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Things to do in Salzburg

Things to do in  Salzburg

Welcome to Salzburg

Classical music, a beautiful Old Town, and spectacular Alpine vistas make the Austrian city of Salzburg a top priority when visiting Europe. In Salzburg’s Old Town (Aldstadt)—an area resonate with Baroque charm and a UNESCO World Heritage Site—you’ll find the Residence Gallery (Residenzgalerie) and Salzburg Cathedral. Get the history behind these buildings and others on a sightseeing tour. Fans of “The Sound of Music” will recognize Salzburg’s castles, Baroque churches, and mountain lakes from the iconic musical movie, which catapulted Salzburg to fame in 1965. Take a “Sound of Music”–themed tour, and experience Mirabell Palace and Gardens (Mirabell Schloss und Garten); the 17th-century Hellbrunn Castle (Schloss Hellbrun); and Mondsee Abbey, used as the location for the wedding of Maria and Georg von Trapp. A visit to the Mozart Residence (Mozart Wohnhaus) and an evening concert at Baroque Hall of St. Peter are a must for Mozart fans, and tours for music-lovers highlight places of interest in his life. Other tours include a half-day trip to the Bavarian Alps and the Berchtesgaden salt mine. Day tours to Vienna, Austria’s elegant capital city, and the Salzkammergut, a region of lakes and mountains, showcase the region’s charms. Absorb the beauty of Alpine towns such as St. Wolfgang, Hallstatt, and Lake Mondsee; visit Hitler’s former mountain retreat, known as the Eagle’s Nest (Kehlsteinhaus) in Berchtesgaden; or check out Swarovski Crystal World and the Central Inn Valley on an excursion to Innsbruck.

Top 10 attractions in Salzburg

#1
Mirabell Palace and Gardens (Schloss Mirabell und Mirabellgarten)

Mirabell Palace and Gardens (Schloss Mirabell und Mirabellgarten)

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Part of Salzburg’s UNESCO World Heritage–listed historic center, Mirabell Palace (Schloss Mirabell) enjoys a rich royal history, as well as a place in movie legend: it was one of the filming sites forThe Sound of Music. Built by Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich in 1606, the palace is most famous for its magnificent baroque gardens.More
#2
Eagle's Nest (Kehlsteinhaus)

Eagle's Nest (Kehlsteinhaus)

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Just an hour’s drive outside of Salzburg lies the alpine town of Berchtesgaden and the historic Eagle’s Nest (Kehlsteinhaus), Adolf Hitler’s mountaintop chalet and the former southern headquarters of the Nazi party. Perched atop Mt. Kehlstein, Eagle’s Nest offers a dark history and panoramic views of Germany’s Bavarian Alps.More
#3
Salzburg Cathedral (Dom zu Salzburg)

Salzburg Cathedral (Dom zu Salzburg)

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For a touch of classic Italian Baroque in Austria, head to Salzburg Cathedral, known locally as the Dom. The cathedral’s twin towers and a facade made of Untersberg marble, along with its light-filled interior and huge dome, are sure to impress.More
#4
Salzburg Old Town (Salzburger Altstadt)

Salzburg Old Town (Salzburger Altstadt)

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Salzburg’s Old Town (Salzburger Altstadt or Altstadt Salzburg) is the historical and navigational heart of the city, a maze of medieval streets stretching along the banks of the Salzach River. The birthplace of Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Salzburg’s atmospheric Altstadt is preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage site and overlooked by the hilltop Hohensalzburg Fortress.More
#5
Hellbrunn Palace (Schloss Hellbrunn)

Hellbrunn Palace (Schloss Hellbrunn)

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Built in the early 17th century, Hellbrunn Palace (Schloss Hellbrunn) served as a summer retreat for the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg. Its baroque exterior conceals an exuberant interior made for entertaining, though the real draws are the whimsical trick fountains (Wasserspiele) in the gardens, which spew water from unexpected places.More
#6
Hohensalzburg Fortress (Festung Hohensalzburg)

Hohensalzburg Fortress (Festung Hohensalzburg)

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Built in 1077, Austria’s Hohensalzburg Fortress (Festung Hohensalzburg) is one of the largest fully-preserved castles in Central Europe. Here you can enjoy incredible countryside views and guided tours of the baroque state rooms, lookout towers, and museum collections.More
#7
Nonnberg Abbey (Stift Nonnberg)

Nonnberg Abbey (Stift Nonnberg)

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Best-known for being the home of troublesome novice nun Maria in The Sound of Music, Nonnberg Abbey (Stift Nonnberg was founded in the eighth century and is the oldest constantly-inhabited convent in Europe. The complex encompasses Gothic, Romanesque, and baroque styles, and features gorgeous chapels, churches, and cloisters.More
#8
Mozart’s Birthplace (Mozarts Geburtshaus)

Mozart’s Birthplace (Mozarts Geburtshaus)

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The house where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in 1756, Mozart’s Birthplace (Mozart’s Geburtshaus) stands on Getreidegasse, the main shopping street in Salzburg’s Old Town (Altstadt). One of Austria’s most beloved museums, this ocher-painted town house is a must for first-time visitors to the city.More
#9
Salzburg Salt Mines (Salzbergwerk)

