One day in Salzburg itinerary

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Salzburg is next to Vienna one of the best cities in Austria to visit. The surprising thing about Salzburg is that it is compact and therefore you can see a lot in a relatively short period. The historic center is also great to discover because you can see many beautiful buildings from the Baroque era.

In this article Salzburg itinerary, you can read what you can do when you are one day in Salzburg, where you to eat, and where to stay. We also share useful tips to get the most out of your Salzburg city trip.

Altstadt
Salzburg fountain

What to do in one day in Salzburg?

Salzburg is a small city so you can visit all the sights in the city by walking. Discover here our 12 tips when you have one day in Salzburg.

Tip: use the map below to see where the best things in Salzburg can be found. Click on the top right corner to enlarge the map. If you click on the star symbol next to the title you can save this map in your Google Maps account. On the map, you can show or hide different categories. You can then use this map to navigate when you are in Salzburg.

Morning activities

#1 Discover the historic center of Altstadt

The best thing about visiting Salzburg is walking through the historic center called Altstadt. This center belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage List and that is no surprise when you walk through it. To us, it felt like walking in an open-air museum. The many small streets, cozy squares, and nice shops make it fun to walk through. While walking you will come across various squares, churches, and other important buildings.

Salzburg’s main street is Getreidegasse, the city’s shopping street. If you walk to the end of the street you arrive at Bürgerspitalkirche St. Blasius, this church was built in 1185. Other places that you will encounter when you walk through the historic center are the squares Alter Markt, Kapitelplatz, Mozartplatz, Residenzplatz, and the churches Kollegienkirche and the Salzburg Cathedral.

You can discover the historic center on your own. The disadvantage of this is that you do not get an explanation for all the buildings you encounter. If you like to discover the city with a guide, this is possible. Book a city tour here.

Residenzplatz
Mozartplatz

#2 Behold the beautiful Salzburg Cathedral

The most impressive ecclesiastical building to visit in Salzburg is the cathedral. The cathedral is Salzburg’s is worth a visit. The cathedral was built in 1611 but its history goes back to 774 when the first cathedral was built on the same spot, it was only destroyed by a fire.

When you arrive at the cathedral you will be impressed by the building because it is huge. Once you step inside you can enjoy a beautiful interior and especially the dome at the back of the church is magnificent to see. You can see the Baroque style. The cathedral is free to visit daily.

Salzburg cathedral outside
Salzburg cathedral

#3 Visit the fortress Festung Hohensalzburg

Festung Hohenzalzburg is a fortress located on Festung mountain that overlooks Salzburg. It is one of the most popular sights in Salzburg and that is not surprising when you consider that this fortress is one of the largest and best-preserved medieval fortresses in Europe. The best thing about visiting the fortress is that you have a magnificent view of the surroundings and that you can visit different rooms and halls.

You can visit Festung Hohenzalzburg by taking the funicular towards the fortress. If you walk from Kapitelplatz towards the fortress in the street Festungsgasse you will arrive at the funicular within 1 minute. Here you can buy tickets. You can also continue and walk up towards the fortress. We recommend buying the Salzburg Card, with this card you can visit many places in Salzburg for free.

Salzburg
Festung Hohensalzburg

Where to stay in Salzburg

Option 1 great location: Altstadthotel Weisse Taube
If you want to stay in the center of Altstadt, Altstadthotel Weisse Taube is the best choice for you. Rooms are spacious, breakfast is extensive and everything is within walking distance.
Check actual prices and availability for Altstadthotel Weisse Taube here.

Option 2 fantastic rooms: Boutique Hotel Auersperg
This hotel is a great place to stay. If you would like to relax in addition to the city trip itself, Boutique Hotel Auersperg is recommended. You can enjoy your free time in the garden of the hotel. Also, the general area is nicely decorated.
Check actual prices and availability for Boutique Hotel Auersperg here.

#4 Have a great meal at Wirtshaus Elefant

One of the nicest places we ate at during our trip through Bavaria and Austria is at Wirsthaus Elefant. When you walk past it you can’t see what it looks like but once you are inside you enter a typical Austrian restaurant. The big advantage of this place is that it is not that touristy because it is a bit hidden.

