Shops and Opening Hours
Typical opening hours for shops are 10am to 6pm. Many smaller shops close for lunch, although less so in tourist areas. Supermarkets in the centre tend to stay open until 7.30pm and the ‘Billa’ on Hanuschplatz is open until 8pm.
Austrians take work life balance very seriously which means lots of free time at weekends. You’ll rarely find a store open after 6pm on a Saturday and very few shops open on a Sunday.
If you find yourself stuck, the ‘Spar’ at the train station is open from 6am until 11pm Monday to Saturday and 8am to 11pm on Sunday.
You will find tourist offices at the main train station and on Mozartplatz in the city centre. On our app, look for the Tourist Office icons on the map.
If you’d like to attend a concert in the city of Mozart, there’s plenty to choose from.
At the upper end is the Candlelight Mozart Dinner Concert at the St Peter’s Stiftkeller. This restaurant is one of the oldest in Europe and Mozart himself ate and played here. Food is traditional and served between the music, most of which you’ll recognise. Dinner starts at 7.30pm every night and costs €56 (€68 at Christmas) for an adult and €34 (€41 at Christmas) for a child. To make a booking, call +43 662 828 695 or email email@example.com. You can also check out their website here.
If you want to skip the dinner, there’s a Mozart concert held most Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays in the Kuenberg Saal in the Neue Residenz. It starts at 5pm, lasts about 70 minutes and costs €36 for adults, €22 for children or €72 for a family ticket covering two adults and one child. The schedule can change, so if you fancy this you should check out Mozart in Residenz. Alternatively, there’s usually a sign outside the Neue Residenz museum letting you know when the next concert will be held.
Another alternative is Mirabell Palace, where concerts are held almost daily for much of the year. Concerts at Mirabell Palace also feature composers other than Mozart. They usually start at 8pm and tickets cost €38 or €32 for adults and €14 for children, the higher price for a seat near the front and the lower price towards the back (or ‘behind the front’ as they like to call it). You can get tickets directly at the palace or book online here.
The Fortress (Salzburg Castle) is another favourite, for either just a concert or a dinner and concert combo. While not quite every night, there are over 300 concerts a year, so you would be unlucky to miss one. The pricier concert only (no dinner) tickets cost €44 for adults and €10 for children while the cheap seats costs €36 for adults and €10 for children. Students also get a discount.
To include dinner at the Fortress Restaurant tickets cost €62 and €55 for adults and €46 and €38 for children. Dinner is served at 5.30pm, 6.00pm or 6.30pm depending on what month it is. The concert starts at either 7.30pm, 8.00pm or 8.30pm. You will get exact details when you book either here online or at the tourist office.
Finally, Salzburg is home to the Mozarteum, one of the most prestigious Academies of Music and Performing Arts in the world. The Mozarteum regularly hosts concerts by students. Depending on who is playing or what the occasion is, tickets vary widely in price, but you could be lucky and find some keenly priced tickets to see a top notch performance. You can check it out here at the Mozarteum website.
There’s a daily market (Grünmarkt) on University Square (outside the Collegiate Church) where local produce including fruit and veg, cheese, baked goods is sold along with flowers and some touristy knick-knacks. It expands on a Saturday.
Every Thursday morning there’s a larger market, the ‘Schranne’ Market, on Mirabell Platz just outside the large St Andrew’s church. It’s a larger version of the daily one and can get very busy from 5.00am onwards. It runs until about 1.00pm, although some traders start packing up by 12.30pm. Many Salzburgers will do their weekly meat, fish and vegetable shopping here.
While many cities have a discount card for attractions and public transport, the Salzburg Card can actually be good value, depending on how you like to spend your time. Even if you plan to visit just a handful of sights, such as the Fortress, the Mozart Birth House, the Panorama Museum and Schloss Hellbrunn, you would end up saving money.
Just picking these 4 (as they are some of our favourites), an adult would pay €39.50 at each location individually. All of these (and many more) are included in the Salzburg Card which costs €27.00 for 24 hours, €36.00 for 48 hours and €42.00 for 72 hours.
The card also includes discounts at other locations including the Salt Mines at Hallein, Berchtesgaden or Halstatt, Schloss Hohenwerfen, many concerts around the city and many of the day trips by the likes of Panorama.
Probably not so relevant if you’re staying in the city, but it also includes all your public transport which is useful if you’re staying outside the centre.
Cards are half price for children. For more information on the Salzburg Card check out this link.
The card can be purchased at any hotel, tourist office or online here.
WiFi Availability and Free Hotspots
Many stores, restaurants and cafes offer free WiFi to customers, so you shouldn’t go too long without being able to get online.
In addition, Salzburg City offers several WiFi Hotspots around town. The most central areas with WiFi are at Mirabell Gardens, the Rathaus at the bottom of Getreidegasse, Kapitelplatz and Mozartplatz. Just connect to the “Salzburg surft!” hotspot for free. You will get kicked off after a while, but you can rejoin without any problems.
Our App shows the locations of the city provided hotspots. Just click on the WiFi icon in the Settings area of the map.
Salzburg is a lovely city for a jog. You’re never very far from the river and a jog along the river bank can be as short or as long as you want it. Simply pick a side to jog on and then pick any bridge to cross the river and run back again.
Note that the Autobahn bridge to the North is the last bridge you can cross for a very long time (about 20km).
You have a particularly good view of the Castle and the Mountains if you run from North to South from either the Autobahn bridge or the Hydro-electric bridge.
Another alternative is to run south from the town centre. This almost feels like a country run.
