Salzburg itinerary for music lovers

Salzburg is one of Europe’s very best music capitals. It’s the birthplace of Mozart as well as home to the famous Von Trapp family and a filming location for the Sound of Music film. The vibrant city holds music close to its heart. If you’re a music lover, then the city of Salzburg is the best place for you! You’ll experience opulent concert halls and some of the world’s most enchanting venues, historical sites, and high culture. It’s my kind of city!

Salzburg Austria
Salzburg Austria: Salzburg’s old town and historic city center have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its historical and cultural importance, and stunning architecture. It’s one of Europe’s prettiest cities!

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Salzburg Itinerary for music lovers

Salzburg deserves at the very minimum a long weekend! I’ve crafted this 3-day Salzburg itinerary that includes the best things to see and do in Salzburg for music lovers. Feel free to mix this itinerary up anyway that works for you.

Salzburg is Mozart’s hometown! Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the most famous composers of all time, was born in Salzburg on January 27, 1756, and lived here until 1781 when he moved to Vienna. The city of Salzburg is so proud of its connection to their famous one-time resident that they like to use the term “The City of Mozart” to describe the town.

Salzburg is a mecca for Sound of Music Fans. The town and surrounding area is home to several filming locations of the famous true story musical film starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. The 1965 Hollywood film from Robert Wise centers on the real life Von Trapp family.

Itinerary Highlights include:

  • Mozart sites
  • Sound of Music activities
  • Palaces and other historical sites
  • World Class Puppet theater
  • Fancy dinner concerts for classical music lovers
  • and more!

Day 1

Arrival in Salzburg

Ideally, you’ll want to arrive early on the first day so you can fit all of these great things in!

By Air (Salzburg Airport)
Salzburg is served by Salzburg Airport (SZG), which is located about 4 km from the city center.

By train or bus
Salzburg is well-connected to other parts of central Europe by train or bus. The city’s main train station, Salzburg Hauptbahnhof, is in the city center.

By car
Driving in the city center is challenging, and parking is costly. Fortunately, it’s easy to visit Salzburg without a car! If you opt for the self-drive for the Sound of Music sites you can pick up a car on day 3 at Salzburg Airport or at various rental agencies located throughout the city.

Purchase the Salzburg Card

The first thing you’ll want to do is purchase a Salzburg Card (tourist discount card) from your hotel or at one of the Tourist Information offices in town. We found that it saved us about 31 euros per person over 3 days, it’s the best way to save money. Cost for the 72-hour card: 41 Euros.

With the Salzburg Card: Free admission to many attractions, ride area buses for free, one free round trip river cruise from Salzburg City Cruises, discounts on the hop-on-hop-off bus tours, free use of most modes of public transportation, and more!

Tourist Information office locations:

  • Mozartplatz 5
  • Salzburg Hauptbahnhof: Südtiroler Platz 1

Modern Art Statue

The Homage to Mozart (Mozart – Eine Hommage) Statue in Bronze by Markus Lüpertz is a bit polarizing since it’s not a very accurate likeness. Location: Ursulinenplatz, in front of St. Mark’s Church (free)

Hammage to Mozart Statue Salzburg Austria
Hammage to Mozart Statue

Boat Ride on the Salzach River

After the rush of getting into town and getting checked into your hotel this is a good time to sit back and relax on a river cruise. Salzburg Austria, with it’s fanciful mixture of Gothic and Baroque architecture, sits prettily on the banks of the Salzach River. Embark on a riverside cruise for amazing panoramic views of Salzburg’s decidedly ornate skyline. Boats leave from the ‘Marko-Feingold-Steg’ bridge on the outskirts of Old Town. The free tour included with the Salzburg Card is an eight-kilometre round trip route. You can check the schedule at the Salzburg Stadt Schiff Fahrt website. (cost without card: adults 17 euros)

Salzach River Salzburg Austria
boat excursions on the Salzach River

Mozart Residence (Mozart-Wohnhaus)

Now it’s time to head across the river. While in my opinion not as impressive as the birthday house, the Residence (also known as The Dance Master’s House / Tanzmeisterhous) is worth a quick look. The Mozart family moved to these larger rebuilt apartments when Mozart was about 17 years old. Here you’ll find family portraits and original Mozart instruments. (covered by the Salzburg Card. Price without card: adults € 13.50) Location: Makartplatz 8

Mozart piano and family portrait in the Mozart Residence Salzburg Austria
Mozart piano and family portrait in the Mozart Residence

the graves of Mozart’s wife and father

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was buried in an unmarked grave in Vienna. However, many of the Mozart family are buried in Salzburg. You can visit the resting places of Constanze and Leopold, Mozart’s wife and father, at the St. Sebastian’s Cemetery. Location: Linzer Gasse 41 (free)

Mirabell Palace, Mirabell Gardens

This stunning 17th century palace and attached garden were once the home of the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg. The beautiful baroque pleasure garden features flowers, manicured lawns, statues, sculptures, and elaborate fountains. The Pegasus fountain at Mirabell Palace is the filming location where Maria and the children sing the song “Do-Re-Mi.” The palace may close as early as 4 pm so be sure to check the schedule, the gardens are open until dusk, partial closures in winter. (free) Check the website for more information on Mirabell Garden concerts.

