Last updated on January 04th, 2023
Historic Salzburg is one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations. It is surrounded by magnificent mountain scenery, has many ancient monuments and wonderful baroque architecture. Visitors with every type of budget can easily find accommodation as there are hotels in almost every district of the city.
Where to stay in Salzburg ?
The most expensive district is inevitably the Altstadt or Old Town, as the majority of tourist attractions, such as Mozart’s birthplace, happen to be concentrated in this central area. Directly to the north of the Alstadt is Elisabeth-Vorstadt which has many cheap and cheerful hotels, but is still a convenient location for visiting the beautiful Old Town. Just to the west of Elisabeth-Vorstadt and connecting to the western edge of the Alstadt, is the district of Lehen. It’s a busy, inexpensive area to stay in, but very near to St. Peter’s Monastery and the Mönchsberg mountain.
Further to the west is the relatively inexpensive Maxglan district which includes the Salzburg City Airport. To the east of Elisabeth-Vorstadt is Schalmoos with reasonably priced accommodation and a thriving contemporary live music scene. Directly to the east of Schalmoos is Gnigl, a picturesque area with expensive accommodation.
What’s the best area to experience the city for the first time, tourists, what’s the best district for nightlife or when with a family, or where to stay on a budget? Read on below to find out more best neighbourhoods to stay in Salzburg Austria.
Where is the Best Place to Stay in Salzburg?
Best for First Time (Sightseeing): Old Town (Aldstadt)
For sightseeing in Salzburg or if it is your first time visiting the district, the Residenzplatz is one of the largest squares in the city and is the ideal location from which to start a sight-seeing tour. The Residenzbrunnen is a stunning marble Baroque fountain that was completed in 1661. It is walking distance from key tourist locations such as Salzburg Cathedral, and regularly hosts festivals and celebrations.
Where to Stay in Salzburg City Centre
- Best Luxury Hotels in Salzburg
Hotel Schloss Mönchstein • Hotel Goldener Hirsch, a Luxury Collection Hotel
- Best Great Value – Top Rated Hotels
Small Luxury Hotel Goldgasse • Hotel Stein – Adults Only
- Best Cheap Hotels in Salzburg
Star Inn Hotel Premium Salzburg Gablerbräu • Cityhotel Trumer Stube
- Best Bed & Breakfast or Guest Houses
Gästehaus im Priesterseminar Salzburg • Sarah’s Altstadt Oase Salzburg
- Best Budget Hostels
Institut St.Sebastian • Dormitory with View at Mozart House
What is the Best Area in Salzburg to Stay?
Where to stay in Salzburg for nightlife? Salzburg City Centre
If a buzzing nightlife is more your thing, Salzburg City Centre offers trendy bars and even authentic Irish pubs that are all within walking distance of the city centre. The Imlauer Sky Bar and Restaurant is atop the Crown Plaza, and offers spectacular panoramic views of the district. Offering cocktails and live music, it is the ideal location to spend an evening enjoying the best of what Austria has to offer.
What’s the best neighbourhood in Salzburg for families? Maxglan district
There are many things to do as a family in Salzburg making it an ideal destination to stay with children. The Mirabell Gardens at the Mirabellplatz were popularised in The Sound of Music, and offer a hedge maze and gnome garden as well as open-air music events to entertain the kids. From the Arctic to rainforests, and the universe to dinosaurs, the natural history museum in the centre of Salzburg offers a thrilling day out the whole family will enjoy. Modern hotels offer great deals on accommodation for families in central neighbourhoods that means you never have far to travel to entertain the kids. A favourite place to stay is the Maxglan district.
Where to stay in Salzburg on a budget? Elisabeth-Vorstaldt
If you are looking for budget friendly area in the city, Elisabeth-Vorstaldt is definitely the best choice for a holiday at the cheaper end in Salzburg Austria.
Is it Safe to Stay in Salzburg Austria ?
Salzburg is among the safest cities in the world, allowing you to relax and enjoy your time there. It is a small city and generally, you do not need to worry about travelling around, even late at night. However, with all cities, there are some areas that are safer than others. The outskirts in the north of the city have a slightly higher crime rate than the test of the city. However, these are not usually areas tourists tend to flock to, so as long as you remain within the relative safety of central and southern Salzburg, you should have no concerns with safety.
The 6 Best Neighbourhoods in Salzburg for Tourists
The birthplace of Mozart 250 years ago, and the setting for ‘The Sound of Music’, the town is steeped in history. The fast flowing river is sunken in deep hills, with spires and domes, and a cliff-top fortress flanking the mountains beyond.
Salzburg appeals to a variety of tourists and visitors, with the district being a city with impressive arts scene, steeped in history and architecture, and with a wonderful cuisine. Finding the best places to stay in Salzburg can ensure you are in a prime neighbourhood to be able to get the most out of your stay. How long to stay in Salzburg ? Two or three days are perfect for visiting the city.
With views of the Alps on the border of Austria and Germany, Salzburg is a beautiful city filled with baroque and medieval buildings on one side divided by the Salzach river and the more modern 19th Century Neustadt on the other.
