SALZBURG AUSTRIA 4K Summer in Austria Travel Vlog - Best Travel Ideas for Europe
Hi and welcome to Salzburg, maybe Austria’s most famous city after Vienna. Today I’m going on a travel walking tour through this magical and romantic city which serves as the perfect gateway to the Alps. Along the way, I will give you some hopefully useful ideas on what to see in Salzburg. Make sure you watch to the end where I will provide some additional tips and answers to questions you may have. Let’s check it out. Salzburg is the fourth largest city in Austria and is located about 150 km (93 mi) South-East from Munich and 300 km (186 mi) west of Vienna.
Salzburg's historic centre (German: Altstadt) is known for its Baroque architecture and is one of the best-preserved city centers north of the Alps. It has 27 churches and is dominated by the massive Hohensalzburg Fortress. Salzburg is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tourists and travelers usually come to Salzburg to tour the historic centre and the scenic Alpine surroundings. So when you come to Salzburg, make sure you also check out the amazing little alpine towns and villages in close proximity, such as Hallstatt, Bad Ischl, St Gilgen, St. Wolfgang, Gosau and Zell am See. What is Salzburg known for and why is it a favorite with tourists? Well, Salzburg is of course known as the birthplace of the 18th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Because of its history, culture, and attractions, Salzburg has been labeled Austria's "most inspiring city”. Geographically, Salzburg sits on the banks of the River Salzach, at the northern boundary of the Alps. The mountains to Salzburg's south contrast with the rolling plains and hills to the north. The closest alpine peak, the closer to 2000‑meter-high Untersberg, is less than 16 kilometers (10 miles) from the city center.
This area is flanked by two smaller hills, the Mönchsberg and Kapuzinerberg. Interestingly, and as a fun fact, Salzburg has about the same latitude as Seattle. What makes Salzburg such a great city to explore is that it’s probably one of the most walkable cities you can find.
Everything is in close proximity and you won’t have to cover large distances between the various sightseeing landmarks. So let’s start our travel walking tour through Salzburg at the Mirabell palace. If you come by train, the Mirabell palace is only a short 10-minute walk away from the train station. You can also find parking garages and even street parking in this area. From Mirabell, we will take a walk through the old town of Salzburg and finish our tour at the Hohensalzburg castle. The palace was built in 1606 on the shore of the Salzach river north of the medieval city walls, at the wish of Prince-Archbishop Raitenau who had suffered from a stroke the year before.
He decided to build the Mirabell as a pleasure palace for him and his mistress. Allegedly, it was built within six months after Italian and French models but looking at the palace, I’m not sure that is possible. When Raitenau was deposed and arrested at Hohensalzburg Castle in 1612, his successor Mark Sittich expelled his mistress and her family from the castle. Sittich gave the palace its current name from Italian: mirabile, bella: "amazing", "wonderful". It was rebuilt in a lavish Baroque style in the early 1700s.
It features a beautiful garden designed in a geometrical layout with mythology-themed statues and sculptures of Hercules, Paris and Pluto, created by Italian sculptor Ottavio Mosto in 1690. It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions of Salzburg and invites for some great pictures. Some may know the garden and fountain also from the Sound of Music musical. The Mirabell palace and its gardens are listed as a cultural heritage monument. When you are there, don’t miss the Zwerglgarten, the gnome garden, a small extension to the main garden with a peculiar collection of bizarre gnome sculptures created in the early 1700s.
Take a rest on the park benches and soak in the atmosphere under the large trees which provide great shade on hot sunny summer days. My next stop is the famous Makartsteg, a pedestrian bridge over the river Salzbach. The bridge features a sea of padlocks, so called “lovers locks” that couples put up on the rails of the bridge lock it up and throw away the key in the Salzach river.
It’s quite a romantic place but besides that, it also offers great views of the Salzach and Salzburg’s old town just behind. Now on the other side of the river, enter the old town where another major attraction in Salzburg is right in front of you, Mozart’s birthplace at No. 9 Getreidegasse. Mozart was born here on 27 January 1756. It’s now a museum and introduces visitors to the early life of the composer and his first musical instruments, such as his childhood violin and the clavichord on which he composed 'The Magic Flute'.
