A Short Visit To Salzburg Austria

Short Visit To Salzburg Austria.jpg

A Short Visit To Salzburg Austria

From our stay in Vienna, we headed we headed for a short visit to Salzburg Austria.

After our visit to Budapest, we were undecided on whether to spend more time in Vienna or Salzburg. We ultimately decided there was lots to see and do in Vienna, so we planned to stay there longer. But we wished we planned more time for our stay in Salzburg. We really did love our first taste test.

It was easy to wander in the newer and older parts of town from our hotel base at the Sheraton Grand Salzburg. We walked out of the back of the hotel right into the Mirabell Gardens. From there it was a short walk along the river towards town. When we crossed the river we entered the Old Town and got to the Hohensalzburg Castle.

One day we took a tour to Hallstatt in the Austrian Alps. It was a fairytale town. Our trip through the Lake District made us wish we had just one more day on our short visit to Salzburg to enjoy the lake towns. But missing them will bring us back to see more of Austria.

We Picked A Good Hotel As Our Base For Our Visit To Salzburg

On our 6 week trip in Central Europe, we worked to build hotel loyalty status. There were often one or more options in many of the places we stopped. In Salzburg we stayed at the Sheraton Grand Salzburg. The hotel was located very close to the river. It was a perfect base as we explored on our visit to Salzburg.

For this stop we booked a Concierge Club room. And we got upgraded to a newly renovated room. The Sheraton Grand Salzburg had one of the best Concierge Club Lounges. Food and drinks were available from 11:30 every day and the selection was great. Beer, wine and spirits were served. I even got an Aperol Spritz! There was hot food for lunch and dinner. It was great to know that we could eat well when we arrived back at the hotel totally worn out from long tour days.

Sheraton Grand Salzburg Concierge Lounge.jpg

Sheraton Grand Salzburg View.jpg

Breakfast was served in the main restaurant. There was a piano bar and a great patio area. The Italian restaurant looked like a good spot for dinner.

Sheraton Grand Salzburg Patio Restaurant.jpg

A great hotel stay will make your visit to Salzburg even better!

Great Customer Service Makes All The Difference

The measure of customer service excellence was often how well a problem was addressed. At the end of our staying Salzburg, we left the hotel early for the train station. The business class lounge was comfortable. We settled in the lounge before we went to the train platform about 15 minutes before our train to Zurich.

It was only then that David realized that he left his DSLR camera behind. A quick phone call to the hotel and they immediately put it in a cab. David ran to meet the cab and we had mere seconds to spare to throw our bags onto the departing train. The response time was extraordinary from the hotel. It saved us from missing our train and wasting a day waiting.

Great customer service ensured we enjoyed our travel to our next stop!

The Mirabell Gardens

When we walked out the back gate of our hotel, we found the Mirabell Gardens. We stood above the gardens and had a direct view down to the Hohensalzburg Castle high on the hill above the Old Town of Salzburg.

Sheraton Grand Salzburg Garden Gate.jpg

Mirabell Palace Gardens - Short Visit To Salzburg Austria.jpg

The Mirabell Palace was not open the days we visited. As we wandered through the gardens, we found a wide and varied number of statues set in fountains and flower gardens.

Mirabell Palace Gardens - Short Visit To Salzburg Austria.jpg

Mirabell Palace Gardens Statues.jpg

Mirabell Palace Gardens Statues - Short Visit To Salzburg Austria.jpg

As we walked through the gardens we were serenaded by the large band set up under the trees. The music changed from waltzes to polkas as people sat under the trees and just enjoyed a break.

On our visit to Salzburg, we enjoyed the tranquil setting of Mirabell Gardens several times.

Walk Along The River

When we went past the Mirabell Gardens we quickly got to the Salzach River. The first bridge we hit was a pedestrian bridge. From here we got great views of the Hohensalzburg Castle and several churches perched along the river.

Walk The Salzach River.jpg

Walk The Salzach River Hohensalzburg Castle View - Short Visit To Salzburg Austria.jpg

The next bridge towards town was the love lock bridge. We found such an interesting variety of love locks on the bridge. The next bridge down was the main car bridge between the newer and Old Town parts of Salzburg. From this bridge we caught a glimpse of the river boats.

