4 Days Holiday in Salzburg, Austria

Our 4-Day Family Holiday in Salzburg, Austria

Recently I wrote about our two days Family holiday in Innsbruck, which was a part of the ten days trip to Austria. We, as a family, took a holiday in Austria in the summer of 2021 and visited Vienna, Salzburg, and Innsbruck. On our ten days holiday, we spent four days in Vienna, four days in Salzburg, and 2 Days in Innsbruck. Today I am writing about the 2nd leg of our journey, i.e., Salzburg.

So, here was the Itinerary we followed in Salzburg:

Day 1: Explore the city (Salzburg Altstadt), Visit Hohensalzburg, Visit Mirabell Gardens

Day 2: A day trip to Hallstatt from Salzburg

Day 3: Visit Hangar 7 and Hellbrunn Palace

Day 4: A day trip to Dachstein Caves

Before I get to the details of the places we visited, let me take my readers through travel, transport, and stay.

How we reached Salzburg

Salzburg was a part of our ten days trip to Austria. As a part of that trip, we had already visited Vienna, and Salzburg was the 2nd leg. We traveled to Salzburg using the  ÖBB (Österreichische Bundesbahn) from Vienna. It took approximately 2.5 hours. So, we checked out from our hotel in Vienna in the morning and were in Salzburg by the afternoon. 

The tickets for ÖBB trains can be bought on their official website:

https://www.oebb.at/en/

Where we stayed

Since we are a family with kids already in their teens, having enough space for each of us is essential. Hotel rooms are not spacious and restrict everyone to a small room. So, off late, we have started booking through Air Bnb. We usually reserve a flat or house, preferably with an equipped kitchen and a minimum of two bedrooms, so that each of us has our own space and there is always an option of cooking something. 

We, as a family, like having a good breakfast and starting our day, and Airbnb allows us to make simple meals at home. Also, we like exploring the local supermarkets, finding what’s new, and trying out foods and drinks that are locally available. Airbnb is an excellent option for all the people who want to add this to their holiday experience. 

For this trip, too, we booked an Airbnb, and as usual, the experience was great.

Airbnbs can be booked using this link:

https://www.airbnb.com/

How we traveled around the city

In Salzburg, we used public transport to travel around places. Since we were planning to be in Salzburg for Day1 and Day3 and outside Salzburg (in Halstatt and Dachstein ) on Day2 and Day4, we bought the city day tickets on Day1 and Day 3, and the other days, we purchased destination-specific tickets ( I will cover that in detail on the Day 2 and Day 4 itinerary below).

Day tickets can be purchased at any of the ticketing machines at the bus stops, at the Tobacconists, or from the bus driver. Tickets can also be purchased using the official website of Salzburg Verkehrverbund (the public transport authority in Salzburg): https://ticketshop.salzburg-verkehr.at/ or app, but you have to register there. So, the simplest way we chose was to buy from the bus driver or the ticket machine.

Now, let’s get on with the Itinerary:

Day 1: Explore Salburg old city (Altstadt), Visit Hohensalzburg and Mirabelle Gardens.

On the 1st day, we wanted to get a feel of the city. So we reached Mozartplatz.

Residenzplatz

We spent time exploring some prominent buildings there, like the large statue of Mozart, The Salzburg Museum, Getreidegasse- the present-day shopping street with its famous landmark -Mozartgeburtshaus (Mozart’s birthplace), and the Salzburg cathedral.

The birthplace of Mozart on Getreidegasse

All these places are located within a kilometer of each other, and one can easily explore everything on foot.

We spent about 1/2 a day exploring the city and then stopped by for lunch at an Indian restaurant called Hanna’s Rasoi on Getreidegasse. This restaurant serves fantastic Indian food and is a must-visit when in that area. After having a sumptuous lunch here, he headed to Festungsgasse, from where we took the rail to Hohensalzburg. 

About Hohensalzburg:

Hohensalzburg Fortress is a large medieval fortress in Salzburg located at an altitude of 506 m. The enormous length and width of the Fortress make it one of the largest medieval castles in Europe. It can be reached by climbing steps or more easily by rail. Apart from offering beautiful views of the city, the Fortress also houses museums and princely chambers that are worth visiting. 

At Hohensalzburg

We had purchased our tickets for the fortress visit in advance, and I recommend to my readers to do the same as, during peak tourist season, there are long queues, and purchase may not be possible on the spot. Tickets can be booked on their official website: https://www.salzburg-burgen.at/en/hohensalzburg-castle/plan-visit/tickets/

There are many ticket options, but we bought an all-inclusive ticket, which included visiting everything inside the Fortress and the rail ride. 

