Help a Reader Travel: Salzburg, Austria

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Welcome to another post of helping a reader travel! As I’ve mentioned before, I have not been to every destination (unfortunately), but do get questions from friends and other blog readers on all sort of travel destination questions. Thus far, we’ve been able to help other readers travel to MauiThe Greek IslandsPacific Coast HighwayArgentina /Buenos AiresCosta RicaCape Cod & The IslandsIcelandGenevaCanadian RockiesRomeIsraelPeruLas VegasStockholm, ChicagoParisHanoi, AustinPuerto Ricoand Bruges.

So this weeks travel destination includes Salzburg, Austria. I received the following email from reader Andrew:

“I am headed to Salzburg, Austria next year for work and I am want to know more about the area. The good thing is I will be on an expense account, so no points needed while there. However, I am looking to travel before and after my work obligations, so any suggestions on places to go nearby utilizing points would be great. Is there any particular hotel you’d recommend in Salzburg as well? What are some things to do while visiting after work and the few free days I have there? How many free days do you think one needs to spend? Any information on Salzburg or other locations in Austria would be great! Thank you in advance for your help.”

If you’ve ever been to Salzburg or other cities in Austria and have any recommendations, let’s help out reader Andrew by commenting below.

Also, if you have any upcoming travel where you need some help, feel free to email me at to be a featured “Help a Reader Travel” Monday special. Thanks!

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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11 years ago

Name of the town is Salzburg, not Salzberg.

11 years ago

Pedantic I know, but it’s Salzburg. As for suggestions, Munich and Berchtesgaden (in Germany) and the Salzkammergut are both close by. Lots of potential for a short city break as well as a resort/spa sort of vacation.

11 years ago

When I was in Salzburg earlier this year my friend forced me to go on the Sound Of Music tour. Not being a fan of the musical, I reluctantly agreed. Turned out to be a great half day tour. They take you to some very scenic destinations, your learn about the history of the city, and find out some fun facts about the musical, both broadway and movie, too. We stayed at the Sheraton Salzburg and throughly enjoyed the hotel. It was just a short walk to downtown and lots of restaurants. If you like beer, go to Augultiner Breau, they have great atmosphere, good selection of food, and for beer lovers, great beer. Salzburg is a beautiful city, easy to navigate on foot, and very friendly. Enjoy your business trip 🙂

11 years ago

In case the reader is a fan of Good Beer, here are some places to visit/ It’s been five years since I was last in Salzburg, but I believe these are all still open:

Augustinerbräu Kloster Mülln. A monastary brewery with the best beer hall I’ve ever visited, plus really good beer. A must visit.

Die Weisse (Rupertgasse). An independent brewery/brewpub that specializes in wheat beers. Even if you think you don’t like wheat beers, these are worth a try. Some of the best wheat beers I’ve ever had.

Hotel Stieglbräu (Rainerstrasse). Tap room for the local Stigel brewery. A good range of beers for a large-ish brewery.

This one may be closed — if so it is a shame: S’Kloane Brauhaus (Schallmooser Haupstrasse) A small brewpub not to far from Die Weisse

11 years ago

I don’t even know where to start, there are so many great things to do in and around Salzburg. By all means take a Sound of Music Tour. Take some time to see the castle (funicular up, walk down), cathedral and residence (of the former emperor) which are all right next to each other. Make sure to stroll down “Getreidegasse” – a pedestrian street full with beautiful stores, restaurants and Mozart’s birthplace (museum – almost a must visit). As for excursions: Salzkammergut (a lake area) southeast of Salzburg would be great – St. Wolfgang and Wolfgangsee, Traunsee, Mondsee, … If you have time then Hallstadt (which is a city that the Chinese literally cloned this year…), Hallein, the Salt Mines close to Hallein, there are Icy Caves close to Hallein as well – all within an hour of Salzburg. Then if you venture into Germany the Koenigssee area is fantastic – including Hitler’s retreat (depressing but worth seeing). I second the Wheatbeer Brewery and Stiegel Brewery. Also just south of Salzburg is the Mirabell Chocolate Factory – the one that makes the real Mozart Ball Chocolates (only the purple ones are the original ones, the red ones are not…). They sell 2nd rate (optical) chocolates cheap. And in Hallein is Guglhof – a distillery specializing in fruit stills (rasberry, apricot, …). Fantastic stuff if you’re into that kind of spirit (may try it at dinner first). And most of all you’ll have a fantastic time there!

