Salzburg, the picturesque Austrian city, is not only the birthplace of Mozart and a world-famous festival site, it can also delight visitors with its special location on the banks of the Salzach in the basin between the city mountains. In Salzburg you will find everything you need for a successful city trip. And since Salzburg is also located directly on the German border in the Alps, it is a perfect destination for your romantic weekend trip.
In this article I will give you lots of Salzburg tips for your weekend in the Austrian model city and also tell you in which hotel you can stay overnight.
The first Salzburg tip right at the beginning: Get the Salzburg Card.
Because with this you get:
- One-time free admission to all sights and museums
- Free use of transportation (incl. fortress railroad, Untersberg railroad, Mönchsberg elevator, Salzach boat trip Tour I)
- numerous discounts for various destinations
- Discounts for cultural events and concerts
You can buy the Salzburg Card for different hours (24 hours: 29 €; 48 hours: 38 €; 72 hours: 44 €).
Due to its history and the many cultural influences, Salzburg can also offer some interesting tours. Here you can find some examples:
But if you want to explore Salzburg on your own, you will find below and also on the map my Salzburg tips for a weekend:
1. Hike along the Mönchsberg
The Mönchsberg dominates the cityscape because it is located in the middle of the old town and stretches about 1.7 km through Salzburg. From up here you have a perfect view over the whole of Salzburg and its surroundings from many vantage points. The many hiking trails along woods and meadows also invite you to take long walks.
Wo im Schatten herbstlicher Ulmen der verfallene Pfad hinabsinkt,
Ferne den Hütten von Laub, schlafenden Hirten,
Immer folgt dem Wandrer die dunkle Gestalt der Kühle
Über knöchernen Steg, die hyazinthene Stimme des Knaben,
Leise sagend die vergessene Legende des Walds,
Sanfter ein Krankes nun die wilde Klage des Bruders.
Also rührt ein spärliches Grün das Knie des Fremdlings,
Das versteinerte Haupt;
Näher rauscht der blaue Quell die Klage der Frauen.
(Georg Trakl, 1913)
2. Stop for a bite to eat in the Zirkelwirt
The Zirkelwirt is a traditional house in a quiet location a little away from the center at Papagenoplatz and belongs to the culinary Salzburg tips in this list.
There is a very nice beer garden here. From the menu I can recommend the spinach dumplings – this is a good vegetarian option to the plain, rather hearty and meat-centered food in Austria.
3. Stroll through the mirabelle plum garden
The Mirabelle Garden is one of the most beautiful urban gardens in Europe. It is aligned exactly with the castle and is decorated with many impressive statues and sculptures. That is why it is also a listed building.
Once you are in the garden, you should also take a look at the Marble Hall in Mirabell Palace. Mozart already played music in this magnificent room. The hall is also a very popular place for weddings. The entrance is free of charge.
Also very beautiful, but somewhat hidden in the southern part of the castle, is the orangery. Here you can relax away from all the hustle and bustle in the garden.
4. Drink a “Verlängerter” in the Café Bazar
A “Verlängerter” is the Austrian word for a cup of coffee. And in Salzburg it is probably best to drink it in the historic Café Bazar. Celebrities such as Marlene Dietrich, Romy Schneider and Tomas Mann have been guests here.
On the seats outside by the river you have a great view of the bustling activity along the shore.
5. Walk across the Love Lock bridge
The bridge with the many locks is a popular photo spot – not only for Instagram. Because from here you have a great view over the bank along the Salzach.
6. Read the stories in the St. Petersfriedhof
Right next to the cable car at the foot of the fortress mountain you will find the somewhat hidden and inconspicuous entrance to Petersfriedhof.
In this cemetery some centuries old stories are buried. Maybe that is why it radiates such a special atmosphere.
As I stroll through the cemetery and read the gravestones, the same questions come to my mind again and again: “How did these inhabitants once live here in Salzburg? What did they once do to make it to this cemetery in the middle of the city?” Matthias
Some of the stories can be guessed at least in part from the sayings on the boards.
7. Taste some Salzburger Nockerl
To visit Salzburg without tasting the Salzburger Nockerl is not really possible. So it’s best to find a restaurant that offers the traditional dessert and treat yourself to this Austrian dessert classic.
8. Dine Europes oldest restaurant
The St.Peter Stiftskulinarium is the oldest restaurant in Europe. It was first mentioned in a document in 803. So guests have been served here for about 1200 years. The restaurant consists of 11 rooms, some of which are built into the rock of the Mönchsberg.
You will be served upscale food that cost accordingly, but which has also been awarded two hoods by Gault&Millau, for example. So a dinner here is a special experience.
9. Visit the Domquartier
The Domquartier is a museum complex and a cultural highlight on a Salzburg city trip. You follow a predetermined path which leads you through the following areas:
- the state rooms of the Residenz
- the Residenzgalerie
- the cathedral museum
- the Museum St. Peter
It is the perfect place to visit in bad weather. But you shouldn’t miss it even in sunshine. Admission costs 13 €. There is also an audio guide. Here you can get your tickets for the Domquartier already online.
I also found the view over the city from the rooms or the Dombogenterrasse especially cool.
10. Explore the Hohensalzburg
The fortress Hohensalzburg is the landmark of the city and you should not miss it, not only because of the fantastic 360-degree panorama of the city that awaits you on the top.
The castle became particularly famous during the time of Leonard von Keutschach, who was archbishop of Salzburg from 1495 to 1519. Keutschach also lived at the castle. You can still visit his rooms (the Fürstenzimmer) today and learn some exciting stories about that time.
There are also several museums inside the complex:
- The Fortress Museum – gives an insight into the history of the fortress
- The Regiment Museum – a military museum with many exhibited war utensils
- A Marinet Museum
With the All Inclusive Ticket for 16,30 € you get…
- Ascent and descent with the fortress railroad
- Access to the Prince’s Room
- A presentation of the history of the castle in the Magic Theater
- A guided tour with audio guide
- Access to all museums
- Access to the Almpassage exhibition
Hotel-Tipp in Salzburg
A great hotel in the middle of the city is the Altstadthotel Amadeus. The boutique hotel has 4 stars and is located directly on Linzer Gasse – a promenade with many stores and restaurants. From here you can easily reach all the highlights of Salzburg on foot.
I especially liked the sun terrace in the hotel where you can enjoy your breakfast or a glass of wine with a view into the greenery.
The rooms were absolutely first class with many small details, such as the paintings on the walls.
Extra excursion tip
Only about 40 minutes by car from Salzburg is the fantastic Königssee. Here you can go on numerous hikes in the national park, take a boat to the other side or swim in the clearest water in Germany.
Other Salzburg sights
The highlights in Salzburg mentioned here can all be explored in one weekend. But there is much more.
Here is an overview:
- Mozart’s birthplace: See where Mozart was born and learn all about his life and work. Tickets are available here.
- Hellbrunn Palace: The pleasure palace, built in the early 17th century, is located a little further away, south of the city center. It is famous for its water features and the castle garden. Here you get a tour to Hellbrunn by boat along the Salzach river.
- Sound of Music Tour: One of the most popular tours to the locations of the musical of the same name. Here you can get tickets for it.
- Getreidegasse: This is probably the most historic street in Salzburg. It is also the place where Mozart was born.
- Kapuzinerberg: This mountain is opposite the Mönchsberg. You can walk along the old fortress walls. The entrance to the mountain is on Linzer Gasse. On top of the mountain, at the Fransziski-Schlössl, there is also a beer garden.
Which other sights in Salzburg should be on the to-do list? How was your visit in Salzburg? Looking forward to get your comment.