can explore the garden and pavilion from the Sound of Music, visit movie locations such as Hellbrunn Castle, St. Gilgen, and Mondsee, and take local walks and the Folklore Museum. They can reach the palace in 15 minutes by bus number 25 from the city center.

 

7. Explore the Salzburg Museum

Salzburg Museum

Neue Residenz, another name for the Salzburg Museum, was founded in 1834 and moved to its current location in 2005. The main attraction of this nationally recognized regional museum is the creations of Salzburgers. 

The museum’s first level takes visitors through Salzburg’s history, current affairs, and the Napoleonic Wars.  The lives and contributions of Romantic artists, authors, and scientists from Salzburg and elsewhere are examined on the second level. 

The museum’s Art Hall hosts significant exceptional art exhibitions. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 AM to 5 PM, and admission is 9 EUR for those without a Salzburg Card. Panorama and Neue Residenz are both included in a combined ticket for 10 euros.

8. Discover the Mozart Residence

Mozart Residence

A short distance from Mozart’s Birthplace, Salzburg’s Old Town is home to the stunning Baroque-style building known as The Mozart Residence. It features several exhibitions that offer a variety of fascinating information about the house’s past, Mozart’s time in Salzburg, and interactive performances. 

The entrance charge is already included for Salzburg Card holders, but it will cost roughly 12 EUR per person for individual tickets. The museum is open daily from 9 AM to 5:30 PM, and visitors can peruse the displays and learn more about Mozart’s life and musical development.

9. Check out Erzabtei St. Peter.

Erzabtei St. Peter

One of the ancient monasteries in Austria is Erzabtei St. Peter, established in 696. It is famous for its extensive history and cultural importance and has contributed significantly to Salzburg’s spiritual and cultural life for over 1,300 years. 

Benedictine monks who live in the monastery adhere to the Rule of St.  Benedict, a set of rules for monastic life that emphasizes a life of prayer, labor, and study.  A museum, a cemetery, and a 12th-century catacomb are all located inside the monastery. 

Mariazeller Kapelle, a stunning Gothic chapel, is also there. The church, cemetery, and catacomb are all accessible to the public from 6:30 AM to 6 PM each day.

10. Visit Werfen To Enjoy The Sound Of Music’s Famous Scene

medieval Hohenwerfen

The medieval Hohenwerfen Castle in Werfen, Austria, is perched atop a tall rocky outcropping with a view of the Salzach River. It was constructed in the eleventh Century and provided sweeping views of the neighborhood. 

Visitors can view falconry training during the castle’s “Birds of Prey” performances and tour the stunning interior. The castle also houses various museums and exhibitions, including a witch’s museum and a movie exhibition. 

Visitors can take a train from Salzburg to Werfen and hike up to the top of the funicular or stroll along the river to the foothill of the castle to get there. It is advised to make reservations before traveling to the largest ice cave in the world, Eisriesenwelt.

11. Attend Mozart’s historical theaters and concerts.

Mozart's Melodic Legacy

The various ancient theatres and concert halls in Salzburg attest to the city’s long-standing reputation for its music festivals. The Karl-Böhm Hall, the smaller Haus für Mozart, and the Festspielhau make up the Festival Theatres (Festspielhäuser). Since 1925, the Festspielhau building, which features artwork from the 17th Century, has been the site of the famous Salzburg Festival. 

Mozart Week, Salzburg Cultural Days, and the Salzburg Marionette Theatre are notable Salzburg festivals. Numerous venues present concerts year-round for people to hear Mozart’s music in the city, where he wrote some of his most well-known pieces.

12. Take a boat ride on the Salzach River.

Salzach River

The Salzach River is a popular tourist destination in Salzburg, Austria. It is home to the Hagen and Tennen mountains and some of the mansions and villas owned by the city’s affluent citizens. Hallein, an ancient Celtic settlement on the Salzach River, is well-known for its charming small lanes, gateways, statues, and old houses constructed in the traditional Salzach style.  

The Celtic Museum (Keltenmuseum Hallein) is one of Europe’s biggest and most comprehensive museums of Celtic art and history. Displays of artifacts from the Hallstatt and La Tène periods and exhibits that reflect regional customs and the history of local groups are additional attractions.

