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Best attractions in Salzburg: Top 26

Our review tells about what every tourist should see in Salzburg. In compiling our “top attractions in Salzburg” rating, we took into account reviews and recommendations from experienced guides and Austrians themselves. We hope that with our help you will have the best trip of your life.

What’s the first thing to see in Salzburg?

It is impossible to list all the interesting places in Salzburg in one review. Therefore, we have selected for you only the most popular and visited excursions in Salzburg. With them your trip to the hospitable Austrian city will be informative and fulfilling:

1. Residenzplatz

Residenzplatz Square with its delightful baroque fountain in Salzburg Rafa Esteve

Many guides in Salzburg advise to start the acquaintance with the city from its main square. There is a marble fountain in the Baroque style, 15 meters high, old burger cottages, the Archbishop’s Palace, the Cathedral and many other architectural masterpieces.

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2. Capitelplatz

The monument to confectioner Paul Fürst and the great chessmen at Capitelplatz in Salzburg

Another square whose valuable decoration is the sculpture of P. Fürst, the creator of the Mozartkugel candies. An extensive area is located near the walls of the Salzburg fortress. The Baroque mansions house the residences of the city’s clergy. If you are interested in the ancient and modern architecture of Salzburg, you should come here.

3. Hohensalzburg

A great view of Salzburg with Hohensalzburg Fortress against the background of the picturesque Alps
The massive stone walls and towers of Hohensalzburg Fortress on top of Mönchsberg

The object, created for defensive purposes and never taken in all its years of existence, is considered a trademark of the city, and is included in all lists of “main attractions of Austria“. It can be reached by cable car. The date of construction is the 11th century. At the moment it is the largest medieval fortress in Europe, which managed to survive in its entirety. Inside Hohensalzburg is a museum complex, the exhibition samples are uniforms, weapons and historical items that belonged to the archbishops. Climbing to the upper level of the building, you can see panoramas of the entire city.

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4. The Mirabel Palace & Gardens

The palace and magnificent baroque sculpted garden in the Austrian city of Salzburg

Salzburg’s most beautiful and romantic landmarks from the 17th century. The palace and park complex is made in the Baroque style. On its territory you can hold a wedding ceremony, renting, for example, a grand archbishop’s hall. Even the best hotels in Salzburg can not offer such luxury and grandeur, which distinguishes the interiors of the Mirabel Palace.

5. Leopoldskron Palace

Leopoldskron Palace on the shore of the pond with Hohensalzburg Fortress in the background in Salzburg

A chic lakeside palace, built in rococo style in the early 18th century. The castle was owned by many people, including M. Reinhardt (one of Austria’s most famous theater directors). It was he who gave the building the appearance in which the building stays today. Inside Leopoldskrona there is a museum, where among other masterpieces and valuables are the ancient paintings of Rensi. Keep in mind that this palace is privately owned, so getting inside won’t be easy. One option is to book a room at a local hotel. Guests are invited to explore literally every room and hall, including the ancient library and the picturesque ballroom. The grounds surrounding the castle are just as delightful: picturesque hedges, beautiful fountains and ancient marble vases, landscaped lawns and a lovely lake.

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Be sure to watch this beautiful video about Salzburg!

6. Helbrunn Palace

The unicorn statue on the grounds of the 17th century Helbrunn country summer palace in Salzburg
Hidden sweat fountains in stone chairs around a table at Helbrunn Palace Matilda

The date of construction is the 17th century. The facility has managed to survive to our times with little or no change in its original appearance. Inside, on the ceilings and walls you can see frescoes by A. Mascagni. Of great interest is the music room - an octagonal room with a dome. When visiting the site, you should walk through the adjoining territory with its elegant sculptures, decorative figures, benches, illuminated fountains, pavilions and ponds. If you don’t know what to visit in Salzburg in 1 day, but want to enjoy both local nature and architecture, come here.

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7. Klessheim Palace

Klessheim Palace, surrounded by a picturesque English-style park Emanuelsbg

When describing the best sights in Salzburg, we should not forget the former residence of the archbishop. In the 20th century, the building was used by Hitler for official receptions. Among other guests, B. Mussolini, one of the Fuhrer’s closest associates. Currently there is a casino in the palace, as well as a restaurant of European cuisine. The building itself is surrounded by golf courses and an English classical park.

