Hate #1: Prices in Salzburg
It is expensive to visit Salzburg. Salzburg hotels and restaurants are expensive. The amount of money that we spent for two nights in Salzburg hotels could buy us three nights in a Vienna hotel. It is possible to find some more affordable accommodation in Salzburg. If you haven’t already arranged your Salzburg hotel, stop by the tourist information booth at the train station; they can usually find a good B&B for you at a reasonable price. While getting to Salzburg is fairly easy, the train prices can be high. If you can book your ticket in advance, you’ll save some money on transportation.
Hate #2: Service in Salzburg
This is something we’ve seen across Austria, not just in Salzburg. Service is not great in Salzburg. Although tips are expected, they do not rely on tips for income like Americans, so it’s not the friendly attentive service you might expect. Whether you are in a shop or a restaurant, Austrians can seem indifferent to their customers.
Hate #3: Salzburg Crowds
Salzburg is a popular tourist destination in Central Europe, so there are often crowds at popular places to visit in Salzburg. Museums and cathedrals can feel really crowded, especially if you get stuck behind a tour group. If you can visit Salzburg during the offseason, you won’t have to deal with as many crowds and you can explore Salzburg at a more leisurely pace. (Plus, you might find better prices on Salzburg hotels!)
Hate #4: Shop Hours in Salzburg
Salzburg has great shops, but they usually close around 6:00 or 7:00 in the evening. Even some of the cafes might close early, so be sure to look at the hours where you want to eat and plan ahead. If you are coming from Spain or Portugal and you are used to eating at 9:00 or 10:00, you might have a hard time finding a place to eat that late at night. Likewise, with shopping, make sure to plan ahead and do your shopping earlier in the day. If you absolutely need something later in the evening, the train station shops usually stay open later for travelers passing through.
Hate #5: Eating in Salzburg
Since most of the cafes close early, it can be hard to find a place to eat dinner in Salzburg. We have spent 30-45 minutes trying to find a Salzburg restaurant for dinner that was open didn’t have a long wait. With so many places closed, it puts a strain on the fewer restaurants that stay open later, so they tend to get more crowded. If you are visiting Salzburg with kids, make sure you plan ahead so you can sit down to eat when they are hungry.
Love #1: Salzburg Old Town
Salzburg Old Town, or Altstadt, is beautiful. It is the essence of an Austrian village, with a cathedral, churches, quaint shops, and cafes. If you are lucky enough to visit Salzburg in winter, the Christmas markets here are fantastic. If you can splurge a bit on a hotel in Salzburg Old Town, go for it as you’ll be in walking distance of some of the best attractions in Salzburg.
Love #2: Mozart History
Salzburg is the birthplace of Mozart, so naturally, there are many Mozart attractions in Salzburg. Even if you’re not into classical music, you can’t help but love this piece of musical history in Salzburg. Salzburg really plays up the hometown history and you’ll hear Mozart music playing all over. Mozart’s birthplace home is a very popular museum, as well as the Mozart Residenz where he lived later in life. Mozartplatz is one of the city squares, and there are even Salzburg tours that are all about Mozart.
Love #3: Salzburg Food
While it may be hard to find restaurants open, when you do, the food in Salzburg is really good. You will pay higher prices near Alstadt, but if you go across the river, you can get really good food at very reasonable prices. I love Austrian cuisine, from the hearty, filling main dishes to the decadent desserts.
Love #4: Shopping in Salzburg
Salzburg has some of the best shopping in Austria. It’s a great place to shop for souvenirs, clothing, Christmas decorations and anything you want. If you want to buy authentic Austrian goods, Salzburg is the best place to find unique items.
Love #5: Things to Do in Salzburg
The recreational opportunities in Salzburg are endless. Winter skiing and summer hiking are two very popular Salzburg activities. There are alpine lakes just outside of town to explore. In town, there are great cultural events like concerts and festivals throughout the year. If you want the full Austria experience, sign up for one of the Salzburg tours with a “Sound of Music” theme and you can frolic in fields of flowers while singing songs from the movie.