Make the most of your stay with our list of 10 must visit places in Salzburg, a popular destination for music, history and culture lovers in Austria.
Salzburg is the fourth largest city in Austria, yet is so walkable and easy to navigate on foot. World-renowned for being Mozart’s birthplace, the city has plenty to offer visitors with a wide range of interests. We asked our guest author, Diana from Travelling with Diana, to share her list of things to do and ten must visit places in Salzburg, to help you make the most of your next trip here.
Salzburg was one of my favorite places that I visited on my solo trip to Austria last year. It’s a small, charming city which has many interesting places to visit. Especially during December and the lead up to Christmas, it’s even more magical with the decorations and Christmas Markets. When you’re planning your first time visit to Vienna, consider a stay in Salzburg to round out your Austrian experience!
No trip to Salzburg is complete without visiting Mozart’s birthplace. Located at No. 9 Getreidegasse, the Mozart family lived here from 1747 to 1773, and Mozart was born here in January 1756. The home has now been transformed into a museum, and it gives you an overview of the early life of the world-famous composer.
You can see Mozart’s musical instruments and learn more about his passion for opera. On the third floor, you will witness early editions of some of his music as well as the violin from his childhood. Regardless of whether you are interested in classical music or not, it’s well worth a visit to celebrate this historic venue.
Mozart Residence, located on the Makartplatz, is where you can continue your exploration of the Mozart family’s life in Salzburg. From 1773 to 1787 the Mozart family lived here, and it’s referred to as the Dance Master’s House. The eight-room apartment, which is located on the first floor, has now been transformed into a museum. The museum exhibits Mozart’s pianoforte as well as many interesting documents and pictures from his life.
I really enjoyed learning more about his family here, and there are often different events and exhibitions depending on when you visit. I’d suggest about an hour and a half to fully explore the museum, and it’s definitely one of the top sights to visit in Innsbruck.
Sitting high above the Baroque historical district, here you can experience the most beautiful views of the city.
Hohensalzburg fortress is the largest castle in the Central Europe region that is fully preserved. The funicular to get to the castle is included in your Salzburg card, so definitely make use of that! Within the fortress, there are many different museums including the Fortress Museum, Marionette Museum, and the Museum of the Rainer Regiment. The highlight for me was seeing the Princes’ Chambers on the third floor.
It’s open every day and can be visited by foot, however, I think the funicular is a fun way to visit the fortress!
Tip: The entrance before 11 am includes access to staterooms FREE of charge!
If you would like to learn more must-know tips before visiting Austria, click here to read my other blog post!
Museum of Modern Art
Located in the Monchsberg area of the city, this four-floor Museum of Modern Art offers fantastic exhibitions featuring artists from around the world. Exhibiting 20th and 21st Century works, there are continually rotating exhibitions to keep visitors coming back for more.
I also loved the building of the museum itself, which was designed by the team at Friedrich Hoff and Zwink. Most importantly, don’t forget to visit the panoramic balcony to enjoy the views of the surrounding area. The park nearby is also great for walking around and enjoying some time outdoors.
Museum of Natural History
Museum of Natural History is a huge museum that I found very interesting to visit. Even if you aren’t particularly interested in science, it’s a very fun and interactive museum. If you’re visiting with kids, this will definitely be one of the top places for you to explore on your trip!
The highlight of the museum for me was the dinosaur section, but I also loved seeing the reptile zoo. The journey into the human body was also fascinating, and kids will love the interactive learning experience. You’ll need at least two hours to explore the museum as it’s so big and you won’t want to rush through.
If you enjoy exploring historical and cultural sites on your travels, don’t miss the DomQuartier. The great thing about this complex is that with one ticket price you get entrance into four different museums.
I loved exploring the staterooms of the Salzburg Residenz, Salzburg Cathedral and the view over Salzburg from the Cathedral Arches Terrace is incredible. The audio guide here is a fantastic way to be fully immersed in the history and culture of the site. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who loves learning all the little extra details about the places they are visiting.
Explore Altstadt of Salzburg
The Old Town, known as the Altstadt, is one of the largest UNESCO World Heritage areas. It is the part of the city that includes many of the main sights, but it’s perfect for exploring and getting lost in its many charming side streets.
The buildings here feature a lot of Medieval and Baroque architecture, and I loved walking around here at night enjoying all the sparkling Christmas decorations. It’s perfect for collecting souvenirs from the many shops and just relaxing with a coffee and cake in one of the main cafes.
Getreidegasse is the most popular street for shopping in the area, and there are plenty of passageways and courtyards to explore. Altstadt is one of the best areas for eating lunch or dinner and I found myself coming here every day to admire the buildings as it’s truly the heart of Salzburg.
Regardless of when you visit Salzburg, I’d highly recommend spending an hour or two at the Christmas Museum. It’s located in Mozartplatz square and comprises of eleven different themed sections. The works here were all collected by Ursula Kloiber over a period of almost 40 years. Personally, I love Christmas, so I’d be happy to visit here even in the middle of the summer!
The museum celebrates all things Christmas, Advent, and New Year for the region of southern Germany and Austria. I always find it so interesting to learn how different cultures around the world celebrate various holidays, and this museum was no exception.
Take a guided tour of festival halls
Opera is a huge part of the Austrian culture, and Salzburg is one of the most important destinations in the musical history of the country. If you haven’t already seen a live opera, it’s something that you should definitely consider doing in Salzburg.
However, I’d highly recommend taking a guided tour through the main Salzburg festival halls. This will allow you to see behind the scenes of some of the world’s most amazing stages. I learned so many interesting secrets about this art form and how the shows are produced here. The fifty-minute tour through the Large Festival Hall, the House for Mozart, and the Summer Riding School provided me with an insider’s look at the Salzburg Festival scene. This was another great use of my Salzburg Card, as it was included for free!
Sound of Music World
For many visitors to Austria, the first thing that comes to mind is the classic movie, The Sound of Music. As one of the most viewed movies in history, this museum helps to reveal the true story of the Von Trapp family. After meticulous research, the exhibition came about to show the real truths behind the movie.
The Sound of Music World focuses on three key areas which are the story of the Von Trapp family, the history of Villa Trapp, and then concludes by examining the film and how realistic it is. It’s a really modern museum with videos and props from the movie. I’d highly recommend this museum for visitors of all ages. Make sure you re-watch the movie before your trip to get you excited for your visit!
Meet Our Guest Author
Hello there, my name is Diana! I’m a Travel Blogger, at Travelling with Diana, busy exploring our beautiful world and building my home in Bulgaria. I share travel guides and very helpful tips to inspire you to travel more. My goal is to show you that you don’t need a travel agency to explore our magical planet. I always stay open and will be happy to answer any of the questions that you might have about traveling!