Click for the home page of ThereArePlacesClick for our Travel Planning Articles to learn what you need to know before you go     Austria   



    Best Places to Visit
Other Countries


Salzburg's Old Town


   Introduction to the Old Town   





Best Places to Visit  in Salzburg Austria

The Old Town

The Salzburg Dom has an attractive early Baroque Facade

The Hohensalzburg Fortress, the Residenz, and Schloss Hellbrunn are the leading attractions in and around Salzburg.  Normally, we would discuss attractions of their stature first and move along to those of lesser interest. 

However, it is unlikely that these are the first attractions you will encounter in Salzburg, since you will need to negotiate the Old Town to visit the Fortress or the Residenz and likely relegate Hellbrunn to a day trip later in your visit. 

Let' start your tour with a leisurely stroll through the Old Town, as this is the best way  to appreciate the area's beguiling ambiance.  The Old Town is not large and you will enjoy exploring all of its nooks and crannies.

On the Getreidegasse looking towards the RathausIf convenient, begin your tour in the Old Town’s northwest, near the Makart Steg (a bridge across the Salzach from the Makart to the Old Town) and head to Getreidegasse, along which you will find a concentration of interesting shops and numerous restaurants. 

For now, just scope out where you might want to shop or eat later in your visit.  As you head southeast along the street, it will eventually narrow and change names.  Just keep following the same lane past the Alter Markt and you will find some delightful Christmas stores and shops with impressive craftwork for sale. 

As you wander Getreidegasse, it is unlikely that you will be able to continue in one direction for any length of time, since the street is intersected with a warren of lanes that lead to other stores that cannot be seen from the street.  Explore this area; we think it will be worth your time. By the way, be sure to scan the area and look-up frequently, as you will find plaques with the dates of buildings and other historic information.

While still on Getreidegasse, across from the Hagenauerplatz, be sure to look up for the sign indicating Mozart’s birthplace (the Mozart Geburtshaus) .  Three floors of Mozart’s birth house serve as a museum and it is here that you can see several of his instruments and portraits.  Click for details on admission from the official site of the museum.  We think that the Mozart Residence (Wohnhaus)  across the river in the Makartplatz is much more interesting , but visit only if you are keen to know more about Mozart and his works.  Skipping either or both won’t break your vacation in Salzburg, but the exhibitions at the Wohnhaus are quite interesting.Mozart's statue in Old Town's Mozartplatz

Eventually Getreidegasse changes to Judeng, curves and leads you to the Mozartplatz , which features a modest statue of Mozart .  On one side of the square you will find the Salzburg Tourist Information Offices.  Directly opposite you will find the Neue Residenz (New Residenz) which now houses the modestly interesting Salzburg Museum (focused on Salzburg’s history) and a host of other small but interesting museums, such as the Toy Museum and the Panorama Museum.

When begin to backtrack across the Mozartplatz, you will notice a wide building facing you with the façade showing the name Demel.  Go no further if you are concerned about your waistline. Of course, all that walking will do wonders for you, so we advise entering.   Demel, a café-restaurant and chocolatier since 1786) is a wonderful place for a pastry, Demel has some of the best pastries in Europedesert, tea or light lunch.  Featuring comfortable couches and informal seating, Demel has some of the best pastries in Salzburg. 

On a recent visit we sampled a selection of deserts (it was a professional obligation, really – so we stopped by twice).  We decided that  Demel's  Schoko-Bombe (Chocolate Bomb) with gold leaf on the frosting was the best dessert of the trip – although “best” is nowhere near the superlative the Schoko-Bombe deserves.   Demel is open from 9 to 19:00 and a great place to take a break from touring.  See the official Demel Website  for more information. 

The Salzburg Dom as seen from the Fortress.Next,  head north towards the Dom, Salzburg’s Baroque Cathedral.    Historical works inform us that this site was considered sacred in the city’s Celtic and Roman periods, although the first cathedral dates from the 8th century.  Fire has plagued most of the churches built on the site, but the town  kept rebuilding with fierce determination.  The original cathedral burned down due to a lightening strike.  Its successor also was destroyed by fire in the 12th century and the next church suffered the same fate in the late 16th century.  The successor church was badly damaged by fire in the 19th century and a World War II bombing raid destroyed the dome and much of the cathedral. The rebuilding effort concluded in 1959 and followed the plans the used to build its predecessor. 

