Sound of Music Movie Tour In Salzburg - Film Locations Walking Tour Map
Sound of Music Movie Tour In Salzburg - Film Locations Walking Tour Map

Sound of Music Movie Tour In Salzburg:

Tour Style: Do-It-Yourself Walking Tour (Self Guided)
Time Needed: Tour stops 1-11 half day; 1-15 full day; all sights 2 days.
Important Hours: Festival Hall Tours are at 2pm (also 9:30am & 3:30pm in July & August); Villa Von Trapp room tours are at Noon (museum 10am-6pm); Drawf Garden closed in Winter.
Fun Scale: 10 out of 10

No trip to Salzburg would be complete without visiting the filming locations from the hit movie The Sound of Music.  Adapted from the story of the real-life Von Trapp family and the hit 1959 musical play by Rodger and Hammerstein, the 1965 movie became an instant blockbuster.  Touring the filming locations in Salzburg from this iconic movie will remind you that hills are still very much “alive with The Sound of Music”.  We hope you enjoy our free Sound of Music movie tour in Salzburg!

How To Divide Your Time:

In 1 day you can quickly breeze through The Sound of Music movie locations in Old Town Salzburg (stops 1-11) and even tour the four just South of town (stops 12-15) if you start early.  With 2 full days in Salzburg, you will have time to also visit most The Sound of Music movie tour sights further outside of town or mix in the Mozart attractions and High Salzburg Fortress from our Old Town Salzburg Walking Tour.  Having 3 full days is ideal, but to help you better divide your time, check out our suggested itineraries for Salzburg.

Getting Between Movie Locations:

Most of the Sound of Music movie tour locations in Salzburg are close to Old Town so they can be seen on your own by foot without paying to join a guided tour.  While you can easily walk between most of the Sound of Music film sights in Salzburg, we like to rent bicycles from Avelo in Mozartplatz ($15 a day; April-September 9:30am-5 pm; July & August 9am-7pm; [email protected]), especially for movie tour locations 12-15 located just outside of Old Town to the South.

Turning the walking tour into a self-guided Sound of Music bike tour will make your day more magical.  There are half-day or even overnight rentals if needed and you usually only need to make a reservation if you are in a group, need a tandem, or an e-bike.  Helmets and bike locks are included.  For Sound of Music movie locations further away from Salzburg, we have included the bus/train routes on our map, and current schedules can be found online here.




The Sound of Music Movie Tour:

1. Mirabell Palace & Gardens:

Salzburg Sound of Music tour Movie Film locations Tour Map - Do Ri Me Statues Mirabell Garden
Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Film locations Tour Map - Do Ri Me Song Mirabell Garden

About Mirabell Palace: The entire end of the song ‘Do Re Mi’ in the Sound of Music movie was filmed at the Mirabell Palace Gardens.  Because the grounds are open early every day, they are the perfect place to start our free Sound of Music movie tour in Salzburg.  The Mirabell Palace was completed in 1606 (rebuilt 1693) as the home for Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich Raitenau’s mistress and the gorgeous gardens were built out later from 1715-30.  In addition to its Sound of Music fame, the Mirabell Palace is also where Mozart would play private concerts as a child.

As you enter the Mirabell Palace Gardens from the South, you will recognize the two impressive pairs of Greek fencing statutes from The Sound of Music movie as the Von Trapp children had mimicked their playful poses.  The stone figures, which were inspired by the ancient Borghese Gladiator Statue from Ephesus (displayed in the Louvre), each leap forward with a fist triumphantly in the air.  You likely won’t be the only ones following our free Sound of Music movie tour so don’t be shy to copy the poses as you pass by the statues.

While wandering further into the Mirabell Gardens, you’ll also remember the central spouting fountain from the ‘Do Re Mi‘ scenes of the Sound of Music movie.  From here make sure to turn around and check out the fantastic views the Mirabell Palace Gardens provide of High Salzburg Fortress (Hohensalzburg) towering over Salzburg.  You will get many unique vantage points of the High Fortress throughout this Sound of Music walking tour.

Cost: Free.  Garden Hours:  Main Gardens are open Daily all year from Dawn to Dusk; however, the Hedge Maze and Dwarf Garden are CLOSED each Winter.  Palace Interior HoursDaily 8am-6pm.  Palace Marble Hall Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 8am-4pm; Tuesday & Friday 1-4pm.  Photos: (Entrance | Garden View | Front of Palace | Palace Interior – Staircase Angels).

Sound Of Music Movie Connection: Scenes from the end of the song “Do, Re, Mi” have the children dancing past the spouting fountain, through the garden, and mimicking the triumphant gladiator statues.

2. Pegasus Fountain & Musical Steps:

Salzburg Sound of Music Tour Movie Film locations Tour Map - Horse Fountain Do Ri Me
Salzburg Sound of Music Tour Movie Film locations Tour Map - Do Ri Me Music Note Steps Song Scene

About The Pegasus Fountain & Musical Steps: On the Northwest corner of the Mirabell Palace grounds you’ll find another flowered garden section known as the Small Parterre, which is home to the iconic Pegasus Statue Fountain.  The Von Trapp children skip around the circular lip of the Pegasus Fountain (added in 1913) in The Sound of Music movie while singing ‘Do Re Mi’.

Beyond the Horse Fountain, you’ll also recognize the North Terrace steps leading up to a rose garden which Maria and the kids used as a hopping musical scale.  As Maria belts out the final notes of ‘Do Re Mi‘ from the top of the musical steps, she stands with her right hand high in the air like the triumphant statues from the Mirabell Palace entrance.  Before hopping up the steps yourself, make sure to check out the goat-bearded unicorn statues at the bottom.  The steps from The Sound of Music are also a great place to see the mighty High Fortress towering over Salzburg.  Reaching the top, you’ll have one of the best views on this free Sound of Music walking tour.

Cost: Free.  Garden Hours:  Daily all year from Dawn to Dusk.

Sound Of Music Movie Connection: During “Do, Re, Mi” the children dance around the Pegasus Fountain before hopping up the steps like musical notes in the dramatic finale of the song.







3. Hedge Maze & Gnome Park:

Salzburg Sound of Music Tour Movie Film locations Tour Map - Hedge Maze Tunnel Scene
Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Film locations Tour Map - Do Ri Me Song Gnome Dwarf Statue

About The Hedge Maze & Gnome Park: Make sure to follow the other set of steps near the Horse Fountain (opposite the Palace & guarded by lion statues) across a small footbridge to the Dwarf Gnome Park (Zwergerlgarten).  Some of the sculptures were said to be modeled after real-life dwarfs in 1715, but overall the works were meant to be caricatures making fun of Salzburg’s common people who weren’t even allowed in the park (became public in 1854).  A total of 28 dwarf statues were carved out of local Unterberg Marble (chalky limestone) placed in the small eastern section of the main garden to make the upper class feel like the big people and to be the be the ugly artwork needed to balance out the ground’s large beautiful central statues in triumphant poses.

