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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.