A display in the museum in Hohensalzburg

The Fortress is enormous and offers lovely views of the city.

A view of the city from Hohensalzburg

Here I would ask my readers to be mindful of the closing timings of the Fortress. It is open till 8 pm in summer, but in winter, it closes early, around 5 pm. I suggest planning your entry time to avoid disappointment. Especially if you have bought all-inclusive tickets, you will need at least 3 hours to reach the Fortress and see everything. It would be best if you also accounted for the long queue for the rail during peak tourist season.

We finished our visit and climbed down using the steps. The scenery is lovely and can be enjoyed only when you climb down, taking steps, and not by rail. 

Our next stop was Mirabell Gardens:

A kilometer from the rail stop at the base of Hohensalsburg is Mirabel garden. 

About Mirabell garden:

Mirabell garden is a baroque-style historic garden adorned with fountains, well-manicured lawns, and plenty of places to walk or relax under the shade of a tree. From here, you also get a fantastic view of the Hohensalburg fortress. It is a photo enthusiast’s treasure because of this lovely backdrop. The garden is beautiful too and is a treat for the eyes. 

Mirabell Garden with a view of Hohensalzburg

After we visited the garden, we called it a day and headed back to our Airbnb.

Day 2: A day trip to Halstatt

On this day, we had planned a day trip to Hallstatt.

About Halstatt

Hallstatt is a small village about 70 km southwest of Salzburg on Lake Hallstatt’s western shore in Austria’s Salzkammergut region. It is famous for its lovely landscapes, Alpine houses, and Salt mine called Salzwelten.

How to reach Halstatt from Salzburg

You can either take the bus or train to reach Hallstatt. But using the bus is anytime a better choice as it is faster and cheaper. Bu train, you get dropped on the other bank of the lake, from where you will have to take a ferry to reach the salt mine side. Although the bus journey is broken into 3 legs, it is pretty straightforward and saves you time.

Here are the bus details:

Salzburg to Bad Ischl using Bus 150

Bad Ischl to Hallstatt Gosaumühle using Bus 542

Hallstatt Gosaumühle to Hallstatt Lahn by bus 543

Tickets can be purchased from the driver.

In total, it takes about 2 hours to reach Hallstatt from Salzburg.

We spent an hour or so exploring the place on foot. The lake is absolutely beautiful, and the sights are breathtaking.

The first view of Hallstatt as soon as we reached

The village is lovely, too, and a walk on the narrow streets, exploring the village, and admiring its beauty is a must-do activity in Hallstatt.

Hallstatt Village

Then we stopped by for lunch and headed to our next destination, Salzwelten, Hallstatt.

About Salzwelten

Salzwelten refers to the 7000-year-old salt mines in Hallstatt. The archeological finds discovered here prove that mining took place here as far back as 350 BC.

Entrance of Salzwelten,Hallstatt

Here, a 3500-year-old wooden ladder, the oldest wooden ladder in Europe, has been put on display and can be seen by visitors. Many axes and pics have also been found here, substantiating the history of mining activities in this area.

Large Salt Crystals on display

The highlight of these mines is large salt crystals, which are put on display, an underground lake, and a 64 m-long miner’s slide, which is said to be the longest in Europe.

Miners Slide: Visitors are allowed to slide. Its super fun!

The place can be visited only with a guided tour, tickets for which can be purchased on their official website:

https://tickets.salzwelten.at/de/2/date

The ticket includes, reaching up the hill using the funicular, the guided tour and using the funicular to come down too.

A note for my readers: If you are planning to visit the salt mines, book your tickets in advance to avoid long queues. To enter the mines, all visitors are provided special clothing, consisting of a shirt and pants that can be worn on top of their clothes. So, dress up accordingly and wear sturdy shoes. The place is mostly dark, and the guided tour lasts about 90 minutes, so if you have any problem with darkness, consider that before your visit. And lastly, plan at least 3-4 hours for the salt mines visit. That would include going up, exploring the exhibits near the salt mines, viewing the platform, etc., then the tour, and then returning to the base.

After our salt mine tour, we explored the lovely surroundings and returned to the base.

A view of the lake and valley from Salzwelten

Then we took the bus and returned to Salzburg the same way we came in the reverse order.