In 1815, the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig I had the dwarf statutes removed from the palace grounds and auctioned off as he was superstitious that they would be bad luck for his pregnant wife.  Their son Otto, who was born in Mirabell Palace the same year, would later go on to become the King of Greece.  Luckily many of the statutes were bought back starting in 1919 (resorted in 1921 & 2017) and a new area was made for them on top of a bastion from Salzburg’s Medieval wall where 15 of the original 28 statues now sit.  All of the figures are fun, but the dwarf wearing eyeglasses is the one that all of the Von Trapp kids patted on the head during ‘Do Re Mi’ in The Sound of Music movie.  We love inspecting each of the baroque statues, but don’t forget to check out the pair dwarfs on the wooden bridge leading to the garden playing Pallone which was a Renaissance version of baseball where you use your arm as the bat.

As you leave the dwarf garden to exit the Mirabell Palace grounds, make sure to visit the long pergola vine tunnel and hedge maze which are also featured in The Sound of Music movie.  You’ll have a great time pretending that you are Maria and the children as you hop through the ivy-laced tunnel.  Personally, we have had a blast taking funny photos in the hedge maze, and it is one of our favorite stops on the Sound of Music movie walking tour in Salzburg.

Cost: Free.  Garden Hours: Daily 6am-Dusk; Dwarf and Hedge areas are typically closed in the Winter months.

Sound Of Music Movie Connection: Scenes from the song “Do, Re, Mi” including skipping down the vine tunnel and the children patting the dwarf with glasses on the head.

4. Salzburg Marionette Theater:

Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Tour Film locations Tour Map - Marionette Puppet Theater Scene Lonely Goatherd
Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Film locations Tour Map - Marionette Puppet Theater Scene Lonely Goatherd

About The Salzburg Puppet Theater: People who love The Sound of Music will know this fantastic marionette theater (operation since 1913) as the inspiration for one of the best scenes movie.  In the film, Maria and the children perform Lonely Goatherd with carved puppets on a ministage inside the Von Trapp Family’s golden ballroom.  This is one of our favorite scenes from The Sound of Music and it’s maybe the one song from the soundtrack that is the most difficult to get out of your head after hearing it.

The local Salzburg Puppet Theater was asked to perform in the scene, but because the troop was out on tour during the filming they were unable to do so.  The cast then relied on the assistance of famous American puppeteer Bil Baird and his wife Cora Eisenberg to make the magic happen during the shoot in Hollywood.  The scene in the movie takes place in a studio recreation of the real-life golden Venetian ballroom which can be found inside Salzburg’s Leopold Palace.

There are no set tour hours for visiting the Salzburg Puppet Theater, but you can get a taste of the action in person with their great line up of live shows most days which focus on the operas of Mozart.  The marionette theater also now does a full-length puppet version of The Sound of Music Broadway play a few times a week since 2007 which is an extra treat.  Their Sound of Music show requires ten expert puppeteers working in harmony and they have 3 complete sets of marionettes dolls for each of the Von Trapp children to account for wardrobe changes.

Address: Schwarzstraße 24.  Show Hours: Various shows throughout the week with 4pm afternoon shows and an evening dinner show starting at 7:30pm (dinner at 6:30pm).  Website & Schedule:  Here.

Sound Of Music Film Connection: Maria and the children perform “Lonely Goatherd” with marionette puppets.  The local troop which inspired the scene also performs a full-length puppet version of The Sound of Music Broadway play.

5. Winkler Terrace:

free Sound of Music Movie In Salzburg Film Movie Locations Do It Yourself Guide - Winkler Terrace Do Re Mi Scene M32 Cafe
free Sound of Music Movie In Salzburg Film Movie Locations Do It Yourself Guide - Winkler Terrace Do Re Mi Scene M32 Cafe

About Winkler Terrace: The breath-taking Winkler Terrace sits high up on Monk’s Hill (Mönchsberg) overlooking Old Town Salzburg from a steep cliff.  It was the perfect place for Maria and the children to bring the ‘Do Re Mi’ song into Salzburg from the meadow as they begin to mix the order of the musical notes up for practice.  Earlier in the movie, the terrace is also where Maria appears while leaving the convent for the Von Trapps the first time.

At the time of the filming, this stunning terrace was home to the historic Cafe Winkler which offers the best panoramic views of Salzburg on this free Sound of Music movie tour.  The M32 Café (website, horrible service) and the Modern Art Museum (website) now occupy Winkler Terrace, but great views of the city along the same stone walkway filming location have been preserved.  You will see the city center and the Salzach River below you as well as the High Fortress and the red Nonnberg Abbey spire straight across Old Town Salzburg.

It’s not just the views that make Winkler Terrace amazing as it is also surrounded by a timeless section of the fortified Medieval Militia Wall (Burgerwehr) which was built in 1487 to protect the city.  As you work your way along the ramparts of the wall, the small Stadt Alm Cafe (website) is one of our favorite places to get coffee in town.  The Stadt Alm Cafe still has great views, while being both less crowded and less expensive than the M32 Cafe which is known for horrible service.  Personally, we have experience M32’s bad service a number of times and highly recommend the rustic Stadt Alm over it.

The cliff top is also home to Schloss Mönchstein (website) & Johannes Schlössl which are beautiful castles turned hotels.  If you have extra time, at least make sure to check out Schloss Mönchstein.  First documented in 1350, the castle was nicknamed the Professor’s Castle when it was run by monks.  Nearby you’ll see other defensive structures like the old Mülleggertor city gate built in 1280.

Getting Up To Winkler Terrace: The most accessible way up is the Mönchsberg Elevator which sits behind the Salzburg Museum and takes you directly to Winkler Terrace.  Look for the pink row house along the cliff with a large MdM above the entrance.  Alternatively, can take a taxi to up the backside of the cliff to the cafe or the stairs at Toscaninihof (behind the Festival Hall) to the top of Mönchsberg and reach the terrace with a 20-minute walk.  Elevator Cost & Hours: Adults 2.30€ one way or 3.60€ round trip; kids half off.  Is covered by the Salzburg Card.  Terrace HoursDaily 24 Hours; elevator stops between 7-9pm depending on the season.  Photos: (View From Terrace | View From Cafe at Night | Schloss Mönchstein | Johannesschlössl).

Sound Of Music Film Connection: Wonderful city views are had during “Do Re Mi” from the terrace as Maria has the children mix up the order of the musical notes.  The terrace is also is where Maria appears while leaving the convent on her way to the Von Trapps for the first time.

6. Horse Bath (Pferdeschwemme):

Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Tour Film locations Tour Map - Horse Bath Fountain
Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Film locations Tour Map - Horse Bath Fountain

About The Horse Bath: Sitting below the cliffside of Mönchsberg Hill is the largest of Salzburg’s two surviving Medieval horse baths which were basically car washes for horses in the Middle Ages.  In the Sound of Music movie, this long fountain is where Maria and the Von Trapp kids stop to splash in the water during the instrumental ending to ‘My Favorite Things’.   Additional scenes for the movie were shot at the fountain but were later cut from the film.

The Prince-Archbishop had the mural backdrop and statue of a horse being tamed added to the sprawling fountain in 1693 (in use since 1599) to match the theme of his neighboring Royal Stables (Hofmarstall).  We love how the cliff backdrop and bright murals add drama to any photos you take here.  We will pass by the other Medieval horse bath later on this free Sound of Music walking tour in Chapter Square (Kapitelschwemme) which framed by two lovely willow trees below the High Salzburg Fortress.  Both horse bath fountains in Salzburg are fed by ancient underground canals in use since Roman times and revamped in both the 700s and 1200s.

