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Salzburg for families

family travel guide

Family trip to Salzburg: key takeaways

  • One of the most beautiful and pleasant cities in Austria
  • The city of music, home of Mozart
  • Colourful and small old town
  • Many festivals, celebrations and plays
  • Great variety of attractions for children
  • Savings on trips and excursions with the Salzburg Card
  • Excellent bicycle network in the city
  • Opportunity to taste the delicious Salzburg Nockerln dessert


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Family holidays in Salzburg

Holidays in Austria with children it's not just the perfect ski resorts where the whole family can enjoy both winter and summer. It is also a rich programme of excursions that almost every major Austrian city has to offer. And Salzburg, the country's fourth largest city, is no exception. Holidays with children in Salzburg will be full of positive emotions: strolling through the old town, staying at cosy hotels, visiting castles and squares, visiting various interesting museums. And the very atmosphere of this fairytale town in miniature will delight everyone, young and old.

So, if you still don't know what to add to your family ski holiday or your trip to Austria, be sure to include Salzburg in your list of amazing places that will surely fascinate you.

Salzburg on the map of Austria

Salzburg is located in the western part of Austria, at the foot of the Alps, near the border with Germany. The distance from Salzburg to Vienna is 296 km, to Munich 144 km. The distance to the following ski resorts: Salzburgerland  80 km, Kitzbühel 85 km, Ski Welt 94 km, Ski Circus 93 km, Zell am See 108 km, Schladming 110 km, Reit im Winkl (Germany) 75 km.

The river Salzach divides the town into two parts, connected by a large bridge: the old town on the left bank, which is the main tourist attraction, and the new town on the right bank.

The name of the city comes from the barges that used to transport salt on the Salzach. There are still salt mines in the area, but they are now museums.

Salzburg for kids

Significant fact: Salzburg is the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. His ancestral home is now a museum, and his genius can be heard in concerts and even on the streets.

A small but pleasant fact: in honour of Mozart, Salzburg confectioner Paul Fürst created the Mozartkugel, a round marzipan-filled chocolate bar. If even a child hears about the great composer for the first time while eating a sweet, how sweet the sounds of the "Magic Flute" will seem to him!

Holidays in Salzburg are not only associated with the music of Mozart. The city is often seen as a stopping point on the way to the mountains: Austria's best ski resorts are nearby. Staying in Salzburg for a day or two will give you plenty of time to see the main sights and even make time for children's entertainment.

But there is more to Salzburg than that. Here's what you'll see if you take your time:

  • Europe's largest fortress;
  • Three children's museums;
  • The salt mines;
  • A cave where the ice doesn't melt all year round;
  • Funny fountains that shoot water at the most unexpected moments;
  • Large and beautiful parks.

We also recommend that you leave time for a trip to the outskirts of Salzburg. They are rich in unusual museums and amusement parks. You can also simply relax with your child outside the city, enjoying the peace and clean air. Country trips are especially good if you come to Salzburg with children in the warm season. This is the perfect time for hiking in the mountains and relaxing in nature.

As for the hotels, they are clean and comfortable in the Austrian way. They cannot offer a full range of services for children, but the most important things cot, high chair, bathtub you will get.

It is important to note that many apartments also cater for the comfort of families, providing children's bedrooms and facilities for families with small children. This is just the most important part of the information. And now for Salzburg for children in detail.

Best time to travel

The tourist season in Salzburg has almost no ups and downs. In winter, skiers come here to combine skiing with a cultural programme; in summer, classical music lovers and those who want to relax in the warm season; in spring and autumn, travellers who know the peculiarities of the local climate.

A great time to relax with a child is December and early January, with fairs, festive performances and the carnival procession of evil spirits Perchtenlauf.

It is also good to visit the city in late spring or early autumn. Unlike summer, when it rains heavily, May and September bring good weather and plenty of sunny days. This is also a good time to visit Salzburg with a baby: the weather is stable and you don't have to take your baby's entire wardrobe with you.

In September, Salzburg celebrates the feast day of St Rupert, the city's patron saint. It is a fun event with concerts, refreshments, a large carousel in the main square and fireworks. To decide when is the best time to visit Salzburg, check the weather in the region.

Weather and climate

Salzburg has a temperate continental climate. But there are a few peculiarities. Firstly, there is no summer heat in Salzburg. Second, the city is located in the foothills of the Alps, so it often snows in winter and rains in summer. Thirdly, although there is no severe frost in winter, the high humidity means that the cold gets down to your bones.

