Nestled on the border of Germany with spectacular vistas of the Alps, the Austrian city of Salzburg is best known for being the birthplace of the classical composer Mozart and home of The Sound of Music. The town is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its beautifully preserved baroque architecture, particularly in the pedestrian Altstadt (Old City) on the left bank of the Salzach River with its magnificent hill-top medieval fortress, graceful domes and tall spires shooting into the sky. The 19th-century Neustadt (New City) is situated on the right bank of the river and features many attractions such as museums, art galleries, and unique sites. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Mozarts Geburtshaus (Mozart’s Birthplace)
Legendary classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born at No. 9 Getreidegasse in Salzburg, which is one of the visited museums in the world today. Based in the heart of the Altstadt (Old City), the museum details everything about Mozart’s life from childhood and the musical instruments to the famous symphonies he composed. Visitors can take guided tours through the living room, the kitchen, and his bedroom and explore the original documents chronicling his life and see a replica of his own piano.
Getreidegasse 9, 5020 Salzburg, Austria, Phone: +43-662-84-43-13
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The Hohensalzburg Fortress, also known as the Hohensalzburg Castle, rests on the top of Festungsberg Hill with once strategic and now spectacular views over the city. Built in 1077 by the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg to protect the principality and the archbishops from hostile attack, the fortress has been expanded and transformed over the following years and is the largest, fully preserved fortress in Central Europe today. The imposing behemoth has a striking white exterior, round spire-topped turrets, and is accessed by a funicular from the Altstadt (Old City) below. The fortress is home to several museums, including the Fortress Museum and the Marionette Museum.
Mönchsberg 34, 5020 Salzburg, Austria, Phone: +43-662-84-24-30-11
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3.Petersfriedhof (St. Peter's Cemetery)
Located at the foot of the Festungsberg near the Hohensalzburg Fortress, the Petersfriedhof or St. Peter's Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Salzburg. Established in the 7th century by Saint Rupert of Salzburg as part of the St. Peter's Abbey, the cemetery is famous for its catacombs, which are hewn out of the rock of the Festungsberg. These Early Christian catacombs served both as hermitages as well as burial sites and are the final resting place of many well-known people, including the sister of Mozart.
Sankt-Peter-Bezirk 1, 5020 Salzburg, Austria, Phone: +43-66-28-44-57-60
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4.Mirabell Palace and Gardens
The Mirabell Palace is a beautiful baroque palace surrounded by exquisitely manicured gardens that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of Salzburg’s top tourist attractions. The Mirabell Palace was built in 1606 by Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau to impress his beloved mistress and named after a compilation of the Italian words ‘Mirabile’ (admirable) and ‘Bella’ (beautiful). Notable features of the palace include the magnificent Marble Hall, a grand banquet hall of the prince-archbishops with stunning stucco work and angel statues, and the Donnerstiege (staircase of thunder) lined with paintings and sculptures. The gardens geometrically arranged and beautifully manicured and a sight to behold.
Mirabellplatz, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
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5.Museum der Moderne (Museum of Modern Art)
Set on the Mönchsberg high above the rooftops of Salzburg’s Old City, the Museum der Moderne showcases internationally acclaimed modern and contemporary art. Housed in an architectural gem designed by Munich architecture team Friedrich Hoff und Zwink, the museum spans 7,500 square meters over four levels and exhibits a variety of international art treasures from the 20th and 21st centuries. The museum also hosts a series of rotating exhibitions throughout the year, and distinctive architectural features of the building include exterior marble cladding and glassed-in staircases with spectacular views of the 19th-century water tower.