Sound Of Music Movie Connection: Maria and the children dance past the Horse Bath in the song “My Favorite Things”.  A few other shots filmed here were cut from the movie.

7. Rock Riding School & Toscaninihof:

Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Tour Film locations Tour Map - Rock Riding School Theater So Long Farewell
Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Tour Film locations Tour Map - Toscaninihof Square

About The Rock Riding School: Stretching for more than a city block tucked against the steep cliff of Monk’s Hill (Mönchsberg), the massive Rock Riding School was home to some of the most powerful film scenes in this Sound of Music movie tour.  It is here the in the movie Von Trapp children rehearse for the Folk Festival inside the Festival Hall Theater (Festspielhaus) with Max as the tensions with the Nazis being to arise.  Later this open-air theater is also where Captain performs “Edelweiss” with help from the audience before being joined on stage by his family for “So Long, Farewell” before fleeing Salzburg.  This was one of only two interiors scenes from The Sound of Music movie (along with the wedding) that were shot on location instead of in a Hollywood studio.

During the filming of the scenes, hundreds of local extras took part in the audience and were taught the words to Edelweiss on set so they could join in.  The use of the song Edelweiss is a uniquely powerful way to say goodbye as the song was the last words written by famed play-write Oscar Hammerstein.  Hammerstein was battling cancer while adapting Maria’s memoir into the hit 1959 Broadway play, which superseded the iconic film by six years.  It was essentially his own goodbye song sung through Captain.  While not a real folk song, the Edelweiss flowers are important in Austrian culture because it only grows high up on the mountains.  When a young lady would receive an Edelweiss she knew that the boy who gave it to her had just risked his life to pick it (now illegal as they are protected).

While the Von Trapp’s Folk Festival performance didn’t happen this way in real life, it is still one of the best scenes of the movie.  In reality, the family had performed here in 1935 and won the Salzburg Music Festival in 1936 after officially forming their choir, but that was almost two years before the Nazis annexed Austria in early-1938.  After refusing to sing for Hitler’s birthday in April of 1938, the family escaped to Italy two months later, prior to the annual Salzburg Folk Festival depicted in the movie.

The real history of the Festival Hall Complex is also very interesting.  The cliffside was used as a quarry to build many of Salzburg’s churches before the Prince-Archbishop began to fill the void from the excavations with new Royal Horse Stable and Summer Riding School in 1693.  The well-named Rock Riding School (Felsenreitschule) was complete with an impressive 3-level, 96 box viewing gallery carved out of the rock wall.  The courtyard became important to Salzburg for horse training and riding competitions similar to the Spanish Riding School in Vienna.  We find it fitting that the arched stone portals in the wall look like a gladiator arena since Salzburg was originally a Roman town of Luvaum (15BC-488AD).   Since then, the former Rock Riding School Complex has been converted into 3 separate theaters and is fun to tour even when no shows are going on.

During the 5th annual Salzburg Festival in 1925, the Royal Horse Stable was the first of three spaces turned into performance theaters in the complex.  Known as the Small Festival Hall (Kleines Festspielhaushuge frescoes were painted in the theater foyer covering almost every square inch of the lobby the following year.  In 1939, the occupying Nazis had all of the beautiful frescos in the lobby removed saying they were terrible art, but luckily they were re-added in their original positions during renovations in 1956.  Further improvements took place in 2006 in preparation for the celebration of 250 years since Mozart was born in Salzburg, and space was renamed the House for Mozart (Haus für Mozart).  Today this sleek looking theater seats over 1,500, is used mainly for productions of Mozart’s operas, and still has an awesome mural filled entrance hall.

The second performance space came in 1926 when the Summer Riding School was also converted into a theater using the carved rock wall as a natural backdrop.  Called the Festival Hall (Festspielhaus), this open-air theater gained a partial roof (now fully retractable) in the 1930s and was the space featured in The Sound of Music movie.  The theater has over 1,400 seats, a sprawling 130-foot-wide stage, a 3-story arcade rock wall backdrop, and a retractable roof.  The final theater, called Great Festival Hall (Grosses Festspielhaus) is inside the former Winter Riding School and didn’t open until 1960 as it required additional excavating.  This huge space is the largest in the complex with over 2,100 seats, a massive 300-foot-wide stage, and shows a lot of productions by Richard Wagner.

The only way to see the inside of the complex where the Sound of Music was filmed in Salzburg, is to either join the official theater tour or see a live show.  Even if you aren’t going inside, make sure to swing by Toscaninihof Square on the Eastern end of the building which is also featured in The Sound of Music movie.  In the square, a seemingly cold-blooded Rolf gives Liesl a telegram for her dad from Berlin after the children finish rehearsing for the Folk Festival.  At Toscaninihof you will also find steps leading up to the top of Mönchsberg cliff if you are looking to explore.

Address: Hofstallgasse 1.  Guided Tour Cost: 7€.  Guided Tour Hours: September-June 2pm; July & August 9:30am, 2pm, & 3:30pm., please see their website here.  Photo: (Exterior from the West).

Sound Of Music Film Connection: Captain performs “Edelweiss” at the Rock Riding School and is joined on stage by his family for “So Long, Farewell” before escaping.  The theater is one of only two interior scenes actually shot on location in Salzburg.  Toscaninihof Square is where newly aggressive Rolf gives Liesl a telegram for her dad Berlin after the children finish rehearsing.



8. Saint Peter’s Cemetery:

Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Film locations Tour Map - Saint Peters Church Cemetery
Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Film locations Tour Map - Saint Peters Church Cemetery

About Saint Peter’s Cemetery: Near the end of the Sound of Music movie, the Von Trapps hide from flashlight wielding Nazis behind tombs in the cemetery of the Nonnburg Convent.  The real Nonnburg cemetery is extremely small and modest, so as the producers turned to the cemetery at Saint Peter’s Church for inspiration to build the set in Hollywood.  Ringing the edges of the flower-filled Saint Peter’s Cemetery are large crypts for local wealthy families closed with elegant wrought iron gates which were expertly reproduced for the movie.  While the real-life Von Trapps never hid in a cemetery, the scene in the movie adds great drama and a confrontation with Rolf which is different than the original Broadway play produced in 1959.

The peaceful grounds of Saint Peter’s Cemetery may just be the most serene location in all of Salzburg and it’s easy to see how it inspired the Sound of Music film scenes.  This unique cemetery goes back prior to 700 AD with cliff-side catacombs that go back even further to 215 AD.  We love the small Saint Margaret’s Chapel in the middle of the cemetery from 1491 and the oldest headstone we have found is from 1288.  Among the graves are Mozart’s sister Maria Anna as well as Franz Wasner who was the real-life Max Detweiler depicted in The Sound of Music movie.  Franz Wasner served as the Von Trapp’s advisor and choir conductor.

The most unusual thing about Saint Peter’s Cemetery to American visitors is that you do not buy the plots, but instead rent them.  Relatives of the dead must pay rent for the plot every 10 years and must serve as the caretakers.  If your family doesn’t pay your rent, they toss your body out.  This method also helps ensure that almost every rod iron headstone you pass by will have an abundance of fresh flowers.

