We were looking to see Salzburg in the day but to be able to stay overnight in a quieter part of the city, within walking distance.
After hours of searching and looking at reviews we eventually found a bed & breakfast called The Little Guesthouse. It was a 15 min walk to the centre and located in a quiet residential area.
Salzburg is the fourth-largest city in Austria. It is most famous for being the birthplace of the 18th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The city was also the setting for the 1960s musical film The Sound of Music.
To see as much of the city as possible I searched for a free walking tour online. I came across the Bigboy Travel website. It had a map and clear instructions of directions to take as well as facts on the locations. I have summarised some of the places we visited from their tour. But I do recommend that you check out their website, for the full tour. https://www.bigboytravel.com/europe/austria/salzburg/freewalkingtour/
Known for having the best slice of chocolate cake you can find anywhere. Their world-famous cake, known as the Original Sacher-Torte, was the creation of Austrian chef Franz Sacher. He was asked to make a dessert for a Royal party in 1832 while only 16 years old.
“Love Lock” Footbridge (Makartsteg)
Just like a lot of European cities, Salzburg has the Makartsteg bridge which is decorated with locks written on and secured to the bridge in the hope to bring luck.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived here with his family from age 17 to 25. Wohnhaus opened to the public as a museum in 1996. Exhibits include original documents and portraits showing the history of the Wohnhaus building, Mozart’s compositions during his Salzburg years, and of the large social gatherings of the family.
Prices as of March 2019;
Regular Admission is €11, this is reduced to €9 for large groups, students & seniors
Children under 6 are free, Ages 6-18 are charged up to €4
Admission is free with the Salzburg Card.
Mirabell Palace Gardens
Entrance to the Gardens is free. The grounds are famous for being laced with scenes from the movie The Sound of Music – especially from the song ‘Do Re Mo’
Don’t be surprised to see a wedding taking place if you visit here. The palace and gardens serves as the backdrop for the most romantic weddings you could imagine.
The gardens can get extremely busy at times, particularly when a tour guide comes through with an entourage following. But if you hang around there are times in between these tour groups that it gets much quieter.
In the Marble Ball Room, which is now used for weddings, Mozart performed piano concerts as a child.
The Palace has been owned by the city since 1866 and is used as offices including the Mayor of Salzburg.
Kapuzinerkloster – Capuchin Monastery
Located on the Northside of the Salzach River, the Kapuzinerberg Hill is the highest point in Salzburg. It has some very rewarding views of Old Town.
A stroll up “steep steps” will bring you up to the Capuchin Monastery (Kapuzinerkloster), located 1/4 of the way up the Kapuzinerberg Hill. During your hike up you’ll pass by a lot of interesting parts of the Medieval city wall. Along with scenes from the Passion of Christ in a small chapel built into the wall.
Stone Alley (Steingasse)
The Salzach River once butted up against the cobbled Stone Alley (Steingasse) until its flow was redirected in 1862-66.
As you stroll down the cobblestone lane, it almost feels like you are walking inside of a city wall. No wider than an alleyway, through Medieval times the street was home to many of Salzburg’s craftsmen whose trade required water access like potters, dyers, and tanners.
Mozart Footbridge (Mozartsteg)
The pedestrian-only Mozart Footbridge (Mozartsteg) is named after Salzburg’s most famous resident and opened in 1903.
In the movie The Sound of Music, the Mozart Footbridge is where Maria and the kids skip across the river while pointing during the instrumental end to the song ‘My Favourite Things’.
Once over the Mozart bridge we crossed the road and continued on for lunch at Gasthaus Zwettler’s. It was recommended by our B&B host. The atmosphere was warm and inviting, a very traditional feel, and the food was amazing.
Mozart Square (Mozartplatz)
Mozart Square is the coolest place to enter Old Town Salzburg. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart made Salzburg his home for the first 25 years of his life (1756-1781) before moving to Vienna. The Mozart statue dominates the centre of this square.
New Residenz & Panorama
In 1587, the Archbishop began opening up a new main square for Salzburg including the building of New Residenz (Neugebäude). The mansion-sized New Residenz replaced a tight grouping of Medieval homes, served as the Archbishop’s guest house. Notice the huge Glockenspiel Bell Tower sitting on top of the New Residenz.
If you are lucky enough to be here when it chimes (7am, 11am, & 6pm). You will hear the Glockenspiel’s 35 bells from the 1600s ring out a tune set to match the current month…… (more info click here)
Residenz Square (Residenzplatz) & Fountain
Located in the historic centre of Salzburg. Enclosed by Salzburg Cathedral (Salzburger Dom) in the south and the Alte Residenz in the west. To the east is the Neue Residenz (New Residence), a Renaissance building erected from 1588 onwards, with its prominent bell tower. The adjacent Mozartplatz leads to Salzburg Museum.
Gold Lane (Goldgasse)
The curved and narrow Goldgasse alleyway gained its name from the goldsmiths that once had their shops here in Medieval times. While the prestigious shops along Goldgasse are still a little upscale today, this will be your first look at Salzburg’s picture perfect back lanes.
