PLAN A 2-DAY SALZBURG ITINERARY
Are you planning your 2-day Salzburg itinerary and wondering about the best things to do in 2 days in Salzburg? Then this post is for you – here I am sharing my tips for your trip.
Salzburg is one of the prettiest cities in Europe. I am confident enough to say that after my visit. It is big enough to be home to many beautiful sights and attractions, but not so big that you feel overwhelmed.
The city is about baroque architecture, nice views (including of the gorgeous Eastern Alps), nature, the Salzach River, relaxation, history, the Sound of Music (a movie I had never heard of before my trip), and of course, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
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TRAVEL TIPS FOR A 2-DAY SALZBURG ITINERARY
I will tell you about the best places to visit for your 2-day Salzburg itinerary, but first, here are some essential travel tips for you!
Salzburg Card For 48 Hours
The Salzburg Card for 2 days is a great way to explore Salzburg. I did not get one because I traveled with a dog and could not access many museums, so it did not make sense to me. However, I did some research on the Salzburg Card and its benefits.
- I think that it is totally worth getting one if you want to visit at least two or three museums.
- You can also use public transportation for free with the Salzburg Card.
For this itinerary, I will mention if you get free access with the card or not, so you can see whether it makes sense for you.
How to Get Around Salzburg
👟 You can visit most of the places on foot because the many attractions are located really close to each other in the old town. Walking is the best means of transportation in Salzburg most of the time – just wear comfy shoes.
🚌 There might be one or two times when public transportation comes in handy – some attractions are located further away. The good news is that public transportation is good and easy to navigate through.
I stayed outside the town center and bought two affordable 24-hour tickets for 6,40€ each from the bus driver. If you buy them at the ticket shop, it is only 4,70 €. Salzburg’s public transportation is excellent, so I would definitely prefer that over driving in the city.
With your Salzburg Card, public transportation is free. You will probably not need public transportation that often if you stay in the city center.
🚘 I do not recommend getting around by car in Salzburg. Parking in the city center can be difficult and pricy and you might spend more time looking for a parking space – with 2 days in Salzburg. you do not want to waste your time in the car.
How to Avoid Crowds in Salzburg
➡️ Get up early! The city is popular amongst tourists, and the main places quickly fill up with people. So, for some quiet time, I recommend being in the town center by 8 am (though, of course, it also depends on the weather; in winter, 9 am should be fine, too).
➡️ Visit in the shoulder season. I visited at the end of September and was lucky because the weather was perfect (around 20 degrees Celsius and sunny), and the crowds were not extreme, but it was still busy. I would definitely not recommend visiting in July or August, though. Also, December is quite busy because of the Christmas markets.
Where to Stay in Salzburg
In general, accommodations in Salzburg are pretty expensive. However, if you stay in the city center you can explore the city when the crowds are gone. Also, it saves you some travel time. Staying outside can help you save money – and thanks to the great public transportation system of the city, it is also easy to get around. That is why I stayed outside the city center. And it was fine, too.
Here are the recommendations for Salzburg.
Luxury Hotels in Salzburg: Hotel Radisson Blu in the Old Town – Click here to find out more and get the best price.
Budget Hotels in Salzburg: Ibis Budget Salzburg Airport – I stayed at the Ibis Hotel near the airport. It offered good value for money (I also mostly booked it because I wanted to park my car for free). It did not take long to get to the town center via public transportation which is cheap and good. Click here for more info and the best rates.
More Tips For a 2-Day Salzburg Trip
➡️ The Salzach River divides the left bank (the old town) from the right bank (the new town), and both areas are great to visit. My itinerary focuses (mainly, but not exclusively) on the old town on day 1 and on the new town on day 2.
➡️ Tourist Information Center in Salzburg: Since I have started blogging, I always try to check out tourism information offices and get some hidden gem recommendations that aren’t on the website or personal opinions. It is interesting what information you can get that isn’t necessarily available online. Unfortunately, the people in the tourism office here weren’t amiable, so I did not ask my questions. So, I advise that you stick to this awesome post because I have found the best Salzburg tourist attractions, nevertheless.