If you making good time on this free Sound of Music film locations tour, make sure to check out inside of Saint Peter’s Church which has stunning murals lining its nave.  Next door to the church is one of our favorite places to eat called Stiftskeller Restaurant (website) which has nightly Mozart concerts (more info) and is considered to be Europe’s oldest restaurant.  Emperor Charlemagne himself even ate here back in 803 AD.

Hours: April-September 6:30am-7pm; October-March 6:30am-6pm.  Cost: Cemetery is Free; Catacombs 1€ Adults, 0.60€ Children.

Sound Of Music Movie Tour Connection: Saint Peter’s was the inspiration for the cemetery the Von Trapps used to hide from the Nazis at the end of the movie, although the scene was filmed in Hollywood.  The cemetery is home to the grave of Franz Wasner who was the real-life Max Detweiler.

9. Residenz Square & Fountain:

Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Film locations Tour Map - Residenz Square Horse Fountain
Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Film locations Tour Map - Residenz Square Horse Fountain

About Residenz Square & Fountain: Sitting on the site of a former ancient Roman Forum, Residenzplatz Square still shows off Salzburg’s early Italian ambitions.  The massive Horse Fountain in the middle of the square was one of the main filming locations where Maria family gleefully splashes while performing ‘I Have Confidence in Me’ in The Sound of Music.  Later in the movie, Nazi soldiers march through the large square while their flag hangs above the entrance to the Old Residenz Palace.  The dreary scene of the soldiers entering town symbolizes German annexing Austria in March of 1938 in what was called the Anschluss.

The focal point of the busy Residenz Square is the centrally located 45-foot-tall Horse Fountain (Residenzbrunnen).  Four horses leap out of the base while the Greek God Trion spouts water from a seashell at the top of the fountain.  Completed in 1661, the upper section is a replica Bernini’s famous Triton Fountain in Rome and it is the largest Baroque fountain located outside of Italy.  People watching near the Horse Fountain is incredible as the Residenz Square is the center of everything Salzburg.

On the Westside of the square is Old Residenz Palace (Alte Residenz) which had a Nazi flag draped over it in The Sound of Music movie.  Because of the disdain for the Nazi symbols in Salzburg, it took a lot of work to film this scene which also included soldiers marching through Residenz Square symbolizing the day Germany annexed Austria (the Anschluss).   The palace was built as a mansion for Salzburg’s Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich Raitenau in 1596.  Today the Old Residenz Palace has elegant staterooms, which are lavishly decorated, plus a prestigious art gallery that has Rembrandts and Rubens.

In 1602 the Archbishop built the New Residenz (Neugebäude) on the Eastside of the square to serve as his guest house.  Today the New Residenz is home to the Glockenspiel Bell Tower, Heimatwerk Shop, and the Salzburg Panorama 1929 painted by Johann Michael Sattler.  The Panorama 1929 boasts a series of stunning 360-degree panoramic paintings of many European cities made during the early 1800s.

As part of the construction to create the new open square and surrounding buildings, the Prince-Archbishop had to level many Medieval homes and a cemetery that sat here built above an ancient Roman Forum.  The Forum was from Salzburg’s early days as the settlement of Luvaum (15BC-488AD, pronounced U-Va-Voom) and was partially excavated in 2008 which revealed artifacts and walls from the time of Emperor Septimius Severus (193-211).

Sound Of Music Film Tour Connection: During the song “I Have Confidence in Me”, Maria splashes in the horse fountain.  The Old Residenz also has a giant Nazi flag on its facade in the movie as soldiers march into the square marking the German annexation of Austria (the Anschluss).

10. Mozart Footbridge:

Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Tour Film locations Tour Map - Mozartsteg Mozart Footbridge
Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Film locations Tour Map - Mozartsteg Footbridge

About Mozart Footbridge: This art deco pedestrian footbridge named after Salzburg’s most famous resident, Mozart, opened in 1903.  In the Sound of Music, the Mozart Footbridge (Mozartsteg) is the where Maria and the kids cross the river while pointing at the sights during the instrumental end to the song ‘My Favorite Things’.   The children then also cheerfully skip along the grassy riverbank during the scene.  The Mozart Bridge is a must visit for any Sound of Music movie tour in Salzburg.

Even though Salzburg dates back to 15BC as a Roman settlement of Juvavum, the Mozart Footbridge was only the third to span the river directly into the heart of Old Town.  An old Roman Bridge (römische brücke) was the only one over the Salzach River from 15BC-1599AD before it was replaced by the State Bridge (staatbrücke) and a second one wasn’t opened until 1859AD when the first Caroline Bridge (Karolinenbrücke) was completed.  All of the bridges had to be repaired or rebuilt following WW2.

If you do feel adventurous, the historic Steingasse & Kapuzinerberg Monastery, which are featured in our Old Town Salzburg Walking Tour, are only a short walk across the river.  Until the Mozart Footbridge was bought by the city in 1921, it actually required a toll to cross between Old Town and Stone Lane (Steingasse).

Sound Of Music Movie Tour Connection: Maria and the kids across the river while pointing during the instrumental end of “My Favorite Things” then skip along the grassy riverbank.

11. Nonnberg Abbey Convent:

Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Tour Film locations Tour Map - Nonnberg Abbey Convent Maria
Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Film locations Tour Map - Nonnberg Abbey Convent Gates

About The Nonnberg Convent: Sitting above the East side of Salzburg, the historic Nonnberg Abbey (Stift Nonnberg) was where the real-life Maria lived and the convent was depicted in many powerful scenes in the Sound of Music movie.  Founded between 712-715 by Saint Erentrudis, the niece of Saint Rupert (Bishop of Worms), Nonnberg is the oldest convent located North of the Alps which made it an excellent filming location.

Prior to being a convent, the perched location had been home to an ancient fortification dating back to when the town was the Roman settlement of Luvaum (15BC-488AD, u-va-voom).  The small fortification is why Bishop Virgil later renamed the town Salzburg (Salt Fortress) in the late 700s.  The Nonnberg Convent has been rebuilt a couple of times since its founding with the current Gothic buildings dating back to 1464-1506.  The red onion dome on the abbey’s belltower is one of the most iconic architectural features in Salzburg.

There were 4 great scenes filmed on the grounds of the Nonnberg Convent in the Sound of Music movie near the abbey gates.  These iconic gate scenes include Maria leaving the abbey while wondering “What will this day be like?”, the nuns talking about Maria, the children coming to visit, and the Nazis on the hunt for the Von Trapps during the escape as the nuns disable their car.  Fans of The Sound of Music movie will also remember the nuns singing the song ‘Maria’ in the courtyard at Nonnberg Abbey.  Permission to film inside the convent courtyard was not allowed, so they had filmed the scenes at much larger re-created sets in both Hollywood and at a small studio in Salzburg.

