Panorama #1
photo by Roberto Ferrari

Salzburg is a city in central Austria, near the German/Bavarian border with a population of some 148,000 in 2005. If you have seen the movie The Sound of Music , you may think you know all there is to see in Salzburg. Admittedly, it is difficult not to burst into songs when you're walking along the Salzach River, or climbing up to the Hohensalzburg fortress which looms over the city. But there is a lot more to this compact, courtly city than Julie Andrews and as Mozart's birthplace.


Salzburg is the fourth-largest city in Austria (after Vienna, Graz and Linz) and the capital of the federal state of Salzburg. Its "Old Town", with its world famous baroque architecture, is one of the best-preserved city centers in the German-speaking world and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

Origins of name

The name Salzburg literally means "Salt Castle", and derives its name from the barges carrying salt on the Salzach river, which were subject to a toll in the 8th century.

Early history and medieval period

Traces of human settlements dating to the Neolithic Age and later a Celt camp have been found in the area. Starting from 15 BC, the small communities were grouped into a single town which was named by the Romans as Juvavum. Little remains of the city from this period.

The Festung Hohensalzburg, the city's fortress, was built in 1077 and expanded in the following centuries. Independence from Bavaria was secured in the late 14th century.

Getting there

By car

Salzburg is well connected to both Wien (Vienna) and Munich, Germany via the autobahns A8 (Munich - Salzburg) and A1 (Salzburg - Vienna). There is an Austrian Motorway "Vignette" you have to purchase. The price varies depending on if you buy a yearly or 10 day vignette.

Driving around Salzburg can be a pain. The road names are small and written in a "Traditional" German font which can be hard to read. The best bet is to get into the city, find a parking space, and travel by foot. Be sure that if you are driving in cold weather to be prepared for snow. Snow chains should be recommended, in extreme weather. (All cars must have snow tires by law from October to April)

By train

Salzburg's train station, the Hauptbahnhof, is located to the north of the Salzach River within the New Town of Salzburg. The train ride from Munich to Salzburg takes about an hour and a half, and international trains operate from Zurich, Zagreb, Ljubljana and Budapest to name just a few destinations. Inter-city trains operate very frequently (especially to Vienna where services are almost hourly). The station itself is showing its age and is slated for renovation. The station is operated by both the Austrian Federal Railway Company (OBB) and the National German Railway company (DB). Both companies have ticket stalls and machines in the station. The popular train pass for Bavaria sold by DB (in German: Bayern Ticket) also covers train rides between Bavaria and Salzburg. The rail pass can be brought from DB ticket stalls as well as DB Ticket Selling Machines in the station.

By plane

  • , The Salzburg W.A. Mozart International Airport (IATA : SZG) is situated about 20 minutes from the center of the city. Connection with the city is provided by a trolley bus . The airport has direct connections from Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Brussels, Birmingham, Coventry, Exeter, London, Palma de Mallorca, Paris, Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Vienna, various German cities, and Zurich.

Traveling around

The best way to get around Salzburg is by foot. There is a network of city buses (StadtBus, with numbers from 1 to 8 (O-Buses, electric) and 20-27 (fuel-powered)). Single trip: €2. 24 hour ticket: €5. One week ticket: €12.40.) which cover the whole city star-shaped from the center. If you travel by bus, make sure you don't catch any of the last buses. They will take you several miles out of town with your only way back being by walking or taxi, should you be fortunate enough to wave one down. With that said, if you need to get somewhere late at night it may be best to either take a taxi or walk.

Conveniently, bus tickets can be bought on the buses from the bus driver. However, if you have time, buy the tickets in advance at a "Trafik", since they are then significantly cheaper. For example, a single trip then costs only €1.50, but you have to buy the tickets in blocks of 5.

The "Lokalbahn" train has a separate train station under the main train station and travels in the direction of Oberndorf and Lamprechtshausen. Tickets can be bought on the train.

Another option for exploring areas around the main city (Bad Ischl, Fuschlsee, etc.) are the POST-BUSes. These also leave from the main train station; tickets can be bought from the driver.

Finally, another excellent option is renting a bike. Salzburg has over 100km of bike paths, and using this mode of transportation is often faster than bus, car or foot. There are also excellent bike paths on either side of the river which you can follow to either Freilassing (35 minutes), Oberndorf or Hallein (each about an hour one-way).


