If you’re planning to bring the kids along to Salzburg, you’ve got a lot of experiences waiting for you. Think of wandering through the halls of castles where you can almost hear the echoes of the past or letting the little ones run free in open gardens. And yes, those narrow streets? They’re real and often filled with the Sounds of Music – it’s not just a scene from a movie.
Salzburg is a place where your family can create memories. It’s about discovering together, whether that’s the city’s history or the joy of a puppet show that captivates the kids’ imagination. Salzburg isn’t just a backdrop for a family photo; it’s an interactive experience.
Why is this important? Because travel is about more than just seeing new places. It’s about what you do and learn there, especially with your family by your side. Let’s make this trip one for the books – or at least, your family’s favorite story to tell.
Preparing for Your Salzburg Family Trip
Let’s ensure you’ve got everything lined up for a smooth ride. Knowing the ins and outs of the city beforehand can make all the difference when navigating with a troop in tow.
How to get to Salzburg
First off, think about how you’ll arrive. Whether by train, plane, or car, knowing your options helps you pick the right one for your family’s comfort and wallet. Once you’re here, getting around is a piece of cake. Salzburg is walkable, and public transport is reliable.
- Flying: Salzburg Airport is your go-to if you’re flying in from a distance. It’s connected to big European cities and drops you just a quick 20-minute bus ride away from the old town. Remember that most travelers don’t fly directly to Salzburg since the airport is small and offers are limited. Most travelers fly to Munich or Vienna, but these bigger places are just a short bus ride away.
- Train: Now, if you’re all about catching those eye-catching sights along the way, grabbing a train to Salzburg Hauptbahnhof is a smart move. It lands you in the middle of everything, and trust me, the views are well worth a look out the window no matter which direction you come from. Here is your guide on how to get from Vienna to Salzburg.
- Car: Would you prefer to roll on your own schedule? Driving could be the way to go. It means you can stop whenever something catches your eye, and you’re not tied to anyone else’s timetable. Just a heads-up: looking into parking before you arrive is a good idea to avoid any last-minute scrambles.
Once you’re in Salzburg, the city is your oyster, and walking is the way to do it. Seriously, all you need is a pair of comfy shoes, and you can take in the streets and sights at your own rhythm. It’s as straightforward as that. If you would like to learn how to navigate the city on Salzburg’s trolley buses, here is an article on public transportation in Salzburg.
Is Salzburg Family Friendly?
You’ll find getting around Salzburg with kids is no sweat. The city welcomes folks of all ages, which is handy whether you’re stopping by for a few days or staying longer.
People here get by in English well so you won’t be scratching your head at signs or asking for directions. Plus, the streets are safe and easy to walk through, so you can easily push that stroller except for a few cobblestones.
When it comes to keeping everyone entertained, there are plenty of things to do in Salzburg. From parks where the kids can let off steam to spots where you can soak in a bit of history without the yawns. We will soon learn specific things you can do in Salzburg with children.
Getting Around Salzburg With Kids
First, the old town is a safe haven for those little feet eager to walk around. No cars mean you can let the kids wander a bit without the usual fretting. It’s like a giant outdoor living room – plenty of space to move but cozy enough so you won’t lose sight of them.
And when those tiny walkers need a break, the city’s public buses and trams have you covered. They’re regular, connect you to all the spots you want to check out, and are simple to use. And hey, if you need to get somewhere quick or the weather’s turned on you, taxis are always an option, just a wave.
But honestly, don’t miss out on walking the streets if you can help. The old town is small, and that’s a huge plus when you’re with kids. You can cover much ground without hearing the dreaded ‘my feet hurt’ chant. It means you get to see the city at your rhythm, with plenty of chances to stop for a gelato or to watch street performers – those spontaneous moments are what your kids will remember.
Budgeting for Your Family Trip
And about your budget – let’s talk. Salzburg is not inexpensive but has a mix of free sights and paid experiences, so you can find a balance that won’t break the bank. It’s all about making smart choices, like taking advantage of combo tickets for attractions or finding those cozy, affordable spots to grab a bite.
Now, when hunger strikes after a day of walking around, you can hit up some local cafes, food markets or a sausage stand and even the supermarkets offer traditional Austrian street food. These places are great for grabbing a tasty bite that won’t empty your pockets.
