Some Suggested Itineraries
Salzburg is a compact city and a lot can be achieved in one day. We suggest concentrating on the historic city centre – a UNESCO World Heritage site.
If you follow our suggested walking route you will be sure to see the main sights. The walk itself should take about 3 hours, leaving enough time to stop and take a closer look at the sights you are most interested in
We also highly recommend some time at one of the coffee houses to sample some Apfelstrudel and coffee.
Some of the sights you might consider spending time at are:
- Salzburg Castle is one you really don’t want to miss and if it’s a nice day then the view from the top is fabulous. Leave at least 1.5 hours and make sure you go to the viewing point which is part of the ‘Fortress Museum Tour’ included in your ticket. You will need to climb quite a few steps to get to the top though.
- Panorama Museum – we really like this museum. It’s simple and gives a great view of what Salzburg looked like almost 200 years ago. Leave about 30 to 40 minutes for your visit.
- Salzburg Cathedral – it really is magnificent and you won’t be disappointed. Also check out the crypts below the cathedral where most of the former Prince Archbishops are buried. You’ll need about half an hour for a good exploration of the cathedral.
- Both the Mozart Birthhouse and the Mozart Residence are excellent little museums and both will give you a feel for what it was like in Mozart’s time. Allow between 60 and 90 minutes for a visit.
- The Modern Art Museum – Salzburg is a great city to view from above. We’d recommend that if you have time you check out the view from the Modern Art Museum. It’s also a lovely place to stop for coffee and cake with a great panorama. You can get up to the museum either by lift or by taking one of the walking routes highlighted on the map in our app (in red or purple).
In addition to these, make sure to include the following spots on your exploration.
- Mirabell Palace and Gardens.
- St Peer’s Cemetery – and try some bread at the Oldest Bakery in Salzburg, just outside of St Peters’ and just off Kapitelplatz.
- The Renaissance squares of Mozart Platz, Residenz Platz, Domplatz and Kapitel Platz. They were built by Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich and really make Salzburg what it is today.
- Getreidegasse – the elegant shopping street and home to Mozarts Birthhouse.
- The Pferdeschwemme (Horse Bath) on Herbert von Karajan Platz is a lovely fountain.
Following this itinerary will ensure you leave Salzburg with a really good appreciation of the town, it’s architecture and in particular it’s atmosphere. If you’re staying for longer, then you’ve had a long day, but will be really looking forward to Day 2.
Maybe use the morning to see the last of the museums or attractions you’re interested in and then the rest of the day to head to Hellbrunn, take a short hike up the Kapuzinerberg or even a cable car ride up the Untersberg.
Some ideas to consider for Day 2 include:
- A trip to Schloss Hellbrunnis highly recommended. If you take the bus you’ll probably need about 3.5 to 4.5 hours in total to take in the palace and the trick fountains as well as getting there and back.
- Festspielhaus / Festival Halls (tour at 2pm daily) which takes about 45 minutes.
- Take a walk or a cruise along the river. Leave about an hour for this.
- Walk up the Modern Art Museum and then walk along the Mönchsberg and over the rooftops to the Castle.
- If it’s a clear day, take a bus to the bottom of the Untersberg and then a cable car to the top. The views are fabulous.
- Rent a bike and cycle to Schloss Hellbrunn and Schloss Leopoldskron.
Any of the tourist offices will provide you with details on trips outside Salzburg, but a taste of what’s on offer is listed below.
- Trip to Berchtesgaden to take in the Salt Mines, Hitler’s famous Eagle’s Nest or the Königsee lake.
- Tour to the stunning UNESCO protected village of Halstatt taking in the beautiful lakes of the Salzkammergut.
- Day out in nearby Werfen to see the Ice Caves or Schloss Hohenwerfen, the castle which featured in Where Eagles Dare.
- Head to St Gilgen and take a boat ride around the lake and maybe even the toy train to the top of the Schaffsberg mountain.
- In summer you might like hurtling down the side of a mountain on a toboggan.
- For a really great, but very long, day, head down to Zell am See where you can start the drive along the Grossglockner High Alpine Road before coming back on the motorway.
The Sound of Music Itinerary
A highlight for many coming to Salzburg is discovering the familiar places from one of the most popular movies of all time. The Sound of Music was filmed in and around Salzburg and dedicated von Trapp fans can explore many of them, humming along with Maria and her charges.
