Seven Beautiful Things That I Discovered in Salzburg

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Even though Salzburg isn’t a large city, it’s packed with beautiful discoveries waiting to be made. From notable historical landmarks such as Nonnberg Abbey to picturesque viewpoints like Kapuzinerberg that inspire you to take dozens of photos, Salzburg is undoubtedly a wanderer’s paradise! The fun of exploring even extends outside the city, thanks to the wander-worthy day trips nearby, like St. Gilgen, Berchtesgaden, and Hohenwerfen Fortress.

And do you know what’s great? The things you’ll discover aren’t only interesting, but they’re also visually overwhelming. They’re beautiful, and some are stunning, like the halls of Hellbrunn Palace and the Princely Chambers of Hohensalzburg Fortress. Curious? Let me share with you the seven most charming places and things I discovered in Salzburg, including the two I just mentioned.

Whether you’re planning a one-day trip, a two-day visit, or a three-day getaway, these beautiful sights and locations in Salzburg are surely a great addition, or perhaps something you wouldn’t want to miss. Conveniently, most of them are located within the city’s historic center and are within walking distance of each other. If you prefer, you can easily include them in your own self-guided walking tour of the Old Town.

Writer’s Note

As a wanderer, I’m drawn to beauty. I seek out breathtaking places, magnificent works of art, and anything that sparks inspiration; creations that are crafted with such skill and artistry that they leave people in awe. Why? Because when I encounter art that defies description, sights that inspire awe, or structures that seem to possess a soul, I’m filled with a sense of… a very good feeling that’s beyond words! And I hope you’ll experience that same sense of wonder when you visit Salzburg, guided by this article I’ve written.

While this guide focuses on the visually stunning aspects of Salzburg, remember, the city’s beauty extends beyond its picturesque sights, charming streets, artistic creations, and impressive architecture. Salzburg invites its visitors to uncover fascinating historical treasures and immerse themselves in exceptional musical performances. Its rich cultural heritage is part of what makes it such an enchanting city.

The beauty of Salzburg can be appreciated throughout the year, but it’s important to remember that factors like weather and season can influence your experience. Again, Salzburg isn’t a large city, and it can get quite crowded with tourists during peak season. To make the most of your visit, it’s wise to plan ahead and choose the optimal time to explore the city.

If you’re interested in insightful tours of Salzburg’s various beautiful locations, here are my recommendations:

1. Mirabell Palace and Garden

Visiting beautiful places that you previously only saw on TV or in movies is a surreal experience to give you a feeling like you’re in a dream. It’s the same feeling that you might have when you visit Mirabell Palace and its garden. This early 17th-century palace was a filming location for the classic movie, The Sound of Music, and is one of the most beautiful places in the city. From its elegant iron gates and horse fountain, where the main characters sang, to its stunning Angel Staircase, there’s beauty everywhere you look!

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Continue reading about Mirabell Palace & Garden

I was particularly charmed by the Grand Parterre, Small Parterre, and Marble Hall of Mirabell Palace. If you’re planning a visit, make sure not to miss these parts. Not only because they’re as pretty as a picture but also they’re free to explore when there are no events taking place.

Most notably the Marble Hall. It has a dazzling interior adorned with ornate golden Baroque elements and a glittering chandelier — it’s sure to take your breath away! It’s no wonder that Mirabell Palace’s Marble Hall is considered one of the most sought-after wedding venues in Austria.

The Grand and Small Parterre also offer some of the most picturesque views in Salzburg, with a visual orientation towards the cathedral and fortress. In my opinion, it’s one of the best places in Salzburg to take a photo souvenir of your visit.

Mirabell Palace is the first beautiful place to visit in Salzburg if you are coming from the central train station. You can walk there in less than 15 minutes, or take bus 160, 170, or 175, which will take you there in 6 to 7 minutes.

