Built in 1077, Austria’s Salzburg Fortress (Festung Hohensalzburg) is one of the largest fully-preserved castles in Central Europe. Here you can enjoy incredible countryside views and guided tours of the baroque state rooms, lookout towers, and museum collections.
One of Salzburg’s major landmarks, the fortress is included in most city sightseeing tours along with other attractions such as Salzburg Old Town, Mozart’s Square, Salzburg Cathedral, and the Horse Fountain. Salzach River cruises allow you to view the fortress from multiple vantage points, and often include a candle-lit dinner. To see the castle on your own schedule, visit on a hop-on hop-off tour or purchase a Salzburg Card, which includes discounted entrance to the fortress and other city attractions.
It’s also possible to visit Salzburg Fortress on a day trip from Ljubljana, Vienna, Munich, or Prague. Excursions that combine visits to Salzburg, Melk, and Hallstatt are ideal if you have one or two full days to explore, while customized private day trips are ideal for time-pressed travelers.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Salzburg Fortress is a must-see for nature and history fans.
- Wheelchair and stroller access is limited, as many surfaces within the castle are uneven.
- Audio guide options are available for children and adults.
- See if you can spot more than 50 examples of the castle’s symbol—a lion holding a beetroot.
How to Get There
While Salzburg Fortress tours typically include round-trip transport, you can also reach the castle via the funicular railway, which leaves every 10 minutes from Salzburg’s historic center. Walking is also an option, and takes roughly 20 minutes. It’s not possible to reach the fortress by car.
When to Get There
Salzburg Fortress is open 365 days a year, even during holidays. The area tends to be most crowded during July and August—during this time, it’s a good idea to purchase Early Bird Tickets online to beat long lines.
Salzburg Fortress Concerts
Pair classical music with your visit to fully experience Austrian history. Enjoy a Best of Mozart Fortress Concert in the structure’s Golden Hall, and choose to combine your concert ticket with dinner. The advent and Christmas concerts are particularly magical.