Free self-guided walking tour of Salzburg, Austria

Updated: March 10, 2019 This website uses cookies, ads and affiliate links.

Salzburg, Austria - Horse carriage passing by the beautiful Salzburg Dome building in Residenzplatz square. It is almost no wonder Mozart came from Salzburg because Salzburg is such an inspiring and beautiful town. Salzburg is a “must see” if you visit Austria. The charm of the town is still preserving some of Mozart time’s flavor. In addition, it is also no wonder that the picturesque Sound of Music movie has been filmed in many locations in and around Salzburg. Read on to find out our favorite places to visit in Salzburg, Austria.

What to expect on your walking tour of Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg has become one of our favorite places in Europe. It is a beautiful city surrounded by tall green hills and divided by a large river. Salzburg has so much history and culture that choosing which tourist attractions to visit becomes difficult. Having stayed the previous night in Salzburg we were able to spend an entire day enjoying this beautiful city. Come along with me on a free walking tour of Salzburg, Austria.

Salzburg, Austria - Beautiful panorama of Salzburg seen from the Salzburg Fortress
Beautiful panorama of Salzburg seen from the Salzburg Fortress
See my photos from Salzburg

My favorite things to see in Salzburg, Austria

    • Salzburg is filled with tourist attractions but here are my favorites. If you are planning on a walking tour of Salzburg make sure you do not miss these sights.
    • Salzburg Old Town, with its beautiful churches and many squares, this area is great to walk through and enjoy.
    • Getreidegasse street is a beautiful old street in the Old Town
    • Mirabelle Gardens are filled with beautiful flower arrangements and very old statues.
    • Mozart museums are so much part of Salzburg and they provide a great image of the musical past of Salzburg.
    • Salzburg Fortress sits on top of the tallest hill in Salzburg and gives you amazing views of the entire area.

Walking tour map of Salzburg, Austria
Walking tour map of Salzburg, Austria
Map legend: Yellow – park/start, Red – see, Green – walk
See my photos from Salzburg

1. Salzburg Old Town (Altstadt)

From our underground convenient parking we walked out in the vicinity of Saint Peter Church. This is a Catholic church and monastery from 7th century, featuring a picturesque cemetery with baroque tombs, 12th century catacombs and a museum. We arrived in Salzburg on a Sunday. People dressed up in national costumes (see Sound of music movie) where rushing to church. We decided to follow them and entered the beautiful Saint Peter Church during the regular church service. And as I expected from a town that delivered the genius of music…when we stepped in, a choir was performing beautifully. The acoustic was amazing in the large church. Then the priests performed the mass…probably Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart saw the same view and heard similar sounds.

Salzburg, Austria - Sunday church service inside the beautiful Saint Peter Church
Sunday church service inside the beautiful Saint Peter Church
See my photos from Salzburg

We were glad to hear a local choir, but to our disappointment, the next day, we discovered that this beautifully sounding choir was actually from Modesto, California. A bit disappointed even though they sounded wonderful. Stepping along our walking tour of Salzburg, after a short walk we came to Kapitelplatz square, where a golden sphere with a man figure on top is displayed and a giant check-board.

Salzburg, Austria - People buying fresh fruit and vegetables at a Sunday market inside Kapitelplatz
People buying fresh fruit and vegetables at a Sunday market inside Kapitelplatz
See my photos from Salzburg

From the small Kapitelplatz market we easily made our way under a small archway to the large Residenzplaz square. This sumptuous 16th century square centers on a large and beautiful baroque water fountain. The older buildings are well preserved and the old world feeling is felt even more by the horse carriages taking tourists around the city. Residenzplaz is dominated by the imposing Salzburg Cathedral (Dome).

Salzburg, Austria - Horse carriage passing by the beautiful Salzburg Dome building in Residenzplatz square.
Horse carriage passing by the beautiful Salzburg Dome building in Residenzplatz square.
See my photos from Salzburg

Our walking tour of Salzburg continued a few steps from Rezidenzplatz where we found Mozartplatz. A large statue honors Mozart and restaurants invite people to relax and enjoy the plaza. Further up the street we walked to Alter Markt which is a street market and square filled with people and restaurants.

2. Getreidegasse is touristy but very interesting

We continued our walk on Getreidegasse street which is the main commercial street in Old Town Salzburg. It is a busy street decorated with beautifully designed signs for each businesses. Even the McDonald’s sign makes you believe that the fast-food restaurant has been there for hundreds of years.

Salzburg, Austria - Getreidegasse is the main commercial street in old town Salzburg. It is a busy street with beautiful signs for each businesses.
Getreidegasse is the main commercial street in old town Salzburg. It is a busy street with beautiful signs for each businesses.
See my photos from Salzburg

Getreidegasse was one of the important places on our walking our of Slazburg.  On this busy street we also found Mozart’s birthplace. The house is now a small museum which is worth visiting. The newer Saint Blasius Church (Sankt Blasiuskirche) marks the end of Getreidegasse street.

3. Mirabell Gardens and Palace is the heart of Salzburg

From Getreidegasse we walked on Griesgrasse and we crossed the Makartsteg brige to get to Mirabell Gardens. A short walk over the Makartsteg bridge gave us a nice panoramic view of the city. Mirabelle Gardens displays truly beautiful, ornamental and geometrically arranged gardens. People come and enjoy the gorgeous flower arrangements, amateurs musicians or just a nice walk. The gardens are also hosting mythology-themed statues dating from 1730 and four groups of sculptures from 1690 (Aeneas, Hercules, Paris and Pluto), created by Italian sculptor Ottavio Mosto.