2. Baroque Skyline (from Mönchsberg)

Dominated by the imposing Hohensalzburg Fortress and the Baroque spires and domes of its buildings, Salzburg’s historic center has a beautiful character that is instantly recognizable. The moment I saw Salzburg’s skyline from Monchsberg, I knew it was a place like no other. Its dramatic appearance that’s straight out of the bygone days, reminds me of the PC games set in the medieval ages, like Assassin’s Creed or Warcraft. I believe, if you’ve also played them before, you can immediately imagine yourself as the adventurous character in the game. 

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Learn more about the view of Salzburg’s Skyline

Surrounded by mountains, Salzburg’s historic center has several vantage points with breathtaking views in the different parts of the city. However, for me, the most scenic spot is on Mönchsberg mountain, just west of Old Town Salzburg and next to Festungsberg, where Hohensalzburg Fortress stands. For a unique and unobstructed view of Old Town Salzburg from Mönchsberg, though, head to Humboldt Terrace above Klausentor. 

When you reach Humboldt Terrace, you’ll get a clear picture of Salzburg’s cityscape architecture and see how the city used the mountains and River Salzach as natural defenses against invading forces. From its northernmost point at St. Markus Kirche am Ursulinenplatz all the way south to Festungsberg and Hohensalzburg Fortress, the view is truly impressive. 

There are several ways to reach Humboldt Terrace on Mönchsberg from Old Town Salzburg. However, the most convenient is via the Mönchsberg Elevator below the Museum der Moderne on Mönchsberg. It is just a few steps from Bürgerspitalkirche St. Blasius at the end of Getreidegasse. Once you reach the top level of the elevator, Humboldt Terrace would be just a short walk north to Humboldt Terrace near Hotel Schloss Mönchstein.

3. Getreidegasse

I believe in living a simple and fulfilling life, focusing on experiences rather than material possessions. So, instead of spending my money on fashionable clothes or high-end watches, I prefer to explore the local culture and sights when I travel. Visiting shopping districts isn’t really my thing, but Getreidegasse in Salzburg is an exception. This exclusive shopping district in the Old Town is a must-see attraction, even for someone like me.

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Learn more about Getreidegasse

Getreidegasse is known as the most beautiful street in Salzburg, thanks to its architecture and to its ornamental and elaborate guild signs that hang from the building facades high above the heads of pedestrians. Even McDonald’s along Getreidegasse has an elaborate wrought iron guild sign! If you notice the houses along Getreidegasse, you’ll see some are decorated with the names of their former owners and important dates.

Getreidegasse is also home to long-established inns, picturesque courtyards, and passageways leading to traditional businesses like Wieber Locksmith’s Shop. Fascinatingly, the locksmiths in Wieber Locksmith’s Shop work using a craft, practiced since the early fifteenth-century. 

Mozart’s birthplace, one of Salzburg’s most famous tourist attractions, is also located along Getreidegasse. I highly recommend visiting it to gain more insight into Salzburg’s musical heritage. The entire life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is exhibited inside this three-floor museum.

To get to Getreidegasse, you can walk from any part of Old Town Salzburg or take public bus #170 or #270, both of which have stops near Getreidegasse or Mozart’s Birthplace.

4. Princely Chambers

As you wander through the streets of Old Town Salzburg, it’s hard to miss the imposing Hohensalzburg Fortress — one of the most important heritage sites in Salzburg. Perched atop a 542-meter mountain and overlooking the Old Town, this medieval structure is a real eye-catcher. Offering its visitors various experiences, Hohensalzburg Fortress is an absolute must-see for anyone visiting the city. From the history of Salzburg to the breathtaking view of the Alps, there is plenty to discover within Hohensalzburg Fortress. It also has different museums that offer insights into marionettes and some great Austrian heroes. However, for travelers in search of beauty, the Princely Chambers of Hohensalzburg Fortress are the real deal.