Keep an eye out for discounts that many attractions offer for families. Places like Hohensalzburg Fortress and Haus der Natur have special deals that can save you a few bucks. Oh, and here’s a hot tip: getting a Salzburg Card can be a smart move. It gives you free entry to many sights and can help you save on public transport too. More on that later.
For those looking to stretch their euros even further, my Salzburg on a budget guide is brimming with advice on making every euro count, from dining to sightseeing.
Where to Stay in Salzburg with Kids
Staying right in the heart of the Old Town is a solid choice. Why? It’s all about making things easy for you. You’ve got the Mirabell Palace and Gardens just around the corner and the Hohensalzburg Fortress a short walk away—no need for long walks that tire out the little ones or complicated directions. Plus, the old town is a pedestrian zone, which enables you to let your kids roam free at times.
But if you’re the type who likes to keep options open, you may want to stay near the Central Train Station. It’s perfect for getting in and out of the city with bags and sleepy kids.
Now, let’s talk about where exactly to stay. Here are my recommendations:
- Hotel & Villa Auersperg: Family-friendly haven on the outskirts of Salzburg’s old town, offers a warm, quiet, and welcoming atmosphere. The hotel provides kid-friendly amenities like cribs with nightlights, baby bathtubs and potties, baby monitors, and buggies for easy exploration. In-room conveniences include kettles, toys upon request, and DVD players with children’s movies. For dining, freshly cooked porridge or vegetable puree can be ordered at breakfast. Outdoor activities are also catered to with children’s bicycles, a bike trailer for two, and child bike seats available by pre-order, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay for the whole family.
- Imlauer Hotel Pitter: Has spacious rooms that give you and the kids enough space to stretch out. It’s close to Mirabell Gardens and the train station, making it the most conveniently located family hotel on this list.
- Jufa Hotel Salzburg: The JUFA Hotel Salzburg City used to be a youth hostel but was modernized in 2021. It is an ideal family-friendly destination, offering modern Mozart-style rooms and a welcome drink in Wolferl’s Lounge. It stands out for its spacious two-story indoor play area, “Wolferl’s Kids Club,” where children can have fun while parents relax. This is the most budget-friendly option on this list. They also have 4-bed dormitory-style family rooms and apartments.
- Hotel Cocoon Salzburg: Opened as a boutique hotel in 2022, offering free stays and breakfasts for children up to 6 years in their parents’ beds. Upon request, the hotel provides baby beds and bed guards to cater to young families. Inspired by a butterfly’s life, the hotel combines a lively reception area with tranquil room retreats, making it a unique and cozy choice for families. Its convenient location, close to the train station and Mirabell Gardens, and diverse room options, including family rooms, enhance its appeal for a comfortable and memorable family stay in Salzburg.
- Laschenskyhof: Laschenskyhof is a countryside experience, yet only 20 minutes from Salzburg by bus, offers a family-friendly retreat with traditional charm. This wellness hotel caters to families with a heated swimming pool, a natural bathing area, and various spa treatments. The Laschensky family’s generations of hospitality experience ensure a warm, welcoming stay, making it an ideal choice for families seeking a blend of genuine countryside tranquility and convenient access to Salzburg’s attractions.
For more tailored accommodation recommendations, don’t forget to check out my comprehensive accommodation guide for more insights. Whether you’re seeking the elegance of a boutique hotel, the luxurious comforts of a high-end stay, or a place that warmly welcomes not just your children but your pets too, I’ve carefully curated a list of hotels and hostels to suit all tastes and needs.
Kid-Friendly Attractions in Salzburg Old Town
This historical heart of Salzburg is not just a backdrop but a playground filled with activities that delight, educate, and inspire children of all ages—from the thrilling ascent to the Fortress, offering panoramic views and a touch of history, to the interactive experiences at Haus der Natur, where science and imagination collide. Let’s take a close look at everything Salzburg has to offer for children.
1. Exploring Salzburg’s Old Town on Foot
If you’re hitting Salzburg with kids, make sure to take a walk around the Old Town. It’s not just another pretty place; it’s like a live classroom. Notice the iron signs above shops in Getreidegasse? They’re not just for show – they tell stories of old trades and crafts. It’s an authentic slice of history that’s still alive.
And hey, let those little ones run ahead a bit. They’ll probably find one of those cool courtyards without even trying, and you can see their eyes light up when they do. The Old Town has hidden spots that feel like you’ve found your own secret garden. Just be careful in Getreidegasse in high season. It can get crowded.
