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Luxury Travel Guide to Salzburg

Beautiful view of Salzburg skyline with Festung Hohensalzburg and Salzach river in summer Salzburg Salzburger Land Austria

As the home of both Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and The Sound of Music, Salzburg, Austria is an incredible destination for both amateur and experienced travellers. Although Salzburg has contributed a lot to film and music culture worldwide, this magnificent Austrian city has even more to offer.

With picturesque views of the Central Eastern Alps, Salzburg provides an opportunity for a scenic, relaxing, and luxurious getaway. With stunning Baroque architecture and an iconic medieval fortress, there’s a ton of culture to explore that will leave you with a rich understanding of the city.

Salzburg is a small city with a population of only 150,000, making it a peaceful place to travel to while getting a taste of local life. While often overlooked by travellers in Western Europe, this is definitely a city that warrants a visit.

We all deserve a bit of indulgence from time to time, so why not treat yourself to an extravagant stay in Salzburg? Follow this Salzburg travel guide to discover how you can make your experience there as luxurious as possible.

This guide is perfect for those who are travelling to Salzburg on a luxury. We will show you what to do in Salzburg, where to stay, what to eat and how to get around, whether it’s a weekend in Salzburg or a long term stay.

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The best time to visit Salzburg

While there’s never a bad time to visit Salzburg, certain seasons can make your trip extra special.

The festivities around Christmas and the New Year make winter the ideal time to visit. Salzburg becomes a snowy winter wonderland, and the infamous Christmas markets are always memorable.

Summer is also a popular time to visit because of the enjoyable warm weather. The renowned Salzburg Festival is held during the summertime, so book a trip during July or August to check out all of the music and drama events taking place. The shoulder months of May and September are also good if you want comfortable temperatures without the busy crowds.

SALBURG AUSTRIA - : Salzburg christmas market on December 25 in Salzburg Austria. Christmas in Europe.

How to get around Salzburg

Book your private airport arrival and departure transfers in advance using a site like Viator. Why not start and end your trip in comfort, with one less thing to worry about? A private, round-trip transfer also means skipping the long taxi lines. Be greeted upon arrival by your driver and met at your hotel lobby when it’s time to leave.

The public transport system is eco-friendly, clean and reliable. It can get you just about anywhere in the Salzburg city centre if you don’t feel like booking a taxi or are only travelling a short distance. The English-language app qando Salzburg makes the trolley buses easy to figure out by providing real-time schedule information.

Another mode of transport to remember is the Festungsbahn, a mountain cable car. If you wish to reach the Hohensalzburg Fortress on top of the Festungsberg mountain, a ride on the Festungsbahn takes only a minute.

Salzburg, Austria - A funicular railway car in its way to Hohensalzburg Fortress.The Festungsbahn is a funicular railway providing access to Hohensalzburg Fortress.

What to expect in Salzburg

Due to Salzburg’s close proximity to Germany, the Austro-Bavarian dialect of German is spoken throughout the city. However, the majority of the locals can speak English fluently, particularly the younger student population.

Like all of Austria, Salzburg uses the euro. Check before leaving any tips, since service charges are usually added to the final bill at restaurants. For excellent service, five to 10% is ideal to leave a waiter or waitress. Many hotels often include service charges as well, but you can tip porters one or two euro per bag, and cleaning staff one or two euro per night. While this is not necessary, it is always appreciated. It’s also common to round up the fare when catching a taxi.

Luxury things to do in Salzburg

You deserve for your time in Salzburg to be as pleasant and lavish as possible! Here are a few suggestions on things to do in Salzburg that’ll have you feeling both luxurious and well-cultured.

Take time out at the spa

Why not start your time in Salzburg with some relaxation and pampering? Your first option is Aqua Salza in Golling. Although it’s close to the city, the surrounding mountains create a dream-like spa setting. Leave the world behind with a soak in the pools or a steam in the sauna. There are beauty and wellness packages available too that’ll have you refreshed for your next few days of sightseeing.

Alternatively, you can head to Therme Bad Vigaun, a half an hour south of the city centre. The thermal spa waters here are full of minerals to restore your health. After soaking in the bubbling pools, you can take an aroma steam bath or wander the surrounding gardens.

Massage of woman in spa salon. Girl on candles background in massage spa salon. Free massage day in wellness center.

Attend a concert at Hohensalzburg Fortress

Throughout the year, numerous performances are held almost daily inside Hohensalzburg Fortress. During December, there are special Advent and Christmas concerts that run during both lunch and dinner. Built atop the Festungsberg hill in 1077, the Hohensalzburg Fortress is an iconic part of the city’s identity, and no trip to Salzburg is complete without a visit.

