Salzburg, Austria Travel Guide
Salzburg, Austria is a small town on the west side of Austria, bordering Germany.
If you are a Sound of Music fan, you probably already know this fun fact, but a large portion of the movie was filmed here! If you aren’t a Sound of Music fan, don’t fret, this town has a lot more to offer and people don’t go around singing tunes from the film all day. There is a bus tour you can take if you are into that!
We visited Salzburg for just about one full day. We arrived in the evening on November 14th and left the following evening, November 15th. Days are shorter this time of year, and temperatures cooler, so just keep that in mind when you schedule your trip! Since we only had one full day to enjoy Salzburg, we hit the ground running as soon as we arrived!
As always, we use Rick Steve’s books to guide all of our European trips. Just as a guide though, we aren’t huge museum fans and like to do things a bit differently than Rick, but he knows his stuff. We always bring his books with us too! Keep reading for more of my recommendations and some of my favorite iPhone photos from our trip.
If you’re interested in Vienna, Austria, we also have a travel guide too!
WHERE TO STAY:
Our hotel was located in a perfect spot, seriously. Right on the famous historic street, Getreidegasse, over looking the street even! Stylish and modern interior, very clean and even had a highly rated restaurant on the main floor. I highly recommend this hotel! We arrived in the evening and by the time we made it to our hotel, most everything on the Getreidegasse was closed, so we searched online for a great spot to eat.
St. Peter’s Restaurant was originally where we had planned to eat in Salzburg (it is the oldest restaurant in the Europe), but by the time we arrived we just weren’t feeling it.
We ended up at Augustiner Bräu - Kloster Mülln which was a true taste of Austrian cuisine and a beer hall. All the tables are shared and the place was packed with a lot of older men, so we ended up sitting down with a bunch of locals. Not necessarily a comfortable experience for me, but that’s okay. It was an experience! They also had a market with tons of food options, dessert and beer. It’s huge! I can only imagine how full it is in warmer weather, the garden looked large as well.
Other than that, we just ate on the fly. We had breakfast at our hotel, which was convenient and then visited a huge farmer’s market around lunch time (Schranne Market - more under shopping) and grabbed a hot dog or “weiner” for lunch. For a snack we found this small, hidden bakery underneath a watermill. We grabbed some bread there and it was delish! Stiftsbäckerei St Peter was the name of it, turns out it was the oldest bakery in Salzburg! We could smell the bread from blocks away. We just followed our noses to the door. :)
It was also November, so it was a bit chilly. They had hot drink stands set up all over town as a part of the Christmas markets, so that was amazing. We also stopped into Cafe Tomaselli, which is a charming little restaurant with amazing hot chocolate. Definitely recommend!
A lot of the food and drinks we ended up seeing in Salzburg were similar to what we saw in Vienna. We spent more time in Vienna, so we had more opportunity to eat there.
FAVORITE SITES IN SALZBURG:
Salzburg Cathedral - Amazing! So huge and we had the place to ourselves, which was a unique experience. Whenever we have traveled whether it be Italy, Belgium, you name it, the churches have been so jam packed it was hard to enjoy and fully take it in. This was really special, the organist was even practicing when we visited in the morning.
Mozartplatz & Residenzplatz - Really grand, town center like area with a statue of Mozart (he was born in Salzburg). They had the beginnings of some Christmas markets set up here, and an ice rink (see Christmas Markets, below).
St. Peters Cemetery - Beautiful and peaceful cemetery, a few scenes from the Sound of Music were filmed here. A really special spot!
Universitatsplatz - Really lovely strip of buildings and shops, there was a small farmer’s market happening when we arrived. Mozart’s first home is located here as well (yellow/gold building).
Alter Markt - I know I keep saying it, but this was a beautiful town square! I mean, every corner of Salzburg is charming and this little square was too. Cafe Tomaselli is here if you are in the need of a break. They also had horse carriage rides here too, perfect for the holiday season!
Getreidegasse - Historic street full of high end shops and dining. Really a lovely stroll any time of day.
Hohensalzburg Fortress - Some of the best views of the city are from here. Highly recommend! You can see this at the tippy top of the hill from the center of Salzburg, it’s in the background of so many of my photos.
Salzach River View - Head over any of the pedestrian friendly bridges to view the city. One side of the river is the older, more historic buildings; while the other side is a bit newer.
Mirabell Gardens and Palace - Another film location for the Sound of Music. Lovely gardens and even more lovely and grand inside. We were there in the winter and it was still incredible. I can’t imagine what it would be like in spring or summer. Hang out in the gardens for a while, they are bigger than they look!
Steingasse Stroll - Yes, definitely need to walk down this small, charming street. It is full of what I can “real Salzburg.” People’s homes, small bars, and the people of Salzburg just living their everyday lives. A quiet and quaint street full of medieval charm. Runs parallel to the river.
Linzer Gasse - Another charming street. Lots of people watching, shops and eateries.
We were only in Salzburg for one full day, so there wasn’t a ton of time for shopping, but we did make time to visit this extra large farmer’s market type event.
Schranne Market - Huge, and I mean HUGE. So many booths upon booths, I don’t know how the locals choose. At this market you’ll find ready made food (we purchased lunch - hot dogs, and lots of cookies and pastries for snacking), fruits, vegetables, gifts, flowers, bread, meat, baskets, handmade items and more. Worth a stroll if you can. It was extremely crowded, so keep that in mind.
We took the train from Budapest to Salzburg (about 5.5 hours) and arrived at a very modern train station outside of the center of Salzburg. I’m positive there is public transport that would have taken us to our hotel, but with it being dark and cold, we opted to take a taxi to directly our hotel. Not inexpensive, but not outrageous. It was convenient! We did the same thing on our way out. Other than that, we didn’t use public transportation at all. Salzburg isn’t that big, so we ended up walking everywhere that we wanted to go.
We arrived a day or two too early to enjoy the Christmas markets in Salzburg. We saw so many beautiful decorations, and even saw them setting up several large markets, ice rinks and Christmas trees. It looked like it was going to be very special, but just didn’t line up with our plans. If it lines up with your trip, I say definitely check them out!
Although we were a little too early to enjoy the markets, there were several stores with Christmas decor that we could enjoy. Austrians really get into the holiday spirit!
Highly recommend visiting Salzburg, Austria anytime of year. It was chilly when we were there in November, so just remember to pack some layers. Enjoy!