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A Long Weekend In Salzburg, From The City-centre To Regional Lakes


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Minetta Rush



Welcome to Salzburg, Austria’s picturesque city known for its baroque architecture, musical heritage, and stunning alpine landscapes. Nestled on the banks of the Salzach River, Salzburg offers a perfect blend of culture, history, and natural beauty. Whether you’re strolling through the beautifully preserved old town, exploring historical landmarks, or indulging in the region’s culinary delights, Salzburg has something to captivate every visitor.


With its convenient location in the heart of Europe, Salzburg is an ideal destination for a long weekend getaway. The city’s compact size allows visitors to easily explore its attractions on foot, while also providing easy access to the breathtaking lakes and mountains of the Salzkammergut region.


During your visit, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in Salzburg’s rich history and artistic legacy. The city was the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and its musical heritage is celebrated throughout the year with various concerts, festivals, and performances.


In addition to its cultural offerings, Salzburg boasts several architectural gems that are not to be missed. The imposing Hohensalzburg Fortress, perched atop a hill, offers panoramic views of the city and surrounding mountains. The stately Mirabell Palace and its enchanting gardens are the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll. And the awe-inspiring Salzburg Cathedral, with its majestic dome and impressive artwork, is a testament to the city’s rich religious history.


In this article, we will take you on a virtual tour of Salzburg, from its city centre to the beautiful regional lakes. Join us as we explore the best attractions, discover hidden gems, and indulge in the flavors of Salzburg. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or a lover of culture, there’s something for everyone in Salzburg.


Exploring Salzburg’s City Centre

The heart of Salzburg’s charm lies in its beautifully preserved city centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you wander through its narrow medieval streets, you’ll be immersed in the city’s rich history and architectural beauty.


A great place to start your exploration is at the Residenzplatz, the largest square in Salzburg. Here, you’ll find the stunning Residenz Fountain, which dates back to the 17th century, as well as the Salzburg Residenz, once the residence of the powerful Prince-Archbishops.


From Residenzplatz, make your way to Getreidegasse, one of Salzburg’s most famous streets. Lined with picturesque buildings, this bustling pedestrian street is a shopper’s paradise, offering a mix of international brands and charming local boutiques. Don’t forget to take a peek at the intricate wrought-iron guild signs that hang above the entrances to the shops.


Just a short walk from Getreidegasse is the Mozart Geburtshaus, the birthplace of the legendary composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Step inside and explore the museum, which houses an impressive collection of Mozart’s personal belongings, manuscripts, and musical instruments.


Another must-visit attraction in the city centre is the DomQuartier, a collection of magnificent buildings that were once part of the archbishop’s residence. This sprawling complex includes the Salzburg Cathedral, the Residenz Gallery, and the St. Peter’s Abbey. Take a guided tour to fully appreciate the opulence and history of these architectural wonders.


Don’t miss the opportunity to visit St. Peter’s Abbey, one of the oldest monasteries in the German-speaking world. Admire the stunning Baroque architecture and explore the Abbey’s cemetery, where the tombstones date back several centuries.


After a day of exploration, take a break at one of the charming cafes or beer gardens in the city centre. Relax with a cup of coffee and indulge in a slice of Salzburger Nockerl, a local sweet soufflé dessert that is as delicious as it is visually pleasing.


Exploring Salzburg’s city centre is like stepping back in time. With its well-preserved buildings, charming streets, and rich history, it’s no wonder that this part of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a culture lover, or simply someone who appreciates beautiful architecture, the city centre of Salzburg will captivate you at every turn.


Visiting Hohensalzburg Fortress

Perched high above the city on the Festungsberg hill, Hohensalzburg Fortress is a commanding presence and an iconic symbol of Salzburg. This imposing fortress, one of the largest fully preserved medieval castles in Europe, offers visitors a glimpse into the city’s rich history and provides breathtaking views of Salzburg and its surrounding landscapes.


To reach the fortress, you can either take a leisurely walk up the hill or opt for a more convenient ride on the funicular railway. As you ascend, be prepared to be awestruck by the panoramic views of Salzburg’s rooftops, the Salzach River, and the majestic Alps in the distance.


Once you’ve arrived at the fortress, prepare to be transported back in time. Explore the interior and discover its well-preserved chambers, courtyards, and halls. The highlight of the fortress is the Golden Hall, a magnificent banquet hall adorned with stunning frescoes. Marvel at the intricate details and imagine the grand celebrations that once took place within these walls.


Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Fortress Museum, which provides an insightful look into the fortress’s history and life during medieval times. Admire the collection of weapons, armor, and artifacts, and gain a deeper understanding of the fortress’s strategic significance.


For those seeking a panoramic view of Salzburg, make your way to the fortress’s battlements. From this vantage point, you can capture the perfect photo of the city’s historic skyline, the alpine peaks, and the picturesque Salzach River winding through the valley.


If you’re feeling adventurous, consider taking a guided tour of the fortress’s secret tunnels. These hidden passageways, known as the Reisszug, were built in the 16th century to provide a private entrance for the archbishop. Exploring these underground passages offers a unique and thrilling experience.


After your tour, take a moment to relax at the fortress’s café and enjoy a cup of coffee or a refreshing beverage while taking in the magnificent views. You can also grab a bite to eat at the fortress restaurant, which offers a selection of traditional Austrian dishes.


A visit to Hohensalzburg Fortress is a must for any visitor to Salzburg. It’s a journey into the city’s medieval past, offering a glimpse of its significance and grandeur. Whether you’re a history buff, photography enthusiast, or simply looking to soak in the breathtaking views, a trip to Hohensalzburg Fortress will leave you with lasting memories of this enchanting city.


Discovering Mirabell Palace and Gardens

Nestled in the heart of Salzburg, Mirabell Palace and Gardens are a true delight for visitors. This architectural masterpiece, built in the 17th century, showcases the city’s Baroque splendor and provides a serene retreat from the bustling streets.


As you make your way through the grand entrance of Mirabell Palace, you’ll be greeted by the stunning Marble Hall. Adorned with intricate marble decorations and elegant frescoes, this hall serves as a breathtaking backdrop for weddings and concerts.


From the Marble Hall, step into the beautifully manicured Mirabell Gardens, which were redesigned in the 18th century and are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The gardens are designed in a symmetrical layout, featuring geometrically shaped flowerbeds, grand statues, and fountains.


One of the most iconic features of the Mirabell Gardens is the Pegasus Fountain, which is flanked by four statues representing the elements: earth, air, fire, and water. This fountain serves as the centerpiece of the garden and is a favorite spot for visitors to take photos.


As you stroll through the gardens, you’ll come across various other statues and sculptures, each adding to the garden’s charm. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Dwarf Garden, a unique section of the gardens where numerous gnome-like statues are on display.


For a truly enchanting experience, visit Mirabell Gardens in the spring when the flowerbeds burst with vibrant colors. Thousands of tulips, roses, and other seasonal flowers create a stunning tapestry of blooms, filling the air with their sweet fragrance.


While the gardens are a perfect place for a leisurely stroll, they are also a popular backdrop for wedding photos and cultural events. The gardens have been featured in several movies, including the beloved “The Sound of Music,” and their beauty continues to captivate visitors from around the world.


After exploring the gardens, take a moment to relax on one of the benches and soak in the tranquil atmosphere. You can also grab a bite to eat at the on-site café, which offers a variety of refreshments and snacks.


Whether you’re a lover of nature, a fan of Baroque architecture, or simply seeking a peaceful escape, a visit to Mirabell Palace and Gardens is a must. Immerse yourself in the beauty of these exquisite gardens, and let the magnificence of Salzburg’s past surround you.


Exploring Salzburg Cathedral and Old Town

Salzburg Cathedral, also known as the Salzburger Dom, is a true masterpiece of architecture and an iconic symbol of the city. Situated in the heart of Salzburg’s Old Town, this magnificent cathedral is a testament to the city’s rich religious history and cultural heritage.


As you approach Salzburg Cathedral, you’ll be immediately struck by its striking Baroque facade and towering dome. Step inside, and you’ll be mesmerized by the grandeur and beauty that awaits you. Marvel at the intricate details of the interior, from the impressive marble columns to the stunning frescoes that adorn the walls and ceilings.


One of the highlights of the cathedral is the awe-inspiring organ, which dates back to the 18th century. Known as one of the most impressive organs in the world, it fills the space with its powerful and melodious sound during organ concerts.


Adjacent to the cathedral is St. Peter’s Abbey, one of the oldest monasteries in the German-speaking world. Take a moment to explore the courtyard and visit the tombstones of prominent citizens that line the walls. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit St. Peter’s Cemetery, a picturesque burial ground that was featured in the film “The Sound of Music.”


