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This article contains a Salzburg itinerary for 1 day and lists information on how to spend a day in Salzburg, Austria.
A picture perfect but compact city nestled within the Alps, there are many things to do in Salzburg in just one day. With snow capped mountains in the background, rich history, tidy streets and a glorious castle overlooking the city, there are a lot of places to visit in Salzburg within 1 day.
Although the city was made famous by the movie The Sound of Music, there is much to see in Salzburg apart from The Sound of Music filming locations. That being said, fans of the film will particularly have a great time in Salzburg city. So take a look at this Salzburg itinerary for one day – the best things to do in Salzburg within a day.
If you’re a real fan of The Sound of Music, book the original Sound of Music tour here.
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Where is Salzburg located?
Salzburg is located in the northwestern part of Austria, very close to the German border. In fact you can go from Munich to Salzburg within 1.5 h by both car and train. Furthermore, Vienna to Salzburg is a short one hour drive. From Salzburg you can see the Eastern part of the Alps.
How Many Days Should You Spend in Salzburg?
Given the small size of Salzburg and the proximity of the places to visit in Salzburg, you will need just 1 day in Salzburg. One day is sufficient to walk around the city, see all the sightseeing spots, climb up to the Salzburg Castle, have a nice meal and still get enough time to chill in the beautiful gardens of Salzburg City. On the other hand, if you want to take things slow and enjoy the view of the Austrian Alps then I recommend spending 2 Days in Salzburg. In all honesty, the city is so beautiful that spending an extra day here is a good idea.
So even though I have listed a Salzburg itinerary for 1 day, if you are spending two days here then you don’t need an additional Salzburg itinerary for 2 days. You can just see half the places on your first day and the other half on your second day in Salzburg.
Best Time to See Salzburg in a Day
Having been to Salzburg in August myself, I think that summer is the best time to visit Salzburg. The months from June to August have pleasant weather that isn’t too hot because of the Alps, there is ample greenery around and the days are quite long so you can cover all the places to visit in Salzburg in one day itself. Additionally, if you are a fan of the movie The Sound of Music then you will get to see the famous garden in full bloom during the summer months.
However, if you’re looking for snow and Christmas markets then the winter months between December and February are the best time to visit Salzburg. During this time, you can even hop over to the nearby Garmisch Partenkirchen area of Germany for some winter sport.
How to Reach Salzburg, Austria
Salzburg is a popular spot for people on a Europe rail or road trip and so, you can easily reach Salzburg by many means of transportation. Take a look at the best ways to reach Salzburg, Austria below.
The Salzburg Airport is located just a 15 minute drive from the Salzburg city center. The airport has decent connections to other places around Europe. So if you’re on a Europe trip and need to visit Salzburg then you can easily catch a flight and reach the Salzburg city center within minutes.
How to Reach Salzburg by Train
One of the highlights of visiting Europe is being able to travel around by Euro Rail. The train connections within Europe are really good so you can reach Salzburg by train quite easily. Vienna to Salzburg takes 2.5 h by train, Innsbruck to Salzburg takes over 1.5 h by train, Zurich to Salzburg takes over 5.5 h by train and Munich to Salzburg takes 1.5 h by train.
Find Hotels near the Salzburg Train Station on Booking.com
How to Reach Salzburg by Bus
In order to reach Salzburg by bus, I recommend using the FlixBus app to book buses for travel within Europe. I found the buses to be on time, clean, and extremely cheap if booked in advance.
How to Reach Salzburg from Munich, Germany
Munich is a city in Germany in the German state Bayern (called Bavaria in English) from where you can get a direct train to Salzburg. The train is called RE5 that originates from the Munich Hauptbahnhof (main train station) and reaches Salzburg in 1.5 hours. The best part is that if you buy a Bayern (Bavaria) ticket for travel within the state of Bavaria in Southern Germany then a visit to Salzburg is included free with this ticket.
So if you happen to be in South Germany then don’t miss out on going to Salzburg from Munich easily and for cheap. Because I live in Germany, I used this ticket to take a day trip to Salzburg during Summer when we were able to cover all the places in a Salzburg itinerary easily within a day.
To get round trip tickets and a guide, Book a day trip from Munich to Salzburg by train.
How to Get Around Salzburg, Austria
You can easily walk around Salzburg – a cute, little, clean city in Austria. Most of the places to see in Salzburg are at a close walking distance from one another which is why you can cover them by using this Salzburg itinerary for 1 day. However, if you are spending 2 Days in Salzburg and want to visit some of the other farther-off places then you can buy a Salzburg ticket that allows you to use the public transportation such as bus and tram to get around Salzburg City.
