salzburg, austria // a weekend trip guide


After a trip to Salzburg, I can confidently say that this little city is easily on my top ten (if not my top five) favorite cities, ever.  I absolutely fell in love with it and would love to go back one day in a heartbeat!  We spent a weekend there which was just about perfect–enough time to see all the main sites and explore the city, but just long enough to not get bored!  I always say that I’d rather go somewhere again because I didn’t see everything than feel like I’ve exhausted the city and its sights.

Disclaimer: I’ve added links to various helpful webpages for the things I mention during this post.  None of these are affiliate links and all opinions are my own.

where to stay:

We stayed at a guesthouse called Haus Wartenburg and had a fantastic experience.  It’s not the most modern of places to stay–the house itself is pretty old and kind of creaky.  However, the people who run it are very kind and reasonable and we had a very pleasant time.  Since we were traveling as a group, they gave us the whole top floor to stay in–so much fun for all of us!  I know they do have food available in their restaurant, though we never tried it.  It’s about a 15 minute walk into the main town area but it’s not a bad walk at all.  The garden is very quaint as well.

If you’d like to read more reviews of Haus Wartenburg or see other accommodations in the Salzburg area, check out the TripAdvisor site here!

what to do:

One of my very favorite ways to see Salzburg is just wandering by foot through the town.  Each street is somehow more adorable than the last.  You could take a meandering walk around the city for an afternoon or a whole day and not get tired of the views!  If you want to wander with a purpose, here are my recommendations.  I have listed them in the order in which I did them–it was the perfectly planned, fun-filled day!

Sound of Music Tour | If you’ve ever seen The Sound of Music (or even if you haven’t), doing a Sound of Music tour is a really fun way to spend a morning.  I grew up watching The Sound of Music and always enjoyed it.  The movie was set and shot in Salzburg, so when planning our weekend in the city, I knew seeing the sites of the movies was a high priority for me.  Even if you aren’t into The Sound of Music, it’s still a really fun way to get out into the beautiful countryside surrounding Salzburg.  While I went to Salzburg with the a group, no one else wanted to do the tour, so I went by myself!    I went with Bob’s Special Tours and can’t recommend them highly enough.  The tours are run in small buses, which you appreciate a lot more when you pull up to places next to these giant coach tour buses!  Our guide was very knowledgeable–and they will pick you up from your hotel if you’d like.  You see some amazing views of the Austrian countryside and get to go to the town of Mondsee, which is where the cathedral from the wedding scene in the movie is.  It’s such a cute little town and so quintessentially “small-town Austria” that you might conjure up in your imagination.  They also run a few other tours and while I can’t speak to them because I didn’t go on them, as a whole I was very impressed with the company!

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Mirabel Gardens | The bus tour ended in Mirabel Gardens, which are a beautifulSalzburg classic and shouldn’t be missed.  While I didn’t spend a ton of time here, you absolutely could spend hours wandering through the gardens and taking in the sights (and smells!) of the myriad of flower varieties in the breathtaking gardens.

Hohensalzburg Fortress | I highly recommend taking the gondola up to the castle and fort, called Hohensalzburg Fortress, at the top of the hill–it can’t be missed!  There are amazing views on all sides, especially the side facing the mountains.  It’s a fun way to spend an afternoon and soak up all the beautiful sights in this amazing city.  We took the gondola up and down and it’s a quick ride but definitely a great view and a fun mode of transportation.

Salzburg is a good place to just wander around because every street is somehow more adorable and quaint than the last.  You could quite simply take a meandering walk around the city for an afternoon or a whole day and not get tired of it!  We stumbled upon it, but seeing Mozart’s birthplace (the house is still standing) is pretty cool as well.

Screen Shot 2017-06-09 at 11.26.54 AMMozart’s Geburtshaus | We actually stumbled upon this sight accidentally, but if you’re in Salzburg you should try to seek it out!  It’s the home where Mozart (yes, THAT Mozart) was born–and it’s still standing to this day.  I’m not sure if you can go inside and we didn’t, but even just seeing it from the outside is super cool!  It does, however, get pretty crowded outside during the middle of the day, so seek out off-times (morning and evening especially) to go see it and you won’t have a problem getting up close!

what to eat:

I ate a lot of ice cream in Salzburg.

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To be fair, I ate a lot of ice cream in all of Europe, so this wasn’t out of the ordinary exactly…hey, I’m nothing if not consistent!

There’s a famous café in Salzburg called Café Tomaselli.  It’s usually very busy, but there’s an outdoor section that, from my understanding, serves the same food but is easier to get into.  I met up with a friend from high school who was spending the summer studying music in Salzburg, and we met for a snack and to catch up in that outdoor patio area!  It’s a great place to sit for a while, eat and drink some delicious Austrian pastries and drinks, and soak up some wonderful company.

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There’s also a frozen yogurt place called Fabi’s Bio Frozen Yogurt that was highly recommended to me so we went a few times.  As a note, they only have one flavor and it’s much more tart tasting than the frozen yogurt you find in the US, so it’s not for everyone’s taste!

As always, if you have any other questions or suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments below.  I’d love to hear about your favorite places or sights to see in Salzburg!

Happy travels!

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