10things to see in Salzburg
If you are for the first time in Salzburg there are so many things to see, so that we will give you some suggestions of must see things in Salzburg
Discover the old town
No matter what time of the year you find yourself in Salzburg, go and discover the old city and its squares. Forget Google Maps and have the courage to take the not so well known streets, and just let yourself immersed in the unknown – will give you amazing insights into the local way of life. Enjoy the bridges, the squares, and the old buildings that seem to be there for an eternity (some of them were constructed during the Middle Ages).
Take a pause and listen to the Glockenspiel in Rezidenzplatz – there are 35 bells playing daily between 11 am and 6 pm.
After all, there’s no point rushing from site to site trying to see it all, you can travel slowly and enjoy the experience. Just let yourself be wondered by the unknown!
Discover the old cafe’s in Salzburg
Every time travelling, we love to discover also the “cafe culture” of the place we’re in. It’s not just about resting and enjoy coffee, but more about looking at the people passing by, discovering the movement of the city and be part of its life. The old cafés in Salzburg have a long tradition. You will meet people there and do the best things to do in Salzburg: Watching people. There are three iconic traditional coffee places: The Tomaselli, the oldest coffee house in Salzburg (already since 1703, where Mozart even enjoyed coffee), the Café Fürst (where the Mozart Balls chocolate has been invented) and the café Bazar (on the other side of the river).
It is said that Cafe Tomaselli is the oldest coffee house in Austria, its origins can be traced back to 1700. Here, the coffee is served in an old fashion way: on a small silver tray, and with a glass of water. They also have a large hand-crafted cake selection: strudels, Linzer Torte, Esterhazy Torte, Black Forest, Kardinalschnitte. Stop here after a full day and a strong coffee with a delicious cake was everything we needed. As they didn’t have Maria Theresia Cafe, my favorite, I took a Mozart Caffe (which is served with a little glass of Mozart liqueur) and a chocolate cake. At Cafe Tomaselli you don’t just order your dessert, you are waiting for a lady with a tray full of cakes to come and you pick yourself your favorite!
If I’m to be completely honest, this is not a place with fantastic coffee or sweets (don’t get me wrong, they are good enough, but not as I expected), it’s more of a place you can visit for the atmosphere. The interior is cozy and you can read the local newspaper (they have an old-school newspaper stand), watching the people going by. It can be very crowded sometimes, especially in high season, but if you have the time to go there in the morning when the hoards of tourist are still sleeping, you can enjoy a much more pleasant experience.
There are also many other coffee houses in Salzburg where you can enjoy your coffee and meet locals, such as the Würfel Zucker, the River Café, the Wallinger, the café Fingerlos, to just name some. Most of them make their own pastries and if you want to really meet locals go there.
Fortress of Salzburg
The most iconic image for Salzburg is Festung Hohensalzburg, the 900-year-old fortress watching over the whole city. It can be reached by foot (a 15 minutes walk) or by the funicular. Also, the fortress is the largest intact fully-preserved fortress in Central Europe and have never been conquered.
Once on top, you can enjoy amazing views over the city and the surrounding area (for photography lovers, it’s a feast) and also the museums inside the fortress (access is included in the Salzburg Card, which I strongly recommend buying if you want to see more than one museum, you will save a lot of money).
You are int he city of Mozart. This great composer was born and raised here. He lived in two houses and both of them can be visited. The place were Mozart was born – the birthplace in the Getreidegasse, the most traditionally and where you will learn quite a lot about this musical genius. He also made his first compositions there already at 5years-old and you will see some objects that he used and belonged to his family. Later he moved to the Living house on the other side. Even if you would not be a fan of his music it is a must to see to learn also many other things of this person.
Again, the access is free with the Salzburg Card.
Mozart Wohnhaus it’s overwhelming with information and, unlike the house where Mozart was born, here you can have also a free audio guide. But again, don’t expect to find a house, but more a museum / a collection of objects with a lot of interesting stuff to find out about the composer and his family (here I discovered how Constanze, his wife, was involved after the Mozart’s death in promoting and advertising his work).
Don’t miss, in one of the rooms, the original Mozart’s fortepiano!
Palace of Mirabell
A great time to visit the Mirabell Palace is, obviously, during the warmer months, when you can deeply enjoy the marvelous blooming gardens. You can find here the Pegasus statue, the Dwarf Garden and also the stairs where Julie Andrews sang in the famous movie “the Sound of Music”.
The palace hosts the city hall nowadays and has one of the most beautiful room inside (free to visit if there is no concert or wedding going on).
In the garden you will see the flowers blooming during the summer time.
for sure one of the most interesting palace and one of the most fun place to visit in the town of Salzburg. You can get there by car, bike (about 20minutes ride), boat, or public transportation (bus nr. 25 takes you there).
The palace was made by one of the prince archbishops to entertain himself and his guests and to also play some tricks on them. 🙂
The park around the castle is huge (about 60 ha) and it’s full of gardens, statues, lakes and alleys. I can imagine how this place looks in the spring. And, for good reason, the name “Hellbrunn” means “healing spring”.
