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Salzburg for 2 days

Hi Guys,
Need some help with the itinerary for Salzburg (Will be visiting in the end of April).
I will be arriving in the evening from Vienna and staying for two days in Salzburg. I will be travelling back to Vienna on the evening of day 2.
I read some forums and I have the following in mind -
(Day1) - Visit HallStatt and back to Salzburg. Planning to use bus #150 and train. I am assuming to be back in the evening to Salzburg. Stroll through the Salzburg town in the evening. Are there any specific "not to miss spots" to visit in the evening ?
(Day2) - Take the sound of music tour with Panorama tours in the morning(9.15am). Spend some time in the town in the afternoon. (Possibly visit the Mozart's birthplace). Head back to Vienna in the evening.

Please advise whether my itinerary looks OK for a 2-day visit or am I missing out on any important bits of Salzburg?

Thank you.

Posted by
1834 posts

If I only had two days in Salzburg, I would not take any day trips and I would not take any organized tours. Salzburg is one of Europe's most delightful small cities and deserves two full days. It is a great city for walking, and there is a lot to see, all of which is easy to see on your own. You could spend two full days exploring on your own. It's also a lovely place to slow down and just enjoy being there.

It will take you 2 1/2 hours each way to Hallstatt. I haven't been there, and I know everyone raves about how lovely it is (and based on the pictures I've seen, I'll concede the point), but I wouldn't want to spend three hours on a train and bus to get there if I only had two days in Salzburg.

If you're a big fan of The Sound of Music, I suppose there's no harm in taking the tour, but I'm pretty sure it just takes you to places you can easily get to on your own and enjoy at your own pace.

Just my opinion. Enjoy Salzburg!

Posted by
19169 posts

"If you're a big fan of The Sound of Music, I suppose there's no harm in taking the tour, but I'm pretty sure it just takes you to places you can easily get to on your own"

They take you to two kinds of places, those from the movie that you can easily get to on your own and those that really don't have much, if anything, to do with the movie. They show you Leopoldskron and tell you it was the Von Trapp family home in the movie, but it wasn't. Producer/Director Robert Wise wanted to use it for that, but it was being used as a school, and they didn't want the disturbance, so he used the Frohnburg, which wasn't on a lake, for the home. The lakeside patio was just that, a set with only the patio, a copy of the patio at Leopoldkron, a temporary set build on the same lake as Leopoldskron and now gone. The gazebo used for the song and dance scenes was a set in Hollywood. The gazebo they show you was on the temporary patio set and only used for distance shots.

But they do take you out to Mondsee to see the Basilica used for the wedding scene in the movie. I made the trip out there by myself in 2009. The town of St. Gilgen and Wolfgangsee were used for panorama shots in the opening scenes of the movie, as was Königsee in Berchtesgaden.

Posted by
45 posts

I concur that if you have only two days and want to see Salzburg, you should spend all or most of your time in Salzburg. If you really need to go to a small village in the mountains, Berchtesgarden is a lot closer. I recommend that you use Rick’s Steve’s audio tour for a good first view of the city sites and then visit the Residenz which includes the Salzburg Dom and then visit the Festung castle, using the funicular to get to it. The only part of the Sound of Music tour that is really worthwhile is visiting the Mondsee chapel outside of the city which is really pretty.

Posted by
12 posts

@Lane: Now that you've mentioned it, the train/bus journey doesn't make sense with the limited time I have. I will be exploring Salzburg for the two days and if everything works out, I am thinking of renting a car and drive to Hallstatt, on my way back to Vienna. Thank you for your thoughts.

Posted by
12 posts

@Lee: Thank you very much. That was so informative and very nice to read. Exploring the city by foot sounds like a nice idea. I adore the movie and also love to listen to the stories, the locals have to tell. I will surely try and visit St. Gilgen and Wolfgangsee.

Posted by
12 posts

@Hamiltonpa: That was so helpful. I just downloaded the Rick Steve's audio tour and the Salzburg town map. It's great & funny too. Loved it! It will come handy. I will surely be visiting the places you've mentioned. Thank you for the amazing info.

Posted by
3903 posts

Salzburg is one of my favorite places on the planet. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. BUT don't expect the locals to have Sound of Music stories. The locals are largely unaware of it; those who have an awareness of it are either indifferent to it or don't like it.

Since you are a big fan of SOM, I would recommend the 9:30 tour of the Festspielhäuser ( The tour is primarily about the performance halls in Salzburg but includes the Felsenreitschule (Summer Riding School), the location of the family performance at the end of SOM. The tours are done in German and English, are fairly cheap (€7), and (as far as I know) are the only way to see the Felsenreitschule without attending a performance there. I enormously enjoyed my tour. Also... don't miss Mirabell Gardens, where much of the Do Re Mi song was filmed -- see if you can find the dwarf from the movie in the dwarf garden! Viel Spaß!

Posted by
7447 posts

For your short trip, if you would like to see one of the lake towns, I would recommend going to St. Gilgen and catching the boat out to St. Wolfgang. There's a bus to St. Gilgen from the street next to Mirabell Gardens. I think it was about a 45 minute ride to St. Gilgen. We stayed two nights in St. Wolfgang, but you could at least see it as a day-trip, and the lake ride is beautiful...opening scene in the SoM.

For Salzburg, check out the Salzburg Card on-line. You purchase the card, and then the museums or events are free. You could take the funicular up to the castle for some great views & a quick walk around the castle, then check out some of the sites in the Old Center, including the Mozart museum & birthplace. The SoM gazebo is at the Hellbrunn Palace Gardens. I also enjoyed the Christmas Museum - a quick 30 minute stop.

Posted by
15679 posts

Another possibility is to take the bus to the Freilicht (outdoor) Museum for a 1/2 day. It was like being in the countryside, and gave me a great feeling for how people lived in the Austrian mountains over the centuries. It was really fun to wander through old farm houses, barns, church, workshops, etc.

Posted by
29 posts

Id skip tours and trips to the lakes (Hallstatt) if you only have two days in Slazburg. If you really want to get to the lakes, St. Gilgen is easier and closer to get to, although its not as beautiful as Hallstatt. I personally think you are better off saving 6 hours of travel and staying in Slazburg. If you lake beer, go hang out at the Augustiner Bräu. We spent quite a few evenings there drinking beer, eating great food, and hanging out with interesting and friendly locals. Sound of Music tour is something fun to do if you are super into the movie, but you can see everything on your own, if so inclined. We did it and enjoyed biking through the city and out into the country more so then actually seeing the sound of music sites. Salzburg is a gorgeous city with lots to do and easily deserves two full days.

Posted by
12 posts

Hi Dave, Jean, Chani, Bbmagicph: Sorry, saw all your msgs only today. We are back from our trip to Austria but thanks for the info anyway :).

To everyone who shared info on my queries: you guys were so helpful with all the info you provided. We are back from our trip to Austria. It was beautiful and we enjoyed every moment of it. The Rick Steves audio tour was amazing too. We spent 2 days in Salzburg and then rented a car and drove to Mondsee, St. Gilgen and Hallstatt. It was spectacular and so worth it! If anyone of you is on instagram, my friend has uploaded some pics. You can check it out @

Thanks again all for the info.