Length of stay
I could stay a couple of days in Salzburg as it`s one of my favorite cities, but lots of people will tell you a couple of hours or a day is enough to see Salzburg. I think it depends if you want to just wander around the city or visit museums and attractions.
Salzburg Airport or W.A. Mozart Airport is the second largest airport in Austria and located only 2 miles (3 km) from the city center.
Alternative: take the train from Vienna like I did. It takes you about 3 hours or 2 h 40 min by RailJet.
Austrian Airlines is the official airline of Austria. Lots of carriers fly into Salzburg, such as Germanwings, Ryanair, British Airways, Lufthansa,…
Ways to get to the city center
From the airport, you can take the Salzburg trolleybus lines 2, 8 and 27 into the center. The main train station is about 20 minutes from the airport. (For more info)
From the station, you can take a bus or even walk. It`s only 10 minutes` walk from the train station to the Mirabell Garten.
I stayed at Hotel am Mirabell Platz, which is opposite my favorite spot in Salzburg, the Mirabellgarten. It has a good location, as you`re close to the garden and the old city center, the Altstadt. The rooms were clean and comfortable. The staff at the reception friendly and helpful.
For more hotels in Salzburg.
Let`s start with my favorite spot: the Mirabellgarten with the Mirabell Palace. I just love walking around here, sitting on a bench soaking up the sun and people watch.
The Altstadt, or the old part of the city, is a cozy city center where you can wander through the narrow streets, find hidden squares, look at the many boutiques and enjoy a beer on a terrace or in one of the beer gardens.
If you want to have a great view over the city, go up the Fortress Hohensalzburg. It`s a quick ride up the funicular and you can walk around in the Fortress. If you have a Salzburg Card, entrance is free. (The Salzburg Card is only of interest if you stay a few days in Salzburg and are going to visit multiple attractions.)
There`s plenty more to see, like the Salzburg Cathedral, Mozart museum and so much more, it depends what your interests are.
There are lots of upscale boutiques, international designers and jewelers in the Altstadt. Make sure to walk the Getreidegasse, if only to window shop (this is the expensive street!) and look up to see all the old shop signs. For more affordable shopping, go to Linzergasse in the Neustadt (the new part of the city).
Salzburg is an expensive city, but you can find some cheap solutions, like buying your picnic at a supermarket (Billa is an example) and sit in the garden. Have a meal in one of the many beer gardens. I checked out the “Schmankerlgang” or delicatessen arcade at Augustiner Bräu Mülln, it`s a popular meeting place with a lovely beer garden, Austria`s largest I`ve heard. You can pick your food at the different food stalls and their freshly brewed beer directly from wooden barrels.
There are lots of restaurants in the inner city, so it depends what you`re in the mood for and what your budget is.
Go for a piece of cake at Tomaselli, one of my top 5 places around the world to go for Pastries and Desserts.