How to Spend 48 Hours in Salzburg
So you have 48 hours in Salzburg? That’s plenty to enjoy in this beautiful city with its rich history and breathtaking surroundings.
Salzburg is one of the most picturesque cities in Austria, and is a must visit! Known as Mozart’s birthplace and the location of the classic film, ‘The Sound of Music’, it’s a small city brimming with culture. But it’s so much more than that: Salzburg is perfectly situated for lots of outdoor activities for the nature lovers. Nestled in the Alps, it retains the charm of an historical small town with its friendly atmosphere and local treasures. So check out our guide on how to spend 48 hours in Salzburg!
A Bit of History
Surrounded by three mountains, Salzburg is situated on the River Salzach. It has a Medieval town on the river bank, while the rest of the town dates back to the 18th century. Salzburg, literally meaning, ‘salt fortress’ was once a prominent Roman settlement for salt mining. Due to its location and resources, the city became wealthy and was an independent state for a few hundred years between Bavarian and Austrian rule. Excitingly, Salzburg retains a lot of charm through its UNESCO listing and many of the historic buildings are still enjoyed.
Day 1 – Explore the Medieval Old Town
The first 24 hours in Salzburg will require a little leg work, but you’re in Austria after all! Salzburg is beautiful from a view, so head to the 900 year old Hohensalzburg Fortress and Bastion for the best views of the city! From here, you can see the Domkirche (the dome is 71 m tall), the palaces, and the Mozartsteg.
If you’re visiting during the annual Salzburg Festival in summer, Musical and cultural events take place on the castle grounds, but concerts are often performed here throughout the year.
Mozart’s Birthplace & Alt Stadt
Head to Mozartplatz in the heart of the old town to see a statue of the city’s most famous resident. For Mozart fans you can visit his childhood home, the Mozart Geburtshaus. The museum has lots of memorabilia including instruments he played as a child.
Don’t miss taking a stroll down Goldgasse – the fanciest shopping street in Salzburg, full of desirable boutiques. For something sweet, try the famous local Salzburger nockerl cake – it’s made to look like the three mountain peaks surrounding Salzburg and is sold all over town.
Finish off your day with a local aperitif. There are a variety of fruit schnapps and aromatic blended herb liquors you can try. For dinner, check out Europe’s oldest restaurant, St Peter Stiftskeller – it dates back to 803 AD! The signature dish is the tafelspitz and this restaurant has had a lot of time to perfect it!
Day 2 – Enjoy the Surrounding Nature
Salzburg is surrounded by incredible nature, so you can’t help but want to explore further! In winter you can go skiing, in the summer you can enjoy a hike. And from May until October, you can visit the famous ice caves. If you want to do something more local then check out the oldest brewery in town.
Salzburg’s Ice Caves
If you come at the right time, and have the time then you must check out the stunning ice caves. They’re filled with thousands of ice sculptures, forming an underground labyrinth. The caves are the largest in the world and the pathways through are almost 30 miles long. They’re located near the village of Werfen and are open from May to October. They’re deep underground and very cold – even in summer – so dress warm!
Hiking or Swimming
If you’re here in summer, you’ll need to spend some time in the nature! Take a bus and visit one of the many hiking trails around Salzburg. Or if you’d rather spend your time on the water, there’s lots of great lakes and canals to cool off in. If you want to spend a day at a glacier-fed lake, we recommend Fuschlsee which is about a 30min bus ride outside the city. But if you want to keep it local, head to the Almkanal a short bike ride outside the city.
After a day of nature, head to the Stiegl-Brauwelt brewery to enjoy the history and the beer! At 525 years old, it’s the oldest in town and has a lovely beer tower you can climb. There are daily tastings at 3pm, and a cinematic experience to learn all about the beer making process. Until recently, the brewery delivered all the beers around town by horse!
Where to Stay in Salzburg
If you’re visiting Salzburg book your bed at the much loved and fun Yoho International Youth Hostel. Located in the centre of town, they offer a late night bar and modern spacious rooms!
How to Spend 48 Hours in Salzburg
Salzburg is a great destination no matter the time of year, and we’re sure you’ll love every moment here. We hope our tips on How to Spend 48 Hours in Salzburg will help you plan the perfect itinerary, and if you’re looking for more information, we have it! Click Hier for a range of helpful tips, city guides, food guides, and more. For all the latest news at Famous Hostels, follow us or subscribe on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Youtube.