Situated near the border with Germany, the city of Salzburg in Austria is a colorful mix of history, unique architecture, vibrant culture, and art. Did I mention it’s surrounded by stunning scenery that includes the Salzach River, sprawling plains, and views of the Eastern Alps?
Visitors to this European city enjoy access to many attractions. Museums, concert halls, cathedrals, world-class restaurants, parks, and historical monuments are just some of the places you can visit.
Salzburg is of particular interest to fans of the movie The Sound of Music; the famed musical was set in the city. Mozart was also born in Salzburg, and many attractions are dedicated to his legacy.
The city is known for several annual festivals, including The Salzburg Festival, The Salzburg Easter Festival, and the Electric Love Festival.
Below are 15 of the best tours in Salzburg.
1. Private Tour to Werfen to Visit the World’s Largest Ice Caves
Spend the first hour of this six-hour tour in the comfort of a luxury minivan as you drive through the Salzach Valley and a section of the Alps.
Along the way, take in spectacular sites such as Hohenwerfen Castle. Upon arrival, you will need to walk for about 20 minutes before hopping on a cable car where you will enjoy mountainous views on your way up to The Werfen Ice Caves.
The caves themselves are one of the world’s natural wonders. Go underground into the center of Hochkogel Mountain with a local tour guide and admire the vast caverns and natural ice structures.
Next, you will travel onto Golling, where you will see the Gothic church of St. Nikolaus and visit the stunning 75-foot tall Golling Waterfalls.
2. Take a Horse-Drawn Sleigh Ride Tour from Salzburg
Winter is a beautiful time to travel to Central Europe, and what better way to experience it than with a horse-drawn sleigh ride?
This eight-hour tour leaves Salzburg and passes through the beautiful landscape of the Styria Valley on the way to Ramsau and Dachstein.
Along the way, you will pass through popular ski areas and scenic landscapes consisting of snow-capped mountains, deep valleys, and sprawling plains.
Stop in the former mining town of Schladming and take a walk through the quaint little town before settling down for lunch at one of the local eateries before heading back to the city.
3. Explore Berchtesgaden and Konigssee From Salzburg
Depart Salzburg and venture into nearby Germany to explore a scenic area of Bavaria.
Along the way, you will pass Hellbrunn Palace and the salt mines before reaching Berchtesgaden National Park. Here, you’ll stop to take in the splendor of the Bavarian Mountains and the King’s Lake, which is said to be the prettiest lake in Germany.
Next on this four-hour tour, you will visit the foothill city of Berchtesgaden. Use the allotted free time to wander the charming city streets filled with historical buildings.
4. Highlights of Salzburg and Surrounding Areas
Join your local guide and start this five-hour tour right in Salzburg with an in-depth dive into the history and culture of the city.
See iconic attractions such as the home where Mozart once lived, Mirabell Palace, the Staatsbrücke bridge, Leopoldskron Palace, and the Old Town district.
On the way out of the city, you will stop at the Salzburg Basin before heading into the countryside.
At Fuschlsee Lake, get a good view of Fuschl Palace before arriving in St. Wolfgang, where you will board a boat to St. Gilgen, Mozart’s mother’s birthplace.
5. A Concert and Dinner at Hohensalzburg Fortress
The comfortable atmosphere of this 900-year-old structure and the stunning views of Salzburg are just the beginning of your extraordinary 3.5 hour-long evening at Hohensalzburg Fortress.
Start with a three-course dinner in Panorama Restaurant, followed by a concert featuring the classical music of Mozart.
Before ending the night, take a ride on the fortress cable car and take in the views of the city under the night sky
6. Explore the Lake District
Meet your local guide at your hotel and start this eight-hour tour with a short but comprehensive walking tour of Salzburg.
See many of the city’s highlights and learn about its colorful past and vibrant present. Enjoy a delicious lunch before heading out into the countryside.
Once in the Lake District, you will visit Lake Fuschl, St. Gilgen, and the town of Mondsee, and see some of the most beautiful scenery in the region.
Once you are back in the city, and before being dropped off at your hotel, you will make a stop at Mirabell Park.
7. The Original Sound of Music Tour
During this four-hour tour of Salzburg and its surrounding areas, you will visit many iconic sites with a focus on locations that were featured in the celebrated film The Sound of Music.