Ryan H
Ryan H
11 years ago

+1 on Augustiner Bräu–one of my favorite experiences of Salzburg, definitely do not miss that.

Sound of Music tour also was fairly interesting, but if you don’t have time for it, don’t skip other more important sites/activities.

Day trip to Hallstatt, Austria. This is one of the most beautiful/scenic places I’ve been to. It is a 1-2 hour train ride (must make one connection, but it isn’t hard) plus a 10 minute ferry to get to the town. It is a very small town and easily doable in half a day or full day if you decide to tour the town’s salt mine (one of the oldest in the world). Very cool little town.

In Salzburg, make sure you tour Hohensalzburg Castle atop the hill. They have free 30-60 minute audio tours that were informative and well worth it for the good views alone.

Walk around. I’m sure you will do plenty of this after your work every day, but walk the old town as much as you can to enjoy the history and architecture. There will likely be some free concert going on somewhere.

We stayed at Hotel Goldener Hirsch (Starwood) in the heart of the old town and enjoyed it. It’s more traditional than luxury, but a very historic old place.


11 years ago

It makes a quite big difference if you are travelling to Salzburg in summer or winter. Below I will point out some tips for both seasons as well as some general ideas.
Salzburg has a beautiful old city centre as well as an amazing surrounding area.
In winter:
– go skiing or at least enjoy a nice snowball fight in the mountains
– visit one of the many christmas markets in December
– visit a christmas play / advent singing in December (keep in mind to buy tickets early,they are sold out fast)
– enjoy advent scenery in the city centre
In summer:
– make a lake and mountain tour (e.g. to lake Fuschl, where also the Red Bull HQ is located)
– visit the Salzkammergut (beautiful landscape, old salt mines and Bad Ischl, the place to be for the rich and famous during summer when Austria used to be a Monarchy)

General ideas:
– if you are interested in culture go and get tickets for the Salzburger Festspiele
– visit Festung Hohensalzburg (famous fortress)
– Salzburg Cathedral
– Monastery St. Peter
– Birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
– Schloss Hellbrunn (castle)
– Getreidegasse (main shopping street)
– Schloss Mirabel (castle with a beautiful garden)
– have a coffee and pastries at one of the famous Austrian caffee places like Cafe Bazar, Cafe Tomaselli, Cafe Sacher
– make a trip with a horse-drawn carriage (called Fiaker)
– eat Salzburger Nockerl (amazing desert which you will never forget)
– visit Hangar 7 (tech museum with plains, racing cars and all sorts of extreme sport equipment like from Felix Baumgartner, owned by Red Bull, directly at the airport)
All tips are easy to reach, just ask the concierge.

– Radisson Blu (my recommendation, directly in the city centre)
– Hotel Sacher (old fashioned, but famous)
– Hotel Bristol
– Goldener Hirsch (famous with celebs)
it really depends on your expense account

Hope that helps, enjoy this beautiful city!

11 years ago

Get the Salzburg card. It provides admission to many of the popular sites, and gives other discounts as well as public transportation. Great money saver.

11 years ago

Go to berchtesgaden on bus 840. Takes 45 minutes. I’m going to berchtesgaden next summer. I would appreciate tips on that! Lucky has given me some tips but I want to hear other options. I’ll be at hotel Bavaria for 3 nights end of July.

11 years ago

and one I don’t see here is the Bad Ischl, nearby, a fantastic Thermal bad that was the favourite of the loved Empress Sissy. Nearby is a restaurant that used to be the Imperial Pastry Chef’s domain..
The Thermal was recently completely redone, and they managed to retain some of the wonderful details as well as adding new pools, a watercourse with current that is a delight for the kids and not only, ample and varied sauna (for Americans or others from Puritanic traditions be warned that nudity is de rigeur for the sauna area, and everyone is respectful and simple about it, but can be a surprise for those whose cultures are not used to simplicity about their bodies..)The other areas are of course in bathingsuits. There is a resto there, as well as a hotel if you like, and in general the staff are helpful. Much recommmneded.

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