Nestled north of the Alps and bordering Bavaria, Salzburg is the perfect starting point for exploring some of the most scenic and charming destinations in both Austria and Germany.
From the Salzach Valley to Salzkammergut, and Bavarian Alps, there’s plenty of choices for a day trip from Salzburg. And whether you’re looking for breathtaking views, historical sites, or fairytale-like scenery, there’s something for everyone.
However, if you’re looking for the nearest and the best day trips from Salzburg, Hellbrunn Palace, Hohenwerfen Fortress, St. Gilgen, Hallstatt, and Berchtesgaden are ones you must go to. In this blog post, I’ll show you why.
In a few words, I can describe these day trips from Salzburg: charming, scenic, and truly one-of-a-kind.
And simply, these nearby excursions from Salzburg offer something for everyone. Some will even find them special!
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Fans of the Sound of Music will love the chance to relive their favorite scenes and songs from the movie on some of these day trips.
For those drawn to medieval history, these excursions will transport you to another era, bringing your fantasies to life.
Regardless, whether you’re seeking stunning natural beauty or a journey back in time, your trip to Salzburg is sure to be unforgettable with these excursions.
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Nearest Beautiful Day Trips From Salzburg
While the stunning cities of Vienna, Munich, and Innsbruck are within reach for a day trip from Salzburg, they may not be the most practical option.
Why spend all that time traveling when you could be exploring?
Instead, choose from these destinations that are just 30 minutes to 1.5 hours away by car or around 2 hours by public transportation and make the most of your time in Salzburg.
1. Hellbrunn Palace
Nestled in the rolling hills of Austria, just a short bus ride from the city, lies a hidden gem: Hellbrunn Palace.
Built in the 17th century by Prince-Archbishop Markus Sittikus, this palace was designed for pure enjoyment and recreation.
And let me tell you, it does not disappoint.
From its trick fountains that have been delighting visitors for over 400 years, to its famous Sound of Music gazebo where Liesl and Franz whispered sweet nothings and Maria and Georg shared a romantic moment, Hellbrunn Palace is a feast for the senses.
But it’s not just about the fountains and gazebo — the palace is also home to fascinating exhibits about Markus Sittikus, rooms with stunning architectural details, and so much more.
So why not hop on a bus (or boat, if you’re feeling fancy) and come explore one of Austria’s most creative engineering feats from the 17th century?
For more information, check out my post “5 Things to Do in Hellbrunn Palace” – it’s got all the visitor information, tips, and maps you’ll need to make the most of your visit.
Here are some day trip tours that you can join to visit Hellbrunn Palace:
- Original Sound of Music Tour — Recommended
- The Hills are Alive Do Re Mi Tour — Private Tour (best for groups)
- Boat Ride to Hellbrunn and Palace Visit — Unique way to visit Hellbrunn Palace
2. Hohenwerfen Fortress
Hohenwerfen Fortress is a stunning castle located in the town of Werfen, just 40 kilometers south of Salzburg.
The fortress, which dates back to the 11th century, is perched on a 623-meter-high cliff, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
It’s an easy 45-minute train ride from the city, making it an easy day trip for those seeking adventure and culture.
One of the unique experiences you can have at Hohenwerfen Fortress is exploring its exhibitions, such as The Legend of Jackl.
This exhibition delves into one of the darkest chapters of Salzburg’s history, shedding light on the practice of witchcraft throughout the ages.
It’s a fascinating look into the past and a chance to immerse yourself in another time and place.
Hohenwerfen Fortress is also home to the first Austrian Falconry Museum.
Here, visitors can explore a thousand years of falconry and raptor hunting history.
Visitors can also witness the art of falconry through their birds of prey show, which is a truly unique experience.
For more information about Hohenwerfen Fortress, including tips and visiting information, be sure to check out my post ‘5 reasons to visit Hohenwerfen Fortress’.
It’s packed with all the insider knowledge you need to make the most of your visit to this incredible castle.
