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Here’s my Salzburg travel guide, featuring the top things to do in Salzburg, where to stay and my food recommendations (of course).
Well, I’ve already written about my Hallstatt day trip from Salzburg, so it was about time I followed up with my Salzburg travel guide. I ended up really enjoying my time in Salzburg. Known for its starring role in The Sound of Music, Salzburg is surrounded by mountains and looks pretty amazing in autumn 😏. Austria is brimming with pretty towns and cities and Salzburg is definitely one of them.
Fun fact: it has only 150,000 residents but gets approximately 6.5 million annual visitors. Here’s my brief Salzburg travel guide for you to follow during your own weekend in Salzburg, which covers everything from transport to accommodation to the best things to do in Salzburg.
To get you started, here are two comprehensive posts on budget travel and solo travel in Europe.
Salzburg travel guide – general travel tips
Getting to Salzburg
I took a trusty FlixBus from Heidelberg to Salzburg, with a lunchtime stopover in Munich. The bus journey from Munich to Salzburg is only two hours, but the bus does drop you off on the city outskirts. However, across the road, you can hop on a public bus into the city centre. There’s a ticket machine conveniently located at the bus station to make life even easier. Other options include getting a train or flying into Salzburg Airport.
Accommodation in Salzburg
I stayed at Yoho International Youth Hostel in Salzburg and I would recommend it to fellow budget-minded solo female travellers. I stayed in a four-bed female dorm room, which had a private shower and a toilet down the hall. There’s also an onsite bar, free breakfast, cosy common areas and they play The Sound of Music every night. It was fun being able to watch Salzburg on the screen before exploring the next day.
If you’re looking for a completely different experience, Hotel Sacher Salzburg is a five-star property established in 1866. Its luxurious rooms feature original paintings and silk wallpaper. There’s also three onsite restaurants and the infamous Café Sacher Salzburg, which serves the original Sacher cake. If you want to meet in the middle, Hotel Wolf Dietrich is a more affordable hotel in Salzburg and one of Booking.com’s top picks.
Solo travel in Salzburg
I found Salzburg to be a very safe destination to visit as a solo female traveller. I did find myself walking back to the hostel at dark and I felt comfortable. Furthermore, it was easy to get around Salzburg and the locals were very friendly.
Salzburg travel guide – 10 things to do in Salzburg
1. Head up the Imbergstiege Staircase for amazing views
I randomly found the Imergstiege Staircase on Google Maps, so headed up the stairs to be greeted with amazing views. I highly recommend taking the time to soak in the views from every angle. Walk around, up and down and you can capture Salzburg surrounded by snow-capped mountains (if you visit in late autumn/winter that is). Don’t miss it!
2. Visit Salzburg Museum
If you’d like to learn more about Salzburg, the Salzburg Museum focuses on the city’s art and cultural history.
3. Stroll through the Old Town
Of course, you have to spend some time strolling through Salzburg’s Old Town. You can cover a lot of ground in a limited time, as I wandered from Mozartplatz to Residenzplatz to Salzburg Cathedral and Sigmund-Haffner-Gasse –one of the city’s oldest streets. The main street, Getreidgasse has the prettiest signs and it may just be me who notices these things, but it looked exceptionally clean too.
4. Visit scenes from The Sound of Music
There are organised tours that take you to The Sound of Music locations both in and on the city’s outskirts, including the original The Sound of Music tour bus. However, if you’re on foot like me, one of the most popular attractions is Mirabell Palace and Gardens – home to the Do Re Mi fountain. Then there’s St Peter’s Abbey, Cemetery and Catacombs. Another option is to head out of town to the 17th-century Hellbrunn Palace, which is home to The Sound of Music pavilion.
5. Walk along the river
The Salzach is the river that flows through Salzburg and going for a walk along its banks is one of the best things to do in Salzburg. I also loved the autumnal Old Town photos I was able to capture from the Müllner footbridge.
6. Learn more about Mozart at Mozarts Geburtshaus
Translated to Mozart’s birthplace, this is where the legendary composer was born in 1756. One of the world’s most frequently-visited museums, the three-story attraction gives you an inside glimpse into Mozart’s life. If one Mozart attraction isn’t enough, you can also check out Mozarteum and Mozart’s Residence, which features a Mozart Sound and Film Collection.
7. Do a day trip to Hallstatt
There was no way I was visiting Salzburg without checking out Hallstatt. I decided to do an organised day tour to Hallstatt from Salzburg and wrote a whole blog post about my experience. But you can’t miss it. Seriously. LOOK AT IT.
8. Visit the Museum der Moderne
Focusing on art created from World War II to the present day, the Museum der Moderne has two locations: Mönchsberg and Rupertinum. Fun fact number two: Mönchsberg is the name of the mountain, which has hiking trails if that’s more your cup of tea. You can also just take the lift up to the top for the views, minus the art.
9. Visit Hohensalzburg Fortress
Another one of the best things to do in Salzburg is to visit Hohensalzburg Fortress. Towering over the township and possibly Salzburg’s top attraction, it’s actually one of Europe’s largest medieval fortresses. The views from up top are worth the trip!
10. Do a day trip to Munich
Alternatively, you could also do a day trip from Salzburg to Munich. While it would be a long day, there are plenty of things to do in Munich. Wander through the Old Town and English Garden or check out one of the city’s many museums.
Salzburg travel guide – quick food recommendations
I had a couple of meals out in Salzburg, so I thought I’d quickly include those suggestions too.
- Sternbräu. This is a popular Salzburg restaurant with multiple levels, so naturally, I followed the crowds and went here for lunch. It was expensive, but the schnitzel was massive and best enjoyed with a Radler.
- Burgerista. This place was busy at lunch with locals, so I thought I’d try it out. Although it was expensive ( a running theme 💸), the burgers are delicious.
- Stiegl-Keller. This charming restaurant sits below Hohensalzburg Fortress and offers authentic cuisine alongside Old Town views.
- Salzburger Brezen. If you need a snack for a road, you have to visit this Salzburg bakery. It’s a hole-in-the-wall, but hello every type of pretzel imaginable.
I hope this Salzburg travel guide helps you plan your visit!
If you’re looking for more helpful posts, I also have an Innsbruck guide (another great day trip option from Munich), a post featuring my favourite solo travel destinations in Europe and my entire Europe archive.