For free admission to sights and public transport, buy the Salzburg city card.
11 Best Things to do in a Salzburg Itinerary for One Day
Here’s a list of places to see when you have just one day in Salzburg and want to cover as much of the city as you can. The Salzburg itinerary for a day is under this list of places to visit in Salzburg, Austria.
1. Mirabell Gardens
One of the highlights of the places to see in Salzburg in 1 day, the Mirabell garden is featured in the song do-re-mi from The Sound of Music. In fact, Salzburg is a bucket list place to visit for fans of the film. Even ignoring the fame from the film, the garden is actually quite beautiful by itself. The well manicured lawns, many colorful flowers and the walkways within the garden are quite alluring. Furthermore, the view of the Salzburg Castle from the Mirabell garden can literally take your breath away. It’s worth mentioning that a visit to the garden is completely free of cost.
Also Read: How to Spend a Weekend in Hamburg, Germany
2. Mirabell Palace
The Mirabell Garden and Palace are the first stop near the Salzburg train station which is why they are mentioned first on my Salzburg itinerary for 1 day. The Mirabell Palace dates back to the 17th century and is constructed in the baroque style of architecture. The palace is located within the Mirabell garden and adds to the charm of the place. Today, the palace is now the Standesamt or the wedding registry office which is why you will see many couples dressed beautifully here, undergoing a romantic shoot in the gardens.
3. Mozart’s Birthplace
From the Mirabell garden, walk over to the west side of the river to reach the birth house of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The famous composer was born in the year 1756 in this very house in Salzburg, Austria. By the age of 17, he was already a musician in the Salzburg Court and he has composed over 800 works in his lifetime. You can see Mozart’s birth house in the Salzburg city center for free from the outside and even take a tour of the interiors.
4. Makartsteg : Salzburg Love Lock Bridge
No beautiful city with a clean river would be considered complete without a lock lock bridge, right? Salzburg also has its own centrally located love lock bridge called the Marko-Feingold-Steg. This pedestrian bridge has thousands of love locks in addition to a breathtaking view of the Salzburg castle.
This beautiful shopping street in Salzburg is always lively and has an extraordinary vibe. As you walk around, you’ll understand why this has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996. Apart from beautiful architecture to admire, you will find lots of stores, eateries and even Mozart’s birth house here.
6. Salzburg Cathedral
Located in the Salzburg city center near the Residenzplatz, you cannot skip this spot in your Salzburg itinerary for 1 day. The Salzburg Cathedral is a magnificent structure that has been re-built multiple times, having been almost burned down in 1628 and almost destroyed during World War 2 in 1944. The crypt in this cathedral dates back to the year 900 and once while rebuilding the cathedral, there was evidence found of an earlier church that dates back to the 400s! All in all, it is totally worth taking a tour of the Salzburg Cathedral.
7. Salzburg Altstadt (Old Town Salzburg)
The Altstadt Salzburg or Old Town of Salzburg is centered around the Getreidegasse (mentioned above). It also consists of Dom Quartier, Salzburg Cathedral and Mozart’s Birth House, in addition to many other beautiful sights to see in Salzburg in 1 day. If you walk in the Altstadt towards the Salzburg castle, you’ll come across a steep path that goes to the castle. If however, you don’t wish to continue walking, then you can buy tickets to the funicular that goes to the castle from here. During summer, there are many fests and activities that take place in the Altstadt which include open-air concerts, live music and other fun events.
A massive complex, all in the Baroque style of architecture, the DomQuartier can be found in the Salzburg Altstadt. Not only does it comprise the Salzburg cathedral, but also a number of museums such as the Salzburg museum and Panorama museum. It is highly recommended to take a tour here in order to see the architecture and all the collections of art works in here.
If there’s one thing Europe is famous for, it’s ancient squares with fountains, surrounded by historic buildings. The Residenzplatz is one such square that dates back to the 16th century. Not just that, but the fountain in the center of the square, called the Residenz fountain, is considered to be one of the most significant Baroque monuments in all of Europe. Furthermore, it might look familiar because it was also featured in the movie The Sound of Music.
The square is right next to DomQuartier and other important monuments in Salzburg. It also offers a great view of the Salzburg castle in the distance.
