We arrived in Salzburg on a chilly November afternoon. Despite the cloudy skies and the brisk air, the beauty of the city shone brightly. We were ecstatic to start exploring, and had a few ideas of what we wanted to see in the city, but we had no concrete plan.
We decided to wing it, walk around aimlessly, and see what the city had to offer. In my opinion, if you only have around a day to spend in Salzburg, having a loose plan and an open mind is the way to do it. The city is very accessible on foot. You can walk essentially everywhere, which is what we did.
Salzburg can seem very overwhelming at first, as there is a lot that you will probably want to see. Having a few main things you know that are worth seeing will you give a bit of structure and guidance as you wander the streets. A great bonus is that a lot of the things we did were free!
Stop 1: Mirabell Gardens
The first thing we did, as it was on the way to the city center from our hostel, was stop at the famous Mirabell Gardens. These gardens are from the scene in the Sound of Music where Frau Marie is marching around the town singing “ Do-Rae- Mi” with children.
Despite it being mid-November the Gardens were still pristine and gorgeous. It was quite busy, so we snapped a few shots and went on our way, vowing to come back early the next morning morning.
Stop 2: Makartsteg Bridge
From there we followed the signs that pointed to the city center. Along the way we found a beautiful bridge covered in locks with an even more amazing view of the city. The bridge is called the Makartsteg Bridge, and it is definitely worth a stroll.
Stop 3: Augustiner Brau – Kloster Mulln (an absolute must!)
By this time it was supper and we were starving! Wayde and I had heard rave reviews about a food and beer hall, so we set off on a quest to find it. From Makartsteg Bridge we took a right and followed it until we saw an old church. Fun fact: this food and beer hall is in an old monastery, the beer recipe is the one the monks brewed.
We finally found the entrance, but upon opening the doors we didn’t see, hear, or smell anything. We were worried we had not found the right place. However, after walking down a short hall and opening a second set of double doors, we were greeted by the delicious smell of food and the hum of people having a good time.
We were in the right place.
With all the hype we had heard, we had really high expectations for this place. And wow, it did not disappoint.
There are different “stations” for different types of food. So we grabbed a tray and started our way through the stations. Then came the hard part: finding a seat. We luckily grabbed a table with another couple – you will probably have to share a table if there is room.
The atmosphere is fun, the food is deliiiiiicious, and it is actually the best beer I have EVER had! If you like food and beer this has to be a priority on your list to Salzburg.
After that we headed back to our hostel for the night, eager to continue our Salzburg adventure in the morning
* Quick stop back at Mirabell Gardens + Castle Mirabell
After breakfast at our hostel we immediately headed back to Mirabell Gardens. This time it was a lot less crowded, but the best part was that we stumbled upon Castle Mirabell, which is beautiful and free (unless you want to attend a concert.
It was absolutely stunning inside!
Stop 4: Getreidegasse Street
Finally, we meandered our way to the city center. We found Getreidegass street, which is a famous shopping street. It is beautiful, and if shopping is your thing, then you are in the right place! Even if shopping isn’t your thing, the street is still fun to wander through.
After doing some window shopping we continued to wander the streets without much direction. As we started to head uphill we figured we may as well just continue upwards and go to the Castle, which brings us the next highlight.
Stop 5: Festung Hohensalzburg
Our next stop, somewhat on accident, was Festung Hohensalzburg. This is the fortress/castle that sits perched on a hill above Salzburg. You can go up the hill by foot or by a train. We (mostly Wayde) decided that we would walk up the hill. It wasn’t long, but was a pretty steep at parts.
You will come to a pay booth in the castle wall, basic tickets are around 10 Euros. There is a more expensive ticket that lets you do extra things, but I don’t think it’s worth it. Other than eating and accommodation this was the only thing we paid for. We got there at 10 am, which was good because we, once again, beat the crowds. We spend around 1.5-2 hours there.
There is a lot to see at the castle: great views of the city outdoors and a museum within.
We did a lot of walking and built up an appetite.
Stop 6: Stiegel Keller
We departed from the castle and walked halfway down the hill, following the signs for Stiegel Keller, a restaurant that had been recommended to us, which was conveniently close to the castle.
Stiegel Keller overlooks the city, giving you beautiful views. There is a large patio outside which would be great for the summer. We sat inside, and it was just beautiful inside as it was out.
The food menu is shorter than the beer menu. However, both the beer and the food are amazing, you cannot go wrong with whatever you decide to get.
Stop 7: Kapitelplatz
We continued down the hill and found ourselves in Kapitelplatz. There is a beautiful giant golden globe here, it is an art piece. It is really quite pretty to look at. It also gives you a gorgeous view of the castle from below.
This is a fun stop to just enjoy the beauty of Salzburg and snap a few pictures.
Stop 8: Cafe Tomaselli
From there we walked to the nearby Café Tomaselli for some warm drinks and dessert. It was extremely busy when we got there mid-afternoon. We snuck past the crowds and headed up a small staircase in the back corner looking for a less crowded space.
Upstairs was almost empty, which was a nice treat. The dessert options here are almost overwhelming, they have a certain selection on the menu, but they also have a whole case full of other options that are not on the menu.
I definitely recommend Café Tomaselli for a mid-afternoon treat.
By the time we were done at Café Tomaselli it was time for us to walk back to the bus station and head home. Our short trip to Salzburg had been amazing, and I can’t wait to go back during the Christmas season to see the Christmas market.