Old Market Square (Alter Markt)
While it may seem tucked away today, the long Old Market (Alter Markt) served as Medieval Salzburg’s main marketplace.
Old Residenz Palace
You can tour 15 of the Palace’s elegant staterooms which are lavishly decorated. Plus a classic art gallery that has Rembrandt and Ruben paintings.
Film lovers may remember that in the Sound of Music movie, the palace had a giant Nazi flag draped on the facade of the Old Residenz Palace facing the square.
Salzburg Cathedral (Salzburger Dom)
The biggest church in Old Town, it faces 3 town squares at once, and is where Mozart was baptised.
Chapter Square (Kapitelplatz)
Named after the high clergy of Salzburg Cathedral who lived here in the Cathedral Monastery (Domkloster) through Medieval times. When the monastery was disbanded in 1803, it and the rest of the square was opened up revealing glorious wide-angle views of the High Fortress above. Today Chapter square is very festive hosting music and artist events.
Fortress Funicular (Festungsbahn)
Since 1892, the Fortress railway has been in operation. It transports over 2 million passengers a year to the Hohensalzburg Fortress. We decided to not visit the fortress as we didn’t have enough time. There are many ticket options, click here for link to their website.
High Salzburg Fortress (Hohensalzburg)
The fortress sits atop the Festungsberg, a small hill in the Austrian city of Salzburg. Erected at the behest of the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg. With a length of 250m (820 ft) and a width of 150m (490 ft). It’s one of the largest medieval castles in Europe.
Saint Peter’s Cemetery (Petersfriedhof)
In use since before 700 AD, and its cliff-side catacombs go back even further to 215 AD. In the beginning, Saint Peter’s Cemetery was reserved only for the burials of monks living in the neighbouring monastery. It was opened to the public in 1454. The oldest surviving headstone is from 1288 AD, and the cemetery is also where Mozart’s sister Maria Anna is buried.
Unlike most cemeteries around the world, here you don’t buy the plots but instead rent them. Relatives of the dead must pay rent for each plot every 10 years and must also be the caretakers. If your family doesn’t pay your rent, the church tosses your body out.
Saint Peter’s Catacombs
While touring the cemetery, you may also notice a number of window-like holes along the Southern cliffside in the cemetery. These are the empty catacombs. As the Roman’s carved away stone to build their city of Luvaum (15BC-488AD). Part of the cliff-side started to be used by early-Christians for assembly and hermitage as early as 215AD.
Saint Peter’s Abbey
Officially established in 696, it’s the oldest church in Salzburg. It’s also the oldest continuous monastery in the German-speaking world.
In the square facing the entrance to the abbey is a central statue of Saint Peter looking up to the steeple while praying. Along the north side of Saint Peter’s Square, you can see an excellent vertical sundial on the archway leading to the Franciscan Church.
Franciscan Church (Franziskanerkirche)
There has been a church here since 1139, but it is the current Gothic-style one that will make your jaw drop.
Festival Hall Complex
A three-block-long Festival Hall complex is home to three performance theatre. It was the site of some of the best scenes filmed for The Sound of Music.
University Square (Universitätsplatz)
Salzburg’s main open-air market sits in the vast University Square with growers from all over the region selling delicious produce. Known as the Green Market (Grünmarkt), was established in 1857 and is open daily.
Mozart’s Birthplace (Geburtshaus)
On January 27th, 1756 one of the true pioneers of Classical music was born in this very home, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. You can’t miss the home, with its bright yellow facade and large groups of tourists milling around the entrance. This museum is by far the most visited Mozart landmark in Salzburg.
Grain Lane (Getreidegasse)
pronounced Ga-try-Da-gah-sa), is the main shopping street in Salzburg since Medieval times. It is complete with high-end stores like Louis Vuitton, many jewellery stores (schmuck). It even has a very fancy McDonald’s which has silverware and outdoor seating.
You can really see the Medieval roots of this compact pedestrian street by the signage that hangs above each shop. In the Middle Ages almost nobody could read so instead they had signs with business names on them. The shops would hang an icon for their trade or craft.
Horse Bath (Pferdeschwemme)
Hugging the side of Mönchsberg Hill is Salzburg’s largest Medieval horse bath. Which in the Middle Ages were like car washes for horses.
We found a lovely cafe called Cafe Wurfelzucker. We sat on the balcony overlooking the River and main road. Drank coffee and ate a tasty Apfel Strudel with Ice Cream, it was delicious.
The rest of the tour we did not manage to do, but i’ve summarised below anyway.
31. Winkler Terrace has panoramic views of Old Town. The view from the stone terrace was highlighted in the movie The Sound of Music during a number of scenes including the song Do Re Mi.
32. Militia City Wall (Bürgerwehr) built on the hilltop from 1465-80 to protect the West side of Salzburg.
33. Castle Mönchstein Hotel (Schloss Mönchstein) was first documented 1350AD as the Tetelheimer Tower (Tetelheimer Turm). Castle Mönchstein was turned into a luxury hotel in 1948. It’s gone on to win countless castle hotel and restaurant awards.
34. Augustiner Monks Beer Hall open since 1621 AD and is no better place to end a long Salzburg walking tour.
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