I had a chance to spend a whole day in Salzburg. When I was in Munich, I was looking for day trip locations and Salzburg is one of the best candidates for it. However, I had to sacrifice from some places to not go, so staying here for a night is probably the best thing.
I think a route starting from Munich then passing through Salzburg and Halstatt can be a good option. Since you are in Europe, you can easily find public transportation but renting a car can be another good option to save time.
I had a chance to visit Vienna two times before my visit here and I told everything was about Mozart in Vienna. After my Salzburg trip, I should change my quote. Salzburg is all about Mozart and Vienna is only the reflection of it. I was lucky to be here in Christmas season, so I experienced the best of it. I strongly recommend you to visit Central Europe countries in Christmas season. Your experience will be definitely better.
How to reach
It depends where you come from. I have seen few people who flied to Salzburg. Because people mostly prefer Salzburg as only a few days stop or a day trip location. However, the airport is just 20 minutes away to the city center and you may catch some cheap flights through the year. Bus No 2 will take you to main station and Bus No 10 will take you to city center. Bus No 10 does not operate on Sundays, so in that case you have only one option.
If you are coming from Munich, you can buy your ticket in DB website. However, I preferred to buy a ticket when I am in Munich. Normally, ticket prices get higher but there was a special weekend ticket which costs just less than 25 EUR for a return ticket. So, I recommend you to check whether special conditions are also available. The ticket name was “Bayern Ticket”.
If you are coming from a place in Austria such as Vienna or Halstatt, in this case you have to buy your ticket in ÖBB website. In Europe, most of the time you can only buy your tickets online from the starting point country’s website. Normally someone may expect to have a cheaper price when coming from Vienna, but if you do not buy your tickets in advance you may end up with 55 EUR ticket between Vienna and Salzburg for a 2.5 hours journey and if you buy your tickets before the price will be around 30 EUR for one-way depending on when you are travelling. That’s why I recommend you to visit Salzburg together with Munich instead of Vienna.
Where to stay
Salzburg was a day trip location for me, so I didn’t search any places to stay in Salzburg, but Salzburg is a very small city and you do not have to search and have some information about the neighborhoods in Salzburg. The city itself is very safe.
I have walked the whole day. Salzburg is one of the cities where everything is positioned in a specific area, so no one will probably need any public transportation. It takes only 15 minutes to reach from train station to city center. There are few places you may need to use bus, but these will be for some places only if it is in your interest such as a car museum.
What to do
Old Town or Altstadt as Austrian people call is the first thing you can do in Salzburg. Here, all the shops, markets and some interesting spots are available. You will enjoy every moment you explore the city. Mozarts Geburthaus (Birthplace) and Salzburg Museum are also located in this area. Do not confuse Mozarts Geburthaus with Mozarts Wohnhaus. They are totally different buildings and they are located on different sides of the river. Entrance to Geburthaus was around 10 EUR and it offers you to see Mozart’s letters, instruments in three different levels.
Salzburg Cathedral and Hohensalzburg Fortress are the other two popular spots located on the same side with Old Town. As a person who have seen more than 100 churches in Europe, I strongly recommend you to visit cathedral. It is free to enter and colors together with important details will amaze you. Hohensalzburg is the castle area which offers you the best views of Salzburg from top of the city. It is probably the only activity which will take your time most, so you should plan accordingly. We first visited the castle and continued our day trip.
I also strongly recommend you to spend some time on the other side of river where main train station is located. Mirabell Gardens is one of my favorite spots in Salzburg. Just behind the famous garden where it plays significant role in Sound of Music Movie, the palace with the same name also located. You can buy a ticket to visit palace with no cost. Just be sure to check opening hours. Mozarts Wohnhaus is also located on this side too. It is very similar to the one you will see in Geburtshaus.
There are also few things you should not skip to taste. The first one is Mozartkugel. To be honest, I really do not like the taste of it, but like all the tourists do, I was curious to taste it both in Vienna and Salzburg. The reason I don’t like is because I don’t like marzipan in general. These chocolates are the best gifts from Salzburg that you can buy your friend. If you are coming from Munich, you may have already experienced the beer houses, but if you haven’t there is another one which is famous and located not very close but can be considered as close to the city center. You may visit Müllner Bräu to taste some beers, but as I mentioned if you have visited beer houses in Munich, this place may not fulfill your needs.
My last recommendations would be doing some day trips in Salzburg. If you are staying longer in Salzburg, there are few places you can visit either by yourself or by joining a group tour. The Sound of Music plays important role in Salzburg and there are some important spots for the movie. Some of them are located in city center, but some of them such as Schloss Hellbrunn are located outside the city center. The tour takes around 4 hours and it may be the perfect option for your second day. If you are travelling with a child, most families prefer to take their children to salt mines tour. The reason why children like this place is the long slide that goes deep into the mountain.
Airport & Transportation
- Airport – https://www.salzburg-airport.com/en/
- Airport Transportation – https://www.salzburg-airport.com/en/flights-arrival/arrival/public-transportation/
- Public Transportation – https://www.salzburg-ag.at/bus-bahn/fahrplan/fahrplan.html
- Train from Vienna or any place in Austria – https://www.oebb.at/en/
- Train from Munich – https://www.bahn.com/en/view/index.shtml
- Mirabell Gardens & Palace – https://www.salzburg.info/en/sights/top10/mirabell-palace-gardens#price-acc-detail-1
- Hohensalzburg – https://www.salzburg-burgen.at/en/hohensalzburg-castle/
- Schloss Hellbrunn – https://www.hellbrunn.at/en/
- Mozarts Geburtshaus & Wohnhaus – http://www.mozarteum.at/