Don’t just walk past St. Peter’s Abbey. Pop in. It’s not just old; it’s ancient, with roots in the 7th century. Picture this: monks have been walking those halls for centuries. If walls could talk, right? It’s a break from the day’s excitement and a chance to show the family something that’s stood the test of time.
Here are what I consider the must-see sights in Salzburg.
So, take your time wandering around. Let curiosity be your guide. The Old Town is not just a place to tick off your list – it’s where you can see history and today hanging out together.
2. Funicular Ride to Hohensalzburg Fortress
While walking around, why not ride up to the landmark of Salzburg, the Hohensalzburg Fortress? The funicular itself is a hit with kids – it’s like a mini adventure before you even get to the top. Once there, you can wander around the old chambers and pretend you’ve traveled through time.
As you head up, take in the panoramic views of Salzburg; it’s a real treat and my favorite thing about a visit to the Fortress. Sometimes, I myself head up there to watch the city from above. It doesn’t matter if it’s a clear day since the Fortress is so close to the old town that the views are always great.
Now, inside the Fortress, it’s like stepping back in centuries. You’ll come across the real deal—suits of armor and big old cannons. It’s not just about glancing at artifacts and reading plaques; it’s about touching the walls where history happened.
Go ahead, wander around, touch the stone, let your mind wander back to those days, and if you would like to prepare yourself ahead of time, read my article on the history of the Hohensalzburg fortress.
3. The Interactive Haus der Natur
Next up, one of my favorite childhood memories, the Haus der Natur (house of nature), is a spot you won’t want to pass by when you are in Salzburg with kids. It’s a science museum that gets kids thinking and asking questions about the world around them. They can get hands-on with exhibits, and there’s even an aquarium inside.
Picture this: you’re walking with the dinosaurs one minute, then figuring out how your body ticks the next. They’ve got this whole section dedicated to space, too, where you can feel small in the best way possible. And it’s not just standing around reading plaques – you get to throw yourself into the action with hands-on stuff in the Science Center.
Got a soft spot for cold-blooded critters? There’s a Reptile Zoo that’s home to some pretty slick snakes and lizards. More into the ocean scene? There’s an Aquarium where the fish and other sea creatures are doing their thing, and you can get up close without getting wet.
They’ve even got a Planetarium. Now, I’m telling you, sitting back and watching one of those shows is as close as most of us get to blasting off into space. It’s a trip without the rocket.
Parts of Haus der Natur are pretty dated and look the same as in my childhood some 30 years ago, but that adds to the charm. Other parts like the science museum are very modern.
4. The Baroque Playground of Mirabell Gardens
Now, for a bit of fresh air, take a stroll over to Mirabell Gardens. It’s not just a place to let the kids run around; it’s also where you can snap some memorable photos with sculptures and fountains in the background – and yes, it’s where parts of ‘The Sound of Music’ were filmed if you’re into that.
Mirabell is a great spot for your kids to let their imaginations run wild. The Grand Parterre is a neat place with well-kept lawns and a bunch of flowers – it’s like something out of a story. Your kids will probably love racing around the Dwarf Garden, and hey, there’s the Pegasus Fountain – where everyone likes to take photos, so join in!
You might even want to grab some food and have a picnic on one of the benches in the garden. And if you’re around when there’s a concert in the garden, which happens almost every other day in summer, definitely try to go.
5. Toy Museum Adventures
The Spielzeug Museum, or Toy Museum, is where history isn’t just stuck behind glass cases – think racing tracks for toy cars and workshops where they can get their hands dirty making something cool. Kids can touch and play with some of the exhibits. It’s a fun way to see how children played in the past and compare it to today’s toys. I had not been to the toy museum as a kid, but I visited it for the first time when I was 25, and even then, I had a blast.
It’s interactive, letting your kids touch, play, and even learn a thing or two about the toys they’re so into. Sure, They can watch cartoons, but they can also see how those toys came to be – and even why some toys matter more.
If you are into museums, check out my guide to the museums in Salzburg.
6. Taking the Salzach River Cruise
After you’ve had your fill of the Toy Museum and the smiles it brings to your kids’ faces, why not switch things up with a boat ride on the Salzach River? Jump on the Amadeus and let the water be your guide. You’ll see the Fortress standing guard over the city and catch a glimpse of Hellbrunn Palace, all while listening to Mozart tunes in the background.
