The Sound of Music Filming Locations near Salzburg

Where the Hills are Alive: The Sound of Music Locations in Salzburg

Explorer’s note: Some links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a booking through them, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps us keep providing tours and top-notch travel advice.

Most Austrians have never seen the Sound of Music, but as a local guide with over a decade of experience, first navigating the streets on a bike taxi and now on foot, I’ve gone deep into the essence of the musical. I have also seen it many times as a kid because my father was from the Netherlands, and every time I visited my grandmother, she showed me the movie.

You see, The Sound of Music is popular everywhere except for Austria. Why that is the case, no one knows. But having met thousands of people like you, eager to explore the filming locations, I am here to share my insights on finding all the Sound of Music Filming Locations in Salzburg.

This article is a self-guided tour crafted with passion and expertise. It invites you to step into the world of the Von Trapp family, exploring not just the Old Town but also its surroundings and day-trip destinations.

Join me as we explore the locations where Maria and the children sang and danced, from the Mirabell Gardens to the Concert Hall. This journey isn’t just about revisiting iconic scenes; it’s an invitation to experience the soul of Salzburg, where the hills are still alive with the Sound of Music.

Self-Guided Sound of Music Tour on Foot

Salzburg is perfect for exploring on foot. The Sound of Music bus tours efficiently cover the wider region’s spots but miss the locations in the Old Towns because the Old Town is pedestrian-only. This walking tour complements any bus tour, offering an up-close experience of the musical landmarks within Salzburg’s streets. Depending on your pace and how much time you spend reenacting movie scenes, exploring these spots can take 2 to 4 hours.

1. Mirabell Gardens: Dancing to Do Re Mi

Mythology at the Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg

Mirabell Gardens, a personal favorite and one of the top three sights in Salzburg is more than a singular attraction; it is a microcosm of wonders where every corner and path tells its story. The Sound of Music sights are integral to this microcosm within the garden. They bring to life the magic of the movie through locations like the Borghese Fencers, the Hedge Tunnel, the Dwarf Garden, the Pegasus Fountain, and the Do-Re-Mi Steps. Let’s explore each Sound of Music location in Mirabell Gardens together.

"Do Re Mi" in Mirabell Garden (2017)

The Borghese Fencers

Directions: We begin our Sound of Music walk at the entrance to Mirabell Gardens coming from Makartplatz Square.

At the entrance of Mirabell Gardens, the Borghese Fencers stand as iconic sentinels. These statues are copies of a famous Italian figure (now housed in the Louvre). The original became popular in the 1500s and is the most copied ancient piece of art, with more than 1500 copies, four of which are in Mirabell Gardens. This spot, where Maria and the children imitated the statues’ poses in the Do-Re-Mi, is a must-visit. Although it’s often bustling, an early visit might offer a quiet moment to relive this classic scene.

Hedge Tunnel

Directions: Turn left after the Borghese fencers and keep going.

Next, the hedge tunnel invites visitors to reenact another “Do-Re-Mi” scene. Just imagine Maria and the children skipping joyfully through this green passage. It’s a simple yet delightful experience, bringing a piece of cinematic history to life. At the corner, before entering the tunnel, you get a glimpse of the Marionettentheater (string puppet theater) with an ad for their Sound of Music show. More on that after Mirabell Gradens.

Dwarf Garden

Directions: Keep going straight until the end of the hedge tunnel and until you find stairs on your left.

Climb the stairs near the tunnel and find the Dwarf Garden. Cross the bridge guarded by two of the 17th-century dwarf statues to discover a circle representing the months of the year. The dwarf with an open mouth, touched on the head by Maria and the children in the film, stands here. Recently renovated, these figures now shine in pristine condition, offering a unique photo opportunity. Touching the dwarfs is allowed so you can reenact the movie scene.

Pegasus Fountain

Directions: Return over the bridge and down the stairs; the pegasus is right before you.

Returning to the main path, the Pegasus Fountain awaits. Originally part of a cathedral setting, this fountain has a storied history of relocation. The movie immortalized the scene of Maria and the children playfully circling the fountain’s wall in the Do-Re-Mi, now a key spot for visitors. From here, turn left to admire one of Salzburg’s most significant “Sound of Music” locations.

