12 cool Salzburg sights you absolutely have to see!

Salzburg is always suitable for a short city trip. To give you a good overview, I have put together a guide with the best sights in Salzburg! Salzburg is full of great locations that you can easily discover in a whole weekend or even a day!

Tips for your trip to Salzburg:
➜ With the Sparpreis Ticket of Deutsche Bahn* cheap and comfortable to Salzburg
➜ C heap hotels in Salzburg you can find here*.
➜ Save on high entrance fees for many Salzburg sights and tickets for public transport with the Salzburg Card*.

Sights in Salzburg Austria
Fortress Hohensalzburg: One of the major tourist attracions in Salzburg

The best sights in Salzburg

The Hohensalzburg Fortress, the Mönchsberg, Mirabell Palace or the pretty old town with many sights such as the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Salzburg has a lot to offer in a small area! The best place to start is here:

#1 Fortress Hohensalzburg & Fortress Funicular

The city’s landmark also provides a breathtaking view of Salzburg and the surrounding mountains. At Hohensalzburg Fortress you can not only enjoy the panorama, but also explore one of the best preserved medieval castles in Europe! Almost 950 years ago, the first foundation stone for the huge castle overlooking Salzburg was laid on the fortress hill.

sculpture man on golden ball in Salzburg in front of Hohensalzburg Fortress
The man on the golden globe: the sculpture makes the view of Hohensalzburg Fortress perfect
Sights in Salzburg Austria
View from the fortress over the old town of Salzburg

By the way, the fortress railroad takes you up and down in just a few minutes. The train runs every 10 minutes and is free for Salzburg Card* holders. It takes about 20 minutes to walk up to the castle, the path is asphalted, but not unstrenuous. Once at the top, you also have to pay admission if you don’t have a Salzburg Card.

Fortress Hohensalzburg

#2 Mozart’s Birthplace

Even if you say that you have nothing to do with classical music – I bet you’ve certainly heard a piece by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. His compositions were legendary even in his lifetime! You can’t miss his birthplace in the Getreidegasse: Either the bright yellow facade or the long lines of waiting tourists in front of the door will show you the way.

In the house itself, the Mozarts’ former apartment and adjoining rooms house a lovingly curated museum with old letters, Mozart’s original children’s violin and, of course, lots of music. Don’t let the many tourists scare you off, a visit is worthwhile and free if you have purchased the Salzburg Card* beforehand. Mozart’s birthplace is the classic among Salzburg sights.

Mozart’s birthplace

Looking for delicious food in Salzburg?
➜ Click here for the great Salzburg Food Guide!

#3 Mozart Residence

At Makartplatz, on the other side of the Salzach, you will find the Mozart family’s residence. If you want to dive deeper into Mozart’s life, you’ve come to the right place! Destroyed during the Second World War, the former dancing master’s house was rebuilt and now houses a multimedia exhibition on the life of Mozart and his equally musical family.

If you have little time, however, I would recommend that you give priority to the birthplace and only visit that one.

Mozart residence

➜ Tip for Mozart fans: Mozart Week Salzburg and Where you can trace Mozart everywhere in Salzburg

Exhibition in the Mozart residence on Makartplatz

#4 DomQuartier & Salzburg Cathedral

The Salzburg Cathedral is impressive. No wonder, Salzburg was ruled by archbishops for centuries. They ensured a correspondingly high density of churches in the city, with the Salzburg Cathedral as the most outstanding of all. And they did not spare any pomp, I can assure you! You should definitely take a look at the cathedral as well.

Salzburg Cathedral from the outside
Salzburg Cathedral
The Salzburg Cathedral is really impressive from the inside!
Salzburg DomQuartier Sightseeing
Impressive ballrooms in the DomQuartier next door

Insider tip: Via the DomQuartier next door, you can get through various state rooms and exhibition spaces via a large terrace on the upper floors directly to the organ loft! Between the antique organ and all kinds of orchestral equipment you have ,here the mega view of the nave.

Salzburg sights Salzburg Museum in the Neue Residenz
Great photo ops from the terrace of the DomQuartier: View of the Salzburg Museum in the Neue Residenz
Salzburg sightseeing attractions Cathedral
Inside Salzburg Cathedral
cathedral of Salzburg
Organ gallery in the cathedral

Admission to the Salzburg Cathedral is free. With the Salzburg Card* you also have free admission to the entire DomQuartier.


Very cool photo spot: On Kapitelplatz stands the sculpture “Sphaera” by Stephan Balkenhol. The man on the golden sphere with the fortress Hohensalzburg is a super photo motif. (By the way, the sculpture is in two parts: can you find the female figure that goes with it?)

Salzburg sights Man on the Golden Sphere
The sculpture “Sphaera” with the man on the golden globe
Perfect view from the other side with the Hohensalzburg Fortress in the background

If you are interested in funny details of church history, you should definitely drop by the Kajetanerkirche on Saturdays exactly between 10 and 11 a.m. (not earlier and not later!). Then a small inconspicuous looking chapel opens, in which there is an offshoot of the Scala Santa from Rome. Like the “real” Scala Santa, this staircase may only be climbed kneeling! One of the insider tips among the Salzburg sights.