  • , Once the summer palace of the Archbishops of Salzburg it has lots of clever fountains and pretty gardens. When you take the tour stand next to the guide otherwise you will get wet. Hellbrunn is surrounded by vast gardens, including a good children's playground with swings and flying fox, and a cold wading pool, and is a perfect place for a picnic or a long walk through the green. In the **Steintheater** (Stone Theater), the first opera in Middle Europe was conducted. If you're traveling with children, this is the place to visit because children and adults alike are amused.

  • Getreidegasse- A long yet narrow street running parallel to the river in the center of town, with lots of shops, famous for the old (or old-style) signs of profession outside each store.

  • , Located on top of a mountain, the Festung offers breath-taking views of Salzburg and the Alps. One area of the fortress offers visitors the chance to look down on a field below to find only one house, the executioner's residence. It was believed to live anywhere near the executioner was bad luck. Inside the fortress is a museum of medieval weapons, life on the fortress, and torture instruments. Public concerts are often held here in the evenings, reservations are recommended. On nights with concerts, it is possible to remain within the walls past dark. To avoid the vertical hike up to the Fortress, a funicular is available to ride, for a fee.

  • , The Mozart family lived in this house in the heart of Salzburg from 1747-1773, where W.A. Mozart himself was born on 27 January 1756. The house is now a popular museum devoted to Mozart and his family, with interesting memorabilia and letters. Well worth a quick visit.

  • Schloss Mirabell , +43 662 8072 2334, M,W,Th 8AM-4PM; Tu,F 1PM-4PM, Located right next to the Salzach river and the Mozarteum University of Music and Arts lies a beautiful castle with gardens, built by an archbishop for his beloved courtesan. Watch out for the

  • , The zoo is in south Salzburg and is open 365 days a year. It also has a petting zoo for children. There is a restaurant on site serving traditional Austrian dishes.

  • , Founded in 1978, the Toy Museum has the largest collection in Austria of European toys. The

  • , The museum is currently closed until June 26, 2009.

  • Salzburg Museum of Modern Art (Museum der Moderne Salzburg), Two locations: Wiener Philharmonikergasse 9, and Mönchsberg 32, . Open Tu-Su 10AM-6PM, W 10AM-8PM, closed M. The Salzburg Museum of Modern Art is on the cliff overlooking the old town. It houses contemporary art works from the 20th and 21st centuries, along with rotating international art displays.

  • St. Sebastian Cemetery- Holds not only the graves of Mozart's wife Constanze Weber-Nissen, but also the must-see Mausoleum of Archbishop Wolfdietrich.

  • St Peter's Church, Cemetery, and Catacombs- Perhaps most remarkable are the small catacombs (€1 Adults, €0.60 Children) carved into the nearby cliff side. Climb up for a couple of small chapels and a nice overlook.

  • The Untersberg - The mountain is perennially popular with tourists due to its proximity to the city of Salzburg, less than 16 km (10 mi) to the north of the mountain and within easy reach by bus. A variety of paths lead to the top, but most people use the cable car that lifts passengers over 1300m to the Geiereck peak. The cable car runs from the 'St Leonhard' station in the town of Gartenau to the station at the Geiereck peak.

Things to do

  • Casino Salzburg , +43 662 85 44 55, Open daily except for December 24. Slot machines: noon-3AM, Live games: 3PM-3AM, 5071 Wals-Siezenheim

  • Chess — Giant chess board painted onto the ground, past the cathedral (traveling away from the river). You'll have to wait your turn, but it's worth it.


A number of companies run coach tours in and around Salzburg. By far the most popular of these are dedicated to the locations featured in The Sound of Music.

  • Panorama Tours: Sound of Music . Daily, leaves at 9:30AM and 2PM, 4 hrs duration. Adults €37, children (4-12) €18. Panorama also offers tours to other locations: the Ice Caves , the Bavarian Mountains and to Berchtesgaden.

  • Salt Mines — There are a few different salt mine tours available in Salzburg's immediate surroundings. A good one is Salzwelten Salzburg in Bad Dürrnberg. Getting there is easy with the Salz Erlebnis Ticket, available at the train station; it covers the local train and a bus transfer (round-trip), admission, and the (required) Salzwelten tour. The tour is great for families, although children under 4 are not allowed on the tour. Put on white coveralls, ride a trolley into the mine, and use wooden slides to descend into the lower levels. A café and picnic benches are available on-site, as well as a small reconstructed Celtic village that includes a playground. Allow about 2 1/2 hours for the tour and the Celtic Village. Open 9AM-5PM Apr-Oct; 10AM-3PM Nov-Dec. Adults €16.50; Students/Juniors €9.90; Children €8.30. Family and Group tickets are available. Salz Erlebnis Ticket: Adults €22; Children €12.70; Families with the ÖBB VORTEILScard €48.80.