10. Salzburg Residence
Located beside the DomQuartier, this palace has been the residence of the Prince Archbishops of Salzburg for centuries but is now a museum open to visitors. You can learn a lot about the history of Salzburg by taking a tour of the Salzburg Residence, which is why it is featured in this Salzburg itinerary for 1 day. Apart from learning the history through an audio guide, you will get to see tons of art, ornate ceilings, corridors, plush decor, museums and a church exhibit here.
11. Salzburg Palace
Saving the best thing to do in Salzburg in one day for the very end. Not only is the Salzburg Palace an expansive structure with plenty to see, but it also offers the best view of Salzburg city as well as the Austrian Alps. To get here, follow the steep road that originates at the Altstadt and goes all the way up to the castle with many viewpoints along the way. Alternatively, you could also take the funicular to the castle.
Find Hotels near the Salzburg Fortress on Booking.com
At the castle, the type of ticket that you purchase gives you access to the different areas within the Salzburg castle. There are museums, exhibitions, viewpoints and restaurants within the fortress that will keep you occupied for at least 2-3 hours. You can buy tickets to the castle at the info booth at the foot of the fortress or even online.
Salzburg Itinerary for 1 Day
If you’re spending just one day in Salzburg and want to know what places can be covered within a day in this beautiful city, then take a look at this Salzburg itinerary for 1 day. It is worth mentioning that I have created and followed this itinerary myself when I visited all the places to see in Salzburg within one day in Summer ’22.
This Salzburg itinerary assumes that you are arriving by train and starting your visit from there. However, all these places can be visited in any order as they are not very far from each other.
- Mirabell Garden
- Mirabell Palace
- Love Lock Bridge
- Mozart’s Birth House
- Altstadt Salzburg
- Dom Quartier
- Salzburg Residence
- Salzburg Cathedral
- Salzburg Palace
Where to Stay in Salzburg, Austria
If you’re going to spend a weekend in Salzburg and not just 1 day then you need to find a good, central place to stay in Salzburg city. Take a look at the top picks for places to stay in Salzburg, Austria.
Hostels in Salzburg, Austria
If you’re backpacking Europe or visiting on a budget, then booking a bed in a hostel is a great way to save some precious bucks. YoHo – International Youth Hostel is the best-rated hostel in Salzburg and located close to the Salzburg train station which makes it the best place to crash if you’re coming or leaving late in the night. Not only that it is also close to the Mirabell gardens and does a daily screening of The Sound of Music which made Salzburg an important tourist destination among fans. They also have a bar, comfy beds and lots of cheap places to eat nearby.
Wolfgang’s managed by a&o is also a great place to stay near the Salzburg train station that offers private parking, a bar, shared lounge and even a fitness center! They even offer a continental breakfast in the morning, in addition to both private as well as dorm rooms at great prices.
Find Hostels in Salzburg on Booking.com
Arte Hotel Salzburg $
A stone’s throw from the Mirabell Garden as well as the main train station, this budget hotel in Salzburg is a 4 star property with amazing views of the city and the Alps. They offer a buffet breakfast each day with vegetarian and gluten-free options. Apart from spacious rooms, they offer a spa, sauna, fitness center, parking facilities and a bar.
Check availability and price of Arte Hotel Salzburg on Booking.com
Imlauer Hotel Pitter Salzburg $$
Dating back to 1864, this 4 star hotel in Salzburg comes with a gorgeous view of the Salzburg Palace from the restaurant on premises as well as a sauna and fitness center with a view. They even offer a buffet breakfast, parking premises and comfortable, spacious rooms. The Imlauer Hotel is located a 10 minute walk from the Salzburg train station.
Check availability and price of Imlauer Hotel Pitter Salzburg on Booking.com
Is Salzburg, Austria Worth Visiting?
Is it worth visiting an old European city with a romantic city center and excellent view of the Alps? Irrespective of the fame due to The Sound of Music and Mozart, the city by itself has so much to offer. The art, museums, music, the Alps, architecture make Salzburg worth visiting.
Where to Eat in Salzburg
Most of the best places to eat in Salzburg are in the Old Town area. The Mozart Cafe in Getreidegasse is frequented by tourists and serves regular cafe food and drinks in addition to local specialties. Cafe am Kai is located on the banks of the river and so making a reservation is recommended. The Apple Strudel is their specialty. For a great meal and beer, head to Bärenwirt – one of the best restaurants in Salzburg that serves a really good Austrian food like Schnitzel and some vegan dishes as well.
If you’re planning a trip to Western Europe and need some inspiration, take a took at the posts below. All posts open in a new tab.
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