Salzburg Day Trips from Vienna

Thinking about visiting Austrian cities beyond Vienna? Salzburg and its surroundings are the alternative for you! I tell you all about excursions to this charming destination.

Katherine Betances

Katherine Betances

8 min read

Salzburg Day Trips from Vienna

Salzburg | ©Enrica

Undoubtedly Salzburg is one of the most beautiful cities in Austria, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a destination famous for its rich architecture, cultural life and idyllic landscapes.

If you are going to spend, for example, 5 days in Vienna or more, it is totally worth organizing a visit to this beautiful city and although you will notice that there are many ways to travel or means of transportation to gofrom Vienna to Salzburg; I consider that the best alternative is to hire an organized tour with an expert company. If you dare to undertake the adventure today here I share with you the different types of excursions to Salzburg so you can choose the one that best suits what you are looking for.

1. Group excursion: Salzburg day trip from Vienna

Touring Salzburg| ©Maria D
Touring Salzburg| ©Maria D

The most popular standard excursion and the one chosen by most travelers is the Salzburg group day tour departing from the center of Vienna. The companies that offer this type of service take a small group of travelers from their location in the city to beautiful Salzburg for a day of adventure outside the capital and to see the highlights of this paradisiacal destination.

What these excursions include

When booking this type of excursion, it is important to keep in mind that the facilities included can vary greatly depending on the company you hire. For example, many companies in Vienna that offer this type of service include the pick-up of the traveler at the hotels in the center and surroundings; while others establish a common meeting point in the center of Vienna.

Other facilities included in almost all excursions to Salzburg are: an expert guide who accompanies the group at all times. On the other hand, some companies offer small groups of 8 to 12 people to guarantee personalized attention, although they tend to be a bit more expensive.

Logically, round-trip transportation from Vienna city center to Salzburg and back is included. The itinerary includes time to visit and tour the most outstanding points of interest which could include: the historic center of Salzburg, Wolfgang Mozart's house, St. Peter's Cathedral and Abbey, or Mirabell Palace (where the famous musical The Sound Of Music (Sonrisas y Lágrimas in Spain) was recorded in the 60's).

Useful information

  • Price: For this type of experience you should reserve at least 135€ in your budget. Depending on the company you hire and the facilities included, the price to pay can reach up to 250€ per traveler.
  • Duration of the tour: This is a full day tour, you will leave Vienna early in the morning to be back in the city after sunset.
  • Recommended if... you are looking for an option that allows you to enjoy the best of Salzburg comfortably but without spending a fortune; the only thing you will have to adapt to is sharing transportation with other travelers like you.

Book Salzburg excursion

2. Private tour: Day trip to Salzburg from Vienna

Mozart Museum in Salzburg| ©KlausF
Mozart Museum in Salzburg| ©KlausF

A day trip to Salzburg is among the best tours and excursions from Vienna and a favorite activity for Austrians living in the capital.

That's why you will find several interesting private tour alternatives designed for those who put comfort and tranquility first when planning their vacation or for those who are looking for a truly personalized experience.

What these tours include

Private tours to Salzburg from Vienna usually start with the pick-up of the traveler or travelers directly at their hotel of stay, in addition to providing an expert guide who accompanies them at all times. This type of tour includes, as you would expect, transportation. Keep in mind that Spanish-speaking guides are less frequent, so it is advisable to book the tour weeks in advance to ensure their availability on the day of your trip.

On your tour you will have free time to walk around Salzburg, visit the most interesting places and those that your guide considers not to be missed. Remember to read carefully the itinerary offered by the tour company, although among the places you can expect to see are: the locations of the musical The Sound of Music, the historic center of Salzburg, the legendary Mozart's house and museum, a funicular ride through the city and many more.

Both on the outbound and return trip you will have the opportunity to enjoy the breathtaking scenery offered by the Austrian forests or the iconic peaks of the Alps.

Useful information

  • Price: This is not an economical option, as the private tour to Salzburg can cost around 1300€ per group.
  • Duration of the excursion: You will need to reserve a full day of your itinerary, since from the departure from Vienna to the return at the end of the day, this type of experience usually takes between 12 and 14 hours to complete.
  • Recommended if... you want to organize a comfortable and personalized trip; if you are traveling with friends or a large family the final price to be paid may well compensate the cost of an individual excursion; since most companies admit groups of up to 6 or 8 people.

3. Private tour: Melk, Hallstatt and Salzburg from Vienna

Getting to know Hallstatt| ©Alessio Battistella
Getting to know Hallstatt| ©Alessio Battistella

If you are staying, for example, three days in Vienna or four days in Vienna, but want to see the best of Austria, this type of tour is designed for you.
Vienna's many tour operators have designed an ideal experience for first-time travelers who want to admire the beauty of its landscapes, lakes and cities.

What these tours include

Lower Austria tours start early in the morning with hotel pick-up by the accompanying guide and/or vehicle driver. If you are looking for English-speaking guides for the excursion, it is advisable to book well in advance and confirm availability with the tour operator. Meals and tips are generally not included in the price, but entrance fees to museums are included when included in the itinerary.

In addition to private transportation to and from Vienna, the tour operator will provide the traveler with an organized step-by-step itinerary to explore the best of the three tourist destinations: Melk, Hallstatt and Salzburg.

