Salzburg is a huge tourist attraction. You can tell this alone by the masses of Asian tourists that will travel there from literally the other side of the world. So I guess shame on me that as an Austrian I visited this famous city for the first time this year. The historic center of Salzburg is a UNESCO-World Heritage site and well, it’s Mozart’s city too. 😉 A friend of mine and me spent 48 hours in Salzburg and enjoyed ourselves on a student’s budget. Let me tell you what we did there, how we saved money while eating healthy and enjoying our trip!
What do to and see in 48 hours in Salzburg:
We arrived at the train station in Salzburg at lunch time and used a trolley bus (O-Bus) to get to our hotel which was right at the foot of the Kapuzinerberg. We stayed at the AllYouNeed hotel, which was great for location and price, but just about okay for the rest. We knew though what we were getting ourselves into, so there were no surprises. It was clean though, which is a must for me (no matter how basic a hotel is, I expect it to be clean). We had 3 more hours until our room was ready, so we stored our luggage there and went outside to walk down Linzer Gasse and start our sightseeing. After a few steps we already came across the St. Sebastian’s church and cemetery. It’s generally a beautiful old cemetery, and Paracelsus and Mozart’s widow are buried there. It being lunch time, we popped into the next Spar supermarket at Linzer Gasse to get us some rather healthy sandwiches, a smoothie and some more water (see more down below at my tips on how to save money). Having our lunch in hand we ambled down Linzer Gasse until we came to the river Salzach and crossed it at the Staatsbrücke to get into the old part of the city.
Walking up to the Alter Markt, we found some benches in the shade and enjoyed a quick lunch while taking in our surroundings and people watch to our hearts contend. 😉 The city center of Salzburg is very compact, so the walk from the St. Sebastian’s church to Alter Markt probably took us 10 minutes. After lunch we walked over to the Residenzplatz and had a look at the beautiful cathedral (Salzburger Dom). Entrance is free, but you are asked for a donation. Being on a budget, even giving 1€ helps and no one will look at you strange, I promise. After that we just wandered around in the beautiful alleys of the historic center, like the Goldgasse, Judengasse and then Getreidegasse (which was a huge construction site when we were there). We also had a look in the impressive all-white Kollegienkirche/University Church, before making our way back to the hotel to check in. On the way back we crossed the Salzach via the Markartsteg, which is a pedestrian and cyclist bridge and people have places hundreds of love-locks on the sides of this bridge (every city wants to be a little bit like Paris, I guess!).
After checking in and quickly getting settled into our room, we decided to head over to the Mirabell garden and castle. It was a less than 10 minute walk there, which really made us appreciate the location of our hotel. Those gardens! I could’ve walked around there for quite a while and probably taken a picture of every single beautiful flower, but it was just too hot for that. Just have a look at some pictures, so you can see if you might be as intrigued as I was!
We headed back to our room for a quick shower before just going down a few steps to the Bio Burger Meister in Linzer Straße for dinner. They have a great selection of burgers that cater to every diet: beef, vegetarian and vegan burger. All their ingredients are fresh, organic and locally sourced. Oh, and their prices are pretty awesome too: around 5€ for a very satisfying burger. I opted for the organic “Green Burger” which is vegan, consists of marinated tofu, cabbage, zucchini, avocado, cucumber, a creamy chives sauce, onions, tomatoes and pickles. With that I had the fries (which I was not a fan of, they I like crunchy fries and those were soft) and a locally brewed shandy. To burn off calories, we walked over to the historic side of town after dinner and just took in the balmy evening, beautiful light and also made our way somewhat up the hill where the fortress Hohensalzburg sits. From our half-way vantage point, we had some wonderful views of Salzburg.
The next day was our full day in Salzburg. We had some breakfast at the buffet of our hotel, which was fine if you are into savory breakfast. We had decided to head up early to the fortress Hohensalzburg, as it was supposed to be a very hot day. Going up there in the morning proved to be a good choice! We got the Festungsticket which is a ticket that includes a roundtrip with the funicular and all the entrance fees for the fortress itself. It was really worth it for us – so while I usually try to avoid getting combination tickets (they are often just a rip-off), this one was a good deal.
After spending a lot of time at the fortress, we took the funicular down again and visited the arch abbey St. Peter, the cemetery and catacombs there. There was a small entrance fee to the catacombs, but it was really impressive to see what past generations had constructed inside this hillside. Lunch was again some nice sandwich and fruit from the supermarket and the rest of the afternoon was spent walking around some more historic alleys and eating ice cream. Not the worst way to spend an afternoon, right?
We had dinner at a lovely Italian place called Il Centro in Linzer Straße again, where they offered all pizza with wholewheat dough as well and veggie options were plenty. Prices were reasonable too, my pizza was around 7€. To take advantage of the slightly more comfortable temperatures, we ventured up the hill again like the evening before and made our way to the Nonnberg monastery, to enjoy the views from there over the city. Walking down again we took the Nonnberg-steps, and made our way to the Republic café, to enjoy some drinks and salsa music. From what I can tell, they have salsa music there every Tuesday, so if you happen to enjoy that as well, you might want to pay that event a visit. 😉
The next and last day in Salzburg was rainy, but as we had seen everything we wanted to see already, we used the time to go to the natural history museum and also to the Europark shoppingcenter.
Whew! All in all, I think 48 hours in Salzburg are plenty to explore pretty much everything the city has to offer. A few more money-saving tips are down below for you:
5 tips to save money while being in Salzburg:
- Bus tickets – use the ticket machine or go into one of the many tobacco shops (Trafik), do NOT buy it in the bus, you pay several times as much. For example, at the time we were there, a 24hr ticket cost 3,6€ at a Trafik, but 5,50€ on the bus. And really only take the bus if you have luggage, or want to go somewhere outside of the center, everything is in easy walking distance.
- Lunch – don’t get sucked into the expensive tourist traps in the historic center, just go to a supermarket and get yourself a sandwich and some fruit. Spar sells fresh pre-made ones with wholegrain & vegetarian options for 2€. Add in a smoothie or some fresh fruit and you get lunch for less than 5€.
- Dinner – eat on the Kapuzinerberg side of the city. As with lunch, the places there are much more affordable. Linzer Gasse is a good option, with a lot of veggie friendly places too, where you can eat healthy and well without breaking the bank. Btw. this website is a really good source for vegetarian and vegan places to eat in Salzburg (it’s in German, but the words are so easy, that you should be able to understand it with Google-translate, otherwise just leave me a message and I translate it for you!)
- Accommodation – unless you get a really good deal, again consider the “other” side of the Salzach. Like I said several times, the city center is very compact and hotels are usually more affordable on that side than in the historic center.
- Souvenirs – if you are someone who just has to get souvenirs or send postcards home from Salzburg, do a little bit of comparison and step off the main tourist streets. I got my postcards in Linzer Gasse for 50% of the price of the same ones in Getreidegasse.
I hope you guys enjoyed my little recap of 48 hours in Salzburg plus my healthy eating and money saving tips! Have you been to Salzburg before? Please share the love, I’m sure there are lots of people out there who might want to travel to Salzburg and could need some tips. 🙂 To stay up to date with my travel and culinary adventures, subscribe to my blog, follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Oh, and I have Snapchat too (curlsnchard), where you are the first to know about everything that’s going on!