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3 Days in Salzburg

3 days in Salzburg will allow you to see as much of this beautiful city as possible!

Salzburg might not be the first place you think of when it comes to Austria, but the city has plenty of interesting to check out.

It’s Mozart’s birthplace and you can visit the house he was born, there’s the impressive Hohensalzburg fortress and the stunning Mirabell gardens and palace too!

I enjoyed visiting Salzburg and was impressed by the city despite knowing little about it. A must while you’re there is to visit Salzburg’s old town, which is beautiful and take a day trip to Hallstatt or the ice caves too!

This Salzburg itinerary will provide all the information you need before visiting this beautiful Austrian city. There’s info on where to stay, rough estimates of costs, the best time to visit and how to get around.

Keep scrolling to discover what to do in Salzburg for 3 days!

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3 Days in Salzburg Itinerary

Quick 3 Days in Salzburg Itinerary

Day 1 – Walking Tour, Mirabell Palace, Getreidegasse
Day 2 – Festung Hohensalzburg, Mozart Geburtshaus, Mozart Wohnhause
Day 3 – Salzburg Cathedral, Sound of Music Tour, Hallstatt

Top Tip – Skip the lines at over 20+ activities with the Salzburg Card
Check out some of the best places to eat in Salzburg with this food tour
Get transport to/from Salzburg airport to Salzburg City Centre

My Experience in Salzburg

Tom in Salzburg
Me in Salzburg

After spending 3 days in Venice and crossing over the border from Italy into Austria, I spent two days in Innsbruck before heading to Salzburg.

As with most places I visit for the first time, I knew very little about Salzburg. I hadn’t seen much of Austria and I was interested to see what Salzburg was like.

My first impressions after leaving the main station were mixed, as the station is a bit outside of the centre and so was where I was staying.

However, once I got into the historic old town, I was much more impressed with Salzburg. It’s a relatively small city in central Europe and while the backdrop isn’t as spectacular as Innsbruck, the Alps in the background do give it an amazing feel.

Salzburg has some stunning architecture and walking along the shopping street of Getreidegasse is a must. Venturing up to Festung Hohensalzburg for a spectacular view of the city as you can see in the photo above is a must too.

There are a good number of things to do in the small city here, and you can easily spend two days walking around and seeing most of the sights.

I’d recommend heading out of the city for the third day to somewhere like Hallstatt or the salt mines, as you’ll have likely seen most of Salzburg by then.

But it’s a beautiful city and one you have to include on your Austria itinerary if you visit the city. As the birthplace of Mozart and the setting of the Sound of Music, it has a rich cultural history.

It’s a nice contrast to Vienna and well worth visiting!

Here are a few things I liked about Salzburg and a few things I didn’t:


  • If you love culture, Salzburg is a brilliant place to visit. You can see where Mozart was born and the house that he grew up. You can explore the setting of the Sound of Music and there are many other fascinating museums to check out too.
  • Salzburg isn’t the biggest city which makes getting around easy. It’s much easier to get around than Vienna and you can walk the whole city on foot without much difficulty.


  • This isn’t the worst thing but the train station was a bit out of the way. It won’t take you too long to walk to/from the station to the centre, but I’d recommend getting a bus or a taxi to your accommodation if you arrive at night.
  • Once you’ve seen everything in Salzburg, there isn’t much more to do. 3 days is the most time I’d recommend staying in the city unless you use it as a base to see the wider area.

What to do in Salzburg in 3 Days

view of salzburg from across the river

There are plenty of interesting things to do in Salzburg Austria, so you won’t be short of filling your three days in the city with activities.

Salzburg is an underrated city in Austria and there is much more to do here than you would think. The old town is beautiful and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with lots of amazing buildings.

There are the Salt Mines outside the city which are a fascinating visit and you can take a day trip to Munich too, which isn’t too far away.

If you’ve never visited Salzburg before, I’ve listed some places you should check out below. I’ve also a recommendation of some of the best tours you can do in Salzburg:

If you’ve spent 3 days in Vienna, you’ll know that the main attractions can get busy. That’s why getting the Salzburg Card before you visit is a good idea.

You get free one-time admission to all the attractions and museums in the city, which will save you a bit of money! Free use of public transport, not including railways and you get discounts on excursions out of Salzburg too.

I made the mistake of not getting one before visiting and paid full price for most attractions. The prices look expensive at first, but they include a stay at a hotel, so in reality, you’re getting a good deal!