➡️ Bring an empty water bottle, so you can refill it and have good fresh water for free. There are water fountains throughout the city (even at popular spots).
PLACES TO VISIT IN 2 DAYS IN SALZBURG
Okay, here are the places to add to your Salzburg itinerary.
DAY 1 IN SALZBURG
Day 1 in Salzburg is all about great views.
Admire the St. Erhard Church From Above
Start your itinerary with a less busy place – St. Erhard Church. The church was initially built as a hospital chapel and later became a church. It has a beautiful interior, yet its views of the church, with the mountains and the city as a backdrop, made me really fall in love.
You can either look at it from the other side of the town (meaning, you cross a bridge and have a lovely view from the distance) or you can enjoy the views of it by looking at it from above. For this, you do not have to go inside the church.Important Information About St. Erhard Church
➡️ How to get there from Judengasse: Head to Nonntal. Climb the stairs. There are a few; my guess is around 150 or so and then keep left. If you keep right, you will find a restaurant and, later, the fortress. Head to the very end which takes about 10 minutes. There you can see the view – probably my favorite in all of Salzburg.
Then it is time to head to the next attraction. It is a 10-15-minute walk away.
Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress
Hohensalzburg Fortress is one of the biggest and best-preserved medieval fortresses in Europe. It sits on a hill, the Festungsberg, and is one of the main attractions in Salzburg.Located 506 meters above sea level (Salzburg itself is located 424 meters above sea level), it is visible from almost every place in the city. The fortress is open year-round, and you can visit the different rooms (like the princely chambers) and museums.
Important Info About Hohensalzburg Fortress
Opening times: depend on the season, but it is open all year.
➡️ How to get there: Once you stand in front of the ticket center at “Festungsgasse“, there are two ways to get up. Use the funicular or hike.
➡️ Hike: From the ticket center, you could also follow the signs and take a 10-minute hike up to get there.
➡️ Funicular: You can go to the “Festungsbahn“ funicular station in “Festungsgasse“ and use your Salzburg Card to get up for free. Without a Salzburg Card, you can just buy a ticket (with or without a ticket for the fortress).
➡️ Prices start from around 13,30€ for adults (incl. a funicular ride) or 16,60€ for an All-Inclusive Ticket (this gives you access to all of the rooms). If you walk up and get the castle’s entrance ticket only, you pay around 10,30€ (saving you 3€).
🛑 Flying drones at Festung Hohensalzburg is not allowed.
The next, quite unusual, stop is just a few minutes away.
Visit the Cemetery at St. Peters Abbey (Stift St. Peters)
If you are looking for unique things to do, then head to this cemetery – Petersfriedhof.
Cemeteries in Austria are popular tourist attractions. While I still think it is weird, the Austrian tourism boards actually advertise certain cemeteries, so I guess it is fine to visit one.However, whenever I visit a cemetery, I try to be very respectful and quiet. Even if it is a popular tourist spot in Salzburg, I can only advise respecting the place.
The St. Peters Friedhof is a lovely and well-maintained cemetery right in the center of Salzburg. According to some (I don’t feel like I could give a proper judgment on this), it is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world, where many famous people are buried.
Important Info St. Peters Friedhof
➡️ How to get there: I couldn’t see signs for the cemetery and ended up asking a nice local. Walk toward the Abbey, and there you will find a map hanging. Within a minute, you are at the cemetery.
➡️ Price: The cemetery is free. There are also catacombs you can visit for 2€ (free with the Salzburg Card), but I did not enter with a dog.
➡️ I put my dog Puppygak in his bag for the cemetery and walked him around like that, though I did not see any “no dogs“ signs.
Then it is time for a nice walk. The shortest walk to the next attractions would probably be through the city center but I suggest walking the upper area (along Mönchsberg) and enjoying some incredible views. If you don’t take a break, it should not take more than 30 minutes.
