Are you looking for the best things to do in Salzburg? From exploring Mozart’s birthplace to the Sound of Music, this is what to do in Salzburg!
Looking at what to do in Salzburg? Then this is the blog post for you! Read on for all the best places to visit including where to find the best views too.
Salzburg. Birthplace of Mozart. Home to the Sound of Music. And a place that has truly captured the magic of Austria. What can I say, I really love Salzburg.
A city that’s surrounded by mountains and forests with a river running through the middle, Salzburg is certainly beautiful. For me though, it’s all about the amazing architecture everywhere that really makes the city.
It’s so easy wandering around the Old Town getting lost in side streets and coming across brightly coloured shops interspersed between 15th century churches.
When it comes to sights and attractions though, you certainly won’t be scrambling around wondering what to do in Salzburg that’s for sure!
Things to do in Salzburg
From visiting Mozart’s birthplace to climbing to the top of Hohensalzburg Fortress for some of the most magnificent views of the city below, this is my amazing Salzburg itinerary. Tick off a few of these (or even all of them!) and you’re in for an incredible time.
One of the best things about Salzburg is it’s such an easy city to get around. Even though the streets are tight and compact, it’s easy to walk everywhere. There’s even a lift to the top of the hill so you can avoid the steps if you want to.
Also, for those of you who are fans of the Sound of Music, no trip here would be complete without visiting the Mirabell Gardens, just one of many locations where they shot the film in the city. You can start practicing the Do–Re–Mi tune now!
Anyway, without further ado, here is what to do in Salzburg!
It’s no surprise that I’m starting with Hohensalzburg Fortress. For me, this is where you can get the best views of Salzburg.
Originally built in 1077, most of today’s fortress is from the mid-16th century. This fortress is such a good example of an old-school European fortification. Find the highest point, build a massive castle on top of it.
You can get to the top of Hohensalzburg Fortress via the funicular (which takes just 54 seconds), or you can walk it in about 20 minutes. Be warned: it is very steep so I’d recommend the funicular.
Tickets to Hohensalzburg Fortress cost €12.20 and this includes the funicular ride up and down, a tour with audio guide and access to the three different museums inside.
As I said though, for me it’s all about the views from the top – I mean, just look at the panoramic views you get!
Wander around Mirabell Gardens
The Mirabell Gardens are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Salzburg so be prepared for the crowds.
The palace was built in 1606 but shot to world-wide fame when it was featured in the Sound of Music.
If you’re a big Sound of Music fan, there are tours of Salzburg that include a stop at the Mirabell Gardens.
However, if you’re not a fan of the film and want to take in the palace and gardens without the crowds, it’s best to visit the either early in the day or late in the evening when the tour buses have left. Then you can have the place to yourself!
In the summer when the sun’s out, lots of people head here for a picnic on the grass. I really recommend coming down here with friends in the evening too.
Tickets for the Sound of Music Tour cost €45 per person and they take you to all the best spots in the city.
Visit Mozart’s birthplace and see where the magic happened
This is another one of the top Salzburg attractions. Even walking past this place can be a struggle (especially when you’re filming like we were!)
Mozart was born in 1756 and his family lived here for 26 years. The magic happened RIGHT HERE in these rooms. Today, Mozart’s birthplace is a museum to his life (tickets cost €11). It’s so fascinating walking around and seeing the exact spot where he learned to play piano and compose music. It really gives you a feel for the person behind the music.
This is a pilgrimage site for all classical music lovers from all over the world and is well worth visiting while in the city.
Another really popular Salzburg tour is a music concert at Mirabell Palace. Here you can listen to the works of Mozart and his contemporaries in such a stunning setting.
Have lunch with a view at M32
Another amazing view in Salzburg is from the Museum of Modern Art on the Mönchsberg (tickets to this are included in the Salzburg card if you pick one up).
Bolted on to the side of the museum is M32, a stunning restaurant with some beautiful views of the city below.