Sitting at an altitude of 506 metres, the fortress is one of the largest medieval castles in Europe. This history and grandeur add to the unique atmosphere of the castle concerts, ensuring an evening to remember.

The Mozart Chamber Orchestra of Salzburg and the Salzburg Mozart Ensemble commonly play inside the Golden Hall and the Burgsaal, typically following a three-course meal. For the deluxe VIP experience, you can book a seat on the restaurant’s scenic terrace. From this spot, you can take in the stunning mountainous views while sipping on a glass of sparkling wine.

Aerial panoramic view of the historic city of Salzburg with famous Hohensalzburg Fortress and fortification tower in beautiful golden evening light at sunset in fall Salzburger Land Austria

Experience the Christmas markets

One of the top things to do in Salzburg in winter is to visit the Christmas markets. The city’s many festive, historic markets throughout November and December draw in crowds for their romantic charm and joyful atmosphere. Even if you don’t intend on doing any shopping, the markets are ideal for drinking the famous mulled wine, meeting new people, and listening to the Christmas carollers.

Wondering which markets you should check out? The Christmas market in Cathedral Square is one of the oldest markets in the world, with its origins beginning all the way back in the 15th century. The current Christkindlmarkt has been running since 1974, and incorporates local folk customs, Krampus parades, and traditional tree decorations. Merry melodies can always be heard, from sing-along choirs to traditional wind music. While the market is most magical at nighttime, it’s always open by 10 in the morning.

Feel like visiting more than one market? Be sure to sample some goodies at the Weihnachtsmarkt by Mirabell Palace. This enchanting market offers winter tea, hot punch, gluhwein, roasted chestnuts, spiced biscuits, and numerous other Austrian holiday specialities.

You can also take a trip to the courtyard of Hohensalzburg Fortress. This Advent market specialises in arts and crafts, which could make some fantastic, unique gifts for your loved ones.

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - Christmas decoration for sale on advent market. Decorative miniature city houses. Austria, Salzburg

Visit the best museums

Salzburg has some superb museums and galleries that’ll entertain and educate you about the city’s history.

The Salzburg Museum at the Neue Residenz is the number one place to go, as it covers a wide variety of interests. The award-winning museum has many permanent exhibitions with interesting presentations. On the first floor, you can learn about the reigns of the city’s archbishops and their influence on art, science, literature and architecture. In the Mirror Hall on the second floor is a treasure chamber filled with archaeological artefacts from the Middle Ages.

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - Salzburg Christmas Museum or Salzburger Weihnachtsmuseum. Christmas Museum located in Mozartplatz square in the old part of Salzburg city, Austria.

Connected to the Salzburg Museum is the Panorama Passage, an underground path that’ll take you to the Panorama Museum. This spot has a fantastic 26-metre-wide painting of Salzburg by Johann Michael Sattler.

Next, pay a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site DomQuartier. This gorgeous Baroque complex is so much more than a museum. In fact, there are five museums in one. Start in the opulent state rooms of the Alte Residenz and wander through the Residenz Gallery. In the Cathedral Museum, view the organ loft and thousand-year-old art treasures. Make your way to Saint Peter’s Museum, featuring spiritual exhibitions inside the oldest German-speaking abbey. End the walking tour of DomQuartier with a viewing of the Rossacher Collection of Baroque art in the North Oratory.

Beautiful view of Residenzplatz with famous DomQuartier Salzburg and Dom zu Salzburg on background sunny day in Salzburg Salzburger Land Austria Europe

Lastly, you’ll want to see Mozart’s Birthplace. The Hagenauer Haus on Getreidegasse showcases 18th-century life through its authentic furnishings. A few of Mozart’s own instruments are on display too, including a violin and clavichord.

SALZBURG AUSTRIA - Birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on August 28 2012 in Salzburg Austria. Mozart is known to be one of the most brilliant composers of the Classical Era.

Go on a sleigh ride

Looking for unique and luxury things to do in Salzburg in winter? Hop on a private horse-drawn carriage from Salzburg and go on a journey through the charming, snow-covered countryside. Private transfers to and from your accommodation are provided, as well as a cosy blanket to keep you warm. After your sleigh ride is complete, you can visit a traditional local bar for a hot drink.

Salzburg, Austria - Central place in Salzburg city , Austria with carriages and horses at Salzburg, Austria

Luxury hotels to stay at in Salzburg

Wondering where to stay in Salzburg? With the city split in two by the Salzach River, there are fantastic hotel options on either side. If you want to be walking distance from Salzburg’s best sites, anywhere in the Old Town is perfect to stay. Here are two luxury hotels in Salzburg to consider when booking your accommodation.

