5 Nearest Easy Day Trips from Salzburg (Austria and Germany)

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Located right next to the border between Austria and Germany, north of the Alps, Salzburg is the ideal starting point for exploring one of the most stunning areas in the German-speaking world. From the historic sites along the Salzach Valley, to the charming villages in the Salzkammergut region, and the breathtaking natural beauty of Upper Bavaria, there’s a wealth of places to visit around Salzburg!

What could be better? From Salzburg, it’s incredibly easy to reach some of the region’s most spectacular destinations. Take for instance, Hellbrunn Palace, Hohenwerfen Fortress, St. Gilgen, and Berchtesgaden — they’re all just a short ride away from the city. Even Hallstatt, Austria’s enchanting fairytale village, is within reach for a day trip from Salzburg. If you’re planning a 2-day visit or a 3-day Salzburg escapade and you’re interested in exploring the surrounding area, these five destinations are my top picks for your day trip.

The mix of experiences they offer is sure to satisfy all the desires of any wanderer! From breathtaking landscapes and quaint streets, to fascinating history… it’s all so exciting! Let me tell you more about them here.

Before you set off on a day trip, though, don’t forget to explore the attractions right in Salzburg. The city is home to beautiful discoveries and remarkable historical landmarks like the Salzburg Cathedral, Hohensalzburg Fortress, Mirabell Palace, Nonnberg Abbey, Mozart’s Birthplace, and more. These sites are conveniently close to each other, making them perfect for a walking tour of the Old Town.


A glimpse to the 5 nearest day trips from Salzburg


Hellbrunn Palace

Nestled in the rolling hills of Austria, just a short bus ride from the city, lies a hidden gem: Hellbrunn Palace.

Here are some day trip tours that you can join to visit Hellbrunn Palace:

  1. Original Sound of Music Tour — Recommended
  2. The Hills are Alive Do Re Mi Tour — Private Tour (best for groups)
  3. Boat Ride to Hellbrunn and Palace Visit — Unique way to visit Hellbrunn Palace
Learn more about 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 “Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Hellbrunn Palace” – it’s got all the visitor information, tips, and maps you’ll need to make the most of your visit. 

Hohenwerfen Fortress

Hohenwerfen Fortress is a stunning castle located in the town of Werfen, just 40 kilometers south of Salzburg.

Below are the entrance tickets and tours to Hohenwerfen Fortress:

  1. Hohenwerfen Fortress Entrance Ticket
  2. Hohenwerfen Castle and Werfen Ice Caves Private Tour
Learn more about Hohenwerfen Fortress

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 is about 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 ‘Visiting Hohenwerfen Fortress Guide, Expectations, and Tips’. It’s packed with all the insider knowledge you need to make the most of your visit to this incredible castle.

St. Gilgen

Nestled in the Salzkammergut region of Austria, you’ll find St. Gilgen, a charming village that’s sure to capture your heart.

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:

  1. Original Sound of Music Tour — Recommended
  2. Full-day Private City & Lake District Tour — traveling with your family, group of friends? Check out this tour with skip the line perks.
Learn more about St. Gilgen

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 us. 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 “7 Attractions to See and Experience When Visiting St. Gilgen” for tips and instructions on how to visit this enchanting village.


Nestled in the Bavarian Alps, just 25 kilometers from Salzburg, lies the picturesque town of Berchtesgaden.

Here are some of my recommended Berchtesgaden day trips from Salzburg to join:

  1. Highlights of the Bavarian Mountains incl. Eagle’s Nest — Best for groups
  2. Full-Day Super Saver Bavarian Mountains Tour — Best for solo travelers
  3. Private Eagle’s Nest Tour & Königsee from Salzburg — No hassle and luxury private day trip tour
Learn more about Berchtesgaden

Nestled in the Bavarian Alps, just 25 kilometers from Salzburg, lies the picturesque town of Berchtesgaden. This town 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 Guide, Tips, and More”. 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!


Hallstatt is without a doubt the most picturesque alpine village in the Salzkammergut region that’s impossible to miss when in Salzburg.

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:

  1. Half-Day Tour to Hallstatt from Salzburg
  2. Private Tour of Hallstatt from Salzburg (best for groups)
Learn more about Hallstatt

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.

Unique Day Trips

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:

If you’re still looking for accommodations in Salzburg, I’ve got you covered. I’m sharing a link to my go-to platform for hotel searches and bookings, which I trust implicitly. Please note, this is an affiliate link, meaning I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you if you book a hotel through this link. This commission greatly assists in maintaining WanderInEurope and creating content like this for your future use. Your support is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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Did you know that Salzburg offers stunning views right from its city center? If you only have a day to explore Salzburg and you want to see picture-perfect views relatively as lovely as those what you can see from the day trip destinations, you can head straight to the town’s picturesque spots, perfect for catching both sunrise and sunset. For an even more spectacular view, consider visiting Salzburg’s two mountains: Kapuzinerberg and Monchsberg. To make your journey extra special, discover Salzburg’s unique attractions and experiences.

What to see in Salzburg before or after your day trip, Salzburg, Austria
What to see in Salzburg before or after your day trip
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