For a trip to Salzburg, bring waterproof clothing for the summer and windproof clothing for the winter. An umbrella or raincoat is useful at any time of the year.

The best time to visit Salzburg with children is in the summer, from mid-May to September. The weather is the most stable at this time of year, with no more rainy days than sunny ones. In May the air warms up to +19°C, in June to +22°C, in July-August to 24-25°C and in September to +20°C.

Occasionally the temperature reaches +30°C. At the same time, the nights are cold: as soon as the sun goes down, the temperature drops to +13-18°C. During the summer months, up to 160 mm of precipitation falls (in Vienna, for comparison, less than 80 mm).

In October, the temperature drops to +14°C, but there is less rain than in the summer. The city and the surrounding Alps are particularly beautiful at this time. In November, the temperature drops to +7°C, with night frosts in the last month of autumn.

In winter, daytime temperatures are usually between +3 and +5°C, while nighttime temperatures drop to -3 to -5°C. If you want to combine a holiday in Salzburg with skiing, we recommend that you wear the same clothes for excursions as for the slopes.

The arrival of spring is noticeable in March. During the day the temperature is around +10°C, although there is still a slight frost at night. In April the temperature is around +14°C, but the weather in mid-spring is full of surprises: sometimes winter returns with frost and snow. Stable heat does not arrive until mid-May.

Restaurants and shops

Hotels in Salzburg usually only include breakfast in the room price. Sometimes half or full board is offered, but more often tourists prefer to eat out and experience Austrian cuisine. Local specialities include Salzburger Bierfleisch and Salzburger Nockerln.

If you prefer to eat in restaurants, try a coffee house for coffee and dessert. This could be Tomaselli, Austria's oldest café, or one of the dozens of cosy coffee shops. For delicious pastries, try the Schatz confectionery. And for Mozartkugeln, head to one of the Fürst shops. The original candy has been handmade and wrapped in blue foil since 1890.

You can buy products for your own use in supermarkets and small shops. There are supermarkets in the large shopping centres, especially Forum 1 and Europark.

Most shops in Salzburg are closed on Sundays.

Salzburgers prefer to buy fresh fruit, vegetables and meat at the markets. The Grünmarkt in the city centre is open every day except Sundays. On Thursdays, the Schrannenmarkt in the new town is open. On Fridays, organic produce is sold at Kajetanerplatz.


Public transport in Salzburg is a sophisticated system of trolley buses and bus routes. Timetables are available at every bus stop. On average, buses and trolleybuses run every 10 to 20 minutes.

The cost of a single journey on any means of transport in Salzburg is €2.10. Single tickets for young people cost €1.50 (not available on the trolleybus). Please note that these tickets are sold in packs of 5. A single ticket costs €3 for adults, €2.10 for youths and €1.50 for children over 6.

A ride on the funicular to Hohensalzburg Fortress costs €11.00 for an adult (panoramic ticket) and €6.30 for a child aged 6-14. The lift to the Mönchsberg costs €4.10 for an adult and €2.00 for a child.

There are also special tourist buses in Salzburg. They take tourists to the ski resorts in winter and to the lakes in summer. To save money on these trips, you can buy special cards (Salzburger Sportweltcard, Zell am See-Kaprun Summer Card, Gastein Card and others).

There is an information desk at the Salzburg train station where you can get a free map of the city and buy the Salzburg Card. This is a special card for tourists that allows you to travel around the city at a much lower cost.

With the card you will be able to:

  • Use the city's public transport for free;
  • visit all of Salzburg's attractions for free;
  • get discounted tickets for concerts, exhibitions and other cultural events;
  • get a discount on city tours;
  • get a discount on bike rentals.

Cards are valid for 24, 48 or 72 hours. In May and October, the Salzburg Card costs €30-45 for an adult and €15-22.5 for a child aged 6-15, depending on the period of validity. In the low season, the card is 3-5 euros cheaper.

If you want to use a taxi to get around Salzburg, you can call one by phone or find one in one of the car parks. All taxis are equipped with meters. The fare is made up of the cost of the trip (about 3.50 euros) and the cost per kilometre (2 euros).

A very popular form of transport in the city is the bicycle. Bikes can be hired from one of the many bike hire companies. A day's hire costs around 20 euros.

