Salzburg – The birth place of Mozart and The Sound of Music, is one of the most visited  cities in Europe and perhaps the world. A small city with extraordinary heritage nestled on the banks of the Salzach River. You can do a Day trip to Salzburg from Vienna.

Day tip to Salzburg
Views of Salzburg

Salzburg is filled with Baroque architecture and adorned by a dominating fortress which claims to be the largest preserved fortress in Europe. Tucked between the Alps and Germany Salzburg has some gorgeous mountain scenery and a charming Old town which is UNESCO World Heritage site.

The best time to visit Salzburg. 

Though Salzburg is beautiful all year round it is most popular with tourists in the summer months. The Salzburg Festival every summer is very popular and brings in large crowds.

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It also showcases some of the most popular international stars from around the world. The best time to visit Salzburg would be between September and October when the summer crowds have returned.

Day tip to Salzburg
Salzburg

How to get to Salzburg

Salzburg is well connected with Europe. Salzburg has the second largest airport in Austria and is well connected with the rest of the World. It is 300 km from the capital so you can do a Day trip to Salzburg from Vienna easily. Salzburg is well connected by roads but the best way is to take a train and marvel at the Austrian countryside.

The cost of a return train ticket to Salzburg from Vienna is €48 for an adult and children under the age of 12 are just €1. The 2 train companies that operate on this route are OBB and Westbahnn.

The best fares for a day trip to Salzburg from Vienna is by Westnbahn a private train company.

Things to do on a day trip to Salzburg

There is so much to do in Salzburg. From cathedrals, museums, and elaborate palaces to cafes, parks and castles but all this can be done in a day trip to Salzburg if you plan it.

Visit the Hohensalzburg Castle

We started with the Hohensalzburg Castle built in 1077 and still standing strong overlooking the city.

Hohensalzburg Castle
Hohensalzburg Castle Salzburg

With magnificent views of the city and the surrounding natural beauty I would highly recommend this. Marvel at the old town to the North and stunning views of the Alps it is the perfect place to start you tour of Salzburg.

Hohensalzburg Castle sits atop the Festungsberg, a small hill and in its 800 year history, the castle has never been attacked or conquered. During peaceful times it was used as a storage depot as well as a dungeon.

The best way to reach Hohensalzburg Castle is by taking the funicular that whisks you away in a few minutes and costs a few €.

You can also walk to the top for free but if you are on a tight schedule like we were it is best to enjoy the views from the funicular.

There are 2 restaurants at Hohensalzburg Castle. Both offer breath taking views and some traditional Austrian cuisine or simply sip on a coffee and enjoy the views.

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The Old Town in Salzburg.

As you defend from the castle you are in the Old Town which is on the left bank of the river with narrow roads and beautiful architecture. Rows of shops and cafes where you can purchase some of the finest Austrian products.

Dedicate the afternoon to a pleasurable stroll through the old town and experience the colorful history and some of the most important sights such as the Festival Hall, The Cathedral, St. Peter’s Abbey Church along with the birthplace of W. A. Mozart.

Enjoy the Mozartplatz a large square with a statue of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

We stopped for lunch at the popular Austrian restaurant call the K+K. The restaurant is located within a historic merchant’s home right next to Salzburg Cathedral on the famous Mozartplatz Square.

The seating outside on a sunny day is out of this world and combined with some authentic Austrian cuisine with a modern twist you can’t ask for more.  The K+K is an amazing place to enjoy your lunch, coffee or afternoon tea and do some people watching.

No. 9 Getreidegasse  Salzburg, the birth place of Mozart 

Visit the birth place of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Salzburg.

He was born here in 1756 and the house has been converted into a museum. The house introduces visitors to his early life and some of the first musical instruments the genius used. The third floor exhibits Mozart’s childhood violin as well as portraits and documents from his life.

The second floor houses the famous clavichord on which Mozart composed The Magic Flute.

Cross over the Love Lock Bridge in Salzburg

Salzburg is full of scenic walks but my favourite one was across the pedestrian Love Lock Bridge.