Mönchsberg 32, 5020 Salzburg, Phone: +43-66-28-42-22-04-03
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6.Salzburg Christkindlmarkt (Salzburg Christmas Market)
The Salzburg Christkindlmarkt at the Dom and Residenzplatz is a historical Christmas market and one of the oldest Advent markets in the world. Dating back to the 15th century, the market was held on Cathedral Square in the heart of the city and featured a wide variety of locally made goods and food. The market became known as ‘Nikolaimarkt’ (Saint Nicholas’ Market) in the 17th century and was held two weeks before and two weeks after St. Nicholas’ Day (6 December). Today, the market is a popular attraction for locals and visitors alike, selling all kinds of delectable treats from mulled wine and hot punch to Austrian specialties and boasts a warm and welcoming, festive atmosphere.
Residenzpl., 5020 Salzburg, Austria, Phone: +43-66-41-09-14-91
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7.Eisriesenwelt (Ice Caves) in Werfen
The Eisriesenwelt is a massive ice cave that is part of a system of natural limestone and ice caves in Werfen. Based on the Hochkogel mountain in the Tennengebirge region of the Alps, the network of ice caverns was formed by tectonic plate movements over 100 million years ago and stretches for over 26 miles. The mighty entrance to the caves is 65 feet high, and the first mile of the system features breathtaking gigantic ice formations, which can be explored on guided ice cave tours.
5450 Werfen, Austria
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8.Schloss Leopoldskron (Leopoldskron Palace)
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Schloss Leopoldskron (Leopoldskron Palace) is a spectacular palace built in the Rococo style and a national historical monument. Situated in the southern district of Leopoldskron-Moos, the palace is set on the shores of lake Leopoldskroner Weiher and is surrounded by seven hectares of natural parklands. Built by Salzburg prince-archbishop Leopold Anton Freiherr von Firmian in 1736, the palace was once the seat of one of the prince-archbishops, however, today, the palace has been converted into a luxury hotel and is only open to hotel guests. Schloss Leopoldskron is famous for being the shooting location for the world-renowned film, The Sound of Music.
Leopoldskronstraße 56-58, 5020 Salzburg, Austria, Phone: +43-662-83-98-30
9.Residenzplatz (Residence Square)
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Residenzplatz (Residence Square) is a large, stately square in the heart of Salzburg's Old City. The square is named after the Residenz building of the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg and is bordered by the Salzburg Cathedral, the Old Residence, and row of townhouses. Built by Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau, the square is home to a beautifully decorated baroque fountain known as the Residence Fountain. The spectacular water feature boasts four snorting horses springing forth from the spouting rock, and Triton in his conch-shell trumpet surrounded by dolphins and giants rooted in the rock. Residence Square is a popular venue for celebrations and events such as live concerts, music events, and football games.
5020 Salzburg, Austria
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© Salzburg Museum
Housed in the magnificently restored Neue Residenz, the Salzburg Museum is dedicated to the artistic and cultural history of the city and the region. Previously known as the Museum Carolino-Augusteum and the Provincialmuseum, the museum’s collections take visitors on a journey back in time to when the Salzburg prince-archbishops shaped the city and province. The museum features collections that focus on arts and crafts, architecture, music, literature, photography, and science, and several multimedia installations. The Salzburg Museum is connected to the Panorama Museum via a subterranean walkway known as the Panorama Passage, where visitors can view archaeological excavations and models of the city along the way.
Mozartplatz 1, 5020 Salzburg, Phone: +43-66-26-20-80-87-00
11.Kapitelplatz (Chapter Square)
Kapitelplatz (Chapter Square) is a spacious square in Salzburg's Old City that is bordered by several notable buildings, including the Salzburg Cathedral, the Cathedral provost, and archiepiscopal palace, St. Peter's Monastery and the Cathedral Chapter's mills. Once the site of the Cathedral Abbey, the square is home to the Chapter Fountain, which was built by Archbishop Leopold Firmian in 1732 and modeled on Roman fountains. The fountain features a sculpture of Neptune, God of the Sea, holding a crown and a trident mounted on a seahorse spurting water designed and sculpted by Josef Anton Pfaffinger.