In Melk you can visit destinations such as the Benedictine Abbey, the tomb of St. Coloman or perhaps get wonderful views of the Danube.

In the town of Hallstatt you will enjoy the amazing view of its beautiful lakes and learn interesting facts about the production of salt directly from the salt lakes in the area. Finally in the visit to Salzburg you will visit the beautiful old town, the emblematic Mozart's house and the locations where The Sound of Music was recorded.

Useful information: Private tour: Melk, Hallstatt and Salzburg from Vienna

  • Price: In this type of experience you will find companies that offer prices around 500€ per person or other companies that offer offers for small groups (3-4 people) around 800€.
  • Duration of the excursion: Excursions of this type take from 12 to 14 hours to complete. Keep in mind that, despite the private transportation, in this experience you have to take time to admire and get to know the different destinations.
  • Recommended if... you want to get to know the most amazing landscapes and the most beautiful villages of Austria in a short but well spent trip. If you are traveling with friends or family you can get a good deal that includes several members at a reduced price.

4. Excursion to the Austrian Lakes and Salzburg from Vienna

Lake Attersee| ©superscheeli
Lake Attersee| ©superscheeli

When it comes to lakes and bodies of water, Austria has some of the most incredible scenery you're ever likely to see. Whether you travel to Vienna in the summer, or choose to visit Vienna in the winter, the area known as the lake district is capable of providing scenery designed to enchant.

In the city of Vienna you will find several tour operators that offer combined trips to visit the most beautiful lakes of Austria and the charming city of Salzburg in a day tour.

What these tours include

Depending on the company you decide to hire for the experience, it is possible that the company coordinates a meeting point in a central area of Vienna or offers the traveler the possibility to be picked up directly at your hotel. In any case, the pick-up may or may not be limited to the areas closest to the historic center of the city, so you should make sure you have this information in advance.

Departing from Vienna you will have the opportunity to admire the beautiful landscapes of the countryside using as a backdrop the incredible mountains of the Alps. Regarding the Austrian lakes, most excursions include a visit to Lake Attersee located in the district of Vöcklabruck.

They also usually include the village of St. Gilgen, located in the same district of Salzburg, a famous tourist village where the beautiful Lake Wolfgangsee is located.

Finally, in your stop in Salzburg you will be able to know the exuberant baroque architecture of its historic center, you can visit places like Mozart's house or the famous Mirabell Palace.

Useful information

  • Price: You will find small group tours starting at 200€ per traveler.
  • Duration of the tour: You should reserve a full day of your itinerary for this tour. It usually leaves Vienna early in the morning and returns after sunset in a tour that will take at least 12 hours.
  • Recommended if... in addition to Salzburg you only want to see the beautiful lakes of Austria, without visiting other small towns, this tour is ideal for you because it has fewer stops and you have more time to explore each of the destinations.

5. Excursion to the Salzburg Christmas markets.

Christmas markets in Salzburg.| ©Rob Young
Christmas markets in Salzburg.| ©Rob Young

Besides being a city famous for being the birthplace of the great Mozart, Salzburg is known throughout Austria for its wonderful Christmas markets, known as Salzburg Christkindlmarkt. They open their doors each year usually in mid-November and end on the first of January. If you intend to spend a Christmas in Vienna, this one-day getaway can make your stay in the city even more magical.

What these excursions include

The companies that offer this type of excursions include the accompaniment of an expert guide throughout the trip and round-trip transportation from your hotel in Vienna. A snack and some kind of beverage (possibly a hot drink since it is winter in Vienna) is usually included in the tour. Please note that lunch is almost never included in the price. However, the smartest thing to do is always to read the specifications carefully to know what facilities you can expect.

Once you arrive in Salzburg you will have time to take the traditional excursion which includes visiting the locations where "The Sound of Music" was recorded, Mozart's home and the traditional architecture of downtown Salzburg.

Once in the center of Salzburg you will have free time to explore the beautiful Christmas markets of this region of Austria, famous for their craftsmanship and creations very attached to local traditions.

Useful information

  • Price: This type of experience is available from €500 per participant.
  • Duration of tour: The round trip from Vienna to Salzburg usually takes about 12 hours in total, so you should reserve a full day of your itinerary for this adventure.
  • Recommended yes... if you visit Vienna in December or the weeks when the market is in operation you should take advantage of the classic excursion to Salzburg and be sure to include a tour to see the Christmas markets.

Frequently asked questions

  • What are the most emblematic places in Salzburg?

    Hohensalzburg Castle, St. Peter's Abbey and Salzburg Cathedral are the main icons of Salzburg's Old Town. In addition, you can see the Residenzplatz and Hellbrunn Palace and its fountains, and of course, the birthplace of Mozart.

  • What traditional food can I try in Salzburg?

    If you are a meat lover, you are in luck: you can try Tafelspitz (meat cooked in horseradish sauce), Bierfleisch (meat cooked in beer sauce), pork knuckle and sausages with pickled cabbage. Don't forget to try the Sacher cake (a typical kind of cake) and the handmade chocolate.

  • What should I avoid in Salzburg?

    As a general rule, Mozart balls sold in the city center are terribly expensive. Don't waste your time visiting the northern part of the city, as there is little to see. Instead, focus on the central and southern parts of Salzburg. And remember that it is considered disrespectful to ask for tap water in a restaurant, so ask the waiter if he doesn't mind if you do.