Salzburg is a gem of a city. It is not only rich in history and art but also surrounded by beautiful scenery. This makes it an ideal base for day trips. The 3 Best Day Trips from Salzburg include the Lake District, Berchtesgaden, and the Eagles Nest, as well as the Ice Caves in Werfen. 

But sometimes we don’t have enough time to spend an entire day on an excursion. Many travelers visit Salzburg as a stopover for a night. Here is an article, if you only have 24 hours to explore Salzburg.

In the article, I explain how to take an organized tour in the afternoon to squeeze in a day trip in an afternoon but what if you don’t want to invest in a tour but still want to see the surroundings of Salzburg? Don’t worry!

There are places to visit near Salzburg that can be reached in 15-30 minutes from the old town. That’s what this article is about. In this article, I will give you 7 ideas for half-day trips into the Salzburg surroundings.

The attractions near Salzburg reach from beautiful nature to the airplane collection of the Red Bull founder and the largest beer brewery in all of Austria.

1. Hellbrunn Palace & the Trick Fountains

Hellbrunn is one of the most popular places to visit near Salzburg

Hellbrunn Palace is one of the first places you will stumble upon when looking for attractions near Salzburg. The area surrounding the palace is not only pretty but there are the Trick Fountains, the Gazebo from the Sound of Music, the Salzburg Zoo, and more. For everything, there is to do in Hellbrunn, please read this article on the Free Walking Tour Blog.

How to get to Hellbrunn Palace

Not only for its features is Hellbrunn one of the most popular places to visit near Salzburg but Hellbrunn is also incredibly easy to reach. The attractions in Hellbrunn, like most of the attractions in the city center, are included in the Salzburg Card and the Salzburg Card also includes bus 25 to get to Hellbrunn. You can take bus 25 from the train station, from Mirabell square or from Rathausplatz.

If you take the original Sound of Music Tour or a bicycle Tour from Salzburg, they take you to tourist attractions near Salzburg including Hellbrunn. Also if you take the Salzach Cruise, there is an option to visit Hellbrunn Palace & the Trick fountains. If you get a Salzburg Card and visit Untersberg (mentioned below) you take bus 25 to the final stop, and should on the way also visit Hellbrunn.

Read this article to find out how to make the most of your Salzburg Card.

2. Leopoldskron Palace & Lake

In the Salzburg Surroundings, another place used as a filming location for the Sound of Music is Leopoldskron. Leopoldskron palace and the lake is what Hollywood used for the back of the Trapp family house in the movie. Therefore, the original Sound of Music Tour, as well as the Sound of Music bike tours, will not only take you to Hellbrunn palace but also to Leopoldskron.

However, you only get to see the palace from the opposite side of the lake. That’s because the palace and its garden are privately owned by the “Salzburg Global Seminar” an American Association. In my job as a bike taxi tour guide in Salzburg, I used to wait outside and let my guests stroll through the garden, but I wasn’t the only one, so the staff became much more strict and restrictive.

The only way to visit the grounds of Leopoldskron Palace nowadays is to book a room at Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron.

How to get to Leopoldskron near Salzburg

In Leopoldskron there is nothing to do except for strolling around the lake and enjoying the peaceful surroundings of Salzburg and the scenery. Therefore, if you are up for a walk, you could also walk to Leopoldskron within half an hour from the old town. If you would like to take public transport to Leopoldskron, you can take the number bus 21 or 22 and as mentioned the original Sound of Music Tour also takes you to Leopoldskron.

3. Planes, Cars & Helicopters at Hangar 7

Hangar 7 is the private helicopter, airplane, and car collection of Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz. The Hangar is a stunning piece of architecture. It’s located near the Salzburg airport. There is no entrance fee to the Hangar and the collection but if you would like to spend a small fortune, you could also consider dinner at the Ikarus restaurant housed at Hangar 7. The Ikarus restaurant has a monthly rotation of world-renowned chefs. The Hangar is not a must-see but recommended if you are interested in modern architecture, in tech or if you are in Salzburg with kids.

How to get to Hangar 7 from Salzburg

From Salzburg’s old town, you can reach Hangar 7 by bus number 2 or bus number 10 in 20-30 minutes. If you take bus 2, get off at Karolingerstraße. If you take the bus 10, get off at Pressezentrum. Notice that the Stiegl Brewery, the next place on our list of attractions near Salzburg, is only 1 kilometer from the Hangar. Because of this, Hangar 7 and the Stiegl brewery are ideal attractions to be combined while exploring the Salzburg surroundings.

