10 Unique Things to Do in Salzburg, Austria

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Among the European cities I’ve discovered so far, Salzburg is the most unique. It offers a blend of experiences unlike any other: soothing musical performances, beautiful architecture, breathtaking scenery, and more. Visiting Salzburg feels like stepping into a movie set, not only because the city’s scenes look cinematic, but also because they have been used as actual filming locations. The movie ‘The Sound of Music’, based on the true story of a family from Salzburg, was filmed here.

Even the history of Salzburg is unique, especially compared to other Austrian cities (for example, Innsbruck and Vienna). The names echoing in the halls and rooms of its heritage sites are those of prince archbishops and musicians, not the Habsburg monarchy. Interestingly, the city’s growth wasn’t primarily driven by gold, but by salt, often referred to as ‘white gold’.

Actually, even if you’re not familiar with everything I’ve just mentioned, the moment you arrive in the city and see the imposing fortress dominating Salzburg’s baroque and mountainous skyline, I’m confident you’ll feel that Salzburg is truly unique. I have a hunch that Salzburg could be the highlight that makes your next European trip extraordinary. With the unique activities and attractions in Salzburg that I’m about to share, we’re going to make it even more special!

Uniqueness of Salzburg, Unique things to do in Salzburg, Austria
Uniqueness of Salzburg

Whether you’re interested in unique activities in Salzburg or looking for lesser-known but worthwhile things to do, this post has you covered. These suggestions are a great addition to the amazing experiences detailed in my one-day, two-day, and three-day itineraries for Salzburg.

Before you check out and engage in the unique activities that I’m going to suggest, though, hear me out one last time: I can’t emphasize enough how unmissable it is to explore Old Town Salzburg. It should be your top priority as much as possible.

Not only is the Old Town home to Salzburg’s most notable attractions like Hohensalzburg Fortress, Mirabell Palace, Mozart’s Birthplace, Nonnberg Abbey, Salzburg Cathedral, and more, but it’s also undoubtedly wander-worthy. Beautiful, historical, and time-transporting attractions are only a walking distance from each other, including the picture-perfect viewpoints for sunset and sunrise in the city. You’ve got to see how amazing the view is from Monchsberg and Kapuzinerberg! I believe that by visiting these places of interest I just mentioned, you can already sense how unique Salzburg is.

So, without any further, here are my top 10 unique things to do in Salzburg!

1. The Magic Flute at Marionette Theater

One of the musical shows in Salzburg that offers a special cultural experience that can make your trip to Salzburg unforgettable is the Magic Flute at Marionette Theater. It is a fantastic adaptation of Mozart’s most famous opera, performed by masterful puppeteers at the world-renowned Salzburg Marionette Theater — an iconic miniature opera house, listed as one of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage sites, with a 350-seat Baroque-style auditorium.

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What makes this show so great is the incredible craftsmanship that goes into every aspect of the production. From the stage design and puppet costumes to the lighting and sound technology, everything comes together to create a total work of art. The puppeteers are able to bring the puppets to life with their musicality and manual skills, expressing so much feeling and personality that you’ll be amazed.

And yes, experiencing this funky production of The Magic Flute at the historic Marionette Theater will make your trip to Salzburg truly unique. The live experience full of singing, dancing, and lots of surprises will touch your heart and leave you with one of the most beautiful experiences you will ever associate with a theater visit.

So why not add The Magic Flute at Marionette Theater to your Salzburg itinerary? The show is available in 1 and 2-hour versions and is sure to be loved by every member of your family. Grab your Magic Flute at Marionette Theater Tickets here.

2. Ghost Tour in Salzburg

How can you make your Salzburg trip absolutely unique? Join a spooky tour of Salzburg. The Salzburg Ghost Tour is a 1.5-hour city tour that takes you on a journey through the darker side of Salzburg’s history. You’ll follow the paths of witches, torturers, and executioners of centuries past, and learn about the Salzburg witch trials and the Zauberer Jackl trials, as well as the role of the Catholic Church at the time. 

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What makes the Salzburg Ghost Tour unique is that it offers a different perspective on the city. Instead of just seeing the beautiful architecture and picturesque views, you’ll get to know the city’s medieval and modern methods of torture, and visit original sites such as the pillories, the torture chambers, and the place of execution.

At the same time, the Salzburg Ghost Tour is a special experience because it allows you to immerse yourself in the history of superstition, legends, and sayings. While you’ll hear stories that will make you shudder, the tour is a mix of dark and humorous tales, making it appropriate for children ages 10 and up.

So yeah, if you’re looking for a unique and spooky way to explore Salzburg, then the Salzburg Ghost Tour is definitely worth checking out. Don’t miss your chance to learn about the city’s darker secrets – grab your tickets here: Salzburg Ghost Tour.