The Do-Re-Mi Steps

Directions: Turn left when facing the Pegasus, and you will see the Do-Re-Mi Steps.

Finally, the Do-Re-Mi Steps. While locals might not refer to them by this movie-inspired name, these steps hold a special place in film history. Here, the stairs transformed into a musical scale in the movie’s Do-Re-Mi, with Maria and the children’s joyful dance. The view from the top of these steps, true to Mirabell’s Italian meaning (beautiful view), offers a great panoramic view of Salzburg’s old town and a great photo spot.

2. Marionettentheater: A Puppetry Connection

Directions: Return to where we first entered the gardens. At Makartplatz, turn right! At the crossing in Schwarzstraße, turn right again and follow the street to get to the Marionettentheater.

"The Lonely Goatherd" - THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965)

The string puppet theater is a remarkable piece of Salzburg’s cultural history. Here, the movie’s enchanting “Lonely Goatherd” scene was brought to life, not just on screen but as a real art form dating back to the 19th century. The theater’s recent embrace of “The Sound of Music” show adds a modern twist to its historical repertoire.

Recommendation: During opening hours, you can still enter the foyer and look around even if you don’t attend one of their shows. They have a permanent exposition of historic string puppets.

3. Winkler Terrace: Panoramic Views and Memorable Scenes

Directions: Cross the river and turn right in front of the Billa supermarket. You will notice a white building on the mountain, the Museum of Modern Art. Inside the mountain, there is an elevator.

Monchsberg Mountain Viewpoint in Salzburg Austria

Winkler Terrace stands proudly as the home to the Museum of Modern Art. Previously hosting Café Winkler and then a casino, this location atop Mönchsberg mountain has evolved significantly. Its transformation into a modern art museum in 2004 added another dimension to its significance.

In The Sound of Music, Winkler Terrace is showcased during the iconic Do-Re-Mi sequence, marking a cinematic transition from the countryside to the old town of Salzburg. This spot is a testament to Hollywood’s creative geography, where distant locations seamlessly blend into the storyline.

Visitors eager to stand where Maria and the children once did can easily access this spot. A convenient elevator inside the mountain, leading directly to the museum, offers a swift ascent. Once at the top, stepping out of the museum places you on the terrace, offering a chance to relive a piece of movie magic.

However, taking the elevator isn’t mandatory to enjoy the beauty of Mönchsberg. Opting for a free hike along the mountain is a great alternative, offering not just a glimpse into the world of The Sound of Music but also revealing many other stunning spots along the way. The Mönchsberg perfectly blends cultural immersion and scenic exploration and is one of my favorite Salzburg city hikes.

4. Horse Pond: A Charming Backdrop

Directions: When coming down by elevator, turn right and keep going along the walls of the mountain.

Originally serving as a washing area for the archbishop’s horses before they entered the Hofreitschule (now the Festival Hall, the elongated building at the street’s end), the Horse Pond reflects Salzburg’s equestrian past. Today, its historical charm coexists with modern life, flanked by bus stops on either side.

In “The Sound of Music,” the Horse Pond is a picturesque scene where Maria and the children ride past in a carriage in the ‘My Favorite Things’ song. Once teeming with horses, this location now offers a peaceful moment to envision the city’s vibrant history. It serves as a reminder of Salzburg’s transformation from when horses were the main mode of transport to the present-day bustling city life. Visitors can enjoy this mix of old and new, imagining the sound of hooves and carriage wheels against the backdrop of contemporary Salzburg.

5. Rock Riding School: A Stage for Family Unity

Direction: Continuing along the street from where you’ve come, you’ll arrive at a wide space, transitioning into a square. The Festival House (Festspielhaus), stretching across the square to your right, faces the University of Salzburg’s main library on the left.

THE SOUND OF MUSIC FILM: After the Anschluss

This Festival House, initially the archbishop’s riding school, was repurposed in 1920 as a venue for the Salzburg Festival, the world’s largest classical music festival. Recall the climactic concert at the end of The Sound of Music. That’s where the von Trapp family performed during the Salzburg Festival in the movie, mirroring the real-life Trapp family’s rise to fame following their performance at the festival, which led to their invitation to America.

