There are certain ingredients for the perfect day in Salzburg. In this article I will give them to you. This article will help you plan your day from start to finish so you don't miss a thing.
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How do I get to Salzburg?
Austria borders seven other countries. Salzburg is therefore on the route between Munich, Prague, Vienna and Budapest, but travelers from Italy and Slovenia also come.
Regardless of whether you arrive by train, bus or plane, you always either arrive directly at the train station or take a bus from the bus terminal in the south or from the airport to the train station or Mirabellplatz. The train station is a 10-minute walk from the Mirabell, and Mirabell is the perfect starting point for exploring Salzburg.
If you come to Salzburg by car, you must either pay for parking in one of the garages in the old town or park your vehicle at least 30 minutes' walk from the city center to find a free parking space.
Is one day in Salzburg enough?
As much as I would like to persuade you to stay longer, to tell you about all the little details that you can discover in the old town and all the beautiful places in the area, I have to be honest. You can see and do the most important things in Salzburg in one day. Visit the fortress, see Mozart's birthplace, stroll through the Mirabell Gardens, taste the original Mozart chocolate and visit a brewery, among other things. Let me show you how!
Is Salzburg accessible?
Salzburg is one of the most walkable cities you can find. If you arrive by train, it takes about 10 minutes to get to the Mirabell Gardens, the ideal starting point for sightseeing, and 25 minutes to the Salzburg Fortress, the other end of the old town.
There is no need to take buses downtown. In fact, most of the major sights are not accessible by public transport as the old town is a pedestrian zone. If you still want to read about it,here is an article about public transport in Salzburg.
Is it worth buying the Salzburg Card?
The Salzburg Card is an all-inclusive sightseeing card that includes all of the city's sights and public transport. It is worth buying if you enter at least two paid attractions. Suppose you want to visit the fortress and Mozart's birthplace. You pay the same amount as the card for individual entries, but the card includes many other attractions in Salzburg.
So making the Salzburg Card worthwhile is easy and I recommend it to almost everyone. Here is an article for you,if you want to learn more about the Salzburg Card.
That being said, there are plenty of free things to see in Salzburg. Especially if you only have one day in Salzburg, you can simply see the main sights from the outside without spending time in the museums and getting more information.
How do you spend a day in Salzburg?
So what to do in Salzburg in one day? In short, my recommendation would be to visit the must-see sites in the morning and choose activities based on your interests in the afternoon. You will need between two and four hours to see the main sights. Therefore, you could even cover them if you only have a few hours in Salzburg.
Where can you have breakfast in Salzburg?
But one after anonther. If you haven't had breakfast yet, the best and cheapest places in Salzburg are bakeries. At some bakeries you can also sit down and order a cup of coffee along with a pastry. The pastries in bakeries are different from the pastries you get in a pastry shop. My favorite breakfast pastry is Zaunerkipferl, and here you can find out where I like to eat it best. Read this article about itBecome an expert for breakfast in Salzburg.
How do you spend the morning in Salzburg?
Ideally youSign up for the Free Walking Tourto get a simple overview and further recommendations and to get to know me. Nevertheless, you would have no problem finding the sights on your own.
Here they are:
- The perfect place to start isMirabell garden. It's on the way from the train station before crossing the river. It is the main attraction on the right side of the river. Mirabell is also a great place to head into the city. Though it might be packed with tourists, the garden is spacious and relaxed. Make sure you enter the castle and take the stairs to the first floor to have a look at the Marble Hall.
- If you leave the Mirabell in the direction of Makartplatz, you are in frontMozart's house. Only enter if you have the Salzburg Card. Otherwise, turn right to cross the Makartsteg, Salzburg's love lock bridge.
- Most of the major sights are on the left bank of the river. After crossing the bridge, you will find one of the passages that are between all the houses. they take you thereGetreidegasse. Not only the most famous street in Salzburg, but also the yellow building with the Austrian flagMozart's birth place.
- Go through another passage and you are in front of thatUniversity Church, one of the four most important churches in Salzburg and one of the must-see sights.
