5 Spots In Salzburg to See Sunset or Sunrise (With a Map)

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Salzburg offers a view straight out of a fairytale, which I believe is stunning enough to be a highlight of any trip to the city.

To me, its skyline, filled with Baroque architecture and has the mountains as the backdrop, is one of the most unique cityscape views not just in Austria, but maybe even across all of Europe! If the weather forecast a few days prior to your actual trip to Salzburg calls for sunny skies, I’d argue it’s a must to visit Salzburg’s viewpoints. The views there are simply breathtaking.

Aim to be at any of the viewpoints during the golden hours of sunrise and sunset, and I’m confident the scene you’ll witness will be nothing short of magical! With Salzburg’s old-world charm illuminated in warm hues, the dramatic scenery during these golden hours might just be that one unforgettable moment you’re seeking in your travels. So, no matter if you’re planning a day trip, a two-day visit, a three-day stay, or a longer journey to Salzburg, make sure to include these viewpoints in your itinerary.

The great part is, you don’t have to leave the historic center of Salzburg to take in panoramic views of the city. The best spots are in Old Town and in its small mountains, such as Mönchsberg, Kapuzinerberg, and Festungsberg, where Hohensalzburg Fortress is located. And what’s even better? These viewpoints are just a short stroll away from many of the city’s noteworthy attractions. For example, Salzburg Cathedral, Nonnberg Abbey, Mozart’s Birthplace, Mirabell Palace, and more. If you’re planning a walking tour of Old Town Salzburg, it’s easy to include these picturesque spots into your route.

In fact, some of these viewpoints are conveniently situated along the Salzach River, while others can be reached using an elevator. Each one is a breeze to get to! So, allow me to guide you to their locations and describe the stunning views you can expect from each. I’m also pinpointing their exact spots on a map for your convenience!

Writer’s Note

As a wanderer, I like seeing places at their most striking appearance. So, as much as possible, I strive to explore during the golden hour. So, what is the golden hour? It’s the time of the day which occurs at sunrise or sunset, when the sun is low in the sky.

It’s when I want to wander because during this time, sunlight reveals detail, unusually seen during midday. Objects have dramatic contrasts; projects longer and more directional shadows. And yes, it’s a magical time when the world seems to glow with a special radiance; the time when places give you this upticks feeling of awe.

But that’s not all. With everything soaked up with hues of red, orange, and yellow during the golden hour — colors associated with the feelings of happiness — the golden hour is simply the time to stroll and roam around to feel happier when we travel.

With all the ‘magic’ that happens during the Golden Hour, it goes without saying that you must catch it when you visit Salzburg.  Especially since the scenery in Salzburg is a mix of relaxing nature and characterful buildings — the panorama is straight out of a dream.

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Brief overview of the viewpoints I discovered in Salzburg.

There are plenty of places in Salzburg to see the golden hour happen in the city. However, for a more memorable experience, it is best to catch the sunrise or sunset in Salzburg from the vantage points located at the banks of the Salzach River or at mountains overlooking the city like Mönchsberg, Kapuzinerberg, and Festungsberg.

  1. Mönchsberg — the mountain to the west of Old Town Salzburg.
  2. Kapuzinerberg — the mountain to the east of Old Town Salzburg.
  3. Festungsberg — the mountain where Hohensalzburg Fortress sits on top.

Note: Please see the resources section of this post for the links to the exact location (in Google Maps) of the important places mentioned in this post. You can also find the links to their StreetView if there are available 360-degrees images for them. 

From these places, you can take in incredible unique views not only of Salzburg but also of the Alps. Specifically, some worth mentioning are listed below.

  1. Giselakai riverside promenade along Salzach River — straight up view of Hohensalzburg fortress
  2. Franziskischlössl on top of Kapuzinerberg — view of the northern part of Salzburg
  3. Richterhöhe in Mönchsberg — great view of the Alps (best picnic spot)
  4. Kinderspielplatz in Mönchsberg — overlooking view of the Salzach River
  5. Geyerturm in Hohensalzburg fortress (Festungsberg) — great view of the Alps while in the fortress
  6. Mozartsteg across Salzach River — Instagrammable bridge with a view of Hohensalzburg Fortress

You can also find more viewpoints while hiking along

  • the Stefan-Zweig-Weg path in Kapuzinerberg
  • the northern walls of Mönchsberg
  • or even the Hoher Weg path that connects the Old Town and Hohensalzburg in Festungsberg.

