I’ve made you a list of things to do in Salzburg, Austria – a small town with beautiful, old baroque buildings and a view of the Alps in the distance. There is plenty of history, natural beauty & beer to keep you occupied here. 

We didn’t plan to stay here that long, but ended up staying for about 2 weeks, thanks to Couchsurfing! Before you go, check out the Bouncing Soles shop for great travel gear!

Here are some of my favorite things to do in Salzburg. 

 

 

Hohensalzburg Fortress

Inside the Hohensalzburg Fortress.
King of the fill-in-the-blank. Jon rules.

 

This is a cool castle! It sits triumphantly up on a hill overlooking the city and is a pretty impressive sight. Hohensalzburg is one of the only castles in Europe that was never successfully invaded.

You can walk up to it or take the funicular which is fun to say, but expensive to ride. If you are able to, I suggest walking to the top. You get several nice views of the city along the way up the stairs and it really isn’t difficult. If you have any older or physically challenged people in your party, however, just take the ride. 

Admission costs about 10-15 euro depending on which type of ticket you buy and whether or not you purchase some optional additions. The fortress itself is extremely well-preserved and offers an interesting look into its past and the lives of the people who lived there.

The best part of visiting, however, is definitely the views from the top. On one side you’ll find the Alps sprawled across the horizon, on the other you see the city sloping down to the river and rising up again on the other side. It’s a perfect place to stop and write an entry in your journal

There is a cafe on the side of the fortress where you can take in the views and have a drink or snack. 

 

 

Buffet zur Richterhohe

Beer at Buffet zur Richterhohe
Great views, great brews.

 

When exiting the castle, you have the option to go back the way you came or walk along a path. You should definitely walk the path! It winds through the beautiful woods high above the town.

Signs will point you to different things along the way such as the modern art museum, the Wasser Spiegel (a small museum about Salzburg’s water supply), and the Buffet zur Richterhohe where you can get delicious beer and snacks!

It was the perfect way to spend an afternoon. This little hut is also much cheaper than the cafe at the fortress. Don’t worry about walking too far, there are multiple ways back down into the city and plenty of signs to direct you. There are also plenty of beautiful places on the trails to set up a hammock and watch the afternoon roll by. 

 

 

Sit by the Salzach

The gorgeous Salzach river.
In the words of Kurt Vonnegut’s uncle, “Well, if this isn’t nice, what is?”

 

I don’t think you really need me to explain how to sit by a river or why it’s a nice thing to do. As simple as this is, it probably tops the list of my favorite things to do in Salzburg. It’s just so damn pleasant.

Bring beer. You can get everything you need for a picnic in Alstadt (Old Town) then walk across the street to the river. Perfect place to whip out that Kindle and get some reading done! 

 

 

Augustiner Brau

Augustiner Brau Salzburg beer garden outside.
I love the trees in this beer garden.

 

Since the 1620s this beer has been brewed in Salzburg. They sell it around town, but other than that they don’t distribute it on a large scale. You won’t find it in anywhere else. It’s unique to Salzburg. (It’s different from the one in Munich.)

The tavern is the largest in Austria and they also have a huge beer garden. They sell food there, but it’s a little pricey for pub grub. Don’t worry, though, you’re allowed to bring your own. This is the perfect place to get a good group of friends together and let the beer flow.

Extra tip: They have two sizes of beer mugs. Buy the smaller amount, but ask for a large mug. Then, tip the guys filling the mugs. Don’t be confused by the option to tip the person at the register. Skip that and throw your change onto the pile near the guys pouring the beer. They’ll show you some love.

 

 

Mirabellgarten – Mirabell Palace & Garden

Mirabell garden Salzburg
Worth a little walk through the garden!

 

Mirabell Palace has been around since the 1600s. The grounds are open to the public and they’re worth taking a stroll through on a nice day. The gardens are really beautiful. This is an excellent place to use your Polaroid camera.

People also like to visit because they filmed some scenes from The Sound Of Music there. Do what you will with that information. 

 

 

Jazzit

Jazzit Jazz club in Salzburg
They have a bar, music club and outside seating. Jazz it up.

 

Salzburg is a classical music town all the way. Residents bike through the city with bassoons in their backpacks and you can’t turn around without running into a Mozart something or other. So, if you’re looking for a little change of pace, this jazz club is really fun.

They often have great free live music, though I can’t say it has quite the same magic as New Orleans. Occasionally they put on special events in the music club that require a small cover charge, but are worth it. If you’re feeling confident, you could go on open mic night. 

This is one of the pretty cool things to do in Salzburg because it’s very different from everything else going on in town. In a city that is fairly proper, this is a place to let your hair down.

Check out the Jazzit website to see what events are on while you’re in town. 

 

Mozart & Julie Andrews Stuff

 

I know it seems lazy of me to lump these together flippantly, but these are the most famous reasons people visit and I don’t want to waste your time writing a list of things you already know. Also, I am lazy. So, here is a quick summary:

 

 

The Sound Of Music was filmed in the city and you can go to all the sites. 

Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music at Mirabell Palace in Salzburg.
This is at Mirabell Palace & Gardens.

 

 

 

Mozart was born there and you can go to his house. 

Mozart's birthplace.
Located in Alstadt.

 

 

Go To The Grünmarkt

Grunmarkt Salzburg Austria
It’s a great place to get lunch while you’re checking out Old Town.

 

The market is held daily during the week at Universitätsplatz. On Saturdays, it expands and there are extra tents with even more activities, souvenirs and food. This is the perfect place to get supplies for your picnic by the river. 

 

Take this list of things to do in Salzburg and cruise around the city enjoying yourself! It really is a beautiful place and I think you’ll find it pretty enchanting.  

 

Continuing your Europe trip? Check out our articles on Bulgaria and Germany!

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