3. Salzburg Art and Culture Discovery

Imagine strolling through the charming streets of Salzburg, while taking in and learning the city’s notable art and fascinating culture with a local guide by your side. That’s the Art and Culture Walking Tour with a Local Guide is all about!

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In this tour, you’ll not only receive insider tips on the best bars, cafes, restaurants, and discover Mozart’s history and connection to this beautiful city. Most importantly, you’ll uncover the unique cultural and artistic characteristics that make Salzburg so special, and soak up the buzzing community and city ambience.

As you wander through Salzburg’s streets, you’ll also learn about the city’s galleries and museums, hear about street-art artists as well as contemporary artists and their close connection to Salzburg. What sets this tour apart is that it’s provided by an independent local who is passionate about sharing authentic experiences based on their interests.

This local will share with you the art and cultural world of their city, where you’ll see, hear, and experience how colorful and multifaceted Salzburg truly is. Interested? Join the Art and Culture Walking Tour with a Local Guide now.

4. Salzburg Photography Walk

One way to make your trip to Salzburg truly special is by focusing on the experience and not worrying about missing to capture the beautiful moments. You can do this by taking the 2-Hour Guided Walking Tour in Salzburg with a Photographer.

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This tour allows you to explore the beautiful city of Salzburg with a photographer, who will help you preserve your most beautiful memories of the city along the way. You can live in the moment while bringing home incredible preserved memories without opening your smartphone or camera.

During the tour, you’ll discover some of the most panoramic viewing points and charming scenes in the city, starting with a walk through the Mirabell Palace gardens and an introduction to baroque architecture. The tour then heads towards the Kapuzinerberg mountain for a view of the medieval fortress Festung Hohensalzburg, before passing through Steingasse and Getreidegasse road, where Mozart was born, and ending at the formal church district with its baroque architecture.

What makes this tour special is that you’ll be accompanied by a professional photographer who will take excellent pictures of your city experience. He’ll provide at least 25 edited pictures via Dropbox on the same day the tour takes place. It’s an excellent idea, right? Absolutely! Join the 2-Hour Guided Walking Tour with a Photographer through this link.

5. Explore the Christmas Market in Salzburg

Are you planning a trip to Salzburg during the holiday season? If so, you won’t want to miss the Salzburg City & Christmas Markets Tour with Mulled Wine! This tour will take you to all the hot spots in Salzburg and show you the traditions that the city has to offer during the pre-Christmas period.

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What makes this tour unique is that it’s not just a sightseeing tour, but an immersive experience that will allow you to fully embrace the holiday spirit. You’ll visit the Mirabell Christmas and Christkindl Christmas Market, where you’ll be greeted by the smells of local food and drink. You’ll also take a walk through Salzburg’s main sights, all while learning about the city’s history, culture, and music from your certified and experienced guide.

This tour is a special experience because you’ll surely feel the magic of Christmas in Salzburg. You’ll listen and sing along to Christmas carols with your guide, and at the end of the tour, you’ll receive a small gift package as a reminder of your time in Salzburg. Indeed, if you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable holiday experience, then the “Salzburg City & Christmas Markets Tour with Mulled Wine” is definitely worth considering.

You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity to fully embrace the holiday spirit in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. You can learn more and join the tour here, Salzburg City & Christmas Markets Tour with Mulled Wine.

6. Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride From Salzburg

Another unique experience to have when visiting Salzburg during the winter or during the holiday season is the Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride Tour From Salzburg. This 8-hour tour, available in English and German, takes you to Ramsau at the famous Dachstein, where you can admire breathtaking Alpine scenery of the Dachstein Glacier and enjoy a romantic horse-drawn sleigh or carriage ride.

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And yes, what makes this tour unique is that it offers a winter wonderland experience like no other. Definitely, it’s more special than any modern transportation experience! Can you imagine? You’ll pass by snow-covered scenery (although not all the time) on a horse-drawn sleigh ride, discover romantic viewpoints, and enjoy a delicious lunch.

The tour starts with a drive along the Salzach Valley, passing by famous ski destinations all the way to Schladming, and then continues on to the sunny high Alpine plateau. After a refreshing walk through the romantic town, your tour guide will give you tips on where to enjoy lunch. The horse-drawn sleigh ride through the idyllic winter landscape begins after lunch.

Definitely, the nicest thing about joining this tour is that it’s for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a romantic experience with your partner or a fun day out with your family, this tour offers a unique memorable moment you can have from Salzburg. Interested? Join the 8-Hour Tour with Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride now.

7. Sound of Music Tour

The Sound of Music is a beloved classic movie that has captured the hearts of audiences for generations. Salzburg, with its stunning scenery and beautiful palaces, served as the backdrop for many of the film’s most iconic scenes. As such, experiencing something related to the Sound of Music during a trip to Salzburg definitely adds a uniqueness and memorable dimension to your visit. What’s a convenient and comprehensive way to do it? The Original Sound of Music Tour.