Walk The Salzach River Love Lock Bridge - Short Visit To Salzburg Austria.jpg

Walk The Salzach River Love Lock Bridge.jpg

Walk The Salzach River Hohensalzburg Castle View.jpg

There did not appear to be any big river cruise boats in Salzburg. But there were smaller boats that gave tours along the shores of Salzburg. We did a river cruise in Prague and then a night river cruise in Budapest. We were sure that no other river cruise would beat those views on this trip!

Explore the Old Town

Once we crossed to the other side of the river, we wandered about the Old Town of Salzburg. It was an interesting mix of high end stores and old historical sights. Horse and carriage rides wound their way through the old town.

Old Town Horse Carriage.jpg

We saw many statues as we wandered around the Old Town. We searched for and found the gold ball statue (Sphaera) in the Kapitelplat. This statue featured prominently in many views of Salzburg. A man stood on top of the dome with the spires of the Salzburger Dom Cathedral behind it.

Old Town Statue - Short Visit To Salzburg Austria.jpg

Old Town Statue Sphaera - Short Visit To Salzburg Austria.jpg

This is just one of the unusual pieces of art positioned around Salzburg. We saw the Caldera piece by Anthony Cragg when we wandered another day.

Old Town Statue Caldera - Short Visit To Salzburg Austria.jpg

If we saw lots of interesting statues in the Old Town, we also saw an interesting array of clock towers. And were fascinated by the sundials we saw.

Old Town Clock.jpg

Old Town Clock.jpg

Old Town Clock - Short Visit To Salzburg Austria.jpg

We were happy we took time and wandered in the Old Town on a visit to Salzburg.

Visit The Beautiful Churches of Salzburg

Unlike many of the cities we visited from Prague through to Budapest, we found that Salzburg was a highly religious city. Almost 75% of the population were Roman Catholic. And everywhere we looked we saw yet one more church spire.

We walked around the outside of St Peter’s Church in Old Town. The church sat at the bottom of a steep wall. In the wall we saw remnants of old buildings built right into the wall.

Old Town St Peters Church - Short Visit To Salzburg Austria.jpg

Old Town St Peters Church.jpg

There was a small cemetery in back of the church. It was interesting as we walked around and saw the variety of tributes. Fresh flowers adorned many of the graves.

Old Town St Peters Church Cemetery - Short Visit To Salzburg Austria.jpg

While the outside of St Peter’s Church was quite plain, when we peeked inside we saw a much more intricate and beautiful design.

Old Town St Peters Church Inside.jpg

Old Town St Peters Church Inside - Short Visit To Salzburg Austria.jpg

As we wandered around Salzburg we saw many other churches. We often looked inside. The Franciscan Church was easily identified by its high domed roof and slender gothic tower.

Old Town Franciscan Church - Short Visit To Salzburg Austria.jpg

Old Town Franciscan Church.jpg

Three saints stood atop St Marks Church. St Mark the Evangelist was in the center and St Augustine and St Ursula stood on either side. When we went inside St Marks Church, the inside was another surprise after the simplicity of the outside design.

St Marks Church.jpg

St Marks Church.jpg

St Marks Church - Short Visit To Salzburg Austria.jpg

We found it interesting as we looked at the variety in the churches on a visit to Salzburg.

Head Up To The Hohensalzburg Castle

The Hohensalzburg Castle dominated the skyline of Salzburg. We couldn’t leave without a visit up to the castle. After walking through the Old Town, we found the funicular and took the trip up.

Hohensalzburg Castle Funicular.jpg

As we climbed in the funicular the view over Salzburg got better and better. The Salzburger Dom Cathedral was the large church in the middle of the Old Town. It’s spires towered above the town. When we reached the top we walked completely around the large castle complex and got views in every direction.