Kapitelplatz, 5020 Salzburg
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Nonnberg Abbey is a Benedictine monastery dating back to the 8th century and the oldest continuously existing nunnery in Germania. Founded in 712 by Saint Rupert of Salzburg, the monastery is set on the side of the Mönchsberg high above the rooftops of Salzburg and became famous as one of the sites in the film, The Sound of Music. The abbey is home to some magnificent Romanesque frescos and can be explored on guided docent-led tours.
Nonnberggasse 2, 5020 Salzburg, Austria, Phone: +43-662-84-16-07
The Salzburg Cathedral is a beautifully preserved 17th century Roman Catholic church built in the baroque style. Founded in 774 by Saint Rupert, the cathedral was built on the site of an old Roman town and was later rebuilt in 1181 after being destroyed by a fire. Located in a quiet square next to the Salzburg Residenz and St.Peter’s Abbey, the cathedral has relatively simple exterior design and spectacular interiors with columns, knaves, a dome filled with detailed frescos, and a beautiful organ.
Domplatz 1a, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
14.Grunmarkt (Green Market)
Established in 1857, the Grünmarkt is a popular gathering place where locals and visitors alike come to shop for fresh bread, farm-fresh produce, fruit, vegetables, meats, baked goods, and local spirits. Located next to the university church at Universitätsplatz in the heart of the city’s pedestrianized zone, the market is open daily and spreads into Wiener-Philharmoniker-Gasse on Saturdays, which becomes a popular meeting place for young and old.
Grünmarkt, Universitätsplatz/Wiener-Philharmoniker-Gasse, 5020 Salzburg, Phone: +43-662-80-72-21-75
15.Untersberg Cable Car
The Untersberg Cable Car has been transporting hikers and nature lovers up and down the Untersberg Mountain since 1961. A Salzburg Institution, the cable car has two spacious gondolas and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes, including Salzburg City, Berchtesgadener Land in Germany, and the Rosittental, as well as the Salzkammergut lakes and Lake Chiemsee in Bavaria on a clear day. There are several excellent hiking and high-alpine routes to enjoy, and there is a monument to soldiers who served in mountain regiments. The mountain station has a restaurant that serves delicious homemade regional specialties.
Dr.-Friedrich-Oedl-Weg 2, 5083 Gartenau, Phone: +43-624-67-24-77
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16.Schloss Hellbrunn (Hellbrunn Palace)
Located in the southern Morgz district of Salzburg, Schloss Hellbrunn (Hellbrunn Palace) is an impressive early Baroque villa surrounded by a beautifully maintained park of natural flora. Built in 1613 by Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, Markus Sittikus von Hohenems, the villa was named for the ‘clear spring’ that supplied it and features a fully symmetrical façade and yellow rendering. The palace is surrounded by magnificent gardens featuring a variety of trick fountains, such as seats with holes in that spurt water on the unsuspecting guest who sits down.
Fürstenweg 37, 5020 Salzburg, Austria, Phone: +43-66-28-20-37-20
The Getreidegasse is a busy shopping street in the historic Altstadt of Salzburg and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Renowned for being home to the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who was born at No. 9, where he lived until the age of 17, the Getreidegasse also features several other notable historic buildings, wrought-iron guild symbols, and passageways. From as early as the Roman Age, the Getreidegasse has always been a place of trade with the street lined with apothecaries, breweries, craft businesses, trading houses, and taverns. Today, the road is lined with brand stores, luxury boutiques, and many cafés, bars, and restaurants.
Getreidegasse, Salzburg, Austria
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18.Salzburg Marionette Theatre
Established in 1913, the Salzburg Marionette Theatre is one of the oldest operating marionette theatres in the world. The theatrical institution hosts a repertoire of original performances and elaborate productions featuring a ‘wooden’ cast of over 500 characters supported by live actors and musicians. Performances are akin to full-scale operas featuring acting, dancing, and singing, and include famous operas such as Strauss’s Fledermaus, Mozart’s Magic Flute, and Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. The Salzburg Marionette Theatre is listed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
Schwarzstraße 24, 5020 Salzburg, Austria, Phone: +43-662-87-24-06
Situated in the historic district of Salzburg, BioBurgerMeister is a certified organic restaurant that specializes in organic burgers, including vegan options, and a range of craft beer. The burger bar serves an impressive array of freshly prepared burgers ranging from classics such as cheeseburgers to exotic options like the BioKahuna Burger and several vegan options. Burgers are served on soft brioche-like buns and sides of homemade organic chips and ketchup and accompanied by a selection of beers and housemade lemonade.