After visiting the cathedral and abbey, take some time to explore the charming streets of Salzburg’s Old Town. Get lost in the narrow alleys and discover hidden gems around every corner. Admire the well-preserved medieval buildings with their charming facades and ornate balconies.


As you wander through the Old Town, you’ll come across numerous quaint shops, cafes, and restaurants. Sample traditional Austrian delicacies such as schnitzel or enjoy a warm apfelstrudel with a cup of coffee at a cozy café.


Make your way to the bustling Getreidegasse, one of Salzburg’s most famous streets. Here, you’ll find an array of shops, from international brands to local boutiques. Look out for the unique guild signs above the entrances, which are crafted from wrought iron and showcase the trades and professions of the past.


For a bird’s-eye view of the Old Town, head to the Kapuzinerberg, a hill that offers panoramic vistas of Salzburg’s historic skyline. The climb to the top is rewarded with stunning views of the city, the Salzach River, and the surrounding mountains.


Exploring Salzburg Cathedral and the Old Town is like stepping back in time. The combination of architectural marvels, rich history, and charming streets creates an enchanting atmosphere. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Salzburg’s religious heritage and soak up the vibrant energy of the Old Town as you uncover the secrets of this remarkable city.


Exploring the Salzburg Museum

The Salzburg Museum offers a fascinating journey through the history and culture of Salzburg. Located in the heart of the city, near Mozartplatz, this museum is a must-visit for anyone looking to gain a deeper understanding of the city’s rich heritage.


As you enter the museum, you’ll be greeted by a wide range of exhibits that chronicle the history of Salzburg from its earliest beginnings to modern times. The museum takes you on a captivating journey through the centuries, showcasing archaeological findings, historical artifacts, and interactive displays.


One of the highlights of the museum is its collection of artworks and sculptures that depict the city’s development and cultural importance. Explore the galleries to see works by renowned artists such as Johann Michael Rottmayr and Franz Xaver Messerschmidt.


The Salzburg Museum also offers a comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the life and works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the city’s most famous son. Dive into the world of this musical genius and gain insights into his childhood, compositions, and lasting legacy.


Visitors can also learn about Salzburg’s rich cultural traditions, including its world-famous Salzburg Festival, which celebrates music and theater. Discover the impact of this annual event on the city’s cultural scene and explore the costumes, props, and memorabilia associated with the festival.


One of the museum’s unique features is its use of multimedia and interactive technology to enhance the visitor experience. From touch-screen displays to immersive audiovisual presentations, the Salzburg Museum brings the past to life in a dynamic and engaging way.


After exploring the exhibits, make sure to visit the museum’s rooftop terrace, which offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountains. Take a moment to soak in the beauty of Salzburg’s skyline while reflecting on the rich history and cultural significance of this enchanting city.


The Salzburg Museum is a treasure trove of knowledge and a gateway to understanding the city’s past. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, music lover, or simply curious about Salzburg’s cultural heritage, a visit to this museum will deepen your appreciation for this remarkable city and its contributions to art, music, and history.


Day Trip to Lake Wolfgang

A day trip to Lake Wolfgang is a perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of Salzburg and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Salzkammergut region. Located just a short drive from the city, Lake Wolfgang is one of the most scenic lakes in Austria, surrounded by majestic mountains and picturesque villages.


Start your day by taking a leisurely boat ride on Lake Wolfgang. As you glide across the crystal-clear water, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding alpine scenery. Sit back, relax, and let the tranquility of the lake wash over you.


A highlight of the lake is the enchanting town of St. Wolfgang, which sits on its shores. Explore the town’s charming streets, lined with traditional Austrian houses adorned with colorful flowers. Visit the iconic St. Wolfgang Church, known for its striking Gothic architecture and intricate wood carvings.


Don’t miss the opportunity to ride the Schafbergbahn, a cogwheel railway that takes you to the top of Schafberg Mountain. From the summit, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of Lake Wolfgang and the surrounding alpine peaks. This is a paradise for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts.


If you’re feeling adventurous, hop on a paddleboard or rent a boat to explore the lake at your own pace. Find a secluded spot and take a dip in the refreshing waters of Lake Wolfgang, or simply bask in the sun and enjoy the stunning scenery that surrounds you.


