Bordering the Bavarian Alps is Salzburg, a city declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its architectural and historical value. Salzburg was the birthplace of Mozart and one of the cities where he developed as an artist. This city is an earthly paradise where you will feel the mysticism and magic of Austria. Visiting Salzburg is one of the best things to do and see if you are in Munich because of its proximity.
At 145 km from Munich, Salzburg together with the Bavarian Alps, are among the best tours you can do by bus from Munich. But you can also make the trip by train from Munich. The trip is made short by the majestic landscapes that you will not be able to stop taking pictures of. Visiting Salzburg is an incredible opportunity where nature and city merge to give you an aesthetic experience. Here are some options for Salzburg tours departing from Munich.
1. Day trip to Salzburg and the Lake District
From Munich, my advice is to dedicate a whole day to go on an excursion to the Austrian city of Salzburg. And what better if that same day, you can visit the Lake District? This is a tour where you will have a lot of autonomy and although an expert guide will give guidelines and tell you everything you need to know, you will have time to see what you want to see in Salzburg and also to relax for several hours in the Lake District.
The tour is priced at around 60 € and departs very early, at around 8:00 am, from the Karlsplatz in Munich. From there you will travel by private bus to Salzburg for a one and a half hour tour. When you arrive, your guide will give you a half-hour orientation tour of the historic center of Salzburg, but then you will have an hour and a half to eat, shop or visit the museums that catch your attention, such as Mozart's house.
Afterwards you will take the bus back to the Salzkammergut or Lake District, one of Austria's natural paradises. In another hour and a half you will be at the fantastic Wolfgang Lake, where you can take a boat and sail for half an hour until you reach the meeting point. If you don't want to go by boat you can go by bus, but my advice is not to miss the experience of sailing on an Austrian lake. Finally, you will take the bus again to reach Mondsee, one of the most beautiful villages of the Lake District.
Details of interest
- Price: about 60 €.
- Duration: about 10 hours
- Means of transport: private bus for the whole itinerary.
- Advantages of this option: you will get to know the Lake District, a paradisiacal place.
- Disadvantages of this option: the Lake District is quite far from Munich and the excursion may take too little time to get to know Salzburg.
2. Take a walking tour in Salzburg and see the main sites of the historic city
Get to know the history and incredible culture of Salzburg through a walking tour of the city. Lose yourself in its beautiful streets with the impressive baroque aesthetics that allowed it to be declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. The tour has an approximate cost of 150 € which includes transportation; the accompaniment of a guide who will not stop telling you the stories that give identity to the city and the entrance to the sites that require to be paid as the Mozart museum.
The tour departs from the bus terminal at Munich Central Station which will take you to the Mirabellplatz terminal. From here, walk to Marktplatz, which is Salzburg's central square. The guide will be waiting for you to start the tour. If you are in Munich at Christmas time, take advantage of this tour at Christmas time because there is nothing like walking through Salzburg with the festive decorations.
From here you will reach the old town of Salzburg. One of the first stops is the birthplace of Mozart. Once you're done there, head to St. Andrew's parish church, an architectural ode to the Catholic religion built in 1892 in neo-Gothic style. The silence here will relax you.
Afterwards, you will stroll through the Old City Hall, where you will find the old town hall with a dreamy facade and from here you will be transferred to the Getreidegasse, the downtown shopping street where you will feel like you are shopping in ancient times. This street connects with the baroque style of the University of Salzburg. Obviously you can't miss the view of the University Square.
At the end of your tour, you can see how for a thousand years monks have lived in St. Peter's Abbey, a medieval monastery. The church next to the abbey will fascinate you. To round off such an impressive tour, you will finish with a last stop at the Hohensalzburg fortress. It may be a lot of places, but believe me when I tell you that in Salzburg everything is close by. The city is easy to walk around and you won't have time to spare on this tour, and before you know it you'll be back in Munich in the afternoon.
Details of interest
- Price: prices can go up to 150 € for the guided tour.
- Duration: 5 to 6 hours
- Means of transport: bus to get there, but the tour is mainly done on foot.