The prices do vary depending on the hotel you book, but you can find some good deals. If you don’t want to get the card, you’ll have to pay the entry fee for every attraction, which isn’t much, but it can add up!

Here are a few places I recommend you visit on your 3 days in Salzburg itinerary:

  • Festung Hohensalzburg – I thought this was the most interesting place to visit in Salzburg and the one you can’t leave without visiting. As well as being an interesting fortress to explore, you get fantastic views of the city from up top which you can reach via cable car or by foot!
  • Mirabell Palace – A beautiful palace that was used in the Sound of Music film. The gardens here are beautiful and you can also explore part of the palace for free!
  • Mozart Geburthaus – This is the house where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born and is worth checking out if you’re a classical music lover. You’ll learn a lot about the history of Mozart and the time he spent in the city.
  • Getreidegasse – A beautiful shopping street that’s the main thoroughfare in the Old Town. There are plenty of great places to eat and drink here as well as a few cool museums too!
  • Eisriesenwelt – If you want to visit somewhere different while you’re here a trip to Eisriesenwelt, which is the largest ice cave in the world is a must. It’s 40 km from Salzburg but one of the best day trips you can do from the city!

Salzburg Itinerary – Day 1

The first of your 3 days in Salzburg sees you go on a walking tour to get acquainted with the city before checking out Mirabell Palace and the beautiful street of Getreidegasse.

Walking Tour

walking around the streets of salzburg

One of the first things I like to do when I get to a new city is to check into my accommodation and then head out for a walk around the city.

I like to do this to get a feel for the city and see what it’s like. I have no idea route in mind and wander around and see what I come across.

Not everyone wants to do this, so going on a walking tour is a good option if you want an alternative.

You’ll be able to see Salzburg while getting the historical background on the buildings and places in the city from someone with local knowledge.

You can do either one, but if you want something more structured and less haphazard than a stroll around the city, a tour is perfect!

Mirabell Palace

exterior of mirabell palace with scaffolding covering part of it and the pegasus fountain in front

One place you can’t leave Salzburg without visiting is the Mirabell Palace. Built in 1606, it’s a stunning building that’s right in the heart of the city.

One of my favourite things about the palace was the beautiful gardens. They are elaborate and stunning and a perfect place to wander around for a while.

I enjoyed sitting in the gardens and admiring the flower arrangements!

fountain in the mirabell palace gardens
part of the mirabell palace gardens looking to towards festung hohensalzburg

The gardens were used in the Sound of Music as Maria and the children danced around the Pegasus Fountain. So you may recognise some parts of the palace from that.

You can enter parts of the palace for free and look around. Alternatively, you can book a tour to get a wider look at the Mirabell Palace and learn more about its fascinating history.

There are also Mozart concerts held at the palace which can book your ticket using the link below!


walking down Getreidegasse

Once you’ve finished at Mirabell Palace, a stroll to the beautiful street of Getreidegasse is a must!

This is one of the most charming streets in Salzburg and is one of the main shopping areas. It’s a narrow street that’s lined with signs above each store.

It’s easy to spend a lot of time in this part of Salzburg’s Old Town, as there’s a lot to see and do here. You have numerous amazing shops, museums and modern art galleries.

As well as plenty of places to eat and grab a beer!

Another famous spot on Getreidegasse is the birthplace of Mozart at Getreidegasse No.9.

This is on the itinerary for the second day, but you can visit it while you’re in the street if you’re too curious not to check out!

Salzburg Itinerary – Day 2

The second of your 3 days in Salzburg takes you to the castle fortress above the city before visiting two sites associated with one of the city’s most famous sons, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The place where he was born and another place where he lived for part of his life.

Festung Hohensalzburg

inside festung hohensalzburg

As far as I’m concerned, Festung Hohensalzburg (Hohensalzburg Fortress) is the best attraction in Salzburg and one you can’t miss when you’re in the city.

The imposing castle towers above the city on a hill and is a beautiful spot that offers fantastic views of the city below. It’s also a fascinating place to visit and learn about the rich history of Salzburg.

The fortress was built in 1077 and there are many museums inside that detail its history.

The Fortress Museum looks at the history of court life, the Marionette Museum and the Museum of the Rainer Regiment, which details the history of the aforementioned regiment.

view of salzburg from festung hohensalzburg
walking in festung hohensalzburg

There are two types of tickets you can get, the basic ticket and the all-inclusive ticket.