You can enjoy good beer and excellent food at Wirtshaus Elefant. You can start with an appetizer, soup, or salad. As the main course you have a lot of choices, we ordered typical Austrian schnitzel and bärlauch schafkäse strudel. Both dishes are delicious. In total, we spent €38.20 / $40.80 for food with a drink.

Wirtshaus Elefant

#5 Visit Mirabell Castle

Slot Mirabell is fun to visit because first of all the building itself is impressive to see. Mirabell Palace was built by the Archbishop of Salzburg to show his love for his beloved one. Therefore the whole castle is romantically decorated. The best thing if you are romantic and you like architecture is to visit the castle itself. You can buy tickets at the entrance.

The main reason to visit Mirabell Castle is because of the surrounding gardens. The many plants, flowers, fountains, statues, and birds make it a pleasure for nature lovers to walk through. The best thing is to sit on a bench and enjoy your time.

Mirabell

Afternoon activities

#6 Visit the Kapuzinerberg

When you are in Salzburg you will notice that there are several hills around the city that you can visit to have a view over the city. At the tourist office, she told us that the best mountain to walk up to is the Kapuzinerberg because from the top you have a view of the river and the historic center. A nice stop while walking up is the Kapuzin Monastery, here you can enjoy a drink on the terrace and the view. From the historic center, it is about a 30-minute walk to the top.

viewpoint

#7 Salzburg Boat Tour

A fun activity is to take a boat trip on the Salzach. During a boat trip, you sail past the impressive buildings towards the south of Salzburg. The great thing about this activity is that you don’t have to do anything for a while and can borrow from the back to enjoy your view. We recommend this boat trip in Salzburg because the price-quality ratio is good and you go on board with a certified organization.

Cruise

#8 Taste the local delicacy

Of course, a city trip includes tasting various local delicacies. Our favorite is to visit Cafe Konditorei Fürst, which is located on the After Markt. Founded in 1884, this café/chocolate shop is one of Salzburg’s best places to visit. You can order various delicacies here, the reason most people visit this place is by trying the original Salzburger Mozartkugel. This chocolate candy was developed by the founder Paul Fürst and is still made today in the same way as they did back then. Highly recommended to visit.

Cafe Konditorei Fürst

Evening activities

#9 Enjoy Mozart’s music

The reason Salzburg is popular is that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is from this city. The best thing is to attend a concert. We recommend the Mozart concert where you can enjoy the music while enjoying food from that time. The concert will be held in Venue in the Baroque Hall. This hall is beautifully decorated and completely in style, you would expect from Mozart’s music. Book a ticket for the Mozart concert here.

Other activities

#10 Sound of Music tour

If you are a Sound of Music fan and want to reminisce about your childhood, then a Sound of Music tour is something for you! During this tour, you will visit several filming locations by bus. Much of the film was filmed in the city and the surrounding area. During the bus ride, songs from Sound of Music are played and you can sing along unabashedly. The tour lasts half a day, so you can combine this with other sights that you can see in Salzburg.

Several tours are offered, but there is only one original tour that you can follow. We, therefore, recommend using the original Sound of Music tour to follow.

#11 Visit one of the museums

The best museum to visit is the house where Mozart was born. In this museum, you can see how Mozart lived at the time and learn more about Mozart’s life. You can also see some unique specimens of musical instruments. The museum costs €12 / $12,80 to visit. We recommend using the Salzburg Card which allows you to visit various sights in the city, which is a lot cheaper in terms of price.

Another nice museum to visit is the Salzburg Museum. This museum mainly shows art related to the history of the city. If you are an art lover and want to learn more about Salzburg through art, this museum is a must to visit.

Mozart geburtshaus

#12 Take a day trip from Salzburg

From Salzburg, you can make some great day trips. We made a trip through Bavaria and when we were in Berchtesgaden we visited Salzburg as a day trip. You can of course do the same the other way around. The best thing you can do from Salzburg is to visit the Eagle’s Nest.

The Eagle’s Nest is one of Bavaria’s main attractions, as it is one of the few remnants of the Nazis. If you are a history buff and want to learn more about the Second World War, a visit to the Eagle’s Nest is a must. In addition, high from the mountains you have a beautiful view over the Alps. It is best to book a tour from Salzburg to visit the Eagle’s Nest, as this will save you a lot of time. Book the Eagle’s Nest tour from Salzburg here.