- Advantages of this option: you will get to know the most representative parts of the city for its historical and cultural value.
- Disadvantages of this option: you may be saturated with so much information and places, because you will not visit the sites so calmly.
3. Cycle along the Salzach River to the Krimml waterfalls in one day
The bountiful scenery of the Alps opens the door to a beautiful dreamland. If you love Munich bike tours, take a tour from Munich to ride through these beautiful mountain ranges of the Bavarian Alps and along the majestic Salzach, the river that runs through Salzburg, from the comfort of an electric bike on the Tauernradweg: the Salzburg Cycle Route.
Without a doubt, riding the Tauernradweg with the kids is one of the best activities you can do with the little ones on your trip to Munich. The best thing to do is to take the train with them from Munich to Salzburg and cycle from there.
I recommend you to rent a normal or electric bike, depending on your physical capacity and let yourself be guided by this tour that allows you to get to know the natural areas of Salzburg. There are different types of tours and routes along the extensive cycling route.
You can do this tour by taking a bus or train from Munich that will drop you off at the central square of Salzburg and here you can rent your bike and your equipment that will take you to the waterfalls of Krimml, the highest waterfall in Austria, two hours from Salzburg. You will be amazed by this natural monument, where you can rest, eat and take pictures. The return trip is made pleasant by the late afternoon.
The tour can be guided by specialized tour guides who will take care of you while teaching you about the geographical history of the area and the historical value of the Salzach River which was known to be a commercial waterway for Salzburg. The round trip tour to the waterfalls can take between 4-5 hours and the price can be between 45 and 90 €, depending on the electric bike rental and a guide.
- Price: 45-90 €.
- Duration: 1 to 4 hours
- Means of transport: take the bus to Salzburg and from there rent the bike.
- Advantages of this option: you can get to know the natural area of Salzburg in an alternative way and exercise in these beautiful surroundings.
- Disadvantages of this option: the bike tours are cancelled on rainy days.
I recommend bringing a good bag for this tour where you can store supplies, water and first aid in case you suffer an injury, a fall or a cut: the tours have equipment to protect you and the guides are trained, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
4. Enjoy the musical and romantic excursion through Salzburg by starlight
You can't go to Salzburg from Munich without visiting the emblematic sites that make it the capital of Baroque music, since it is the birthplace of the master Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Hire this tour that starts before sunset and will take you through the home where the musical genius grew up. You can take a cruise on the Salzach and share a dinner in a castle for less than 100 € on a tour that starts from a bus at the Munich Central Station that will take you to Mirabellplatz in Salzburg at about 4:00 pm.
Once you arrive, you will be taken to the Hagenauer House at Getreidegasse No. 9 in Salzburg, better known as the Mozart Leopoldskron Birthplace, which today serves as one of the most visited museums in Austria. Here you can get to know the master through the museum's collection of letters, instruments and other valuable objects that describe the many facets of Mozart from his birthplace.
Once you're done there, you'll head to the Makartsteg embarkation station where you'll catch the ferry that will take you down the Salzach River. There is nothing more spectacular than seeing Salzburg from a ferry with the Alps in the background. The ride ends by sailing and showing you the Hagen and Tennen mountain ranges which are the northern ridge of the Berchtesgadener Alps. In short, if you can only stay two days in Munich, I recommend that one of the fixed stops is Salzburg to see this beautiful river trip.
The ferry will take you to the Hohensalzburg fortress, a medieval construction from 1077. When you arrive at the Hohensalzburg fortress, take the funicular to the Panorama restaurant, where you can enjoy a Bavarian dinner at the top of the city and see it light up the sky. If you are interested in this type of constructions, do not miss the opportunity to visit the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, near Munich.
The tour is timed so that you will be at the Hohensalzburg fortress before 8:30 pm, so that together with your dinner, you can enjoy a concert in homage to Mozart, which is often performed for these tours. Once finished, take the ferry again and finally the private bus that will return you to Munich around midnight.
Details of interest
- Price: prices are around 130 € - 150 €.
- Duration: 5 to 6 hours
- Means of transport: bus, ferry, funicular.
- Advantages of this option: you will appreciate the city from your auditory senses.
