3 days in Salzburg gives you time to enjoy its landmarks and culture, and also cast your net into the nearby Austrian and German Alps. From touring the area’s Sound of Music locations and Salzburg’s Mozart museums to delving into salt mines and lakeside villages, here’s how to spend three days in and around Salzburg.
Day 1: Sights and Sounds
Blessed with baroque architecture and a music and movie heritage rooted in Mozart and The Sound of Music, Salzburg offers many attractions. Take a hop-on hop-off tour to see all its sights in single loop, or disembark at the stops to explore star attractions such as St. Peter’s Abbey (Stift Sankt Peter) and the Getreidegasse shopping street. Or, perhaps drill deeper into Old Town and Salzburg Fortress (Festung Hohensalzburg) by joining a shared or private guided walking tour. Next, zoom in on Salzburg’s specialities. Prebook entry to Mozart’s Birthplace (Mozart Geburtshaus) and Mozart’s Residence (Mozart Wohnhaus)—both once home to the composer. Or, join an all-singing Sound of Music coach tour around the movie’s settings.
Day 2: Explore the Countryside
Austria’s Salzkammergut lake district and Germany’s Bavarian Alps both lie near Salzburg. Private and group day trips to Bavaria’s Alps abound, with most focusing on the Eagle’s Nest—the former mountaintop retreat of Adolf Hitler. Many also encompass the region’s centuries-old salt mines and pristine mountain-framed King’s Lake (Königssee). Alternatively, take a tour to the jewel-like Austrian lakeside village of Hallstatt with its Alpine houses, salt mine, and views. Also within easy reach is the lakefront village of St. Wolfgang. Tours here often include a lake cruise or time in nearby Hallstatt to double down on the Alpine scenery.
Day 3: Culture and Concerts
It’s time for a bigger bite into Salzburg’s culture. Perhaps discover the art of making one a local sweet treat—apple strudel—at a cooking class. Or, if it’s Christmas, combine strudel-making with Christmas cookies. Other festive experiences that beckon in winter include a Christmas horse-drawn sleigh ride in the snowy countryside and a tour of Salzburg’s Christmas markets. Whatever the season, spend your last evening at one of Salzburg’s glittering dinner concerts. Book ahead for dinner in the Baroque Hall of St. Peter where guests are serenaded by singers performing Mozart. Or, take a seat for a Mirabell Palace (Schloss Mirabell) concert or puppet show at Salzburg’s Marionette Theater—both fitting finales.