We visited Salzburg, Austria during our three weeks in Europe with our moms this September. Salzburg is a really cute town and so far, it’s my favourite place in Austria (sorry, Vienna!). I love a picturesque old town, mountain views and a scenic river, all of which you’ll find in Salzburg. For the best views in Salzburg, check out my top 8 list below!
Before we jump into the views, here’s a briefing on Salzburg: The city is located in the north of Austria, west of Vienna, and right on the border with Germany. Salzburg is most well-known for being the birthplace of Mozart, the filming location for The Sound of Music, and one of the most adorable cities in all of Europe. We chose to visit Salzburg during our moms trip because it was a great stop between Prague and Italy (about six hours on the train in either direction). And even though it was only meant to be a quick stopover, I really loved our time there and the gorgeous views in Salzburg!
Across the Salzach River
Like any adorable European town, Salzburg is split in the middle by a river, the Salzach. One of the best views in Salzburg is had when you’re crossing over the river. You’ll see the Old Town on one side and mountains in the distance, with trees and churches lining the river. While we were there, a marathon was happening so some of our river views were obstructed. But it was fun to help cheer on the runners (and to try our best not to get in their way!).
Of course, it’s not a cute European city without an Old Town. Salzburg’s Old Town is so cute it’s been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walk along the beautiful shopping street Getreidegasse and admire the ornate signs. Stop by Mozart’s birthplace, check out his statue in Mozart Square and try his namesake, the mozartkrugel, at Cafe Furst. Take in the views of the Salzburg Cathedral and enjoy wandering this cute part of Salzburg.
Leopoldskron Palace was one of the first stops we made during our Sound of Music Bus Tour. Yes, we went on a Sound of Music Bus Tour and you better believe there was a sing-a-long and selfies with the yodelling goat. But even if you’re not a Sound of Music fan, this palace is one of the great views in Salzburg.
If you are a Sound of Music fan, you might recognize this palace as part of the exterior shots of the Von Trapp house (they actually used two houses in the movie, so no worries if you don’t recognize it). It’s also the lake you see in the movie when Maria and the children go out on a boat and capsize.
Salzburg Lake District Area
While technically just outside of Salzburg, the Lake District is really not to be missed. Every glance outside the window is another gorgeous snapshot. But the best views in Salzburg Lake District might have to be overlooking St. Gilgen and Lake Wolfgang.
For Sound of Music fans, this is also where the picnic scene and some scenic shots for the movie took place!
Yes, it’s another Sound of Music location but it’s also a very cute small town! Mondsee’s claim to fame is that their church, Basilika St. Michael, was used for filming the wedding of Maria and Baron Georg Von Trapp. The real life Maria and Georg were married in her convent in Salzburg, but the convent didn’t allow filming. So the crew found the church in Mondsee and decided to set the movie wedding there. The church itself is quite beautiful but the whole town is really cute too. If you’re in the area visiting the Lake District, it’s definitely worth a stop.
Mirabell Palace & Gardens
Back in Salzburg proper, you will definitely want to make a stop at Mirabell Palace and Gardens. While technically a Sound of Music filming location (where isn’t in Salzburg?) it’s also just a really beautiful spot. Check out the Pegasus Fountain (that the Von Trapp children marched around) and the funny looking gnome statues. For one of the best views of Salzburg, head to the staircase (where Maria and the children sang Do Re Mi) for a fantastic shot of the palace, the gardens and the fortress in the background.
We didn’t spend nearly enough time at Mirabell, but from a quick glance, the gardens looked really beautiful. You can also go inside certain rooms in the palace (check opening times on their website) and I believe it’s free of charge.
With lots of beautiful mountains around and a cute town below, one of the best views in Salzburg is had on a rooftop. There are quite a few rooftop restaurants and bars to choose from; we went with IMLAUER Sky Bar & Restaurant. Unfortunately, the sun was a little too strong for us to sit on the outdoor deck, but we took a quick snap of the view and still enjoyed our meal from inside.
I’ve saved the best for last! My absolutely favourite views in Salzburg were all from the Hohensalzburg Fortress. This impressive structure is located just above the Old Town and accessed by a hike up or a very quick cable car ride.
Once you arrive at the top, your ticket should grant you entry to a number of different buildings. The main building has an audio guide that takes you through the history of the fortress. Once you reach the top of the building, there are some very impressive views from the roof! There’s also a building set up like a museum with lots of relics, statues, weapons, and even a marionette puppet display!
Be sure to walk around the entire area and take in views from all sides. Out one side (to the right when you exit the cable car), you’ll be able to see beautiful mountain and valley views. And to the other side, you’ll get the best views over the city of Salzburg. To really enjoy the views, sit down at the restaurant and enjoy a drink while the sun sets.
More views in Salzburg?
Looking for even more views in Salzburg? Great, because Salzburg and the surrounding area are lousy with them. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to any of these places on this trip but I hope we can go back soon to see more of beautiful Salzburg.
Hellbrunn Palace to the south of Salzburg looks really stunning. You could also take in more views of the city during a river cruise on the Salzach. If you’re heading just outside of Salzburg, some beautiful sights include Eagle’s Nest, King’s Lake, Koningssee and (the one at the top of my bucket list) Hallstatt.
I’m a sucker for a beautiful view and Salzburg sure was full of them. I can’t wait to explore more of Austria, which I’m starting to realize has some of the best views in all of Europe.
Are you sold on Salzburg yet? Which view are you most excited to see?
Share the best views in Salzburg – Pin it!