Below are the entrance tickets and tours to Hohenwerfen Fortress:
3. St. Gilgen
Nestled in the Salzkammergut region of Austria, you’ll find St. Gilgen, a charming village that’s sure to capture your heart.
Just 36 kilometers (a single bus ride) from the city on the northwestern shores of Wolfgangsee, this idyllic alpine village is a dream come true for wanderers like you.
With picturesque houses adorned with murals and flowers, tranquil green meadows, breathtaking alpine lake views, and charming fountains, St. Gilgen is like something straight out of a movie – and it actually is!
The bird’s eye view panorama of St. Gilgen was featured in the opening scenes of the beloved classic, The Sound of Music.
St. Gilgen is not just a picture-perfect place — it’s also steeped in rich cultural heritage, particularly when it comes to Salzburg’s musical history.
In 2005, the Wolfgangsee Tourist Board even christened St. Gilgen as the “Mozart Village”!
Though Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart never had the opportunity to visit St. Gilgen, Mozarts have deep roots in the town, making it an interesting destination for his fans.
Inspiring discoveries await you in St. Gilgen, too. Like the Musical Instruments Museum.
This museum is like no other thanks to its owner and curator, who is described by visitors as a humble and talented man who collects and plays instruments from all over the world.
To make the most of your day trip from Salzburg to St. Gilgen, check out my post “Visiting St. Gilgen: 7 Things To Do In This Beautiful Village” for tips and instructions on how to visit this enchanting village.
If you are traveling in a group and wish to explore not only St. Gilgen but also the stunning surrounding areas of Salzkammergut, here are some tours to consider:
- Original Sound of Music Tour — Recommended
- Full-day Private City & Lake District Tour — traveling with your family, group of friends? Check out this tour with skip the line perks.
Nestled in the Bavarian Alps, just 25 kilometers from Salzburg, lies the picturesque town of Berchtesgaden.
This hidden gem offers breathtaking sights and stunning alpine lake scenes that are sure to leave you in awe.
Whether you’re traveling by train or car, Berchtesgaden is less than an hour away from Salzburg and is well worth the journey.
From the top of Eagle’s Nest to the surface of Konigssee and deep underground in the Salt Mine Berchtesgaden, natural wonders await you at every turn.
Your senses will be overwhelmed by the beauty of this charming town, from the magical St. Bartholomew Church in Konigssee to the breathtaking panorama from Eagle’s Nest and the charming Berchtesgaden Market.
Take a ride on the Jenner cable car and feast your eyes on the glory of the Bavarian Alps.
On some days, you may even be lucky enough to witness an otherworldly sea of clouds from Jenner – an unforgettable experience!
History buffs will also find plenty to explore in Berchtesgaden, from Eagle’s Nest – once a multi-purpose meeting building for the Nazis – to Salt Mine Berchtesgaden, the oldest salt mine in all of Germany.
If you’re planning a visit to Berchtesgaden, be sure to check out my post “Berchtesgaden Day Trip From Salzburg: Must Things to Do”.
It’s packed with helpful information, including sample itineraries, tips on getting around, hidden gems, and much more. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable destination!
Here are some of my recommended Berchtesgaden day trips from Salzburg to join:
- Highlights of the Bavarian Mountains incl. Eagle’s Nest — Best for groups
- Full-Day Super Saver Bavarian Mountains Tour — Best for solo travelers
- Private Eagle’s Nest Tour & Königsee from Salzburg — No hassle and luxury private day trip tour
Hallstatt is without a doubt the most picturesque alpine village in the Salzkammergut region that’s impossible to miss when in Salzburg.
Known for its stunning landscapes and charming architecture, this quaint town on the western shore of Lake Hallstatt is a must-see for any traveler to Austria.
Just hop on Bus 150 from Salzburg to Bad Ischl, then transfer to Bus 542 or 543 to Hallstatt Lahn, and in just over two hours, you’ll be transported to a world of natural and man-made beauty.
