We visited Salzburg in August for about three nights, but as the weather was very depressed we were only able to effectively spend 24 hours in Salzburg itself. And that is a real shame, because Salzburg is a gorgeous city, that deserves more time than 24 hours. Salzburg is a beautiful city in any season. Many years ago I visited in wintertime, which I definitely found very enchanting and I was super happy to be back!
Where to stay
We stayed in Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron, just outside of the city center. This castle is featured in the Sound of Music movie, giving you a great authentic Salzburg experience. You can find my blog about our stay here. However, staying outside of the city center is not great when the weather is bad and you can also find many great hotels within walking distance of the Altstadt.
The perfect day in Salzburg
8AM: Start your day cycling along the Salzach river. The city is just waking up and you will have it all to yourself. Salzburg is super bicycle friendly and you will find bicycle lanes through a great part of the old town.
9AM: Visit the Mirabellgarten, the best free activity in Salzburg. In spring- and summertime the gardens are super colorful and full of flowers. The castle itself is not worth a visit as it’s only used for administrative purposes. However, the garden is great and gives you amazing views of Fortress Hohensalzburg. If you visit before breakfast you will only have to share this garden with a few other flower fans.
10AM: Have a lazy breakfast at your hotel.
11AM: Do some shopping in the historical city center. Don’t forget to look up in the shopping streets as the signings of the shops provide a remarkable sight. Two beautiful streets are Getreidegasse and Sigmund-Haffner-Gasse. In the main shopping streets you will find Christmas stores year round, selling the typically painted Salzburg eggs.
12.30AM: Have lunch at Cafe Tomaselli, a historical cafe in the heart of the city center. If you are lucky you will find a seat under the colorful umbrellas. It is rumored that Mozart himself liked to have his coffee here.
2PM: Visit one of Salzburg’s many museums, such as the Panorama museum, Mozart’s house or the Museum of Modern Art.
3PM: Have an ice cream at the atmospheric piazzas, like Residenzplatz, Domplatz or the Kapitelplatz where you will find the symbolic golden ball of Salzburg.
4PM: Take the elevator up to the Museum of Modern Art and have drinks at the next-door terrace M32. If you have drinks at M32 you will receive a free ticket for the elevator down. From this terrace you will have the best views over Salzburg and you get the best photo opportunity over Fortress Hohensalzburg. If you are still in for a nice walk, you can walk all the way to the Humboldtterasse and back.
6PM: Dinner starts early in Salzburg and you have all sorts of restaurants to choose from. What I really like about Salzburg are the little passthroughs that you will find in the shopping streets, that offer hidden terraces. Super charming to have your dinner over here!
9PM: Visit Hotel Stein for its Seven Senses rooftop bar overlooking Salzburg for drinks if you are not tired yet!
Other things to do
If you have more time in Salzburg I would recommend taking the car to enjoy the surroundings. Because of the weather we didn’t get to visit the Grossglockner High Alpine Road, but my sister did and her photos looked fantastic! You have to pay € 35 to enter this road, make sure you go on a bright day for the best views. The High Alpine Road is about 1,5 hours of driving from Salzburg, so perfect for a day trip!