The proportions and look of the cathedral are very pleasing.  The front entrance of the Dom is an ornate masterpiece of early Baroque design and considered one of the best examples of this type of architecture north of Italy.  The Dom is connected to  the Residenz (the home of the Prince-Archbishops) by  an arcade that adds a unique touch to the cathedral's archtiecture.  Although the doors to the Dom are of recent construction, they are very striking and deserve inspection.

               The incredible dome of the Dom in Salzburg, Austria

The main and  side altars of the Dom are quite pleasing, but it is the interior of the dome that attracts the most attention.  You will have to sit underneath it to appreciate the detailed of  frescos and stuccoworks that adorn this structure.

The cathedral is surrounded by the Domplatz, the Residenzplatz, and the Kapitelplatz. For most of the year these area are mini-markets, so check them out for some fascinating items.  In addition, look for vendors of arts and crafts or musicians practicing their wares (the musicians are excellent performers and many will have CDs for sale).  There is also a large Chess Board to the side of the Kapitelplatz where local experts show their skill while pushing large pieces around the “table”.


Pacher's Madonna in the Franziskanerkirche in Salzburg, AustriaCross the Domplatz and follow the Franziskanergasse to the Franciscan Church (Franziskanerkirche) that connects with the Franziskaner Abbey. Touring the church, which is the oldest in Salzburg, will only take a few minutes, as it is a compact beauty that combines Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Although the church is small, it is unique.  The architectural style combines Romanesque and Gothic architecture and the mix makes it appear as a church built within a church.

The Franziskaner church is shadowy and dim inside and is  the residents of Salzburg favorite church for “praying”.  It is easy to understand why as this building appears outwardly represent the image that many imagine when they think of a house of prayer. 

The oldest sections of the church date from the 13th century and have a Romanesque-Gothic look.  The nave features several interesting Baroque side-altars of some note, but it is the choir that is the focus of attention. The choir’s five pillars ascend gloriously out of the darkness to support the steep rib vaulting.

In addition, these splendid pillars surround an altar of awe-inspiring beauty.  The ornate17th century altar is the work of Fischer von Erlach, a noted, local architect.  Michael Pacher's stunning  Madonna and Child statuary crowns the altar and was once part of a complete altar he crafted  for the church during the 15th century.  Unfortunately, the Madonna is all that remains of his work, which was removed and replaced by the altar of  von Erlach.

Just across the way, you will find the Abbey of St. Peter (Erzabtie St. Peter) and one of the oldest sections of Salzburg.  Take a quick glance through St. Peter’s, if you have the energy, as it has a number of pleasing Baroque touches.

If you would like to see additional pictures of the locations and attractions covered here, click for our PhotoGuide to Old Town Salzburg.

NextThe Festung Hohensalzburg and the Residenz

Or - Click to return to our Salzburg Home Page

Or - Click for  the Mirabel Palace, the Mozart Residence and more

Or - Click to visit the Hellbrunn Palace and Water Gardens

Or - Return to Best Places to Visit in Austria

If you need information about another travel destination, try our Destination Guide Index  or Googling ThereArePlaces.

Custom Search


  AddThis Social Bookmark Button













The Old Town
The Fortress and The Residenz
The Mirabel Palace and Mozart Residence
Hellbrunn Palace and Water Gardens





 Top of Page



Salzburg's Old Town has a number of pleasant attractions and an equal number of great places to have a meal.


















 Top of Page














































The Old Town
The Fortress and The Residenz
The Mirabel Palace and Mozart Residence
Hellbrunn Palace and Water Gardens





















Salzburg City Tour - On the Traces of Mozart

From Viator Tours

Austria:   Best Places to Visit       Other Countries         Top of Page  
About ThereArePlaces       Contact Us       Legal   Privacy Policy    Site Map     Media Center  
Click here to return to ThereArePlaces homepage Click here for information on our copyright.  
ThereArePlaces Home     Destination Guides    Travel Planning Guides