Linzer G. 54, 5020 Salzburg, Austria, Phone: +43-662-26-51-01
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20.Ristorante Pasta e Vino
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Ristorante Pasta e Vino is a family-owned and operated restaurant that has been serving traditional Italian fare years. The popular, casual eatery serves a menu of authentic Italian cuisine made from fresh locally sourced ingredients and age-old family recipes such as appetizers of bruschetta with fresh tomatoes, heaving plates of parmigiana, lasagna and other pasta, fresh seafood and meat dishes, and decadent desserts like cannoli, Bavarian chocolate cake, and specialty cheesecakes. A selection of casual Italian wines from all regions of Italy accompanies the food, along with craft beers and high-end spirits.
Wolf-Dietrich-Straße 31, 5020 Salzburg, Austria, Phone: +43-662-87-34-87
© Die Weisse
Die Weisse (The White) is a world-renowned brewery and Austria’s oldest brewer of Weissbier. Established in 1901, the brewery is based in the Schallmoos section of Salzburg and produces a variety of wheat beers in innovative ways. The brewery houses the cavernous brewpub of the Salzburger Weissbierbrauerei, a wooden-floored tavern with a shady beer garden that serves a range of cloudy Weissbier wheat beers and traditional Austrian tavern-style cuisine. The Sudwerk bar hosts a monthly Almrausch when people party in short Dirndls and strapping Lederhosen to the sounds of local DJs.
Rupertgasse 10, 5020 Salzburg, Austria, Phone: +43-662-87-22-46
21 Best Things to Do in Salzburg, Austria
- Mozarts Geburtshaus (Mozart’s Birthplace), Photo: saiko3p/stock.adobe.com
- Hohensalzburg Fortress, Photo: Fabio Lotti/stock.adobe.com
- Petersfriedhof (St. Peter's Cemetery), Photo: Anze/stock.adobe.com
- Mirabell Palace and Gardens, Photo: saiko3p/stock.adobe.com
- Museum der Moderne (Museum of Modern Art), Photo: Supak/stock.adobe.com
- Salzburg Christkindlmarkt (Salzburg Christmas Market), Photo: cge2010/stock.adobe.com
- Eisriesenwelt (Ice Caves) in Werfen, Photo: yy/stock.adobe.com
- Schloss Leopoldskron (Leopoldskron Palace), Photo: JFL Photography/stock.adobe.com
- Residenzplatz (Residence Square), Photo: J. Ossorio Castillo/stock.adobe.com
- Salzburg Museum, Photo: Salzburg Museum
- Kapitelplatz (Chapter Square), Photo: Martin/stock.adobe.com
- Nonnberg Abbey, Photo: Fabio Lotti/stock.adobe.com
- Salzburg Cathedral, Photo: INTERPIXELS/stock.adobe.com
- Grunmarkt (Green Market), Photo: olinchuk/stock.adobe.com
- Untersberg Cable Car, Photo: Mohammed/stock.adobe.com
- Schloss Hellbrunn (Hellbrunn Palace), Photo: carinthian/stock.adobe.com
- Getreidegasse, Photo: Hubert/stock.adobe.com
- Salzburg Marionette Theatre, Photo: devnenski/stock.adobe.com
- BioBurgerMeister, Photo: BioBurgerMeister
- Ristorante Pasta e Vino, Photo: Gregory Lee/stock.adobe.com
- Die Weisse, Photo: Die Weisse
- Cover Photo: TTstudio/stock.adobe.com
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