You will admire beautiful views and hear songs from the original movie soundtrack while your well-informed local guide points out notable landmarks. Leopoldskron Palace, Nonnberg Abbey, Lake Fuschl, Mondsee Cathedral, and Mirabell Gardens are just some of the places you will see that were featured in the film.
8. Take a Guided Tour of Salzkammergut and Hallstatt
During this 5.5-hour tour, you will pass through the Lake District and renowned resort area of Salzkammergut.
Along the way, you will see Lake Fuschl, St. Gilgen, Lake Wolfgang, and stunning mountain scenes. Pass through enchanting villages, such as Bad Isch and Bad Goisern, before arriving in Hallstatt, which is said to be one of the most picturesque villages in the world.
Your guide will take you on a walking tour of Hallstatt and tell you about the history of this little village before allowing you some free time to explore at your own pace. During this time, you can visit the Ossuary – home to 1000 painted human skulls – or take a trail ride to the oldest salt mine in the world.
On the way back to Salzburg, you will take a different route through Gosau and Abtenau, where you will be able to enjoy views of the Dachstein Mountain Range.
9. Salzburg Ghost Tour
Salzburg has a dark side with spooky legends and terrifying events that are highlighted on this 90-minute walking tour through legendary city streets.
Learn about the work of local executioners and torturers and the alleged witches of the Salzburg witch trials. Listen carefully as your guide recounts tales of ghosts and things that go bump in the night.
10. Tour the Eagle’s Nest and Berchtesgaden
During this 4.5-hour tour, discover the Bavarian Alps as you travel along the Königssee river while relaxing in luxury on a comfortable bus.
Visit the town of Berchtesgaden and watch in awe as your experienced driver navigates inclines alongside steep cliffs before arriving at the Eagle’s Nest, which was Adolf Hitler’s vacation residence.
Here, you will enjoy unparalleled views of the snow-capped Alps, learn about the history of the retreat, and even get to explore the grounds of what was once a peaceful hideaway for the infamous German leader.
11. Enjoy a City Tour and a Boat Trip
A lot is packed into this 2-hour tour that will take you over land and across water.
During the first hour, join your local guide on a tour of Salzburg that includes sites such as the origin of the Salzburg Festival, Leopoldskron Palace, Mirabell Castle, Mozart’s house, Salzburg Cathedral, State Bridge, and the Baroque Old Town.
The second hour of the tour is spent on a boat on the Salzach River, where you will see the city from a completely different perspective.Apple Strudel Austrian Cooking Class[/caption]
Over the course of 90 minutes, learn how to cook two of Austria’s most treasured dishes – apple strudel and souffle of Salzburg Nockerl. The classes are small, and a professional chef guides you through the whole process so that you get the most out of your cooking experience.
At the end of the class, enjoy your finished creation with a wholesome bowl of goulash before being taken back to your hotel.
13. Take in a Marionette Show
Visitors of all ages enjoy this Marionette show, but if you are a fan of The Sound of Music, it will be of particular interest to you.
The show takes place in the beautiful, world-famous Salzburg Marionette Theater in the city where the movie was set. For almost two hours, expert puppeteers perform scenes from the iconic film with lifelike marionettes.
Food and drinks are included, and you will be picked up and dropped off at your hotel after the performance.
14. Take a Salzburg Food Tasting Tour
Meet your local guide in front of the Mozart statue and embark on a three-hour walking tour through the city streets of Salzburg with a focus on traditional culinary delights.
During the tour, make stops of some of the well-known markets and artisanal shops, where you will sample a variety of local drinks and dishes, including pumpkin seed sausages and locally-made sweet treats.
As you make your way to each site, you will also have the chance to see some of the city’s most famous landmarks. At the end of the tour, receive a goody bag filled with several gifts.
15. Tour an Underground Salt Mine and See the Bavarian Mountains
Salt Mining has been a part of Austria’s history for centuries, and visitors to the country have a chance to experience the workings of a real salt mine.
Depart Salzburg with your local guide and embark on a four-hour journey that begins with a scenic drive along the Deutsche Alpenstrasse in the Bavarian Mountains. Once in Obersalzberg, you will head straight to the Obersalzberg salt mines to embark on a fun and fascinating tour.
Before heading underground, you’ll put on a conventional miners’ suit and descend into the 450-year-old mine on a slide. Take a ride on a small train and hop on a boat for a journey on the underground lake. Hear stories and learn the history of salt mining as you explore this fascinating place.
Before heading back to Salzburg, you will visit the pretty little town of Berchtesgaden.