Stroll the Area Around the Museum der Moderne
Before arriving at the next attraction, make sure to enjoy the landscapes because it is quite scenic! The area around the Museum der Moderne is a lovely, quiet place. You will forget for a moment that you are in a city because it is so green, lush, and hilly up there.
All places are very well signed, and you don’t have to worry about getting lost up in the hills.
Whenever you see the “view“ sign, it is definitely worth it to get to that vantage point (especially if it says it is only 100 or 200 meters). So, plan in some extra time for places “Richterhöhe“ and “Stadtalm.“
Enjoy the View from the Museum der Moderne
Some of the best views in Salzburg are from Museum der Moderne. There are actually two locations, but we start with the one with the amazing views. The museum is located at the Mönchsberg and displays art from the 20th and 21st centuries. Due to its location on a hill, you have really nice views of the city.You can see the Kapuzinerberg on the other side, the river, and the Domsplatz (Cathedral Square). The views are worth the hike or the lift ticket.
I did not visit the museum because I really do not care about modern art (I just do not get it). However, if you plan to visit the museum, be aware that it is usually closed on Mondays. There is also a restaurant (with a high price tag), where you could have your lunch/coffee.
If you get to the museum via the upper area, you can just walk comfortably. However, if you get there via the old town, then you can either hike up or take a lift.
ℹ️ How to get there: You can buy a round trip or one-way ticket for the lift.
ℹ️ Prices: 2.40 € (3.70€ round trip) for the lift, museum tickets – for adults – are around 13“€ (discounts available)
ℹ️ Free with the Salzburg Card (museum including lift).
After the museum, you might want to take the lift down or you just do the downhill hike and you are in the wonderful old town of Salzburg.
Stroll the Shopping Streets and Squares in the Old Town
Lovely, small, windy streets. Even though I “gave up“ shopping, I enjoyed walking the shopping streets in Salzburg, like “Judengasse“ and “Getreidegasse. “Personally, I loved the Getreiedegasse the most. It is just extremely picturesque, though busy at times. Many souvenir shops also sell the famous chocolate Mozartkugeln. But of course, you will also find shops and boutiques.
Also, there are many lovely squares with classy, pastel-colored buildings, which were so pretty to look at. Alter Market, Cathedral Square, and the Mozartplatz (you´ll also find the Mozart statue here, as well as tourism information) are some of these squares.
Visit Mozart’s Family Home
Mozart, born in the 18th century, is one of the greatest musicians of all time! This makes the Mozart family’s birthplace (there is also the house he lived in, found in the new town) a popular tourist spot.His birth house is now a museum and pilgrimage site where you will find exhibition pieces. If you are interested in classical music or Mozart, then add this to your Salzburg itinerary.
ℹ️ How to Get There: It is located in the Getreidegasse, one of Salzburg’s main shopping streets. There is no bus going, but you can walk from Doms Square or the fortress.
ℹ️ Price: Adults are 11€. Free with Salzburg Card.
ℹ️ If you want to visit the Mozart house, check out the opening hours first. You might have to visit this place first, before roaming the old town.
I assume that the above-mentioned activities make it a busy first day in the city – if you actually visit the museums and spend time in them. You might even have to skip one or two places if you are not a fast traveler.
DAY 2 IN SALZBURG
Start your second day in Salzburg by discovering the new town, the Salzach River’s right side. But don’t be misled by its name. New doesn’t necessarily mean modern in this case. It has its oldish charm in some ways, but, of course, it looks a bit different from the old town of Salzburg and is a great way to start the second day of your Salzburg itinerary.
Cross the Mozartsteg
Okay, it depends on where you stay in Salzburg. If you stay in the city’s new town, there is probably no need to cross the bridge; but choose this bridge to get to the other side if you stay in the old town.