You can also find more unusual places and wacky stories from over 800 years of Salzburg in this article: Salzburg and its secrets

Scala Santa in the Kajetanerkirche in Salzburg
May only be slid up kneeling: The Scala Santa in the Kajetanerkirche

#5 Mirabell Palace and Gardens

Very close to the Markartplatz you will find the Mirabell Palace with its beautiful Mirabell Gardens. The Mirabell Palace today houses parts of the city administration. Here you can see the impressive Marble Hall, where concerts are also held.

Salzburg tourist attractions Mirabell Palace Marble Hall
Not only beautiful for getting married: The Marble Hall at the Mirabell Palace

The Mirabell Palace is also a popular place for weddings. Couples from all over the world come here to tie the knots. Maybe you’ll be lucky and are able to watch a fairytale wedding!

Salzburg sights Mirabell Garden in Mirabell Palace with Hohensalzburg Fortress in the background
The Mirabell Garden around Mirabell Palace
Palm house in the Mirabell Garden Salzburg
The small palm house in the Mirabell Garden

In the Mirabell Garden you should also take a look at the small palm house. Another nice photo op!

Admission is free.

#6 The Getreidegasse & the old town of Salzburg

The heart of Salzburg is the old town! Even though it can get crowded in high season, I love the pastel-colored houses in the winding alleys. After all, they are a sight in themselves in Salzburg! The main street here is Getreidegasse, where next to Mozart’s birthplace you can find a lot of stores from expensive to a little less expensive. In the old town of Salzburg cars are prohibited, so you can stroll leisurely through the streets.

Salzburg landmark Goldgasse in the old town
The Goldgasse in the old town
Salzburg tourist attractions Getreidegasse old town
One of the busiest streets in Salzburg’s old town: Getreidegasse
Woman with umbrella in Salzburg old town at Schnürlregen, rain in Salzburg
The typical thin rain in Salzburg is called “Schnürlregen”
Hotel Altstadt in Salzburg
Narrow alleys, pastel-coloured facades: Salzburg’s old town is a little dream.

Tip: If you feel like shopping, on the other side of the Salzach you will also find Linzer Gasse with many shops and cafés!

Are you a coffee addict like me? In my big Salzburg Food Guide you will find many extraordinary addresses for a cozy coffee in between!

#7 The Mönchsberg

You can climb the Mönchsberg by foot from the old town. But what is much more impressive is the trip with the Mönchsberg elevator that is simply carved into the massive rock and provides a total contrast between the picturesque oldtown and the futuristic complex.

Salzburg Attractions Mönchsberg lift
Entrance to the Mönchsberg lift

At the top of the Mönchsberg there is the Museum der Moderne, into which you literally drop into from the lift. A lot of concrete, a lot of art and regularly changing exhibitions: Salzburg is also a modern city! And the view over the old town is fantastic. One of my absolutely favourite places in Salzburg.

Salzburg Landmarks Museum der Moderne on the Mönchsberg in Salzburg
Museum der Moderne at the Mönchsberg in Salzburg
In the middle of nature: the Museum der Moderne presents first-class exhibitions on several floors
Salzburg Things to do View of the cathedral, the old town and the fortress
View from Mönchsberg to the old town with the fortress Hohensalzburg

Tip: The M32 serves fine Austrian cuisine and/or coffee in an informal atmosphere. Pretty cool, pretty nice atmosphere: A good address for a cozy evening above the roofs of Salzburg.

Museum of Modernity

#8 Alter Markt | Café Tomaselli & Konditorei Fürst

The Alter Markt is another central point in the old town. The Café Tomaselli is one of the most famous cafés of Salzburg and so old that even Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a guest here! The prices are reasonable, but there is an original coffee house atmosphere. Right across the street you will find the headquarters of the Konditorei Fürst.

Things to do in Salzburg Café Tomaselli at the Alter Markt
Even Mozart drank coffee here: Café Tomaselli
Things to do in Salzburg Confectionery Fürst Mozart Balls Mozartkugeln
You have to try this: The Mozartkugeln from the Konditorei Fürst
Café Habakuk in the Linzer Gasse in Salzburg
The Café Habakuk in Linzer Gasse also makes very tasty Mozartkugeln

And if there’s one thing you really should have done in Salzburg, it’s to try the different Mozartkugeln! Yes, that’s right, there are several pastry shops that make Mozartkugeln! By the way, since I tried the Mozartkugeln from Fürst and Café Habakuk in Salzburg, nothing else comes into my house :)

Tray with Mozartkugeln from Salzburg
Tray with Mozartkugeln from Salzburg

Salzburg is a true paradise for foodies! Be sure to read my great food guide for Salzburg with lots of great restaurant and café tips! There you will also learn everything about the most popular specialties such as the Salzburger Nockerln!

Tip: In any case, check out the Goldgasse and the Judengasse nearby! The two old town alleys have that real Salzburg feeling.