To view the Felsenreitschule, the oldest part of the Festival House where the “Edelweiss” and “Farewell Goodbye” scenes were filmed, walk to the end of the square. There, a passage to the right leads to Toscaninihof.

6. Toscaninihof: A Square with Historical Echoes

Directions: Walk along the Festival Hall to the end and turn right into Toscaninihof.

Toscaninihof, adjacent to the Festival House, is more than just a passage to the historic Felsenreitschule. It’s a space that resonates with historical and cultural significance.

Inside this courtyard, a staircase on the right wall ascends the mountain. Near the base of these stairs, a picture illustrates the various sections of the Festival House: the Small Festival House from 1920, the Large one from 1956, and the Felsenreitschule from around 1700.

Free Walking Tour Salzburg Tour Guide at the Concert Hall

The stairs lead to another “Sound of Music” scene, often mistakenly attributed to Winkler Terrace. At the top of the stairs, you’ll find where Maria, with her guitar, performed the “I Have Confidence” song with Salzburg’s three prominent churches in the background. This scene is an example of the movie’s clever editing, creating the illusion of proximity between locations that are, in reality, quite distant in Salzburg.

In the narrative arc of The Sound of Music, Toscaninihof serves as a backdrop to a tense moment: the arrival of the Nazis by car during the rehearsal at the Rock Riding School. It’s also here that Rolf, now aligned with the Nazis, confronts Liesl with a telegram for her father from Berlin.

To truly immerse yourself in these locations’ rich history and cinematic legacy, consider joining an official theater tour or attending a live show. This allows visitors to see the interior of the Felsenreitschule, where the von Trapp family’s cinematic escape unfolded, and to experience the thriving cultural life that continues in these historic venues today. The daily theater tour is included in the Salzburg Card.

7. Petersfriedhof: Inspiration from Real-Life Landscapes

Directions: Descending the stairs from the Toscaninihof area, you’ll find a tunnel opposite the picture depicting the Festival House. This path leads you toward Saint Peter’s Monastery. Past the two squares, you will find the Saint Peter’s Cemetery entrance in the corner on the right next to the restaurant.

Saint Peters Cemetery in Salzburg

In the film’s climactic moments, the Von Trapp family hides from Nazis in a cemetery. While this scene was set in Hollywood, inspired by Saint Peter’s Cemetery, the real cemetery was too modest for the film’s dramatic needs. Instead, Saint Peter’s Cemetery’s larger, flower-adorned crypts served as the perfect muse for these pivotal scenes.

Saint Peter’s Cemetery isn’t just a resting place; it’s a tapestry of Salzburg’s history, dating back to 700 AD, with catacombs that reach even further into the past, to 215 AD. The cemetery houses notable graves, including Mozart’s sister, Maria Anna (Nannerl), and Franz Wasner, who inspired the character Max Detweiler in the movie. Wasner was pivotal in the Von Trapp family’s musical journey, serving as their advisor and choir conductor.

Sidenote: This unique tradition might surprise many: grave plots in Austria are rented, not owned. You rent them for ten years. If the family stops paying, the grave gets removed. Families are responsible for the upkeep, ensuring the cemetery’s well-maintained appearance. This practice not only maintains the beauty of the place but also connects generations through the care of their ancestors’ resting places.

If time allows, delve deeper into the soul of Salzburg by visiting Saint Peter’s Church. I highly recommend it. Its stunning murals are a visual treat, and the neighboring Stiftskeller Restaurant offers a delightful gastronomic experience, complete with nightly Mozart concerts. Boasting a history from 803 AD, it’s revered as Europe’s oldest restaurant, even serving Emperor Charlemagne.

8. Kapitelschwemme: A Fountain with Cinematic Charm

Directions: Walk through the cemetery, proceed straight ahead, and veer left to exit, leading directly onto Kapitelplatz.

Kapitelschwemme within Salzburg’s Kapitelplatz is a historical artwork and a playful spot that adds vibrancy to the cityscape. Created in 1732, this fountain features a depiction of the Greek god Poseidon, trident in hand, showcasing the grandeur of classical mythology.