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It is a half-day tour that takes you on a journey through the beautiful city of Salzburg and its surrounding countryside, visiting locations used in the filming of the classic movie. As you travel, you’ll hear songs from the original movie soundtrack and discover historical and architectural landmarks along the way.

This tour makes a trip to Salzburg unique by providing an immersive experience that brings the beloved movie to life. You’ll visit Leopoldskron Palace, Nonnberg Abbey, Lake Fuschl, St. Gilgen, Mondsee Cathedral, and Mirabell Gardens, all while hearing stories and fun facts about the making of the film.

What makes this tour a special experience is the combination of stunning scenery, fascinating history, and beloved music. Most importantly, the tour is led by knowledgeable guides who share their passion for the city and its history, making it an unforgettable experience. Definitely, the original Sound of Music Tour is a must-do for any fan of the movie or anyone looking to experience the uniqueness of visiting Salzburg.  So, join the Original Sound of Music Tour now!

8. River Boat Ride in Salzburg

Embark on a scenic and refreshing journey in Salzburg like the Salzach River Boat Ride Tour. Say goodbye to long walks and hello to an extraordinary perspective of this captivating city. Glide along the picturesque river, allowing yourself to be swept away by the town’s stunning scenery and the natural beauty of the Salzach.

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As you sail through the sparkling waters, you’ll be treated to a feast for the eyes. You’ll witness the exclusive residential area in the south of the town, adorned with elegant villas that exude luxury and charm. The riverbanks will enchant you with their breathtaking landscape, while the majestic Hagen and Tennen mountains stand tall in the distance, offering an impressive panoramic view from the water.

But the true gem of this experience lies in the witty English captain who will be your guide on this unforgettable journey. Not only is the captain incredibly knowledgeable, but their sense of humor will keep you entertained throughout the entire trip. The ship’s atmosphere is vibrant and inviting, with friendly staff providing intriguing information through the ship’s radio, ensuring an engaging and enjoyable ride.

If you’re seeking a unique and relaxing way to experience Salzburg, the Salzach River Boat Ride Tour is a nice activity. You can reserve your seat here: Boat Ride on the Salzach.

9. Canyoning in Salzkammergut

Canyoning in Salzkammergut is an amazing experience that you can immediately have from Salzburg, combining adventure, thrill, and the beauty of nature. Without a doubt, it’s the perfect activity to make your Salzburg trip stand out from the typical tourist experience.

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What is canyoning, by the way? It is a thrilling activity that involves exploring a canyon by jumping down natural chutes, swimming through spectacular rock formations, and experiencing natural slides in a beautiful landscape. This can make your Salzburg trip unique by giving you the opportunity to experience the adrenaline rush of jumping down 6-8 meter chutes and diving into natural pools surrounded by small waterfalls.

With a professional local canyoning guide by your side, you can admire the beautiful landscapes while pumping your adrenaline while feeling safe and secure. If you like this experience, join the tour through this link: Canyoning Trip to Salzkammergut.

10. Explore the World’s Largest Ice Caves

If you’re a nature enthusiast, you’ll be excited to discover some of the world’s most incredible natural wonders when you visit Salzburg. Nestled within the province of Salzburg are the Werfen Giant Ice Caves, the largest ice caves in the world.

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And located in Werfen that’s just 40 km south of Salzburg, it’s one of the most unique natural experiences you can have in Austria without straying too far from Salzburg. Also known as Eisriesenwelt, these caves are a breathtaking underground world of natural ice sculptures and formations. The cave system extends more than 42 km deep into the mountain, making it an incredible marvel to explore.

Including a visit to the Werfen Giant Ice Caves on your Salzburg itinerary is sure to make your trip unforgettable. You’ll have the opportunity to explore a mysterious world of ice and see stunning ice formations while taking in gorgeous views of the Alps on your way to Eisriesenwelt in the Tennengebirge.

The cave’s ice palaces of crystalline beauty and the view from the mouth of the Werfen Ice Caves alone make the journey there well worth it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you won’t want to miss. 

If you’re interested in learning more, check out the official website of the Werfen Giant Ice Caves. Keep in mind that even in summer, temperatures inside the cave hover around 0°C, so be sure to dress warmly and wear appropriate shoes. Alternatively, if you’re traveling with a group, consider joining a tour like this, Private Tour Werfen World’s Largest Ice Caves, for a convenient visit to this gigantic natural marvel.

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If you need more ideas on where to go in Salzburg, you should check out the beautiful discoveries I found while exploring the city. You can also look into the easy and nearby day trips available during your stay in Salzburg if you want to see even more breathtaking alpine scenery and fairytale-like places. These nearby day trips include Hellbrunn Palace, with its fascinating water automatons; the Bavarian town of Berchtesgaden, which boasts unreal views of the mountains and lakes; Hohenwerfen Fortress, a medieval castle perched on top of a hill; and the charming village of Saint Gilgen.

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