Pegasus at Mirabell Gardens Salzburg Austria
Pegasus at Mirabell Gardens

evening concert at Mirabell Palace Marble Hall

Classical music concerts (Schlosskonzerte Mirabell) are hosted in the historic baroque Marble Hall (Marmorsaal) at Mirabell Palace, where Leopold Mozart and his children Wolfgang and Nannerl performed for the Archbishop. The hall, one of the most beautiful in Austria, is a real stunner. (First-serve seating, so arrive early for the best seats) Duration: 1.5 hours, start time 6:00 pm.

Book it here on Get Your Guide!

Dinner Concert
Mirabell also offers a dinner concert complete with 3-course dinner at Restaurant Mirabell at the Sheraton Grande. Afterwards, you’ll make your way to the Marble Hall for a classical music ensemble concert. Duration: 4 hours, start time 8:00 pm, no concerts on Monday.

Book it here on Get Your Guide (free cancellation, reserve now & pay later)

Day 2

Today we celebrate all things Mozart! You’ll find Mozart in nearly every nook, cranny, and corner of the city.

Mozart’s Birthplace Museum (Mozarts Geburtshaus)

The Mozart family lived in this house when Wolfgang was born in 1756. The entire house is now a museum, full of interesting historical treasures, dedicated to all things Mozart. Inside, Mozart’s keyboard, violin, music written in his hand, a lock of his hair, and more! Location: on Getreidegasse #9 (covered on the Salzburg Card. Price without card: adults € 13.50)

Mozart in Salzburg! Mozart's Birthplace on Getreidegasse
Mozart in Salzburg! Mozart’s Birthplace
Mozart Birthplace Collage Salzburg Austria
some of my favorite things from the Mozart Birthplace

Try the famous Mozart Balls (Mozartkugeln)

Mozart Balls are a popular treat created in 1890 by Paul Fürst and named after Salzburg’s most famous resident. The original confection consists of pistachio, marzipan, and nougat covered in dark chocolate. The original Fürst Shop, where it all began, is located at Getreidegasse 47.

Mozart Balls, candy confections, Furst Shops Salzburg Austria
Mozart Balls

Try the delicious Mozart Cake

Thin layers of almond paste made from sweet almond milk, and topped with chocolate, modeled after the famed Mozart Ball! Stop in for some Mozart Cake at Cafe Tomaselli. The historic cafe, patronized by the Mozart’s themselves, was established in 1700!

Mozart Cake
Mozart Cake

Mozart Statue / Mozart Monument

Head over to Mozartplatz (Mozart Square) to find the Statue of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. While you’re here head towards the river to Mozart Bridge. You’ll get some of the best views of the castle from this pedestrian bridge. (free)

Mozart in Salzburg, 17 plus fantastic things to do in Salzburg for Mozart lovers
Mozart Statue in Salzburg, one of the world’s most famous musicians

The DomQuartier for history and concerts

DomQuartier is a museum complex located in the historic center. These buildings were once part of the archbishop’s palace. The complex includes the Residenzgalerie, which houses a collection of European art from the 16th to the 19th centuries, the Dom Museum, which showcases the history and culture of the Salzburg archdiocese, and the state rooms of the former archbishop’s palace. Location: DomQuartier, Residenz Pl. 1 (covered under the Salzburg Card. Price without card: adults € 13.00)

Mozart Violin Sonatas at DomQuartier
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played music for the Prince-Archbishop in the state rooms of the Old Residence. Daily violin sonatas at 5:00 p.m. (except on December 24th) Duration: 45 minutes (20% discount with the Salzburg Card.)