It’s a way to see the city from a different angle, but let me be honest.
There is not much to see from the river that you wouldn’t see otherwise. 10 minutes upstream, the old town ends, and there are just trees on the right and the left. However, with kids, I recommend the river cruise. The captain is usually pretty funny and the boat dances on the river towards the end of the ride.
You can share this moment with your family as you drift along, watching the landscapes change and listening to the stories of Salzburg that echo off the water. Your kids mightn’t remember every detail, but they’ll remember the feeling of adventure and the time you spent together. That’s what makes it worth it.
7. Visiting the Salzburg Marionette Theatre
Just off the river, a short walk from Old Town, you’ll bump into the Salzburg Marionette Theatre. It’s a spot where Mozart’s The Magic Flute and the Sound of Music aren’t just music and singing – it’s puppets coming to life. I attended the shows several times, and every time, I got the weird feeling that these puppets were not just puppets but actually came to life during the performance.
Incredibly skilled puppeteers are right before you, making these characters dance and sing. It’s not just for the little ones, either. This theatre’s been around for ages, and it’s got stories woven into its walls.
We once got a private tour of the string puppet theater with the Free Walking Tour guides and got to meet some of the puppet masters. It takes years for this skill to perfect and there are many people involved in getting the puppets alive. It’s impressive.
Why does this matter? Well, it’s not every day you get to see a show like this. It’s more than just watching; it’s feeling like you’re part of something special. And if you’re here with kids, imagine their faces when they see the puppet show – that’s going to be a moment you’ll want to hold onto.
8. The Salzburg Christmas Shop & Museum
Visiting Salzburg around Christmas is special, but there are advantages to every season. What if I told you that no matter what you decide is the best time to visit Salzburg, you can get a glimpse of Christmas? Let me tell you about a shop in Salzburg that’s all about Christmas, no matter what the calendar says. The Salzburg Christmas Shop in Judengasse is where you can wander in with the kids and find all these handcrafted Christmas decorations and even easter egg ornaments. They’ve got many designs, each made right there with care.
This isn’t your typical souvenir spot. It’s where you can start a sweet tradition – maybe you pick a new egg each time you visit, or you find that perfect piece to celebrate a milestone. It’s not just about Christmas; it’s about holding onto those moments that make your trips memorable.
If you are lucky and are in Salzburg during the Christmas season (from the end of November until the end of December), make sure to read my guide on the best Christmas Markets in Salzburg.
Alongside the Salzburg Christmas Shop, another place that celebrates the festive spirit all year round is the Salzburg Christmas Museum. This museum is a journey through the history and traditions of Christmas. In the Christmas Museum, you’ll find a huge collection of historical Christmas decorations, vintage ornaments, and seasonal artifacts that a private person collected over the last 40 years. You find the museum a minute’s walk from the Christmas shop.
9. Old Town by Horse-Drawn Carriage
So you’ve ticked off some cool spots in Salzburg and picked up an ornament or two from the Christmas Shop. How about slowing things down a bit?
Hop onto a horse-drawn carriage right in the heart of the Old Town. They wait for you at Residence Square. No engines, no rush—just the sound of horse hooves tapping on cobblestones and the chance to wrap up in a cozy blanket together.
It’s not about following a tour guide’s flag. Here, you’re calling the shots. You can take in the old buildings and listen to stories about what’s around you at your own rhythm. The information is usually not great, but the fun is. It’s a break from the usual walk around town and a hit with the kids. Plus, these rides are a nod to the past, a way to see Salzburg through a different lens, and that can make your visit stand out.
Remember, this isn’t about racing from one place to the next. It’s about enjoying the moment and seeing the city from a new perspective.
The Salzburg Surroundings with Kids
Let’s talk about trips out of Salzburg’s center that are spot-on for families. These are not day trips from Salzburg but 2-3 hours, but you can combine them and make them a day trip. Actual day trips are next.
Hellbrunn: Trick Fountains and Movie Scenes
Hellbrunn Palace isn’t just another historic site; it’s got these trick fountains that are great for kids, water sprouting from unexpected places, and your little ones can’t help but laugh when they get a light splash (and even more when you get one).
These clever water tricks date back to the 17th century and were made to give a laugh to visitors (back in the day to the archbishop’s visitors), which they still do.