Things to do with kids

The historic part of Salzburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This fact is interesting for adults, but the child is interested in something else the fabulous structure of the city and its secrets. The main tourist street, Getreidegasse, is lined with old houses, small shops and cosy cafés.

Where do the courtyards lead to? Where does the music come from? What do they sell in the shop, which is decorated for New Year in the summer? We'll solve this mystery: they sell Christmas decorations and the shop is open all year round. The rest of the secrets will be revealed during the trip.

Salzburg is also interesting for its diverse and sometimes bizarre signage, and even the most modern businesses are required to decorate in an old-fashioned way so as not to disrupt the overall look of the old town.

All the places of interest in Salzburg are close together. You do not have to make tedious journeys from one end of the city to the other to go on excursions.

As well as visiting museums and castles, you should also make time for children's entertainment. If the weather is sunny, you and the children should spend some time at the zoo. Salzburg Zoo is small, but not unusual.

Most of the animal enclosures are adjacent to a rock face, which acts as both a natural barrier and a play area. Alpine ibex and cats of prey climb the sheer walls with aplomb. There is a "savannah" for the inhabitants of Africa, and the tapirs are a particular attraction among the animals of America.

Next to the zoo is Hellbrunn Palace. After a tour of the museum (see below), take your child for a walk in the park. The highlight is the amusing fountains. They are well hidden and it is impossible to guess where the water is coming from. The park also has solid fountains, decorated with sculptures and equipped with clever mechanisms.

In the park of Hellbrunn Palace you can also see the old mechanical theatre from the XVII century. 250 miniature figures are moved by the power of water and their performance is accompanied by the music of a water organ.

Another wonderful place to take a walk is Mirabel Park. If you are holidaying in Salzburg with a child, you can go here at least once a day, as the park is free to enter. It is especially beautiful in the summer when the flower beds are decorated with flower patterns.

In the western part of the park is the Hedge Theatre, which looks more like a green maze. Next to the park is the excellent Magic Flute playground, where children can jump and play on the slides and swings.

Children's museum

What can you do with your child in Salzburg when it's raining outside? Spend a few hours at the Haus der Natur. It's a big museum with lots of scientific facts and curiosities.

In its exhibition halls you can see masterfully crafted stuffed animals (the exhibition of different breeds of dogs alone), models of dinosaurs and live sea creatures in huge aquariums.

The museum also has a space exhibit: all visitors are weighed on a space scale to see how much they would weigh on Mars or Saturn. An entire floor is dedicated to the study of the human body, with interactive exhibits to help understand the structure of the eye, ear and heart.

Children themselves would choose the Toy Museum. This is not just a museum, but an entire entertainment centre for children. Who would have thought that a room called the Percussion House would have to be noisy?

Who would have thought that you could go from floor to floor on a slide? And who would have thought that children would be allowed to play with the exhibits in a toy museum? Only the oldest and most valuable toys are kept under glass.

In Salzburg, the Christmas shop is open all year round. There is always a festively lit Christmas tree and the windows are decorated with antique Christmas decorations, nativity figurines and other attributes of the magical festive season.

We also recommend a visit to the Salzburg Puppet Theatre, one of the oldest in the world. Naturally, most of the performances in its repertoire are set to the music of Mozart. For children, the theatre offers an abridged version of The Magic Flute. Children's plays are performed during the day, while in the evening you can see A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Barber of Seville and The Sound of Music. In the days before Christmas, the traditional plays "The Nutcracker" and "The Bat" are performed. The theatre has a small puppet museum.

Nearby entertainment

The suburbs of Salzburg are just as good for a family holiday as the Salt fortress itself. And if you go on a trip to the outskirts of the city, make sure you have something to keep the kids entertained. For example, 28 km from Salzburg is the Fantasiana amusement park. All kinds of rides, shooting gallery, scary rooms, driving range, 3D cinema, a dinosaur park all this can make you tired, but tired in a good way.

There is also a dinosaur centre in the mountains near Weidring. You have to take a cable car up to the mountains, then dive to the bottom of the sea in an elevator cage, then walk along the Triassic Trail, all to meet prehistoric lizards. The Triassic Park also has playgrounds for children and a rope park.

If you are looking for entertainment, you can head to neighbouring Germany, thanks to Salzburg's proximity to the border. The Bavarian town of Ruhpolding is home to the large Ruhpolding amusement park. Situated in a forest, it is a pleasant place to relax even in very hot weather. Children will love walking around the Dinosaur Mountain and looking for precious crystals in the Mining Camp. In case of bad weather, the park has a covered playground.

