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Salzburg in Austria is a picturesque city very close to the German border. It is famous for its gorgeous castles, baroque architecture, the salt mines around and, of course, being the birthplace of the most celebrated and famous composer ever – Mozart.

Salzburg is the fourth biggest city in Austria after the capital Vienna, Graz and Innsbruck. Its center is a relatively small pedestrian area that has most of the must-sees in Salzburg and can be seen in a day.

My family and I spent three perfect days in Salzburg this winter and loved it! Let me tell you all about our adventure!

Salzburg in Austria before Christmas

Salzburg before Christmas is a delight!

 

When to visit Salzburg?

Special events in Salzburg

Salzburg is a beautiful and entertaining city throughout the year. You will be happy with visiting any season. In addition to all the interesting places in Salzburg, there are two major events that bring many tourists here.

During the summer you can attend the Salzburg Festival, which has its 99th edition in 2019. It will start on 20 July and will end on 31 August. This festival presents many cultural events such as operas, concerts and plays. I haven’t had the pleasure of checking it out, but I am sure it is very well organized and worth visiting.

Sunny day at the Christmas market in Salzburg in 2018

Sunny day at the Christmas market in Salzburg in 2018

The winter hosts the Christmas market, which has been celebrated for five centuries and is considered a great feature of the city. It lasts for about a month and ends at the last day of Christmas every year. The Christmas market in 2019 will take place between 21 November and 26 December.

I am happy to say that I had the pleasure of visiting the Salzburg Christmas market in 2018 and was delighted with the atmosphere and the mulled wine, of course!

Woman "attacking" a stand at the Salzburg Christmas market

The stands at the Salzburg Christmas market are very tempting, let me tell you!

Visiting in the winter has another major advantage! There are lots of ski opportunities around Salzburg if you’re into skiing.

Yummy treats at the Christmas market in Salzburg

Yummy treats at the Christmas market in Salzburg

How long to stay in Salzburg?

You will be able to see the main attractions in the city center of Salzburg in a day. It all depends when do you arrive, are you staying for a night or two, etc. Be sure to make a list of what you would like to see and estimate if one day is enough. If you are not in a hurry, be sure to stay two or three days.

Getreidegasse - typical Salzburg street in the center

Getreidegasse in one of the most famous streets in Salzburg

My family and I stayed for two nights and almost three days and were not able to visit the zoo, for example. Even though the city is not that big, there is a lot to see. In my opinion you should at least sleep in town and spend a day and a half at least.

Smiling woman at the Hohensalzburg fortress in Salzburg

Me at the Hohensalzburg fortress, which is the city’s landmark

 

Parking in Salzburg

Parking around the city center is difficult as everywhere in Europe. There aren’t any free parking spaces. Still, don’t worry, because there are plenty of paid options and places to leave your vehicle. Worst case scenario, you’ll just need to walk a bit. Most hotels in the city center charge additionally for parking there, so don’t be surprised if this is the case.

The price of a full day of parking at out hotel was EUR 15. The price at the public parking lot nearby was the same. Paying by the hour costs around EUR 4-6 for a couple of hours. You can park for up to three hours using the spots in the city center.

Getreidegasse in Salzburg

The old city center is a car-free zone

 

Salzburg pregnant or with kids

Salzburg is a calm city without any tough routes to walk or climb. Any pregnant woman should feel comfortable enough when visiting Mozart’s city.

Don’t hesitate to bring your kids along if going to Salzburg as the city very child-friendly. Check out my separate post on visiting Salzburg with children. I had so much to say on the topic that it needed to be in another post!

Food and restaurants

Mmm, I didn’t expect that Salzburg will be so yummy! All of the dishes, beer and wine we tried were lovely, but I enjoyed a small restaurant a bit outside the ideal center the most. Its name is Gasthof Alter Fuchs and our meals were really tasty.

Restaurant in Salzburg

This restaurants was the one I liked the most while in Salzburg

People sitting at a restaurant in Salzburg

The atmosphere was really nice

Two main dishes at a restaurant in Salzburg

I had some duck and it was so nice 🙂

We went to Stieglkeller near the Hohensalzburg Fortress, which has some very authentic atmosphere and a lovely terrace. The waiters are dressed up in traditional Austrian outfits and everything is made from wood, which brings additional warmness to the place (once again, we visited in winter time).

The old school sign of Stieglkeller in Salzburg, Austria

The old school sign of Stieglkeller in Salzburg

Inside Stieglkeller in Salzburg, Austria

Look how authentic this place is!

Two main dishes on a table

Our meals don’t look that fabulous, but were pretty nice

Another restaurant that we visited was located in the old town close to Mozart’s birth house – Sternbräu. There weren’t lots of visitors when we ate there at around 6:00PM, but it had a very nice vibe and awesome dishes.

Sternbrau in Salzburg from outside

Sternbrau outside

Sternbrau in Salzburg from inside

And from inside

Two meals at the Sternbrau in Salzburg

Here are our meals at the Sternbrau

All of the restaurants we visited had excellent service and the personnel were very nice. We paid about EUR 50 for either lunch or dinner for two, including some beers.

Side trip ideas

Salzburg is an amazing city and you can easily plan more places to visit when you are around. Austria is a relatively small European country and all of the big cities here are close enough to visit. Namely, Linz, Graz and Vienna are just several hours away.

If you’re looking to visit some idyllic Austrian villages, now is your time! The famous and stunningly beautiful Hallstatt is a two-hour drive away. Actually, we headed to Hallstatt after spending three days in Salzburg and enjoyed the place!

Munich in Germany is also a good option. You’ll need to drive for about an hour and a half to get there.

What we did is driving from Prague in the Czech Republic to Salzburg and Hallstatt in Austria, and then Zagreb in Croatia.

 

Are you going to Salzburg? Was this post helpful? Let me know if you need more tips in the comment below. Would be happy to help!