Sightseeing in Salzburg, Austria with Kids
Salzburg’s scenic vistas and Alpine setting make it one of the most picturesque cities we’ve visited. We fell in love with the city during our day trip from Munich, Germay. It offered a lot for visitors with varied interests. Here are our five favorite places for sightseeing in Salzburg, Austria with kids.
The Sound of Music Tour
We love the classic movie, The Sound of Music. There were bus and private van tours available but we did our own tour of the movie’s outdoor sites since we had a rental car. Buy the Salzburg card for free or discounted admission to many attractions. (Read more about using City Passes to save money on vacation.)
Most of the sights were located within Salzburg’s pedestrianized Old Town area (a UNESCO World Heritage site) and Mirabell Gardens. Mirabell was filled with familiar shots from the movie including the Do-Re-Mi scenes but was also a lovely park to play and stroll. My kids loved the hedges, the statues and the dwarf gnome park with many statues based on real dwarves. Finding the movie sites was also a walk down Salzburg’s history. We recommend watching the movie before and after visiting Salzburg to fully appreciate it.
Salzburg was the birthplace of famed composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. His childhood homes were turned into museums which were very interesting to visit. Hagenaur House at Salzburg’s pedestrian shopping street, Getreidagasse, is very popular and includes his childhood piano and violin.
We found Mozart all over Salzburg in various ways. He’s represented in statues, concerts and puppet shows. He’s also in many souvenirs that range from dolls, puppets and rubber ducks. The most popular souvenir is the Mozartkugel (chocolate balls with nougat and pistachio) sold in many confectioner shops. We loved these addicting chocolates!
Try Savory Treats
Salzburg had treats that included strudels, Mozartkugels, Kaiserschmarrn (shredded, caramelized pancake with powdered sugar served with apple sauce) and the Salzburger Nockerln (golden, sweet soufflé with powdered sugar shaped to look like Salzburg’s snow-capped mountains). It’s also famous for the Original Sacher-Torte (chocolate cake thinly coated with apricot jam). Stop by the Sacher Confiserie in the Sacher Hotel for delightful treats. We bought the mini tortes which were great snacks during sightseeing.
Visit Hellbrun Palace
Hellbrun Palace was built primarily for events, parties and festivities by Salzburg’s Prince Archbishop in 1612. We did the short, self-guided tour of the palace’s sparsely furnished interior. Visitors flock here for its trick fountains (Wasserspiele). We missed the tour of the hidden fountains that used to surprise the guests. There’s even a water-powered theater of 138 mini-wooden figures that come alive. Warning: You may get wet on this tour.
There’s also a zoo and an extensive park nearby for kids to enjoy especially the large playground. The Sound of Music‘s famous gazebo was also here for fans to pose with.
Explore the Fortress
The Hohensalzburg Fortress towers over Salzburg. My kids loved the ride up on the funicular. Built in 1077, it’s the largest, preserved fortress in central Europe. It has served as a citadel, fortification, residence, military barracks and prison. The views from up here were spectacular. We enjoyed exploring the fortress’ interior which included state chambers, cannons and armor displays that made my son happy. We loved the puppet museum. Don’t miss walking around the courtyard and peeking into the chapel. The fortress was a wonderful glimpse into life in Salzburg centuries ago.
- See all of our vacation photos from Salzburg, Austria.
- Read about our family vacations to nearby Munich, Germany.
Mary lives in San Diego, California with her husband, 13 year-old daughter and 10 year-old son. She was born in the Philippines, grew up in the U.S. territory…