Mozart’s parents rented an apartment on the third floor of this simple but nicely restored 12th century townhouse. I didn’t go in this time as I had visited the place at previous visits to Salzburg already. But I recommend you check it out, especially if you are into music. It’s open from 10am to 3:30pm but note it’s not wheelchair accessible.
Entrance is EUR 12 per person but I believe children pay less. Guided tours are available but cost extra and need to be booked 2 weeks in advance. I don’t think they are needed though as there are lots of descriptions everywhere and a pocket guide provides detailed explanations too.
Now that you are already at Getreidegasse, the “Grain Lane”, take a stroll along this picturesque medieval looking street that is lined with stylish shops and interrupted by small alleyways, passageways and courtyards. Getreidegasse runs parallel to the Salzach river and today is part of a large pedestrian zone in the Old Town quarter. First mentioned in 1150, it’s definitely one of Salzburg’s most popular tourist attractions and not to be missed. At the end of the lane, make a left where you can visit the toy museum or pass it to enter into Universitaetsplatz, another small lane that runs parallel to Getreidegasse. This leads you to a nice square, University Square, at which you can visit the catholic church Kollegienkirche. The church is quite remarkable and known for its baroque interior dating back to the early 1700s and the white and light design with white stucco ceilings.
It’s the least visited of the major churches in Salzburg and usually very quiet. Enjoy the serene atmosphere of the place before you head back out to continue the tour. Now you can either head straight towards the Salzburg Residence or take one of the small passageways back to Getreidegasse where you go past the Mozart birthplace into Judengasse, or Jew’s Lane. Today is Sunday here and most of the shops are closed. But that's quite nice. That way I can stroll through the city and it's not too crowded.
The weather is quite nice too. It's not too hot and not too cold. There's some nice sun and a nice breeze here. When you come to Salzburg, you definitely have to get some "Mozart Kugeln".
"Mozart Kugeln" are the chocolate balls that can find everywhere here. They are quite famous and quite delicious Salzburg is a medieval city and there are many alleyways to explore. Lots of little stores in there and you can go into any of these alleyways and check out what's on display. I imagine it is quite nice to do shopping here although shops are closed here today. I'm just going to check out one of these alleyways here. Here you can see: These building are super old. They must have been built like 1000 years ago.
Make a right at Goldgasse which will lead you to the Residenzplatz, probably the most prominent square in Salzburg’s old town. You will have the Salzburg Dome right in front of you, the Residence Gallery to the right and the Salzburg Residence Palace, museum and clock tower to the left. Every day at 7am, 11am and 6pm, you can hear the sound of 35 different bells ringing. If you have the time, take a seat in one of the cafes for a while and listen to the music.
Otherwise, check out the impressive Salzburg dome with its opulent early baroque style exterior and interior. Salzburg Cathedral stands at the site where a church has existed since the 8th century, although the present was built in the 12th century. Even if you are not catholic, you cannot help but being impressed by this majestic architectural masterpiece. When you exit the cathedral, you can go left, the most direct way to the Fortress Hohensalzburg, passing the Sphere sculpture of a 'Man on a golden Sphere' created by Stephan Balkenhol in 2007.
Alternatively, take a right back to the Residenzplatz which leads into the Mozart square with a nice statue of the famous composer. Make a right and follow Kaigasse, where you will likely have several horse carriages pass you. Make another right into Herrengasse which leads into Bierjodlgasse from where you take the small Nonnberggasse which you can follow all the way back to Festungsgasse up the Mönchsberg to the Fortress Hohensalzburg. I know, it sounds like a lot of little alleyways and it indeed is. But allow yourself to get lost a bit and just explore the side streets of this beautiful old town.
If you don’t feel like walking up the steep hill, you can also take a funicular up the mountain. I however walked up and took the funicular back down. The one-way ticket is included in the entrance fee to the castle.