None of these vantage points, however, can compare to the magical and dramatic view of Salzburg during the sunrise or sunset from:

  1. Humboldt Terrace in Mönchsberg
  2. Museum der Moderne terrace in Mönchsberg
  3. Müllnersteg Bridge across Salzach River
  4. Elisabethkai Waterfront Promenade along Salzach River
  5. Basteiweg in Kapuzinerberg

From these locations, you can take in breathtaking views of the Hohensalzburg Fortress, the Salzach River, the Alps, and the baroque skyline of Old Town Salzburg all at once! If the weather is on your side, you may even witness the Hohensalzburg Fortress bathed in a golden glow from the reddish light of the sun. It’s a spectacular sight that you won’t want to miss!

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1. Humboldt Terrace in Mönchsberg

Humboldt Terrace is the vantage point in Mönchsberg, offering a view that overlooks Old Town Salzburg from its northern tip. From this viewpoint, you can behold the entire Old Town Salzburg with just a single look, without even having to move your head. Thus, Humboldt Terrace is a great spot for watching both sunrise and sunset in Salzburg. 

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Sunrise view of Old Town Salzburg from Humboldt Terrace in Monchsberg, Salzburg, Austria
Sunrise view of Old Town Salzburg from Humboldt Terrace in Monchsberg
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What to expect in Humboldt Terrace + how to get there

One of the great things about Humboldt Terrace is that it’s not well-known among tourists. This means that compared to other vantage points, it’s much more peaceful and serene. When you come here to watch the sunrise or sunset, you’ll likely have the place all to yourself. If you want to stay for a while, there are benches where you can sit and relax, although the last time I checked, there were only a couple of them. 

While watching the sunrise from Humboldt Terrace is a wonderful experience, getting there early in the morning can be a bit of a challenge.

The Mönchsberg elevator, which is the easiest way to reach the top of Mönchsberg where Humboldt Terrace is located, doesn’t start operating until 8:00 am. You can check my post about Mönchsberg for alternative routes, but be prepared for some climbing and a lot of walking. Despite the effort, the reward is a stunning view of Old Town Salzburg at sunrise, especially if the weather is on your side.

When it comes to watching the sunset in Salzburg from Humboldt Terrace, however, there’s no problem with access!

Note: you can find the current operating hours of the Mönchsberg elevator from its official website linked at the resources section of this post. 

2. In Front of Museum der Moderne in Mönchsberg

The Museum der Moderne in Mönchsberg is not only one of Salzburg’s most renowned modern art museums, but it also offers a stunning viewpoint of the Old Town. From the terraces in front of the museum, you can immerse yourself in the baroque skyline of the city and enjoy an unobstructed, 180-degree view of Salzburg’s most notable landmarks and historic center. This makes it an ideal spot for watching the sunrise or sunset.

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Golden Hour view of Old Town Salzburg and Hohensalzburg Fortress (zoomed in) from Museum der Moderne in Monchsberg, Salzburg, Austria
Golden Hour view of Old Town Salzburg and Hohensalzburg Fortress (zoomed in) from Museum der Moderne in Monchsberg
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What to expect in the Museum der Moderne viewpoint + how to visit

The view from here is similar to that from Humboldt Terrace, but you’ll be closer to the heart of Old Town Salzburg and the Salzburg Cathedral. From this vantage point, the Hohensalzburg Fortress will also appear much larger. Like Humboldt Terrace, the Museum der Moderne in Mönchsberg is most easily reached by taking the Mönchsberg elevator, which starts operating at 8:00 am. So, I wouldn’t recommend trying to watch the sunrise from there.

However, watching the sunset from the museum is a fantastic idea, especially if you’re on a romantic trip or just want to create a special memory in Salzburg. There’s a restaurant called M32 right next to the museum that has outdoor seating with a great view of the sunset. While the food and service are nothing special for the price, it’s definitely an opportunity to make your Salzburg trip more worthwhile.