You get to see most of the fortress with the basic ticket but the all-inclusive ticket includes a panorama tour and lets you see the Princes’ chambers in the main castle and the Magic Theater.

The tickets cost €14.50 and €18.00 for the basic and all-inclusive respectively if you use the cable car to get to the top, or €11.20 and €13.60 if you walk up the footpath.

Mozart Geburtshaus

entrance to Mozart Geburthaus

Mozart Geburthaus is the house where the famous musician was born in 1756. It’s located right at the end of Getreidegasse.

It’s a fascinating place to visit, especially if you’re a lover of classical music. You go on a tour through the original rooms in the house and learn about the musical heritage of the Mozart family, which will take you about an hour.

It does feel like you’ve been transported back to the 18th century, as a lot of furniture from the time period is still in use. You’ll also see lots of memorabilia from the Mozart family, as well as some portraits.

It costs €13.50 to enter, but you can get a combined ticket to visit here and the next item on our Vienna itinerary, Mozart Wohnhause, which is a better deal!

Mozart Wohnhaus

Exterior of Mozart's Wohnhaus

After you’ve visited Mozart’s birthplace, it’s time to head to Makartplatz and visit the house where he spent part of his younger life.

The building is known as the ‘Dance Master’s House’ in recognition of dancing lessons offered to the nobility by Lorenz Spöckner.

Mozart lived at the house from 1773 until 1781, when he moved to Vienna. Part of the building was destroyed during World War II and subsequently rebuilt.

You’ll find an array of documents and portraits detailing Mozart’s life, as well as lots of information about the house itself.

The Mozart residence is an interesting place to visit and one you’ll enjoy, especially if you want to learn more about Mozart!

Salzburg Itinerary – Day 3

The last day in Salzburg takes you to the beautiful Salzburg Cathedral, a tour of the Sound of Music sites in the city and a day trip to Hallstatt.

If you’re short on time, it might be best to either just do the day trip or skip it altogether, as it’s a lot to fit into one day if you don’t get up early!

Salzburg Cathedral

Salzburg Cathedral

Of all the impressive buildings in the historic center of the city, Salzburg Cathedral might just be the most beautiful.

It’s a striking example of baroque architecture and a magnificent building with its stunning dome and two towers.

It’s even more stunning inside and well worth paying the €5 entrance fee, especially as this goes towards the conservation of the cathedral.

The main organic is an imposing sight and the bronze font which dates from 1311, is important as it was used to baptise Mozart and Joseph Mohr.

It’s also worth exploring the square outside the cathedral, which is impressive in its own right.

There’s a statue of the Virgin Mary in a beautiful fountain and lots of space to get a shot of the stunning cathedral facade!

Sound of Music Tour

entrance to mirabell gardens

The Sound of Music about the von Trapp family, was set in Salzburg and it’s no surprise that going on a tour to learn more about the film and the sites related to it in Salzburg is popular!

The tour takes around half a day, so if you’re planning on going to Hallstatt, it might be best to stay for another day, or swap that with one of the other days on this itinerary.

One filming location you’ll stop at is the beautiful Schloss Leopoldskron and another is Hellbrunn Palace and Trick Fountains.

If you love the film, you have to do this tour. You get to see some beautiful places, which is a good excuse to do the tour if you’re not a big fan of the film.


view of the lake at hallstatt

If you do the first two activities on this last day of your Salzburg itinerary, you might have enough time to spend the afternoon in the beautiful town of Hallstatt.

It takes 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach the lakeside village of Hallstatt, so if you do want to do the first two activities, I’d get up early in the morning. This will give you more time to explore Hallstatt.

Once you get to Hallstatt, you’ll be blown away by how beautiful it is. The lake is incredible and walking up to the panoramic viewpoint in the hills above Hallstatt is a must to take everything in!

There’s also a glacier garden to explore and walking around the small town in itself which is picturesque and beautiful! So you can spend the entire day if you wish!