Originally, much like the Marstallschwemme, Kapitelschwemme served a practical purpose in the city’s equestrian life, being a place for watering and washing horses.

In The Sound of Music, Kapitelschwemme forms a backdrop during a pivotal moment in Maria’s journey. The fountain subtly enhances the scene as she crosses Kapitelplatz, brimming with determination in the ‘I Have Confidence’ montage.

9. Domplatz: Central Square in Film and History

Directions: From Kapitelplatz, head towards the front of the Cathedral.

Salzburg’s Domplatz, or Cathedral Square, again blends historical evolution and cinematic charm but is more than that. I regard Domplatz and the Cathedral as the heart and center of Salzburg. It’s where every event in Salzburg happens. To learn about the Cathedral, read my article on the Salzburger Dom.

Domplatz Cathedral Square and the Statue of Virgin Mary

Once a must-see, the Salzburg Cathedral’s interior now requires an entrance fee.

In “The Sound of Music,” Domplatz appears as Maria exits through the arches. The square also features in the ‘My Favorite Things’ montage, capturing a moment as Maria and the children dash across in their picnic attire. This historic square, thus, is not only a cornerstone of Salzburg’s architectural heritage but also a memorable backdrop in one of the most beloved musicals of all time.

10. Residence Square & Fountain: Maria’s Joyful Path

Directions: Facing the Cathedral, you turn left to pass the arches opposite of the ones you came from.

Residence Square is a testament to Salzburg’s historical depth and Italian architectural aspirations. The Residenzbrunnen (residence fountain), the largest baroque fountain north of the Alps, is at the heart of this square. Here, Maria’s exuberant splashing during ‘I Have Confidence’ brings a joyful contrast to the later, somber portrayal of Nazi soldiers marching through the square, symbolizing the dark period of the Anschluss, Austria’s annexation by Germany in 1938.

Residence Square Salzburg
Residence square is the main square of the old town.

Flanking the square, the Old Residenz Palace, draped with a Nazi flag in the movie, stands as a reminder of Salzburg’s complex history. Originally built in 1596 for Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich Raitenau, it houses staterooms and an art gallery with works by Rembrandt and Rubens.

On the opposite side, the New Residenz, once the Archbishop’s guest house, now contains the Glockenspiel Bell Tower, Heimatwerk Shop, and used to house the Salzburg Panorama, a hundred-year-old 360-degree paintings by Johann Michael Sattler until recently.

11. Mozartsteg: Bridging the Past and Present

Directions: From Residence Square, you head towards the Salzburg Museum and the Mozart Statue. Pass the Mozart statue and turn left to the Salzach River.

The Mozartsteg, an art deco pedestrian bridge named in honor of Salzburg’s most celebrated son, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, stands as a symbol of the city’s artistic legacy. Opened in 1903, this bridge has witnessed over a century of Salzburg’s evolving landscape. Though not always highlighted as a top attraction, the Mozartsteg is on my list of must-see sights in Salzburg.

In “The Sound of Music,” the Mozartsteg is set during the ending of ‘My Favorite Things.’ Here, Maria and the children cross the Salzach River, pointing out the city’s sights and skipping along the grassy riverbank.

Click this link to see the scene at the right time stamp on YouTube.

The bridge was financed by a cafe owner from the right side of the river who wanted the wealthier folks from the left side to cross the river more often. Until the city acquired the Mozartsteg in 1921, crossing this bridge required a toll, marking a time when the Old Town and Steingasse movement was not as seamless as it is today.

12. Kajetanerplatz: A Vibrant Marketplace

Directions: From Mozartsteg, you head back up and pass behind the Mozart Statue straight ahead into Kaigasse, which you follow to Kajetanerplatz square in about 2 minutes.

Tucked away in the southeastern corner of Salzburg’s Old Town, Kajetanerplatz is a public square. Fully pedestrianized (like most of the old town), Kajetanerplatz has become a favorite spot for locals since 2015, especially with the reintroduction of its regular markets. It underwent a complete renovation in 2022 and now features a beautiful modern fountain surrounded by a sitting area. Dominating the square is the Kajetanerkirche, a church that, while large, retains a sense of understated elegance.