Salzburg Salt Mines (Salzbergwerk)

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Beneath the glittering lakes and snow-dusted mountains of Austria’s Lake District, the subterranean world of the Salzburg salt mines (Salzbergwerk) spreads out in a network of underground mines and tunnels. Used to mine “white gold” since the Bronze Age, the historic salt mines at Hallstatt and Berchtesgaden are now popular attractions. Here you’ll find fascinating insights into the region’s salt-mining heritage, as well as fun activities such as slides, train rides, and boat cruises.More
#10
St. Peter's Abbey (Stift Sankt Peter)

St. Peter's Abbey (Stift Sankt Peter)

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Situated in Salzburg’s Old Town, St. Peter’s Abbey is a Benedictine monastery comprising an abbey, church, and cemetery. Founded in 696 AD and renovated during the 1600s and 1700s, its church draws visitors for its gilded baroque decoration and as the setting for the debut performance of Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor in 1783.More

Trip ideas

Sound of Music Tours From Salzburg

Sound of Music Tours From Salzburg

How to Spend 2 Days in Salzburg

How to Spend 2 Days in Salzburg

Visiting Eagle's Nest and Berchtesgaden from Salzburg

Visiting Eagle's Nest and Berchtesgaden from Salzburg

Top activities in Salzburg

Skip-the-Line: Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden Tour from Salzburg
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Hallstatt Half-Day Tour from Salzburg
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Austrian Apple Strudel Cooking Class including Lunch in Salzburg
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Bavarian Mountains and Salt-Mines Tour from Salzburg
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Sound of Music / Hallstatt Tour

Sound of Music / Hallstatt Tour

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$123.15
Customized Private Tour to Salzburg for Cruise Guests from Linz or Passau
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Original Sound of Music Private Tour

Original Sound of Music Private Tour

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Private Tour: Eagle's Nest and Bavarian Alps Tour from Salzburg
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Salzkammergut and Hallstatt Private Full-Day Tour from Salzburg
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Sound of Music Tour by minivan

Sound of Music Tour by minivan

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Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Salzburg

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Spectacular Private Tour
Aaron_J, Jun 2022
Original Sound of Music Private Tour
Ann Marie was our personal guide and she was delightful, well spoken (English, German and French), accommodating and exceptionally informative.
star-5
A must for SOM fans
Desiree_M, Jun 2022
The Original Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg
We were able to see several sites from the film and we had plenty of time to explore.
star-4
Fun and interesting
Rusty_D, May 2022
Sound of Music Tour by minivan
This is a good way to see a lot of Salzburg in half a day.
star-5
Excellent tour
Holly_T, May 2022
The Original Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg
The tour brings you out as far as Mondsee 30k outside Salzburg so it is a great way to see the surrounding areas.
star-4
Enjoyable and informative...
Virginia_B, Apr 2022
Grand Salzburg City Tour Including 24-Hour Salzburg Card
It got us into many other attractions.
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Salzach River Cruise, Dinner and Concert in Salzburg Fortress
Louis_C, Jun 2022
Mozart Concert and Dinner or VIP Dinner at Fortress Salzburg with River Cruise
The River Cruise is about 45 minutes long, which is enough to see the main highlights of the city from the river.
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My pilot Jano was very...
Zachary_H, May 2022
Private Tandem Paragliding in Salzburg
He was always checking to see how I was doing (if I felt sick or not).
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Amazing experience.
Diane_C, Oct 2021
Original Sound of Music and Eagle's Nest Private Full-Day Tour from Salzburg
To see the Eagles Nest and sound of music movie sites tour.
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Wonderful tour of Salzburg and great spots from the Sound of Music
Jay_N, May 2022
The Original Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg
This was such a great way to see the beautiful city of Salzburg and so many filming spots for the Sound of Music.
star-5
A great day with fantastic guides and drivers
EndaByrne, Dec 2019
Salzburg Super Saver: Original Sound of Music and Salt Mines Day Trip
A great way to see the beauty of Salzburg.
star-5
A MUST visit
Sharad_K, Oct 2019
Salzburg: Palace Concert at the Marble Hall of Mirabell Palace
It’s a Salzburg must that needs to be on your list of things to do.
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Ask for Max!
EricMarcus_L, Jul 2019
Panoramic Salzburg City Tour with Coffee and Cake
There is so much to see and be told about.
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VIP Dinner Concert at Fortress
Robert_E, Jun 2019
Mozart Concert and Dinner or VIP Dinner at Fortress Salzburg with River Cruise
Walk ti the Fortress is a nice chance to see part of the city.
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Kirstl was wonderful! She fit the...
Jennifer D, Jul 2017
Salzburg Super Saver: Original Sound of Music and Salt Mines Day Trip
Thank you so much for a great trip to see the sights of a wonderful movie and sharing your home Salzburg with us.
star-5
This was a magnificent and magical...
Dana P, Jan 2018
Salzburg Christmas Eve Tour to the Silent Night Chapel
If in Salzburg over Christmas Eve I would recommend especially because there is limited things to do on Christmas Eve.
star-5
Fun half day trip from Salzburg
Laurie_D, Feb 2022
The Original Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg
Was nice to see the countryside in the snow.
star-4
This was a nice way to see Salzburg...
William C, Sep 2017
River Cruise & Hellbrunn Palace & world-famous watertrick fountains in Salzburg
This was a nice way to see Salzburg.
star-4
Well organized and a good way to see...
Sue K, Jul 2017
Salzburg Super Saver: Bavarian Mountains including Eagle's Nest and Salt Mines
Well organized and a good way to see some places just outside of Salzburg if you don't have a car.
star-5
One of the most interesting places...
Luther L, Nov 2017
Bavarian Mountains and Salt-Mines Tour from Salzburg
One of the most interesting places to visit where the beautiful sights are below the ground instead of towering to the sky.
star-5
So much fun!!!
Julia_C, Feb 2022
The Original Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg
We got to see so much of the city and got to some amazing views.
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All about Salzburg