Nonnberg Abbey happens to be the same convent that the real-life Maria (Maria Augusta Kutschera) moved to from Vienna at age 19 where she lived in as a postulant (nun apprentice) for 2 years starting in 1924.  Maria (orphaned at age 6) also taught at the Benedictine Convent which led her to become an in-home tutor for one of the widowed Captain Von Trapp’s sick children.  She gave up her path toward becoming a nun and married Georg Von Trapp here in the chapel of the Nonnberg Abbey on November 26th, 1927.  The filming of Maria and Captain’s wedding scene for the movie, however, was at Collegiate Church in Mondsee Austria which is listed later on this Sound of Music movie locations tour.  It is interesting to note that the real wedding actually took place 11 years before the Nazis came to Salzburg (1927 vs 1938) and that Maria was 25 years younger (22 vs 47) than Georg at the time.

Many visitors skip the trek up to the abbey, but we think it is worth the effort and a highlight of our Sound of Music walking tour.  Every morning at 6:45am you can hear the resident nuns sing Gregorian chants in Latin which is a real treat.  Down to 14 nuns in 2017, there were 50 nuns living here during the filming of the Sound of Music.  The interior of the Gothic abbey where they sing is beautiful with a painted wooden altar from 1515 and a carved Pieta statue from 1415.  If you want to cheat a little on your hike up, you can actually walk downhill to the Nonnberg Convent after visiting the Salzburg High Fortress.

Singing Nuns: Every morning at 6:45am you can hear the nuns sing in the convent church.  Other Music: Most days March-November at 4:30pm the abbey also hosts 30 minutes of live music (mainly classical or chorus) by local artists.  Church Service: In addition to the major Catholic holidays, weekly church service is open to the public every Sunday at 9:30pm.  Place of Worship: Remember to be respectful while visiting and don’t be a loud tourist.  Church & Cemetery Hours: Daily 6:45am-Dusk (6pm in Summer); the Convent living quarters are not open to the public.  Abbey Website: Here.

Sound Of Music Film Tour Connection: There are 4 scenes shot at the Abbey gates, and the nuns sing “Maria” inside, although the interior scenes were shot in a studio.  The real-life Maria lived here for 2 years, she taught in the convent, and was married here in 1927, which was actually 11 years before the Nazis arrived in Salzburg.  The real nuns sing here every morning at 6:45am.

Sights Just South Of Salzburg:

12. Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron:

Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Tour Film locations Tour Map - Palace Leopold Von Trapp Mansion
Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Film locations Tour Map - Palace Leopold Von Trapp Mansion Lake Terrace

About Palace Leopold: Beautifully reflecting over a small lake, Palace Leopold (Schloss Leopoldskron) served as the primary filming location in Salzburg for all of the lake terrace scenes at the Von Trapp family home in The Sound of Music movie.  The most iconic outdoor scenes filmed on the property include drinking pink lemonade on the terrace, Captain hearing his kids sing for the first time, the children and Maria falling off the boat into the lake, and numerous shots of the lakeside horse statues framing up Untersberg Mountain.

The Leopold Palace was also the original home to the Sound of Music Gazebo from the movie which was later moved to nearby to the more tourist-friendly Hellbrunn Palace Gardens after fans started climbing the palace gates to see it.  We will see the pavilion in person later on this Sound of Music movie tour in Salzburg.  You can see the gazebo on the ground of Palace Leopold being used as a background prop in many of the lakeside scenes of the movie.  A second, much larger gazebo was built at Fox Studios’ Hollywood set for all of the scenes shot inside it including dancing throughout the song “16 Going on 17”.

The Baroque Leopold Palace was built in 1736 by Salzburg’s Archbishop Leopold Firmian, was later owned by King Ludwig I, and offered the perfect backdrop to represent the Von Trapp’s stately manor.  In 1918, theater director and palace owner, Max Reinhardt renovated the famous gold Venetian ballroom in the mansion to entertain his friends.  Max went on to co-found the Salzburg Music Festival in 1920 (official in 1925) which the real Von Trapp Choir won the competition in 1936 and were depicted performing at in 1938 in the movie.

It is said Max Reinhardt was the inspiration for the renaming the Von Trapp Choir’s real-life manager Franz Wasner in the screen adaptation of the family’s story.  It’s not a surprising name change as Max’s son, Wolfgang Reinhardt, bought the film rights to Maria’s 1948 memoir in 1956 and produced two popular movies about the family in German prior to the Broadway musical production (1959) and hit American film (1965) based off of the play.  Remember that like Max, all of the children’s names in The Sound of Music Movie were also changed for the film.

While the facade of Leopold Palace never appears in the movie, the inside of the elegant Venetian ballroom and grand foyer were re-created on a studio set in California for many iconic scenes in the movie.  These re-created spaces are featured when Maria is introduced to children, where the children sing at the party, and when they perform ‘Lonely Goatherd‘ with carved puppets.   The outdoor scenes showing the gates, front door, and facade of the Von Trapp home in the movie were shot at Frohnburg Mansion which is the next stop on our Sound of Music walking tour.  The real-life Von Trapp Villa is also listed below and is located only 1 mile away although it doesn’t appear in the film.

Today the Schloss Leopoldskron is privately owned and operates as a boutique hotel.  Staying here as a hotel guest is the only way to visit the lake terrace up close and you’ll also be able to peek inside the Venetian ballroom.  When you stay here you will notice how there aren’t trees right next to the lakeside horse statues like in the film, as a replica path and alternate set of statues were actually built 300 feet away during filming to create the perfect look.  If you don’t have a reservation at the hotel you will be limited to the free viewpoint across the Westside of the lake looking back at the Palace beautifully reflecting in the water.

If you are able to book ahead, you should really consider staying overnight here just to say you did it.  You may very well get a stay in a room where the previous owners Archbishop Leopold or King Ludwig I once slept.  Since the mansion is just South of town, it is the first filming location on our free Sound of Music movie tour in Salzburg where you should consider turning your self-guided walking tour into a do-it-yourself bike tour.

Getting To Palace Leopold: Unless you are staying overnight at the Palace you can’t visit the lakeside terrace, but you can see it from a popular viewpoint across the water.  You can walk here in about 25 minutes from either Nonnberg Abbey or from the heart of Old Town by taking the steps over Mönchsberg Hille from Toscaninihof Square.  You can also take Bus 25 to the Seniorenheim Nonntal Bus Stop and walk a quarter mile to the West of the Palace near Han-Donnenberg Park.  Biking here is also a great option which we prefer and a taxi ride is a good backup.

Staying Overnight: You can book a room through the Palace’s booking website for around 150-200€ a night in the Meierhof guesthouse or 400-600€ a night for a suite in the main building.  Tours: Outside of a few special events, you have to be a guest of the hotel to get a tour or access to the terrace, however, you can stroll along most of the small lake and take photos of the exterior from a distance.  Hotel Website: Here.

Sound Of Music Movie Tour Connection: All of the lake terrace scenes at the Von Trapp home were filmed here.  These include Maria falling off the boat into the lake with the children, Captain hearing the children sing, drinking pink lemonade, and the lakeside horse statues framing up Untersberg Mountain.  Leopold Palace was the original home of the Gazebo during filming.  The main foyer and staircase along with the golden ballroom from this mansion were re-created and filmed in a Hollywood studio.