We decided to walk across this pedestrian bridge to our next stop the famous Mirabell Garden. The bridge is nicknamed “The Love Lock Bridge” because of the many loving couples who like to put a lock on this bridge to show their affection and commitment to each other.

Love Lock Bridge Salzburg
Views of Salzburg from Love Lock Bridge

The Love Lock Bridge in Salzburg has become a popular site with tourists and a very Instragramable place.

Walk across the Love Lock Bridge to get some picture perfect views of the old town and Salzburg Fortress overlooking it.

Visit the Mirabell Palace and Garden in Salzburg

As you walk across the bridge you enter the 19th century Neustadt, or New Town and home to the popular Mirabell Palace and Gardens.

Mirabell Palace and Garden in Salzburg
Mirabell Palace and Garden in Salzburg

The Mirabell Palace was built around 1606 at the behest of Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich Raitenau as a pleasure palace for him and his mistress Salome.

The palace is home to the current mayor’s office. The Marble Hall inside still plays host to concerts and dates back to the time when Mozart performed here with his sister.

The Palace is surrounded by beautiful Baroque styled gardens with its highlights being the Donnerstiege (stairway) and the Pegasus Fountain.

Visit the location of The Sound of Music in Salzburg. 

One of the main reasons for my visit to the Mirabell Palace and garden was because it was the film location of “The Sound of Music”

The palace is featured in the film as the Von Trapp family home along with the Horse Pond. The Sound of Music is probably one of the biggest musicals and if you are a fan like I am you must visit it. There are numerous location where scenes were shot both in and around Salzburg.

The Mirabell Palace is one of the most popular destinations in the city and entrance is free.

Visit  St. Peter’s Abbey & The Catacombs on a day trip to Salzburg 

St. Peter’s abbey and its cemetery dates back to the 7th century and is the spiritual heart of the city of Salzburg.

The oldest tombstone that you can find in the cemetery is of Abbot Dietmar who died in 1288.

Walking through the cemetery you will discover the graves of Mozart’s sister Nannerl and the composer Michael Hayden.

The builder of Salzburg Cathedral, Santino Solari, is also buried here.

Visit the catacombs here that date back to the Early Christian era and are cut into the rocks of the Festungsberg Mountain.

To discover some of the best viewpoints in Salzburg have a read of – The Best Viewpoints in Salzburg by Trail-Stained by Ankita & Mohit

Must Do on a day trip to Salzburg

  • Walk the streets of the Old Town one of the largest UNESCO World Heritage sights by area.
  • Ride the funicular to Hohensalzburg Castle and enjoy a bird’s eye view of Salzburg.
  • Pay a visit to “Mozarts Wohnhaus” in Makartplatz the birth place of Mozart.
  • Shop in the narrow street of Getreidegasse
  • Marvel at the Salzburg Cathedral which has been demolished and rebuilt several times from its initial creation in 774.
  • Sing along to the Sound of Music at the Mirabell Palace.

If you enjoyed Salzburg find out what the Capital Vienna has on offer. Vienna in 3 days.  

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68 COMMENTS

  1. There are lots of great things to see in Salzburg and you’ve put together a great list. I think their musical history is the most fascinating and they seem to celebrate it all over the city.

  2. I enjoyed your pictures. I visited back in 2002 and loved it. You need to go see the Eagle’s Nest…it’s not too far from there and it is an interesting structure right on a mountain top.

  3. I’ve never been to Salzburg but photos of the place against the mountain backdrop was enough to make this on my list. I would surely visit Mirabell Palace when I finally get the chance to see Salzburg. The Sound of Music is a classic and obviously one of my favorites, too.

  4. I was in Salzburg last winter for 3 days and I feel a day might be too less! I absolutely loved the city, the vibe, the lovely old town and the Baroque architecture. However, if someone were to have only one day, I think your itinerary covers exactly what you need to in a span of 24 hours! Hohensalzburg Palace was so pretty, especially the view of the city below from the top was amazing!

    • I guess you can easily spend few days there and enjoy the beauty at your ease but if you on a time budget then it’s easily done in a day with a flavour of the city.

