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24 hours in Salzburg, Austria

Planning to spend 24 hours in Salzburg and wondering what to do? Here’s my itinerary for one day in Salzburg.

Salzburg is so quaint and has much to offer. Mozart, the Von Trapp family, snow-capped mountains, lush green hills and tasty deserts so there’s plenty to keep you busy for a whole day.

In this article, I’ll give you all the travel info and tips you need to plan your trip. From restaurants and beautiful attractions to the best hotels in town.

Let’s get started.

Introduction to Salzburg

Salzburg is the fourth-biggest city in Austria (after Vienna, Graz and Linz). It’s a popular tourist destination, known for its medieval baroque UNESCO Old Town; as the birthplace of Mozart; and as the place where the movie Sound of Music was shot.

Salzburg is incredibly beautiful, packed with history and charm. It’s also a great base for visiting nearby attractions like Berchtesgaden, Liechtensteinklamm and Hallstatt.

Is 24 hours in Salzburg enough?

Yes, 24 hours in Salzburg is enough to see everything. However, if you DO have time, stay for a few more days to take it all in. 

Here’s a list of the top things to do in Salzburg, and everything can be done in one day in Salzburg. 


Have breakfast

Start the day with an amazing breakfast at 220 Grad, which is located in Salzburg Old Town (Altstadt). Food is fresh and the coffee is great!

Stroll through Salzburg Old Town

After breakfast, head out into the Old Town.

It’s very pretty – no wonder it was awarded a UNESCO world heritage site in 1997. I’d say it’s on the same level as the old towns in Tallinn, Strasbourg and Colmar, which are the best in Europe.

The Old Town is paved with cobblestone streets and you’ll pass street performers, musicians and old-fashioned Austrian houses with historic architecture. There’s music everywhere and statues of famous musical composers.

Salzburg, Austria

The gold ball at Kapitelplatz

Salzburg Dom and Kapitelplatz

Salzburg Old Town is such a beautiful place to wander around. Especially the area surrounding the Salzburg Dom where you can get a clear sight of Salzburg Fortress (Festung Hochensalzburg).

If you’re interested in film locations from the Sound of Music, you’ll find the first one right across Kapitelplatz. It’s the Residenz Fountain where Maria splashes around and sings: “I have confidence in me”.

If you continue through the gates, you’ll see the towering Salzburg Dom; a 17th century Baroque cathedral, dating back to 774. Inside is a majestic main organ and the baptismal font where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was baptised.

So much history here.

Salzburg, Austria

Residenz Fountain

Salzburg, Austria

Reverend Mother

Salzburg, Austria

St. Peter’s Cemetery (Petersfriedhof)

Right next to the cathedral is Petersfriedhof (or St. Peter’s cemetery). I like to visit cemeteries when I travel because they tell you something about what the local community values (just like the one in Hallstatt). You can learn a lot by visiting a country’s cemeteries.

This particular cemetery is unique for two reasons:

  1. Dating back to 1627, it’s the oldest in Austria.
  2. In Sound of Music, this is where the Von Trapp family hides from the Germans.
Salzburg, Austria

The oldest tombstone is from 1288

Find Mozart’s birthplace

After wandering through the cemetery, go visit Mozart’s birthplace, which is located on the busiest street in the Old Town: Getreidegasse. The Mozart family lived on the 3rd floor in the mid 1700s.

Salzburg, Austria

Mozart was born here on January 27, 1756


Lunch at the Daily Market (Grünmarkt)

From Mozart’s Geburtshaus, head towards the University Square. It’s less than a minute away. There, you’ll find the Grünmarkt where you can buy a pretzel, strudel or regional cheese. It’s closed on Sundays.

Getreidegasse & Linzergasse

After lunch, it’s time for a little retail therapy.

There are two main shopping streets in Salzburg. The most famous is the busy Getreidegasse in the heart of Salzburg Old Town; the less crowded is Linzergasse.

Getreidegasse is super charming and historic, but I personally prefer Linzergasse because it’s longer and less touristy.

Make sure to notice the medieval guild signs hanging over every shop. It makes the city so quaint and charming. Even McDonald’s has one! The practice of guild signs began in the Middle Ages and has continued to this day. They are everywhere on Getreidegasse and Linzergasse.

Salzburg, Austria

One of the unique medieval guild signs – here’s McDonald’s

Have a Mozartkugel at Fürst

If you’re a devoted cake-devourer like yours truly, you’ll need to try the world-famous Mozartkugel. It’s one of the top Salzburg attractions!

This delicious piece of heaven is a powerful little ball of nougat, pistachio and marzipan, covered with dark chocolate. It’s soooo good.

While you’ll see Mozartkugels all around Austria, there’s only one original! You’ll find it at Fürst café, where you can also try their heavenly strawberry tarts!

Salzburg, Austria

The Mozartkugel was created by Paul Fürst in 1890

Mirabell gardens and palace

Next stop is Mirabell Gardens and Palace. This is the place where Maria and the Von Trapp children sang “Do-Re-Mi”. The garden is crowded as can be expected, but with a little patience you can get a clear shot of the Do-Re-Mi stairs.

This beautiful baroque masterpiece built in 1606 is also the perfect place to get a great view of the Hohensalzburg Fortress. 

Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg, Austria

Hohensalzburg Fortress

Once you’re done exploring the gardens, find the funicular to Hohensalzburg fortress (€ 6.80), which is placed on a hill above town. Besides the castle, there’s a torture tower and an amazing view of Salzburg to the north and mountains and meadows to the south.

Salzburg, Austria

Find the best viewpoints in Salzburg

Salzburg is one of those cities you just HAVE to see from above. So, if you have time, put it on your list of things to do in Salzburg! 

There’s a really good view from Hohensalzburg fortress, but I preferred a skyline that included the fortress.

The best viewpoint is from the top of the Mönchsberg building which you can access by elevator. It’s really great for sunsets. Also, I liked the Kapuzinerberg viewpoint, which can be found just off Linzergasse. It’s quite hidden and overlooked by tourists so you’ll have it almost to yourself – if you can find it. It took me some time. Other great viewpoints include the Mirabell Gardens and the walkway across the Makartsteg bridge.

Salzburg, Austria

View from Mönchsberg building

Salzburg, Austria

View from Hohensalzburg Fortress


See the love locks at Makartsteg bridge

Your 24 hours in Salzburg are almost up, but first, let’s go to the entrance of Salzburg Old Town. Here, you’ll find Makartsteg bridge; a place where hundreds of lovers have announced their romance to the world with a padlock. The bridge is also a great viewpoint.

Salzburg, Austria

Dinner at Bärenwirt

It’s time for dinner and Bärenwirt is a favourite among locals.

If you like fried chicken, you’ll love this place (it’s said to have the best in Austria)! Enjoy the view from the veranda before you call it a night.

Where to stay in Salzburg

New Town
I stayed at the Austria Trend Hotel in the new part of town. I loved staying there and as you can see ↓ the view from the hotel is perfect – the best in Salzburg! The best thing about the hotel (aside from the view) is that it’s located 10 mins walk from the train station. The downside is that it’s a bit far from the Old Town (30 mins walk). 

Old Town
If you’d like something a little more central, I recommend the Star Inn. It’s located right in the heart of the Old Town, just 200m from Mozart’s residence. Find the latest prices here.

Salzburg, Austria

View from my hotel in Neustadt (the new part of town)

Many thanks to Tourismus Salzburg for hosting me on this trip to Salzburg. As always, all opinions are my own.

Ask me anything about your 24 hours in Salzburg!

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