Hotel Sacher is where you’ll want to stay for the ultimate luxury experience. As the oldest hotel in Salzburg, it offers timeless elegance with both antique and modern furnishings. With a variety of deluxe and presidential suites, you’ll have many spacious and elegant rooms to choose from. As a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, every amenity and comfort you can think of will be provided to you here. Centrally located by the Salzach River, you won’t need to go far to see Salzburg’s top attractions.

Hotel Schloss Monchstein is another incredible 5-star accommodation on the opposite side of the river. With only 24 rooms inside this castle atop the Mönchsberg hill, Hotel Schloss offers a level of peace and privacy. Upon arrival, you’ll receive a welcome drink, a fruit basket, and a traditional Gugelhupf cake. If you’re eager to be pampered during your trip, you’ll absolutely love the spa facilities. Book yourself any of the various beauty and wellness treatments provided, then relax in the hotel sauna.

ZELL AM SEE, AUSTRIA - The Grand Hotel Zell am See is situated in Zell am See old town and Zell Lake. It is the administrative capital in the state of Salzburg, Austria

Luxury eats in Salzburg

Treating yourself to an extravagant meal is the ultimate way to take your holiday to the next level. Luckily, there are numerous fine dining options in Salzburg that won’t disappoint.

The Glass Garden is easily one of the best Salzburg restaurants. With toque-awarded international cuisine and a tasting menu available for the indecisive eaters, you can’t go wrong here. Atop Mönchsberg at Hotel Schloss, the magnificent views over the city make this restaurant the spot to go for the best lunch in Salzburg. Don’t forget to leave room for some delicious macarons and mini cakes.

Magazin is a Michelin-starred restaurant with spacious, modern interiors and an extensive wine list. Its location a little west of the Old Town means you’ll find more locals here than tourists. With dishes like rhubarb lava cake, chestnut soup and octopus with pumpkin, the unique menu will have you curious to try as many new and interesting dishes as you can.

Restaurant Esszimmer is fantastic for any gluten-free, vegetarian or lactose intolerant eaters that don’t want to miss out on an evening of upscale dining. Their passion for great food shows through the inventive flavour combinations and ingredients, and the attentive, helpful service will make your meal a memorable one. The staff will recommend the perfect drink to accompany your meal of choice, whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic.

Salzburg, Austria- Patrons sit inside a restaurant enjoying lunch early in the afternoon

Luxury tours to do in Salzburg

One of the most memorable adventures to go on in the Salzburg area is a private tour of the ice caves and salt mines. Combine three natural wonders in one nine-hour tour that includes a private travel guide, private transportation and hotel pickup for you and your travel companions.

Eisriesenwelt in the Hochkogel Mountain of the Alps is guaranteed to take your breath away. At over 42 kilometres, it’s the largest limestone and ice cave in the world and receives over 200,000 tourists per year. After the ice cave, you’ll head to the picturesque Golling Waterfall. Lastly, you’ll visit Hallein Salt Mine, the oldest underground salt mine in the world. Used by Celtic tribes over 7,000 years ago, the salt mine helped put the Salzburg area on the map and grow its economy.

Waterfall with mossy rocks in Golling, Austria

Another unmissable tour is the Original Sound of Music Private Tour. Hop in your exclusive Mercedes-Benz E 220 or VW luxury minibus and pass by all the iconic filming locations. You’ll visit Mirabell Gardens, Nonnberg Abbey, and the wedding church in Mondsee, all while hearing the insider goss from your attentive Salzburg tour guide. You’ll also get a chance to see the stunning rivers and lakes of Salzkammergut in person. If you wish to keep the experience going, you can upgrade to a one-hour apple strudel cooking class.

Classic view of famous Mirabell Gardens with the old historic Fortress Hohensalzburg in the background on a beautiful sunny day with blue sky and clouds in summer in Salzburg Austria

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Luxury Travel Guide to Salzburg

Luxury Travel Guide to Salzburg

Luxury Travel Guide to Salzburg

Article written by:

Hi, my name is Samantha, Finance Managing Guru by day, Travel Blogging Enthusiast by... well... day too! Haha! Travelling King is the destination hotspot for the wannabe traveller! Showcasing affordable, luxurious getaways for the budget conscious!With the combination of my financial knowledge and travelling experiences I aim to show you, with a little planning, the right budget and a realistic goal you can fulfil your travel fantasies and explore the world whatever your budget or desires may be!