Cash vs Credit Cards
Cash is still king in Austria and don’t be surprised when a lot of places don’t take cards. Expect smaller shops and restaurants to accept cash only, especially if they are family run affairs. We even know some petrol stations which don’t take cards. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of ATMs around and you will find them on the map by selecting the ATM icon.
Salzburg weather is hard to predict. In general, summers are hot while winters are cold. Given its location at the northern tip of the Alps however, Salzburg has been cursed – or blessed, depending on your viewpoint – with what locals call ‘Schnürlregen’ – which really just means that there’s lots of drizzle.
You can expect drizzle at almost any time of the day or year. It can last all day or just a few hours. It’s because of the Schnürlregen that Salzburg has almost twice as many days with precipitation as Vienna. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of things to make up for the rain. In this guide, we have highlighted sights which will keep you dry.
Smoking in Bars and Restaurants
If you’re a smoker then you’ll be glad to hear that the smoking laws in Austria are a lot more relaxed that most places in Europe, at least for now.
Smaller bars and restaurants decide for themselves whether to allow smoking or not while larger establishments are only required to provide a non-smoking area.
This is set to change in May 2018 when the country will fall into step with the rest of Europe. Until then though, Austria is heaven for smokers and uncomfortable for non-smokers.
Public Bus Service
The bus service in Salzburg is very good. A trip anywhere in town will cost €2.60 for up to an hour – usually plenty of time to get where you want to go. You can buy a 24 hour ticket (valid for 24 hours from the time you stamp it) for €5.70.
Tickets can be purchased from the driver on the bus (in which case you pay the full fares mentioned above) or you can buy them from the small ‘Tabak’ stores or machines which will get you a discount. Tickets should be stamped when you fget on the bus.
Salzburg Public Transport has a really good app (available in English) which will map your bus route, say which buses you need and when they are due to arrive, you can also purchase tickets on the app with a Visa or Mastercard. Check out the ‘Salzburg Verkehr’ app in the App Store here.
There are plenty of public toilets around the city. The map on our app will show you where they are if you click on the WC icon.
You will need 50c to use the facilities, but they are attended and kept clean, so it’s worth it.
Pharmacies and Medication
You can’t buy aspirin, paracetamol or other medications – over the counter or not – in a supermarket or drug store. You’ll need to find a pharmacy. Beware that they keep strict hours. Most are open from 8.00am until 6.00pm Monday to Friday and 8.00am to noon on Saturday. Many will close for lunch.
The map on our app shows pharmacy locations if you tap the pharmacy icon.
After Hours Pharmacies
If you are caught in an emergency there are usually 3 pharmacies around Salzburg open at night and at weekends. You can get details of which pharmacies at this link. You will pay an additional €2 to €4 Euros for out of hours service.
Despite there being over 50 taxi stands around the city, they can still sometimes be hard to come by. Two companies operating taxis can be reached at either of these numbers (and yes, they are short, but correct):
+43 662 8111
+43 662 2284
Salzburg is the most bicycle friendly city in Austria and cyclists are particularly well catered for. You’ll find that most Salzburgers leave their cars at home and go most places on a bike. Most of the time it’s quicker than taking the car.
Bike lanes are plentiful and clearly marked. In fact at rush hour you’ll even find bicycle congestion at the main junctions and bridges. But be careful, Salzburgers like to move fast and don’t hang about.
There are several places to rent bikes, although many of them deliver and pick up the bike. Your best bet is to ask at your hotel or the tourist office. Some of the locations we feature in the guide, such as Hellbrunn and Schloss Leopoldskron can be a long walk, but easily reachable by bike.
Horse and Carriage Rides
Fancy a rickshaw tour, a comfortable bike taxi for 2, with a rain cover in case of the dreaded ‘Schnürlregen’? These guys will take you to the sights of Salzburg, going as far as Hellbrunn if you want. Rickshaws take maximum 2 adults and 1 child.
They offer several set tours, ranging from an Old Town circuit lasting 40 minutes for €36 to a 3 hour long Sound of Music tour for €135. The Sazlburg Card gets you a 20% discount. You can check out their website here.
Segway tours are also a big hit in the city and are giving cyclists a run for their money on the city’s cycle lanes.
Segway Sightseeing Tours offer 3 tours a day between March and the end of October, at 10.00am, 1.00pm and 3.30pm.Tours are daily from July to October and run Wednesday to Sunday from March until June and in October.
The tour lasts approx one hour and costs €35 per person. They also have a 1.5 hour tour which takes you up the Mönchsberg for some great views (€49.00). Their last tour is a combination of the other 2 tours and lasts for 2 hours (€65). The company is based on Wolf Dietrich Strasse, at the top of Linzergasse and you can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at +43 676 674 4425.
There are two companies offering city cruises.
The first is Salzburg City Cruises, running 40 minute trips at approx hour intervals. They go from right beside Makartstag (the bridge with all the locks). Tours cost €15 per adult and €7.50 for children. The Salzburg Card has one trip included.
The second company offers a Splash Tour on an ‘Amphibious Bus’ – known in many other cities as a ‘Duck Tour’. It runs from April to October and takes you on the river and then out to Leopoldskron by road. The tour last about 1 hour 20 minutes and costs €30 for adults and €20 for children. You can get more information on the Splash Tour here.
Ski Shuttle Service
If you are in Salzburg during ski season and fancy a day on the slopes, there’s a complimentary ski shuttle every day to Flachau. The bus leaves Mirabellplatz at 8.30am, takes about an hour and drops you 100m from the slopes and 100m from the ski shop in case you need to rent your gear.
You can get more information here, book your space on the bus here, or you can call +43 662 889 873 40 the day before you intend travelling (up to 6pm). You can also book at either of the tourist offices in Salzburg.
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