Salzburg, Austria is a captivating city nestled amidst the stunning snow-capped Alps. Nestled alongside the Salzach River, this enchanting destination is known not only for its breathtaking natural scenery but also for its rich history, vibrant culture, and famous musical heritage. With just 48 hours in Salzburg, there is so much to explore and experience. From exploring historic sites to indulging in savory cuisine, here are 10 cool things that you absolutely must do during your short stay in Salzburg.

1. Explore the Mirabell Palace and Gardens

Start your journey through Salzburg by visiting the Mirabell Palace and Gardens. Built in the 17th century, this exquisite Baroque masterpiece is renowned for its meticulously manicured gardens and grandiose architecture. Stroll through the beautifully designed gardens, adorned with ornate statues and vibrant flower beds. Climb up the grand staircase to the Marble Hall, where you can immerse yourself in the city’s rich musical heritage as the setting for the iconic “Do-Re-Mi” scene from the timeless movie, “The Sound of Music.”

2. Visit the Hohensalzburg Fortress

Perched high above the city on the Festungsberg hill, the Hohensalzburg Fortress is one of the largest and best-preserved medieval castles in Europe. Take a funicular ride up to the fortress and immerse yourself in its rich history and stunning panoramic views. Explore the fortress’s various rooms, museums, and courtyards, and learn about the intriguing past of this iconic landmark. Don’t forget to venture out onto the terraces for breathtaking vistas of Salzburg’s old town and the surrounding mountain ranges.

3. Discover Mozart’s Birthplace

Salzburg is famously known as the birthplace of the legendary composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and visiting his birthplace is a must for any music lover. Located on Getreidegasse, one of Salzburg’s most charming shopping streets, Mozart’s Birthplace is a museum dedicated to the life and work of this musical genius. Immerse yourself in Mozart’s world as you explore the exhibits showcasing his childhood, family life, and musical accomplishments. From original manuscripts to personal belongings, the museum offers a unique glimpse into the life of this extraordinary composer.

4. Stroll through the Old Town (Altstadt)

Step back in time as you wander through Salzburg’s picturesque Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With narrow, winding streets, ornate architecture, and charming squares, this area is a treasure trove of history and culture. Be sure to explore the Getreidegasse, lined with beautiful old buildings and exquisite shops, and stop by the Salzburg Cathedral, a magnificent example of Baroque architecture. Don’t miss the opportunity to try some traditional Austrian delicacies at the many cozy cafes and restaurants dotted throughout the old town.

5. Take a Boat Trip on the Salzach River

Get a different perspective of Salzburg by embarking on a boat trip on the tranquil Salzach River. Enjoy the serene atmosphere as you glide along the water and take in the stunning views of the city’s skyline and the surrounding scenery. There are several boat trips available, ranging from short sightseeing tours to romantic dinner cruises. It’s a perfect way to relax and unwind while soaking in the beauty of Salzburg.

6. Eat Your Way Through Salzburg’s Culinary Delights

No visit to Salzburg is complete without indulging in the city’s delectable culinary delights. Treat your taste buds to traditional Austrian dishes such as Wiener Schnitzel, Tafelspitz, and Salzburger Nockerl. Head to the bustling food markets like Schrannenmarkt and Grünmarkt, where you can sample an array of fresh local produce, cheeses, and pastries. For a unique experience, consider booking a food tour that will take you to various eateries and allow you to savor the best of Salzburg’s gastronomy.

7. Attend a Classical Music Concert

Salzburg’s musical heritage is world-renowned, and attending a classical music concert in the birthplace of Mozart is an unforgettable experience. From grand concert halls to intimate venues, the city offers a wide range of performances to suit all tastes. The Salzburg Festival, held every summer, is a highlight for classical music enthusiasts, showcasing world-class performances in enchanting settings. Even outside the festival season, you can catch various classical concerts throughout the year, bringing the city’s musical legacy to life.

8. Visit the Salzburg Museum

For a deeper understanding of Salzburg’s history and culture, head to the Salzburg Museum. Located in the Neue Residenz, a magnificent palace in the heart of the old town, the museum houses a vast collection of exhibits that span the city’s fascinating past. From art and archaeology to folklore and modern history, the museum presents Salzburg’s heritage in an engaging and immersive manner. Learn about the city’s role as a hub of music and explore the art collections that showcase local talent.

9. Explore the Salzburg Zoo

For animal lovers and families, a visit to the Salzburg Zoo is a must. Set against the backdrop of the Hellbrunn Palace, this charming zoo is home to a diverse range of animals from across the globe. Explore the various themed sections, including the African Savannah, the South American Pampas, and the Eurasian forest. Watch feeding sessions, encounter rare species up close, and enjoy educational exhibits that highlight conservation efforts. It’s a perfect way to spend a few hours surrounded by nature and wildlife.

10. Take a Day Trip to the Eagle’s Nest

Just a short drive from Salzburg lies the spectacular Eagle’s Nest, a former mountain retreat built for Adolf Hitler. Today, the Eagle’s Nest offers visitors breathtaking views of the surrounding alpine peaks. Take a scenic bus ride up the mountain to the entrance of the Eagle’s Nest, and then venture up a long tunnel to reach the summit. Once there, admire the panoramic vistas, enjoy a bite to eat in the cozy restaurant, and learn about the history of this fascinating location. It’s an unforgettable day trip that reveals a unique perspective of the region’s history and natural beauty.

In conclusion, Salzburg offers an extraordinary blend of cultural richness, natural beauty, and musical heritage. With just 48 hours in this captivating city, make sure to explore iconic landmarks, delve into Mozart’s legacy, stroll through the charming streets of the Old Town, and take the time to indulge in the local culinary delights. With each experience, Salzburg will leave a lasting impression, beckoning visitors to return and discover even more of its hidden treasures.