#9 The Nonntal & Stift Nonnberg

If you want to get away from the tourist crowds a little, you should make a detour to the Nonntal. Here you will find the new and young Salzburg with some nice cafés and restaurants. But what is even more worthwhile is a visit to Nonnberg Abbey. And now you have to be strong, because for this experience you have to get out of bed really early. Every morning at 6.45 a.m. – and I mean really EVERY morning – the nuns of the Benedictine monastery sing Gregorian chorales in the monastery church. Incredibly impressive.

Things to do in Salzburg Nonnberg Abbey
Sunrise at Nonnberg Abbey
Salzburg Things to do Benedictine monastery Nonnberg with Gregorian chants
Mystical: The chorales of the nuns in the Benedictine monastery of Nonnberg

The church is open to everyone, you can just walk in. I tell you: It was a goosebump experience to sit in this dimly lit church and from the gallery the chants of the nuns sounded as if from nowhere! I’m not a churchgoer, but that really blew my mind.

Salzburg Things to do Benedictine monastery Nonnberg with Gregorian chants
It’s worth getting up early for the view!

By the way, from the Nonntal valley you can reach Hellbrunn Castle with its extensive park in about an hour walking along Hellbrunner Allee.

#10 The Almkanal

The Almkanal is a particularly fascinating construction in Salzburg, which not many visitors know! Connected to the Königsseeache, it still supplies parts of the city of Salzburg with water, such as the air conditioning system of the Festspielhaus.

Guided tour through the Almkanal in September Things to do in Salzburg
Important for the guided tour through the Almkanal: rubber boots!
Salzburg Almkanal guided tour

Every September, the Almkanal is shut down for three weeks for maintenance. During this time you can wade through the narrow and over 800-year-old Stiftsarmstollen, which runs under the Mönchsberg to the fortress railway. An absolute experience! If you do not suffer from claustrophobia ;)

almkanal.at (only possible with a guide)

What to do in Salzburg Austria Entrance to the Stiftsarmstollen
Entrance to the Stiftsarmstollen
Almkanal Salzburg Stiftsarmstollen
It is not allowed to enter the Almkanal without a guide!
Salzburg sightseeing guided tour through the Almkanal
Humid, dark and narrow: this is where the water of the Almkanal usually runs.

#11 The Kapuzinerberg

From the Kapuzinerberg you have a perfect view of the old town of Salzburg. The ascent is a bit more difficult depending on your physical condition, but it’s worth it!

things to see in salzburg austria kapuzinerberg
Up to the Kapuzinerberg

With luck you will see one of the about a dozen chamois, which settled down on the mountain at some point and are now part of the wildlife.

View from Kapuzinerberg to the landmarks of Salzburg
From Kapuzinerberg you have one of the best views of Salzburg

Access: Steingasse via the Imberg staircase
Linzergasse via the Franziskus Gate
Fürbergstraße behind the shopping center “Im Berg

#12 Augustiner Braustübl at the Kloster Mülln

Salzburgers are definitely a sociable bunch! So when the weather is good, don’t miss a visit to a beer garden. In the Augustiner Braustübl in the Mülln monastery you can experience real Salzburg beer garden tradition in huge dimensions. So you have an idea: The beer garden has room for 1400 guests!

Salzburg Places of interest Entrance to the Augustiner Bräustübl in Mülln Monastery with beer garden
The Augustiner Bräustubl in Mülln Monastery is a Salzburg institution!

Don’t be shy: Just grab a pitcher from the shelf, rinse it with ice-cold water, and have it filled with freshly tapped beer at the counter. You can bring your own snacks or even your evening meal, but the Schmankerlgang with its many stands has plenty of tasty treats on hand. The classic is the Radi of the family Atanassoff, where you can really only get Radi in all variations!

You can find many more gastro tips in my big Salzburg Food Guide!

Where to stay in Salzburg

I can heartily recommend the luxurious Hotel Stein* with its phenomenal rooftop bar Seven Senses (check out the review here) or the guesthouse in the Salzburg Seminary* for a slimmer budget.

➜ C heap & good accommodation in Salzburg can also be found here*.

Room at the Hotel Stein in Salzburg
The Hotel Stein is one of the top addresses in the city.
Salzburg Card Eintritt für Sehenswürdigkeiten

Save money with the Salzburg Card

If you want to see a lot of sights in Salzburg, it can add up pretty quickly. With the Salzburg Card, you not only get free rides on all public transportation and the Fortress Railway, you also get free admission to attractions like the Birthplace and the DomQuartier.

Buy your Salzburg Card here*

Parts of this article were made possible with the kind support of the team around Tourismus Salzburg, without whom I would never have come across many Salzburg insider tips! Thank you very much!


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Things to do in Salzburg
Things to do in Salzburg

Salzburg is really a popular destination for city trips! If you want to know even more about Salzburg, feel free to browse through my blog archive about Salzburg!


Hey there! I created The Happy Jetlagger in 2015 to gather all those lovely places I got to know during my trips. Working many years as a flight attendant, I finally found a way to share my travel experience. Hope you enjoy it!

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