I think the best time to come here is for lunch during the day when the sun is out. The menu is really light too which I loved (though it can be a little expensive for main courses). I went for smoked mackerel with an asparagus salad on the side and it was delicious – not what you expect Austrian food to be.
Also, a glass of red wine with that view? Yes please.
Take in the views along the Salzach river
One of the best things to do in Salzburg is to go on a Salzach river boat tour.
The views up the river with Hohensalzburg Fortress on one side and the churches and mansions really highlights the beauty of the city. It’s so green too, especially during summer.
Like most boat tours, there’s a audio guide in English (other languages available) so it’s a great way of learning more about the city while taking in the beautiful views. There are a few different tours available but I went for a 45-minute tour.
Tickets cost around €15 per person for a 45-minute tour and includes a guide.
Drink beer and eat meat at Augustinerbräu
When it comes to what to do in Salzburg, make sure Augustinerbräu is on your list of things do to – this place is legendary!
Augustinerbräu is an old-school beer hall, so forget the museums for a bit and knock back a few litres of beer. And I really mean litres.
Augustinerbräu is heaving during winter with every room and table packed with people, but in the summer everyone spills out into the beer garden in big groups.
The done thing here is to walk around decided what meat you want – they’ve got pretty much everything but I went for some bbq ribs and a couple of different sausages, with a couple of pickles and cabbage of course – and then you choose what size beer you want and get your mug filled to the top with the good stuff. They also have one of the biggest beer gardens in the city too.
Honestly, this place has such a good atmosphere and it’s always so much fun to visit. Augustinerbräu is definitely a must on any Salzburg itinerary.
Wander around Kapitelplatz (Chapter Square)
If you’re walking to the Dom Quieter Quarter or up to Hohensalzburg Fortress, chances are you’ll pass through the Kapitelplatz.
This is a square with some really nice stalls in Salzburg where you can pick up some souvenirs. It’s also home to the Sphaera, a giant golden orb with a man standing on top.
This was originally used to promote the modern art museum in Salzburg but it has now found a permanent home for itself in Kapitelplatz. I love the juxtaposition of the modern art surrounded by the 16th century buildings – so cool!
Grab a coffee and some strudel at Cafe Tomaselli
Cafe Tomaselli has become a bit of an institution in the city becoming one of the top places to visit in Salzburg.
Situated right in the heart of Old Town, Cafe Tomaselli have been serving up cakes and drinks for over 300 years. Amazingly, they’re still run by the same family, and that old-school family tradition is wherever you look here.
Cafe Tomaselli is really famous for it’s cakes. A woman with a tray of freshly made cakes will come over to your table to show you what’s on offer. Being in Austria, I had to go for the apple strudel and it didn’t disappoint!
The best thing to do here is order yourself a cake, a coffee, and watch the world pass you by. It’s such a good people-watching spot.
Climb the Mönchsberg for some more views of the city
One of my favourite views of Salzburg is along the Mönchsberg.
Along from M32 is a pathway that takes you along the Mönchsberg and the views of the city are incredible. There are a few breaks in the trees where you can take photos like this one.
The best time to come here is at sunset. There are a few benches here so it’s very relaxing watching the sunset over the city. As you can see, it’s such an amazing photo spot too.
Also, it’s very near Augustinerbräu so beers afterwards!
Dine out at Seven Senses
If you’re looking for one of the best restaurants in Salzburg then look no further than Seven Senses.
On the banks of the Salzach river, Seven Senses has the perfect view of Hohensalzburg Fortress lit up at night. It really is in one of the most beautiful settings in the city.
At Seven Senses I had the sea bass with Meditterrean vegitabeles and a lovely saffron jus and it was amazing. Put it this way, this place deserves its reputation as one of the best restaurants in Salzburg.
This post was in association with Visit Austria and Visit Salzburg promoting some of the best things to do in Austria during the summer – it’s not all about the winter sports here! As always, views are entirely my own and without bias.
What to do in Salzburg, that’s the big question… I’d love to know what you’re planning for your trip here so let me know in the comments below!
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