When to visit

Summer is perfect for sightseeing and hiking through flower-filled Alpine valleys (a must for "The Sound of Music" fans), but Salzburg simply dazzles in the winter months. Festive-light displays and snow-dusted monuments provide the backdrop for a cultural season filled with highlights, most notably Winterfest, the popular Christmas markets, and January's Mozart Week.

Time Zone
CEST (UTC +1)

A local’s pocket guide to Salzburg

Melanie Christof

A London-based account manager at Viator, Melanie enjoys traveling the world but she is always being drawn back to Austria, her home country.

The first thing you should do in Salzburg is...

take a stroll through Salzburg’s Old Town, snap a photo in front of Mozart’s birthplace, and sample the original Salzburger Mozartkugel, a marzipan- and nougat-filled chocolate praline, at Cafe Fürst.

A perfect Saturday in Salzburg...

involves a run along the river Salzach, an afternoon enjoying Salzburger Nockerl in a café, and a classical concert in the Baroque Marble Hall of Mirabell Palace or drinks on the Hotel Stein rooftop.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

taking a The Sound of Music Tour. Even if you’re not a fan of the musical, you can enjoy stunning movie locations such as Schloss Leopoldskron, Schloss Hellbrunn, and the charming town of Mondsee.

To discover the "real" Salzburg...

go to the Schranne Market, which takes place every Thursday on Mirabellplatz. There, you can sample local culinary delicacies and admire the local arts and crafts.

For the best view of the city...

head to the Fortress Hohensalzburg which offers stunning views over the city’s spires, domes, and the mountains beyond. You can take the funicular but hiking up Festungsgasse is more memorable.

One thing people get wrong...

is thinking Red Bull is an American brand, when it’s actually Austrian. Its founder Dietrich Mateschitz is from Salzburg and if you’re into airplanes and motorcars, make sure to visit the Hangar-7 at Salzburg Airport.

People Also Ask

What's Salzburg famous for?

Salzburg is renowned for its photo-worthy Old Town: a UNESCO-protected baroque treasure overlooked by the forbidding Hohensalzburg Fortress. The city was also where the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in 1756—his birthplace is a museum—and played a starring role in the much-loved 1965 musical, The Sound of Music.

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What should you not miss in Salzburg?

Be sure to visit Mozart’s Birthplace on Salzburg’s Getreidegasse. His family’s apartment has been reconstructed and showcases his original clavichord, violin, and family letters. Sound of Music fans, meanwhile, shouldn’t miss a tour of the movie’s iconic Salzburg filming locations, including the Mirabell Gardens with their “Do-Re-Mi” steps.

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How many days in Salzburg is enough?

Three to four days in Salzburg is ideal. This is enough to enjoy Old Town highlights like Salzburg Cathedral, Mirabell Palace, Mozart’s Birthplace, and the shops and restaurants hugging the cobbled streets. It also still provides time to sample the surrounding Alpine countryside of blue-green lakes, villages, and mountain scenery.

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Do they speak English in Salzburg?

Over 70 percent of Austrians speak English, and because Salzburg is tourist-oriented, you’ll likely find an even higher ratio of people who speak it well. But don’t take it for granted: Locals will be delighted if you’re ready with some stock phrases from the region’s official language: Austro-Bavarian German.

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Is Salzburg worth visiting?

Yes. History, classical music, and film—especially Sound of Music—enthusiasts will find Salzburg rewarding and memorable. The city’s elegant baroque architecture, stylish shops, cozy pubs, and hearty cuisine, not to mention its surrounding mountain panoramas, will add extra appeal and keep general sightseers more than happy, too.

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How can I spend 2 days in Salzburg?

Explore Salzburg Old Town on day one to view Salzburg Cathedral, Mozart’s Birthplace, and more before absorbing sweeping city views from the Hohensalzburg Fortress. Day two is prime for pursuing personal interests: enjoying the shops and restaurants; taking a Sound of Music four, or admiring the region’s lake-and-mountain scenery.

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