Planning 2 to 3 days in Salzburg? Looking for some things to do? We’re here to help you make the absolute most out of your time in this fascinating Austrian city. First up, there are two famous Salzburg players to keep an eye out for. We are of course talking Mozart and The Sound of Music.
Thankfully Salzburg has kept things classy and it’s entirely possible to visit without once being expected to join in any form of sing-a-long. That’ll be music to your ears if you’re in Salzburg for the baroque architecture and stunning palace…
Full disclosure. These are the Salzburg big hitters. The box tickers. Very much the meat on the Salzburg bone. You get the picture. Of course, we’ve dished out some Salzburg quirks for you further down the page too. Because, when it comes to rummaging around for things to see in Salzburg in 3 days, we think you’re going to want to mix things up a little.
Mirabell Palace and Gardens
Gardens have to be pretty spectacular to earn global notoriety – but that’s just what the green spaces at Mirabell Palace and Gardens have managed. Manicured, symmetrical and particularly stunning in spring and summer, they rival the lush palace interiors in the beauty stakes. Do pop inside the palace though. You’ll find a myriad of baroque pieces – from art and sculpture to interior decor. Entry is free.
Orbzii tip: Consider booking a seat at one of the Mozart concerts hosted in the grand hall. Where better to hear work from Salzburg’s most celebrated residents?
Religious or not, you can’t fail to be impressed by the architecture of Salzburg Cathedral. Bringing serious baroque vibes isn’t this cathedral’s only claim to fame. It’s stood the test of time – quite literally, managing to stay standing after ten fires. Well, there has been a smidge of rebuilding here and there, but still. This building is here to stay. Mozart was baptised here too – if you’re ticking off Mozart spots on your Salzburg bingo card.
Shopping. A city break essential that, in Salzburg at least, also comes with some scenic street action and that all important immersion into a new place. Salzburg’s Getreidegasse could be likened to Las Ramblas in Barcelona, yes the tourists flock here. But unlike Barcelona’s tourist trap, Getreidegasse has some kudos to draw you in. We’re talking Mozart’s birthplace and a rather nice line in chic shops housed in tall town houses, nooks, passageways and alleys.
Have you really been on a city break if there aren’t at least four or five selfies of you and a significant other in front of an eye-watering view? Of course not. Helpfully, we’ve rounded up some Salzburg viewpoints for you to point your camera at.
You can’t fail to spot the Hohensalzburg Fortress looking down on the city as you explore. Shimmy to the top of this 11th century masterpiece and you can see all of Salzburg below. It’s worth nipping in to do one of the tours while you’re up here. But if you’re compiling a list of things to see in Salzburg in just 2 days? Stick to the views.
Slip your hiking boots on and get a good old gawp of the Hohensalzburg Fortress from afar on the Bastion Trail. The walk takes you cliffside along a medieval wall for a chance to walk in the footsteps of Salzburg’s residents. Definitely not a tourist trail, but very much a walk worth doing. Just don’t forget your camera.
Off the beaten track
Ok, so seeing Salzburg in 3 days means you’re going to want to wedge in those spots Salzburg is famous for. But this city has some niche and tucked away goodies that are worth setting aside some time for. Here’s a taster of what to expect if you turn down the traditional tourist spots for a decent dose of hidden Salzburg.
St Peter’s Abbey Catacombs
Can we consider this a hidden spot if it’s included on a few Sound of Music tours. Yes… and no. If you’re not a fan of musicals, this 11th century relic could pass you by. Carved into the side of the Mönchsberg mountain, this sacred spot is where Mozart’s sister was buried. Ancient, fascinating and the balcony boasts a rather nice view of the city.
What if we told you that, when you’re schlepping around Salzburg looking for things to do during your 3 day stay, you’re just an hour away from the world’s largest ice cave? You’d drop everything and go, right? Correct, because this beauty has been forming for thousands of years and is just waiting to welcome you. Pack layers and explore the icy labyrinth in the mountains known as Eisriesenwelt.
Where to eat and drink
The sights, sounds and smells of a city are all well and good, but seeing Salzburg in 2 or 3 days means you’ll need a plan if you want to eat well. Here’s a few places you’ll want on your list.
The Green Garden
If you’re veggie, vegan or just plant-curious, you’ll find a hearty meal at the Green Garden. Reliably slinging Austrian produce filled plates at breakfast, lunch and dinner, this joint is as insta’ friendly as it is delicious.
Nip into the oldest cafe in Austria for a brew and a bite. Rarely can you say you’ve nibbled on a strudel in the very same spot where Mozart may have queued for his morning latte. Flippant jokes about Salzburg’s most famous resident aside, the Tomaselli is THE spot in the city for posh pastries. A family run cafe steeped in the city’s history.
Get to Salzburg’s best pub for a taste of Austria – and, of course, a local ale or two. The Krimpelstätter is not new, shiny or hip. Very much a rustic, Austrian inn that happens to serve amazing grub. Local recipes, Austrian produce and barely a tourist in sight. Until you show up.
The Sound of Salzburg
The two big players in the Salzburg music scene? The Sound of Music and Mozart. Yes, you’ll easily stumble across notable locations for both when you’re compiling a list of things to see in Salzburg in 2 or 3 days – but for fans of the film, a tour is essential.
We’re loving the very on brand experience that is Fraulein Maria’s Bicycle Tours. You get to whizz through filming locations on bikes similar to the ones Julie Andrews rode in the film. And, unlike the bus tours, these small group tours allow plenty of chances to actually explore and perhaps recreate your favourite scene from the film. Do expect to join in at least one hearty rendition of Do-Re-Mi.
Want to explore even more of Salzburg’s music scene? This music lover’s guide might just be the ticket.