8. Salzburg Cathedral

View of Salzburg Cathedral from Festungsgasse in Salzburg Mattana

A magnificent architectural masterpiece from the 17th century, considered one of the most beautiful and famous cathedrals in Europe. The Baroque building is about 80 meters high. Inside the spacious halls can accommodate 10,000 parishioners at a time. There is a museum attached to the cathedral. The interior decoration is represented by five organs and 11 altars, crucifixes and Florentine frescoes. The real pride is the font of the 14th century, made of bronze. In the middle of the 18th century, Mozart was baptized in it. The temple, with its marble facade and many bells, includes several symmetrical towers.

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9. Franciscan Church

View of the Franciscan Church in Salzburg © 1971markus

One of the oldest churches in the city, built in the 8th century. The church has been rebuilt more than once, so its present facade and interior decorations are in different styles of architecture. Thus, there are elements of Baroque.

10. Kollegienkirche

The Collegienkirche Church is the main chapel at the University of Salzburg in the center of the Old Town

The late 17th-century building is located in the central part of the city, at the local university. The church was created in the direction of Baroque. The facade is decorated with original figural moldings.

11. Nonnberg Abbey

Church on the grounds of Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg Manfred Werner - Tsui

The oldest women’s monastery of the 8th century, founded by St. Rupert. Until the 15th century only nuns of the nobility were accepted here. The abbey was very powerful and wealthy. As part of the modern complex there are several buildings of the 13th-19th centuries. The basilica (the main building) is richly decorated with sculptures, ornaments and frescoes. Guests of the abbey are invited to visit the museum (displays include crucifixes, medieval manuscripts, paintings), and the local chapel.

12. St. Peter’s Abbey

Saint Peter's Abbey is a complex of 17th- and 18th-century buildings in Salzburg Andreas Praefcke
Late Baroque interior of St. Peter's Church in St. Peter's Abbey in Salzburg H.Helmlechner

An ancient European monastery inhabited by hermit Christians. In the 7th and 8th centuries this still active monastery was founded at the behest of St. Rupert. The complex includes a cathedral, a wine cellar, a bakery, the Chapel of St. Margaret, a cemetery and catacombs. It should be noted that the buildings have been well preserved, thanks to the large-scale restoration in the 18th century. For tourists is open only a small part of the square: the temple, the ceilings of which are decorated with air paintings, and the ancient cemetery. Inside the cathedral is a marble statue of the Madonna and an altar with the remains of Bishop Rupert.

13. St. Peter’s Cemetery

The old monastic cemetery next to St. Peter's Abbey in downtown Salzburg © 1971markus

The complex is located in the historic part of the city and is considered its most valuable heritage. According to historians, it was arranged as early as the first century AD. Some of the graves date back to the 12th century. There are burials of many of the most famous Austrians in the area.

14. The residences of the Archbishop

The Picture Gallery in the Old Archbishop's Residence at Residenzplatz Andrew Bossi
The New Archbishop's Residence or Palazzo Nuovo on the city's Residenzplatz

The New and Old Residences were built in the 17th century and 12th century respectively. The latter building was rebuilt several times. In the 15th century it was completely restored, thanks to D. Reitenau. The New Residence now houses the Sattler Museum.

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15. Mozart’s Birth House

Salzburg, Getreidegasse, No. 9, where Mozart was born Snotty

For more than 25 years (1747 - 1773), Mozart and his family lived in a modest apartment in this building. Here the future genius was born. Nowadays there is a museum with family letters, clavichords, violins and other things that once belonged to the great composer. The second level of the house is devoted to the theater: on the stage are given opera productions of the genius.

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16. Mozart House

The Mozart family home on Makartplatz in Salzburg Andrew Bossi

The Mozart family lived in one of the apartments in this building with the great composer himself until 1780. It was here that the genius composed many of his most famous works. The museum’s relatively small exhibits include interior items, musical instruments, and even Mozart’s personal belongings.

