How to Spend 1 Day in Salzburg
The birthplace of Mozart and setting of The Sound of Music, Salzburg also provides ample historical sights—including baroque churches, squares, a fortress, and cobbled Old Town lanes. With so much to see and do, here’s how to cover this Austrian city’s sights and musical spirit in a single day.
Morning: Sights and Strolls
Salzburg Old Town is compact, making walking around easy. Most on-foot tours cover the city’s signature sights, such as Salzburg Cathedral (Dom), St. Peter’s Abbey (Stift Sankt Peter), the exterior of Mozart’s Birthplace (Mozart Geburtshaus), and Mirabell Palace and Gardens (Schloss Mirabell und Mirabellgarten), where you can see the stairway featured in The Sound of Music. Other options include private tours of Old Town combined with Salzburg Fortress (Festung Hohensalzburg), perched high above the city. Alternatively, take a hop-on hop-off bus tour for an overview of landmarks and a way to create your own itinerary.
Afternoon: From The Sound of Music to Mozart
Follow-up your citywide sightseeing with a focus on one of Salzburg’s musical claims to fame. Various Sound of Music tours cover the movie’s most famous filming locations including sites outside the city such as Leopoldskron Castle (Schloss Leopoldskron) and basilica St. Michael in Mondsee. If Mozart is an interest, prebook entry to Mozart’s Birthplace—the composer's early family home-turned-museum displays his childhood possessions and musical instruments. Or, choose a 2-ticket combo with admission to Mozart’s Residence (Mozart Wohnhaus), his later family home. For a fuller look at Mozart, choose a bus tour that spotlights Mozart-era Salzburg.
Night: Classical Music and Cuisine
Salzburg’s musical heritage comes alive at night, along with the city’s romantic lights. Opt for a Mozart-themed dinner concert in one of the Old Town’s halls; savor gourmet dishes while costumed singers and musicians perform the composer’s works. Alternatively, pair a river cruise with dinner and a Mozart recital at the Salzburg Fortress, views over the city. Another option is a show at the historical Salzburg Marionette Theater—watch Mozart’s The Magic Flute or The Sound of Music story played out by carved wooden puppets, complete with music and song.