Click this link to see the scene at the right time stamp on YouTube.

In the movie Kajetanerplatz, Maria and the children engage in everyday joys during the ‘My Favorite Things’ montage while shopping for vegetables at a local market, with Maria playfully juggling tomatoes.

If you’re inspired to recreate Maria’s tomato-juggling scene, the best time to visit is Friday morning between 08:00 and 13:00, when the farmers’ market takes over the square.

13. St. Erhard Church: A Scenic Ride Through History

Directions: From Kajetanerplatz, you head to the edge of the old town around Mönchsberg mountain. Turn right after Schanzlgasse and keep going along the mountain.

St. Erhard Church stands with quiet dignity. Its history stretches back to its first mention in 1404, but it was rebuilt during baroque times, making it a humble yet significant piece of Salzburg’s architectural landscape.

In The Sound of Music, this unpretentious church plays a subtle yet memorable role. It appears in the ‘Do Re Mi’ montage as Maria and the children enjoy a carriage ride along Nonntaler Hauptstrasse. This moment showcases St. Erhard as a backdrop. A walk down Nonntaler Hauptstrasse offers a delightful experience. Nonntaler Hauptstrasse is where many restaurants frequented by locals are, for example, the Green Garden, one of our favorite vegan restaurants in Salzburg.

14. Stift Nonnberg: A Convent with Deep Narrative Ties

Directions: Keep going along the mountain until you see a set of stairs on your right. These stairs lead you directly to Nonnberg Abbey.

Stift Nonnberg (Nonnberg Abbey) is not just a historic site but a significant location in both the real and cinematic worlds of The Sound of Music. Founded in the early 8th century by Saint Erentrudis, niece of Saint Rupert, it is regarded as the oldest nunnery in the world.

Four memorable scenes from the movie were filmed at the abbey gates, including Maria’s departure, conversations about her, the children’s visit, and the tense moment of the Nazis’ arrival. Though filmed in a studio, the courtyard’s “Maria” song is forever linked to Nonnberg. However, the real interior of the convent, where daily life unfolds, remains private and inaccessible to tourists.

Maria from The Sound of Music (Official HD Video)

The real Maria von Trapp, orphaned at age 6, joined Nonnberg as a postulant at 19. While teaching at the Benedictine Convent, she met the von Trapp children, eventually leaving the convent to marry Georg von Trapp in its chapel in 1927. Interestingly, their wedding took place a decade before the Nazi annexation of Austria, and Maria was considerably younger than Georg, unlike their film counterparts.

For a deeper dive into the distinctions between historical events and their portrayal in The Sound of Music, explore our blog post that separates Sound of Music facts and fiction.

While many overlook the climb to Nonnberg, the journey is rewarding. Visitors can experience the haunting beauty of Gregorian chants sung by the nuns at 6:45 am and four more times a day. The church and cemetery are open daily, offering a space for reflection and admiration of the Gothic architecture.

Sound of Music Locations in the Surroundings

After exploring the Sound of Music locations within Salzburg’s Old Town, all reachable on foot, our journey now takes us to five more captivating sites beyond the city’s heart. While dedicated walkers could continue on foot to Leopoldskron Palace, Frohnburg Palace, and Hellbrunn Palace, embarking on a trek through Salzburg’s scenic outskirts, be prepared for a 2-3 hour adventure.

This route is part of my regular daily walk.

However, a self-guided bike tour presents a splendid alternative for those seeking a blend of convenience and excitement. Cycling through these locations is not just a treat for Sound of Music fans but a journey through some of the most picturesque parts of Salzburg’s landscape. We once even offered our own Sound of Music bike tour.

The Lonely Goatherd BIKE TOUR Salzburg: Cycle Salzburg's Surroundings with the SOUND OF MUSIC!

If the idea of charting your path seems daunting or if you are looking for a more structured exploration with insights into each location, consider joining Fräulein Maria’s Bike Tour. This guided experience offers a comprehensive and very engaging way into the world of The Sound of Music.

