The historic city of Salzburg, located at the foothills of the Alps, is one of the provinces of Austria. Salz means salt in German and Salzburg is the Salt Fortress. This region was named Salzburg because of the dense salt deposits in the surrounding area. Salzburg, the 4th largest city of Austria after Vienna, Graz and Linz, is the city where Mozart was born, grew up and created exquisite works.
- Haus der Natur Salzburg
- Salzburg Museum of Modern Art
- Salzburg Theater Museum
- Salzburg Cathedral
- St. Peter’s Monastery and Cemetery Petersfriedhof
- Hellbrunn Palace and Gardens
- Things You Should Know About Salzburg
- Where is Salzburg and how to get there?
- When to go to Salzburg?
- Where to stay in Salzburg?
- Is the Salzburg Card necessary?
- Where to shop in Salzburg?
- Is Salzburg safe?
The hotel we stayed at was Kolpinghaus Salzburg, 1km from the main train station and 2km from the city center. The 2 star hotel was our choice because it was one of the cheapest hotels in the region. Even though it was a 2 star hotel, it had very normal, decent, friendly staff and clean rooms. There was a free parking lot right opposite the hotel, which we could see from the window. A parking area that will save you a lot of trouble if you come with your car.
If you want to visit the many museums in Salzburg, you can get the Salzburg Card, a city card that allows free entry to all museums. It is sold at a few tourist spots and you can also buy it at the reception of many hotels without commission. We bought our Salzburg Cards before leaving the hotel and instead of taking any public transportation, we started walking along the riverside towards the old town, soaking up the city.
Whether the weather is nice or not, make sure to take a tour by the Salzach River and even ride a bike if possible. The hotels you stay in may rent bicycles, the hotel we stayed in provided them for free. Whoever wanted could take the bike in the morning and use it, it was a who-catches-whoever mentality.
Since 1996, Salzburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its elegant streets, well-preserved castle and well-preserved old town. In the early hours of the morning there wasn’t much of a crowd, except for a few people out for a morning walk and a few young people on bicycles. Since the river is flat, the minarets, buildings and the castle in the Old Town could be seen from far away even in the light morning fog.
Haus der Natur Salzburg
Haus der Natur is a small zoo with fish and reptiles. You can see fish in large aquarium tanks and reptiles in terrarium tanks, which are replicas of their terrestrial habitats. It is also a science and experiment museum where children and adults alike can have fun and learn about physics, energy, force, music, technology and body development. We did not want to spend time in this museum, which can also host extraordinary exhibitions, as we have visited similar museums in other places many times. But we wanted to leave a small point here in case you want to choose it on your route. Entrance to the museum, which was the first stop of our Salzburg trip, is free if you have a SalzburgCard.
Some of the buildings in Salzburg are built around the big rock that juts out from the center of the city like a slice of pie. These houses were built with their backs touching this big rock. In order to facilitate transportation between the two sides of the rock, tunnels were dug to facilitate the passage of vehicles. Salzburg’s historical buildings go back a long way. Look on the buildings to see in which year they were built, you will see the date they were built and the date of restoration on the buildings.
Salzburg Museum of Modern Art
The museum is located at the top of a hill called Mönchsberg. Accessible by elevators, the museum is a modern art museum. Carved into the dense stone mass of Mönchsberg, the building was constructed after a competition in 1998. This 4-story building is mostly temporary exhibition halls. It is not a place to go for the museum. But the most striking point of the building is the 3rd floor, because it offers a magnificent view of Salzburg, where you can see Salzburg Old Salzburg and the river. You can see many buildings from the Salzburg Fortress to all the churches in the old city from this hill. Normally the entrance fee to the museum is 12€, but you can enter for free with a Salzburg Card.
Salzburg Theater Museum
Do you like theater museums? If yes, the Bürgerspital with a large collection of European toy history is on our way. There are doll houses, paper theaters, metal and wooden toys, railway sets and many other toys. It is a place where families with children can visit with pleasure. This place is also free for SalzburgCard holders.