Other Places to Visit in Salzburg

river salzach in salzburg

If you’re still looking for more places to visit in Salzburg and the surrounding area, here are a few others you should check out:

  • Salt mines – The world’s oldest salt mine is located near Salzburg, and it’s worth checking out as the prevalence of salt in the area is what gives Salzburg its name. You get to learn about the history of salt mining in the area, see a subterranean salt lake and even ride on a mine train! Click here to book your ticket now!
  • Eisriesenwelt – Located in Werfen is the world’s largest ice cave, which was something I didn’t know until I visited Salzburg. It’s an incredible experience walking through the ice caves and one you have to do if you like natural wonders! Click here to book your tour now!
  • River cruise – A good way to see Salzburg is to go on a boat ride along the Salzach River. You get to see the city from a different perspective and see the lush greenery of the surrounding area too! Click here to book your tour now!
  • Munich – Salzburg is close to Germany and you can take a trip over the border for the day to visit the Bavarian capital. Alternatively, you could visit Munich in 3 days afterwards if you want to see as much of the city as you can!

If you want even more places to see and activities to do in Salzburg and the surrounding area, click the link below:

Salzburg Travel Tips

In this section, you’ll find practical help when visiting Salzburg. From where to stay, rough estimates of costs and the best time to visit, you’ll find lots of useful information below!

Where to stay in Salzburg

walking around the streets of salzburg

Although Salzburg is a small city, there are plenty of places to stay. Whether you’re looking for a hotel, hostel or apartment, you won’t have difficulty finding somewhere to stay.

One thing to note is if you stay in a hostel you might be slightly outside of the city. I stayed in the Meininger Salzburg City Center, and can confirm it’s not in the center!

It doesn’t take long to walk into the center but the name of the hostel is a bit misleading.

There are plenty of places closer to the old town you can stay and you’ll have a wide range of choices when it comes to hotels too.

When you’re visiting Salzburg you don’t need to worry too much about what part of the city you’re staying in, as it’s not the biggest city.

The main thing to consider is whether you want to stay in a hostel and save money or stay in a hotel instead.

Here are a few places I recommend staying at during your trip to Salzburg:

Product Image Product Name / Description Primary Button
Our Pick
  • Description:

    A nice hostel that's slightly outside of the city center. Good place to stay if you're on a budget, with spacious rooms and a kitchen.

  • Description:

    A clean hostel that feels more like a hostel and even has amenities such as a fridge and kettle in the rooms! Not far from the Mirabell Palace in the heart of the city.

Our Pick

A nice hostel that's slightly outside of the city center. Good place to stay if you're on a budget, with spacious rooms and a kitchen.


A nice little hostel not far from the train station that plays the Sound of Music daily. A good place to stay if you're a solo traveller!


A clean hostel that feels more like a hostel and even has amenities such as a fridge and kettle in the rooms! Not far from the Mirabell Palace in the heart of the city.

Cost of Travel in Salzburg

a sculpture of a gold sphere with a figure on top of it in a square in salzburg

While Austria is one of the more expensive countries in Europe, I felt like the prices in Salzburg weren’t too bad.

Vienna is the most expensive city in Austria and the prices in Salzburg are not as high as you find there. Expect to pay a bit less for most things than you would in the capital.

One good thing about Salzburg is that it’s easy to get around, so you’re unlikely to need to pay for the bus, which will help you save money if you’re on a budget.

Eating out can be expensive, so I’d recommend staying at a hostel so you can cook your own food if money is an issue.

There are a lot of attractions and museums in Salzburg and these will take up a lot of your expenses while you’re in the city.

I recommend getting the Salzburg Card before you go. This will give you discounted access to many museums and attractions in the city.

Other than the above, expenses will likely consist of any tours you book and excursions to other places while you’re in Salzburg. Purchasing travel gifts for friends and family can add up if you buy a lot, so I’d consider that too before you visit.

I’ve included a rough guide to prices for accommodation, eating out and transport in Salzburg below.

Prices for other expenses such as nights out at a bar/pub, club entry fees, souvenirs/clothing purchases, tours. etc. aren’t included.

You’ll need to budget extra for these purchases as they are ‘non-essential!’ 

Bed icon


Hostel: Dorm – €20-40; Private – €80-130
Hotels: €78-130
Rental Apartment: €90-180

Restaurant Icon

Food and Drink

Breakfast: €5-€10
Dinner: €12-25
Takeaway meal: €5-8+
Pint of beer: €3-6


Transport icon


Single bus journey €2.30
1-day 24 hour ticket: €4.70
Taxi from airport to centre: €20


Best Time to Visit Salzburg

a horse and carriage going past the philharmonie building in salzburg

The best time to visit Salzburg depends on what you want out of your trip to this beautiful Austrian city.

