Create an Epic 2 Days in Salzburg Itinerary

WHAT TO DO IN SALZBURG IN 2 DAYS

Are you planning your Salzburg itinerary and wondering about the best things to do in 2 days in Salzburg? Then this post is for you as I am sharing my tips for your trip.

Salzburg must be one of the prettiest cities in Europe. I am pretty sure of that after I visited. It is big enough to be home to beautiful sights and attractions, but not so big that you feel overwhelmed.

The city is about baroque architecture, nice views, nature (including great views of the Eastern Alps), the Salzach River, relaxation, history, churches, being a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Sound of Music (a movie I had never heard of before my trip), and of course, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost for you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR SALZBURG TRIP

Before talking about the best places to see and visit, here is some info for first-time visitors.

Water bottle

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).

Shoes to Wear in Salzburg

Wear comfortable shoes, especially if you decide to hike the upper area. Though the paths are not challenging, it might be a good idea to wear solid shoes, and as the streets are partly cobblestone streets, high heels are most likely not the best idea either.

Salzburg Card for 48 Hours

I did not get one because I traveled with a dog and cannot access many museums, etc., but I carefully read about the free admissions and such, and think that it is totally worth it if you want to visit at least two museums. 

You can also use public transportation for free with the Salzburg Card.

If I had been by myself, I would have bought it – that’s a no-brainer. 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. You can click here to find out about the prices and buy one for your Salzburg trip.

How to Get Around Salzburg

You can visit most of the places by walking because they are really close to each other. 

I stayed outside the town center and bought two affordable 24-tickets for 6€ each from the bus driver. If you buy them at the ticket shop, it is only 4€. 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, though you will probably not need it that often if you stay in the city center.

Walking is the best means of transportation in this city most of the time.

How to Avoid Crowds in Salzburg

Wake up early – the city is popular amongst tourists, and the popular places quickly fill up with people.

So, for some quiet time, I recommend being in the town center by at least 8 am (though, of course, it also depends on the weather; in winter, 9 am should be fine, too).

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. 

City Parts in Salzburg

The Salzach River divides the left bank (the old town) from the right bank (the new town), and both are great to visit. My itinerary focuses (mainly, but not exclusively) on day 1 in the old town and day 2 in the new town.

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. 🙂

Where to Stay in Salzburg

I recommend staying overnight, so you can have a full or even two days in Salzburg. In general, accommodations in Salzburg are pretty expensive. 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.

I stayed outside the city center, but these are the best-rated hotels in Salzburg:

Luxury Hotels in Salzburg

Mid-Range Hotels in Salzburg

Budget Hotels in Salzburg

If you are looking for a more budget-friendly hotel, you have to check out accommodations near the town center.

  • Ibis Budget Salzburg Airport – I stayed at the Ibis Hotel near the airport – it was 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, and public transportation is cheap and good (though it takes more than ten minutes to the bus station. Click here for more info and the best rates.
  • Airbnbs in Salzburg – another budget-friendly accommodation in Salzburg could be when booking accommodation via Airbnb in Salzburg (first-time users can save $$ when using my Airbnb link)

PLACES TO VISIT IN 2 DAYS IN SALZBURG

Okay, here are places to add to your Salzburg itinerary.

Day 1 in Salzburg

Day 1 in Salzburg is about great views.

Admire the St. Erhard Kirche From Above

Start your itinerary with a less busy place – St. Erhard Church. One of the best free things to do is to enjoy the view of St. Erhard Kirche. To have a great view of the church, 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 have one of the best views in Salzburg by looking at it from above.

Best views in Salzburg St Erhard Kirche
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 The church was initially built as a hospital chapel and later became a church. It has a beautiful interior, yet its views from above made me really fall in love.

 Important Information

  • How to get there: You could get there by either starting your journey from the end of the Judengasse or, if you are at the fortress, get there within a few minutes on foot.
  • From Judengasse: Head to Nonntal or Nonnenstieg. Climb the stairs (yes, 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 (it takes about 10 minutes), and there you can see the view – probably my favorite in all of Salzburg.
  • From the fortress:  Don’t use the lift to get back to the town center, but instead, walk down and keep right (pass “Stigelkeller“ Restaurant and keep right towards “Stift Nonnberg“ or “Nonntal“). It is just a 10-minute walk (or even less) for you to reach your destination.
  • Plus, you have more great views of the city when you walk this path, rather than the one from the old town.

Then it is time to head to the next attraction.

Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress

Hohensalzburg Fortress is one of the best and biggest preserved medieval fortresses in Europe. It sits on a hill, the Festungsberg, and is one of the main attractions.

Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg
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 Located 506 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 for a one-time fee.

Important Info

  • Opening times depend on the season, but it is open all year. 
  • How to get there: There are two ways to get to the fortress. Use the funicular or hike.
  • Funicular: You can go to the “Festungsbahn“ funicular station in “Festungsgasse“ and use your Salzburg Card to get up for free. Or you can buy a ticket (including a ticket for the fortress if you like). 
  • Hike: From the ticket center, you could also follow the signs and take a 10-minute hike up to get there. I walked there from the Museum of Moderne and wouldn’t do it any other way. It is well signed from there, so it is not a problem to find. It is a nice walk from the museum and takes a bit more than 15 minutes  (it took me longer, as I stopped a few times to enjoy the numerous great views). This is my recommended way of getting up.
  • There is also another way, which includes a short hike (see my tips on St. Erhard Church to find out how to get there).
  • 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€).
  • Free entry with your Salzburg Card.
  • Flying drones at Festung Hohensalzburg is not allowed.

