Best Itineraries for Rothenburg:
Suggested Stay: 3-4 Full Days
Important Hours: Most sights are open daily until 5-7pm depending on the season and the beer halls are open until late. Hellbrunn Trick Fountains are open until 9pm in peak season, but are closed for Winter November-March. The Hedge Maze and Dwarf Garden at Mirabell Palace are also closed in Winter. On Mondays, the Old Residenz and Modern Art Museum are both closed.
Best Time Of Year To Visit: We like the Fall from August through October the most, but Salzburg is a great city all year. Each season has its own festivals and even though a couple of sights are closed in the Winter, things like the Christmas Market make up for it.
Salzburg Card: For a 1-3 day visit, consider getting Salzburg Card when you get there which covers the entrance to most attractions as well as the city buses. Cost is 24 hours for 27€, 48 hours for 36€, & 72 hours for 42€ (Cheaper November-April, kids half off).
Planning Your Time:
Properly planning your time in Salzburg will take away a lot of stress and help you feel like a regular visitor. Our suggested itineraries for Salzburg are pretty straightforward since most of the sights are either right in Old Town or within close walking distance. Many visitors try to cram a ton of attractions into 24 or 48 hours, which is totally fine, but staying in Salzburg for 3 to 4 full days is a lot better.
Adding a couple of more days in Salzburg will really help you see everything at a more laid-back pace with extra time for a wonderful side trip or two. The suggested itineraries for Salzburg that we’ve come up with are from our own first-hand experiences. We hope our tips help you better divide your time in Salzburg so you can make the most of your visit.
Related Article: Top 10 Things To Do In Salzburg.
One Day In Rothenburg:
With just a 1-day itinerary in Salzburg, we suggest that you focus your time near the historic core of Old Town. Everything in Salzburg is quite compact, so if you start early in the morning you can get through our self-guided Salzburg Walking Tour and the in-town Sound of Music Movie Locations (1-11) very easily. If you are willing to start by at least 8am and make it a long day, you can even fit in The Sound of Music stops just South of Old Town (12-15) before enjoying your evening.
When we only have one day in Salzburg we love getting dinner at the Saint Peter’s Keller which is the oldest restaurant in Europe dating back to 803 and has excellent food. Sunset on the patio of the Stiegl Beer Garden is also cool, but we like the history a little more at Saint Peter’s which also has nightly Mozart concert shows. Finishing your day as the old Augustiner monk’s brewery is a must if you only have 24 hours in Salzburg.
If you are planning on visiting both the High Fortress in Old Town and the Hellbrunn Palace Trick Fountains to the South of Town in one day, make sure to visit the Fortress in the first half of the day before it gets busy. The Trick Fountains at Hellbrunn Palace are open until 9pm in the Summer (Closed November-March) which gives you more flexibility, but give yourself enough time to get there from Old Town.
Old Town Walking Tour with Mozart sights.
Sound of Music Movie Locations 1 through 11.
Traditional dinner at Saint Peter’s Restaurant then drinks at the Augustiner Monks Brewery.
Two Days In Rothenburg:
A 2-day itinerary for Salzburg makes your trip planning more flexible while giving you time to see all the main sights in town. The first day we suggest doing all of our Old Town Salzburg Walking Tour including the High Fortress and Mozart sights along with the in-town The Sound of Music Movie Tour locations (1 through 11). If you want to take a lot of extra time at the museums and for shopping, feel free to move your visit of the High Fortress to the afternoon of the second day. Finish your first evening by having a traditional dinner at Saint Peter’s Restaurant followed by drinks at the Augustiner Brewery to cap the start of your 48 hours in Salzburg. The Augustiner Brewery was started by monks in 1621 who came to Salzburg from Munich where they were already brewing beer since 1328!
On the second day of your Salzburg itinerary, we suggest renting a bike to see the Sound of Music film locations just South of Old Town (12-15) along with the trick fountains at Hellbrunn Palace. In the afternoon you’ll want visit the High Fortress if you didn’t get to it on day one as it is a true highlight of Salzburg. If you’ve already done the Fortress and want to see more on the South side of town, you can visit the famous Stiegl Brewery which opened in 1492, the Hangar 7 Museum at the Airport, or take a short bus ride & cable car up to the peak of nearby Untersberg Mountain. Whichever afternoon activity you choose, we recommend having traditional dinner at Stieglkeller Restaurant overlooking Old Town from the base of the High Fortress to end day 2. If you can get to Stieglkeller Restaurant before dusk you will get an excellent sunset overlooking Old Town Salzburg and the Cathedral.
