Best 2 Days in Salzburg on a Budget
If you’re using my How to See Italy and Austria in 2 Weeks Solo and planned your one day in Innsbruck, let’s get you ready for the next leg of your Austria solo travel by learning how you can see the best of Salzburg on a budget in 2 days.
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- Salzburg Solo Travel Planning Resources
- Salzburg on a Budget (or Not)
- Salzburg Solo Travel Packing Essentials
- Why Go to Salzburg?
- Getting Around Salzburg
- Where to Stay in Salzburg
- Things to Do in Salzburg
- Salzburg Events Calendar
- Salzburg Dining
- Hallstatt Day Trip
- 2 Days in Salzburg Itinerary
- More Travel Itineraries You’ll Like
Salzburg Solo Travel Planning Resources
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Salzburg on a Budget (or Not)
It is possible to see Salzburg on a budget as a single traveler. To help provide more Innsbruck budgeting options, peruse my Guide to Budget European Accommodations for additional accommodation-planning.
Let me state here that when I say “budget”, I mean your daily travel expenses could total €150 or less, which is possible. It’s up to you on where you wish to budget (accommodations, excursions, etc.), and how far in advance you book. Some attractions can be seen without a tour, which will save you money, of course.
This Salzburg 2 day itinerary and travel guide can work for anyone, however, budget or not.
Ok, now let’s get you to Salzburg.
Salzburg Solo Travel Packing Essentials
Why Go to Salzburg?
Nestled in the Alps near the German border, Salzburg is a picturesque town that boasts the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
The capital of the Bundesland Provence and the 4th largest city in Austria, Salzburg holds an Old Town (Alstadt) and New Town (Neustadt) that are divided by the Salzach River.
The Alstadt, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, is very pedestrian friendly splendid with its surrounding medieval and baroque architecture.
Getting Around Salzburg
From Innsbruck, Vienna or any other Austria locations, it is more than likely you will arrive at the Salzburg Hauptbahnhof, the main train station and a major hub in western Austria.
Salzburg is Walkable
Most of Salzburg can be done on foot, so from there you can walk or take a shuttle to your hotel if you prefer.
Salzburg is hilly, so wear a good pair of walking shoes and stay hydrated if traveling to Salzburg in the summer season. Do not push yourself.
Where to Stay in Salzburg
You’ll ideally want to stay within the Salzburg historical center and walking distance of the main train station. If you don’t want to walk you could catch a taxi to your hotel that should cost no more than €10 (confirm the fare with the driver in advance). For ease of arriving and departing Salzburg, and walking around for the best Salzburg sights, I recommend staying within the circle on the map:
For budget purposes, my hotel recommendation/value for the money with breakfast and taxes included at €70/night is Gästehaus im Priesterseminar Salzburg. It is is close the city center with a very nice breakfast, and includes all of the lovely amenities you could need.
Many accommodations may not let you check in until 2-4pm, but if available, have them store your luggage until your room is ready so you can get out and enjoy Salzburg.
If you want cheaper accommodations, there are other hotels and hostels to choose from starting at around €15/night, depending on what amenities and location you want, you can choose from Salzburg city center hostels.
Conversely, if you want to pay more, take a look at Salzburg accommodations. I would still recommend staying in the suggested area noted above.
Things to Do in Salzburg
Here are some top Salzburg attractions that could easily be considered “must do’s”:
- Festung Hohensalzburg (Hohensalzburg Fortress) – the most fascinating attraction in Salzburg, in my humble opinion, this towering fortress on the hill was built in the 11th century and has since served as a prison, an army camp and military stronghold. Catch the cable railway at the base of the hill to ascend and descend. I would take a guided tour to absorb its history, but the best part of this fortress is the incredible views of Salzburg and beyond. Note, this attraction is not open year-round.
- Salzburg Altstadt (Old Town) – free to wander around, and the heart of Baroque style architecture with cobblestone streets, the Old Town section of Salzburg on the left bank of the Salzach River holds markets, the Salzburg Museum, shopping, Mozarts Geburtsthaus, churches, and more – all under the backdrop of the Hohensalzburg Fortress. Get in some good shopping on Getreidegasse or take a rest at Mozartplatz (Mozart Square).
- Dom zu Salzburg (Salzburg Cathedral) – rebuilt after WWII in all its Baroque glory, enjoy the turquoise domes, amazing façade and sculptures for FREE. Ensure to know the entrance times as they may change.
- Schloss Mirabell (Mirabell Palace) – hosts Salzburg’s municipal government, entry is also free.
- Mirabellgarten (Mirabell Gardens) – also free, you may recognize the steps from the “Do-Re-Mi” song from “The Sound of Music, but also enjoy the Baroque Angel Staircase, beautiful paths and sculptures surrounded by flowers.
- Schloss Hellbrunn (Hellbrunn Palace) – also part of the “The Sound of Music” (“Sixteen Going on Seventeen” gazebo scene), the 17th century palace has it all – from exquisite ballrooms to an octagonal music rooms to trick fountains that shoot water at you. Note: not all access is open year-round.
