10 Must-Dos While Studying Abroad In Salzburg

by Annie Bierbower

One of the many perks to studying abroad is that you are not forced to pick and choose, then cram as much activity as possible into just a few days. International students have the luxury of time — which allows for some real exploration. Here are 10 ideas to get you started during a study abroad program in Salzburg. When you're not hitting the books, make sure to hit the streets of this amazing city!

Hohensalzburg Castle

The Hohensalzburg Castle

A Salzburg Card is a pass that includes admission to all of the city's attractions, public transportation, discounts to events such as concerts, and other special deals. Buying a Salzburg Card is a good investment, especially for anyone studying abroad in Salzburg, as it can help save money and time in the city. Prices are determined by the length of time on the card. they can be purchased in increments of 48 or 72 hours.

1. Old Town

Filled with cobblestone, museums, and awesome Baroque architecture, the Aldstadt, or Old Town, offers endless afternoons of sightseeing. Just wander the streets and stop in whichever of the many unique shops and restaurants grab your attention. The area is loaded with attractions but the streets themselves are a must-see.

2. Untersberg Cable Car

The ride takes people from the base, across a valley and to the peak of Untersberg Mountain. Visitors enjoy a panoramic view that includes Salzburg, the lake district, and mountains. Plus, there is a pizza place at the top and many hiking/walking trails start in the area. Weather plays an important role. Try to ride the cable car when there isn't a lot of snow on the ground or thick fog to block your views.

3. Music, Music, Music

Many study-abroad programs in Salzburg take advantage of the fact that this is a very musical city! Some of the most popular musical events here are the Salzburg Festival, Mozart Week, and Advent Singing. Music venues include plays and operas onstage, to street vendors and public games, to dinner concerts. One of the most popular dinner concerts is at the Stiftskeller of St. Peter's Church. This elegant restaurant is set in a beautiful baroque hall of the church, and the singers mingle with the crowd throughout the performance.

Salzburg Cathedral

Salzburg Cathedral

4. Salzburg Cathedral (Salzburger Dom)

Located in the center of Old Town, this Roman Catholic cathedral was originally consecrated in 774, but additions and reconstructions continued for hundreds of years. The somewhat simple design of the exterior leaves visitors blown away by the stunningly intricate Baroque interior. Inside, guests will find the baptismal font where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was baptized, and the magnificent organ where he composed many of his works while he served here as court organist and concert master. Entrance is free, guests may take pictures, and recitals are still held inside.

5. Mozart's Birthplace And Museum

The third floor of the Hagenauer House is the humble birthplace (in 1756) of one of the world's most famous composers. The small quarters have been enlarged to include a museum, but visitors can see the Mozart rooms in their original state. On display are his childhood instruments, portraits made of Mozart during his lifetime, family documents, and other memorabilia.

6. Hellbrunn Palace And Trick Fountains

Spoiler alert: The massive gardens have a secret. Trick water fountains were built into the structures to spray their unsuspecting visitors. These turn the beautiful floating sculptures, fountains, furniture, and foliage into a giant game as everyone tries to dodge the next surprise squirt. A must on a hot day, the trip includes a tour of the palatial Baroque villa.

7. Sound Of Music Tour

The Original Sound of Music Tour lasts about four hours and guides its guests through the city and the countryside settings used in the beloved 1965 musical film. See all the major locations used in the film — from the famed rolling hills that were “alive with the sound of music” to the Nonnberg Convent to the Mondsee Church, featured in the wedding scene.

Salzburg cityscape

8. Salzburg Fortress & Castle

Built is 1077, this is one the largest and best preserved castles in all of Europe. It sits atop the Festungsberg Mountain overlooking the city, and holds concert and dinner nights. Interested in studying art in Salzburg amid majestic, inspirational surroundings? Art courses are offered there by the International Summer Academy.

9. Gerlos Alpine Road

The winding mountain road connects the Austrian states of Salzburg and Tyrol. The views along the way include blue waters, green slopes, and snow-capped peaks. Visitors see Krimml Falls, the highest waterfalls of Austria, at the top.

10. Salzburg Zoo

This habitat offers something very different after all the castles and music. Around 1,200 animals from Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America call the Salzburg Zoo home.