How to Spend One Day in Salzburg
Welcome to Salzburg! The small yet beautiful little town located beside the River Salzach is above all renowned as a baroque gem, as the home town of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and for its annual music and theatre festival. While it is often considered dignified, noble and somewhat outdated, the city can also be very different! Our 24-hour itinerary for Salzburg includes gin tasting, visiting coffee roasting houses and an umbrella maker, spotting tortoises, experiencing indoor panoramas, losing yourself in a labyrinth and partying the night away. We wish you a fantastic time!
One Day in Salzburg – Morning
Time for breakfast! 220°
Those wishing to explore the old town will first need a hearty breakfast. In Salzburg, there’s no nicer and more stylish place to gather ones strength than in 220° coffee roasting house on the winding Chiemseegasse alleyway. The Macheiner family celebrates the fine coffee culture here, creating their own coffee roasts and serving fine cappuccinos, espressos and caffè lattes to accompany a delicious selection of breakfasts. Canny customers will know to reserve well in advance here!
Tour of the old town, visiting sites of the Salzburg Foundation’s art project
Fortified from our hearty breakfast, we can now set off to explore the old town. We pass historic buildings and cobbled alleyways on our way to view some contemporary art. The Salzburg Foundation, which is a private initiative dedicated to art in public spaces, has brought countless works by distinguished international artists to the old town in recent decades. And these are to now be explored. The famous “Sphaera” by Stephan Balkenhol awaits on the central square beside Salzburg Cathedral, for example. It depicts the figure of a man standing atop a gigantic golden sphere. The female counterpart to the wooden man in a white shirt can be found in the Toscaninihof, beside the Großes Festspielhaus theatre. The sharp-eyed will spot the female figure in a similar style awaiting her counterpart in a niche in the rock face.
Across from the Toscaninihof, we will enter Anselm Kiefer’s walk-in installation entitled “A.E.I.O.U.”. It provides an impressive reminder of the book burning that took place in Salzburg during the National Socialist era. And hidden away in the crypt of Salzburg Cathedral, Christian Boltanski’s shadowy angel of death flickers in the candlelight as a reminder of the finite nature of all things.
11am – 12am
Panoramic views in all weather
Emerging from the depths of the cathedral crypt, we continue onwards and upwards to lofty heights and far-reaching views – regardless of the weather in Salzburg. If the sun is shining, the more athletic among us can walk to the top of Festungsberg hill and enjoy the all-round views over the old town, Salzburg’s churches, the River Salzach and the local hills. Those preferring something a little more sedate are able to travel to the top in comfort aboard Salzburg’s funicular railway.
When the heavy rain for which Salzburg is famous is holding court, the panoramic views from the hilltop are somewhat less enjoyable. On these days, the Panorama Museum offers an excellent alternative. But what exactly can be seen there? The Salzburg artist, J. M. Sattler, who lived in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, left a very special legacy to the city of Salzburg: a hand-painted panoramic picture of 130 m² in size depicting Salzburg in the eighteenth century – and that in minute detail. Beside the Salzburg panorama, the Panorama Museum is also home to a variety of other cosmoramas (large-scale paintings) dating from the nineteenth century and originating from different parts of the world. They help provide something of an insight into how Mozart’s contemporaries may have perceived the big wide world.
One Day in Salzburg – Lunchtime
12am – 1pm
Lunch is served! In the Triangel and Pommes Boutique
Should you begin feeling peckish during our time in the old town, then you will simply be spoiled for choice of dining options. Those wishing to embark on a culinary journey into Salzburg’s haute cuisine should visit the Triangel, a dining establishment that essentially becomes the canteen for the Salzburg Festival during the summer months. Delectable traditional fare can be sampled here while sneaking discreet glances at the neighbouring tables where the stars of classical music can be observed during their lunch break.
The food is somewhat less traditional in the Pommes Boutique, the only restaurant in Salzburg in which original Belgian chips are served with home-made sauces. Those in the know will order a veggie burger with fried beef bacon to go with their chips – we’re not joking!
1pm – 1:30pm
Post-lunch stroll through the Mirabellgarten
After a hearty meal, enjoy a stroll through Salzburg’s famous Mirabellgarten. This baroque park has many a surprise in store for visitors. A whole army of little stone dwarfs live here, for example. Some represent the months of the year; others depict roles for the Italian commedia dell’arte form of theatre. A small labyrinth awaits exploration behind the army of dwarves, and tortoises, goldfish and orchids will delight visitors to the freely accessible baroque orangery close to the like-named Mirabell Palace.