Piano Concertos
Mozart piano concertos at the Baroque era Salzburg court. Check the website for performance dates, 3:00 pm Duration: 45 minutes (20% discount with the Salzburg Card)

Salzburg Cathedral (Dom zu Salzburg or Salzburger Dom)

See the baptismal font where little Wolfgang was baptized. This lavishly decorated cathedral was Mozart’s home church where he served as organist for the next 25 years. Location: Domplatz 1a

Get entry tickets on Get Your Guide! (OR choose the guided tour OR the midday organ concert)

Salzburg Cathedral
Salzburg Cathedral

Nannerl’s resting place

Mozart’s sister Maria Anna, affectionately known as Nannerl, is buried in St Peter’s Cemetery (Petersfriedhof) Location: Sankt-Peter-Bezirk. While here you’ll want to visit the catacombs (Katakomben) the former residing place of Medieval hermit monks. (covered on the Salzburg card. Price without card: adults € 2.00 ) and the little 12th century Abbey Church of St. Peter. (free)

St. Peter's Cemetery and the Catacombs Salzburg
St. Peter’s Cemetery with the catacombs in the background

St. Peter Stiftskeller

The recommended Stiftskeller St. Peter restaurant in the courtyard boasts that Charlemagne ate here in 803, making it perhaps the oldest restaurant in Europe. If you don’t plan to attend the Mozart Dinner Concert, consider stopping by this historic building for a meal or even just an Apfelstrudel.

Guided Walking Tour (private tour)

Would you rather have a guide complete with historical commentary? The “Life of Mozart Private Guided Walking Tour” is a 2-3 hour private Mozart themed walking tour from a local guide.

Book it here on Get Your Guide!

Mozart Dinner Concert

I think this is Salzburg’s very best experience! The concert, held in a most elegant candle-lit baroque setting, includes a delicious three course dinner crafted with Mozart era recipes, and three 20-minute courses of Mozart’s most popular compositions. Performers don Mozart era costumes making this a truly immersive experience! The Mozart family frequented this restaurant and attended events much the same as this one! Duration 2.5 hours. Location: Stiftskeller St. Peter Restaurant, Sankt-Peter-Bezirk ¼, at St. Peter’s Monastery

Book it now on Get Your Guide! (free cancellation, reserve now & pay later

Mozart dinner concert at Stiftskeller St. Peter restaurant

Day 3

Sound of Music sites

Today we celebrate the famous Hollywood movie! You’ll want a car, or to take the tour discussed below. With a car it will take you about 2 hours to drive this route, round trip. If you opt for public transport explore your options on Rome2Rio and then book through the Deutsche Bahn website or app.

You’ve already visited the fountain at Mirabell. Other Sound of Music sites include:

  • Nonnberg Abbey, the oldest convent in German-speaking Europe. Maria Von Trapp underwent religious training here. (free)
  • Leopoldskron Palace, the exterior was used as the Trapp family home and the small lake here is where the Von Trapp children were seen boating and playing in the water. 1 hour castle tour starts at 10:15 a.m. when available, cost: adults: EUR 26.00, or book one of their special breakfasts.
  • Hellbrunn Palace Park at Schloss Hellbrunn is where you’ll find the original gazebo used for both Maria and Georg’s romantic love scene and the duet “Sixteen Going on Seventeen”. You’ll want to make time in your schedule to tour the palace and unique gardens with their fanciful trick fountains (covered under the Salzburg Card. Price without card: adults € 15.00) Built in the 1600’s, what makes the baroque Hellbrunn Palace so special are the dozens of playful trick fountains located in the gardens. The palace interior is stunningly decorated and worth seeing for its intricate frescoes and ornate furnishings.
  • Sound of Music Trapp Villa (Villa Trapp) The real Trapp family lived in this villa from 1923 until they fled the National Socialists to the USA in 1938. The house no longer hosts a museum but can be viewed, at a respectable distance, from the outside. Location: Traunstraße 34, 5026
  • Lake Fuschl, the filming location for both St. Gilgen and Lake Wolfgang lake scenes shown at the beginning of the movie.
  • Basilika St. Michael (Mondsee Cathedral), a 20-minute drive from the lake, is the location of the wedding scene. Maria, led by Liesl, walked down the aisle to meet the baron in front of the stairs of the main altar. (free)
the sound of music in and near Salzburg Austria
The Sound of Music (ClaraDon via Flickr)
Hellbrunn Palace Landmarks in Austria
Hellbrunn Palace
Leopoldskron Palace Salzburg
Leopoldskron Palace

take a Sound of Music tour from Salzburg

Why not sit back and let the pros do all the work? All of the above-mentioned places can be seen on an organized tour with a professional tour guide that leaves from Salzburg. This half-day tour takes you from Salzburg through the picturesque Lake District and countryside and includes music from the original film soundtrack. Tours leave at 9:15 and 2:00. Duration 4 hours

Book the Original Sound of Music Tour here on Get Your Guide! (free cancellation, reserve now & pay later)

Also available from this tour operator:
Sound of Music & Berchtesgaden Salt Mines Tour

Hohensalzburg Fortress and concert

The 1,000-year-old medieval Hohensalzburg Fortress (Festung Hohensalzburg), the focal point of the town, is the expansive castle complex that looms above the city. It’s one of Austria’s most famous landmarks. I recommend touring the castle, the most visited attraction in town, before attending the evening’s classical music concert. Castle highlights include the Marionette Museum, castle museum, and the STUNNING Regency Rooms and castle interiors. The castle’s high location affords magnificent panoramic views of Salzburg’s fanciful rooftops and the surrounding mountains. The castle is open until 8:00 pm. Location: Mönchsberg 34 (covered by the Salzburg Card)

Hohensalzburg Fortress famous landmarks in Austria
Hohensalzburg Fortress

The best way to get to the castle, located on Festungsberg mountain, is to take the funicular / cable car (no extra cost to you with the Salzburg card which includes skip the line privileges! cost of funicular and castle ticket without Salzburg card: adults, 14,40 Euros)

Mozart Concert at Hohensalzburg Fortress

World class Mozart Concerts are hosted in the fortresses’ stunning concert hall. You have the option to choose with or without dinner. The VIP option allows you to sit on the terrace during dinner with great views of beautiful Salzburg. Without dinner: Duration 1.5 hours, start time 8:30 pm. Dinner concert: Duration 4-5 hours, start time 5 pm

Book on Get Your Guide (free cancellation, reserve now & pay later)

Hohensalzburg Fortress Concert Hall Salzburg Austria
the stunning Hohensalzburg Fortress Concert Hall

Optional experiences

If you are lucky enough to have more time to add to this “Salzburg itinerary for music lovers,” consider these worthwhile itinerary additions:

Salzburg Marionette Theater (Salzburger Marionettentheater)

Salzburg is home to a world class marionette theater which offers performances of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, The Sound of Music, and other lesser-known tales. Duration: 1-2 hours. (free cancellation, reserve now & pay later.

book tickets to the Marionette Theater here on Get Your Guide!

Salzburg Marionette Theater, the Magic Flute

Experience the magical sounds of the bells of Salzburg.

Magical sounds rain down daily on the narrow surrounding streets and lanes of the Old City, just as they have for the last 300 years, when the bells of Salzburg ring out. Every inch of the historic district is filled with the acoustic melodies of the bells at 7 a.m., 11 a.m. or 6 p.m. To see the mechanism, called a carillon, responsible for coordinating the 35 church bells, head to the Salzburg Museum. As a bonus, the platform offers unique panoramic views of the city! It’s a great place to see some of the best views of the city!

Enjoy a bit of “church music”

If you happen to be in Salzburg on a Sunday, stop by one of the town’s cathedrals and enjoy a music-filled Mass. The 10:00 Mass at the Salzburg Cathedral often comes with both a choir and an orchestra performance.

The Silent Night Chapel (“Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht”)

The popular Christmas carol, composed in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber to lyrics by Joseph Mohr, was first performed in this chapel on Christmas Eve in 1818. Today the church is home to a “Silent Night” Museum. Nikolauskirche (parish church of Oberndorf) location: Oberndorf bei Salzburg. Distance: car 11 minutes, train 30 minutes, bus 30 minutes

Salzburg Festival Hall (Great Festival House)

Offers a series of performances throughout the year. Check their website for a list of events.

Salzburg Vienna (day trip to Vienna)

Vienna bills itself as the world’s capital of music. Check the Vienna Music Society (Vienna’s Musikverein) concert hall website for a listing of events. Or make your way to the park in front of City Hall on summer nights for a free “arts in the park” experience. The 60-foot-wide TV screen projects filmed performances by a variety of artists. Food stalls hosted by some of Vienna’s classical cafes serve up tasty delights. St. Peter’s Church has free organ concerts daily, and a live orchestra performs during Sunday Mass at the Augustinian Church at the Hofburg. Get a full list of music events in Vienna at the Wien website.

Vienna Opera House Austria
Vienna Opera House Austria

Festivals and Events

If you time your trip just right, you may be in town for one of Salzburg’s famous music festivals.
Salzburg is a world-class destination for live music performances, and each summer it hosts its famous Salzburg Festival.

Maps

Use these maps to get your bearings on your first visit to Salzburg.

Mozart Attractions Map

Mozart in Salzburg Map, Mozart Attractions in Salzburg Austria
Mozart in Salzburg Map, link to interactive Google Map

Sound of Music Map

Sound of Music Map Salzburg attractions Austria, Salzburg itinerary for music lovers
Sound of Music Map Salzburg. Links to interactive Google Map

Salzburg Attractions Map

link to interactive Google map of attractions in Salzburg for tourists
link to interactive Google map of attractions in Salzburg for tourists

Austria Itineraries

Austrian food and eating in Salzburg

If you’re like me, then one of your favourite things about a trip is the great food! When in Rome, try the local cuisine!

  • Eiernockerl (their version of Spätzle with cheese and fried onions)
  • Speckknodel (dumplings with ham and bacon mixed in, served with broth)
  • Salzburger Nockerl, (Soufflé resembling mountain peaks with a snowy dusting of sugar, it’s a baked mountain peak confection!)
  • Salzburger wurst, simply delicious! try one at Getreidegasse, in the alleyway that leads to the famous Balkan Grill (Bosna Grill) which serves what is purported to be the very best wurst in town.

My favorite way to find the best restaurants is on TripAdvisor. You’ll get plenty of customer photos and reviews, all ranked top to bottom!

Bosna wurst from the Balkan Grill Salzburg Austria
Bosna Wurst from the Balkan Grill

Accommodation: where to stay in Salzburg

the quieter outskirts of town:

  • Bloberger Hof: Want to escape the crowds of the city center and trade them for scenic meadows with highland cattle and a mountain backdrop? Bloberger Hof is the place for you! This adorable hotel sits conveniently on the bus route directly into the city center! The hospitality is second to none, the food outstanding. It’s my favorite hotel in Salzburg!

book it on Booking.com!

  • Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron Palace: Splurge Alert! This palace was built in the 18th century, is surrounded by 17 acres of manicured grounds and mountains, and sits on an idyllic lake. It’s a 7 minute walk to the bus stop into the city center. Scenes from the Sound of Music were filmed here.

book it on Booking.com!

City Center options:

Rather Stay in the city center? Standout options include:

  • Altstadt Hotel Stadtkrug: a 700-year-old building located in historic old town
  • IMLAUER Hotel Pitter: opened in 1864, panoramic views of the city, including the castle!
  • Hotel Wolf: adorable hotel which dates from 1429!
  • Hotel Stein: (adults only) the building dates to medieval times, beautifully renovated with eye popping color! sits on the Salzach River, a panoramic rooftop terrace with views of the town, including the castle!
  • Hotel am Mirabellplatz: boutique hotel located in a 17th-century building (former residence of the Archbishop) looks out over Mirabell Palace
  • Hotel Sacher Salzburg: another luxury option, this 19th century hotel is luxuriously decorated and has a beautiful quintessentially Austrian dining room with rich wood waxed to a high shine, on the banks of the Salzach River with views of the castle

Budget Hostels

Hostel options for budget-conscious travelers:

when is the best time to go?

Spring and Fall are ideal times to visit Austria. However, mountain regions may already or still be dealing with snow.

Winters are cold but with lovely snow-capped mountains as a backdrop. Expect to deal with winter weather road conditions. Some mountain passes may be closed.

Summer months are prime time to visit for summer activities like swimming and boating but it will be crowded.

cost and trip planning resources

Cost: 3-day Salzburg Itinerary for Music Lovers
How much can you expect to spend on this 3-day Salzburg Itinerary? Depending on your travel style prices can vary greatly. This is a middle of the road estimate:

(2024 prices)

hotelBased on double occupancy $600 (3 nights)
transportationMinimal if you use buses and trams (and in many instances free with the Salzburg Card!) One day car rental: $80 (price goes up if you opt for the sound of music tour instead of the self tour. $130 per person)
Salzburg Card (3 day)$45 per person
tours and admission$38 per person ($7 pp Cathedral, $28 pp Leopoldskron Palace, the rest is covered on the Salzburg Card.) plus any optional experiences
3 dinner concerts$264 per person (Note: These concerts can get a bit pricey but they come highly recommended! After all, it’s why you’re here! To save money attend the regular concert and have an inexpensive dinner somewhere else.)
estimated total for two people =$1,374 (plus the cost of food/drinks)
(prices are an approximation)

Don’t forget to add the cost of airfare (we fly free, learn how here!) PLUS sign up for “Going” (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) to get flight deals sent to your inbox! see the world for less! and don’t forget to insure your trip with Travel Insurance!

Frequently Asked Questions

What language do they speak in Austria?

German is the official language of Austria.

What kind of currency do they use in Austria?

The Euro is the official currency of Austria.

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