On the road leading to Salzburg’s historic district, a horse statue called Pferdeschwemme appears in the square named Herbert von Karajan Square. Built in the 17th century, the horse statue is colored with a small pool and murals. It is a must-see when passing by.
We are not one of those who shop abroad in the name of economic travel, but if you want to shop in Salzburg, there are dozens of souvenir shops on the historic streets of Salzburg. We recommend traditional clothes special to Salzburg, Mozart chocolate and Mozart liquor. Let us remind you that you can find cheaper products in supermarkets and airports than in market stalls or souvenir shops.
Getreidegasse Street, one of the most beautiful streets of Salzburg, is very busy and must be seen. Especially the fact that the signs of the shops are designed in wrought iron, not according to their minds, should attract your attention. In addition to companies like Zara, H&M, even the signboard of McDonals, which has strict rules around the world, is different. Don’t forget to visit the arcades that connect to Getreidegasse Street, each one more colorful and enjoyable than the other.
Don’t miss the yellow building on Getreidegasse Street. This is the building where Mozart, one of the world’s greatest musicians, was born. Mozart lived here until the age of 17 and his house was later turned into the Mozart House and Museum.
Movie buffs visit Salzburg for the musical movie Sound of Music. There is also a tour activity called Sound of Music Tour that takes you to the places seen in this movie. You can find many companies that organize this tour. They take you by bus to the places in the movie. Tour prices are around 50€. After the Mirabel Gardens, Leopoldskron Palace, Hellbrunn Palace and Nonnberg Abbey, which are close to the center of Salzburg, they also visit the Salzburg Lake District and Mondsee.
We finally came to Salzburg Cathedral, which we can call the heart of the city, the center of Old Town. The cathedral is surrounded by squares on all four sides. Salzburg Cathedral is the place where Vienna’s famous artist Mozart was baptized. You don’t need to enter every church and cathedral in Salzburg. But you do need to enter this magnificent building with twin towers surrounded by Domplatz, Kapitelplatz and Residenzplatz. Inside the cathedral you can see architecturally powerful decorations, especially when you look up, you will see an enormous ceiling decoration. It is also free to enter the cathedral.
The square on the castle side of the cathedral is Kapitelplatz. In this square with a clear view of the Salzburg Fortress, a large golden sphere is sure to catch your attention. This sculpture, which represents Salzburg’s famous Mozart chocolate, was commissioned by Stephan Balkenhol in 2007 as part of his sixth art project.
St. Peter’s Monastery and Cemetery Petersfriedhof
Salzburg’s Old Town consists of many churches. It is possible to see a church on every street. But when you look at it in general, the architecture is so beautifully complemented that if you take the churches out of Salzburg, it will look as simple and meaningless as a hill without grass. As we wander the streets of Salzburg and head towards Salzburg Fortress, we come across a lovely cemetery. Don’t say there is nothing cute about a cemetery. The graves in Europe are like a fair, they are very decorated. Each grave is like a garden, full of flowers. The cemetery at the bottom of the Festungsberg hill, where some of Mozart’s relatives are buried, is called St. Peter’s Monastery Cemetery. The monastery is one of the oldest in the region, dating back to the 10th century.
Now it’s time to climb Salzburg Fortress. Salzburg Fortress is built on a hard rock jutting out from the center of the city. It is one of the best preserved fortresses from the Middle Ages in Europe, also known as Hohensalzburg Fortress. This is the best place to get a panoramic view of the city. First we take the funicular and the funicular takes us to the entrance of the fortress. Then we go sightseeing as far as we can. There are several museums inside.
After visiting the castle overlooking the Alpine Mountains, we go down from Salzburg Castle by funicular again and proceed to the Salzburg Museum on the right side of the square on the north side of Salzburg Cathedral. Salzburg Museum is a museum where you can find the most artifacts about Salzburg. Paintings, royal items and archaeological artifacts are among the exhibits in the museum.