- Behind the university church you enter thefestival districtand find themconcert hall. That's wherethe Salzburg Festival, the most important classical music festival in the world, takes place for six weeks every summer.
- From the concert hall you can visit theFranciscan Churchand go toKloster St. Peter. Each of them is 2 minutes walking distance from each other. At St. Peter's you want to walk through the cemetery after visiting the church.
- If you keep left at the cemetery, you will reachSaint Peter's Bakery, the oldest bakery in Salzburg. Their sourdough bread is an excellent option for a snack. If you keep right at the cemetery, you will reach the funicular to the fortress.
- If you only pay for one attraction in Salzburg,I recommend the fortress. If you have time and want to visit two or more attractions, get the Salzburg Card! If you pay for the fortress, you can save money by going up. Here you can find themHistory of Hohensalzburg Fortress, if you want to be prepared for your visit.
- After the fortress or instead of the fortress one could cross overNonnberg Abbey. Nonnberg is the oldest abbey in the world and the monastery of Sound of Music. You cannot visit the monastery, but you can visit the church.
- Von Nonnberg or the fortress, youvisit the cathedraland thus the heart of the city. The surrounding squares are the main squares of the old town. Especially Residenzplatz with thetwo archbishop's residences. Today they house the best history museums in the city.
- Next to the Residenzplatz there isMozart Square and the Mozart Statue. Don't miss the opportunity to take a photo with Salzburg's most famous son.
- Now you can either go down to the river and cross itMozartstegon the other side along Steingasse and up toCemetery of Saint Sebastian. These are some of my favorite attractions, but not everyone would consider them a must-see.
- Alternatively go toOld market square(Alter Markt, but there is no actual market) where not only can you get close to the food I would recommend for lunch, but you can also find the Original Mozart chocolate and the oldest café in Salzburg.
It's so easy to get an overview of Salzburg. I have sometimes guided Korean groups who arrive by bus and only spend an hour in the old town to walk from the Duomo to Mirabell to see the most famous sights. While this is not recommended, it is possible.
Note that your walk will be longer if you visit museums.
You could enter the fortress along the way, but if you plan on getting a Salzburg Card and entering museums, I would recommend either allowing more time for your walk and visiting each museum along the way, or activating them later and to use or. Activating the Salzburg Card later is the best option if you have time the next day. More on that below.
Street food for lunch
For lunch go to either one of my favoritesRestaurants featured in this articleor go for street food.
If I were you, I would go out for street food. Here you canRead more about Austrian street foodto understand its meaning.
My recommendation is Bosna, because the original Bosna is only available in Salzburg, but sausages at Raymond's are also an excellent choice. This won't be the most convenient lunch since you'll be standing, but it's delicious and time-saving.
coffee and cake
After lunch, it's either time to relax in the cafe or grab a dessert to go. Your visit to Salzburg would not be complete without a visit to one of the cafés or pastry shops. I have three options for you.
Coffee and Cake at Konditorei Schatz
If you only have one day in Salzburg, this would be my recommendation for desserts and coffee. The Schatz confectionery produces the best pastries in Salzburg and still remains an insider tip. But it's not just about candy. It also offers the authentic Austrian coffee house atmosphere and they produce their own excellent Mozart chocolate. Coffee, cake, Mozart chocolate and coffee house atmosphere. What do we still need?
Here is one article if you want to know more about Austrian pastries and one if you want to know the truth about Mozart chocolate.
Traditional Austrian coffee at Cafe Bazar
Cafe Bazar is the place you want to visit to experience an authentic Austrian coffee house in Salzburg. It is the only one of its kind. The Cafe Bazar was opened more than 100 years ago. Throughout the 20th century it was the place where intellectuals and artists congregated. Today it welcomes people from all walks of life. From the old nobleman to B-celebrities, tourists and hipsters. The ideal place to get to know Salzburg.
Here's an article if you'd likeRead more about traditional Austrian coffee houses in Salzburg.
Mozart chocolate to take away
To taste the original Mozart chocolate, visit the Café Konditorei Fürst. They invented Mozart chocolate and are the only ones who can call it Original Salzburg Mozart Chocolate. Read more about thisthis article about the truth about Mozart chocolate.
