Getting to know Salzburg is not too difficult, because most of its sights are within a comparatively small area. The Altstadt (Old City) is a compact area between the jutting outcrop of the Mönchsberg and the Salzach River. The cathedral and interconnecting squares surrounding it form what used to be the religious center, around which the major churches and the old archbishops' residence are arranged (note that entrance into all Salzburg churches is free). The Mönchsberg cliffs emerge unexpectedly behind the Old City, crowned to the east by the Hohensalzburg Fortress. Across the river, in the small area between the cliffs of the Kapuzinerberg and the riverbank, is the Steingasse, a narrow medieval street where laborers, craftsmen, and traders served the salt-mining industry and travelers coming in and out of the region’s important mercantile hub. Northwest of the Kapuzinerberg lies Mirabell Palace and its manicured gardens.

It's best to begin by exploring the architectural and cultural riches of the Old City, then go on to the fortress. Afterward, cross the river to inspect the other bank. Ideally, you need two days to do it all. An alternative, if you enjoy exploring churches and castles, is to go directly up to the fortress, either on foot or by returning through the cemetery to the funicular railway.

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  • 1. Dom zu Salzburg

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Set within the beautiful Domplatz with the Virgin's Column in its center, this gorgeous cathedral is considered to be the first early-Italian...Read More

  • 2. DomQuartier


    For the first time since the early 1800s, you can look down on the original heart of Salzburg as once only the powerful archbishops could, as...Read More

  • 3. Fortress Hohensalzburg


    Founded in 1077, the Hohensalzburg is Salzburg's acropolis and the largest preserved medieval fortress in Central Europe. Brooding over the...Read More

  • 4. Hallein Salt Mine


    The second-largest town of the region, 15 kilometers (10 miles) south of Salzburg, Hallein was once famed for its caves of "white gold"—or salt...Read More

  • 5. Hangar-7


    Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz opens his fantasy toy chest for all to admire: vintage airplanes, helicopters, motorbikes, and Formula...Read More

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  • 6. Marionettentheater

    Arts/Performance Venue

    The Salzburger Marionettentheater is both the world's greatest marionette theater and a surprisingly sublime theatrical experience. Many critics...Read More

  • 7. Mirabellgarten


    While there's a choice of entrances to the Mirabell Gardens—from the Makartplatz (framed by the statues of Roman gods), the Schwarzstrasse,...Read More

  • 8. Mozart-Wohnhaus

    Historic Home

    The Mozart family moved from its cramped quarters in Getreidegasse to this house on the Hannibal Platz, as it was then known, in 1773. Wolfgang...Read More

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  • 9. Mozarts Geburtshaus

    Historic Home

    This homage to Salzburg's prodigal son offers fascinating insights into his life and works, with carefully curated relics of Mozart's youth...Read More

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  • 10. Salzburg Museum


    Encompassing six different buildings, the Salzburg Museum's largest location is the 17th-century Neue Residenz (New Residence). This building...Read More

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  • 11. Schloss Hellbrunn


    Just six kilometers (four miles) south of Salzburg, Schloss Hellbrunn was the prince-archbishops' pleasure palace. It was built early in the...Read More

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  • 12. Alter Markt


    Right in the heart of the Old City is the Alter Markt, the old marketplace and former center of secular life in the city. The square is lined...Read More

  • 13. Dreifaltigkeitskirche

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The Makartplatz—named after Hans Makart, the most famous Austrian painter of the mid-19th century—is dominated at the top (east) end by Fischer...Read More

  • 14. Festspielhaus

    Arts/Performance Venue

    With the world-famous Salzburg Festival as their objective, music lovers head for the Hofstallgasse, the street where the three festival theaters...Read More

  • 15. Franziskanerkirche

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The graceful, tall spire of the Franciscan Church stands out from all other towers in Salzburg; the church itself encompasses the greatest diversity...Read More

  • 16. Friedhof St. Sebastian


    This final resting place for many members of the Mozart family, in the shadows of St. Sebastian's Church, offers a peaceful respite from the...Read More

  • 17. Gaisberg and Untersberg


    Salzburg's "house mountains" are so called because of their proximity to the city, with Gaisberg lying to the east and Untersberg to the south...Read More

  • 18. Glockenspiel

    Other Attraction

    This famous carillon bell tower is perched on top of the Neue Residenz (New Residence), Prince-Archbishop Wolf-Dietrich's government palace...Read More

  • 19. Kapuzinerberg


    To the south of the New City, and directly opposite the Mönchsberg on the other side of the river, Kapuzinerberg hill is crowned by several...Read More

  • 20. Keltenmuseum


    To learn all about Hallein, head to the Keltenmuseum, where more than 30 rooms explore the history of the region's Celtic settlements (before...Read More

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