1. Leopoldskron Palace: The Heart of the Von Trapp Family

Leopoldskron Palace, built in 1736, initially served as the residence of Archbishop Leopold Firmian and was later owned by King Ludwig I. The palace saw a transformation under the vision of theater director Max Reinhardt, who co-founded the Salzburg Festival. During the Nazi era, Reinhardt was forced to flee, and the Nazis took control of the palace. Post-war, it was acquired by the Salzburg Global Seminar, which continues to utilize it today.

In The Sound of Music, Leopold was the backdrop for many unforgettable lake terrace scenes. This location is where the moments of Maria with the children in the boat and the Captain hearing his children sing were filmed. While the movie didn’t feature the palace’s interior, the ballroom and grand foyer were recreated in Hollywood for various indoor scenes. However, the exterior shots of the front of the Von Trapp home were filmed at Frohnburg Mansion, our next stop.

The Rowboat scene from The Sound of Music (Official HD Video)

Notably, the original Gazebo from the “16 Going on 17” song, now located at Hellbrunn Palace, was once in the palace’s garden.

Today, Leopoldskron Palace is also a boutique hotel, offering a unique stay for movie enthusiasts and history buffs. It’s one of my top three favorite castle hotels in Salzburg. Hotel guests have exclusive access to the lake terrace and can glimpse the historic Venetian ballroom.

Due to the surge in “Sound of Music tourism” in Salzburg, which significantly increased visitor numbers, Leopoldskron Palace had to revise its access policy. The palace grounds, once open to the public, are now available to hotel guests only to manage the influx and maintain the garden’s tranquility. For those not staying at the hotel, a viewpoint across the lake provides a stunning view of the palace, immersing visitors in the magical setting of the film. I highly recommend the scenic walk around the lake for everyone.

Getting There: Located just south of Salzburg’s Old Town, Leopoldskron Palace is a 20-30 minute walk from Nonnberg Abbey and Old Town. Alternatively, Bus 25, bicycles, or taxis are available for convenience.

Staying at the Palace: An overnight stay is highly recommended for those looking to fully immerse themselves in the palace’s history and charm. The Meierhof guesthouse offers rooms from 150-200€ per night, while the main building’s suites are priced between 400-600€.

2. Frohnburg Palace: Front of the Von Trapp Home

Frohnburg Palace (Schloss Frohnburg) on Hellbrunner Allee served as the setting for the front of the Von Trapp family home in The Sound of Music. This key location is featured in five scenes that capture both the joyous arrival of Maria and the tense moments of the family’s confrontation with Nazi forces. It’s most recognizable from Maria singing ‘I Have Confidence’ as she arrives and from the Captain’s poignant removal of the Nazi flag following their honeymoon.

I Have Confidence from The Sound of Music

Today, Frohnburg Palace is integrated into the Mozarteum Music Academy. Key areas from the movie, like the gates and the surrounding wall, are publicly accessible alongside the road. From the road, you can also often hear students practicing their instruments. Theoretically, the palace is also publicly accessible since it belongs to the University. Still, you will have to be careful and respectful when exploring so as not to disturb anyone.

Getting There: The palace is about a 40-minute walk from Leopoldskron Palace or the Old Town. By bike, you reach Frohnburg within 10 minutes from the old town or Schloss Leopoldskron. You can also reach Frohnburg Palace via Bus 25, alighting at Kleingmain Hacksteinerweg Bus Stop, and a short walk east to Hellenbrunner Allee. Since you will likely also visit Hellbrunn and the Gazebo, you can ride bus 25 to Hellbrunn and walk 20 minutes along the Hellbrunner Allee.

3. Hellbrunn Palace: Romance at the Gazebo

The iconic Sound of Music Pavilion, where Liesl sang ’16 Going on 17′ and Maria and the Captain shared ‘Something Good’, remains a romantic highlight on the Sound of Music tour. Originally constructed as a prop near Leopold Palace for lake scenes, the gazebo was later moved to Hellbrunn Palace after fans began trespassing on private property to see it. Now, it stands near the eastern entrance of Hellbrunn Palace, accessible to the public without an entry fee.