Hohensalzburg Castle Funicular.jpg

Hohensalzburg Castle Funicular View - Short Visit To Salzburg Austria.jpg

Hohensalzburg Castle View From Above.jpg

Hohensalzburg Castle View From Above - Short Visit To Salzburg Austria.jpg

It was interesting when we looked out and saw the remains of the castle walls in the trees. It reminded us of our visit to the walled city of Obidos in Portugal.

Hohensalzburg Castle View Walls.jpg

We found a very large castle complex at the top including the St. George’s Chapel. There was much to see as we walked around. We saw the Marionette Museum. And some great shops that sold amber jewelry. Golling Amber was mined in the Austrian Alps and was quite rare. For one Euro, we visited the Love Grotto for everlasting love.

Hohensalzburg Castle Church St Georges Chapel - Short Visit To Salzburg Austria.jpg

Hohensalzburg Castle Church St Georges Chapel.jpg

Hohensalzburg Castle Water mill.jpg

Hohensalzburg Castle Love Grotto.jpg

On our visit to Salzburg, we were so glad we visited the Hohensalzburg Castle. The views in all directions alone were worth it!

Plan A Visit To Hallstatt In the Austrian Alps

We got a great city panoramic view when we visited the Hohensalzburg Castle in Salzburg. But we got an amazing view of the Austrian Alps and the tiny mountain town of Hallstatt when we took a day trip out of Salzburg. A funicular took us high above the town of Hallstatt for a view over the town and the lake. A brief shower at the top even gave us a great rainbow.

Hallstaff Funicular View.jpg

Hallstaff Funicular View - Short Visit To Salzburg Austria.jpg

When we went back down we walked around the small town of Hallstatt. It was a charming little mountain town. Views of the town along the lake were postcard images.

Hallstatt Lake View Evangelical Church - Short Visit To Salzburg Austria.jpg

Hallstatt Main Square.jpg

When we planned our visit to Salzburg, we were happy we took the time and visited to the small mountain town of Hallstatt. And headed up for the panoramic views from above!

Explore The Lake Region

We ran out of days in Salzburg before we got to explore the Lake Region. We could rent a car and explore at our leisure or take one of the many tour options to different lake regions. The Hop-On-Hop-Off Lake District bus provided another great option to see the lake region outside of Salzburg.

We wanted to walk the paths around the green glacial Lake Fuschisee. On a visit to St. Gilgen we wanted to take the cable car up. Then we hoped to take the boat ride to St. Wolfgang. If we made it to Wolfgang, we wanted to take the old cog railway up to Schafberg. But we needed another very full day to explore the towns and heights of the lake region outside of Salzburg.

A visit to the Lake Region will definitely be factored into our planning for a return visit to Salzburg.

We Loved Our Visit To Salzburg Austria

We had a busy two full days on our short visit to Salzburg. But we definitely left wanting to see so much more. The city of Salzburg was quite compact but there was much to see. A visit to the Old Town and the Castle alone took the better part of a day at a leisurely pace.

And we missed so many great day trips out of town. We loved our visit to the small lake town of Hallstatt and the stunning views from the observation point. But we were really sorry we missed the Lake Region. And then there were tours that provided the full Sound of Music experience. And other tours that took you to Hitler’s Eagle Nest. We may need a full week on a return visit to Salzburg.

Our short stop in Austria was over. We boarded the train and headed to our next stop in Zurich, Switzerland for another view of this amazing region.

Have you done a visit to Salzburg? What was your favourite thing to see or do?

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  1. I’ve heard such great things about Austria but haven’t yet had a chance to visit! So interesting that Old Town has both historic buildings and high-end shops – that says a lot about Europe in general, too! The Mirabell Gardens are also beautiful, and so lucky that they were right outside your hotel.

  2. My very first visit to Europe 33 years ago included Salzburg but I have never been back. I sure hope to again soon. We are making cautious travel plans now…Europe in 2022. Thanks for these tips!

  3. Beside the small lake town of Hallstatt In the Austrian Alps I’d love to explore the old town of Salzburg. I prefer visiting these small charming interesting towns instead of big cities.

