Salzburg, a beautiful town in Austria, known for the Sound of Music and the birthplace of Mozart.  Growing up watching the Sound of Music with my mom and sister, over and over again, I was so excited to visit Salzburg in person with my mom and to see if this place is just as beautiful as it is in the movie.  And the answer is yes, it is just as beautiful! Just a quick train ride from Munich and you are in Austria and this gorgeous, romantic city.  Here are 5 things to do in Salzburg Austria.

1. Wander through the Old Town

The Old Town or Altstadt in German is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.  The medieval and Baroque style buildings are magnificent!  I could have wandered around these streets forever.  Tourists can overtake this part of the city.  Luckily traveling there in April, which is not the high season,  it wasn’t as crowded as it can be in the summer months. The Getreidegasse is the main pedestrian street through Old Town.   There are tons of shops, restaurants, and cafes, as well as beautiful churches to visit and take in the architecture.  Some of the major sights are also located in the Old Town such as Mozart’s Birthplace and the Fortress Hohensalzburg.

5 things to do in Salzburg, stroll around the streets of the old town

Walking around the streets of the Old Town


Horse and carriage ride in the old town in Salzburg

One option for transportation in the Old Town


If you are planning a visit to Switzerland in addition to Austria, be sure to read 6 Foods to Eat in Switzerland!

2. Take a Stroll in the New Town

On the other side of the Salzach River is the New Town, or Neustadt.  Our hotel was in the New Town, which was convenient for exploring the New Town and Old Town.  The Mirabell Gardens and Palace, and Mozart’s Residence are in the New Town.  New Town’s pedestrian street is Linzergasse is the main thoroughfare in this part of the city.  Off Linzergasse is Steingasse, which is a narrow walkway that is a great place for some cocktail and wine bars.

5 things to do in Salzburg, take in views of the Old Town and New Town from the Fortress

View from the Fortress of the Old Town and New Town


5 things to do in Salzburg, stand on the Love Lock bridge over the Salzach River

Love Lock Bridge over the Salzach River



3. Explore the Fortress Hohensalzburg

Built 400 feet above the Salzach River, potential invaders were scared away because of its presence. We took the funicular up to the fortress, but you can also walk.  Once you get up there, the views of Salzburg are stunning!  We chose to wander the 8-acre grounds on our own, but there is an audio guide tour as well.

5 things to do in Salzburg, check out Fortress Hohensalzburg

Fortress Hohensalzburg on top of the hill


a view of the Alps from the Fortress Hohensalzburg

A view of the Alps from within the walls of the Fortress


On the grounds of the Fortress Hohensalzburg

On the grounds of the Fortress Hohensalzburg


For more amazing castles and old towns to visit, read 7 Things to Do in Germany!

4. The Sound of Music Tour

Sound of Music Bus Tour

Bus for Sound of Music Tour

This tour was one of the main highlights of our visit to Salzburg being a big fan of the movie growing up.  This tour is a great way to see Salzburg and surrounding areas as you visit many sights where the movie was filmed such as the Von Trapp house and the gazebo. So, it is beneficial even if you are not a huge fan of the movie.  However, be prepared to sing along on the tour bus to the songs from the movie as you travel from each sight.  There are a few different companies offering a Sound of Music Tour. I went on the Panorama Original Sound of Music Tour – Tour 1A with my mom.  We loved it!  And another option is a bike tour.


The house used for filming Von Trapp family in the Sound of Music

The Von Trapp house in the movie, The Sound of Music


The gazebo used in the Sound of Music

The gazebo in the Sound of Music, the scene with Liesl and Rolf



5. Visit the Mirabell Palace and Gardens

Mirabell Gardens and Palace

Mirabell Palace and Gardens

In 1606, Wolf Dietrich built this palace for his beloved.  Wolfgang Mozart made music here and nowadays is where beautiful weddings take place.  In 1690, the baroque style gardens were redesigned.  One of the most memorable scenes in the Sound of Music takes place in the Mirabell Gardens, where the children sing and skip along the Pegasus Fountain.  They also hop up and down the stairs at the end of the song in front of Rose Hall.  I had the chance to see the gardens and re-enact these scenes during the Sound of Music Tour with my mom and the other people on the tour.  It was fun and hilarious being silly with the other Sound of Music movie lovers!

Views of Mirabell Gardens

The beautiful Mirabell Gardens, also seen in The Sound of Music



If you enjoyed reading 5 Things to Do in Salzburg Austria, check out another post 7 Things to Do in Germany! 

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Dietitian, food lover, and world traveler! Veronica has been a registered dietitian for over 20 years, specializing in clinical and community nutrition. She enjoys wellness, trying new foods, and exploring the globe to learn about different cultures.

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