Sixteen Going on Seventeen from The Sound of Music (Official HD Video)

However, entry into the pavilion is restricted. This precaution was taken after an incident where a tourist, attempting to reenact a scene, danced on the benches and got injured. While entering the pavilion isn’t allowed, visitors can still walk up and dance around it.

The pavilion’s interior scenes in the movie were filmed in a studio due to space constraints, making the real gazebo a charming yet compact part of this cinematic journey.

Hellbrunn Palace, a day retreat built by Prince-Archbishop Markus Sittikus, offers more than just the gazebo. The Trick Fountains, part of a guided tour, provide an entertaining experience through grottoes and water-play features, for example. This tour also includes access to the interior of Hellbrunn Palace, known for its opulence ceilings. Furthermore, the Salzburg Zoo is located minutes from the palace. To learn about everything the area offers, read my comprehensive guide to Hellbrunn.

Getting there: Access to Hellbrunn Palace is easy via Bus 25 from the Old Town, a 15-minute ride, a 1-hour walk from the Old Town or Schloss Leopoldskron, and a 20-minute walk from Frohnburg Palace. Biking is also a great option, as I mentioned. The gazebo is open from dawn till dusk, while the palace and trick fountain tour times vary seasonally. The trick fountains are closed in winter because visitors get wet, which is uncomfortable when it’s cold, but in winter, Hellbrunn hosts one of the best Christmas markets in Salzburg.

4. Mount Untersberg: Breathtaking Views and a Symbol of Freedom

The surroundings of Mount Untersberg are featured in both the opening scene with Maria’s rendition of ‘The Hills are Alive’ and during the family’s escape over the mountains while singing “Climb Every Mountain.”

"Climb Ev'ry Mountain" Finale from The Sound of Music (Official HD Video)
  • Roßfeld Mountain: Roßfeld’s dramatic landscapes depict the family’s fictional escape in the movie, contrasting with their actual train journey to Italy. While steeped in cinematic history, this location is another reminder of the blend between reality and fiction in The Sound of Music. The Von Trapp family escaped by train, not by hiking. Hiking to Switzerland would have meant traversing hundreds of kilometers, a feat near-impossible, especially considering the proximity of Hitler’s command center.
  • The Sound of Music Meadow: The Mehlweg, better known as the Julie Andrews Meadow, gained fame from the opening scene where Julie Andrews twirls in the green field, bringing the lyrics ‘The Hills are alive with the Sound of Music’ to life. Located 20 kilometers south of Salzburg in Marktschellenberg, Germany, it was once connected to a guesthouse but is now part of a private farm and not open to visitors. An alternative is the Picnic Meadow in Werfen, another site on this do-it-yourself Sound of Music tour. More on that later.

Since the Sound of Music Meadow is private, Roßfeld is not easy to access, and Untersberg anyway offers a better experience; I recommend the more accessible option of taking bus 25 from Salzburg to the Untersberg, followed by a scenic cable car ride to the top.

Getting there: Opting for the bike tour to Hellbrunn and Leopoldskron? You can extend your trip to Untersberg, making your bike tour much longer but still within reach. It’s not feasible to reach Untersberg on foot due to the distance. However, the best way to get to Untersberg is to get a Salzburg Card and take bus 25. The bus also stops in Hellbrunn, and the card includes the trick fountains, public transport, and the Untersberg Cable Car, making this the most convenient and cost-effective option. The bus ride takes 30 minutes from the center, and the bus stops in front of the cable car.

Here is how you get to the Untersberg Cable Car by public transport.

Filming Challenges: Filming the scene at the meadow was not without challenges. Julie Andrews was transported daily by ox cart to the meadow, and despite it being summer, it took five days to capture the perfect shot due to weather constraints. Additionally, the powerful wind from the helicopter filming the scene caused difficulties, and the loud noise necessitated a voiceover for part of the song.

For more fun facts about the Sound of Music and to put your fandom to the test, don’t miss our Sound of Music Quiz!