If you want good weather, it’s better to visit during the summer, or late spring/autumn, as temperatures will be at their highest.

However, you can visit later in the year such as late autumn and winter, when it’s colder, but the city will look stunning at night.

If you want to check out the beautiful Christmas markets, visiting during the winter is perfect and will be a trip you won’t forget in a hurry!

I visited during October and found the weather to be decent considering the time of year. It wasn’t too cold or hot and it was fine walking around the city.

There wasn’t much rain either which was good and I felt Salzburg was less crowded than it would be during the summer months too.

I’ve put together a quick season-by-season guide on what to expect from Salzburg when you visit:

Salzburg in Spring

Spring is a good time to visit the city. The weather isn’t too warm and the city should be quieter than during the summer months.

winter icon

Average low: 0.7°C/33.3°F

summer icon

Average high: 19.3°C/66.7°F

Salzburg in Summer

Summer is the best time to visit Salzburg weatherwise. You’re more likely to get warm days and less likely to get rain. Bear in mind, it will be peak season and much busier than at other times of the year though.

winter icon

Average low: 12.5°C/54.5°F

summer icon

Average high: 24.3°C/75.7°F

Salzburg in Autumn

Temperatures start to decline as autumn goes on, but they’re still relatively warm and the city isn’t as busy as it would be during summer. I visited in October and found it to be a nice temperature without huge numbers of tourists.

winter icon

Average low: 0.9°C/33.6°F

summer icon

Average high: 19.9°C/67.8°F

Salzburg in Winter

This is the coldest time of the year to visit. But if you want to see the surrounding mountains and experience the Christmas markets, it’s the perfect time to go. Just make sure to pack warm clothes!

winter icon

Average low: -3.6°C/25.5°F

summer icon

Average high: 6.2°C/43.2°F

How to Get Around Salzburg

inside salzburg hauptbahnhof

Salzburg isn’t as big as Vienna, so it’s much easier to get around than there. You likely won’t need to use public transport as most things are within walking distance of one another.

This is what I did and I had no issues getting around. The old part of the city isn’t too big and with most of the city tourist attractions being there, it’s a very walkable city and easy to see everything.

Salzburg’s public transportation network consists of buses if you’re looking to get around without walking. There’s not much point if you’re staying in the city centre, but it will be helpful if you want to venture further afield.

Another good idea is to rent a bike which will allow you to get around a bit easier. Salzburg has many cycle paths, so this is a good option if you want to explore the city and desire a bit more freedom!

The main train station in the city, Salzburg Hauptbahnhof is a short walk from the centre of Salzach River the city and easy to reach. This will be the main point of exiting and entering the city for many, so it’s good to know it’s not too far out of reach.

Salzburg Airport is the main entry point into the city and will be the primary place most people arrive if they’re visiting from outside Austria.

You have two options for getting to and from the airport to the centre. You can take the No. 2 bus which runs every 15 to 20 minutes and will take you to the train station and takes around 20 mins.

The other option is to get the No. 10 bus, which departs every 15 minutes and will take you to and from the airport to the city centre.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 3 Days Enough For Salzburg?

3 days is enough time to explore Salzburg. You can see almost everything in the city and have enough time to explore nearby places in Austria such as Innsbruck, as well as skip over the German border to Munich.

How Many Days in Salzburg?

3 days is the best number of days to spend in Salzburg. This gives you enough time to explore the city and see all the sights, as well as make a day trip out of the city to one of the numerous attractions nearby.

Is Salzburg More Beautiful Than Vienna?

I think that Salzburg is more beautiful than Vienna. The main reason is the mountainous backdrop in Salzburg, which is spectacular. Salzburg also has plenty of beautiful buildings to rival those in Vienna.

Vienna is a beautiful city, and it’s a pleasure to walk around. But, I feel Salzburg’s smaller and more compact feel with the mountains in the background makes it more beautiful.

Looking For More Travel Guides

3 Days in Budapest – Hungary isn’t too far from Austria, so visiting the beautiful city of Budapest after Salzburg isn’t a bad idea!

3 Days in Prague – It’s not too far to Prague from Salzburg, and the city is a must-visit as it’s one of the most beautiful in Europe!

3 Days in Venice – Venice is the closest Italian city to Salzburg and is worth visiting afterwards if you’re doing a wider tour of Europe.

3 Days in Milan – Another city you can visit from Salzburg on a wider European trip, Milan is a beautiful city with plenty to see and do!

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