For almost a century, Salzburg has hosted the world famous Salzburg Festival , with operas, concerts, and theater plays in different locations throughout the city. It was founded by Hugo von Hoffmansthal, Max Reinhardt and Richard Strauss in 1920. It takes place in July and August, the most famous piece is the "Jedermann" ("Everyman") by Hugo v. Hoffmansthal, being conducted in front of the dome every year.

More recently, festivals also take place during Easter time (with mostly Baroque music), and in autumn (Jazz music).

The annual Frequency festival (mainly Alternative Rock) with world famous acts takes place only a few kilometers from the center of Salzburg.



  • Wilder Mann, Getreidegasse 20, Wilder Mann offers traditional Austrian cuisine. The restaurant provides large portions and friendly-service. Smoking is allowed in the restaurant.

  • Augustiner Bräustübl , +43 662 431-246, Lindhofstrasse 7, near Muller Hauptstr, or Augustinergasse 4, On the Mönchsberg, bus stop Landeskrankenhaus, Beer garden with self-brewed beer, and market-like shops to buy food. You can bring your own food (not drinks!) if you want.

  • Stiegl Keller, +43 662 84 26 81, Festungsgasse 10, A cellar up on a mountain, serving traditional food and the famous Stiegl beer right from the barrel.

  • Saran Essbar — Judengasse 10, Altstadt / Mönchsberg. Tel.: +43 662 84 66 28. Great schnitzel, as well as the dumpling. Run by a very nice guy. Also, surprisingly excellent Indian fare for central Salzburg.

  • Maroni-Salzburg, Hanuschplatz 1, Tel: +43 662 824372. Have roasted chestnuts and a glass of glühwein in the winterseason right before you start off to the Christmas Market.Maronibraterei Salzburg


  • Bärenwirt, Müllner Hauptstraße 8, Tel: +43 662 422-404. Traditional food, traditionally furnished restaurant, rather cheap, fabulous beer from the close by Augustiner Bräu.

  • Raschhofer's Rossbräu, Alpenstraße 48, Tel: +43 662 626-444. Traditional, yet somewhat updated, Austrian fare. They serve excellent "Kaiserschmnarrn" a "breakfast" (yet really a dessert).

  • Zirkel Wirt, Papagenoplatz, Old Town. Delicious traditional and some not-so-traditional food, vegetarian-friendly, great beer, good atmosphere.

  • Gabler Bräu, Linzergasse 9, Tel: +43 662 889-650. Traditional food of high quality, a big selection of salads from the self-service-menu for aproximately €7.

  • SOG, Erzabt Klotz Straße 21, Tel: +43 662 831-827. Excellent and affordable Italian food.

  • Der Schmuggler, Laufenerstrasse 7, 83395 Freilassing, . This is a cafe/pub across the border in Freilassing offering good beer and a hearty meal. Good value. Popular with the locals. There is also a pool table.

  • Restaurant Mediterrane, Moostraße 36. This restaurant is the best Italian in Salzburg, better than the high end place like Pan y Vin. Nothing over €15 or so and the quality is excellent. Try the shrimp pasta or the calamarreti pasta and a mix green salad. This is a small and elegant restaurant, hidden and 5 minutes from Alt Stadt.


  • Obauer, Markt 46, Werfen, Tel: +43 646 852-120. World renown Chef Rudi Obauer was awarded 4 toques. The restaurant is located 45 minutes south of Salzburg, but many claim that it is well-worth the effort! Prices range from €19-45.

  • Hangar 7, Wilhelm Spazier Straße 7a, Tel: +43 662 2197. If you seek a special environment for your dinner this is the place, a top-cuisine restaurant and a great bar close to the airport.

  • K+K Restaurant, Waagplatz 2, Tel: +43 662 842-156. Excellent Austrian fare in a romantic intimate setting. Just steps away from the Salzburg Cathedral on Mozart Plaza. A 3 course meal for two people with a bottle of wine was about €90.