Sound of Music Filming Locations on Day Trips

1. St. Gilgen and Wolfgangsee: Capturing Aerial Beauty

The intro to The Sound of Music features several aerial shots showcasing the Salzkammergut region. This area, renowned for its landscapes, includes several towns that played a part in the film’s visual tapestry.

The towns of Fuschl and St. Gilgen are particularly noteworthy. These locations were captured in the film through aerial shots. Panorama Tours, offering “Sound of Music” tours, includes a pit stop and a photo opportunity at a parking place before Sankt Gilgen when you first see Lake Wolfgangsee from Salzburg.

From here, the tour veers left towards Mondsee (the next stop on this list), continuing the journey through the film’s iconic locations, but if you travel on your own, you might as well continue and visit Sankt Wolfgang.

Sankt Wolfgang is home to the Schafbergbahn Mountain Railway. This railway holds a special place in the movie’s history, as it was the location for the final scene filmed with the children on location. The Schafbergbahn not only offers cinematic history but is one of my favorite things to do in the Lake District. It provides passengers with some of the most stunning views in Austria. For a detailed exploration of the Schafbergbahn, visit my Schafbergbahn Cog Railway guide.

Getting there: You get to the lake district by bus 150 from Mirabell Square or the station. The final stop of bus 150 is Bad Ischl, but you can get off at Sankt Gilgen and take a boat or in Strobl and change to another bus to Sankt Wolfgang to further explore Lake Wolfgangssee and Sankt Wolfgang.

2. Collegiate Church in Mondsee: A Sacred Movie Moment

About 30km east of Salzburg, Mondsee is another place in the Salzkammergut. While it’s not my favorite place in the Salzkammergut Lake District, its natural beauty is undeniable. The lake first appears in the movie when Maria takes the bus to the Von Trapp villa, but its most memorable scene is the backdrop for Maria and the children’s bike ride during the ‘Do Re Mi’ montage. Additionally, it appears when the Captain returns with Max and the Baroness, with the children dangling from the trees in the background.

The Collegiate Church of Saint Michael in Mondsee, often called the Wedding Church, was the setting for Maria and Captain’s wedding in The Sound of Music. Surprisingly, this was the first scene filmed upon the crew’s arrival in Salzburg in 1964. It holds significant history, with the original Mondsee Abbey established in 748. In 2005, it was elevated from a Cathedral to a Basilica by Pope John Paul II.

Though a small village, Mondsee offers a charming square near the church and a lovely lakefront.

Getting there: Access to Mondsee from Salzburg is quickest by bus 140, taking about 50 minutes, or a 20-minute drive on the highway if you have a car. However, if you have a car, the preferred way to get there is first to drive the country roads to Sankt Wolfgang and then head over to Mondsee, which takes you about 15 minutes. For a more comprehensive understanding of the area, consider exploring nearby Saint Gilgen or Hallstatt, and for further insights, visit my Salzkammergut Lake District guide.

3. Picnic Meadow in Werfen: Reliving Do Re Mi

Picture this: a lush, green meadow under the shadow of towering alpine peaks, a scene straight out of a classic movie. That’s the Sound of Music Meadow in Werfen. It’s where Maria and the children belted out “Do, Re, Mi” in the iconic 1965 movie. This spot, also known as Gschwandtanger Wiesn, is another slice of cinematic history just south of Salzburg. The trail, opened in 2015 for the 50th anniversary of the movie, stretches 1,4 kilometers and is dotted with signs and themed installations that celebrate the movie.

How To Get To The Sound of Music Meadow From Salzburg Day Trip - Werfen Trail

It’s a Werfen marketing gag but a great day trip, especially if you combine it with the Werfen Ice Caves. I would not take the Sound of Music Trail day trip if you don’t plan on visiting the Ice Caves in Werfen.

Getting there: Hop on a train from Salzburg; it’s a scenic 40-minute ride to Werfen. Once there, it’s a brief 10-minute stroll to the Tourist Office. That’s where your adventure begins on the Sound of Music Trail.  It’s a moderate hike, so bring your family, your dog, and don’t forget proper hiking shoes. For a more detailed guide on how to visit Werfen, especially the Ice Caves, read my guide on how to get to the Eisriesenwelt.

Similar Posts