Inside the park there is a theatre, a zoo, before christmas time one of the nicest christmas markets and the most important thing: The water spring fountains! A great fun place to be and to also get some water on you. A perfect refresh on hot summer days. The archbishop created this fun place and the water trick fountains still operate today!
St. Peter’s cemetery and the St. Peter’s abbey
It might sound strange, but I always like having a stroll along the narrow alleys of a cemetery. I think it’s a place where you can discover a lot about the people who used to live in the area, you get a new perspective on that place, and, besides that, it always has a quiet and peaceful atmosphere. So, on our first day in Salzburg, before climbing to the Festung Hochensalzburg fortress, we stopped for a moment in the St. Peter Cemetery.
That place is all about history and serenity, with well-kept graves, crypts, statues and marks, each of them telling a short story about the people laying there.
Salzburger Dom is a masterpiece of baroque art, whose origins are dating to 767! That is the place where Mozart was baptized and where, later on, he worked as an organist and composed some of his works.
Take your time to admire the beautiful details inside and let your mind have a couple of moments of serenity. The entrance is free, and in the summer are also free guided tours.
The Kapuziner Berg
This mountain is definitely the more quiet one, as it is not overcrowded and you can enjoy nature and great views.
If you are lucky you can even see some of the mountain goats within the city of Salzburg.
The reason for going up there is not the abbey but the great views. The hike to it is either from the Linzergasse up (steep street), or the steps from the Steingasse (about 200 steep steps). The hole up will take you about 10-15mnutes but it is definitely worth it as you have the best views over the old town of Salzburg.
A walk through the Steingasse
The Steingasse, on the opposite site of the old town of Salzburg is for sure one of the most interesting street. It is away from the big crowds and reveals all of its secrets during the evening when bars night clubs, etc open up.
Used as one of the former main traffic road it turned into one of the most quiet street that has many things to discover, great views and shows how Salzburg must have looked alike during the middle ages and walk back over the Mozart’s bridge (a construction from 1903) back to the old town.
We hope that the information is useful to you and are looking forward welcoming you at Salzburg. Be Special Tours Salzburg
Salzburg has a perfect combination of history, baroque styled buildings, outstanding nature and music
Salzburg, for long time an independent area ruled by archbishops that were church and government in one. They left they signs and styles all here. Salzburg has it all: baroque and elegant style, beautiful location – bedded between two hills and along a river, surrounded with steep mountains to the south and smooth hills to the north. The city goes back to the roman time, with many churches, small streets and music everywhere. Salzburg has been since a bit over 200years part of Austria and has been the location for more than 100 years of its classical music festival.
This said you can realize that the city has much more to offer than one expects when coming for the first time to Salzburg. Most probably arriving in the more modern section of the tow, it looks like many other towns but soon will show it real beauty and its heart and jewels.
The city was birthplace of poets and composers (W.A. Mozart, Mohr, etc.) and it still inspires many artists once they come to this town.
The location is just the ideal to feel like in a movie set and therefore was used for many movies, such as the Sound of Music, or Knight&Day, or where eagle’s dare and many other movies, to just name some few.
The acoustics are great and therefore many musicians come every year to perform in this elegant city. During the summer time the city just transforms into a stage.
During the christmas time it turns into a perfect setting of winter wonderland, beautiful lights, ginger bread and hot moulded wine to feel and turn into the perfect atmosphere. From this region also christmas carols, such as silent night were created and exported all over the world.
So if you come for the first time be prepared to see the city from all different angles, of local products and foods that the city offers to some great views and lots of history.
a walk through town
Start off with a local guide, or explore the city by yourself at the Mirabell palace, the city hall of Salzburg, a beautiful palace and do not miss out the marble room (some people say one of the nicest rooms in Austria) and explore the park where you can see yourself in the location of the Do-Re-Mi song and sing and replay some pieces.
After getting out toward the city on the Markart square where you can find the birth place of Christian Doppler and the Mozart’s living house (a nice museum) turn to the right towards the river and cross it over the “Love-lock” bridge and enter the old town.
You will realize small streets with many nice shops and also many hidden gems and do not forget to look also up to see the beautiful signs and buildings. The most crowded place is in from of the Mozart’s birthplace in the Getreidegasse and once passed that you will be able to get away from the crowds. DO not miss out to see the St. Peter’s cemetery and the St. Peter’s restaurant (europe’s oldest restaurant where already Charlemain ate) and make your way up to the hill passed the Stiegl’s Keller to the Nonnberg abbey. You will have great views over the city and following the road you can even see the south part of the city, without having to go into the fortress.
If you want to have the best view of Salzburg you need to climb another hill, called Kapuziner Berg and just below the abbey you have the best view of Salzburg (be aware that there are some steps to climb up there).
If you want to have most of the inside, please take a walking tour with a local guide that will show you the best this city has to offer.
Some of the highlight to see please also visit 10things to do in Salzburg.
Enjoy Salzburg and the surrounding with Be Special Tours Salzburg.