Salzburg | Austria : A Quick Guide to Planning Your Adventure


Don’t miss it

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Don’t miss a tour with Fräulein Maria’s Bicycle Tours. Whether you are a fan of The Sound of Music or not (but how could you not be?), this four-hour bike tour takes you through the entire city center and even outside the city, all while singing “Do-Re-Mi,” “My Favorite Things,” “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” and other classics. The tour guide points out key spots from the movie as well as other important buildings and areas in Salzburg, such as Mirabell Gardens, the gazebo in Hellbrunn Palace and Nonnberg Abbey. The Mirabell Gardens reminds me of the perfectly manicured Villa Rufolo gardens in Ravello, Italy, on the Amalfi Coast.

Once outside the city, the hills really do come alive (see what I did there?), and you’ll feel as if you’re riding right along the Austrian Alps. It’s a serene ride not to be missed. Salzburg is absolutely stunning.

Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg.

Pretty cool

Augustiner Bräustubl is bit difficult to find, but the beer and food will make the journey well worth it. This monastery-run brewery has been in operation for nearly 400 years. Choose from a liter or half-liter stein of beer before tracking down an empty seat in the massive, but likely very packed, biergarten. If you don’t pack your own food (which is permitted), there are several vendors inside that offer street-food-style Austrian grub. Don’t let the crowds scare you away — join a table and strike up a convo! Go ahead and learn to say, “Sorry, I don’t speak German very well,” if you haven’t already. The Austrians are incredibly friendly, so cheers with your new friends by saying, “Prost!”

Salzburg, Austria

Must try food/drink

 Gasthaus Zwettler has a wide variety of hearty Austrian dishes, and the kasespätzle (mac and cheese with fried onions) is phenomenal.

Be sure to try schnitzel (fried veal) at least once, and enjoy an apple strudel for dessert.

I snacked on a brezel (aka a soft pretzel) that was larger than my head while on the four-hour bicycle tour … and I have no shame. You can find pretzel vendors all over the city center.

Salzburg, Austria

Here’s a hint

The public transportation is very affordable and efficient in Salzburg. Don’t worry so much about staying in the city center, as it will be very simple to get around by bus.

Take a day trip to Hallstatt, Austria, which is a two-hour train ride southeast of Salzburg. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this small, charming town looks like a town imagined in a fairytale. To get to the Hallstatt, you must take a ferry ride across the lake, where you’ll pass swans, sailboats, paddle boarders, and water skiers. The town is filled with boutiques, cafes and restaurants. It is also well-known for its salt mine, Salzwelten. The tour of Salzwelten is a bit cheesy and could use an update from a marketing firm, but it’s still a pretty neat experience. You’ll even get to slide down a mega-slide into the mine. Even better, the view of the town, lake and mountain from the top of Salzwelten is worth the tour admission cost! Read more about Hallstatt in my travel journal.

Since September is considered the “off-season” for travel, there were a few restaurants and boutiques that had already closed for winter. Apart from picking a new dinner restaurant once or twice, it really didn’t affect much. September is a nice time to travel — the crowds have left and the weather is still really nice.

Hallstatt, Austria

Wish I had more time for

The Salzburg fortress sits on top of a hill overlooking the city below, and it can be seen from almost any spot in Salzburg. I’ve read there isn’t too much to do once you get to the top, but I imagine the views of the city below and the Alps in the distance are beautiful. I recommend waking up early to catch the sunrise from this spot!


 Salzburg-Eduard-Heinrich-Haus, a youth hostel outside of the city center.

Next stop

Purchased my Oktoberfest garb and hopped a train to Munich, Germany.

Additional resources for planning your adventure

Salzburg, Austria
Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg.
The gazebo from the Sound of Music, which can now be found in the park of Hellbrunn Palace.
Salzburg, Austria
Leopoldskron Palace
Nonnberg Abbey
View from Nonnberg Abbey.
Salzburg, Austria
Salzburg, Austria
Salzburg, Austria
Fraulein Maria Bicycle Tours in Salzburg.
Salzburg, Austria
Salzburg, Austria
Salzburg, Austria
A salt mine tour of Salzwelten in Hallstatt.
Hallstatt, Austria
Hallstatt, Austria
Hallstatt, Austria
Hallstatt, Austria

Do you have other suggestions for Salzburg? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Ready to plan your adventure? Here are a few more posts to help you get started.

Next Up: Follow the adventure to Munich, Germany.


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10 Comments Add yours

  1. Mel & Suan says:

    Ok, reasons for you to return. Because the Honhensalzburg fortress is great to explore within and not just for the views of the city. If you buy the Salzburg card, it should cover this and the transport too right? Potato dumplings, that’s what we liked.
    Awe did not go to Hallstatt…! Ok our reason to return.

    1. Couldn’t agree! I will definitely return to Salzburg one day 🙂 You’ll have to make it over to Hallstatt too. It’s beautiful!

  2. Alesia Piol says:

    Loved the pictures!! I really want to spend a winter in Austria and go to the Christmas markets 😍

    1. I would love to go to one of the Christmas markets too. It’s on my bucket list! 🙂

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