While you’re there, make sure to catch the water-powered theater. It’s like a quirky little show where mechanical figures put on a performance that will catch your interest and make you smile. And hey, if you’re into movies, you might recognize one of the spots around the palace from The Sound of Music. It’s a cool connection to a piece of classic cinema right there.
The park and the playground within it are also one of the local’s favorite family hangouts. It gets filled with joyful children on summer weekends. To learn more about Hellbrunn, the palace, and the trick fountains and to find out what might remind you of the Sound of Music, read my full guide to Hellbrunn.
Wildlife Wonders at the Salzburg Zoo
Now, suppose your crew is curious about animals. In that case, the Salzburg Zoo is a solid choice, especially if you visit Hellbrunn because that’s where it’s located. The zoo is only minutes from Hellbrunn Palace and not far from the city center. It’s a place where your family can say hello to all sorts of creatures.
You’ll meet animals from all over the globe, and it’s not just about watching them from afar. This place lets you get a good look at how they live, and you might even pick up some cool nuggets of info you didn’t know before.
Your kids will especially love the Children’s Zoo. It’s a spot where they can touch and feed the goats. Not every day; they get to do something like that, right?
Make sure to catch the feeding times. This is when the zookeepers share stories and facts about the animals – it’s pretty gripping, even if you’re not a huge animal buff. Plus, it’s a chance to see the animals at their most active.
Once you finish the animal encounters, let the kids loose on the playground to burn off that never-ending energy. Or take a breather and walk the trail to the Steintheater, a hidden theater carved into natural stone. It’s a great way to discover a true off-the-beaten-path site and wrap up your visit.
A Ride on the Untersberg Cable Car
Keep that energy up because next on the list of things to do in Salzburg with kids is the Untersberg cable car ride. Trust me, it’s something you don’t want to miss. Why? Because it’s not every day you get to see the Salzburg area from 1800 meters up in the air. It’s a whole different world up there.
And it’s inexpensive and easy to get to Untersberg. If you’ve got the Salzburg Card, you’re lucky – that ride won’t cost you extra. And let’s talk about getting there. Bus line 25 is your friend. It drops you right at the doorstep of the cable car station after half an hour’s bus ride. Handy, right?
And the best thing. bus number 25 is also what takes you to Hellbrunn. So there you have it. You can combine the cable car, the trick fountains, the Salzburg Zoo, and a visit to the playground in Hellbrunn into an epic one-day adventure.
Here is a detailed guide on how to get to the Untersberg Cable Car from Salzburg.
Once you’re up there, take a moment. Look out as far as the eye can see. That view, that feeling, it’s why you packed your bags and came here. It’s the kind of moment you’ll tell stories about. So grab your camera, and maybe you’ll catch that perfect shot that’ll make your friends back home wish they were here.
Hangar 7: Planes and Formula 1 Excitement
If you’re still up for more, you might want to check out Hangar 7. It’s right by the airport, 15 minutes by bus and not your everyday museum. This place is home to a pretty impressive lineup of aircraft and Formula 1 cars that the now-deceased founder of Red Bull, Dietrich Mateschitz, collected.
Think life-sized planes and choppers that could tell a story or two about the skies. And, it’s not just about what’s on the ground – the building itself is something to see, with its modern design that makes you think of the future.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Museums can be pricey, right? But here’s the kicker – walking in won’t cost you anything. That’s right, no entrance fee.
While there, you can chill in the lounge or grab a bite at the restaurant. They’ve got some top-notch food that’s picked up a Michelin star along the way, but they also have a normal-class restaurant that won’t break the bank. And if you want something to remember your visit by, the gift shop’s got you covered.
So when can you drop by? Pretty much any day. They’re open from morning till the stroke of midnight. Just swing by and see for yourself what this place has in store. It’s a slice of aviation and racing history waiting for you to walk through the door.
Day Trips and Outdoor Adventures
If you’re itching to see what’s beyond Salzburg’s old town and the immediate surroundings, let me tell you about cool spots perfect for a day out with your family.
- Picture this: You’re tracing the same paths the Von Trapp family wandered in the Sound of Music Tour – it’s a real kick for movie buffs and anyone keen to see those lush spots up close.
- Then there’s the Salt Mines and Celtic Museum in Hallein, where you can dig into the past without the usual dry history lesson. It’s hands-on, and you get to see how salt – the stuff on your kitchen table – played a huge role in the area’s history.
