salzburg in a day

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If you’re in a rush, seeing Salzburg in a day is just enough time to pack in this marvelous baroque city. Renowned for its architecture, it is one of the most well-preserved city centers north of the Alps. On the lookout for some budget travel tips for Salzburg, look no further! A lot of the places listed below are walkable and free! If not, they are likely covered under the Salzburg Card! There’s even some self-guided The Sound of Music tours in Salzburg tips below!

salzburg in a day

Vienna to Salzburg Train Ride

After finishing up in Austria’s capital, I took a Vienna to Salzburg direct train. It was super easy to hop on the train near my hotel in Vienna and be dropped off at the Salzburg station. It takes about 2.5 hours for the trip from Vienna to Salzburg by train. I booked this trip through Flixbus, which was how I booked my transportation from city to city on this trip. We left out of the Vienna Quartier Belvedere as it was nearest our hotel at 8:05 am. Arriving at Salzburg’s main station at 10:38 am. It was just over $20 per ticket, making it a super affordable and fast way of getting from Vienna to Salzburg by train.

What To Do Next in Salzburg Austria

After we arrived at Salzburg’s main station we went and picked up our Salzburg Card. The Salzburg Card is an excellent tourist pass as it covers public transport and all of Salzburg’s tourist attractions and museums, such as Hohensalzburg Fortress and Hellbrunn Palace & Trick Fountains. It was also super affordable. Sometimes tourist passes are more expensive than you would spend without them. Not with the Salzburg Card. It was wonderful to use it to get to the train station, to our hotel, and around Salzburg.

Though I have to admit. I was in such a rush to get to our hotel I didn’t realize we could have taken public transport from the main train station to the hotel. So we wound up taking a taxi. Not the end of the world, but could have saved some dough (sorry Mom)!

salzburg in a day

Settling in for Your Day in Salzburg

Once you arrive at your hotel and settle in, it’s time for the fun of your one day in Salzburg to begin! As a note, we stayed at the Hotel Heffterhof. It was an excellent hotel! Affordable and clean, though not in the main hub of Salzburg. Hotels in the city center are more expensive, so we chose to stay a bit outside of town. However, the public transport bus literally has a stop across from this hotel, making it SUPER easy to get into town. We even had a balcony with a gorgeous view! I highly recommend staying here!

Address: Maria Cebotari Straße 1-7 5020 Salzburg, Austria

Bus Stop: Maria-Cebotari-Straße Stop on Bus 6 Green

Things To Do in Salzburg

When heading into the central part of Salzburg, it’s great to start with Getreidegasse. Getreidegasse is a busy shopping street in the historic Altstadt section of Salzburg, Austria. It’s been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. The narrow streets are lined with tall townhouses side by side with wrought iron signs outside of these adorable shops. These signs were designed when most shoppers couldn’t read, so they depict what the store is.

I stopped by Sporer Schnapps because of Rick Steve’s video above. It’s a small shop that offers liqueurs, brandies, and schnapps. But let me tell you. This is no American type schnapps. This stuff is STRONG! Both my Mother and I were shocked by the strong taste. If you’re not into trying different liquors, then you may want to pass on this one. Or just watch the faces of people like me try to attempt to drink it. And then make friends as we did!

Salzburg Christmas Museum

We visited the Salzburg Christmas Museum, which is covered under the Salzburg Card. It was a cute museum located within a larger complex. Though it is a Christmas Museum, you can visit throughout the year and even see several Krampuses!

“What makes the exhibition extra special is that each of these works and unique items is of cultural and historical significance, and was collected by Ursula Kloiber during a period of almost 40 years.” –

The Sound of Music Tours Salzburg

The Sound of Music Tours in Salzburg

Now onto why a good amount of people visit Salzburg every year…The Sound of Music! While I didn’t go on one of the official Sound of Music tours in Salzburg, I did get to see a number of the filming locations. While the interiors were mostly shot on the FOX soundstage in Los Angeles.

The exteriors were shot on location in Salzburg. If you’ve listened to Julie Andrew’s new book Home Work you’ll hear a lot about the process of making this musical film! It wasn’t easy! Here’s a shortlist of the places you can see for free or with the Salzburg card that were filming locations for The Sound of Music.