When you arrive, you can simply have a leisurely stroll through the village and soak up the enchanting atmosphere.
Head to “Viewpoint Hallstatt” for a breathtaking view of Hallstatt’s classic profile — it’s like stepping into the kingdom of Arendelle from Disney’s Frozen!
But Hallstatt has much more to offer than just stunning views.
There are a variety of exciting attractions to explore, making it a truly worthwhile destination.
Take a trip to the Hallstatt Salt Mine and experience the thrill of the miners’ slide, marvel at the oldest wooden staircase in Europe, and discover the underground lake.
For those seeking breathtaking vistas, head to the 5 Fingers lookout point on Dachstein Mountain.
Jutting out like a metal hand over a 1,300-foot sheer drop, this viewpoint offers one of the most spectacular panoramas in the Alps.
Or, for a different perspective, visit Rudolph’s Tower & Skywalk, perched 1,200 feet above the village on Salt Mountain (Salzberg).
There’s no reason not to visit Hallstatt, with its stunning beauty and wealth of attractions.
The only potential drawbacks are the crowds during peak season and the possibility of bad weather.
If you’re looking for a hassle-free way to explore Hallstatt and other beautiful places in the region on a day trip from Salzburg, there are plenty of tours available to help you make the most of your visit:
Unique Day Trip From Salzburg
Salzach Valley, Salzkammergut, and the Bavarian Alps may be located on different sides of Salzburg, but that doesn’t mean you can only visit one at a time.
In fact, these regions are neighboring each other, making it possible to visit two in a single day, especially if you’re traveling by private car.
For example, Berchtesgaden and Hohenwerfen Fortress are only 45 minutes apart by car.
Similarly, Werfen and St. Gilgen are just an hour away from each other under ideal road traffic conditions.
With the right combination of tourist attractions in your itinerary, you can have a unique and unforgettable day trip from Salzburg.
However, if you’re really looking for some recommendations for unique day trips from Salzburg, here are a few to consider:
- Sound of Music & Salt Mines Tour — A combination of different experiences, best for families and fans of the movie.
- 8-Hour Tour with Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride — Unique fairytale experience to try during winter.
- Werfen World’s Largest Ice Caves — Incredible works of nature to discover when it’s summer.
What To See In Salzburg Before/After Your Day Trip
These day trips from Salzburg are like stepping into a fantasy world, full of breathtaking sights and unforgettable experiences.
But before you set off to explore the wonders beyond the city, make sure you don’t miss out on Salzburg’s own hidden gems. Here are some must-see places in Salzburg to consider visiting, too:
- Mozart’s Birthplace — Discover the musical heritage of Salzburg, learn about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Interesting Things To Discover Inside Mozart’s Birthplace
- Hohensalzburg Fortress — Learn the history, see some unique architecture, and have a musical experience. See it here: Visiting Salzburg Fortress Hohensalzburg & Things To Do Inside
- Mirabell Palace — The unmissable place for Sound of Music fans! Come here for some of the most picturesque scenes in Salzburg. Check my 5 Reasons Why You Must Visit Mirabell Palace.
- Nonnberg Abbey — An oasis of peace, another Sound of Music filming location, and an off-the-beaten-path destination in Salzburg. See if it’s worth visiting in my post, Visiting Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg: Tips and Information.
- Salzburg Cathedral — Here’s what you can expect to see in Salzburg’s religious architectural centerpiece: Complete Guide to Salzburg Cathedral (with Facts and Visit Information)
- Mönchsberg — It’s the small mountain within the city with panoramic views of the Alps and unique vantage points of Old Town Salzburg. Discover it here, Mönchsberg: 5 Things To Do on This Hill in Salzburg
- Kapuzinerberg — Another mountain in Salzburg with the best vantage points for watching sunset over Old Town. See how beautiful the view is — Visiting Kapuzinerberg: Best Views of Old Town Salzburg
Discover Salzburg more and make the most of your trip:
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