I went to Salzburg with no expectations and having only been to Austria once before on a day trip to Vienna and 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 is find viewpoints to see a city. 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 that are within walking distance if you’re staying in the city.
1 . The viewing platform in front of the Museum der Moderne Monchsberg/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’’ need a ticket or a Salzburg Card to enter and then the viewing plaform is through the glass doors as soon as you come out the lifts on your right.
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.
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
Okay this one is my favourite 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. Fortress Hohensalzburg
You can’t go to Salzburg without visiting the castle. Again there is a fee or it’s free with your Salzburg Card. The North Terrace is my favourite with views over the whole 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 can be accessed through the castle grounds and 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.
6. Restaurant Stieglkeller
On your way back down from the fortress, don’t miss this! I love a brewery and even more so when it comes with views like this! You can just go in for a beer and drink it out on the terrace for amazing views across the rooftops.
7. DomQuartier Salzburg
This was my favourite Christmas view in Salzburg 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 here, 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 view point. I loved this spot for the colourful rows of houses 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.
Just over Muüllner 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.
I hope this helps you find some great view points and photo ops in Salzburg - please let me know if you’re visiting, I’d love to chat about it and Austria is such a beautiful country. I will also have a post coming soon about Christmas markets there - let me know what you’d like to see!