Don’t hesitate to bring your kids along if going to Salzburg in Austria as the city is very child-friendly and safe.
My husband and I visited Salzburg for three days with our one-year old daughter at the time and we had almost no difficulties sightseeing pushing a baby stroller everywhere. Furthermore, there were plenty of children activities along the way and we didn’t have to invent ways to entertain out sweet little Anna.
Moving around Salzburg with children
When traveling somewhere, there is always the necessary walking around. Exploring the old city center of Salzburg with children is not difficult at all. The city center is a relatively small place and also a pedestrian area most of the time. You’ll feel safe with your little ones in the old town zone.
If you are traveling with a baby, it is easy to push the baby stroller around. Also, Salzburg is flat in the city center.
Most of the museums and attractions in Salzburg have elevators, so you won’t have to climb lots of stairs. One exception is Mozart’s birth house on Getreidegasse. There is no elevator and you’ll have difficulties climbing up with the baby stroller. The house is old, therefore the stairs are pretty old school and narrow. My husband and I visited this museum separately as at the moment little Anna was asleep, in addition to being difficult to enter the museum.
The Hohensalzburg Fortress is the absolute landmark of Salzburg and you’ll want to visit it for sure. Once again, it is not that difficult to visit with a baby or older children. Luckily, there is a funicular connecting the old town with the fortress. It was build back in 1892 and will save you a lot of time and efforts climbing up.
Once you get to the fortress, there are stairs to climb to enter. We left our baby stroller at the bottom of the stairs and got it back when we were leaving. Our daughter was an early walker and she had been walking for about three months at that time. Thus, we hold her in our arms up and then let her walk on her own. If your baby does not walk that well, it is better to take the baby stroller up also.
There are a couple of staircases in the castle, but these are also manageable. At the start you’ll have to climb the stairs on the pic below, while there are several small staircases inside.
Entertainment for children in Salzburg
Most of the attractions in Salzburg have some entertainment for the little ones, so they won’t be bored looking at old pianos or paintings. For instance, the Hohensalzburg Fortress has a Museum of the marionettes, which was really entertaining to our Anna and… her parents. It is the first museum out of four that are located on the fortress territory. You will need to pass it to get inside, so you won’t miss it. There are moving marionettes, interactive screens and funny dolls.
Another good example for featuring some fun in an otherwise serious museum for grown-ups is the Mozart’s Residence Museum. The last room is decorated with fun Mozart posters, puzzles and some optical illusions where the visitors can take pictures. If your kid is bored learning about the father of Mozart, make sure you send him to the end of the exhibition halls.
Regarding Mozart’s birth house – it is the better museum compared to the Mozart’s Residence, but it may seem a bit boring to children. There aren’t any fun activities for kids inside, but your children will probably appreciate the historic value of the place if you don’t stay for too long.
We managed to visit the Museum of Modern Art in Salzburg and see all the exhibitions while Anna was asleep. She enjoys seeing pictures on the wall a lot, but I am not sure how long would she tolerate that museum if she was awake at that time. Depending on the current exhibitions, you can decide whether this is the place to bring your kids.
Finally, a big plus to the family fun that Salzburg provides is the zoo. Children love the zoo in general and yours will probably enjoy the experience. Although I haven’t visited that particular zoo, I am sure it is well organized and a nice place to visit when traveling with kids. I’ll visit next time when in town.
The Salzburg Festival in the summer
The Salzburg Festival takes place each summer for almost a century now. In 2019 it will have its 99th edition. Apart from the opera and theater program for the grown-ups, there is a whole youth section of performances including opera for children.
The Salzburg Festival activities for kids are definitely for older children, not babies or toddlers. Be sure to check the program in advance and book your tickets. This summer the festival is scheduled for 20 July – 31 August.
The magical Christmas market
The Salzburg Christmas market is a lovely winter experience for everyone, especially kids. We spent a couple of hours at the market every day of our three-day stay. The atmosphere is awesome, all of the stands looks very cute and inviting. Anna enjoyed it, too. Still, I imagine older children would be much more excited than one-year-old babies. Did I mention the ice skating area?
The Christmas market in 2019 will take place between 21 November and 26 December. There is no entrance fee, nor you need a reservation of any kind to visit.
I wish I visited one of those Christmas markets when I was little, because they seem so much fun. Actually, there was no Christmas market in Sofia, Bulgaria, in the early 1990s when I was a child. Sadly, the current Christmas market is very small and imitates the German and Austrian markets, but it is not comparable to those.
All in all, it is safe to say that Salzburg has you covered if traveling with children! Are you considering visiting Salzburg with your little ones? Can you recommend more cities that are fun for the kids?