We will now cross a bridge connecting the two sides of Salzburg. Mozart Bridge, called Mozartsteg, is one of the places where lovers used to immortalize their love by hanging locks on their guards and throwing their keys into the river. Opened in 1903, the bridge got this name after the city became synonymous with Mozart.
After the museum, there is a building called Mozart Residence, one of the places where Mozart lived. Various items and paintings related to Mozart are on display here. Mirabell Palace, which is a little further from this building, is a popular place in the region with its gardens. The fact that the entrance is free of charge has made it one of the best places to relax in Salzburg. Mirabell Palace is not for visiting, but you can stroll in its garden. The garden overlooking the castle is a popular place with its ornamental pools, sculptures and flowers.
Hellbrunn Palace and Gardens
Hellbrunn Palace is located far from the center. Therefore, you can also leave your visit to Hellbrunn Palace for the next day. If you have activated your SalzburgCard at 10:00, you can visit here the next day between 09:00 – 10:00 and your city card will still be active, so you can benefit for free.
Hellbrunn Palace was mostly used as a summer residence and for entertainment. That’s why there are no bedrooms in the palace, strange isn’t it? The fountains here are famous. Visitors have to move with tour guides, you can’t visit the fountains by yourself and you will end your tour wet, because suddenly the fountains work and you can get wet. It is a quiet place because it is outside the city center.
Things You Should Know About Salzburg
Salzburg takes its name from the salts that come out of the mountains in the south, which they call white gold. Although it is the fourth largest city in Austria, it is the most beautiful spot with its mountains, hills, lakes and nature.
Where is Salzburg and how to get there?
Salzburg is in such a position that it is very close to well-known places in neighboring countries. The distance from Salzburg to Munich is 145km (1h 40min), if you push a little you can even go to Prague in 4h 30min.
If you want to get from Vienna to Salzburg by train, there are regular train services. Since the prices vary depending on the period you will travel and how many weeks in advance you buy the ticket, I cannot give price information here. But you can check the ticket prices according to your travel situation on the OBB website. Through this website, you can reach not only Salzburg but also Innsbruck, Linz, Graz, Klagenfurt and many other destinations in Austria by train. RJ type tickets are RailJet ones, so they are faster and more expensive. If you come across IC, you will get cheaper and slower transportation.
If the prices on the above site are too expensive, the other site where you can buy train tickets online is Westbahn. Westbahn is not as extensive as OBB, but if you are going from Vienna to Salzburg, you can find more affordable tickets depending on the situation.
To reach Salzburg by bus from Vienna or other cities, you can also check FlixBus, which serves many parts of Europe. The distance between Vienna and Salzburg is 300 km. It takes about 2.5 hours by train and up to 6.5 hours by bus. If you want to reach Salzburg by renting a car from Vienna, it takes about 3 hours.
There is nothing very unusual to reach Salzburg by private car from Vienna. For those who want to rent a car from Vienna and travel around Austria in a circular way, the intercity roads do not cause any problems. It takes 3 hours (300km) from Vienna to Salzburg. When traveling to Salzburg with a rental car, it is more or less the same route as the train. I suggest you park your car in one of the paid parking lots in Salzburg and walk around the city on foot. If you are going to stay in Salzburg, check if the hotel you are staying at has a parking lot for your car.
You can reach Salzburg Airport from Istanbul Atatürk Airport in two and a half hours. The airport in Salzburg is almost in the center of the city like Adana Şakirpaşa. Salzburg Airport is called Mozart International Airport (SZG). The distance from the airport to the center is 7 km, so it is quite close. You can walk there in an hour, but if you have a suitcase, you can take buses numbered 2, 8 and 27 for 2,5€ and reach the city center in about 20 minutes. You can buy tickets cheaper from the ticket vending machines at the bus stops, and the drivers sell them for a little more. If you want to go here by car, there are also car rental services at Salzburg Airport with big companies such as AVIS, Europecar, Hertz, Sixt.