Salzburg, Austria - Beautiful view of the Mirabell Gardens and Palace building
Beautiful view of the Mirabell Gardens and Palace building
See my photos from Salzburg

Our walking tour of Salzburg could not be complete without a visit to the MIrabelle Gardens. Mirabelle Palace (Schloss) dominates the beautiful gardens. This is an iconic 17th-century palace where classical concerts were performed in the lavish ballroom. It was built around 1606 outside the medieval walls of Salzburg according to Italian and French models. It was rebuilt in a lavish Baroque style in 1710.

4. Mozart Museums

Salzburg is all about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and for good reason. The Mozart museums have two locations: his birthplace and another building where the family lived a number of years. You can buy a ticket for both which saves you some money. Each of the museums takes under one hour to visit and they are worth your time.

Mozart’s birthplace is part of the small museum which is a highlight for visiting Salzburg. From 1747 to 1773 the Mozart family resided in an apartment on the third floor of a building on Getreidegasse street. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the genius of music, came in this world on 27 January 1756 on Getreidegasse street at number 9 in Salzburg, Austria.

Mozart’s family residence, the second location of the Mozart Museum, is about 10 minutes walk across the river. In 1773, the apartment on Getreidegasse became too small and the Mozart family moved across the river to the ‘Tanzmeisterhaus’ in a square, known at that time as Hannibalplatz. The building now accommodates a museum showing the various stages of life for the Mozart family.

Salzburg, Austria - Horse carriage passing by the beautiful Salzburg Dome building in Residenzplatz square.
Horse carriage passing by the beautiful Salzburg Dome building in Residenzplatz square.
See my photos from Salzburg

5. Salzburg fortress (Hohnsalzburg)

If you are planning on a walking tour of Salzburg, you must include this majestic fortress. Salzburg Fortress dominates the city below as it is perched on the tallest hill. You can see the fortress from anywhere in the city, and it is an impressive view anytime you see it.

Salzburg, Austria - Fortress Hohnsalzburg dominates the old town in the lower city.
Fortress Hohnsalzburg dominates the old town in the lower city
See my photos from Salzburg

Seeing the Salzburg Fortress from the city below is one thing, but climbing up, between the medieval walls gives you amazing views all around Salzburg. There is a very steep trail that you can climb by foot but there is also a very convenient tram that takes you up to the fortress Hohnsalzburg in about 30 seconds. Since we were late during the day and our kids begged us to take the tram instead of hiking, they won! Read more about our visit to the Salzburg Fortress.

6. Follow the Sound of Music around Salzburg

The beautiful old movie Sound of Music is another idyllic tourist attraction tied to Salzburg. It is no wonder that Sound of Music was filmed here. Unfortunately our time was limited in Salzburg, and we only had time to enjoy few sights outside the city center.

Our walking tour of Salzburg had to include some driving after finding some sights from the Sound of Music. We found a beautiful view from a quiet park with old trees right across a small lake from Leopoldskron Castle, which was one of the Sound of Music movie locations.

Salzburg, Austria - The beautiful lake and Leopoldskron Castle and Hotel (Schloss Leopoldskron) is one of the Sound of Music sights in Salzburg
The beautiful lake and Leopoldskron Palace and Hotel (Schloss Leopoldskron) is one of the Sound of Music sights in Salzburg
See my photos from Salzburg

Is it worth visiting Salzburg, Austria?

We simply fell in love with Salzburg! Our walking tour of Salzburg took us from one end of the city to the other and also around the city.  From movie locations, to medieval sights and Mozart of course, Salzburg is an absolute delight to visit.

There are many things that make Salzburg such an appealing travel destination: surrounded by hills, crossed by a river, not a large city, lots of historical character and the medieval fortress.

My best resources for planning your trip to Salzburg, Austria

Here is my short list of resources for planning your trip to the Salzburg area.

Find discounted hotels in Salzburg. If you’re looking for hotels in Salzburg you can try my favorite hotel in Salzburg or you can find budget hotels in Salzburg.

Find local tours & discounted museum tickets. If you’re looking for a guided tour, a city card or discounted museum tickets, checkout all tours and activities in Salzburg. Book a great guided walking tour of Salzburg.

Rent a car in Austria. We rented our car in Germany and we had no trouble driving to Austria and back. Get best car rental rates in Austria and Germany here.

Find parking in Salzburg city center. The best place to park is the large underground parking lot near Saint Peter’s Church. You can click here to see the location on the map. The GPS coordinates for your navigation system are: 47.797844, 13.038625. Also here is the official website for the Contipark parking structure which includes business hours and prices.

Use the fast tramway or funicular to get to Fortress Salzburg. The funicular is very convenient and the ticket includes admission to the Fortress and two guided tours. The official website for the Salzburg Tramway (Festungsbahn). Click here to see the map location for the tramway.

Find a beautiful viewing spot for Leopoldskron Palace featured in the Sound of Music. There is a beautiful Park and Lake right behind the palace. The GPS coordinates are: 47.787948, 13.035569. You can also look for WeiherWirt restaurant or simply click here for the map location.

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