13. Discover the DomQuartier

DomQuartier Splendor

“Everywhere you go, the scenery, the skyline, the music, and the history send your spirits soaring higher than Julie Andrews’ octave-leaping vocals.” –Lonely Planet

The archbishop-prince constructed the DomQuartier Salzburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, more than 400 years ago. It is a superb example of Baroque architecture with six structures and rooms. 

The Residenzgalerie exhibit, the Museum of St. Peter’s Abbey, and the Cathedral Museum are open to visitors. The complex offers a complete cultural experience and houses the Residenz, Salzburg Cathedral, and various museums.

14. Enjoy a coffee at Café Tomaselli.

Café Tomaselli

One of the oldest and most renowned coffeehouses in Austria is Café Tomaselli.

The welcoming aroma of freshly brewed coffee, the sound of amiable conversation, and the clinking of cups welcome visitors inside. 

The decor takes visitors back in time with its antique furniture, polished wood, and elaborate chandeliers.

Experienced baristas have mastered preparing coffee over generations and carefully make each beverage. 

Visitors are welcome to indulge in one of the mouthwatering pastries to complement their coffee experience. 

Guests can converse animatedly with friends or enjoy the tranquil ambiance as they enjoy their drink and treat.

Each visit to Café Tomaselli is a tribute to Salzburg’s lasting devotion to its beloved coffee culture.

15. Take a day trip to the Salzkammergut region.

Salzkammergut

The mountain resort of Salzkammergut, 40 minutes from Salzburg, offers an explosion of natural beauty and rustic charm. It is known as the “Lake Kingdom of the Austrian Alps” and provides a range of sports, including riding, hiking, canyoning, golfing, ice skiing, and curling. 

The Salzkammergut region’s highlight is Hallstatt, known for its towering mountain peaks that reflect in the small lake. The Salzkammergut region’s beautiful lakes and charming villages, such as Hallstatt and St. Wolfgang, can be explored by tourists.’The Salzkammergut region’s highlight is Hallstatt, known for its towering mountain peaks that reflect in the small lake. The Salzkammergut region’s beautiful lakes and charming villages, such as Hallstatt and St. Wolfgang, can be explored by tourists.

16. Walk along Getreidegasse

Getreidegasse

The Getreidegasse, the heart of Salzburg’s Old Town and where all history begins, extends throughout the city.

Wander through the fantastical town center and use the many “Through-Houses” to pass through its streets. 

Explore art galleries, live performances on the street, statues of famous people, and religious structures.

Explore this popular retail district, surrounded by quaint old buildings and unique businesses. 

Getreidegasse has a lot of gardens and streets in addition to charming little touches like the wrought iron guild signs. 

There are numerous boutiques and stores selling designer clothing, antiques, and traditional costumes.

There are numerous historic structures, areas of interest, and a delicious array of restaurants and cafes.

17. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride

Tranquil Elegance

A trip in a horse-drawn sleigh is a romantic and unforgettable experience for couples visiting Salzburg in the winter. It provides a distinctive viewpoint that lets you view the city’s architectural gems and beautiful surroundings from a leisurely vantage point. 

The evening carriage ride is especially magical since the city lights give a comfortable glow that ups the romance.  It’s a fun voyage that transports you to a setting reminiscent of a fairy tale and makes you feel nostalgic. 

Allow the luxurious carriage to take you on an exciting ride through the streets of Salzburg while you sit back and relax.

18. Zoo Fun at Salzburg

Zoo Fun at Salzburg

The Salzburg Zoo Hellbrunn provides an exciting experience for guests of all ages within a 12-minute drive from Old Town Salzburg. Visitors can tour the many habitats, get up close and personal with the animals, and take in animal performances and feeding times. 

Adult ticket costs begin at 12 euros, while youth tickets start at 5.50 euros. A unique chance to make priceless memories and cultivate a greater understanding of the animal kingdom is provided by the Salzburg Zoo Hellbrunn. 

It provides educational activities, a children’s section, interactive experiences, and a picnic meal. The picturesque surroundings of the zoo make it the ideal environment for a relaxing break. 

19. Take a day trip to the stunning village of Hallstatt.

Austrian Alps

The Austrian Alps are home to the 7,000-year-old hamlet of Hallstatt. It is famous for its historical salt mines, picture-book setting, and lake that reflects the sky. One of the most stunning lakeside communities in the world, the UNESCO World Heritage site is frequently praised. 