- Fancy a bit of a climb? Head over to Kletterpark Waldbad Anif. It’s a high ropes course where you can challenge yourself among the treetops. Safety’s top-notch, so you’re all set for an adrenaline hit.
If you would like a wider variety of day trips from Salzburg, I have an article on the best day trips from Salzburg. They are actually all family-friendly. Königssee in Berchtesgaden is my personal favorite.
Hallein: Salt Mines and Celtic Museum Exploration
If you’ve got a spare day and are keen on digging into some local history, consider a trip to the Salt Mines and Celtic Museum in Hallein. It’s not far from Salzburg and is a solid choice if you’re traveling with kids. The Hallein salt mine is my personal favorite since that’s where I went countless times as a kid. Hallein is where the locals go for their salt mine experience.
However, Hallein is only the most convenient place to get to if you travel by car. By public transport, you will have to change buses once. That’s not a big deal, but you don’t have to change buses for the Berchtesgaden salt mine. Also, if you plan to travel to Hallstatt, you might want to consider visiting the salt mine there. The three salt mines near Salzburg all offer the same experience.
You’ll slip into a miner’s outfit at the salt mines and follow the guide through the old tunnels carved deep into the mountains. The little ones have an age limit (4 years), so ensure everyone’s good to go before you head out. They’ve got this cool setup where the story of the mines is told through headphones as you walk, and yeah, there are wooden slides to zip down. It’s a bit of fun that also packs in a history lesson.
Then there’s the Celtic Museum. This place is all about connecting the dots between the salt once dug out of these mountains and the people who lived here long ago. You’ll see real artifacts and hear stories that paint a picture of what life was like back then. To get to the Celtic Museum, you must descend from Dürrnberg mountain, where the salt mine is, into the town of Hallein. Make sure to also stroll through Hallein and up to the church. Hallein is special because it’s probably the least touristy town in the surroundings of Salzburg.
You can also catch a guided tour from the center of Salzburg to get to one of the salt mines, which is handy if you don’t want to think about planning and organizing the trip on your own.
Kletterpark Anif: High Ropes Excitement
So, you’ve been to the Salt Mines, taking in the impressive history at the Celtic Museum in Hallein, and now you’re looking for something to get your heart racing a bit?
Well, let me tell you about Kletterpark Waldbad Anif, an outdoor climbing park. It’s a spot where you and your family can get active outdoors, and trust me, it’s got something for everyone, no matter if you’re just starting or you’re the kind who loves a good adrenaline kick. I went there several times and once even considered getting a season pass because it’s not only an adrenaline kick but also a great workout.
If you are afraid of heights, don’t worry. I am, too, but you are secured with a belt and a rope, and there is no way of seriously injuring yourself, which makes it easy to let go of your fears, even if you get a bit tense.
This place is tucked away in a forest park and is not just about climbing trees. They’ve got eight different levels of courses – think of it as going from super easy to ‘wow, I’m way up here!’ And the cool part?
Don’t sweat it about safety or needing a hand – the folks working there have your back, ensuring everyone’s having a good time without any worries. It’s all about having a blast and pushing your limits a bit. If it’s a hot day and you want to cool off, you might also want to hop into the Waldbad (forest bath) since the Kletterpark is located on its grounds.
Sound of Music Tour: The Von Trapp Trail
If you are into the movie, you should probably join the Original Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg to find the spots where they shot the film, like Lake Leopoldskron and the Mondsee area. You’re walking where the Von Trapp kids burst into song, taking in the fresh air of the wider Salzburg area and the lake district.
As you embark on the tour, you’ll visit locations featured in the movie, from the gardens of Mirabell Palace, where Maria and the children sang ‘Do-Re-Mi,’ to Lake Leopoldskron, which served as the backdrop for some of the film’s most memorable moments.
There’s something special about experiencing the places where the Von Trapp family’s story unfolded.
This tour is designed to captivate participants of all ages. Engaging guides bring the film’s history to life with fascinating anecdotes and sing-along opportunities that will delight both the young and the young at heart. It’s a blend of entertainment, education, and exploration.
As a former employee at the Yoho Hostel, I had the opportunity to experience the Sound of Music Tour multiple times. These experiences have given me an understanding of what the tour offers. While the tour provides a convenient and structured way to explore the locations from the movie, especially if you’re short on time or traveling with children, it’s not the only way to immerse yourself in the magic of the film.
