[updated August 2020]
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something. While clicking these links won't cost you anything, they will help me to keep this site up and running! Check out the full disclosure policy for more details. Thank you so much!
I went to Salzburg, Austria with no expectations, having only been to Austria once before on a day trip to Vienna, I was so impressed by what the city had to offer. As usual I was exploring it in a short space of time over a weekend and it was also during the Christmas Markets so very busy, as you can imagine!
One of my favourite things to do in a new place is find viewpoints to see a city from. There’s something so exciting about being able to see and photograph huge amounts of a city from above (I don’t own a drone so it really is a novelty for me).
So below I’m detailing all the best viewpoints in Salzburg, Austria that are within walking distance if you’re staying in the city, including information on any fees or costs to enter and how to find your way to the best Salzburg photo spots and panoramic views of the city.
1 . The viewing platform in front of the Museum der Moderne Mönchsberg/M32 restaurant
I had a nightmare finding how to get here so hopefully you won’t have the same issue. You need to enter from Gstättengasse street to take a lift up to the museum. This is marked on Google Maps as ‘LIFT UP TO MODERN MUSEUM’. You’ll need a ticket or a Salzburg Card to enter the lift but you don’t need to buy a ticket for the Museum der Moderne Salzburg unless you actually want to visit. The viewing platform is through the glass doors as soon as you come out the lifts on your right. Alternatively you can do the Mönchsberg hike and walk up the hill for free using the Mönchsberg hiking path on the other side of the hill, the path is clearly marked as Mönchsberg on Google Maps.
This viewing area is also known as Winkler Terrace and this historic area at the top of Mönchsberg provides one of the best panoramic views of Salzburg.
2 . Bürgerwehr Mönchsberg
From the Museum viewing platform go up the stairs on your right and follow the path round to the left. You’ll pass under a stone arch and just in front of you is a view of the opposite side of the city. This is also part of the historic Winkler Terrace area and if you chose to walk up the hill then you’ll come up with path on the way.
3. Bürgerwehr Mönchsberg at the other end of the wall
From where you’re standing at spot 2, turn around and walk straight along the path running along the big stone wall. This view point isn’t marked on maps but it’s my favourite. Following the path until it bends around a building at the end and you’ll see a small stone viewing platform with amazing views across the city spires and the castle as well as across the river.
4. Katakomben Petersfriedhof
This one is my favourite viewpoints in Salzburg for being the most unusual. St. Peter’s Church has a graveyard which is free to walk through and you can also climb the catacombs, for free as part of your Salzburg Card or for 3 euros. You can get into the graveyard either off the corner of Capital Square or from the other side next to the Monastery. The entrance to the catacombs is half way along the back wall with all the tombs, through the black iron gates. I love this view because you’re at building height with the rest of the city so you really feel surrounded by the towers and spires.
5. Hohensalzburg Fortress
You can’t go to Salzburg without visiting this fortress and seeing the view from Salzburg Castle. Again there is a fee or it’s free with your Salzburg Card. The North Terrace is my favourite with the best panoramic view of Salzburg and beyond. You come to the North Terrace first usually, immediately to your left as you come off the funicular. The South Terrace is on the other side of the Hohensalzburg Fortress and can be accessed through the castle grounds. It has amazing views of the mountains beyond, especially around sunset.
Also for some different views and framing opportunities, walk around the castle and try photos through some of the fortress walls, canon holes or arrowslits for some different Salzburg photo spots.
6. Restaurant Stieglkeller
On your way back down from the Hohensalzburg Fortress, don’t miss this! I love a brewery and even more so when it comes with views like this! If you’re looking to enjoy a drink with the best viewpoints in Salzburg, this is your opportunity. You can just go in for a beer and drink it out on the terrace for amazing views across the rooftops.
7. DomQuartier Salzburg
As I visited during the Salzburg winter, this was my favourite Christmas view in the city as the balcony in DomQuartier Museum runs between Residenzplatz and Domplatz which are home to the main Christmas markets in the festive season. It took me a while to figure out how to get there but once i realised it was part of the museum I could use my Salzburg Card again for free entry. I went at the last entry time of the day (an hour before closing) so I could see the view at dusk as the Christmas lights were coming on. It might not be as festive if you go up at other times of the year but it’s still a lovely view and the museum is worth a visit!
8. Aussicht Kapuzinerberg
To get to Kapuzinerberg, you need to be just over onto the north side of the river by Staatsbrücke bridge. Then take the second road on the right, it’s pedestrianised called Steingasse and there’s a set of stairs on the left up the hill called Imbergstiege. Follow these stairs up to the top and at the top immediately turn around and follow the path down the slope to the viewpoint. I loved this spot for the colourful rows of houses in the foreground and the fortress in the background. You can walk further a long this path and follow the river from above but it was unfortunately closed off when i visited due to the weather.
9. Müllner Steg
This isn’t so much a viewpoint from above but I like to see the city framed and this did it perfectly. This is a bridge further along the river which also means you’ll be exploring more of the city. Once you get to the bridge, look to your right as you cross it and see the fortress and city framed with the river below.
This is one of the best viewpoints in Salzburg if you’re looking to capture the skyline panorama from a distance.
Just over Müllner Steg bridge, follow the road straight, cross over the road into a park and Mirabellgarten is on your right. The gardens run perfectly parallel with the view of the fortress and the city below. You can take the below picture for free from the gates in the park without having to pay to go into the Palace. As you can see it was a very overcast day so it might be worth going into the Palace in the warmer months though when the garden is blooming.
Mirabell Gardens and Palace are also a famous shooting location from the Sound of Music movie, so you’ll be seeing one of the best viewpoints in Salzburg and a famous filming location!
I hope this helps you find some of the best viewpoints in Salzburg, Austria - please let me know if you’re visiting, I’d love to chat about it and Austria is such a beautiful country.
You might also like:
Like it? Pin it!
Flights: I use Expedia to find great flights and the best deals all over the world, they have regular sales and offers so I always check their website. I also check CheapOair to find cheap deals on round trip flights.
Car Rental: I love the customer service I've always gotten and the variety of options with Rental Cars. But for short notice rentals, I've been using Expedia for the last year, they always seem to have great one-day rates or last-minute rates from the main rental companies.
Accommodation: I prefer the flexibility of booking accommodation with Booking.com so I can cancel or change my reservation without a fee or only pay on arrival for most properties. For longer or more unique stays I prefer AirBnB because you can get the long stay discount, you can also find more unique properties and book experiences with talented locals and businesses. For my budget trips, I always stay in hostels and book through Hostelworld because they have great guarantees if anything does go wrong. If you arrive and your booking is not at the property, they refund the full deposit AND give you $50 extra credit.
Tours and organised trips Although I don’t use tours that often, I do like to book local experiences or day trips once I reach my destination. For that I use GetYourGuide because it has the biggest selection and variety of tour and experience options.
Travel Insurance: For all my longer trips and for the entire year I’ve spent in Australia, my partner and I have always used World Nomads. They cover everything I need and I can buy coverage for a year at a time, they also allow you to purchase cover when you’re already outside your home country. Plus my camera gear and equipment is covered and they also have special cover for when I’m scuba diving too.
My camera gear and equipment: I use a Canon 77D with an 18-135mm lens or a 50mm lens. And a DJI Mavic Mini Drone. For all my gear including laptops, tripods and more camera accessories read my travel photography gear guide.