For shopaholics, the Designer Outlet Centre is close to the airport. Offering international designer labels at heavily discounted prices. Close by is the Europark mall offering over 130 shops selling everything from clothing and accessories through to electrical items. The Old City on the right side of the river also offers numerous smaller shops selling a mix of known brands along with artisan and handmade products.
The Old Town is packed with beautiful old baroque mansions and buildings that house many of the major hotels of the city of Salzburg. It can be an expensive location to stay in, but it is always extremely popular with tourists who want to enjoy the unique, atmospheric charm of the area. There is a mixture of high-quality accommodation offering excellent service and amenities such as relaxing spas, from large, luxurious five-star hotels and welcoming boutique hotels.
Why Stay Here?
The Aldstadt is the perfect location for visiting the most famous tourist attractions of the city which are all within easy walking distance of the hotels. The ornate house where the composer, Mozart, was born in 1756, is usually on every visitor’s itinerary. Many of his personal possessions are on display and nearby in the Mozartplatz is his statue. The DomQuartier museum complex has exhibitions devoted to nature, history and costumes and also includes an aquarium and small zoo.
In this area tourists can enjoy sightseeing tours in horse-drawn carriages and visit exclusive shops selling speciality goods before pausing for refreshments at one of the cafes and bistros serving Austrian gateaux and coffee. On a hill overlooking the River Salzach is the romantic Hohensalzburg Castle which dates back to the late eleventh century. Inside the fortress are displays depicting a Mediaeval prince’s luxurious lifestyle. From the battlements, there are exhilarating views of the Bavarian Alps.
- Best Places to Stay (Great Value): Hotel Sacher Salzburg • Hotel am Dom (Boutique)
- Best Cheap / Affordable Hotels: Hotel Krone 1512 • Star Inn Hotel Premium Salzburg Gablerbräu, by Quality
Bordering the northern boundary of the Old Town is the neighbourhood of Elisabeth-Vorstadt. It is primarily a busy, residential suburb of Salzburg, but it is one of the best areas for anyone in search of a hotel that is moderately priced. The district’s major expansions occurred in the 1860s when the railway was developed and later in the 1920s when affordable residential housing was required for the growing population of the city.
A tourist with a limited budget can usually stay in a cheap hotel in the Südtiroler Platz area where the Hauptbahnhof railway station provides excellent transport links to other areas of Austria.
Why Stay Here?
The district is one of the best to stay in if visitors are hoping to combine affordability with easy access to the attractions of the Old Town which is just a few minutes walk away. Also within easy reach, either on foot or by public transport, is the Mirabell Palace which is located in Gnigl on the other side of the neighbouring district of Schallmoos.
While the restaurants of the Alstadt are fairly expensive, those located in the neighbourhood of Elisabeth-Vorstadt are reasonably priced and offer a wide variety of wholesome local dishes and international takeaways. The major shopping mall that features many of the popular retail outlets of Austria is at the Kiesel, which was once an industrial printing works. There is also a lively nightlife with several bars and contemporary music at the Jazzit.
- Best Places to Stay (Great Value): ACHAT Hotel Salzburg Zum Hirschen • K6 Rooms by Der Salzburger Hof
- Best Cheap / Affordable Hotels: Motel One Salzburg-Mirabell • Hotel Hohenstauffen
Schallmoos is a sprawling residential area that has been built on drained, marshy ground between the Neustadt area of the neighbouring district of Elisabeth-Vorstadt and the nearby slopes of Mount Küberg. Amongst the numerous apartment blocks, shopping malls and local businesses, there are often inexpensive hotels and guest houses offering cheap accommodation.
The Kapuzinerberg is one of the least attractive areas of Schallmoos to stay in. One of the best areas is the section that is directly adjacent to the Neustadt where there are many large buildings dating back to the nineteenth century.
Why Stay Here?
Schallmous is highly affordable and provides immediate access to several main roads and the railway which makes the district ideal for exploring Salzburg and other areas of Austria. It is also within twenty minutes walking distance of the popular attractions of the Aldstadt. The neighbourhood also offers a busy nightlife with inexpensive restaurants and weekly entertainment at the Rockhouse Schallmous which frequently showcases local bands playing an exciting variety of contemporary music including heavy metal, rock, jazz and blues.
There are not many tourist attractions situated in Schallmoos itself, but the Robinighof Chateau is well worth a visit. The large mansion dates back to 1648, although its late baroque facade was added in 1750 by the new owner, Joseph Robinig. His children were amongst Mozart’s closest childhood friends and the composer often came to stay with them. The surrounding woodlands are some of the oldest in Salzburg.
- Best Places to Stay (Great Value): Dorint City-Hotel Salzburg • Best Western Plus Amedia Art Salzburg
- Best Cheap / Affordable Hotels: Bergland Hotel • Amedeo Zotti Residence Salzburg (Aparthotel)
Directly to the west of the Old Town is the neighbourhood of Maxglan which boasts the Salzburg City Airport and several local industries such as the Stiegl Brewery which also has a fascinating brewing museum. The area closest to the airport is often the best place to find an inexpensive hotel that can offer a warm welcome to weary travellers.
There is usually affordable accommodation, including three-star hotels, in some of the large nineteenth century villas which can be located amongst the Neumaxglan residential developments that occurred in the 1920s. The suburbs of Glanhofen and Maxglan-Riedenburg have largely been developed in more recent decades and are unlikely to offer much accommodation for tourists.
Why Stay Here?
Tourists sometimes choose to stay in Maxglan to be in close proximity of the airport and the varied selection of restaurants and takeaways that offer affordable meals. However, the area does have some notable tourist attractions such as Hangar-7 which is owned by the manufacturer of the Red Bull energy drink. Located directly beside the airport, it has a fascinating exhibition of the company’s famous racing cars and helicopters.
The hangar itself has a spectacular, custom-built glass roof. Altmaxglan is the historic region of the neighbourhood and features many quaint streets, old cottages and churches such as those dedicated to St Benedikt and St Maximillian which date back to the fourteenth century. The main Alstadt district in the centre of Salzburg is within easy walking distance.
- Best Places to Stay (Great Value): Hotel Max 70 • Villa Ceconi by Das Grüne Hotel zur Post – 100% BIO
The picturesque neighbourhood of Gnigl is situated in the north east of Salzburg and borders the outlying reaches of Schallmoos. Until recent decades, Gnigl was a village and is now noted for its affluent suburban households. It is a popular destination for visitors who want to enjoy the peaceful surroundings and spectacular views of the Alps.
There are many places to stay for tourists who might want to spend a little more on their accommodation as there are several luxury and family-run boutique hotels in the neighbourhood. It should also be relatively easy to locate accommodation in less expensive guest houses.
Why Stay Here?
Tourists can enjoy the countryside atmosphere whilst being only a twenty-five minute walk or a ten minute drive from the historic Mozart Platz in the Alstadt. One of the main local attractions is the Mirabell Palace Gardens that were used in the popular film of 1965, The Sound of Music. The beautifully landscaped, geometric gardens surround the early eighteenth century palace which is noted for its ornate, baroque architecture.
The local church of St Michael dates back to the Mediaeval era and there are several quaint, but disused mills in the area. Gnigl is overlooked by Mount Küberg, a heavily wooded, steep hillside which can be seen from many areas of Slazburg. The district is within easy reach of the beautiful Lake Wolfgangsee and the Schafberg scenic train that provides tourists with a journey full of spectacular hillside views.
The district of Lehen is situated in the north west of the Old Town area of Salzburg and is between Elisabeth-Vorstadt and Maxglan. The neighbourhood is one of the most heavily populated areas of Slazburg with mainly residential streets, but tourists can usually find inexpensive accommodation such as cheap hotels or youth hostels in the district.
The district of Lehen is situated to the north west of the Old Town area of Salzburg and is between Elisabeth-Vorstadt and Maxglan. The neighbourhood is one of the most heavily populated areas of Slazburg with mainly residential streets, but tourists can usually find inexpensive accommodation such as cheap hotels or youth hostels in the district.
Why Stay Here?
Many tourists who have limited budgets often choose to stay in the affordable accommodation that can be found in Lehen. There are not many tourist attractions directly located in Lehen itself, although the local church of St. Vinzenz Pallotti, which was only constructed in the 1960s, often draws some attention.
A much more famous attraction which is a short walking distance from the centre of Lehen, is the Monastery of St. Peter and its spectacularly atmospheric catacombs. The ancient graveyard, which also featured in the film, The Sound of Music, is located in the Mönchsberg, a beautifully scenic area with woodlands along the River Salzach. At the age of just thirteen, Mozart composed a Domincus Mass especially for the abbot of St. Peter’s Abbey. Mozart’s music is still regularly performed there.
Best Places to Stay in Salzburg
Best Luxury Hotel in Salzburg: Hotel Schloss Mönchstein
The red-brick hotel with the romantic image of a fairytale castle, is situated in the beautiful Mönchsberg area near the Alstadt. Surrounded by dense woodland, it offers visitors a peaceful retreat from the busy centre of Salzburg, yet it’s within a short walk of many of the city’s attractions.
The hotel is luxuriously furnished throughout and its Glass Garden dining room has some of the most magnificent views that Salzburg has to offer.
Best Mid Range Hotel in Salzburg: Hotel and Villa Auersperg
The hotel is a family-run boutique hotel in the centre of Salzburg. Inside the beautiful architecture of the exterior, the rooms are furnished with a stylish blend of antique and contemporary furnishings that create an atmosphere of relaxed informality.
The major attractions of the Old Town are just moments away and there are many elegant shops and cafes in the area. At the rear of the hotel is a charming, well-appointed garden where guests can enjoy relaxing in the sunshine.
Best Cheap Hostel in Salzburg: YoHo International Youth Hostel
The YoHo has a convenient, central Salzburg location and offers all the amenities an adventurous traveller could wish for. The rooms of the traditional town house are fairly small and basically furnished, but the hostel is beautifully maintained throughout.
There is a choice of breakfasts and a welcoming bar where newcomers can relax and make new friends during their stay. The hostel has a bicycle rental service and is within easy reach of popular tourist attractions and thriving nightlife of Salzburg.