Old Town Salzburg is a UNESCO Worlds Heritage site.

Top Places to see in Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg, Austria

 Six Hours in Salzburg

We had planned to explore Salzburg, Austria and the ancient UNESCO buildings like the Hohensalzburg Fortress. Plus, the Salzburg Cathedral and venues from The Sound of Music were on our list. Additionally, we also wanted to peruse the Hagenauerplatz shops. 

Hoping to see as much as possible, we took the 10 a.m. train from Munich to Salzburg and arrived around 11:30. We left the train station and walked about 15 minutes then crossed the Salzach river bridge heading toward the shopping district Hagenauerplatz.

Not only did we accomplish our goals, but we ate lunch and later stopped at a cafe to try some Austrian wine.  However, the more we saw, the more we wanted to stay.

The Salzach River

The Salzach river winds through Salzburg.
The Salzach river was a transport route for salt though Austria.

First of all, you couldn’t miss the creamy green colored Salzach river that was used as a route to transport salt. Furthermore, when we looked beyond the river up to Hohensalzburg Fortress, the beauty of the ancient buildings against a bright sky mesmerized us.

Salzburg building remains date back to the 7th century.
The Salzach river winds through Salzburg, Austria.
Old Town Salzburg is a UNESCO Worlds Heritage site.
Hohensalzburg Fortress perches on the Festungsberg and the Monchsberg Mountains.

What to do in Hagenauerplatz or Hagenau Square

St. Blasius Church is at the end of Getreidegasse in Salzburg, Austria.
The church of St. Blaise the”patron saint of throat ailments” is at the end of Getreidegasse in Salzburg, Austria.

We arrived in Hagenauerplatz and perused the shops, and as we neared the street’s end, a meticulous sculpture of Jesus on the cross caught our attention on St. Blasius or St. Blaise’s Church. Though it was September, a note posted on the church advertised an Advent music event. Consequently, we knew that we were in a town that celebrated Catholicism, and we loved it.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born at Getreidegasse 9 in Hagneau Square.
Pandora is one of the shops that we had recognized in Hagenauer Square.

Getreidegasse and Mozart

Turning down Getreidegasse, we spotted Amadeus Wolfgang Mozart’s home. Not only did Mozart live at Getreidegasse No. 9 for 17 years, but he was also born there.  Most notably, Mozart’s house is one of the many UNESCO World Heritage sites in historic Salzburg.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born and lived in Salzburg.
Amadeus Wolfgang Mozart’s birthplace is a UNESCO World Heritage site.                                                                                                                                                                                                   Photo from Flicker by Sohum  Creative Commons

Hohensalzburg Fortress

Cobblestones pave an alley in Old Town Salzburg.
Old Town Salzburg, Austria preserves their ancient remnants.

We then walked toward the Hohensalzburg Fortress, and instead of taking the cable railway, we began our climb up the steep hill. Also, we stopped about halfway at Stieglkeller beer garden for lunch. The walk was a little challenging and I welcomed a break. After lunch, we continued our trek up and toured the castle.

Churches and spires dot the Salzburg skyline.
The best view of Salzburg is from Festung Hohensalzburg.
Salzburg, Austria
Festung Hohensalzburg offers a view of the Alps and the Salzburg countryside.

Nonnberg Nunnery “Abbey”

Nonnberg Nunnery and Abbey in Salzburg
Nonnberg Abbey By Andrew Bossi  creative commons license

After the tour, we directed our path down the hill to the Nonnberg Convent that was founded between the years 712 to 715 and is known as the oldest working nunnery in the world. Notably, to this day, you can still hear the nuns sing every morning at 6:45.

Furthermore, the real Maria von Kutscher who had inspired The Sound of Music had lived at the abbey, and scenes from the musical were filmed at Nonnberg.

Residenzplatz Square

Next, we entered the square where horse and carriages are for hire for The Sound of Music tours, or dinner tours, and more. Moreover, in one of the scenes in Residenzplatz Square, Maria had splashed in the Residenz Fountain on her way to the von Trapp home.

