Salzburg: An Overview and Tips

Salzburg Castle

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A brief overview of Salzburg

Salzburg, the fourth largest city in Austria, is situated on the northern boundary of the European Alps, just a short train ride from Munich. It is best known for its UNESCO World Heritage listed Old Town, being the birthplace of Mozart, and also as the setting of the famous musical, The Sound of Music.

Now a university town, there is plenty to see and do in and around Salzburg. You can explore the old town and its amazing architecture, which also has a lot of good restaurants and cafes you can enjoy. Head up the hill to the castle, which gives you a great view over the city. And whether you’re a fan or not, its definitely worth doing a sound of music tour, to see some of the main sights in and around the city.

We’d recommend spending at least two nights in Salzburg, to make sure you get the most out of your time here.

Our top tips and things to know

  • Doing a Sound of Music Bike Tour is a great way to see the city and countryside surrounding Salzburg.  Read more about that and a few other things in our article on things to do in Salzburg.
  • If you plan on doing more than a couple of the main attractions, consider getting a Salzburg Card to save yourself some money
  • If you’re arriving in Salzburg from Munich, get a Bayern Ticket for the journey, it’s the best option for travel.
  • You can download an offline map of Salzburg on google maps before you go. Zoom to Salzburg, search ‘okmaps’, and then download the area you have selected.
  • Austria uses the Euro as its currency.

Where to stay in Salzburg

For attractions and convenience, the best area to stay in Salzburg is. Altstadt (the Old Town).  It’s the best way to get a feel for Salzburg’s medieval past. You will also be located very close to the best sights of the city, which means you will be able to walk almost everywhere and enjoy it all at your own pace.

Salzburg is quite a small city in terms of size, so getting to the Old Town from the main train station is easy. If you are travelling light then walking is a great option (only 15 minutes), otherwise you can take a very short and affordable bus or taxi ride to reach your accommodation.

  • Tip: When you search for your accommodation, change to a map view so you can see where the clusters of hostels or hotels are – these are generally the popular areas to stay.

Getting Around Salzburg

The best and easiest way to get around Salzburg is walking or hiring a bike.  It’s quite small, so you’ll probably have little need for the public transport network.

If you do need it, Salzburg has a good bus network.  You can purchase your ticket from the many kiosks situated throughout the city. They offer single trip tickets, day tickets and weekly tickets which may save you money. Check out the Salzburg Public Transport website for more information.

More reading on Salzburg

If you’re looking for more info and things to do, check out these articles we’ve written:

  • Things to do in Salzburg
  • A brief history of Salzburg

If you’re looking for ideas for places to go before or after your visit, have a look at:

  • Country overview: Austria
  • Journey Idea: Central Europe: Heading East