Top 10 Things to Do in Salzburg, Austria

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The Austrian city of Salzburg is one of the most beautiful, historic, and best-preserved in all of Europe. It’s an exciting place to visit for anyone who loves music and architecture, but there are also some great opportunities nearby to explore the great outdoors. Whether you join an organized tour or plan your own personal itinerary, here are some of the top things to do on a trip to Salzburg, Austria.

Attend a Classical Music Concert
Sculpture of young Mozart playing the violin in front of the Town Hall

Attend a Classical Music Concert

What Is It?: Salzburg is one of the top musical capitals of the world, so it is essential to experience some of this musical culture when you’re in the city. Check concert schedules before your trip to choose a venue and a performance that you’ll enjoy. The Mirabell Palace is a great place to see a classical musical recital.

Why Do It?: This is a historical 17th-century venue that hosts concerts in the tradition of Mozart. The concert hall has beautiful baroque architecture, and the performers are truly talented.

Good to Know: Guided tour experiences often include the cost of your admission ticket with snacks and drinks and involve exchanging your voucher at the box office when you arrive.

Check Out Mozart’s Birthplace and Museum
Birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Salzburg, Austria

Check Out Mozart’s Birthplace and Museum

What Is It?: One of the most famous musical composers in the world, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was born in Salzburg, Austria in 1756. Tourists today can learn more about him by visiting his birthplace and museum in the city.

Why Do It?: You can learn a lot about Mozart’s early life when you visit this attraction and see many different exhibits, such as musical instruments, portraits, and letters. It’s a must-do for any music lover who is traveling in Austria to learn about the many aspects of this fascinating historical figure.

Good to Know: If you book a guided tour, your admission ticket should be included and help you save time by booking in advance.

Learn About the City’s History on a Walking Tour
Aerial view of Salzburg, Austria

Learn About the City’s History on a Walking Tour

What Is It?: Historic walking tours of the city typically last about two hours and pass by the residences of famous historical figures and architectural masterpieces. Tours commonly include coverage of St. Peter’s Monastery, Mozart House, the Mirabell Gardens, Baroque Old Town, and local cathedrals.

Why Do It?: A walking tour will help you get your bearings in the city and plan out your itinerary for the rest of your trip. With the input of an expert guide, you’ll learn a lot more in just a couple hours than you would be wandering around on your own.

Good to Know: Tours may also go past the Getreidegasse shops, the most charming streets of the city, and one of the oldest restaurants in the entire world.

Celebrate the Sound of Music
The Palace was film location for the Musical Sound of Music with Julie Andrews

Celebrate the Sound of Music

What Is It?: The famous musical, The Sound of Music, was filmed in Salzburg, and you can visit many of the original filming sites still today. Tours pass by the Mirabell Palace and Gardens, Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron, Schloss Hellbrunn, Nonnberg Convent, St. Gilgen Mozartplatz, and Basilika St. Michael.

Why Do It?: These film site locations are beautiful and celebrate musical theater in an intimate and fun way. The sites also give you easy access to explore the town of Mondsee, which has charming streets that are perfect for a little free time wandering around.

Good to Know: Guided tours typically include all of your transportation so you don’t have to worry about pinpointing the various film locations on a map and navigating the roads.

Get to Know Austrian Cooking and Cuisine
Salzburg, Austria beer hall food

Get to Know Austrian Cooking and Cuisine

What Is It?: Cooking classes in Salzburg teach visitors how to make apple strudels and other beloved local dishes. You’ll be under the guidance of an expert chef and get to enjoy the flavors of the region.

Why Do It?: Austrian cuisine is absolutely delicious and satisfying, and cooking classes let you learn more about it in an in-depth way.

Good to Know: Small-group cooking classes with no more than five to 10 people are ideal in Salzburg because they really allow you to learn a lot and get to know other travelers.

Visit Mirabell Gardens
Mirabell Gardens and Mirabell Palace, Salzburg

Visit Mirabell Gardens

What Is It?: These are the gardens outside Mirabell Palace, which was built in 1606. The gardens are absolutely beautiful and feature fountains, a hedge theater, rose garden, and more.

Why Do It?: The gardens were an important film location for “The Sound of Music,” and a must-visit spot for any fan of the musical.

Good to Know: The gardens are accessible to all visitors, with no barriers and an induction loop for visitors who are hearing impaired.

Go on a River Cruise
Landscape view in winter snow season with a river cruise in Salzburg

Go on a River Cruise

What Is It?: Salzburg has a lovely location along the Salzach River where tour boats go along for cruises. You can visit local attractions on hop-on/hop-off cruises, such as the Hellbrunn Palace.

Why Do It?: This is an opportunity to see Salzburg from a different perspective, rest your tired feet after days of sightseeing, and hop off the boat to conveniently explore new places.

Good to Know: Get the audio guide at Hellbrunn Palace to get more out of this experience when you hop off of your cruise.

Celebrate the Winter Holidays
Decorative miniature city houses at the famous christmas market of Salsburg

Celebrate the Winter Holidays

What Is It?: The winter holiday season is a particularly special time to be in Salzburg because this is when the Christmas markets take place. Explore the famous stalls at the St. Jakob am Thurn, Hellbrun, and St. Leonhard markets to find lovely handicrafts, local foods, and tasty mugs of glühwein.

Why Do It?: This is a festive and fun way to experience the holiday season and also a beloved Salzburg tradition at the same time.

Good to Know: Guided tours are available to take you to the markets that include hotel pick-up and drop-off, as well as personalized tour experiences.

Explore the Nearby Salt Mines
Main office of Salt Mines at Hallstatt, Austria

Explore the Nearby Salt Mines

What Is It?: Salzburg is near salt mines that are hundreds of years old and an underground world worth exploring. The Hallein salt mine and Berchtesgaden salt mine are popular local attractions.

Why Do It?: Learn about the role of the salt mines in Austria’s history switch up your sightseeing routine with a truly fascinating topic.

Good to Know: Guided tours that visit the salt mines also often go to Hitler’s mountain retreat of Eagle’s Nest.

Go Hiking in the Alps
Mountain panorama of Steinernes Meer at Saalfelden, Pinzgau, Salzburg, Austria

Go Hiking in the Alps

What Is It?: It’s also fun to get out of the city for a bit and explore the Salzburg Alps on a hiking trip. You can see huge mountains, climb to a summit, and perhaps even encounter wildlife.

Why Do It?: Hiking is a wonderful way to explore the nature of Austria and soak up the awe of the Alps.

Good to Know: Guided hiking excursions to the Alps may include transportation, accommodation, and even meals. Choose a tour package that matches your hiking skill level, interests, and travel style.

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