It’s true that the tour, being primarily bus-based, doesn’t cover some of the old town locations in a pedestrian-only zone. However, it’s an excellent option for die-hard movie fans or those looking for a hassle-free way to visit several sites quickly. The tour simplifies logistics and makes it easier to navigate with kids, allowing you to enjoy the experience without worrying about the details.
For those who prefer a more leisurely pace or wish to explore on their own, Salzburg offers many opportunities to delve into the Sound of Music locations by foot or bike. I’ve compiled a comprehensive guide for a self-guided Sound of Music tour to cater to this preference. This guide is perfect for visitors who want to explore at their own pace and discover the charm of these locations up close.
Dining with Kids in Salzburg
Let’s talk about keeping those tummies full and the stress levels low. Most restaurants in Salzburg are accommodating for children, so you won’t have a problem finding a place, but here are a few recommendations.
Family Restaurants in Salzburg
Check out Sternbräu – Not my favorite restaurant, but a beer garden with a laid-back vibe, perfect for the whole family. The kids get their space to play, which means you can savor some Austrian dishes in peace, and they even have a children’s playroom upstairs.
Bärenwirt would be another great choice – they’re thoughtful enough to provide a special menu just for the kiddos. In fact, many restaurants do have kids’ menus, and, in my experience, all kids love Schnitzel with fries anyway, which you find at every Austrian restaurant.
For more recommendations, check my guide on the best Austrian restaurants in Salzburg. These are my actual favorite restaurants for Austrian food in Salzburg.
Eat and Drink at a Beer Garden
Let me tell you about the beer gardens here. I told you Sternbräu would be considered a beer garden, but that’s more of a restaurant with a huge garden. The Augustiner Brewery is the real deal when it comes to beer gardens. It’s perfect for when you want to chill out and have a meal together.
You’re sipping on a beer from the brewery, and trust me, they know their stuff when it comes to beer. For the little ones, or if you’re not into beer, there’s a selection of soft drinks to enjoy. And food? It’s all about the classics, but the Augustiner is different. At the Augustiner Brewery, you find a food court where you can pick and choose smaller portions of popular local dishes and share them with the whole family.
The best part? It’s totally okay for the kids to have their fun nearby while you’re still keeping an eye on them. And don’t even worry about keeping it down – the atmosphere here is all about good vibes. It can get noisy inside, so if you would like a more quiet environment, sit outside if the weather permits it.
Other breweries worth mentioning are the Stiegl Brauwelt in Maxglan and the Stieglkeller next to the Fortress. For more information on breweries and beer, read my guide to beer in Salzburg!
A 3-Day Itinerary for Salzburg with Kids
Let’s map out a 3-day excursion perfect for you and the kids. We’re talking about a mix of playtime, a bit of learning, and lots of moments to chill and connect.
Day 1: We’re kicking things off with a stroll through the Old Town. Trust me, the streets here have a way of telling their stories. Next, you’ll want to check out Hohensalzburg Fortress. It’s got a history that’ll make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time. After that, take the kids to the Toy Museum. They’ll get a kick out of the old and new toys, and it’s a fun spot for everyone to let loose. Before you call it a day, stop by the Salzburg Cathedral to catch your breath and maybe light a candle. Top it off with dinner at a local spot.
Day 2: Start your morning in the Mirabell Gardens. The kids can burn off some energy running through the maze, and you can all chuckle at those quirky dwarf statues. Ready for a bit of discovery? The Haus der Natur is where it’s at with hands-on science stuff that’ll wow the whole crew. Feeling adventurous? The Salt Mines are a short trip away and offer a cool peek into the earth.
Day 3: Let’s slow down and breathe in that fresh Salzburg air. The Salzburg Zoo is a hit with animal lovers, and you can’t beat the laughs at Schloss Hellbrunn’s Trick Fountains – expect to get a little wet! Wrap up your trip to the Untersberg Cable Car. It’s the perfect spot to hang out and reflect on the fun you’ve had. Take it easy, treat yourselves to local snacks, and enjoy being together in this pretty corner of the world.
This is just an idea of what your days in Salzburg could look like. If you are traveling as a family, three days is the ideal duration of a stay in Salzburg, and three days allow for a lot of flexibility.
Practical Tips for Families in Salzburg
You’re probably looking for places where your kids can have a blast and stay out of harm’s way. So, let me share some handy tips and go-to playgrounds that’ll help make your family’s stay a breeze.