  5. I love Salzburg, it’s so pretty, especially in the sunshine. I’d definitely take your advice and head to the castle to catch those wonderful views. The price of a ticket from Austria isn’t bad either, considering what awaits when you arrive. I also always enjoy a funicular ride!

  6. Salzburg looks lovely. You got really sunny weather to explore it seems. The pictures are amazing. Do you recommend staying in Vienna and doing day trip to Salzburg or viceversa?

  7. Salzburg is my favorite city and I stayed here for 3 nights. I always love such countryside towns more than a big city with some relaxed vibes. It is a musical city and a birth place of great Mozart, which adds more charm to this beautiful place. Also the countryside tours from Salzburg are very great thing to do. For me day trip is not enough to enjoy the full beauty of Salzburg as there are many Alpine towns nearby which can be explored from here.

  8. Wow, what gorgeous photos and a magical place to visit! I’ve always wanted to visit Vienna, Salzburg and/or anywhere in Austria! I used to travel for work in my old job, and I made it to neighboring Germany several times, but never Austria.

  9. One of my friends just took me to Salzburg because of her Sound of Music obsession. It’s such a magical place that I never would have discovered if it hadn’t been for her. There’s so much history and magic still in Salzburg. Thanks for sharing!

  10. That’s a lot of sightseeing to pack into one day in Salzburg. I didn’t realize that it could be seen as a day trip from Vienna. I’d really like to walk around Old Town and see Mozart’s birth place.

  11. There is so much to see in a day there. Very beautiful city, a must visit for people that want to understand the Austian culture and architechture.

  12. That’s good, that you went to Salzburg. I see, that you had a good time. Did you also have a chance to see another cities such as Insbruck?

  13. I am totally surprised after this article, I didnt know Salzburg is such a beautiful city! Thanks for inspiring me! I love to visit old castles and this one looks quite impressive.

  14. Seems like a very idyllic town. I would love to visit here someday! I am hopeful, that we are able to do a road trip in Europe soon and see all these cool places. The castle would be a must for us, since my husband absolutely loves visiting them.

    • Indeed a must visit town and the castle has some great history and offer panoramic views of the town.

  15. First, I love the recreated picture from Sound of Music! Second, Salzburg looks so quaint and picturesque. I love shoulder season travel, so I’d take you up on that recommendation in terms of when to go. When did you go? Were you there at all for the festival? And, the views from that castle…amazing!

  16. Such a beautiful city without question. I love the grounds of the palace where some of The Sound of Music scenes were filmed – the gardens are really so gorgeous. The views you captured from the Hohensalzburg Castle show just what a pretty and picturesque city Salzburg is. So much history with Mozart and those lovely buildings – I hope to get there one day.

  17. Glad to know it does not cost that much to visit this wonderful place. Will try to check the 2 train companies you mentioned. I would really love to visit Salzburg soon.

    • I would live in Vienna and see that first as you need more time to see Vienna than Salzburg

  18. Lock. Bridge looks like an interesting place to visit. The view is so quaint. You have captured the entire city and best things to do there. Well done Amar.

  19. Hi Amar, really enjoyed reading this article. Hohensalzburg Castle looks like the perfect place to stay in Salzburg. We visited some amazing places in Austria a few years ago, but we skipped Salzburg, fearing large tourist crowds. Maybe we should visit again and enjoy the Mozart museum, sound of music, the rolling hills and fascinating history.

  20. I’m so impressed how much you did in Salzburg in a single day trip! From the Hohensalzburg Castle down to the beautiful Old Town, and of course the Love Lock Bridge. And a lovely lunch as well. The Mirabell Palace Gardens look like a lovely place to walk off lunch. I like the look of the Abbey and Cathedral too.

  21. For some reason, I didn’t think Salzburg would be as pretty as it looks in your photos! I cant believe I’ve never been -I love Mozart and the Sound of Music. Thank you for bringing it to my attention, I’m going to have a look at flights right now.

  22. I’m going to be in Salzburg in about a month or so, so your post came in very handy. Mozart’s museum is at the top of my list, of course, but I want to see all the other attractions as well. Do you think three days in this town would give me enough time to explore all these sites?

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