Keep in mind that this viewpoint is very popular, so you’ll probably be sharing the moment with quite a few other people. The Mönchsberg elevator runs until 9:00 pm, so you won’t have to worry about hiking back down to the Old Town after watching the sunset.

Note: If you’re interested to see the exhibits inside Museum der Moderne in Mönchsberg, please check their official website linked at the resources of this post

3. Müllnersteg Bridge

Of all the bridges in Salzburg, the Müllnersteg Bridge offers some of the most stunning views you’ll surely love to see. It’s located near Humboldt Terrace, but at a lower elevation below Mönchsberg and across the River Salzach. From the Müllnersteg Bridge, you can see a unique breathtaking view of Salzburg’s Old Town, and it’ll remind you of France’s Mont Saint-Michel.

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Sunset view of Old Town Salzburg and Hohensalzburg Fortress (zoomed in) from Müllnersteg, Salzburg, Austria
Sunset view of Old Town Salzburg and Hohensalzburg Fortress (zoomed in) from Müllnersteg
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What to expect in Müllnersteg Bridge + how to get there

The view is particularly even more enchanting during the golden hours, making the Müllnersteg Bridge one of the best spots in Salzburg to watch the sunrise or sunset. It is my favorite bridge, and I think you will like it too, especially since it offers more than just a beautiful view. The bridge is surrounded by promenades on both sides of the river, so you can enjoy a refreshing experience as well.

With the winding shape of the Salzach River and the towering Evangelical Parish Salzburg Christ Church on its banks, you’ll be tempted to take lots of photos as you cross the bridge. Sometimes boats pass underneath, giving it a Venetian feel. It’s no wonder that people have attached padlocks to the bridge’s mesh railings as a romantic gesture. (you can find more padlocks in Marko-Feingold-Steg, though)

And definitely, if you’re looking for an easy-to-reach spot to watch the sunrise or sunset in Salzburg, the Müllnersteg Bridge is a great choice. Müllnersteg Bridge is only a 15-minute stroll from the heart of Old Town Salzburg or a 5-minute walk from Mirabell Palace, which also offers fantastic views of the Hohensalzburg Fortress.

The only downside to the Müllnersteg Bridge as a sunrise or sunset viewing spot is that it’s a bridge, so there are no benches to sit on while you wait for the sun to rise or set.

Don’t worry if you can’t sit and relax on the Müllnersteg Bridge during the golden hour in Salzburg. There are plenty of benches and picnic areas just a few steps away on the riverside promenades. While you wait for the perfect moment to see the Old Town and Hohensalzburg Fortress bathed in golden light, you can relax on the promenade and then head to the bridge when the time is right.

4. Elisabethkai Waterfront Promenade

If you’re looking for a place to relax and have a picnic while enjoying the golden hour in Salzburg, Elisabethkai is the perfect spot. This waterfront promenade, offering another picture-perfect panorama of Salzburg, is located on the eastern bank of the River Salzach, between the Müllnersteg Bridge and Marko-Feingold-Steg. From here, you can enjoy an unobstructed view of Salzburg’s Old Town, with its baroque domes and spires in front of Festungsberg and Hohensalzburg Fortress, acting as the backdrop.

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Sunrise scene of Old Town Salzburg from the waterfront promenade Elisabethkai, Salzburg, Austria
Sunrise scene of Old Town Salzburg from the waterfront promenade Elisabethkai
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What to expect Elisabethkai Waterfront Promenade + tips

The view is similar to what you’ll see from the Müllnersteg Bridge, so it’s no wonder that this is a popular spot for watching the sunrise or sunset.

If you plan to spend some time here, consider bringing a picnic blanket and some snacks so you can sit back and relax. The area can get crowded with locals and tourists on nice days, but there’s plenty of space for everyone. However, it’s a good idea to arrive early in the afternoon before sunset to claim a good spot before others do.

If you prefer not to sit on the ground, there are also several benches available under the shade of trees. Elisabethkai Waterfront Promenade is just next to Müllnersteg Bridge, so getting to it is as easy as getting to the bridge.

