What to Know Before You Visit Salzburg

Updated August 13, 2020.

Fun fact: I LOVE Salzburg! I mean, I thought we’d like it, which is why I put it on our short list of “must go” destinations, but I was pleasantly surprised at just how much we enjoyed our trip there. We had such a wonderful time, and before we even left I was making plans to go back as soon as possible! It is absolutely beautiful, there’s an amazing small town feel about it, and there is more than enough to fill up a weekend—I wish we could have stayed a full week! 

Currency and Terminology

Austria is on the Euro, making them an easy add-on to most other European countries who are also on the Euro.

Those hills are ALIVE!
More here: How to Plan Long-term Travel in Europe

They speak German, specifically a Bavarian dialect, so here are some German words that might come in handy. Most people speak at least a little English, and many speak English quite fluently, so you will get by just fine even if you don’t speak German.

Altstadt (“altsh-dot”): Old Town
Platz (“plots”: City Square; as in Mozartplatz means Mozart Square
Strasse (“strah-sah”): Street; as in, Schwartzstrasse means Schwartz Street
Danke (“donk-uh”): Thank you
Bitte (“bee-tuh”): Please, and also you’re welcome
Salzach (“Zalt-zock”): The name of the river running through town

Don’t skip a boat ride on the Salzach River!
Keep reading: 10 Things to Do in Salzburg

How to Get There

The first thing to know about any trip is how you’ll get there! Here are some options: 

  • Flying: Salzburg does have its own airport, but it’s quite small, and in fact we had a hard time finding reasonably priced flights and efficient flight times into its airport, so we found another way! 
  • By Rail: Thank goodness trains took off better and stayed on-trend more in Europe than in America! We flew non-stop from IAD (our home airport) to MUC (Munich International airport), then took the train from there. The train took us from the airport to Munich East Station (Munich Ost), and there we changed trains to one that terminated in Salzburg. Easy! We took the reverse route on the way back, and the journey took about 2.5 hours each way. You can also take trains from other European cities, of course!
  • Driving: You can definitely drive to Salzburg from within Europe! 
There’s also a pretty cool funicular to take you to the Hohensalzburg Fortress!
Keep reading: Top 10 Travel Hacks

The Salzburg Card

Get the Salzburg Card! I’m serious, it was an incredible money saver for us, and it gave us an excuse to see as much as possible, including some places we might not have walked into otherwise. Here’s the quick run-down of the card: 

  • Good for one entrance into ALL museums and attractions
  • Good for public transportation
  • Good for hours, not days
  • We paid €38 for 48 hours and would have spent €104.60 for the number of locations we visited, saving €66.60 (there are 24, 48, and 72 hour options available)
  • Easy and convenient to use! Don’t have to worry about whether places take cash or credit card
We were amazed at all the things that were included with the Salzburg Card! This photo is from the Salzburg Museum.
Money saving info! Your Guide to the Salzburg Card

Salzburg is on the Pricey Side 

Another reason to get the Salzburg Card is that I found Salzburg to be generally more expensive than other comparable European cities. There are plenty of FREE things to do in Salzburg, so take advantage of them to balance out the souvenirs or experiences you may want that cost money. 

Mirabell Palace and Gardens are FREE!
Read on: Top 10 Sound of Music Sites in Salzburg


Most of the things we wanted to do and see were close together, making this an easy pedestrian trip! Really the best way to see most European cities is on foot. In fact, there is an amazing walking, running, biking path on both sides of the River Salzach, so take advantage of that!

Don’t miss the gorgeous walking trails! The views are stunning from all angles!
Keep reading: The Ultimate Guide to Your Feet and Your Travels

Limited Hours in Winter

Unfortunately, many of the museums and attractions are only open limited hours or closed entirely in the winter. You might encounter some limited hours in fall and early spring as well, so just be aware of that for your planning purposes! If there is something you really want to do, do a little research in advance (as in, before you buy a plane ticket) to make sure it will be open and accessible!

Beautiful morning for a fall foliage run! I’m sure it’s much colder in winter!
Read on: Gear up for Winter Travel

I hope this helps you get ready for your own trip to Salzburg and Austria! Have you been to Salzburg? 

Love this post? Pin it for later!

Leave a Reply

Verified by ExactMetrics