4. Beer Tasting & Tour at the Stiegl Brewery

The Stiegl Brewery in the suburbs of Salzburg in Maxglan is Austria’s largest private brewery. Stiegl is also one of Austria’s oldest breweries dating back to the founding of America in the year 1492 but that of course is a coincidence.

The brewery museum at the Stiegl Brewery is included in the Salzburg Card but the guided tours and the beer tasting require an additional payment of €6,-, if you own a Salzburg Card. Without the Salzburg Card, the tours cost €12,90 without tour and tasting and €18,90 with the tour and beer tasting. They take about an hour and include a Cinema movie, a guided tour through the Stiegl-Brauwelt and the production facilities, and a beer tasting at the restaurant.

NOTICE: If you are only looking to drink Stiegl beer, there is no need to visit the Brauwelt. You should only visit the Brauwelt if you are interested in beer brewing. Stiegl is the most popular Austrian beer. You find it at most restaurants and you could for example also visit a Stiegl facility by visiting the Stieglkeller below the fortress in the old town. There is no need to head into the Salzburg surroundings to taste Stiegl beer.

How to get to the Stiegl Brauwelt from Salzburg

You reach the Stiegl Brauwelt by taking bus number 1 from the station, from Mirabellplatz, Makartplatz or Hanuschplatz to Bräuhausstraße. The bus is included in the Salzburg Card. Remember the brewery is only a kilometer from Hangar 7. If you are interested in visiting both of these attractions outside Salzburg, you might want to combine them. They are not on the same bus line but it’s easiest to just walk over.

5. Untersberg Cable Car

The Untersberg Cable Car is one of my personal favorite tourist attractions near Salzburg. The Cable Car is located half an hour south of Salzburg on the same bus line as Hellbrunn Palace and takes you to an altitude of 1800 meters. What makes the Untersberg Cable Car great is not only that it’s the best way to reach the top of a real mountain from Salzburg but also that it’s included in the Salzburg Card.

In fact, the Cable Car alone makes the Salzburg Card worth it. The Cable Car in 2022 costs €26,50 while the Salzburg Card costs €27,- or €30,-, depending on the season, and the card also includes bus number 25. Read this article, if you need more information about the Salzburg Card attractions, or go ahead and buy the Salzburg Card, if you are planning to take the Cable Car!

How to get to the Untersberg Cable Car from Salzburg

Take bus number 25 to the Untersberg Cable Car. Bus number 25 is the same bus that goes to Hellbrunn palace and the Cable Car, the Bus, and all the attractions in Hellbrunn are included in the Salzburg Card. Therefore, if you have the time, I highly recommend combining Hellbrunn and the Cable Car on your trip to these tourist attractions near Salzburg.

This article on the Free Walking Tour Blog explains in detail how to get to the Untersberg Cable Car from Salzburg.

6. Gaisberg & Gaisberg Road

While mount Untersberg is what you think of as the Austrian alps, we count mount Gaisberg, despite its height of 1300 meters, as one of the three city mountains of Salzburg. Gaisberg is the mountain you would want to hike if you want a real hike starting from the city center of Salzburg without taking public transport. But if you wouldn’t want to hike, the public bus, bus 151, doesn’t only take you to the foot of Gaisberg but all the way to the top.

Here is an article on hiking the three city mountains in Salzburg that also includes details about the Gaisberg hike or the public bus to the top of Gaisberg.

You can also drive your car to the top of Gaisberg Road for free if you are traveling by car.

7. Pilgrimage to Maria Plain

Salzburg’s Maria Plain is a secret and is one of my personal favorite places to visit near Salzburg even as a local. The baroque church used to be a popular place of pilgrimage in history and it still is for some people today. I went to Maria Plain with my mother when I first returned from a real pilgrimage from the Way of St. James at the age of 21. While the religious aspect of the pilgrimage to Maria Plain has diminished Maria Plain remains a powerful place of peace and contemplation.

It is of course essential to look at the church in Maria Plain, but the highlight is the linden tree that is surrounded by benches and provides one of the most breathtaking views in the Salzburg vicinity.

If you feel like walking to Maria Plain, it takes you about an hour along the river and up the hill.

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