A little further away, in the town of Markwartstein, is another amusement park. Its special feature is family rides, where adults and children can ride together. The park also has a forest witch school, a mini-zoo, a water playground, a school for budding architects and builders, a bobsleigh run in short, you can't miss anything!


Salzburg offers a wide range of tours for the whole family: there is always something to interest and fascinate the little tourists. You can get a first impression of the city on foot, then visit museums and drive around, planning the route according to your interests.

We offer a list of things to do with children in Salzburg choose what you want to visit.

  1. Mozart Birthplace. A must see landmark. On Getreidegasse is the house where Mozart lived from birth until he was 17. His rooms now have illuminated display cases instead of furniture, and the composer's personal belongings are on display. Children may be more interested in the crude stove used to cook food, rather than the sheet music and musical instruments.
  2. Hellbrunn Palace. We have already recommended visiting the palace gardens in Salzburg with a child, but the palace itself deserves attention. It is one of the architectural beauties of the city, built in the 18th century by Italian architects. The palace now houses an exhibition of folk traditions and customs. Among the exhibits are samples of folk crafts and national costumes.
  3. Hohensalzburg Fortress. The largest and best-preserved fortress complex in Central Europe, it was built - believe it or not - over a thousand years ago. The fortress contains many interesting items relating to the history of the city, including military history. Hohensalzburg is also home to the oldest organ in Europe, the Salzburg Bull. Also open to the public are the "Golden Room", an unusual weapons museum and a puppet museum. The most convenient way to get to the castle is by cable car, which is located on Festungsgasse. From the hill on which the castle stands, you can see the whole of Salzburg.
  4. Panorama Museum. This museum is also an opportunity to see the whole of Salzburg as it was 200 years ago. Touch screens help you combine views of the old and modern city.
  5. Salt mines. To be fair, they are not in Salzburg, but nearby: in Hallein, in Berchtesgaden, in Hallstatt. An excursion to the dungeons where the "white gold" was once mined begins with all visitors wearing the white shirts of the salt miners. There follows a journey in fast cars through dark and narrow corridors, looking for salt veins on the walls, watching the miners at work (the wax figures look very realistic) and a cautious tasting of the salt underground. Children will be thrilled by the slides that take them from floor to floor of the mine and the ferry ride across the salt lake. Please note that the temperature in the underground galleries is only +8-12°C and you should bring warm clothing.

Best Excursions for Kids

If you are holidaying in Salzburg with children, it is easy to get out and about in the surrounding towns and villages. They are also rich in sights that you will want to show your child.

The first is the Grossmain Open Air Museum. It's part of the Untersberg Nature Reserve and was a typical Austrian village hundreds of years ago. Specialists have restored 60 buildings: houses, outbuildings, a school, shops and even a small brewery.

Imagine that the oldest house in the museum is almost 600 years old! To see all the exhibits, you can take a sightseeing train, a buggy for the youngest travellers or just go for a walk - the museum is located in a quiet forest.

Point two is Hallstatt. This tiny community is not only famous for its salt mine. Oddly enough, it attracts tourists because of its inaccessibility: the town can only be reached by boat or ferry.

And the town, nestled in the mountains, is as beautiful as a daedal toy. There are hiking trails from Hallstatt into the mountains, and if you go a little further you'll reach the town of Obertraun, where you can visit the famous Ice and Mammoth Caves.

Point three unusual attractions around Salzburg. Here are some of the places of interest for children in the area (this list is incomplete):

  • The Celtic Museum in Hallein — one of the largest in Europe;
  • Hohenwerfen Fortress at Werfen, with its theatre performances, medieval festivals and falconry displays;
  • A blacksmith's museum and an old but still working mill at Antering;
  • An observatory where you can watch the stars at night in Bergheim;
  • The Animal Paradise sanctuary for rescued animals in Eiderbichl.

If you are on a trip to Germany, be sure to include a visit to the castle of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Herrenchiemsee Castle is built on an island in the middle of the Kimsee lake. It was modelled on the Palace of Versailles, as were many country residences of the time. The interiors of the castle are still astonishingly luxurious, rich and harmonious, and the park is very pleasant for a walk on a fine day.

On the way to the island, we recommend a visit to the Museum of Natural History and Mammoths in Siegsdorf. Its appearance is a tribute to the fact that mammoth bones were found near the town: they are now one of the most valuable exhibits.