Day 3: Visit Hangar 7 and Schloss Hellbrunn

Our first stop for today was Hangar 7.

About Hangar 7:

Hangar-7 at Salzburg Airport is a unique building that houses the Flying Bulls aircraft fleet and a Formula 1 race car collection. Hangar-7 also offers space for art exhibitions. It is a treat for car lovers. There is no entry fee for this place.

We spent an hour here. The place also has a nice restaurant.

Our next stop was a super fun place called Schloss Hellbrunn.

About Schloss Hellbrunn:

Hellbrunn Palace is a big Baroque Villa built in the early 17th Century by the then Archbishop -Markus Sitticus. The key tourist attraction today is the many trick fountains- the idea for which came to Markus Sittikus, who thought it would be fun to perform practical jokes on his guests. He got many water sprays designed, which would mechanically get activated. At all of these games, there is always a spot that was never wet and where the Archbishop stood or sat and watched as his drenched guests took my surprise.

Roman architecture in Schloss Hellbrunn

Some of these are a large stone table with seats around it through which a water conduit sprays water into the guests’ seats and hidden fountains that surprise and spray guests while they walk along. Other features are mechanical, water-operated and theater with music.

Hidden Water jets spraying water on unsuspecting visitors

Here again, visitors can enter with a tour guide. Audio guides are given, and a guide demonstrates how all the secret water jets operate. Visitors can have fun getting themselves wet!

Adjoining the trick fountains is a large garden and the villa, which can be visited.

Here, with an audio guide, visitors can understand the story behind this building and about Markus Sitticus.

Tickets for the visit can be booked at the counter or on their official website:

https://www.hellbrunn.at/

Hellbrunn Palace is undoubtedly an informative and fun place to visit, especially when you are with children. They are sure to enjoy exploring the secret fountains and getting wet.

A note for my readers: You need at least 2-3 hours to fully explore the place, so plan your visit accordingly. Carry an extra set of clothes if you wish to have fun in the water fountains. Also, the Hellbrunn Palace and fountains are only open in the summer months. In the winter, only the open gardens can be accessed.

After we visited the Hellbrunn Palace, we headed back. That was the end of day 3.

Day 4: A day trip to Dachstein Caves

Located just a few kilometers from Halstatt are the Dachstein Caves. We made a day trip to these caves and traveled from Salzburg by bus.

Here are the details of how to reach the Dachstein Visitor center from Salzburg:

Here are the bus details:

Salzburg to Bad Ischl using Bus 150

Bad Ischl to Hallstatt Gosaumühle using Bus 542

Hallstatt Gosaumühle to Dachstein Visitor Center by bus 543

Tickets can be purchased from the bus driver.

Do the reverse when returning to Salzburg.

About Dachstein Caves:

Dachstein caves are ice caves located high up in the mountains and are one of the largest in the world. Visitors can buy tickets at the Dachstein Visitors center. The tickets include the cable car ride to the top (a 3 legged journey) and a guided tour of the caves.

We took tickets for 2 cave visits – The Ice caves and the Mammoth caves. Apart from this, we also visited the cave museums on our way to the caves. There are many more places to visit in Dachstein, but we were able to cover only these on our day trip.

The caves are a must-visit and provide great insights.

A note for my readers: If you plan to travel by bus for a day trip to Dachstein, start early. The last bus for return to Salburg is early in the evening, around 5 pm ( please check the latest bus schedule when you travel), so you need to be back at the Visitors center to catch the bus. Visiting all the caves, the museum, and the cable car ride takes time, and you will most likely stop at a restaurant for lunch. During the peak tourist season, there are queues everywhere, starting from buying tickets. All this will take at least 6 hours, so starting early is much recommended. Also, it’s cold inside the caves, so dress accordingly.

With this day trip, we ended our 4 days holiday in Salzburg!

Salzburg is a must-visit and an absolutely lovely place if you plan a holiday in Austria. The day trips to Halstatt and Dachstein make the trip worthwhile and offer experiences that are hard to get anywhere else in the world.

Mozart chocolates are found everywhere in Salzburg. These are nice souvenirs that can be taken back as a memory of the trip.

Read about the 1st leg of our vacation in Vienna here.

Read about our next leg of the journey to Innsbruck here.

Read about our other holidays here.

Do comment and let me know if this article was useful for you. If you have already visited Salzburg, share your experiences.

On my gallery page, check out more pictures of all the lovely places in Salzburg.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: