There’s a lot to love about Salzburg.
With its beautiful baroque buildings, manicured gardens, and the fascinating stories of a slew of remarkable characters, Salzburg has rightfully earned its spot as one of Central Europe’s most visited cities.
And while indeed, it can get really touristy (you’ll have to thank Mozart and the Sound of Music for that), Salzburg has managed to stay charming and even rustic despite its popularity. It’s a city that so obviously loves its visitors – the locals are warm and helpful, shops and restaurants are welcoming and accommodating, and the hotels and tours are polished and organized. Even with all the crowds during peak season, it’s easy enough to duck into less crowded alleys and discover lovely spots in the city that you’ve never seen on Instagram.
Salzburg is also an excellent base for exploring the beautiful Lake District. You can rent a car or join a small group and explore some of Austria’s most charming and photogenic little towns by day, and stroll around Salzburg’s peaceful streets at night.
Whether you’re planning a short city break or a week-long adventure, you’ll find lots to love about this charming Austrian city. Here’s where to stay in Salzburg.
Where to stay in Salzburg, Austria – a quick guide to the best areas and hotels
Here are our top recommendations to help you choose where to stay in Salzburg.
- If you want to explore Salzburg’s historical sights easily, stay in the Old Town. Most of the city’s historic sights, best restaurants, and shopping streets are within walking distance of the Old Town. This is a great place to stay if you really want to soak up the sights and sounds of the city from a convenient and comfortable base.
- If you want a slightly calmer, less touristic, but still central base, stay in the New Town. This district is nearer the Mirabell Palace and the city’s green spaces. It’s still within walking distance of Salzburg’s essential landmarks but detached enough from the busy, touristy center. This is great for couples and families looking for just the right mix of adventure and relaxation.
- If you want a relaxed stay away from the crowds, stay in Maxglan. This is an upscale residential district filled with locally owned boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants where you can experience a slice of local living. This is great for intimate holidays and as a base for road trips around the Lake District.
- If you’re a fan of the “Sound of Music,” stay in one of these iconic hotels. You’ll get to relive your favorite scenes, learn more about the von Trapp family, and experience an indulgent side of Salzburg.
Plan your trip to Salzburg with this handy PDF guide.
Map – essential landmarks in Salzburg and the Lake District
Use this map to plan your trip to Salzburg and the surrounding Lake District. You’ll find all the essential landmarks and best places to visit in Salzkammergut.
If you want to explore Salzburg’s historical sights easily, stay in the Old Town.
Salzburg’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, packed with plenty of cultural and architectural gems in a compact and walkable space. You can spend a day or two marveling at the baroque architecture and learning about Austria’s rich history in the city’s museums, then relax at any of the delightful squares and charming cafés you’ll find at every turn.
Despite being the city’s cultural and touristic center, Salzburg’s Old Town feels a lot more rustic than other European city centers. The Kapuzinerberg and Mönchsberg mountains serve as the perfect background to Salzburg’s baroque beauty, always reminding you to go beyond the old town and explore the beautiful countryside beyond.
Best hotels in Salzburg’s Old Town (Altstadt)
★Top pick: Hotel Am Dom is a small boutique hotel right in the heart of the Old Town, in the beautiful street of Goldgasse. It’s a short walk to the Cathedral and to the fortress funicular, and well-connected by public transportation to farther parts of the city. You’ll get to enjoy beautiful and modern rooms in a historic part of the city that’s quiet and peaceful at night. Double rooms start at EUR 180.
If you want to feel like royalty in Salzburg, splurge a little and stay at the beautiful Hotel Schloss Mönchstein, a sprawling luxury hotel on top of the Mönchsberg hill. You’ll get to relax in a large green park and enjoy stunning panoramic city views, plus quickly descend to the Old Town via a mountain lift. Rooms, amenities, and service are, of course, top-notch.
If you want a slightly calmer, less touristic, but still central base, stay in the New Town.
The New Town is a few minutes on foot from the Old Town and home to the beautiful Mirabell Palace and its sprawling gardens. It’s a slightly calmer, less touristic part of the city that’s the perfect place for you if you want both a convenient and restful stay.
This is also the starting point for tours in and around Salzburg, so it’s definitely a perfect base if you’re planning to discover the city beyond its historic old town.
Best hotels in Salzburg’s New Town (Neustadt)
★Top pick: Hotel am Mirabellplatz is a beautiful boutique hotel set in a 17th-century building which used to be the residence of Archbishop Paris Lodron. It’s near the Mirabelle Palace and Gardens and a short walk from the old town, making it a perfect base for exploring Salzburg’s most beautiful landmarks. Apart from the great location, you’ll get to enjoy bright and spacious rooms, top-notch service, and modern amenities. Double rooms start at EUR 140.
Other great options in the New Town are Hotel Bristol and Imlauer Hotel Pitter. For families and big groups, check out the elegant Villa Auersperg, where you can enjoy a charming garden, spa facilities, and healthy, wholesome food right in the center of the city.
If you want a relaxed stay away from the crowds, stay in Maxglan
For a more comfortable and intimate stay, I highly recommend staying in a residential neighborhood like Maxglan. You won’t come across crowds and tourist groups here, and if you’re driving to the Lake District, you’ll get to avoid the traffic of central and downtown Salzburg.
You can easily get to the Old Town by strolling along Innsbrucker Bundesstraße. Take some time to explore the charming boutique shops and cafés you’ll see along the way and discover a different side of Salzburg.
Best hotels in Salzburg’s Maxglan district
★Top pick: Das Grüne Hotel zur Post is the perfect example of what you can experience with a holiday in Salzburg’s quiet, residential Maxglan district. Stay here if you’re craving for a relaxing city break away from the touristy areas of the city. This eco-friendly, family-run hotel offers beautiful, spacious rooms, as well as suites great for families and bigger groups. They have bikes you can rent as well as free parking spaces, making it the perfect base for exploring the Salzkammergut by car. Double rooms start at EUR 110.
Other great options in the area are Hotel Max 70 and Villa Riedenburg. Both are upscale accommodations perfect for families and couples wanting a great mix of sightseeing in Salzburg’s historical center and road trip adventures around the Lake District.
If you’re a fan of “The Sound of Music,” here’s where to stay
★Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron was the setting of many romantic and memorable scenes in “The Sound of Music.” Now, you can enjoy the hotel’s extravagant rooms, sprawling neo-baroque gardens, and breathtaking mountain and lake views just outside your window. Don’t worry about overzealous SOM fans disturbing your peace, though. The hotel grounds are exclusive for its guests. Even if you’re not a SOM fan, this is a great setting for a romantic and intimate holiday in Salzburg. Double rooms start at EUR 205.
★Villa Trapp was the actual residence of the Von Trapp family, where they lived from 1923 to 1938. The villa was previously inaccessible but was finally opened to guests in 2008. You’ll get to live in a villa maintained in the style of the 1930s, with loads of history and atmosphere. The villa’s quiet location and peaceful surroundings is another plus if you’re looking for a relaxing holiday. Double rooms start at EUR 130.
Tell us: What are you most excited about your trip to Austria?
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Ready to plan your trip? Here’s our guide to spending 3 days in Salzburg (also check out the PDF guide).
Top tip – Get the Salzburg Card. It’s a great way to experience the city’s highlights and get around using the city’s buses and trams for free.
Planning a trip around Austria – Check out our neighborhood guides to Vienna and Hallstatt.
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Salzburg is truly a magical place with lots to offer. It’s one of those popular destinations that has somehow managed to stay charming and even rustic. It’s also an excellent base for exploring the beautiful Lake District, so make sure to plan to stay for at least a couple of days.
I hope this quick guide helps you decide where to stay in Salzburg! If you have any questions about your holiday in Salzburg, get in touch, and I’ll do my best to help you out.
Happy travels to Austria!
We are headed here in November! This is perfect!
Wow, have fun Merrie! 🙂