The museum tells stories of the Earth's ancient past, and children can't wait to visit the caveman cave. Inside, Neanderthals sit around a fire and the walls are covered with animal skins.

A trip to the mountains

When exploring the list of things to do in Salzburg, don't miss the biggest local attraction the mountains. During the warmer months, climb a few thousand metres and see what the Alps are all about.

In the town of Gartenau, 13 km from Salzburg, there is a cable car that takes you up to the Untersberg. The mountain station "Hawk's Peak" is at an altitude of 1776 m.

From here you can see Salzburg, the Rosittal valley, Lake Himsee and the Dachstein. On the mountain you can go even higher, but only on foot, following marked trails.

In St. Wolfgang (44 km from Salzburg) there is a cog railway station where the path leads to the Schaffberg. This is the steepest railway ascent in Austria: in 40 minutes the train climbs to 1190 m. From this height you can see all the lakes of the Salzkammergut. After the descent, you can take a boat trip on the Wolfgangsee.

In addition to the castle, Werfen is also famous for the Eisrizenvelt cave. This is the largest ice cave in the world and the ice is preserved all year round. Even in summer, the temperature inside the cave is always below 0°C. Due to the cold and difficult climbs inside the cave, this tour is only for hardy souls.

Things to Do with Kids

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Where to stay

Salzburg is a small and cosy city with nice hotels and a high level of service. Whether you choose to stay in the old or new part of the city, all the attractions are within easy walking distance or can be reached by bus or trolleybus.

Accommodation prices are almost independent of the area, but depend on the time of year. Before Christmas and during the classical music festivals (second half of summer), accommodation prices are highest.

When choosing where to stay in Salzburg with young children, look for hotels that are either close to the centre of the old town or as close as possible on the other side of the river. This way you can walk through the beautiful streets and parks without wasting time on transport.

Hotels in Salzburg are mostly in the 3 or 4 star category, although the city has a few luxury 5 star hotels. Rest assured that the quality of service is good everywhere.

Among the options for staying in Salzburg with children, there are many aparthotels and apartments. Here, too, you can find accommodation suitable for families. For example, some apartments have a separate bedroom for children or cribs in the parents' bedroom. Apartments have kitchens and washing machines, so you can organise your daily routine.

To make a holiday in Salzburg with children not too expensive, you can travel with a house on wheels and stay at a campsite. There are several campsites on the outskirts of the city that are equipped with everything you need.

Another way to save money is to stay in towns near Salzburg. Some of these are linked to the city by suburban trains, which run at least once an hour. The city's tourism website has information on hotels, apartments, guesthouses and farmhouses around Salzburg.

If you are travelling by car, you should be aware that parking may not be available near the hotels in the centre of Salzburg. It is advisable to enquire with the hotel manager at the time of booking where guests can park their cars.

Places to Stay

Getting to Salzburg

By Plane

Salzburg has its own international airport. You can also take a direct flight to Vienna or Munich (Germany) and then travel to Salzburg by train or bus.

How to get to Salzburg:

  • From Vienna Airport: Take a taxi, CAT express train, S7 city train or express bus to the city centre, then take a bus or train to Salzburg;
  • From Munich airport: take a taxi or train to Munich central station, then take a train or bus to Salzburg.

By Train

Salzburg railway station is a 15 minute walk from the old town.

Trains from Vienna leave from the Westbahnhof. The journey takes about 2.5-3 hours. Buses marked "Zentrum" run from the station to the city centre. Tickets can be bought at information desks or from ticket machines. Timetables are available on the website of the Austrian Railways ÖBB:

Trains from Munich leave from Munich central station. The journey takes less than 2 hours. On this route from Munich there is a favourable group or individual Bayern Ticket (only on regional trains - RE). Please note that the Bayern-Ticket is valid from 9:00am on weekdays (from midnight on weekends), so if you want to take an earlier train, you will need to buy a ticket at the nearest station where the train arrives after 9:00am. Children under 5 travel free.

By Bus

There are FlixBus buses from Vienna and Munich to Salzburg. The journey takes 2 hours. The timetable is available on the company's website: Information on how to get to Salzburg by bus from various countries can be found on the city's website.

By Car

You can rent a car at Vienna Airport. How to get to Salzburg:
- From Vienna take the A1 motorway;
- From Carinthia - take the A10;
- From Bavaria - via the A8.

Parking plans are available on the official website of Salzburg.