Mirabell Palace and Gardens: This is a must-see for any visitor to Salzburg but if you have a singular reason for coming here (the Sound of Music!) then you will want to focus your visit on discovering the Pegasus Fountain and nearby steps; the Gnome Garden and Vine Tunnel.
Festspielhaus: One of three concert venues for the famed Salzburg Festival, your Sound of Music mission here is to see the Felsenreitschule (Rock Riding School). This is where the von Trapps sang their farewell to the people of Salzburg. Tours are available for the chance to stand on the same stage as Julie Andrews.
Pferdeschwemme: The Horse Bath provided a scenic backdrop as Maria and the children trotted by during a horse and trap ride.
St. Peter’s Cemetery: No film scenes were shot here, but you can see where the director got his inspiration as a hiding place for the von Trapp family from the Nazis. One of the most instantly recognizable sites, the actual scenes were filmed indoors in Hollywood.
Residenzplatz: Two notable scenes were filmed here, the largest square in Salzburg. When Maria is singing “I Have Confidence” the fountain in Residenzplatz is where she splashed and the Nazi flag was unfurled on the Residenz Museum.
Modern Art Museum: Besides offering great art indoors and wonderful Salzburg views outdoors; the Museum’s location is where the gang began the “Do Re Mi” song.
Mozartsteg: Sticking with the “Do Re Mi” theme, you’ll quickly recognize this bridge. Sticking with the singing theme, the bank of the river near the Mozartsteg is where the children danced during “My Favourite Things.”
Nonnberg Abbey: No filming was permitted in this abbey, the oldest convent in the German speaking world. However it was an important place in the story and a few key scenes were filmed outside. This is where Maria von Kutschera lived before marrying Captain Georg von Trapp; the real-life couple were actually married in the Abbey church. The scene when Maria leaves the Abbey, singing “I Have Confidence” was filmed here as was when the children came to look for Maria after she abruptly left their home. Finally, at the end, the escape scene with the cars was also filmed outside.
Schloss Leopoldskron: Only about a 15 minute walk from the Old Town, Sound of Music fans really can’t skip a trip to Schloss Leopoldskron. Not only were many outdoor scenes filmed on the terrace at the rear of the palace; the lake is also where the children fell into the water in their ‘play clothes.’
While no longer physically here, the gazebo where Lisel and Rolf sing and dance, and Maria and the Captain have their first kiss was originally placed on the Schloss grounds for filming purposes. It was left here when filming ended but unfortunately had to be moved (to Schloss Hellbrunn) due to an overabundance of trespassers attempting to reenact movie scenes.
Schloss Hellbrunn: New home to the famed Sound of Music gazebo. You can’t actually enter the gazebo, but feel free to dance and sing around it; you likely won’t be the only one. Hellbrunn is about 5 kilometres south of Salzburg and is full of other interesting, non-Sound of Music things to explore.
Schloss Frohnburg: The film version of the front of Captain von Trapp’s palatial home. Interestingly, Sound of Music scenes shot on the terrace, towards the lake were filmed at Leopoldskron while shots towards the house were done at Frohnburg. A bit of an editing nightmare…
Untersberg Mountain: THE hills…the Unterberg is where it all began: with Maria spinning and singing the film’s title song. It’s also where it all ends, with the family making their escape from Nazi Austria. Logistically, neither of those instances could have been possible, but that’s the magic of Hollywood.
One more site of interest:
Though it didn’t receive any role in the film, Hotel Bristol played a very supportive role to Christopher Plummer, acting as his home while filming in Salzburg. Evenings saw cast and crew come round to drink and make merry.
Interested in discovering more about the Sound of Music and Salzburg? Download the app.
In Salzburg Overnight?
While your day is likely to tire you out, make sure you save some energy for the evenings as there’s plenty more to do.
Below are some suggestions for the evenings:
- A traditional Austrian meal in one of the many restaurants around the city.
- An evening at the Augustinerbräu for some of Salzburg’s best beer to help wash down some traditional Austrian beer hall recipes.
- A classical concert in the city of Mozart. Check out the section of our Useful Information guide in our App.
- A wander around the Old Town at night is just lovely. It’s normally a lot quieter and can be very pretty when lit up. Make sure you go Kapitelplatz, which is almost eerie it can be so quiet.
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