For history enthusiasts, a visit to the nearby White Horse Inn is a must. This historic landmark, made famous by the operetta of the same name, offers a glimpse into the elegant world of the late 19th century. Enjoy a meal at the inn’s restaurant and imagine yourself transported back in time.


Round off your day trip with a visit to the picturesque village of St. Gilgen, located at the eastern end of the lake. Explore its narrow streets, visit the Mozartplatz, and take in the panoramic views from the Zwölferhorn cable car.


A day trip to Lake Wolfgang is a delightful escape from the city, immersing you in the beauty of nature and the charm of lakeside villages. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural experiences, Lake Wolfgang offers a perfect blend for a memorable day trip from Salzburg.


Day Trip to Lake Fuschl

If you’re looking for a serene and idyllic day trip from Salzburg, look no further than Lake Fuschl. Located just a short drive away from the city, this hidden gem of the Salzkammergut region offers breathtaking natural beauty and a tranquil escape from the bustling city life.


Start your day by taking a leisurely drive along the picturesque shores of Lake Fuschl. As you wind your way around the lake, you’ll be enchanted by its crystal-clear turquoise waters, surrounded by lush forests and rolling hills.


Visit the charming village of Fuschl am See, which sits on the eastern shore of the lake. Explore its quaint streets, lined with traditional Austrian houses, and take in the serene atmosphere. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the iconic Schloss Fuschl, a historic castle-turned-hotel that offers panoramic views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.


Take a leisurely stroll along the lake’s promenade or rent a bicycle to explore the scenic trails that surround the area. As you immerse yourself in nature, you’ll have the chance to spot a variety of bird species and other wildlife that call this area home.


For a truly unforgettable experience, embark on a boat ride on Lake Fuschl. Drift along the tranquil waters and feel the gentle breeze caress your face as you take in the stunning views of the lake and the surrounding landscapes. You can also rent a paddleboard or kayak to explore the lake at your own pace.


After working up an appetite, indulge in some of the region’s culinary delights. Treat yourself to a traditional Austrian meal at one of the lakeside restaurants, where you can savor local specialties such as fresh fish from the lake or hearty alpine dishes.


If you’re interested in history, pay a visit to St. Gilgen, a nearby town nestled on the western shore of Lake Fuschl. Explore the town’s charming streets, visit the Mozartplatz, and admire the view of the lake from the Zwölferhorn cable car.


Whether you’re seeking tranquility, natural beauty, or outdoor activities, a day trip to Lake Fuschl will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere, explore the charming villages, and take in the awe-inspiring views of this hidden gem in the Salzburg region.


Day Trip to Lake Mondsee

Just a short drive from Salzburg, Lake Mondsee offers a delightful day trip for those seeking natural beauty and a touch of history. Nestled in the stunning Salzkammergut region, this picturesque lake is surrounded by breathtaking mountains and dotted with charming lakeside villages.


Begin your day trip by exploring the quaint town of Mondsee, which sits on the northern shore of the lake. Take a leisurely stroll through its narrow streets, lined with traditional Austrian houses and charming shops. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Mondsee Abbey, a stunning medieval Benedictine monastery that dates back to the 8th century.


Discover the famous Mondsee Cathedral, also known as the Basilica of St. Michael. This imposing church served as the backdrop for the wedding scene in the classic film “The Sound of Music.” Step inside the cathedral and marvel at its intricate Baroque architecture and the stunning altarpiece.


After exploring the town, head to the lakeshore and breathe in the fresh mountain air. Take a leisurely walk along the lake’s promenade, enjoying the peaceful atmosphere and the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains reflected on the calm waters of Lake Mondsee.


For those who enjoy being on the water, consider renting a rowboat or a pedal boat and gently glide across the lake’s surface. Feel the tranquility of the surroundings and let the beauty of nature envelop you as you take in the stunning landscapes.


One of the highlights of Lake Mondsee is its pristine beaches. On a warm summer day, find a cozy spot along the shore and enjoy a relaxing picnic or take a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters. The beaches offer a perfect setting to unwind and soak up the sun.


During your visit, don’t miss the opportunity to sample local culinary delights at one of the lakeside restaurants. Indulge in freshly caught fish from the lake, paired with a glass of wine from the region. The Salzkammergut is known for its delectable cuisine, and Lake Mondsee is no exception.


For a memorable finale to your day trip, visit the Drachenwand, a striking mountain located near Lake Mondsee. Embark on a hike to the summit for breathtaking views of the lake and the surrounding landscapes. The hike is moderately challenging but rewards you with panoramic vistas that are worth the effort.


