Salzburg does have an airport, but does not seem like many people get to Salzburg by plane. We took a train from Munich to Salzburg that took about 1.5 hours and was very easy and smooth. We booked the train through EUrail/railjet ahead of time to make sure we had seats on the train as this train provided seat assignments after tickets were issued. The company physically sent the tickets to us in the mail so make sure to do this ahead of time if this is what you choose to do. At this point, I would expect there to be an option to receive tickets electronically, but worth checking out in advance.
Salzburg is a small city, and definitely walkable. We were able to see everything in the city by foot, aside from the Hellbrunn Palace. To get to the Hellbrunn Palace, we took a bus as it is on the outskirts of the city.
In order to take advantage of being able to walk around the main areas in Salzburg, you will want to find a place to stay that is centrally located. I would recommend staying in or around Altstadt, the Old Town in Salzburg. It is a very nice part of town and allows you to be in the prime area to explore.
This is where the Sound of Music fountain is located. The gardens are open daily until dusk and the palace is open until 4 pm on weekdays
The castle sits on top of the Festungsberg in Salzburg. You can walk up from the bottom of town, take a funicular up to the top, or walk form the Monchsberg viewpoint. We walked from the Monchsberg viewpoint, which was very nice. When facing away from the city, take a left and follow the path to the fortress
Pedestrian bridge with locks along the rails
Located along Getreidegasse
Take the elevator from the bottom of the Modern art museum to the top for a nice panoramic view of the city. There is also a restaurant up here if you would like.
This was cool as each grave is decorated and different. The fencing on some of the graves inspired one of the scenes in Sound of Music (when the family is hiding at the end)
Square in Old Town next to the Salzburg Cathedral
If you are not visiting Hallstatt separately, this is a MUST!
This is actually inside a monastery; there’s a nice outdoor beer garden
Climb the stairs up from Linzergrasse to another viewpoint over Salzburg. As there are a lot of viewpoints, this is one you can skip if you are tired of climbing up stairs
The Sound of Music Abbey
We decided to do it on our own and found these locations:
Nonnberg Abbey: The Abbey
Mirabell Palace Gardens: Pegasus fountain. Note that some of the ‘Do Re Mi’ song was recorded here
Hellbrunn Palace: Gazebo
Saint Peter’s Cemetery: inspiration for the scene where the Von Trapps are hiding from the Nazis at the end of the movie
Panorama Tours comes highly recommended if you want an organized tour
The Sound of Music Gazebo is at the Hellbrunn Palace. While visiting, we took the trick fountain tour. It was a 30 minutes tour around the property. It is definitely geared towards families with kids as there are opportunities during the tour for you to get wet (you can get soaked if you choose). Visiting the palace is not a must, but if you are looking for something to do, it is a short trip.
Getting there: catch Bus 25 and take it towards Hellbrunn Palace. It takes about 20-25 minutes from the city center depending on where you get on. We purchased a 24-hour student bus ticket at the bus stop before getting on the bus. Make sure to validate your ticket when you get in the bus for the first time with the ticket. It was very easy to figure out, just make sure you are at the correct bus stop (bus is going the direction you need to go).
10-minute cable car up or you can hike it for a view of Salzburg. Note: supposedly cooler and windier at top so bring appropriate clothing
Bakery off of Getreidgasse that sells Sachertorte which is a special type of chocolate cake that was invented in Austria
Salzburg is a nice Austrian town surrounded by mountains. We decided to spend two nights in Salzburg, which was perfect since we wanted to do a day trip to Hallstatt. You can also easily do a day trip from Munich or Vienna as it is a small town and a lot can be seen in a day. We went in the middle of summer (June) and it was nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit so be prepared for hot weather if you visit in the summer.
Transportation and Accommodations
Things to do and see
Food and Drinks