13. Frohnburg Palace:

Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Tour Guide Film locations Tour Map - Frohnburg Palace
Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Film locations Tour Map - Frohnburg Palace Gates

About Frohnburg Palace: The Frohnburg Palace (built in 1660 as Grafenau Palace) by Prince-Archbishop Max Gandolf was used as the backdrop for the Von Trapp family home in every scene that does not involve the lake.  The most iconic feature you’ll recognize is the Von Trapp Mansion Gates where Maria arrives to meet the family while singing ‘I have Confidence’.  Frohnburg Palace is also where the kids tried to quietly push the family car past the Nazis and where the Captain pulls down the Nazi flag from the gate after the couple’s honeymoon.  They went to such extremes during the filming that even inside one scene, one angle may look onto the lake at Leopold Palace then the next angle of the same scene would be at Frohnburg Palace.  Front and Back

Although the couple’s real wedding took place in 1927 (11 year before the Nazis arrived), Captain really did refuse to fly a Nazi flag at their home.  The family even refused to sign at Hitler’s birthday party on April 20th, 1938 and fled Salzburg just two months after.

The grounds of the mansion have been part of the Mozarteum Music Academy since 1950, but the gates and wall from the movie are both accessible right next to the road.  If you are visiting Salzburg in July or August, you can stay here in the dorms here as the school is not in session for as cheap as 38 euros a night with a 3-night minimum.

Getting Here: Take the Bus 25 route to the Kleingmain Hacksteinerweg Bus Stop and walk one long block East to Hellenbrunner Allee.  Walking it is 35 minutes from both Palace Leopold and Old Town Salzburg or 20 minutes to the Sound of Music Pavillion at Hellbrunn Palace.  Nearby: Schloss Herrnau is located just a short walk to the east and is one of our favorite private homes to photograph.  Palace Website: Here.  Summer Hotel Website: Here.

Sound Of Music Film Locations Tour Connection: Used to depict the gates of the Von Trapp estate where Maria arrives to meet the children singing the song “I have Confidence”, the kids try to quietly push the family car through the gates, and where Captain tears down a Nazi flag after their honeymoon.  A total of 5 scenes were shot here.

14. The Sound of Music Pavilion:

Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Film locations Tour Map - Gazebo Pavilion 16 going on 17 Song
Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Film locations Tour Map - Gazebo Pavilion Something Good

About The Sound of Music Pavilion: One of the most famous and romantic scenes of The Sound of Music was filmed in this timeless gazebo when Liesl sings ’16 going on 17′.  Liesl badly twisted her ankle filming these scenes but was luckily able to tough it out.  Later in the movie, Maria and Captain fall further in love while singing Something Good in the gazebo.  It is still one of the most romantic stops today on our Sound of Music movie tour.

During the filming of the movie, the Sound of Music Gazebo was constructed on the edge of Leopold Palace more as a background prop for the lake scenes.  There was a second, much larger version of the gazebo built at the film studio in Hollywood which offered oversized space needed to shoot the scenes inside the pavilion.  After filming wrapped up the local gazebo was given to the city of Salzburg as a gift and initially remained on the grounds of the Leopold Palace.  After rapid fans started climbing the walls of the private estate to get to the gazebo, it was restored and moved to the more tourist-friendly grounds of Hellbrunn Palace.

The pavilion today is outside the walls the near the Eastern entrance to the Hellbrunn Palace and you don’t even need to pay the Hellbrunn entry fee to see it.  The public is not allowed inside the Gazebo, but you can still walk up to and dance around it.  Near the Gazebo is a large park filled with tons of flowers that locals like to visit to get out of Salzburg for a few hours.

If you are making pretty good time on this Sound of Music walking tour you should consider visiting the Trick Fountains at Hellbrunn Palace.  The fountains are only available as part of a guided tour but is a very memorable time.  The tours last about an hour and take you through grottoes, ponds, and walkways all filled with trick fountains that are out to get you.  If you have kids with you, the Hellbrunn Fountains will be the most fun thing they do in Salzburg.  Your ticket for the Trick Fountains tour also lets you tour the inside of the Hellbrunn Palace itself which is pretty fancy and has some amazing ceilings.

Meaning Mouth of The Spring, Hellbrunn Palace and gardens were built by Prince-Archbishop Markus Sittikus from 1612-19 as a daytime retreat on the site of an old hunting lodge from the 1400s.  It’s said that during the construction the Palace was home to the first opera performance North of the Alps in 1616.  Like the trick fountains, the Hellbrunn Palace was really made for fun and was built with ZERO bedrooms.  The vast wooded grounds of the estate were settled as early as 500BC and have had a large villa since Roman times.

Getting To Hellbrunn Palace: Bus 25 from Old Town Salzburg stops right here (Fürstenweg) and it’s a 15-minute ride from Salzburg.  Alternatively a 50-minute walk with limited sidewalks from both Old Town and Palace Leopold or 20 minutes from Frohnburg Palace.  Bike rental is also a great option to see it all.  Gazebo Hours: Daily Dawn-Dusk all year.  Palace Hours: April, October, & November 9am-4:30pm; May, June, September 9am-5:30pm; July & August 9am-6pm.  Trick Fountain Hours: The Trick Fountains have tours from 9am-9pm in the peak season but are closed for Winter from November-March.  Cost: You can see the Gazebo for Free near the Eastern entrance to the Palace.  Tours of the grounds included both the Palace interior and Trick Fountains of 10.50€ for Adults, 5€ for kids.  Palace Website: Here.

Sound Of Music Movie Tour Connection: Where Liesl and Rolf sing “16 going on 17” while dancing around.  Maria and Captain also later sing “Something Good” in the Gazebo.  Most interior scenes had to be filmed in a studio as the inside of the real Gazebo was too small.







15. The Von Trapp Villa:

Salzburg Sound of Music Tour Movie Film locations Tour Map - Von Trapp Villa Mansion Real Family Home Maria's Room
Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Film locations Tour Map - Von Trapp Villa Mansion Real Family House

About The Von Trapp Villa: While not used as a filming location in the Sound of Music movie, this beautiful yellow 22-room mansion (built in 1863) was where the real Von Trapp family lived in from 1923 to 1938.  The widowed George Von Trapp was able to acquire the mansion for himself and his 7 children after being granted baron status for his valor in as a Captain in the Imperial Navy in WW1.

In 1926, Maria Kutschera was sent to the Von Trapp family home by the Nonnberg Convent to tutor Captain’s ill daughter Maria (children’s names in the movie were all different).  One year later the couple married which was actually 11 years before the Nazis arrived in Austria in early-1938.  Georg Was 47 at the time they married and Maria was only 22.  Maria and Captain had another 2 children of their own (of 3) while living in the Von Trapp Villa.

In 1936 the Von Trapps lost a lot of money in a bank crash, had to start renting out rooms in the lower level of their home, and started to perform professionally as the Chamber Choir Trapp to make money.  Sent by the local Archbishop, priest Franz Wasner came to live with the Von Trapps during this time and ended up becoming the family’s choir director depicted in the Sound of Music film as the character Max Reinhardt.

By early-1938 the Nazis arrived into the newly annexed Salzburg and the family began to plan their departure.  In June of 1938, the Von Trapps used the Salzburg Aigen Station in front of their mansion to escape by train to Italy (not Switzerland and no hiking), just 1 day before Hitler closed the Austrian borders.  Untersberg Mountain which they were depicting hiking over for freedom in the movie actually led right to Hitler’s backup command center in Berchtesgaden and Switzerland is a 250 mile (400 km) hike away over some of the Alps most rugged mountains.