A day trip to Lake Mondsee is a perfect blend of natural beauty, history, and relaxation. From exploring charming villages to immersing yourself in the tranquility of the lake, this destination has something for everyone. Soak in the serenity of Lake Mondsee and create lasting memories of your visit to this stunning part of the Salzburg region.


Enjoying Salzburg’s Culinary Delights

Salzburg is not only a feast for the eyes but also a paradise for food lovers. The city’s culinary scene offers a delightful blend of traditional Austrian dishes, international cuisine, and delectable sweet treats. Embark on a gastronomic adventure and indulge in Salzburg’s culinary delights.


Start your culinary journey by sampling traditional Austrian cuisine. Treat yourself to a classic Wiener Schnitzel, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Savor the flavors of Tafelspitz, a succulent boiled beef dish served with horseradish and apple sauce. Don’t forget to try Kaiserschmarrn, a fluffy shredded pancake served with powdered sugar and sweet fruit compote.


Salzburg is also known for its delectable pastries and sweets. Head to one of the local cafes and indulge in a slice of Salzburger Nockerl, a light and fluffy soufflé-like dessert. Sample the famous Mozartkugel, a sweet combination of nougat, marzipan, and dark chocolate, named after the city’s famous composer.


For those seeking international flavors, Salzburg offers a wide range of options. Explore the vibrant Asian food scene with dishes from China, Japan, Thailand, and beyond. Sample Italian delicacies, from wood-fired pizzas to creamy pasta dishes. Or indulge in a gourmet dining experience at one of the city’s Michelin-starred restaurants.


To truly immerse yourself in Salzburg’s culinary culture, don’t miss the local farmers’ markets. Visit the Grünmarkt, located in the heart of the old town, and browse through the stalls filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and artisanal products. Engage with the friendly vendors and taste the flavors of the region.


And of course, no visit to Salzburg is complete without enjoying a refreshing drink at one of the city’s charming beer gardens. Sip on a locally brewed beer, known for its exceptional quality, while soaking in the ambiance and mingling with the locals.


For those interested in wine, Salzburg is surrounded by vineyards that produce excellent white wines. Take a guided wine tour and visit the picturesque wineries in the Salzkammergut region. Learn about the winemaking process and sample a variety of wines, including the renowned Grüner Veltliner and Riesling.


Whether you’re a food connoisseur or simply enjoy discovering new flavors, Salzburg’s culinary scene will enchant your taste buds. From traditional Austrian specialties to international cuisines, sweet treats to local markets, the city offers a wide array of culinary delights that will leave you craving for more.



Salzburg, with its rich history, cultural heritage, and stunning landscapes, is an enchanting destination that captivates visitors from around the world. From exploring the city center with its Baroque architecture and historical landmarks, to venturing out to the pristine lakes and mountains of the Salzkammergut region, a visit to Salzburg offers a perfect blend of cultural immersion and natural beauty.


Whether you’re wandering through the streets of the old town, admiring the grandeur of Hohensalzburg Fortress, or exploring the beautiful Mirabell Palace and Gardens, Salzburg’s charm is undeniable. The city’s musical legacy, as the birthplace of Mozart, is celebrated throughout the year with concerts, festivals, and performances that resonate with the spirit of the city.


But Salzburg is not just about history and culture; it is also a gastronomic delight. Indulge in traditional Austrian dishes, savor sweet treats, and dive into a world of international flavors. The culinary scene in Salzburg offers something for every palate, from hearty comfort food to gourmet dining experiences.


A day trip to the nearby lakes, such as Lake Wolfgang, Lake Fuschl, and Lake Mondsee, allows you to escape the city and immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of the Salzkammergut region. Surrounded by majestic mountains and picturesque villages, these lakes offer opportunities for boating, hiking, and simply basking in the serenity of nature.


As your time in Salzburg comes to an end, take one last stroll through the charming streets, soak in the beauty of the landscapes, and reflect on the memories made during your visit. Salzburg’s timeless beauty and cultural richness leave a lasting impression, ensuring that you’ll carry a piece of this enchanting city with you wherever you go.


Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature lover, a culture seeker, or simply in need of a peaceful getaway, Salzburg offers a diverse range of experiences that will leave you in awe. Discover the magic of this Austrian gem and create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.