This bridge was built/opened in 1903 and is called Mozartsteg. It is not a highlight in 2 days in Salzburg, I admit that. However, getting there is actually part of the itinerary because you have some attractions to see on the way (more on this later), and it is a cute bridge.
Mirabell Palace and Garden
The Mirabell Palace and Garden was built in the 17th century by the prince-archbishop for his beloved. Today, the Palace is home to municipal officers and the mayor of Salzburg.Tourists totally overrun the Mirabell Garden, but I clearly get why. The very well-maintained garden is a lovely place for nice walks, breaks, and of course, for taking amazing pictures.
With the cathedral and fortress in the background, it is even more picturesque. If you don’t want to share this place with too many others, head there early in the morning.
ℹ️ There are different areas, and not all are open at the same time, but most of the area is open year-round (from around 6 am).
ℹ️ Price: Admission to the garden is free.
As the main street on the right side of the river, the Linzergasse has many restaurants, cafes, and shops. While it is the modern part, it still has some classical charm.
Take a Rest at the Salzach River
On a sunny and warmish day, I recommend taking a break at the river, and with two days in Salzburg, you should have no time-issue enjoying it.Just at the Salzach River, close to the Linzer Gasse and Mirabell Garden, is a meadow where you can rest and chill. While doing so, you can listen to the river’s sound and marvel at the pretty buildings on the other side.
I took a break and enjoyed the sun shining on me. After walking for more than 20 kilometers the previous day, I really deserved the rest – and most likely, so will you. So, this is for your feet, soul, and eyes!
Do a Boat Tour
Boat tours are normally amazing. I have not actually done that myself (I still do not know how that could have happened) but as a boat cruise nerd, I am convinced it should be a must-do activity in Salzburg.
Visit Schloss Hellbrunn
If you have some time left, you can visit the Schloss Hellbrunn. It is an early Baroque villa, built in the early 17th century, near Morzg, a southern district in Salzburg,Why visit the Schloss Hellbrunn? If you love the color orange or yellow or are interested in history, or into beautiful baroque buildings or lovely gardens, you should definitely plan some time for this spot.
ℹ️ How to Get There: From the town center, it takes about 20 minutes by bus. Hop on the 25 bus line to get there.
ℹ️ Prices: Around 12.50€ for adults. Free with your Salzburg Card. Park and Orangery are free (and dogs are allowed).
Enjoy the Views From Kapuzinerberg
Salzburg is also about great views. Kapuzinerberg is another great place to see stunning views over the city.
I waited for my visit until the last minute because I wanted to enjoy the sunset from there. Because of a broken laptop, I had to rush to the store instead. So, while I did not get to visit (which I really regret and makes my heart bleed), I recommend hiking up there and enjoying the view from 640 meters above sea level.
It is known as a great place to chill, enjoy some outdoor activities, visit churches, and soak in the views of the Salzach River and the old town of the city, and a good way to end your Salzburg trip.
The sunsets from here are supposedly very nice!
ℹ️ How to Get There: There are three paths to go up. But if you are in the Linzer Gasse, I suggest starting there (it is well-signed).
ℹ️ There is no entrance fee.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON SPENDING 2 DAYS IN SALZBURG
Salzburg – known for its baroque architecture, and historic charm, and as the birthplace of Mozart. Salzburg is a beauty! Without a question. I enjoyed my trip to “Salzburg in 2 days” and I cannot wait to visit this city again. It is one of the places I love to visit again just because it is so charming.
Hopefully, this 2 days in Salzburg itinerary helps you plan your trip to this beautiful city, and you now know about the best things to do. It is a lovely and fun city with so much history and pretty buildings that I believe it should be on any Austria itinerary.
I have visited Vienna, Austria´s biggest and most famous city, several times, but honestly, I cannot say which city is prettier. Both are extremely stunning (here is my 2-day itinerary for Vienna) and also romantic. So if you want to spend time with your loved one, it could be in either one of the two cities.
- And if you plan to visit Austria and Switzerland, check out my itinerary for Central Europe.