- Residenz Neugebäude (New Residence) – opposite of Residenz Palace entrance, this residence was built in the 16th century with a tower that is home to a 35-bell Glockenspiel.
- Salzburg Museum – housed in the Residenz Neugebäude, it’s a beautiful place to take in some great art.
- Stift St Peter (St. Peter’s Abbey) – built in the 7th century, this Benedictine Monastery is a former cathedral. It is the oldest in the German-speaking monastery.
- Franziskanerkirche (Franciscan Church) – built in the 8th century, this is considered the oldest Franciscan church in Salzburg.
- Residenzegalarie Salzburg – an art gallery housing 16th to 19th century works. One ticket to the Dom Quartier gets you entry to 5 museums.
- Altes Rathaus (Old City Hall) – a Medieval building, which formerly served as city hall.
- Mozarts Geburtsthaus – the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and where he was raised until 1773.
- Mozarts Wohnhaus – after the Geburtsthaus, this is where Mozart lived composing music before he relocated to Vienna.
If you would like to join a group and meet people, check out the tours of Salzburg, such as a guided walking tour, bicycle tour, a river cruise with dinner and music, or a Hop-On, Hop-Off bus. Additionally, there are tours of the surrounding Salzburg area, like the Sound of Music tour or an Austrian countryside tour.
Depending on your tastes and how many attractions you wish to see, it would be worth your time to check out the Salzburg Card, offered in 24, 48 and 72-hour timeframes. Plus, the Salzburg Card offers packages that include hotel and dining.
Salzburg Events Calendar
If it helps in planning what you would like to see, here is a list of annual events held in Salzburg.
What would a visit to Salzburg be if you didn’t visit its famous Augustiner Bräerstübl Beer Hall? If you’re really into beer, why not try walking the Salzburg beer route to see Salzburg’s breweries and taverns? The Augustiner Bräu also has traditional cuisine such as Wiener Schnitzel, Fleischkknödel or Spätzle.
If you want more choices than just Austrian fare, check out the 10 Best Restaurants in Austria.
Hallstatt Day Trip
If you are enjoying Salzburg and want to see more sights than in just one day, I totally understand. Salzburg is stunning. However, if you would like to get out to see more amazing Austrian countryside, I highly recommend a day trip to Hallstatt, whether or not you have perfect weather.
If a Hallstatt day-trip piques your interest, you can do a day tour to Hallstatt or just go by yourself if you’re doing Salzburg on a budget.
Hallstatt Day Trip on a Budget
By yourself, I suggest you purchase a round trip train ticket in advance to Hallstatt departing Salzburg no later than 9am.
Depending on your departure time, it can take as little as 2.25 hours to arrive in Hallstatt, via Attnang-Puchheim, and cost as little as €9-15 each way, depending on how far in advance you book your train ticket. Make sure to know when the last return train departs for Salzburg.
You can then arrive at lunch time to soak in the lakeside scenery over a lazy lunch. If you want to better your chances on avoid crowds, go earlier in the morning, on a weekday and in the off season. By taking the train, you already don’t have to deal with parking, which is a bonus for you.
Hallstatt is a town to just relax and meander or hike. Don’t try to “do it all”. Take it easy. Explore the town shops, walk along the water, and take in the sun. The more time you have the more scenic views you can experience with great snaps to share with friends, like from the northern part of town (Aussichtspunkt Hallstatt).
If you have more time, take the funicular up to the Hallstatt Skywalk 350 meters over the town of Hallstatt. You will not be disappointed by the views. Still, any view of this region is amazing so try to put this little town on your bucket list.
2 Days in Salzburg Itinerary
Here is my suggested Salzburg 2 day itinerary so you can see how budget-friendly Salzburg can be without sacrificing comfort or skimping on the major sites on your single travel.
Salzburg on a Budget Tip
The itinerary below includes staying at the suggested Salzburg budget hotel, but does not include lunch, dinner, day trip tours, or using the Salzburg Card, which could possibly save more money.
This itinerary is an example of how single travelers can see Salzburg on a budget with top Salzburg attractions, for possibly at €150 a day, if booked well in advance and the right tour or entry tickets are chosen.
Salzburg Day 1
- Arrive Salzburg / Check into hotel (or check bags)
- Festung Hohensalzburg
- Salzburg Altstadt / Getreidegasse / Mozartplatz / Altes Rathaus
- Schloss Mirabell / Mirabellgarten
- Dom zu Salzburg
Day 2 – Salzburg
- Residenz Neugebäude & Glockenspiel
- Salzburg Museum
- Stift St Peter
- Residenzegalarie Salzburg
- Mozarts Geburtsthaus
- Mozarts Wohnhaus
Alternatively, spend your second day on a day trip to Hallstatt:
Day 2 – Hallstatt Day Trip
- Salzburg train to Hallstatt
- Explore Hallstatt (funicular optional)
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