When we discussed our summer holiday in Austria, we decided to spend 2 days in Salzburg. I knew there are many things to do in Salzburg, but 2 days were enough for us. We had other places to visit in Austria and not so much time, so we tried to squeeze everything in just 2 days. And surprisingly, our Salzburg itinerary wasn’t so tight! We visited Salzburg with kids, so a tight schedule would have been difficult to hold to.
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Where to stay in Salzburg? Salzburg accommodation
Austria is not a cheap country, so the average accommodation in Salzburg is more expensive than in other parts of Europe. For those visiting the city and wanting to stay overnight here, the offer includes:
Salzburg bed and breakfast: Die Haslachmühle – check prices here*
Pension in Salzburg: Gästehaus im Priesterseminar Salzburg – check prices here*
Boutique hotel Salzburg: Elefant hotel – check prices here*
Considering that all the attractions in Salzburg cost around 10-15 euros, the Salzburg card saved us a lot of money. It covers public transport in Salzburg, all the main attractions, some discounts at restaurants and shops and even a cruise on the Salzach river. You can find more details about the Salzburg card here.
2 days in Salzburg itinerary
I had a long list of things to do in Salzburg and only 2 days for them. But that was not a problem. We had time to see almost all of them and to relax. We managed to visit Vienna in just 3 days and that trained us. Our 2-day itinerary in Salzburg was:
Day 1 in Salzburg:
We started our visit to Salzburg with a walk on its famous shopping street, Getreidegasse. The old-style firms, ancient buildings very well preserved and passageways that connect this street with the parallel ones make this place a must-see in Salzburg. International fashion chain stores, stylish cafes, traditional shops, and even Christmas boutiques invite the passer-by inside.
Mozart’s house in Salzburg
On Getreidegasse street it is impossible not to notice a bright-yellow building: the birthplace of Mozart or Mozarts Geburtshaus in German. Inside you can take a 1-hours tour and visit the original chambers of the house. Book your ticket online here*.
Since it was not accessible with the stroller we didn’t go inside. But we enter the passage next to the house and we arrived in the University square. We found here a local market, so we bought fresh strawberries and apple strudel with cinnamon. It was the best apple strudel I ate in Austria!
St Peters Monastery&cemetery
Being a fan of The Sound of Music movie I went to visit St Peter’s monastery and especially its cemetery, the place where the von Trapp family hides to escape the National Socialists. The church was closed, so we didn’t visit it, but we explored the cemetery.
The Salzburg Cathedral (Salzburg Dom)
Next to St Peter’s monastery, we found the Salzburg Cathedral. We didn’t stay long time inside, but we could see the colorful paintings on the dome and the white walls. Looking at the pictures I took there, I realize the Cathedral is impressive. Unfortunately, when you see too many cathedrals it is harder to appreciate a new one.
Residenzplatz in Salzburg
On the right side of the Cathedral, we found the Residezplatz. Bordered by the Dom, the Domquartier and the Salzburg Museum, Residenzplatz is the host of the Salzburg Christmas market. During winter, the market is decorated with little wooden houses selling Christmas decorations and traditional sweets. In August we found the market empty, so we could admire the center-located fountain with horse statues and the romantic carriages.
One of my biggest regrets in Salzburg is not visiting Domquartier. Five different museums in one place would have been wonderful to see, but it would have been very boring for the kids. That was the main reason why we decided to spend more time outside and less admiring works of art and exhibitions. If you want to visit it, book you online ticket here*.
Cruise on Salzach river
After lunch, we took a cruise on the Salzach river, included in the Salzburg Card. During the ride with Amadeus ship, we discovered interesting details from the history of the city while admiring the Salzburg attractions next to the river and putting the kids for a nap. It was already afternoon when we finished the cruise, so we passed the love locks bridge in Salzburg to find the Mirabell Palace.
Built around the year 1600, the palace is used today for weddings, private events and concerts. For concerts, book your online ticket here*. What makes it famous is its garden, another Sound of Music movie location. We saw here the Pegasus fountain, the Dwarfs garden, and the labyrinth. The green gardens with colorful flowers are picture-perfect especially with the Salzburg fortress in the background!
Day 2 in Salzburg:
We started our second day with a morning walk in the city center. We probably would have had time for a short day trip outside Salzburg, but we wanted to enjoy the city, and to relax. If you want a guided tour to get to know better the old town, you can book it here*.
Known as the biggest fully preserved castle in Central Europe, Hohensalzburg fortress was built almost 1000 years ago. We used the funicular to get there, but it is possible also to walk. The fortress has several museums, a restaurant and other chambers to explore. Inside, there is an elevator so visitors in wheelchairs or parents with strollers have access. The view deserves the time spent here.
Also an iconic location in the Sound of Music movie, Hellbrunn palace received our visit in the afternoon. The domain offers things to do for a whole day. Built by a prince-archbishop of Salzburg (Markus Sittikus) in the 17th century, the palace has a permanent exhibition that can be visited, green gardens with fish pools and a huge meadow perfect for a picnic. But its top attraction is the trick fountains, designed by the prince-archbishop to entertain his guests. The fountains can be visited only on a guided tour every hour.
Salzburg Zoo in the evening
Close to Hellbrunn palace is the Salzburg Zoo. Since it was too late to go back to the old town, but too early to go to sleep we took advantage of Zoo’s special program: Zoo in the evening. It was still light outside when we entered, so we could saw the wolfs in the wood, but it got dark when we finished the first loop of the Zoo. Some animals were sleeping and others were making strange noises that seemed even stranger in the dark. The Salzburg Zoo is not very big compared to others, but it can offer an interesting experience.
One day in Salzburg
If you have only one day in Salzburg, there are some things you must see and some you can skip. A walk in the old district will take you to the main attractions: Getreidegasse street, St Peters Monastery, the Salzburg Cathedral and Residenzplatz. During this walk you can also go and visit the Hohensalzburg fortress. You won’t have time to explore Domquartier, but if you want to enter, you can cut off the list the rest of the places in Salzburg.
In the afternoon you can go and briefly see the gardens of Mirabell Palace and that will leave you enough time for the Hellbrunn palace and its trick fountains. It will be a busy day, you will walk a lot, but it is possible to cover Salzburg in one day. This way, you will only get a first good impression of the city.
Our 2 days in Salzburg passed very fast. When we planned the trip to Austria we had to choose what to visit: Salzburg or Innsbruck? We chose Salzburg and it was above our expectations, so we didn’t regret a moment our decision.
If you visit Salzburg with your kids, here you can find things to do with them.