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Continue reading and learn more about the Princely Chambers of Hohensalzburg Fortress

These chambers are one of the architectural highlights of Salzburg, with their exquisite appearance and starry sky-like ceiling. The Golden Chamber, one of the three parts of the Princely Chambers, is particularly breathtaking with its ornate doors and intricately detailed stove. Its stove is a stunning mix of Gothic and Renaissance styles, adorned with reliefs depicting objects, wonders, and tales from the “New World” that fascinated Europeans centuries ago.

The most convenient way to reach the fortress, however, is by taking the funicular from Old Town Salzburg, which takes visitors directly to the fortress. The funicular station is just a minute walk from Salzburg Cathedral through Kapitelplatz and Festungsgasse, located south of the cathedral.

5. The Interiors of Salzburg Cathedral

Salzburg, known as the City of Churches, boasts a picturesque skyline full of domes and spires of its historic religious buildings. It’s a beautiful scenery; a time-transporting sight that tells the unique history of Salzburg — a city that has grown under the influence of its prince-archbishops. Alternative to Humboldt Terrace in Mönchsberg, you can take a leisurely stroll along Basteiweg near Kapuzinerkloster to take in the magical view of the city’s skyline. However, wherever vantage points you go, surely there’s one church you’ll quickly notice — Salzburg Cathedral. This church, established in the 8th century and restored in the 17th century, is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Salzburg.

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Discover the interiors of Salzburg Cathedral

As the center of religious life in the city, it’s the source of inspiration for many. And if you’re like me and in search of beautiful inspiration, Salzburg Cathedral will more than satisfy your visual cravings. To me, Salzburg Cathedral is also an architectural highlight of Salzburg. Its ceiling, heavily elaborated with frescoes and stuccoes, is particularly awe-inspiring.

 The stuccoes are intricately lined with dark gray ink, adding extra visual depth and a sharper contrast against the pristine white materials of the church. Even the intricate stucco works adorning the beams and column capitals are works of art.As you explore the side chapels of Salzburg Cathedral one by one, you’ll discover a stunning array of frescoes depicting different biblical scenes, all framed by visually overwhelming stuccoes.

The dome featuring the image of the Holy Spirit, the ornate altars, and the five magnificent organs of Salzburg Cathedral are also well worth seeing. In fact, Salzburg Cathedral is particularly special for its five organs, being the only church north of the Alps to have so many.

Getting to Salzburg Cathedral is simple, as it is located in the heart of Old Town Salzburg and can be easily reached on foot. However, if you are coming from Mirabell Palace or anywhere outside Old Town Salzburg, it will take you about 15 minutes to walk there, crossing the Salzach River. If you are coming from the train station, you can take bus number 3, 5, or 6 to Rathaus, which is the closest bus stop to Salzburg Cathedral. The total journey time, including the bus and walking time, is approximately 15 minutes.

6. The Ceremonial Hall and the Octagon

If you’re looking to be surrounded by awe-inspiring beauty in Salzburg, don’t limit yourself to just the tourist attractions and landmarks within the historic center. There are visually stunning places both within and outside the city’s historic center. One such attraction that’s easily accessible from the city is Hellbrunn Palace. This early 17th-century villa, built by prince-archbishop Markus Sittikus, is home not only to the most fascinating things you can discover in Salzburg, but also to some of the most eye-pleasing venues outside the city center.

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Learn more about Hellbrunn Palace and its beautiful features like the Ceremonial Hall & Octagon Room

Fascinating and eye-pleasing attractions? Well, for example: its trick fountains are some of the earliest pranks you’ll find in Europe! Another must-mention feature of Hellbrunn Palace are its magical-looking grottos. Themed with colorful shells, stones, and mirrors, these grottos are particularly unique since they look straight out of coastal areas. But the truly visually overwhelming experience lies in Hellbrunn Palace’s ceremonial hall and octagon room.

These rooms, which were designed in 1616 by court painter Donato Arsenio Mascagni, have stage-like illusionist architecture and fresco-secco paintings that make the room look much bigger than it actually is.