One Day in Salzburg – Afternoon
1:30pm – 3pm
Shopping in the Andräviertel and on Linzergasse
There is no denying that Salzburg isn’t really a shopping city in the classic sense. Take a closer look, though, and you will find little boutiques and shops that are by all means worth a visit. Begin this search in the ornate Andräviertel district of Salzburg, and a shopping trip will also prove an absolute feast for the eyes. A stop at the Spielzeugschachtel toyshop is an absolute must for visitors with children. The long-established toyshop even has a separate entrance the kids and is home to all kinds of treasures that will bring a twinkle to every child’s eyes. Shop with a good conscience in Eine Welt Laden on Linzergasse, which offers a wide selection of fair trade fashion along with foods, crockery and jewellery.
The music store on Linzergasse is an absolute gem in which CDs, LPs and all kinds of other soundtracks exchange hands and music enthusiasts will be served by the most competent staff they have ever met.
And should you be feeling thirsty, why not drop by the Bottle Shop on Mirabellplatz in which one hundred different types of craft beer and cider can be purchased.
3pm – 4pm
Enjoy a coffee on Franz Josef Straße
If your legs are beginning to ache, then it must be time for a coffee break: you’ll be sure to find a café to suit on Franz Josef Straße. The coffee houses’ open-air terraces line the wide boulevard and invite you to sit back and indulge in some people watching while you enjoy a coffee and slice of cake.
Lovers of vegan products and Ayurveda should drop by the Heart of Joy Café offering soy lattes, gluten-free cakes and light Indian fare. Fans of vintage furniture may wish to check out Café Wernbacher, which has featured the same well-preserved furnishings since the 1960s. Want to sample exquisite cake creations? Then take a seat at Konditorei Fingerlos in which tartlets and cakes can be ordered that are so very pretty, you will hardly dare to eat them.
4pm – 6pm
Explore crafts in the old town
Refreshed after the short break, return to the old town to explore the long-established craft businesses. The houses in Salzburg’s old town do not only look as if hard-working craftspeople have been plying their trades here for centuries – this is really is also the case. Kirchtag, the last umbrella maker in Austria, is located on Getreiedegasse, for example. On Sigmund Haffner Gasse, the glassblowers of Schleiferei Kreis can be watched at work on most days. And leather wares have been sold on the other side of the River Salzach for centuries now – on the historic Lederergasse to be precise. If you ask at the counter in Lederhaus Schliesselberger, you will be allowed to visit the first floor of this building that houses the leather guild’s historic hall featuring wonderfully ornate frescoes. And across the way, it is not only possible to purchase handmade belts but also to watch the Salzburg belt makers at work.
One Day in Salzburg – Evening
6pm – 8pm
Dinner in Geheime Specerey restaurant
We shall remain in the old town for dinner – and head for the historic vaulted cellar of the Geheime Specerey restaurant in which home-made antipasti, risotto and Hungarian curly coat pork specialities can be enjoyed to the accompaniment of a fine tipple from the well-stocked wine cellar. In fine weather, it is alternatively possible to take a seat at a table in the alleyway in front of the restaurant and to enjoy a little Italianità on warm summer nights opposite the Tuscany tract of the Salzburg Residence.
8pm – 1am
The quest for the best gin and tonic
Let’s raise a toast to a successful and eventful day! In Salzburg, this is best done with a sophisticated gin and tonic. You will have to decide for yourself the best place for this. A good starting point is the Dinner Bar in the Elefant restaurant on Sigmund Haffner Gasse where you can settle back at a niche table and make a toast – in an entirely contemporary style – with drinks served in screw-top jars. Obtain outstanding liquor advice in Little Grain where you will receive information so detailed when you order a gin that you will want to order all varieties at once. While the tiny little Ginería on Steingasse certainly lives up to its name, perhaps the largest selection of gins in the city can be found at the sophisticated Imlauer Sky Bar from which breathtaking panoramic views can also be enjoyed over Salzburg.
1am – 5am
Party the night away
Not yet had enough of Salzburg’s nightlife? Then why not head to where the locals go to celebrate. A chilled-out atmosphere prevails at Chez Roland, which is an absolutely classic Salzburg establishment in which not only partygoers of all ages meet, but Hollywood stars of the likes of Cameron Diaz have also been spotted. And those with energy remaining in the early hours of the morning should head on to After Five. The name says it all: the club only opens at 4:15 a.m. and revellers are able to order drinks at a time when breakfast is already being served elsewhere. Just one thing remains to be said: cheers!