What to do in Salzburg

by Kelly

Want to know the best things to do in Salzburg that could fit into a weekend? Read on for the best two days in Salzburg you will ever have!

Salzburg is split into two main areas, you will find most of the attractions in the city centre area, and then there is another area further south. It isn’t too far and you can get there by bus quite easily but for simplicity we are highlighting our favourite things in the centre. The map below gives an idea of the spread of the attractions.

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The mountain in the centre of Salzburg is one of the northernmost alps. There are a few paths you can take to walk up it if you wish, it can be a lovely place to stroll and take in your surroundings. On the peak of it sits Fortress Hohensalzburg which is well worth a vsiit.

To go up the Festungsberg on foot you can take these paths-
-From Kapitelplatz square via Festungsgasse or the Michael-Haydn-Stiege stairway
-Via the Nonnberg (Nonnberggasse or Erhardgässchen) past Nonnberg Abbey to the castle
-From the south (Hans Sedlmayr Weg) up the Festungsberg
-From the Festival District to the top of the Festungsberg

 ike at the top of Salzburg Castle

Salzburg Castle

Salzburg Castle (also called Salzburg fortress) is the largest attraction in the city. It is huge and we spent a good few hours here. If you really want to to you could rush but honestly it is worth taking your time to soak up some history here. We set off on foot to wander up to the castle, it is a really lovely walk and you feel what it must have been like to be a part of the town at that time.

The walk up

Unfortunately it does get quite steep and will be a real climb up so we decided to take the funicular. I had seen them before and we hadn’t had a chance to try it so I was happy to take it up and down to the castle, it was included in the tickets that we chose and was an easy and fun way to get there. We chose the standard ticket which included the funicular and the entry to the castle. There are a ton of options but this is the one that made the most sense for us.

We ambled around the castle for a few hours, there are several rooms to visit all linked by corridors and it flows naturally to the next area. There is so much history here! By the end you really feel like you understand the town and how it became what it is today. The views from the top are beautiful and there is a cafe where you can take lunch or a drink while exploring. You can read about it here.

As you leave you will walk through the gift store/last museum. They have an interactive display where you can project an image of yourself wearing a costume from the bygone era, here is Mike and I as knights…who wore it better!

The oldest bakery in Salzburg

We discovered the oldest bakery in Salzburg and it was an absolute treat for the senses. It is in a little basement entered by big wooden doors, just off the main square. You will see a big water wheel turning just outside it which powers the mill.

We visited just after it opened at 9.30am and it was already busy. There were locals lining up for bread and rolls and it often sells out within a few hours. Unfortunately being coeliac I couldn’t taste any thing but Mike tucked in to a warm, fresh out of the oven brioche and decided it was delicious and everything good about old fashioned baking.

This is definitely worth a visit if you are in Salzburg, even if you can’t eat the bread then it is worth a visit just to witness the history and see the way that bread was made, to experience the warmth and smell was intoxicating! It was the perfect way to start the day by immersing ourselves in the history of Salzburg. It is open from 8:45am to 5pm everyday except Sunday and Wednesday. You can read about its history on its website here.

Mirabell Palace

Mirabell Palace is a stunning location but the best thing about it was the gardens. They are extensive and free to visit. I could easily spend a pleasant morning here with a coffee or bring your lunch and find a perfect little place for a picnic. There are so many areas to stroll through and wonder at the beautiful gardens. There is a rose garden, a colourful tulip display, fountains.

It was also featured in The Sound of Music which is perfect as a fan, you can go and have your own Sound of Music moment!


I loved Pferdeschwemme (horse pond) with its large horse statue and frescos. They seem like such a small attraction but they really are impressive in real life. This is where horses were washed in the past and it really is a calm place now.

Mozarts Birthplace

You can go inside and tour Mozarts brithplace and childhood home. You can see all the rooms and his instruments. It is a great piece of history of the city.

The Getreidegasse

The Getreidegasse is a shopping street which is steeped in history. You will wander through the streets in this area and see gorgeous shops beautifully decorated but make sure to look up and appreciate the history of the buildings! There are many houses here with passages for the public to walk through, connecting to the university. Some of the passages are shopping arcades with courtyards and there are many wrought iron signs that were used to depict the purpose of the shop. As many people couldn’t read there was a picture to show if it was a shoemaker, baker or butcher. You can still see these here today.

The area is a really lovely place to wander and appreciate what the bustling market life might have been like years ago, and to wonder at the changes that have taken place since. There is nothing like being surrounded by history to appreciate the small comforts we take for granted now.

Salzburg Cathedral

This beautiful old cathedral is huge, you can pay to go inside and experience it fully. Often there are music tours here as well. You can also just choose to take pictures of it from the outside if you prefer, it is a beautiful building and very statuesque in the square. There is a great view of it from the Castle also.

The Brauhaus

This is our absolute favourite thing to do in Strazburg. It is so unique and such a hidden gem! It is a true local experience and doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from as long as you are open to a good time you will be welcomed here. The Brauhaus is just what we nicknamed it, its real name is Augustiner Bräu Mülln or Bräustübler.

This is a large monastery and beer hall which was started in 1621 and has been run by Augustine monks since. It sells its own brewed beer and there is a market hall of ‘snacks’ that range from bread, fish, hot chips to pork knuckle and sides! The beer is excellent, the experience is second to none, you will not regret this! Read everything you need to know to go there on our blog here. If you love beer, unique experiences and having a good time you don’t want to miss this!

Mike at the Brauhaus

Hallstatt tour from Salzburg

We visited Hallstatt before getting to Salzburg but you can take a tour there, check it out here. We LOVED Hallstatt! It is a perfect little village, so picturesque and sweet.

Sound of Music Tour

When I come back to Salzburg I am 100% doing this tour. The Sound of Music Tour looks incredible! Getting to visit all the places I have loved in the iconic movie is a dream come true!

The Salzburg Card

There is a Salzburg card which you can buy online and gets you a big range of activities for free. It also gives you free transport on public transport. If we had organised it earlier and had the time we would have done this for sure. It is expensive but worth it if you are planning on visiting most or all of the attractions anyway. There are a few different options and they range between 74 euro for a 24 hour pass to 120 euro for 3 days.

The benefits of the Salzburg Card are:
one-time free admission to all city tourist attractions and museums

free travel on public transportation (except s-railways / S-Bahn)

discounts on cultural events and concerts

additional discounts at many excursion destinations and in some cases, express entrance without having to stand in line at the ticket window

Where to stay

We chose to stay at The Keep Eco Rooms. We were excited to find a sustainable accommodation in Salzburg. It was located within easy walking distance of Mirabell Gardens. I loved that the history of the building, materials and furniture were all respected and maintained. The Keep offers simple and affordable rooms that are eco friendly and comfortable. You can check out our blog on it here.

Heading to The Keep Sustainable Hotel

We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Salzburg and know that we will be back, there is still so much to see and do here!

Happy travellers in Salzburg

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