    • We were glad to see the difference between Vienna and Salzburg on our visit to Austria. And there were so many other small towns we missed. Lots of reasons to head back.

  4. I love taking hop on and hop off buses at new places. I feel they are a great way to see places and go around in short time. I was supposed to travel to Austria in 2019 but unfortunately that did not happen. I know that it is an extremely beautiful country and so is Salzburg. I hope to get there someday. I loved the Cathedral and I usually spend times at the old Cathedrals as they have so much history.

  5. It’s good to hear that you got to enjoy your quick visit to Salzburg! It’s a really nice place. And it seems as always, you make a lot of stunning Shots! Hallstatt has me sold too ! I’ll find a way to see Salzburg up close and personal! Thank you for this wonderful piece!

    • I am glad to have shown you Salzburg through our travels. We were happy with our first view of Salzburg and the surrounding area. But left much for a return visit one day.

  6. I’ve always wanted to visit Salzberg so it’s good to know that perhaps a day isn’t long enough. I love the views across the river, it looks magical. I would definitely make time to visit the Hohensalzburg Castle too, it looks like a must do.

    • You could probably see most of Salzburg in one day if you really moved fast. But there is so much in the area for day trips that one day would not do it justice.

  7. We missed on visiting Salzburg when we were last there. I never knew the city was so religious, and the churches look beautiful. The views from the funicular and the castle are spectacular! It’s lucky you visited on a lovely sunny day. I can’t wait to return one day.

    • We were glad we stayed in Salzburg for a few days. It was rainy the first day and we used that to get our bearings. But by the time we went high over Salzburg to the fortress, it was a beautiful and the views were awesome. Hope you get there on a next trip to Austria.

  8. Austria is such a beautiful country and we’ve only seen small parts of it. Salzburg looks worth a visit.

  9. A lovely post highlighting the beauty of Salzburg. I visited the area around 30 years ago but didn’t see a lot of the places on your list so I think it may be time to return. Hallstatt is certainly one of the gems in the area and your photos really brought it to life.

    • There was so much more to see and do in the area around Salzburg than we saw. Great reasons to head back. Hope you get to head back and see the changes in 30 years!

  10. I was thinking of visiting Salzburg when I was in Vienna but didn’t have enough time. The old town looks so lovely and a day trip to Hallstatt sounds amazing. The pictures surely look like they are from postcards. It’s interesting to know that almost 75% of the population in Salzburg were Roman Catholic and there are lots of churches there. Would love to visit the Hohensalzburg Castle and explore Salzburg town on my next trip to Austria.

    • It was fascinating to see the difference between Vienna and Salzburg. I hope you do get to visit Salzburg on a return trip. Plan several days as there are some great day trips too.

  11. Salzburg is a beautiful Austrian city to visit – I hope to go there next time I’m in Austria. Thank you for sharing these great tips on what to see and do there!

  12. your photos are spectacular and what a lovely city. I agre…. so many things to see and so there. I loved cruising on the Salzach River. It offered such beautiful views of the city. Mozart’s birth house and the Marionette theater were also great to see.

    • Thanks for the comments on the photos. There was certainly a lot to take pics of. We definitely left much on our list for a return visit. A cruise on the Salzach River sounds lovely.

  13. Ah I love Salzburg! I had the opportunity to visit in December 2018 for the Christmas markets and it was absolutely magical. I also did a day trip to Hallstatt too and that was amazing, especially on a snowy day. Great guide! I’d love to visit and experience this wonderful city in the summer next time. 🙂

  14. I loved visiting Salzburg. Wandering the Old Town streets is amazing. And the churches are beautiful, both inside and out.

  15. Salzburg looks so pretty, what a beautiful fairy-tale looking place. I especially love all the art work and the clocks. I haven’t been to Austria yet but I’d love to visit Vienna and do a trip to Salzburg too but I’ll take your advice and plan for enough time

    • We were surprised at how much there was to see and do in Salzburg. But we have some great things left on the list for a return visit that is a bit longer.