Another fun day trip from Salzburg is to visit Hallstatt, this village is known as one of the most beautiful villages in Austria. This is because it is located along a lake and surrounded by mountains. A tour to Hallstatt can be booked here.

Hintersee

How many days do you need for Salzburg?

Salzburg is not a big city, so when you have one day in Salzburg is enough to see the most important sights. When you have 2 days you are lucky because you have more time and can visit more things. We recommend staying 2 nights in Salzburg but when you have one day in Salzburg that is also fine. When you are going on day trips from Salzburg, it is best to increase the number of nights with the number of nights that you are going to stay in Salzburg. So as an example: if you are going to visit the Eagle’s Nest, it is best to stay 3 nights in Salzburg.

Where to stay in Salzburg?

Salzburg is a nice city that you can visit all year round. It is a small city, so there are not that many accommodations around the historic center. This makes it best to book your accommodation when you know the dates on which you will visit Salzburg.

Great location:
Altstadthotel Weisse Taube

Altstadthotel Weisse Taube edited

If you want to stay in the center of Altstadt, Altstadthotel Weisse Taube is the best choice for you. Rooms are spacious, breakfast is extensive and everything is within walking distance.

Fantastic rooms:
Boutique Hotel Auersperg

Boutique Hotel Auersperg edited

This hotel is a great place to stay. If you would like to relax in addition to the city trip itself, Boutique Hotel Auersperg is recommended. You can enjoy your free time in the garden of the hotel. Also, the general area is nicely decorated.

Where can you eat well in Salzburg?

In Salzburg, you can find several nice places to eat. Our 3 favorite places to eat are Wirtshaus Elefant, Cafe Konditorei Fürst and Café Mozart.

As you have read in activity 4, we recommend eating at Wirsthaus Elefant. This surprising place has an extensive menu where you can order the typical Austrian schnitzel.

Another nice place to visit is to visit Cafe Konditorei Fürst. Here you can order various delicacies where you should not miss the original Salzburger Mozartkugel. This chocolate candy was developed by the founder Paul Fürst and is still made today in the same way as then.

Finally, a visit to Café Mozart is recommended, here you can try Salzburger nockerl. This is a typical delicacy shaped like three mountains and filled with jam.

Cafe Mozart
Cafe Mozart menu

How to get to Salzburg?

Salzburg can be easily reached by plane, public transport, and car. If you travel by plane you can use bus lines 2 and 10 to arrive at the center in 20 minutes. You can also choose to take a rental car at the airport to visit Salzburg and other places in Austria or Bavaria. You can rent a rental car via Rentalcars. We use Rentalcars when we want to make a trip by car to discover a new destination. They are very easy to use and book, you get a clear overview from which to choose.

Salzburg is also easily accessible by public transport. Many travelers travel from Berchtesgaden to Salzburg. Here you can simply use bus 840, in 50 minutes you are in Salzburg.

Car to Salzburg: Salzburg is easily accessible by car. Travel times by car from the most common places are:

  • Hallstatt to Salzburg: 1 hour | 72 km / 44 miles
  • Munich to Salzburg: 1 hour and 50 minutes | 150 km / 93 miles
  • Berchtesgaden to Salzburg: 35 minutes | 26 km / 16 miles
  • Innsbruck to Salzburg: 2 hours | 180 km / 111 miles

When is the best time to visit Salzburg?

Salzburg is an excellent place to visit all year round because depending on the period, every traveler can be lucky. In the summer you can enjoy the city until late due to the weather and pleasant climate. In the winter there is a lot of snow which makes it romantic and you can go skiing in the region.

If you enjoy walking, it is best to visit Salzburg outside the winter period between April to October. The average temperature in the summer is 22°C / 72°F and in the spring and autumn, the average temperature is 16°C / 61°F. If you want to do winter sports, it is best to visit Salzburg in winter from November to March.

Want to see more of the region?

Hopefully, our Salzburg itinerary helped you to discover the best things in one day in Salzburg.

We visited Salzburg from Berchtesgaden when we made a tour through Bavaria. Open our article about our Bavaria itinerary here. If you want to know what you can do in Berchtesgaden you can open it via the link.

There are many ways to get to Berchtesgaden from Salzburg, you can travel east and visit the capital Vienna. Also towards the south and west where you travel more in the alpine area.

What do you think of Salzburg? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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