If you go to one of the two shops, you can only take the chocolate with you. If you visit the café on the Alter Markt instead, you can also sit down for coffee and cake.
How do you spend the afternoon in Salzburg?
After getting your head around in the morning, I recommend picking one or two of the following things to see and do in Salzburg, depending on your interests.
Should you still get a Salzburg Card?
The Salzburg Card is valid for 24, 48 or 72 hours. If you followed the morning recommendation, felt like visiting two or more paid attractions and still have time the day after, the Salzburg Card is still worthwhile. You can use the card for 24 hours after activation.
If you don't have time the next day but want to visit the museums on your one day in Salzburg, get the card in the morning! Give yourself more time to discover the must-see sights and make use of the map whenever you can by visiting each museum along the way.
One of the best things to do with a Salzburg Card is to take the cable car up Untersberg. YouYou can reach the valley station of the Untersbergbahn with bus line 25. The same bus also takes you to Hellbrunn Palace and the trick fountains, which are also included in the card. I would do that when you're done with the museums. This is how you make the most of your day in Salzburg and your Salzburg Card.
You can also do it the other way around and go to the cable car in the morning and visit the museums after lunch.
Die Sound of Music-Tour
Even though the Sound of Music Tour is one of the least Austrian things to do in Salzburg, it is by far the most popular tour. For some travelers, Sound of Music is the reason to visit Salzburg. If you are one of them, you should consider the tour. In the afternoon, departure is at 2:00 PM, leaving enough time to explore in the morning before embarking on the afternoon tour.
These tours never sell out. You can simply show up at Mirabellplatz to get your ticket. If you want to pre-book, you can support me via this affiliate link at no extra cost to you.
The Sound of Music Tour does not cover the Old Town as the Old Town is a pedestrian street. Therefore it is not repeated and is best combined with your self-guided walk or with my Free Walking Tour of Salzburg.
The Sound of Music Tour takes you to the palaces of Leopoldskron and Hellbrunn before heading to the lake district of St. Wolfgang and the wedding church in Mondsee. In Mondsee you would also have an hour to explore on your own.
The fortress is my favorite attraction in Salzburg for its breathtaking view, cable car ride and historic buildings. You can't see the Alps from the city center, but once inside the fort and on the platform on the south side, you have the panoramic view of the mountains. In case you didn't go in the morning, it would be a good idea to visit the fortress in the afternoon. Note that you should get the Salzburg Card if you visit two museums.
If you don't want to spend any money and have time in the evening, you can sneak in after work. I know that sounds bad, but it's legit. When the fortress closes, the gate stays open for another hour or two. The building remains open and you can visit everything except the museums. There is a small door that can only be opened from the inside. Once inside you can stay as long as you like even if the main gate closes.
Climb every mountain or one of them
In my opinion, seeing Salzburg from above while you're here is a must. Luckily, there are other options besides entering the fortress. There is a mountain on each side of the river in the old town of Salzburg. Mönchsberg on the left side of the river and Kapuzinerberg on the right.
Mönchsbergextends from the fortress around the old town on the left side of the Salzach. This is the mountain you climb to enjoy many different views. It's the mountain you want to climb for panoramic sightseeing. And if you don't feel like going up the mountain, you can take the Mönchsberg elevator to the Museum of Modern Art.
Kapuzinerberg,on the right side of the river is the mountain you want to climb if you are longing for nature. On the Kapuzinerberg you are further away from the main sights around the cathedral. You therefore have an excellent panoramic view over them.
If you want to climb a real mountain, hike the mountainGaisberg. In order to reach the summit of the Gaisberg, 900 meters in altitude have to be overcome. You can hike there from the old town in three to four hours. The technical difficulty is easy. If you don't feel like hiking but still want to reach the top, take the 151 bus from Mirabellplatz!
Here is aArticle about hiking in the city of Salzburg. The article deals precisely with these three mountains, because these are the mountains in Salzburg that can be reached on foot from the city center.