  16. I haven’t nearly spent enough time in Austria, I did a very short city break to Vienna. It looks stunning, a little bit like Germany (for the architecture) and Lithuania (for the lake surrounded by mountains). it’s a shame the palace wasnt open when you visited, I bet that would have been beautiful inside. I’m certainly would be trying my luck to find everlasting love for 1Euro in that Love Grotto, good call!

    • We have yet to visit Lithuania but I am sure it is lovely perched on water too. Hope you get to visit Salzburg. And hope you find your everlasting love in the Grotto.

  17. You have a great eye, I loved all of your photos! That is an incredible amount of public artwork to enjoy. I appreciated your stop at Saint Peter’s Church, the buildings abuting the wall and the sweetly tended grave sites are both so interesting. I would love to visit Salzburg someday and am saving your post for when I plan our trip!

  18. I LOVED Salzburg when I went. (It helps that I’m a sound of music fan) however, I so wish I had gone to Hallstatt from there. It looks so gorgeous!! Guess I’ll just have to go back now!

    • We are sorry we missed doing something musical when we were in Salzburg. But we simply ran out of time. But we were indeed happy we squeezed in Hallstatt. That was on the “list” for a long time.

  19. Quite amusingly Salzburg is the first European city to make it to my waiting list when I was a school girl, when I read about it in a book. But sadly, not even though I’m living in Europe, I’m yet to go visit Salzburg. I was planning my Austria tour just pre-lockdown. I hope to go there soon. Mirabel gardens look so nice. Its always awesome when there’s a nice park beside the hotels we stay. The array of sundials in intriguing. The contemporary art in historical setting is interesting.

  20. Salzburg looks like a wonderful city to visit. That’s interesting that there’s such a high popular of Roman Catholics there. I didn’t know that! Thanks for sharing your awesome photos, too 🙂

  21. I think my favourite part of going to Salzburg was seeing the locations used for filming the Sound of Music. I also liked the various gardens and the architecture.

  22. Salzburg is such a lovely place. We usually combine it with Vienna too and once travelled from there to Hallstatt. First time I hear of the Love Grotto, but hey, can’t go wrong with €1 for a kiss tehe…

  23. That certainly was a productive wander around Salzburg, and I can see that having Marriott Bonvoy status would have helped after a tiring travel day. Love the funicular up to Hohensalzburg Castle!

  24. I too loved visiting this beautiful city. Seeing your photos brought back some wonderful memories. We decided not to do the tour of the castle, only went up for the views. I heard mixed reviews of whether it was worth it or not. Glad to hear you enjoyed the tour.

  25. Thank god you got your camera back! That was quick thinking on the hotel’s behalf. It sounds lovely to wander the old city and look through some of the churches. I’m not religious, the buildings themselves are just gorgeous. I’d definitely want to get up to that castle as well. The views are spectacular!

  26. You revived our memories of Salzburg. We had done a day trip and we wished we could have stayed back for the night. It’s certainly a fascinating place. The Mirabel Gardens and the old town were just a wonderful experience. We also loved the journey itself from Vienna.

  27. Thank you for sharing your experience at Sheraton. We are planning to visit Salzburg soon and currently checking out accommodations. Nice to know their selection of food and drinks are great. Thanks for the heads up about love locks. Will make sure to drop by there and drop ours.

    • We did love the Sheraton for being so close to town. It was so easy to stroll out the back gate into the Mirabell Gardens. Lots to see an do in the city and as day trips.

  28. Salzburg looks like such a beautiful and charming village! I’d love to visit all of the churches. And I’d definitely enjoy a trip to Hallstatt because it just looks STUNNING.

  29. Your post summarises all my love for Europe. Classic architecture meets modern arts, lots of nature, old castles. Even better if it is a river side town like Salzburg! I only visited Vienna, and I can definitely see some similarities. The Mirabell garden reminds me of Schonbrunn castle in Vienna, which has a huge beautiful garden as well! And that view of Halstatt from the top! It is breathtaking I want to get up there now!

  30. I loved Salzburg, especially views from the Hohensalzburg Castle. You described it so nicely with so many things to see mentioned! Thanks!

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