  • Augustiner Bräustuberl "Lindhofstrasse 7" "+43 662 431-246" "" Beer garden with self-brewed beer, and market-like shops to buy food. You can bring your own food (not drinks!) if you want. On the Mönchsberg, bus stop Landeskrankenhaus

  • , Bus stop **Bräuhausstrasse** on Line 1. Tour the brewery and museum and have a Stiegl in the brewery's own pub and beer garden.

  • , Located in one of Salzburg's most historic breweries, this is where all the locals hang out. It's best to make reservations Wednesday through Saturday as it can get crowded. They also serve treats from Bavaria and Salzburg!

  • The Shamrock , +43 662 841-610, Rudolfskai 12, Judengassse 1, Guinness, cider, German and Austrian beer as well, occasional live music, and a nice atmosphere. Popular with local university students. Expect the place to be packed on a weekend night.

  • Stieglkeller, +43 662 8426810, 11am-11pm, Festungsgasse 10, The Stieglkeller is open from May to September. It offers a small choice of traditional dishes, Stiegl beers, Radler and other drinks. It is most recommendable for its fantastic panoramic view over the city. The lower terrace is with service, though you are expected to consume food there. The upper two terraces are self-service areas.

  • , Near the Justizgebäude bus stop. The Denkmal is a private club, so expect to pay a few Euro for a one-night temporary

  • O'Malley's, Everyone goes here. Great bartenders. Open late for real drinkers


  • Tomaselli, Alter Markt 9, Tel: +43 662 844-488. A traditional Viennese coffee house, the oldest of Salzburg. Try the Einspänner and a Sacher cake!

  • Fürst, Brodgasse 13. Exquisite pastries, and the place to buy the original Mozartkugel, invented by confectioner Paul Fürst in 1884.

  • Republic, Anton-Neumayr-Platz 2. A modern café with good breakfast, and a variety of cultural events (Jazz Brunch, Clubbing, special theme parties at night). Turns into one of the most popular places to be during night.

  • Shakespeare, Hubert Sattler Gasse 3(close to Mirabell castle), Tel: +43 662 879-106. Art café with good Chinese kitchen, cheap lunch menus during the week.

  • Capp&Chino, Brüderhof, Linzergasse (next to St. Sebastian graveyard). A friendly, modern lounge with a good menu and great coffee. Open daily until 11PM. Has free wireless internet.

  • Ainfer Muhlenbrot, Markatplatz. A tiny bakery with a tasty selection of sweets and snacks, and serves cheap breakfast, even though there is only one table. Try the Berger chocolates.

  • Afro Café, Bürgerspitalgasse (at the end of Getreidegasse). A funky, modern café with decoration inspired by urban African style. Offers a variety of unconventional and great food and drinks.



  • Nord-Sam, Samstraße 22a, Tel: +43 662 660-157, (email: ). Decent sized site with a pool, shop, washing facilities, and on a bus route. By car via A1 Salzburg-Wien (Vienna), exit Salzburg-Nord. Follow signs to Nord-Sam after the traffic lights. Takes about 20 minutes to get into the city and is in a peaceful residential area with a supermarket (Spar) a short walk away.

  • The surrounding area has many campsites easily accessible by road .


  • , This family-run hotel is located within walking distance of the Mirabell Castle and Gardens. Breakfast is included, and is served from 7AM until 12PM. There is also free Internet access.

  • Youth and Family Guesthouse Salzburg - Hostelling International , +43 (0)5 7083-613, +43 (0)5 7083-613, Josef Preis Allee 18, Newly renovated hostel. Breakfast and linens included. Amenities included: internet, café/bar, and a common room. **The Sound of Music** is shown nightly at 8PM in the common room.

  • YoHo (International Youth Hotel Salzburg) , +43 662 879-649, +43 662 879-649, Paracelsusstraße 9, The Youth Hotel offers guests clean rooms at reasonable prices. They also show 'The Sound of Music' every morning at 10:30AM!

  • , This hostel has 156 beds and a fitness room.

  • , This hostel is comprised of 24 rooms all with an attached wash room and Internet access.

  • , The hostel is open 365 days a year, and offers its guests Internet and a TV room. Most of the rooms have an attached washroom. Prices start from €16.


  • , Edge of old town in a building constructed in 1380, the plumbing is slightly more modern.


  • , +43(0)662 640097, +43(0)662 640097, Blumensteinstraße 8, Quietly located on a slope of the Kapuzinerberg this Hotel Garni

  • , A small family-run bed & breakfast, very close to the train station. The hotel offers free wireless internet and bike rentals. The 24-hour staff can help you make the most of your trip to Salzburg!