5. Basteiweg in Kapuzinerberg

Basteiweg is one of the historic pathways in Kapuzinerberg, used by medieval guards who patrolled Salzburg’s medieval fortifications outside the Old Town. Today, it’s a scenic trail that connects Hettwer Bastei, the bastion below the Capuchin monastery, with Franziskischlössl, the fortress at the top of Kapuzinerberg. From different parts of Basteiweg, high above the city, various unique perspectives of Old Town Salzburg and Hohensalzburg Fortress across the River Salzach can be seen.

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The view of Old Town Salzburg and Hohensalzburg Fortress from Basteiweg in Kapuzinerberg a couple of hours before sunset, Salzburg, Austria
The view of Old Town Salzburg and Hohensalzburg Fortress from Basteiweg in Kapuzinerberg a couple of hours before sunset
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What to expect in Basteiweg, how to get there, and more tips!

In some parts of the trail, you’ll see not only the city and fortress but also some peaks of the Bavarian Alps peeking above the magical skyline of the city. With such dramatic scenery, it’s no wonder that Basteiweg is a popular spot for watching the sunrise or sunset in Salzburg.

The view of Old Town Salzburg from Basteiweg is more often magical during sunrise: when the first rays of the sun coming behind Kapuzinerberg touch the misty valley where Old Town Salzburg is located. The sunset looks incredible from Basteiweg too, with the silhouette of the mountains and baroque skyline of the city vividly seen in front of you.

Another great part of visiting Basteiweg is that it’s both a scenic and nostalgic experience since it’s part of the old fortifications of the city. And if you enjoy photography, you can use the medieval walls and trees along the trail to frame your shots of Hohensalzburg Fortress.

Basteiweg stretches for more than a kilometer, but you don’t need to hike to get to the best sunrise or sunset spot. You can simply go to Hettwer Bastei, which is very accessible from the Old Town. The bastion is reached after a minute or two of walking through a staircase called Imbergstiege. Since it’s so easy to reach, you can expect to share the golden hour with plenty of other people, especially at sunset. Sunrise is usually less crowded. Sometimes, there’s no people at all!

If you’re planning to spend an hour or more on Basteiweg before sunset, I have some good news for you: there are several benches along the trail where you can sit and wait for the sun to set or capture a time-lapse of the sunset. There aren’t many benches, though, so if they’re all occupied, you can also sit on the walls — just be careful!

Map of Salzburg

To assist you in finding these sunrise or sunset spots in Salzburg, I’ve included a map of Salzburg that pinpoints their exact locations.

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Map of Salzburg, Austria showing the sunrise or sunset spots in the city
Map of Salzburg: (1) Müllnersteg Bridge (2) Humboldt Terrace (3) Museum der Moderne (4) Elisabethkai (5) Basteiweg
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Google Street View Links

If you want to see what the different scenic spots in Salzburg look like, you can check out the Street View images I’ve linked below. These 360 degrees images will give you a good idea of the views and atmosphere at each location.

Resources

So, those are my top recommendations for the best spots to catch the sunrise and sunset in Salzburg! I hope this helps you find the ideal location for you. If you’re looking for more details about the top 5 sunrise or sunset locations in Salzburg, feel free to check out the links provided below:

If you need help in exploring Salzburg, check out the list below.

Still on the hunt for accommodations in Salzburg? You can find the best hotel deals through this link. It’s my partner’s hotel search and booking platform, which is always my go-to for finding excellent accommodations. Please note, the link is an affiliate link. This means I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you when you book through it. It’s a fantastic way to support WanderInEurope in creating more content that may be helpful to you in the future. Thank you for your support!

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The panoramic views that you can witness from visiting the different viewpoints in Salzburg are only one of the amazing experiences you can have during your trip! You have to see the beautiful things I discovered in Salzburg or these unique activities to make your trip special. After your exploration of the city, consider having a day trip to the stunning and fascinating destinations nearby! There’s Hellbrunn Palace for incredible water automatons, St. Gilgen for memorable wanderings in a charming alpine village, Hohenwerfen Fortress for a breathtaking time-transporting experience, and Berchtesgaden in Germany for the ultimate alpine scenery from Salzburg. Check them out!

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