Urban transportation in Salzburg: You can also buy transportation tickets for the city here. For example, when you are in Salzburg, you can buy a 24-hour public transportation ticket valid only in Salzburg for 4€, while in Vienna you can buy tickets with different options such as 48 or 72 hours.
Although buses and trolleybuses are used for urban transportation in Salzburg, we never felt the need to use them since everywhere is within walking distance of each other. You may need to use them if you go out of the old town area in Salzburg. But if you have the opportunity to ride a bicycle, the most enjoyable journeys will be by bicycle.
If you come to Salzburg by car, know that you cannot travel by car. There are narrow roads, places that are not suitable for parking or even stopping. For this, you need to park your car somewhere. We parked the car in the parking lot of the hotel and walked to the city center. But before that, we decided to go around the city by car and we couldn’t get any results. We went back to the hotel, parked the car and continued walking to the city center. There are short-term parking areas, for example. They have options like 1 hour or 3 hours. Even if you want to park in these areas, you need to buy your parking ticket from the vending machines on the corners of the street where you park. For this, make sure you have some coins with you.
When to go to Salzburg?
Salzburg, which has a typical Central European climate, is a city north of the Alps, and the weather in Salzburg, which can reach up to 40 degrees in summer, tends to drop to -20 degrees on winter days. The sine qua non of Salzburg, the city of Mozart, is the Salzburg Festival, which includes many events from concerts to operas in the summer months. This period is very crowded here. Since it is the high season, accommodation and active fees are shaped accordingly, that is, they rise.
Like many cities in Europe, it would be nice to see Salzburg in winter. The Christmas markets in December are worth seeing. You can also go skiing in the Alps in winter. Both periods are quite enjoyable. If you don’t like snow, but don’t want the crowds, May and September will be very nice.
In Salzburg, there are many tours that take you around the city and its surroundings. If you want to join one of them, especially The Sound of Music tour organizations, contact a few tour companies and find out where they show you around. Maybe they will take you to places you can visit on your own and you will not spend money on a tour for nothing. The Sound of Music is a movie and there are beautiful scenes about Salzburg in the movie. The locals took advantage of this and started organizing tours to the places seen in the movie. The number of people who have seen the movie is not small.
Where to stay in Salzburg?
If you want to camp in Salzburd, you can choose Camping Nord-Sam or Camping Panorama Stadtblick on the north side of Salzburg, 4km from the center, or Camping Schloss Aigen 4.5km southeast of the center.
The prices of Salzburg hotels also vary according to the proximity to the center. Hotels are generally expensive. You should prefer hostels for cheaper accommodation. When I look at Airbnb, the scale of accommodation prices varies between 200TL and 500TL on average. Booking is no different. Click to see the list of hotels in Salzburg.
Is the Salzburg Card necessary?
The Salzburg City Card with its many advantages is a great way to explore the City of Mozart easily and conveniently. With free entry to sights and museums, free use of public transportation and many additional discounts, I think it is essential to enjoy your Salzburg vacation as a tourist.
Where to shop in Salzburg?
You will find many souvenir shops for shopping in Salzburg. Salzburg is a tourist city and the products in the shops within the city are generally expensive. If you want to buy souvenirs, products, chocolates, etc. at a comparatively cheaper price, use supermarkets or shop at the airport.
Is Salzburg safe?
Salzburg is one of the safest places in Europe. However, you should still watch your money and wallet. Because it is possible to come across pick pocketing especially in crowded places and alcohol points. Let’s also talk about important phone numbers. In Austria, you should use the phone numbers 122 for medical assistance, 144 for fire brigade and emergency doctor and 133 for police. If you have anything to add about Salzburg, please add it in the comments section.