The streets are indeed alive with the sound of music in this compact, historical city that gave birth to the great Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In the surrounding area, there are salt mines, ice caves and mountains awaiting your visit.
There’s no better way to explore this fascinating city and its surrounds than in your own hire car. If you want to make sure you see as much as you possibly can, a rented vehicle offers you the ultimate flexibility. Avis makes life easy for you with counters both at the airport and in the city centre, so no matter how you arrive, you can take advantage of our car hire services. Choose from an exciting selection of cars ranging from economy to luxury models and enjoy your getaway in style and comfort.
Situated on the border with Germany, and offering convenient access to many Austrian towns and sights, Salzburg makes a great starting point for your journey. Avis car hire offers a range of optional services and extras such as satellite navigation and winter equipment. Wherever you’re heading, we’ll make sure your car hire is just right for you.
Some unmissable sights include the baroque cathedral dating back to 1628 and the Benedictine St. Peter’s Abbey – said to be the oldest monastery in the German-speaking world. Another significant historical building is the Residenz Palace, the former official residence of the Prince Archbishops. Hellbrunn Palace is one of the most popular attractions. This Italian-style palace is situated at the end of a long avenue. Visitors are drawn to its Pleasure Garden with an unusual variety of grottoes, fountains, ponds and a Roman Theatre. For exclusive boutiques and memorabilia, head to the city’s medieval alley/shopping mile – the Getreidegasse.
The city’s unique skyline is in part due to the many hills within the city limits. Mönchsberg is the most prominent, on top of which you’ll find several walls, castles and a museum of modern art. It’s great for hiking all year round. Imposing Salzburg Castle complete with wonderful views can be found on Festungsberg.
For the musically inclined, visit Mozart’s birthplace or the memorial to the maestro on Mozartplatz. At the other end of the scale, there is a whole host of tours of locations made famous by the film The Sound of Music. The key sights include Mirabell Palace gardens, where Fräulein Maria and the von Trapp children danced among the flowers to Do-Re-Mi, and Nonnberg Abbey, where Maria was a nun.
Perhaps you prefer your music coated in chocolate? Mozartkugels with their pistachio, marzipan and nougat core have been handmade in the Konditorei Fürst at Alter Markt square since 1890.
Sticking to its musical traditions, the city has hosted the Salzburg Festival since 1920. It takes place in July and August every year. The highlight is perhaps seeing Hofmannsthal’s Jedermann being conducted in front of the cathedral. The annual Christmas Market opens at the end of November. Buy some gifts or just soak up the festive spirit over a steaming glass of mulled wine.
A short drive out of “Salt Castle” gives you access to a selection of salt mines. The most popular is the Hallein mine, just to the south. This former working mine has been converted into a show mine, presenting multi-media shows, a museum of Celtic culture and information on the salt trade. There’s also the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site of Hallstatt a bit further down the road, and Bad Reichenhall just over the border.
Also in close proximity to your car rental pick-up is Untersberg, an impressive mountain that straddles the border with Germany. Drive to St. Leonhard and take a cable car to the summit. Enjoy stunning views over the valley and the city on the Austrian side, and Adolf Hitler’s holiday resort nestled among the mountains of Berchtesgaden on the German side. Alternatively drive east to one of the local’s favourite mountains, Gaisberg – the one with the transmission tower. You can even drive up to the summit taking the so-called Gaisberg Panoramastraße. A classic car race is held up the Gaisberg Mountain every June.
For a magical blend of high Alpine vistas, Renaissance palaces and world-class culture, the famous Austrian Romantic Route stretching from Salzburg to St. Wolfgang offers a little bit of everything. With so many highlights along the way, the journey is every bit as special as the destination.
There are some fantastic sightseeing opportunities in the Hohe Tauern National Park in Mittersill, around 2 hours by car. The Krimml Waterfalls, with a drop of 380 metres, rank among the five highest waterfalls in the world. And Austria’s highest peak, the majestic Großglockner mountain, can be accessed from the comfort of your car via the Großglockner Alpine Road.
You are also centrally located for accessing some other great German and Austrian cities. Vienna is just 4 hours away, and Munich and Passau are just a 2-hour drive across the border into Bavaria. Oberndorf, just outside of the city, is where Silent Night, Holy Night was composed. You can visit the Silent Night Chapel for the full experience.
- What is Salzburg known for?
The picturesque city of Salzburg is famous for being the birthplace of Mozart and a UNESCO-protected old town that’s filled with lavish Baroque architecture.
- How expensive is Salzburg?
Salzburg is considered to be more expensive than your average European city, but if you’re on a budget you can save money by travelling in low season and looking for accommodation that is just outside the old town.
- Is Salzburg a walkable city?
The historic centre of Salzburg is walkable. With a hire car you can also explore the region’s spectacular countryside or drive to the Alps for some skiing.
- How many days in Salzburg are enough?
A visit to Salzburg can range from two to four days depending on how you plan your time. One day is enough to see the city’s compact old quarter, while adding on some extra time will allow you to use it as a base to visit places such as Hellbrunn Palace, Untersberg or Innsbruck.