The ticket costs EUR 10.30 for a package that includes the castle area, courtyards and chapel, the panorama tower, the fortress museum, marionette museum, military museum and the funicular to go back down. For an additional EUR 2.30 you can also add the princely chambers and magic theater. If you want to take the return trip with the funicular, just add another EUR 2.50 for a total of EUR 12.80. The museums are quite informative and you can easily spend 2 hours up here wandering around the fortress.
The views from up here are breathtaking! You have an amazing view down to Salzburg on the one side and over the Salzach valley with the alpine mountain panorama on the other side. Coming up here is definitely not to be missed. By now, you’re probably quite tired so why not take a break in one for the many cafes and restaurants in the city.
Austrian food is delicious and you definitely want to have some while you’re here. A few more tips and answers to questions international travelers may have on Salzburg: When is the best time to visit Salzburg? If you have a choice, I recommend you come in June or September. That way, you avoid the larger crowds in the high season in July and August. But even the summer is beautiful there and there are always ways to avoid the big crowds by coming to places early or venture out to see things a bit off the beaten path. I’d avoid March, April and November as the weather will likely be not that great and it can get quite cold there too.
Is Salzburg a safe city? Absolutely, yes. Austria is generally a very safe country and Salzburg is no exception to that. I would say the standard common-sense precautions do apply for travelers as they would in any larger city. How expensive is Salzburg? Well, travel budgets vary depending on your style of travel. Plan to spend around €100 ($120) per day on your vacation in Salzburg.
That’s the average daily amount for expenses based on the expenses of other visitors. Calculate with about €23 ($28) on meals per day and €10 ($12) on local transportation. Needless to say, these amounts can vary quite a bit. All-in-all, Austria is generally much cheaper than for example it’s neighbor Switzerland.
But that doesn’t mean it is necessarily cheap. I will do a separate video on travel expenses in Austria which I will link below. Where should you stay in Salzburg? Of course, Salzburg has a wide range of accommodation options, from youth hostels to high-end 5-star hotels so it really depends on your travel budget. Personally, I prefer to stay in one of the smaller towns and villages around Salzburg and then come into Salzburg for a day-tour.
The Salzburg region is beautiful and offers plenty of accommodation options, some of which may be cheaper than in the city. Can you get around with English in Salzburg? German is of course the official language in Austria but you will get around with English very well. English is usually the first foreign language taught in schools in Austria so especially the younger generation speak English very well. How many days do you need to see Salzburg? Plan to stay at least a day in Salzburg and, at a minimum, another 3-4 days in the Salzburg region which is one of the most beautiful regions of Austria.
So make sure to also check out my other travel videos on the many amazing places in the Salzburg region and the rest of Austria. Definitely check out my video on Hellbrunn palace which is only a short 10-minute drive away from Salzburg’s old town. This mesmerizing palace and palace garden with its intricate trick fountain systems are the 1600s version of Disneyland.
In so many ways, Salzburg is only a starting point to explore one of the most fascinating regions of all of Austria with its many beautiful towns, villages, lakes and mountains. So is Salzburg worth visiting? Well, I would say a trip to Austria without visiting Salzburg and the Salzburg region would be incomplete. It’s a must-see. I have been to Salzburg many times and this alpine region has become one of my favorite travel destinations in Europe. If you are torn between Vienna and Salzburg and you can only see one you have a tough choice to make: If you want to experience the majestic palaces, impressive historic landmarks, European metropolitan city life, rich cultural venues, and the nightlife of a big city, including a tour to the Prater, Vienna may be your preferred choice. Check out my videos on Vienna and see for yourself.
But if you are keen on seeing the mountains, want to venture into the Alps, do some hiking, get some fresh air and visit alpine villages and lakes, Salzburg clearly comes out on top. I hope you enjoyed this Austria travel video of my walking tour through Salzburg and if you did, please give it a like down below and leave me a comment in the comments section. And if you have not done so yet, please subscribe to my channel and hit the notification bell to get updates on my weekly new travel videos on beautiful Austria and many other amazing travel destinations.
I look forward to seeing you in my next video. Have a great rest of the day!