At the time the family fled Salzburg, Maria was pregnant with the couples 3rd child (Captain’s 10th), who was later born a few months after the family reached America by boat from London.  The family’s estate was the seized as the private home for SS Chief Heinrich Himmler during the war before being returned to the Von Trapps who sold it to a local Catholic mission.

From 1936-1956 the Von Trapp family performed in over 2000 shows in 30 countries before settling on an American farm estate they turned into a hotel.  Georg Von Trapp died of lung cancer in Vermont in 1947, but Maria lived until 1987 and even had a brief cameo in the Sound of Music movie.

In 2008, the Von Trapp Villa was renovated into a hotel which you can tour or stay in today.  While you’ll probably want to use a bike or taxi to visit the Villa, it is worth a stop to work some real-life history into our Sound of Music movie tour in Salzburg.  Opened in the lower floor of the mansion is the educational Sound of Music Museum which has behind the scenes info dedicated to the filming of the movie.  They have audio guides available and the visiting hours are open every day.

Getting To The Von Trapp Villa: The Villa is located directly next to the Salzburg Aigen train station creating easy access just a 10-minute ride from Salzburg Station on the way to Werfen.  By Bike, it will take about 10-15 minutes from Old Town Salzburg (30 on foot) and about 15 minutes by bike from either Leopold Place or Mirabell Palace.  Taxi from Old Town only takes 5 minutes.  Arrive By Train: From Salzburg Central Station the S3 line leaves around every 30 minutes and after 4 stops gets directly to Villa Von Trapp at the Salzburg Aigen Station which the real family had used to escape.

Sound of Music Museum Hours:  Open daily from 10am-6pm.  Museum Cost: Adults 8€; Kids 6-12 are 4€; under 6 are free.  Villa Tours: Tours of the bedrooms are available daily at Noon with a reservation only for 15€.  Hotel Website: Here.

Sound Of Music Film Locations Tour Connection: Was the real-life Von Trapp family mansion and across the road is the train stop they used to escape to Italy just one day before the borders were closed.

Locations Further Away From Salzburg:

16. Werfen Picnic Meadow (Werfen, Austria):

Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Film locations Tour Map - Werfen Meadow Picnic Scene Do Re Mi Song
Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Film locations Tour Map - Werfen Meadow Picnic Scene Do Re Mi Song

About The Werfen Picnic Meadow: Perched just above the village of Werfen is the Gschwandtanger Meadow where Maria and children have their picnic scene during the start of the song “Do Re Mi”.  While you needed permission in the past to visit the farm meadow, the city of Werfen created an official Sound of Music Trail in 2015 to open it up to visitors.  A short 1.4km hike brings you above the village where you can re-create the picnic scene for yourself.

Make sure to take in the views of the valley and Hohenwerfen Castle below which dates back to 1077.  The Fortress is the sister of Old Town Salzburg’s Hohensalzburg Castle and is highly visible in the Sound of Music picnic meadow scene.  If you are looking to make your visit to Werfen a full day affair, make sure to tour the castle and also visit the World’s Largest Ice Cave sitting high above the city.  You’ll have to start early to do both.

Getting To Werfen: Trains run every 30 minutes between Salzburg and Werfen and the journey lasts just 45 minutes. A hiking path leads from the train station to the castle and another up the hill to the meadow.  The ÖBB offers practical combo-tickets ‘With the train to Hohenwerfen Fortress’.  More information is available hereVisiting In Winter: Bother the Sound of Music Meadow trail and the Werfen Ice Caves will be closed during the Winter months due to snow, but the Fortress is open all year.

Sound Of Music Film Locations Tour Connection: The famous picnic scene where Maria and the kids first start the song “Do, Re, Mi”.

17. Sound Of Music Meadow (Marktschellenberg, Germany):

Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Tour Film locations Tour Map - Julie Andrews Meadow Opening Scene Hills Are Alive With Music Song
Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Film locations Tour Map - Mehlweg Meadow Marktschellenberg Germany

About The Sound of Music Meadow: Made famous in the opening scene of The Sound of Music movie with a twirling Julie Andrews, this timeless meadow is where we learned that the ‘Hills are alive with the Sound of  Music’.  Officially called Mehlweg, the Julie Andrews meadow is only 12.5 miles south of Salzburg in Marktschellenberg, Germany.  Although previously connected to a guesthouse, the property has been a private farm since 2010 and is no longer regularly accessible to visitors.  You can, however, visit the Picnic Meadow in Werfen which is also on this do-it-yourself Sound of Music tour.

During the filming of the opening scene here, Julie Andrews had to be transported up the hillside each day in an ox cart to reach the meadow.  Even though it was in the Summertime (early June of 1964), it took them 5 days to finally get enough sunshine in the meadow for the perfect shot.  When the conditions were finally right, the strong force of the wind from the helicopter knocked Julie down 4 out of 9 tries before they finally got the famous shot of her twirling.  Because of how loud the tiny helicopter was, they had to do a voice over for part of Julie Andrews singing ‘The Hills Are Alive With The Sound of Music’.

A month after shooting the twirling portion with the helicopter, they returned to Mehlweg Meadow to finish the rest of the opening scene of the movie before leaving Salzburg.  The birch trees Julie Andrews walks by were actually fake (notice how you can’t see the tops or bottoms?) and other dressings like the stream were added artificially for the filming of the movie, but even stripped down the meadow is amazing.

Getting To The Sound Of Music Meadow: Although the Sound of Music Meadow is near the top of the Marktschellenbergiking trail and accessible by car/taxi it is now part of a private farm and not open to the public.  You can thank visitors who repeated walked through the owner’s family garden and irritated their sheep for the lack of access.  Respect their privacy and visit the Picnic Meadow in Werfen or the nearby hills in Berchtesgaden for the full Sound of Music Meadow experience.

Sound Of Music Film Locations Tour Connection: Julie Andrews twirls around in circles during the opening scenes of the Sound of Music while singing “The Hills Are Alive With The Sound of Music”.

18. Roßfeld Mountain (Berchtesgaden, Germany):

Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Tour Film locations Tour Map - Climb Every Mountain Closing Scene Rossfeld
Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Film locations Tour Map - Climb Every Mountain Closing Scene Rossfeld

About Roßfeld Mountain: The Alpine toll road that loops around Roßfeld Mountain East of Berchtesgaden Germany was used to depict the family’s climb to safety over nearby Untersberg Mountain at the end of The Sound of Music movie.  With a total of 12 takes they only used two clips with one from the South and one from the North with the Purtschellerhaus Alpine hut visible in the background.  While we love this iconic closing scene from The Sound of Music movie with the family singing ‘Climb Every Mountain’, it wasn’t very accurate.

For starters, the real-life Von Trapp family escaped by train and not by climbing over nearby Untersberg Mountain in real life.  The family lived right next to a train station and were quite lucky as the day after their train left for Italy in June of 1938, Hitler shut down the borders of Austria.  Even if the family had tried to hike over Untersberg, it would have been 175 miles across the rugged Alps to Switzerland for safety.  It also would have been hard to start the hike here as Hitler’s backup command center in Berchtesgaden was nearby.  The command center of Obersalzburg was home to the famous Eagles Nest and the Berghof mansion where Hitler spent more time than anywhere else during the war.