Here, history, culture, and visual art are fused with architecture to create incredible masterpieces that will leave you speechless. Heraldic animals, symbolic characters, and different places like Florence and Venice are painted all over the hall. It took me several minutes to take in all the wonders it displays, and it may take you just as long!

Do you want to visit Hellbrunn Palace? It’s only located near Morzg, one of the districts of the city of Salzburg to the south. There are several ways to reach Hellbrunn Palace from the city, including by car, bus, or boat. The most practical option is to take public transportation, such as bus #25 from the city center or main train station of Salzburg. However, for a unique and fun experience, consider taking a boat ride along the Salzach River.

7. Schloss Leopoldskron 

Salzburg is a beautiful city that is often so captivating that it inspires you to reach for your camera and capture the moment. In addition to its man-made marvels, the city also offers a plethora of picture-perfect natural sites that offer sights you’ll want to preserve in photographs. You can simply head to the alpine viewpoints in Mönchsberg, such as Richterhöhe, and fill your camera with stunning photos of the majestic mountains. Alternatively, stroll along the bridges crossing the Salzach River, such as Müllnersteg, and take in the breathtaking views that include the mountains and city. However, if you’re looking for a blend of natural beauty and cinematic charm in Salzburg, then Schloss Leopoldskron is the perfect destination for you.

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What to expect in visiting Schloss Leopoldskron

With the palace sitting on the edge of the serene Leopoldskroner Weiher lake and surrounded by a sprawling seven-hectare park, this rococo palace is a true gem for people seeking beauty only seen in fairytales.

Like, on misty days, the palace and lake are shrouded in a magical veil, transforming the scene into a fairytale come to life. On calm and sunny days, on the other hand, the palace and lake become a picture-perfect paradise. The still waters of the lake reflect the palace like a giant mirror, creating stunning photo opportunities.

For an even more breathtaking shot, be sure to include Hohensalzburg Fortress in the background. From the western shores of the lake along König-Ludwig-Strasse, you can capture Schloss Leopoldskron above the lake with Hohensalzburg Fortress towering in the distance.

Lastly, for the fans of the beloved movie, The Sound of Music, Schloss Leopoldskron is an unmissable destination. The palace and its surrounding lake were used as filming locations for several iconic scenes in the movie.

In fact, 10 outdoor scenes were shot on the palace grounds, portraying the Von Trapp family home. Two memorable scenes include Maria walking along Schloss Leopoldskron’s walkway and the children falling into the Leopoldskroner Weiher lake. A visit to Schloss Leopoldskron should give you a flashback of these scenes during your visit. 

However it is important to note that the palace is not open to the general public. The palace currently functions as a private hotel, and the only way to visit is by being a guest of the hotel. So, if you’re eager to explore the palace grounds (and interiors of Schloss Leopoldskron), consider booking a stay at this beautiful palace. Here’s where you can check the price for a night of stay in Schloss Leopoldskron. Alternatively, you can join the Original Sound of Music tour which has a stop at Schloss Leopoldskron. 

Resources

Here ends my list of the 7 most beautiful places/things to see in Salzburg! I hope you find my post inspiring and informative. For more information about the places I haven’t written a dedicated post about, you can check the links below.

If you’re planning a stay in Salzburg and haven’t secured your accommodations, I’ve got a tip for some fantastic hotel deals. This hotel search and booking platform is a favorite of mine, thanks to its user-friendly perks and a handy map feature that makes finding the perfect hotel a breeze. Just a heads-up, the link provided is an affiliate link, which means if you book through it, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. These earnings support WanderInEurope in creating more valuable content that you’ll find useful on your travels. Your support is greatly appreciated!

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To make your Salzburg visit truly unforgettable, why not indulge in some of the city’s unique activities and attractions? From the amazing Marionette Theater to spine-tingling Ghost Tours, or even a magical Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride, there’s many experiences waiting to elevate your trip.

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