- Disadvantages of this option: it is a tour that starts at sunset and ends very late.
You can opt for a Salzburg Card that will allow you to attend and enter many of the attractions and tourist sites for a fixed price. In addition, with this card you can use the city's public transportation.
5. Take a tour through the mountains of Salzburg and be impressed by the Bavarian salt mines
Get to know the subway world of the Obersalzberg salt mines which are located 5 hours from Munich, but much closer to Salzburg on a fantastic tour. This guided tour will have an average cost including transportation and entrance to the mines with the tour varying between 75 and 90 €. Overall it will be worth it because you will not stop to contemplate the diversity of scenery that the Bavarian Alps have to offer.
The bus leaves from Munich and will take you along the Alpenstrasse, the overland route taken by the miners to transport the precious salt from the mountains. These mines are very important because the times when Salzburg was an economically thriving city were due to the exploitation of salt and other minerals extracted from the mountains. Another factor is that Salzburg's river, the Salzach, was an important trade route. The city is literally named after salt: The Salt Castle.
Finally you will reach the Berchtesgaden Mines which have been there for over 450 years, making them one of the oldest in the world, along with the oldest staircases in Europe. The guided tour into the depths of the mine takes no more than two hours.
In addition to the guided tour, the tour provides you with a change of clothes so that you can enter wearing a miner's uniform to protect the clothes you are wearing. After the tour, you will go to the suspended lookout that will offer you one of the most impressive views of your trip. Visiting hours vary depending on the season. If you take the tour in summer, the hours are from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, but in winter they are more restricted.
- Price: prices do not go above 75 - 90 €.
- Duration: 4 to 5 hours
- Means of transport: bus
- Advantages of this option: you will experience the commercial and geographical history of Salzburg in an unconventional place for tourists.
- Disadvantages of this option: the walk through the mine can be a bit claustrophobic.
Tips for visiting Salzburg from Munich
Getting from Munich to Salzburg can have complex transportation logistics, but most of the tours can be done by buses leaving from the city, with guided and pre-paid tours. Many have the advantage of being air-conditioned and heated and are designed to allow you to visually absorb the sights you will encounter along the way.
If any of the tours do not provide private transportation, then the most convenient and economical way to get to Salzburg from Munich is by train which takes you directly on a 1.5 to 2 hour ride. The cost may depend on the distances and the type of journey. In general, tickets can be between 3 € and 30 € a trip depending on the distances and the types of seats you want to use on your trip, but if you are not more demanding, a regional train is your best option.
I also recommend you to check the weather forecast, because these excursions are very variable: they can be up mountains, across lakes, along the river or a lot of walking and you will not always be in the same activity. For this reason you may need many coats or as little clothing as possible.
Finally, I suggest that, if you are on a tight budget and it is not included in the excursion, you take prepared food, which you can have for lunch or dinner. Salzburg is close to Munich, but if you want to make the most of your time, it would be best not to take so many stops and focus on your tour, especially if you go for an afternoon or evening.
Why take an excursion to Salzburg?
Salzburg is a good option if you really want to escape from the bustling city of Munich, which can be overwhelming due to the number of people who travel through it every day. With a trip of just one hour you can contrast the effervescence of Munich with the placid silence of the mountains and the river in Salzburg.
And there's nothing like spending a few days in Salzburg for the Christmas holidays if you're wondering what to do on your winter vacation in Munich, because the city is a winter wonderland. Relaxing with a cup of hot chocolate with the snow falling on the Alps is something you can't miss.
Salzburg is also perfect for outdoor walks for hikers and trekkers. The city can also cater to your inner-city tastes of strolling through the city center or you can awaken the adventurer in you.
Another important aspect is that Salzburg has cheaper prices compared to Munich, which is one of the most expensive cities in Germany. Salzburg has the characteristic of being a condensed city where you will not stop seeing things. In Munich, although you have countless attractions and excellent tours, there are tours to which you have to dedicate a whole day because of the distances, but not in Salzburg: all the main attractions are just streets away from each other and you can reach them on foot. Are you going to miss a city with these characteristics?