All of that being said about the film’s inaccuracies, this stretch of the Rossfeldstraße is still amazing to visit for drivers and the mountain is popular with skiers in the Winter.  If you wish to visit the summit of the real Untersberg Mountain you can bus there easily from Salzburg and Berchtesgaden followed by a quick cable car ride.  More adventurous visitors can also hike 2 hours from the summit to the Untersberg Mountain Ice Caves (Eishöehle) which is only ice cave in Germany.  Keep in mind that there are other ice caves in Werfen and Hallstatt Austria that are way easier to get to.

Getting To Roßfeld: The Alpine loop toll road around Roßfeld is best accessed by rental car or motorcycle.  Getting From Here To Untersberg: Take bus 840, 25, or 28 to the village of Saint Leopold then ride on the Untersbergbahn Alpine Lift Route to the top of the mountain if desired.  The Ice Cave is a 2-4 hour hike out of the way from the Alpine Lift.

Sound Of Music Movie Tour Connection: Roßfeld was used to depict the family’s escape over nearby Untersberg Mountain during the closing scenes with “Climb Every Mountain”.  In real life they took a train to Italy and climbing this mountain would have put them right at Hitler’s backup command center in Berchtesgaden.

19. Collegiate Wedding Church (Mondsee, Austria):

Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Tour Film locations Tour Map - Mondsee Collegiate Church Wedding Processional
Salzburg Sound of Music Movie Film locations Tour Map - Mondsee Collegiate Church Wedding Processional

About The Wedding Church: Located 16 miles East of Salzburg, the Collegiate Church (Kollegienkirche) of Saint Micheal in Mondsee (Moon Lake) was the film location for Maria and Captain’s wedding in The Sound of Music movie.  Often called the Wedding Church or Mondsee Cathedral, this bright yellow church was the perfect fallback setting for the wedding after filming was not allowed inside Nonnberg Abbey.

It is surprising to know that the timeless wedding scene was actually the first thing the crew filmed when they arrived in April of 1964 for their just over 3 months of shooting around Salzburg.  The filming of the wedding processional inside of the Collegiate Church was one of only two major indoor scenes (along with the singing contest) of the movie that was shot on location instead of in a studio.  The wedding was all filmed in one day (April 23rd) with the help of 600 local extras, and the crew attended other weddings here the week beforehand for scouting.  In the busy season, the Mondsee Church from the Sound of Music movies hosts up to 8 weddings a day.

The 170-foot tall twin towers and lavish pink interior are both awesome, but the Collegiate Church has a history also.  The first Mondsee Abbey was established in 748AD (rebuilt in 1500) making it one of the oldest in Austria and like Salzburg, the village itself goes back to Roman times.  In addition to the bright pink interior seen in the Sound of Music’s wedding processional, the Church is renown for its 7 side altars and the main Baroque altar which the statue of Saint Micheal from 1626.

In 2005, Pope John Paul II upgraded the spacious Collegiate Church Saint Michael from a Cathedral to a Basilica.  Mondsee is a pretty small village but the quaint square in the center of town near the Church is very rewarding and offers easy access to take a nice lakefront stroll.  As you head toward the lake, you’ll see the trees the children are hanging out of as Captain drives by with the Baroness and Max.

Getting To Mondsee From Salzburg: Quickest way to get here is bus 140 which leaves every 40 minutes and only takes 50 minutes for the journey.  If you have a car it is only 20-22 minutes away.  Consider checking out the nearby cities of Saint Gilgen or Hallstatt if you are going this direction.  Visiting Hours: Most days 9am-7am, optional donation suggested.  Church Website: Here.

Sound Of Music Film Locations Tour Connection: The Collegiate Church served as the film location of Maria and Captain’s wedding processional.  It was one of only two major interior scenes of the movie shot on location instead of a movie set.

20. Mondsee Lake (Mondsee, Austria):

About Mondsee Lake: Mondsee is one of the many amazing lakes you can easily visit near Salzburg.  Other favorite lakes of ours include Kings Lake in Berchtesgaden, Wolfgang See near Saint Gilgen, and Hallstatt See.  Kings Lake, Obersee, & Fuschlsee are all seen in aerial shots in the opening scenes of the Sound of Music.  As you head toward Mondsee Lake from the church you’ll see another spot from the movie, the trees the children are hanging out of as Captain drives by with the Baroness and Max.

Further along the Eastern edge of Mondsee, you’ll find one of best Sound of Music film locations where the Maria and the kids ride bikes during “Do, Re, Mi”.  As the children bike around Lake Mondsee, you can see the Zwölferhorn Mountain visible across the water.  When you picture a Sound of Music bike tour, the path around Mondsee is by far the most iconic route to pedal.

Getting To The Mondsee Lake Bike Scene Location: From Mondsee, you can either bike to the other side of the lake in 6 miles or take Bus 596 from the bus station to the Innerschwand/Mondsee Niedersee Stop in about 20 minutes, but the bus only leaves every 2 hours.

Sound Of Music Film Locations Tour Connection: Where the kids hang from the row of trees as Captian’s car drives by and where they ride bikes with Maria along the water during the song “Do, Re, Mi”.

Local Sound of Music Tour Guides:

1. Bob’s Tours: Bob’s Tours offer both a half day and full day Sound of Music Tours in intimately sized groups with 8 person vans.   The 4 Hour Tour covers all the main Sound of Music sights right in Salzburg including Hellbrunn Palace but also goes to the Leopold Palace, the Salzkammergut Lake District, village of St. Gilgen, and the Church of Mondsee.  The 8 Hour Tour takes the experience a step further by taking visitors to the unforgettable lakeside town of Hallstatt.  Hours: 4 Hour Tour leaves at 9am & 2pm; 8 Hour Tour leaves at 9am only.  Cost:  4 Hour Tour is €45 for adults and €35 for children; 8 Hour Tour is €90 for adults and €70 for children.


2. Panorama Tours
: Panorama Tours is more of the traditional larger tour bus style tours with a commercial feel.  This tour covers pretty much the same sights as Bob’s Tours 4 Hour Tour, and although it’s not as personal, it is a great sure fire tour.  Hours: Leaves at 9:30am & 2pm.  Cost: Adults are €40 and children are €40.  Has a hotel package deals that include a room, breakfast and 4 Hour Tour which ranges in price from €135 to €200 per person.


3. Maria’s Bike Tours:
We love Maria’s Bike Tours!  Their 3.5-hour-long tours do the best job of letting you experience the Sound of Music instead of just seeing it through a window of a van or bus.  People of all ages like this tour because although it is a bike tour, it doesn’t require you to be super in shape.  The biggest advantage is that it has an afternoon tour in peak season while most of the SOM tours only depart at 9am.  Did we mention, they provide the bikes and helmets?  Meeting Point: Mirabell Palace Entrance.  Hours: Leaves daily at 930am and runs from May 1st-Sept 31st; 430pm tour starts in June; reservations required June & August.  Cost: Adults €24, Ages 10-15 €15, Children 10 and under €10; bike is included for free and you can rent it for the duration of the day for €8.  Alternative: You can rent a bike without a guide from Mozartplatz and follow our full Sound of Music movie tour on your own.