Salzburg, Austria

Rail Guide to Salzburg

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Local languageGerman
Country Austria


Salzburg is becoming an increasingly popular destination for visitors and rightly so. Acclaimed by all the guide books as one of the prettiest cities in Europe, with a population of just 150,000 it still retains a homely small-city atmosphere. Its location on the banks of the Salzach river and beneath the cliffs of the rocky hill, Mönchsberg is enviable.

Lying just two hours from Munich by train, Salzburg lies just inside the German-Austrian border. As the birthplace of Mozart Salzburg it offers a wonderfully preserved old town which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site as well as some of the most stunning surrounding landscapes as a result of its position just a stonesthrow from the Alps.

Things to do

Fans of Rogers and Hammerstein’s most enduring work, may be attracted by the Sound of Music Tour. This trip takes you on a wonderful ride with breathtaking views of the country just as you would have seen in the film. The tour is also intended to give you and overview of the historical and architectural landmarks in the city and is therefore a good starting point.

Walk across Mozartplatz and see the statue errected in 1842 in Mozart’s honor. From here you can stroll to Getreidegasse which is the street in which Mozart was born. Attending one of Salzburg’s beautifully performed Mozart-concerts in the heart of the old city really is something you must do. The Gothic Hall at the centre of the Getreidegasse provides a perfect ambience for Mozart’s music which is often played by candlelight. Getreidegasse number 9 is now a shrine to Salzburg’s most famous son after Mozart’s birth there in January 1756, displaying a huge range of objects from his life.

If you decide to visit Mozart’s birthplace, you will already be in Salzburg’s Old Town, so make the most of it and explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you have time, the similarly UNESCO-acclaimed site of the Schoenbrunn Palace (Schloss Schoenbrunn) may also be worth a look.

The Hohensalzburg Fortress was built in 1077 and extended in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. This imposing building is now the largest complete surviving castle in central Europe and as such well worth more than a second glance. It also lies very close to the salt mines and could therefore be well combined with this day trip.

Local transport

Although you can buy simple single journeys for trips on local transport (mainly buses), the Tourist Information Centres (at the main station or dotted around the city) also offer a Salzburg Card. This card allows you unlimited use of the local public transport as well as including free admission to various attractions including Salzburg’s zoo! Other attractions are available at a reduced rate and these include many local tours and organised excursions. Also look out for other offers available which include the Salzburg Card Plus and the Salzburg Menu Card.

The old town area is completely pedestrianized so making walking a good way of reaching many sights. For a special treat take the horse and carriage taxis which still operate in the city’s center!

Day Trips

Why not take a day trip to one of the many gentle hills at the foot of the Alps or even one of the 3,000m peaks of the Hohten Tauern for an active day out. Take in the magnificant sights and feel the fresh air in your lungs.

For something a little different, why not try a trip to the Dürrnberg salt mines at Hallein (Salzbergwerk Hallein) just 10 miles away from Salzburg and connected by regular bus and train departures. It’s actually a lot more interesting than it may sound and packs fun and education into the same day. Inside the mines the temperature is approximately 10 degrees so remember to take warm clothing with you even in the summer!

Recommended places and events to visit in Salzburg

Visitor Attraction
The Original Sound of Music Tour Bus-Terminal Mirabellplatz - St. Andrä Kirche, A-5020 Salzburg
Event (During July to August)
Salzburg Festival (Salzburger Festspiele) Locations throughout Salzburg
International Hot Air Balloon Week Picture
Event (During January)
International Hot Air Balloon Week Various venues, Filzmoos, Salzburg