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The best (half) day trips in and around Salzburg

December 12, 2017
best day trips from Salzburg

One of my recent articles was a detailed guide about Salzburg, but in my opinion, a trip to Salzburg would be incomplete if you’re missing out the spectacular surroundings of the city. Salzburg is lucky to have some of the most idyllic landscapes on the planet right at its doorstep and there’s dozens of places waiting to be discovered. Even if you only have half day off, it’s easy to venture out and catch a fresh breeze in the mountains, hike through dense forests or dip in a cool lake.I’ll introduce you some of the best places in and around Salzburg which can be visited within a few hours to a full day!

1. Untersberg

During my last stay in Salzburg I was very excited to finally go to Untersberg – a massive mountain complex that majestically thrones in the background of the city. Unfortunately I picked one of these (not too rare) rainy days that completely blocked any view – to and from the mountain. Nevertheless I tried my luck and took a ride with the cable car but my hopes were in vain, as on top it wasn’t only cold and windy, but completely covered in snow (in mid-September!) and fog. All I could see was literally a white wall, I spare you the photo 😉 The reason why I added it to the list is that the Untersberg is a local’s favourite during any season – from hiking, rock-climbing and skiing – there’s plenty of activities. The cable car is only a short bus ride from Salzburg’s city centre (bus no. 25) and takes you up to an elevation of 1.776 metres within 10 minutes. I’ll definitely go there again under better weather conditions as the views must be incredible! You’ll find more information (and better impressions than my cloudy images) about Untersberg here.

2. Gaisberg

Another iconic mountain of Salzburg is the Gaisberg which actually lies within the city limits but feels a world away. I had much better weather that day and took the bus no. 151 from the centre to the Zistelalm, the starting point of my hike. There’s a fairly easy loop that leads through forests and a spectacular boardwalk (with some of the best views of Salzburg) to the mountain top (1.288 m). The mountain isn’t only popular among hikers but you’ll most likely see lots of paragliders too. The views are absolutely amazing and range from alpine peaks, green hills and blue lakes. For everyone’s convenience there are a couple of restaurants and a bus stop, so you can fuel up and take an easy ride back to the city. This was one of my favourite places in Salzburg and I’d go back there in a minute! More information about Gaisberg can be found here.

3. Countryside and lakes

Salzburg isn’t only surrounded by mountains but lush, green hills, farms and plenty of lakes. It’s the perfect area for casual bike rides, pleasant walks, swimming and more. Just like the city itself, the villages around Salzburg offer a wide range of accommodation and amenities and make a great base for city and outdoor activities. The website of Salzburg surrounding is a great source for planning your trip!

best day trips from Salzburg

About the lakes: Some of the closest ones include Wallersee (which is quiet and less touristy) and more popular blue-turquoise Fuschlsee. Both of them offering plenty of water-related activities, however a car is the easiest way to get there. Also the gorgeous lakes of the Salzkammergut region (including world famous Hallstatt) are only a short drive away!

Curious what else Salzburg has to offer? Then you shouldn’t miss the following articles:

Being a tourist in your own city: The ultimate year-round guide to Salzburg

Through the Bluntau Valley

St. Wolfgang and Hallstatt – Where salt and lakes are plenty

Hot days and cool lakes in the Salzkammergut

Whether you're into mountains, forest or lakes - the area of Salzburg has it all! Check this guide for the highlights!

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  • Reply Paleica December 13, 2017 at 1:39 am

    achja, einer der gründe, warum salzburg einfach so speziell super ist. in der stadt gibt es halt alles, trotzdem ist es nicht riesig und nur ein katzensprung entfernt ist die wunderbarste natur. hach!

    • Reply sileas December 17, 2017 at 1:27 pm

      Stimmt, ich kenn kaum eine andere Stadt, die das Schöne mit dem Nützlichen so gut verbindet 😉

      • Reply Paleica December 18, 2017 at 2:16 am

        oh ja 🙂 der nachteil ist, dass sich das schon rumgesprochen hat 😉

  • Reply SueT唐 梦 琇 December 16, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    Julia what beautiful scenery – love all your shots but the photo of the cows is so gorgeous.

    • Reply sileas December 17, 2017 at 1:37 pm

      The cows were cute but I was quite glad there was a fence around them. They are very big and can be quite intimidating 😅

  • Reply Christina December 19, 2017 at 8:00 am

    I’ve never done much exploring around the city (or anywhere else in Salzburg), so I should definitely do this at some point – your post proves that there’s a lot to explore, see & do and that it’s really beautiful. and I love cable cars!

    • Reply sileas December 28, 2017 at 7:48 pm

      I don’t know why it took me so long to see these places although I visit Salzburg frequently… Now I can’t wait to explore more of the surroundings 😉

  • Reply Sanne December 29, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Really need to visit Salzburg and all the beautiful places around. Looks like Switzerland, which you know that I love:)

    • Reply sileas January 1, 2018 at 10:29 pm

      And it’s a whole lot cheaper too, haha 😉

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