17. Museum of Modern Art

A Giacometti-style puppet in a performance of "Pictures at an Exhibition" at the Museum of Modern Art Petrovsky
Exhibits at the Museum of Modern Art in Salzburg Heather Cowper

Where to go in Salzburg for connoisseurs of art, graphics and paintings? To this huge cultural and historical center, with more than three thousand square feet. The objects on display introduce you to the creations of the best artists of our time.

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18. Landestheater Salzburg

Landestheater is the main theater stage of the Federal State of Salzburg H.Helmlechner

The date of construction of the first building of the theater is the 18th century, the current mansion was erected in the 20th century. The first performance of the Landestheater was Schmidt’s The Grace of Princes.

19. The Mozarteum concert complex

Facade of the Mozarteum Concert Complex in Salzburg Andreas Praefcke

The complex includes a concert hall and the Mozart Conservatory. The date of creation of the center is the end of the 19th century. Initially the facility was an international foundation established to support young musicians. After a while a music school began to work here. The status of conservatory was awarded to the landmark in 1924. Students are trained in music theory, trained as conductors, and learn to play all sorts of instruments.

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20. Puppet Theater

The Salzburg Marionette Theater building in the former Mirabel Hotel Popmuseum
Puppet musicians at the Puppet Theatre in Salzburg Flo Sorg

The opening date of Europe’s oldest marionette theater is 1913. Your walk around Salzburg will not only be educational, but also truly memorable if you buy a ticket to this theater. You can see operetta, drama, ballet or opera.

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Salzburg sights: what else is there to see in Salzburg?

We have told you about the main attractions of Salzburg briefly. If you have already seen them once, pay attention to such architectural and cultural objects of the city as:

21. The Hangar-7 Red Bull

The exhibit at the Red Bull exhibition hall "Hangar-7" in Salzburg Morio

Not all museums in Salzburg have such a huge area as this 40-meter-high exhibition hall with a glass dome. The exhibits in the hangar are working sports and recreational airplanes, among which there are some unique specimens.

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22. Götreidegasse street

The famous "street with signs" in the Old Town of Salzburg Trishhhh

An ancient street located in the central part of Old Salzburg. In addition to the building in which Mozart appeared on the bill, there are restaurants and cafes, boutiques and souvenir shops. Visitors and city residents love this place for its colorful Austrian atmosphere.

23. Europark

The modern shopping center Europark in the Austrian city of Salzburg in the Tackham district Eweht

The top floor of Europark, a European-class shopping center in Salzburg Eweht_.

A huge shopping center with numerous cafes and over a hundred stores. It sells mass-market items as well as expensive designer items. The mall hosts concerts and all kinds of festivals for children and adults.

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24. House of the nature

Interactive Science and Natural History Museum on Salzburg's Museum Square Ich
The permanent exhibition "Man and the Human Body" at the Nature House Salzburg
Planets in the Cosmos Hall of the Nature House Salzburg Jiří Sedláček

If you want to see with your own eyes “real” dinosaurs or walk through the human body, learn more about the history of the world, Austrian flora and fauna, come to this museum and entertainment complex. The House of Nature is 2 buildings with three dozen exhibition halls and its own science center. The best option for what to visit in Salzburg with the kids.

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25. Salzburg Zoo

Snow leopards at Salzburg Zoo Manfred Werner - Tsui
White rhinos at Salzburg Zoo papa1234

For the “inhabitants” of the zoo created living conditions, as close as possible to their natural habitat. The area is divided into sections such as forest, steppe, savannah, etc. Visiting the zoo will be interesting for the whole family.

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26. Capuchinerberg Hill

Capucinerberg Hill is a place for walking and relaxing in nature on the east bank of the Salzach River

In earlier years, the hill was part of the city’s defensive system. However, at the end of the 16th century it was decided to build the Reitenau temple on it. Today locals and tourists love to stroll along the Kapuzinerberg. The territory of the mountain is landscaped: laid hiking trails, there are places to rest. From the top you can look at the Alpine spurs, valleys and panoramas of Salzburg.

When you come to the city, personally visit all those Salzburg attractions, photos with names and descriptions of which we have given. And also read about the best sights of Graz and get inspired for your further journey around Austria.

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