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, Austrian tourism boards actually advertise certain cemeteries, so I guess it is fine to visit one.

Salzburg best places to see
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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 globally, where many famous people are buried.

Important Info

  • How to get thereI 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. Entry is 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 dog“ signs.

Enjoy the View from 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 over the city. 

what to see in Salzburg attractions
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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), and early in the morning, it isn’t too busy up there.

INFORMATION

  • How to get there: You can either hike up or take a lift. The lift is not free (though some bloggers wrote that it is false information). You can buy a round trip or one-way ticket. Though I took the lift, I actually recommend walking up. It is an uphill walk but easy.
  • Prices: 2.40 € (3.70 round trip). After I had a coffee at the restaurant at the museum (which I did not use), you can combine it with a museum ticket. Free with the Salzburg Card (including lift).

Stroll the Area Around the Museum der Moderne

The area around the Museum der Moderne is a lovely, quiet place with not many people. You will forget for a moment that you are in Salzburg because it is so green, lush, and hilly up there.

View from Richterhöhe in Salzburg best views
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 There is a very classy hotel if you turn right from the museum (so, away from the fortress) where you could also have something to drink or eat.
Where to go in Salzburg Austria
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 If you don’t take a break, it should not take more than 30 minutes. All places are very well signed, and you don’t have to worry about getting lost up in the hills.

There are some great views, so whenever you see the “view“ sign, it is definitely worth it (especially if it says it is only 100 or 200 meters) So, plan in some extra time for views, like “Richterhöhe“ and “Stadtalm.“

Visit Mozart’s Family Home

Mozart, born in the 18th century, is one of the greatest musicians of all time – making the Mozart family’s birthplace (there is also the house he lived in, found in the new town) a popular tourist spot.

Mozart Birth House in Salzburg
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 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.

Important Info:

  • 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.
  • Price: Adults are 11€. Free with Salzburg Card.

Stroll the Shopping Streets and Squares in the Old Town

Lovely, small, windy streets. Even though I “gave up“ shopping and cannot be bothered with walking in shops, I enjoyed walking the shopping streets, like “Judengasse“ and “Getreidegasse. “

Beautiful buildings in Salzburg
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Salzburg shopping streets best places to see
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Personally, I loved the Getreiedegasse the most. It is just extremely picturesque, though busy at times. For pictures without too many people in them, you should probably get there early in the morning.

Many souvenir shops also sell Mozartkugeln, but you also have the famous chains, as well as some boutiques.

Also, there are many lovely squares with classy, pastel-colored buildings, which were so pretty to look at, e.g., Alter Market, Cathedral Square, and the Mozartplatz (you´ll also find the Mozart statue here, as well as tourism information).

Mozartplatz in Salzburg and more things to see
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Personally, 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).

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 mislead 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.

Best places to visit in Salzburg in 2 days
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Mirabella Garden in Salzburg
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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 Dom and fortress in the background, it makes this place even more picturesque. If you don’t want to share this place with too many others, head there early in the morning or later in the afternoon.

Important Info

  • 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).
  • Price: Admission to the garden is free, and it is one of the best places to visit in Salzburg (even if you only have one day).

Stroll Linzergasse

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, so it that be on your itinerary.

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 the river.

Salzburg Salzach River to rest
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 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 that day, I really deserved the rest – and most likely, so will you.

Do a Boat Tour

Salzburg is probably one of the few places that offer boat tours – that I didn’t take.

This is very unusual for me. But while I did not do a tour, I suggest taking one because boat tours are normally amazing. The river is also clean, and a trip (Tour II, which is only once a day at 2 pm, and not in the winter) is also included in the Salzburg Card, so definitely take advantage of this free Salzburg activity (well, if you have a card).

Visit Schloss Hellbrunn

If you have some time left, you can visit the Schloss Hellbrunn, a bit outside the main city center.

Schloss Hellbrunn in Salzburg
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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.

The castle was also built in the early 17th century and can now be visited at any time of the year.

Important Information

  • How to Get There: From the town center, it takes about 20 minutes by bus. Hop on the 25 bus line to get there.
  • Prices: Around 12.50€ for adults. Free with your Salzburg Card. Park and Orangery are free (and dogs are allowed). Buy your Salzburg Card here.

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.

Important Info

  • 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).
  • There is no entrance fee.

Day Trip From Salzburg For 3 Days

If you want to skip some of the activities above or have 3 days in Salzburg, you can consider doing a day trip to Hallstatt.

Hallstatt

If you want to visit extremely popular Hallstatt but don’t have a full day or longer. You could book a half-day trip from Salzburg to Hallstatt. Here is my 1-day itinerary for Hallstatt.

Most beautiful places in Hallstatt
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FINAL THOUGHTS ON SPENDING 2 DAYS IN SALZBURG

I have visited Vienna several times, but honestly, I cannot say which city is prettier. Both are extremely beautiful (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 one of the two cities. Salzburg is actually a wonderful city, and I was happy to spend 2 days in Salzburg, so it did not mean I have to stress too much.

Hopefully, these 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.

And if you plan to visit Austria and Switzerland, check out my itinerary for Central Europe.

Safe Travels, Arzo
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