One day in Salzburg

Salzburg day trip

Austria is a small country, but full of beautiful cities and landscapes, beyond Vienna. Salzburg (named Lonely Planet’s top city to visit in 2020) is a UNESCO World Heritage site, Mozart’s birthplace and even a filming location for the Sound of Music, (which means you can go on a Sound of Music tour!). Even if you only have one day in Salzburg, here’s what you can’t miss about the city, how to get there, what to be sure to eat and where to stay if you are going to overnight.


All of the things to do in Salzburg mentioned in this post can be done on your own, or if you prefer to book tickets in advance or book guides, there are links to do that too (for example, this tour is a Salzburg day trip from Vienna)!


To make things easy for you, everywhere mentioned in this post is ALREADY PINNED in the embedded Google Maps below!


One day in Salzburg

Salzburg is one of the most beautiful cities to see when visiting Austria. The architectural heritage of the city is overwhelming. Beautiful baroque buildings and grand cathedrals will surround you. Street musicians playing classical music add to the mesmerizing vibe of the place. There is so much to see and do in Salzburg that ideally you would want to spend a few days there. But if you just have a day, don’t worry – here is a complete guide to explore Salzburg in one day!


Getting into Salzburg

Salzburg is well-connected with most major cities in Europe by air, road and rail. Salzburg is just 2 hours away from Munich and 2.5 hours away from Vienna as well as from Český Krumlov.


If you plan to drive to Salzburg, do note that you will have to park your car outside the Old Town of Salzburg and then explore by other modes of transport or on foot.

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Salzburg airport is just a 15-minute drive away from the Old Town of Salzburg.


You can book day tours from Vienna, Ljubljana and Munich.


Salzburg Card

As a first-timer wanting to explore Salzburg, you must buy the Salzburg card at a tourist desk or at any hotel (or online, here). The price of the Salzburg card is only €25 for adults and €12.5 for children. This card allows you entry to all tourist attractions and you can also use public transport.


Things to do in Salzburg in a day

To make things easy for you, everywhere mentioned in this post is ALREADY PINNED in the embedded Google Maps below!


Mirabell Palace and Gardens

Start your day by visiting the Mirabell Palace and Mirabell Gardens. The baroque styled palace provides a beautiful backdrop to the Mirabell gardens. Both the palace and the garden are beautifully preserved. The lush green garden decorated with fountains and laced with bright flowers is a visually appealing site.


Salzburg day trip Mirabell Palace

Mozart’s Residence

Now head to Mozart’s residence. This place has now been converted to a museum and has the original fortepiano. This will take about an hour for music lovers to enjoy, others will be about 20 minutes.


Now it’s time for you to cross the river and enter the beautiful Old Town of Salzburg which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You must explore this on foot. The vibe of the Old Town is enchanting.


Hohensalzburg Fortress

The most popular tourist attraction in Salzburg stands tall in the Old Town. A funicular takes you up to the fortress. From the top, you get a bird’s eye view of the entire city of Salzburg.


Hohensalzburg Salzburg Old Town

Mozart’s Birthplace

This is the place where the legendary artist who redefined music was born. This place is now a museum as well and a guided walk around the house enlightens you about his genius. Many of his original musical instruments are well preserved here. The guided tour is about an hour; otherwise, you can see it in about 15 minutes.


Salzburg Cathedral and St. Peter’s Abbey

This enormous cathedral sits in the middle of the Old Town like its centerpiece. St. Peter’s Abbey is also right next to the cathedral. It is a must-visit for those who appreciate fine baroque architecture.

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Salzburg Cathedral and St Peters Abbey


Hellbrunn Palace

A number of local buses will take you to the Hellbrunn Palace. The Hellbrunn Palace has beautifully landscaped gardens that are perfect for relaxing in the middle of a long day. The trick fountains here keep throwing fun surprises. It is open in the evening, and well-lit, if you are running out of daylight.


Hellbrunn Palace day trip Salzburg

Salzburg Zoo

This Salzburg Zoo, located within the Hellbrunn estate, has its premises divided as per continents. Animals representing every continent are found here. Children will particularly love this place. On certain days, the zoo is open at night too, providing a unique experience.


Hellbrunn Palace park and zoo Salzburg

Mount Untersburg

Mount Untersburg is located roughly about 30 minutes away from Hellbrunn Palace and about 45 minutes away from Salzburg station by bus. Once you get off at the bus stop, take the cable car to the top. The cable car will transport you from an elevation of 456 meters directly to 1,776 meters in a matter of a few minutes.


The views from the cable car are spectacular. From the top, you can see as far as the Lake Chiemsee in Bavaria. You can either hike all the way up into the clouds to the highest point of this mount or simply chill in the cafe outside the cable car station.

Mount Untersburg cable car Salzburg day trip

Additional / Alternate things to do in Salzburg

  1. Take a Sound of Music tour to see all the locations where the movie was filmed.
  2. Take a river cruise
  3. Go shopping in the narrow lanes of the Old Town


Mount Untersburg Austrian alps

What and where to eat in Salzburg in a day

Eat a Mozartkugel

Paul Fürst, a master confectioner from Salzburg, was the one who made this confection and named it after Mozart. It is made up of marzipan and pistachio and coated in chocolate.


Try it at Cafe Furst which is the home of the original Mozartkugel. You will find this cafe at Alter Markt Square. You can buy a cheaper variety in any of the supermarkets in Salzburg too. These varieties are equally tasty.


Mozartkugel Produktion Salzburg

Drink at Müllner Bräu

This is the biggest beer hall in Salzburg and always full of tourists and locals alike. A fun place to have a cold beer.


Visit Cafe Tomaselli

This is the oldest cafe in Austria and the best place to enjoy some people-watching while sipping on coffee and cakes. The cafe, to date, carries an old-world charm with it.

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kaiserschmarren sweets salzburg

Where to stay in Salzburg

Hotel Rosenvilla in Salzburg is a beautiful four-star property located a bit outside the city center. The rooms are moderately sized and beautifully decorated. It is an ideal mid-range hotel. Most of the tourist attractions are just about 15 minutes away.

Hotel Sacher is iconic and located right on the water. If you’re looking for a hostel, A&O has a busy location because it’s close to the train, but note that they charge for linen (and don’t disclose it) and overprice breakfast. Mynext is a very well-rated, clean and bright hostel option.


Hotel Sacher Salzburg Hotel Rosenvilla Mynext (hostel)


Other options of where to stay in Salzburg:

  • Airbnb: Salzburg has a ton of Airbnb options, including right in the city center. Save $40 on your first booking with this link.
  • Booking: There are literally thousands of options on Booking; save $20 on your first booking with this link.

aerial Salzburg in a day



Salzburg day tours

If you prefer to do any of the above with guides, or book in advance, here are some great options:

  • Viator offers Salzburg tours starting at about $20 for a boat tour, and also have a range from short options to full day tours.
  • GetYourGuide lets you book anything in Salzburg from Mozart to fortresses to Sound of Music tours.




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One day in Salzburg
how dare she guest author
Vrushali Ketkar

Vrushali Ketkar is a corporate lawyer and a practicing company secretary by profession. When she is not hustling hard to grow her professional practice, she is mostly surfing the internet and reading about places around the world that she could visit with her husband. Vrushali and her husband, Akshay are the first travel blogging couple from Mumbai, India. They have a combined experience of traveling to 11 countries and visiting over 50 cities but they strongly believe that these numbers don't matter at all! Through their blog, they want to inspire people to travel more and to not just visit a place but to soak its beauty and learn about its culture.


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