First, remember that Salzburg is walkable, which means less hassle with strollers on public transport. But hey, if you need to hop on a bus or two, they’re reliable and easy to navigate. Plus, kids under six ride free, so that’s a nice bonus for your wallet.
Getting a Salzburg Card with Kids
When planning a trip to Salzburg with or without kids, it’s smart to think about getting a Salzburg Card. This is like your golden ticket to the city and its surroundings. It gets you into most attractions in the city center without spending extra. It includes the trick fountains mentioned above fountains, the zoo, and the cable car. You can hop on and off buses as you please, which can be a lifesaver when you have tired kids.
Got kids between six and fifteen? They get their own card at half price, which is great for keeping that holiday budget in check. And for the really young ones, under six, most things are free, but just a heads up that some spots might ask for a ticket for them, too.
You can pick a card that lasts 24, 48, or even 72 hours, depending on how long you plan to be here. It’s a no-brainer if you want to check out a lot without the hassle of buying individual tickets or worrying about transportation costs. The cable car and the Fortress alone would cost more than the card.
In my Complete Guide to the Salzburg Card, you find out how to get a Salzburg Card and how to best use it. So, consider a Salzburg Card. It’s a straightforward way to ensure you and your family see all the cool stuff without the stress or the hit to your wallet.
The Best Playgrounds in Salzburg
If you travel with kids wandering around Salzburg, let me point you to some playgrounds that are a hit with the younger crowd. You know, spaces where they can burn off that energy, and you can catch a moment to relax.
Exploring Salzburg’s playgrounds also offers a glimpse into the local culture and daily life, providing entertainment for kids and a relaxing spot for adults to observe and unwind. These playgrounds are not just areas for play; they’re community hubs where children can interact with local peers. Here are Salzburg’s most notable playgrounds:
- Volksgarten Spielplatz: The Volksgarten Spielplatz stands out with its modern amenities. Following a 2021 refurbishment, it now boasts a thrilling 4.5-meter high ropes course, a mini boulder wall, and climbing challenges. It’s more than just a playground; it’s an adventure park that tests agility and courage.
- Zauberflötenspielplatz: Situated next to Mirabell Garden, the Zauberflötenspielplatz, or Magic Flute Playground, is an homage to Mozart, reflecting the musical genius of Salzburg’s most famous son. Celebrating Mozart’s 250th birthday, it features unique play equipment like a bird carousel, a dance chime, and a towering 13-meter high climbing structure with a slide, all inspired by elements of Mozart’s work.
- Müllner Schanze: Perfect for the energetic and adventurous, the playground at Müllner Schanze focuses on climbing and physical activities. Various climbing frames and dexterity-focused equipment make it an excellent spot for children to improve their balance and coordination. The location also makes it an ideal stop during a scenic hike up to Mönchsberg.
- Playground Franz Josef Kai: Located by the Salzach River, close to the bustling Getreidegasse, the playground at Franz Josef Kai offers a simple, traditional play area. Its proximity to a busy street makes it less ideal than others, but its riverside location is charming for a quick play stop.
In addition to these specific playgrounds, Salzburg’s Mirabell Gardens and the fortress offer fantastic play spaces. Mirabell Garden’s hedge theater, the dwarf garden, and the palm house are the best. Meanwhile, the fortress combines historical exploration and play, offering breathtaking views for parents and ample play space for the little ones. They recently added actual games to many of the fortresse’s attractions.
They’re open-air, free, and a chance for everyone to have a good time.
I hope that helps you plan a chill day in Salzburg with your family!
It’s bedtime now, and I bet those little ones are grinning ear to ear after a full day here. You see, Salzburg has this knack for making the young ones happy. Think about the fun you had today. Maybe you chased each other around Mirabell Palace’s gardens, or they marveled at the Fortress standing proud on the hill. Salzburg’s more than just pretty views—it’s where you make those fun family stories come to life.
And you know what’s cool? The stuff you did today, like maybe spotting a puppet show or sharing a giant pretzel, is what they might tell their kids about one day. So, when planning tomorrow, think about what else you can do that’ll stick in their minds.
And hey, if you need some pointers on where to go next or how to dodge the tourist traps, give me a shout. I’m here to ensure your Salzburg story is as real and fun as it gets for the whole family.