More activities in Salzburg in the afternoon?
- TheStiegl breweryin Maxglan is the largest private brewery in Austria. It's a short bus ride or half an hour's walk from the old town. You can take a guided tour and beer tasting, which is also included in the Salzburg Card.
- Theopen-air museumin Großgmain is a collection of old houses. Historical houses from rural areas of Salzburg were demolished and rebuilt in the museum. It is one of the museums included in the Salzburg Card. Being outside of the city and more like a nature reserve than an ordinary museum, the visit lasts all afternoon.
- The Red Bull founder's private plane, helicopter and racing car collectionHalle 7is a place many want to see. It's not a must-see, but the hangar is free to visit and only a 15-minute bus ride from the Old Town.
- The only way to take oneDay trip with a day in Salzburgwhile also exploring the old town would be a bus tour. You can visit the salt mines, the ice caves or the lake area. Each of the tours lasts four to five hours. You will be back in the evening but at €40-50 these tours are expensive.
If you really want to do a day tripand you can make it, stay another day! Public transport is convenient and the route to each day trip is incredibly pretty. Plus, you're not limited by time by going it alone rather than with a tour.
Here arethe seven best day trips from Salzburgto help you stay a second day.
How do you spend the evening in Salzburg?
If you follow my recommendations, you will not only get tired, but also hungry. Here are a few more suggestions on how you can spend the evening in Salzburg and end the day.
Dinner in a traditional Austrian restaurant
There are many options for dinner in Salzburg. Restaurants in Salzburg are generally good. There really aren't any tourist traps when it comes to restaurants. None of the restaurants are grossly overpriced or of poor quality. Heremy list of favorite restaurants in Salzburg, if you want to make sure you get the best experience.
What is not on this list is the Augustiner brewery. That's because it's more of a beer hall than a restaurant. However, the Augustiner does have a food court. The stalls offer a variety of Austrian dishes and street food. Especially if you are a group of people, you can order different dishes in small portions and everyone can try.
How to attend a concert in Salzburg
Contrary to popular belief and the fact that Salzburg is famous for classical music, concerts are surprisingly hard to find. My favorite place for concerts is the Mozarteum University. Many of the students' rehearsals are public and free. These rehearsals could also take place in the afternoon.
Check the schedulefind out.
When there are no student concerts, there are daily concerts for tourists at Mirabell Palace, Hohensalzburg Fortress and the St. Peter restaurant. The latter two are dinner concerts. They're expensive, but St. Peter's is the oldest restaurant in Salzburg, claiming to be the oldest restaurant in Europe, and the Concert at the Fortress is an opportunity to combine sightseeing with a concert and dinner. A valid option when your time is limited.
Here you will findfurther general information about concerts in Salzburg.
The best sunset or night view of Salzburg
There are countless vantage points on the Mönchsberg.In front of the Museum of Modern Art, Winkler Terrasse is the most beautiful and convenient place to get a night view of Salzburg. Convenient because there is an elevator in the mountain. The elevator operates late as there is a restaurant in the museum. Nice because you can see the whole of Salzburg and the fortress.
The view from the is just as beautifulHettwer Bastion on Kapuzinerberg, the other city mountain. To get there, climb the 261 steps to the Capuchin Monastery or take the road to walk up. But I would prefer the view from the Kapuzinerberg to the Mönchsberg view only during the day, and there is no need to hike for the Mönchsberg. I hope this is a worthy end to a day in Salzburg.
Visiting Salzburg in one day is perfect to see the main sights, eat Austrian street food, experience authentic coffeehouse culture and get a Salzburg Card to visit the museums, climb a city mountain or visit another place that interests you personally.
If you take a bus tour, you can even go on one of the popular day trips or a Sound of Music tour before indulging in more Austrian cuisine and maybe even a concert in the evening.
This Salzburg itinerary in a day is designed to make the most of your time. One day is enough for the essentials. However, if you can arrange it, you should consider staying longer.
If you have any questions or need help planning your visit, don't hesitate to comment below, email me or message me on social media or WhatsApp. I would be happy to help and hear from you.