If you are an extreme power traveler you can try to cram all the sights into your first day then spend your second day on a Side Trip from Salzburg. The three best day trip options are Hallstatt, Berchtesgaden, and Werfen, but be aware that any of them will eat up an entire day from an early breakfast until dinner time. Day trips are best worked in if you have more than two days and can be seen on our other suggested itineraries for Salzburg below.
•Day 1: Old Town Wal with Mozart Sights and High Fortress plus The Sound of Music Movie Locations 1-11 during the day. Traditional dinner at Saint Peter’s Restaurant. Evening at the Augustiner Monks Brewery.
•Day 2: Rent a bike ride to visit The Sound of Music Movie Locations 12-15 & Hellbrunn Trick Fountains during the day. Afternoon Stiegl Brewery, Untersberg Mountain, or High Fortress. Evening traditional dinner and sunset at the Stieglkeller Restaurant.
Rent a bike to see the sights just South of Old Town Salzburg.
Sound of Music Movie Locations 12 through 15 followed by your choice of afternoon sights.
Evening traditional dinner at the Stieglkeller Beer Hall.
Three Days In Rothenburg:
Having a 3-day itinerary for Salzburg will let you cover a lot more while also working in time to relax and enjoy it. You will still need 2 full days in Salzburg to see all of the main sights in town, but a third day lets you also work in a side trip. During the first two days, you will be able to cover all of our Old Town Walking Tour and the Sound of Music Movie Tour locations 1-15 along with some great meals. On the last day, you can then take a day trip from Salzburg with the best three options are being Hallstatt, Berchtesgaden, and Werfen. Because you don’t have to book your train or bus tickets ahead of time you can be flexible and do your side trip on day two instead of three if needed for weather reasons.
Diving into the day trip options a little more for this three day suggested itinerary for Salzburg. Both Hallstatt and Berchtesgaden easily and cheaply visited by local bus, while Wwerfen is connected directly to Salzburg by train. It can be a tough choice between the day trips, but we prefer Hallstatt as the beauty of this lakeside village is unbelievable. Hallstatt has half-timber homes, an Alpine lakefront, a salt mine, mountain views, bone chapel, and an ice cave. Berchtesgaden also has a salt mine, plus Hilter’s Eagles Nest, the King’s Lake Ferry, great hiking, and a quaint village center. Werfen is known for its high fortress, mountains, and the World’s largest ice cave. Keep in mind that while the salt mine in Berchtesgaden is open year round, the one in Hallstatt is closed each Winter from November through Mid-April. Also in the Winter, the ice cave in Hallstatt, ice cave in Werfen, and Hitler’s Eagles Nest in Berchtesgaden are all closed for the season until May each year.
•Day 2: Take a morning bike ride to visit the Sound of Music Movie Locations 12-15 & Trick Fountains during the day. Afternoon Stiegl Brewery, Untersberg Mountain, or High Fortress. Evening traditional dinner with a view at Stieglkeller Beer Hall.
•Alternative Day 3: Take A Day Trip to Berchtesgaden for Hitler’s Eagles Nest, Kings Lake & Salt Mine -or- Werfen for the fortress and World’s largest ice cave. Night time at Sternbraeu Beer Garden or the Hotel Stein Rooftop.
Four Days In Rothenburg:
The perfect amount of time to visit in Salzburg is four full days. A 4-day suggested itinerary for Salzburg is basically the same as our three-day stay but with some extra wiggle room for dividing your time. This will also take the guesswork out of which day trip you should do as you will have time to do two of them.
With 4 full days, we would stagger our day trips to be on days two and four instead of being back-to-back as long as the weather cooperates. This staggering will help you get a couple of changes in scenery with a central base without getting burnt out. You will be able to see most of Old Town the first day, a day trip the second day, the rest of Old Town and Sound of Music sights day three, followed by a final day trip on day four. Each evening you’ll be back in time to explore a new restaurant and will finish in the same hotel room as your base camp.
If you are more in the mindset of cranking out as many cities as you can during your visit, consider packing more of Salzburg into day 1 and spending the first chunk of day 3 in Werfen as a third-day trip. Werfen has a great city center fortress, the World’s Largest Ice Caves, and The Sound of Music picnic meadow (all closed in the Winter).
•Day 3: Morning bike ride to visit the Sound of Music Movie Locations 12-15 & Hellbrunn Trick Fountains. Afternoon Stiegl Brewery, Untersberg Mountain, or High Fortress. Evening traditional dinner at Stieglkeller.
Top 10 Things To Do In Rothenburg:
1. Visit The Mozart Sights
2. See The Sound of Music Film Locations
3. Tour Salzburg High Fortress
4. Explore St Peter’s Church & Cemetery
5. Shop On The Medieval Getreidgasse
Read More: Top 10 Things To Do In Salzburg