Visitors can take horse and carriage tours in Salzburg, Austria.

Salzburg Cathedral or Dom zu Salzburg

The cathedral was rebuilt and consecrated three times
The original Salzburg Cathedral was constructed in the year 767.
Salzburg Cathedral in Austria
The three dates, 774, 1628 and 1959 represent the consecration times after it was rebuilt from fires and a bombing during WWII.

We passed Salzburg’s holiest and most famous Cathedral, Dom zu Salzburg where 370 years ago someone marred the marble entranceway with graffiti.

The Sound of Music

After passing the Salzburg Cathedral, we proceeded west to Mirabell Palace and Gardens where Maria and the von Trapp children had sung “Do Re Mi.” Also, if we had more time, I would have gone on The Sound of Music tour.

Mirabell Palace and Gardens

Maria and the children finished the song on the gaited steps.
Hohensalzburg Fortress and the Salzburg Cathedral are visible from Mirabell Gardens.

We enjoyed the gardens and the view of the cathedral and fortress, but today the palace is used for municipal government business, so we entered the foyer only. With time to spare, we relaxed at a cafe and sipped some Austrian wine paired with a selection of cheese.


One day, we hope to return and stay longer. Salzburg, entrenched in history, classical music, and religion, seems like the perfect place to celebrate the Christmas season.

As shown above, you can hit the top tourist attractions in a day, but to fully experience the city, you will want to stay longer. I did.

Do you think visiting Salzburg during the holidays would get you in the Christmas spirit?

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30 thoughts on “Top Places to see in Salzburg, Austria

  1. Salzburg is on my list! It does look beautiful with plenty to do. So question, how bad is the trek up to the castle? Would you recommend the walk or the cable car? I do like that you can take a break halfway up. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

    1. I would love to return and spend a few nights. In terms of visiting the castle, I would do the walk to get the best photos, though it’s steep. Thanks for reading my post. #The WeeklyPostcard

  2. Salzburg looks like a fairy tale. After I´ve seen Viena it´s been on my bucket list for a while…. #theweeklypostcard

  3. I want very badly to visit Salzburg, Mozart’s place of birth. Your pictures of it are very enticing, but I’m sure it’s even more beautiful in real life. I hope to make it there next spring, when I’ll be in Europe. #TheWeeklyPostcrd

  4. I’m not one for classical music but I do love a good cobblestone street, so I will have to check out Salzburg now!

  5. I’d love to visit Salazburg one day! It looks so beautiful and has so much history. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Salzburg looks lovely! Such beautiful views you found, on the river and from Festung Hohensalzburg, with the mountains in the background. Really inspires me to visit. I’ve been gifted once with Mozart-themed candy, chocolate and marzipan. It was so good I want to go there and get some more!

    1. Cynthia, thanks for your comment. The view of the Salzach with the mountains and castle in the background is still one of the most gorgeous scenes that I can remember. Now I know that I can find delicious sweets in Salzburg too.

  7. Salzburg is such a gorgeous city! I went to Austria last year, but only had the chance to visit Vienna. Definitely going to include Salzburg on my “to-sees” list.

    1. Bruna, thanks for your comment, as much as I love Salzburg, I am putting Vienna on my list.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Salzburg has a lot to offer, and I hope to return. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  8. Wow, what a gorgeous city! I’ve never been to Austria, but definitely looking forward to going sometime soon. I’ll have to keep Salzburg on my radar! The views from the fortress especially look quite lovely. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. Jessica, you are right, the fortress offers excellent views of Salzburg. Thanks for your comment. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. You are right, I would love to stay a few nights and see more without being on the move. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  9. Salzburg looks lovely. I am a Sound of Music fan so I think first on my list would be one of the Sound of Music tours. It’s nice that even though you didn’t get to take the tour your still got to see some of the spots. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

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