The Salt Mine Hallstatt, Lake Hallstatt, Hallstatt Skywalk, and regional cuisine may all be found there.  Panoramic views of the hamlet, lake, and neighboring mountains are available from the Hallstatt Skywalk. There is a collection of beautifully decorated human skulls at the Hallstatt Bone House. 

The Salt Mine Hallstatt provides a fascinating look at a past business that helped to shape the village’s identity. Lake Hallstatt is well-known for its salt mining tradition.

20. The Eagle’s Nest: Historical Significance and Breathtaking Views

The Eagle's Nest

Near Berchtesgaden, Germany, in the Bavarian Alps, is a historical site known as The Eagle’s Nest. It was initially constructed in 1938 as a teahouse and retreat for Adolf Hitler, and today it is a well-liked tourist destination that offers fantastic views and a window into the local history. 

Visitors must take a beautiful bus trip from the Obersalzberg region to get to the mountain’s base. In the Bavarian Alps, there is a distinctive historical location called The Eagle’s Nest. It has a mountain lodge with a sizable terrace and a modest museum with artifacts and information about the location’s historical significance during the Nazi era. 

Additionally, it provides chances to go climbing and take in the mountain views. It is advised to respect the historical setting of the site’s visitors and focus on its stunning natural surroundings and impressive architecture.

21. Fantasia Strasswalchen Amusement Park

Fantasia Strasswalchen Amusement Park

Thirty-five minutes northeast of Salzburg, the Fantasiana Strasswalchen Amusement Park has 45+ attractions for people of all ages. Tickets cost between 19,50 and 24,50 euros for people 90 to 120 centimeters tall. The park provides a range of rides with varying degrees of difficulty, including roller coasters, water slides, and drop towers. 

Visitors can fully immerse themselves in the enchanted realm of imagination and fantasy.  For an enjoyable day filled with laughter, adventure, and excitement for the whole family, head to Fantasiana Strasswalchen Amusement Park. 

It is the ideal location for family enjoyment, excitement, and laughing because it offers exhilarating rides, a fantastic ambiance, and a wide range of entertainment alternatives. The park regularly hosts special occasions and holiday celebrations to boost the excitement.

Conclusion

                “Salzburg is nevertheless both a must and a joy.”_ Rick Steves

In conclusion, Salzburg is a city that celebrates its enchanted past and provides a wide range of tourist attractions. The charm of Salzburg goes beyond its well-known sites and attractions. It is a city that beckons you to stroll through its quaint streets, taste its delicious food, and immerse yourself in its flourishing cultural environment.

Salzburg will capture your heart and leave you with memories that will last a lifetime, whether you’re a history admirer, a music lover, or simply looking for a location that blends beauty, culture, and charm. Accept the enchantment of Mozart’s hometown and allow Salzburg to fascinate you.

FAQs

What are the main features of Salzburg?

On the UNESCO World Heritage List, the Old Town in Salzburg is one of the city’s most notable characteristics. The Hohensalzburg Fortress is a notable structure that provides sweeping views of the city. Mozart’s birthplace and the famed Salzburg Festival highlight the city’s rich musical history.

Which month is best for traveling to Salzburg?

Generally speaking, May, June, or September are the ideal months to visit Salzburg because they are less crowded and have milder weather. A famous December attraction is the lovely Salzburg Christmas Market.

Are two nights in Salzburg sufficient?

Two nights in Salzburg can give you a good overview of the city, allowing you to visit the main sights, wander through the Old Town, and take in a performance or other cultural event. However, extending your stay would be helpful for a more immersive experience and for exploring the neighborhood.

Is Salzburg a city that can be easily walked through?

Salzburg is known for being a walking city, with many of its top attractions situated in the small Old Towns close to one another. Going around and exploring on foot is simple, thanks to the welcoming alleyways and pedestrian-friendly streets. Outside the city center, various hilly areas and sights can call for transportation or a little extra time.

What’s Salzburg’s famous street called?

The well-known street in Salzburg, Getreidegasse, is famous for its fascinating history and lively atmosphere. The Old Town’s lively shopping district is home to boutique stores, traditional crafts, and Mozart’s birthplace. It is a must-visit location for locals and tourists because of its beautiful structures and unique personality.

Adrian
All Things Austria is a website founded by Adrian Riegler, an avid traveler and writer who fell in love with Austria during his first visit. Adrian wanted to share his passion and knowledge about this beautiful country with the world, and to help other travelers discover the amazing destinations that Austria has to offer.