  • Hotel Auersperg , +43 662 889-440, +43 662 889-440, Auerspergstraße 61, Part of the Golden Tulip chain but with an independent feel, this hotel is just off the Linzergasse, close to all old town sights and a pleasant 5-10 min walk into the city centre. The hotel is incredibly good value, with lots of friendly welcoming touches, free mulled wine, a fantastic rooftop sauna/spa/winter garden complex (also free) and free wi-fi internet access all over the hotel. Breakfast buffet included and served until 11AM. Friendly staff too!

  • , Family-run three-star hotel just off the Linzergasse, close to all old town sights. Hosts are exceptionally friendly and knowledgeable. Breakfast buffet included.

  • , Family-run hotel, set in a central location, with spacious rooms, near the old town, yet surrounded by meadows.Rooms reflecting Salzburg tradition, feature shower (or bath tub)/toilet, phone, satellite TV and radio. Some rooms have balcony with view of Salzburg Castle.Car park right in front of the hotel.

You can also try to compare and book hotels online with the Salzburg Hotels Guide .


  • , This 65-room hotel is situated across from the Festival Hall and down the street from Mozart's house. The friendly staff is happy to help with all one's business needs. The hotel also has a 24-hour in room dining and nightly turndown services.

  • , Located in the southern section of Salzburg, this hotel is comprised of 48 rooms and 28 apartments. Rooms start from €75 and include breakfast.

  • , This hotel is comprised of 24 rooms, each equipped with a minibar and a wireless internet power point. There is also a restaurant on site; reservations are recommended. Prices vary according to the season.

  • , One of Salzburg's most ancient buildings, over 700 years old. The hotel is situated in a quiet alley off the world famous Getreidegasse. Over the hotel's 400-year history, its purpose was, and still is, to serve its guests according to the best in Austrian tradition.

  • , City Hotel Wolf-Dietrich has rooms decorated in a classic style. Each room has a private bathroom and minibar. The hotel also offers its guests an organic breakfast buffet. Rooms start from €75 and vary according to season.

  • , Schwärzler Hotel Neutor, known as the artists' meeting place, is located close to the city center. Breakfast is served until 1PM in your room or until 3PM in the hotel's 'Artist Cafe.'

  • Hotel Hölle , +43 662 820-760, +43 662 820-760, Dr -Adolf-Altmann-Str 2, Hotel Hölle is comprised of 15 rooms, and is on the edge of the city center. The hotel has various sized rooms to suite your level of comfort. The on site restaurant, A la Carte, serves the best of Austrian cuisine, and is open daily from 8AM-12AM.


  • Mozartkugeln (Mozart balls) are a chocolate candy inspired by the famous composer, Salzburg's most famous son, Mozart. Try the original version at Café Fürst; be aware, though, they are rather expensive, with a small box costing as much as €7. The more widespread Mirabell brand is sold in many tourist shops, but they are also available at most local grocery stores for a lot less.

Salzburg Card

Depending on how long you want to stay in Salzburg and how much you want to pack into one day, the Salzburg card could be a good investment, it includes:

  • Free single admission to all the city's attractions.

  • Free use of public transport throughout the city, including fortress funicular, panorama boat & cable car Untersberg.

  • Attractive discounts for cultural events.

  • Discounts for various tours and excursions.

More information on the official Salzburg website .



Salzburg has a growing number of options available for email and Internet access:

  • Internetcafé Cybar, Mozartplatz 5, Tel: +43 662 844 822, ,. Open daily 9AM-10PM. Conveniently located in the city center, this internet café offers terminals and wireless connection for users with laptops.

  • Internet Cafe at the YOHO Hostel, Paracelsusstrasse 9, Happy Hour € 0,10 per hour is from 6PM - 9PM.

  • If you get tired of the city you can visit the ice caves south of Salzburg, or thesalt mines' close to the city.

  • Oberndorf, a small city next to Salzburg where Silent Night, Holy Night, the famous Christmas song, was composed and premiered. You can see the Silent Night Chapel there.

  • For people who prefer nature to sights, hiking on the Untersberg , a trip to Salzkammergut or the Königssee , or a visit to Bad Ischl may be interesting.

  • Freilassing is a small German town just across the border, 10-15 minutes by train. Some locals prefer to shop here as goods are slightly cheaper than in Austria.

  • Salzburg is about 2 hours from Munich and Passau, 4 hours from Vienna, and is only a stone's throw from the Alps.

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