Where to stay in Salzburg: 8 Best areas

Where to stay in Salzburg

Are you still wondering where to stay in Salzburg? The most popular areas to stay in Salzburg are the Altstadt and Nonntal. While most of the attractions are located in these neighborhoods, other areas are worthy to be considered as well.

Situated on the border of Germany, the Austrian city of Salzburg is a charming European destination with stunning views of the alps that offer a picturesque backdrop to the old historic center’s abundance of cultural attractions.

Although the city itself is relatively small, it is nonetheless made up of numerous smaller neighborhoods, all of which have their own unique charm and offer travelers different experiences when staying in Salzburg.

The best areas to stay in Salzburg typically offer multiple accommodation options, nearby attractions and restaurants, and easily accessible transportation to visit other parts of the city.

For some visitors, budget-friendly options, from hostels to nearby grocery stores, can play a large role in determining the best neighborhoods in Salzburg.

While the majority of attractions can be found in the old part of town, there are plenty of reasons to venture outside of the tourist district, whether seeking accommodation or visiting a local arts venue.

Even in the more residential areas, travel throughout the area is made easy thanks to buses, trains, and even a number of cycling trails throughout the city.

Many neighborhoods offer a more local experience with numerous apartments and vacation rentals available to visitors, while other neighborhoods, including the historic center, feature boutique hotels for more getaways.

Finding the perfect neighborhood to stay in Salzburg can be overwhelming, but understanding each neighborhood can help travelers find the perfect accommodation.

Where to stay in Salzburg: Best areas

1. Altstadt, where to stay in Salzburg for first timers

Where to stay in Salzburg: Altstadt

The picturesque historic center of Salzburg, the old town — or Altstadt — gained UNESCO World Heritage status in 1997 thanks to its well-preserved Baroque architecture, beautiful churches, and historic squares.

For many, staying near top attractions is of utmost importance which is why this neighborhood a favorite option for accommodations. A stay in Salzburg is not complete without visiting one or more of the many historic sites and museums dotted throughout, many of which are located in the Altstadt neighborhood.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s birthplace is located in the old part of the city, and the house has been converted into a museum for visitors curious about the composer’s early life.

Another popular destination among visitors is the Panorama Museum, which features an up-close look at Austrian artist Johann Michael Sattler’s vibrant panoramic painting of the city.

Haus der Natur Salzburg, a natural history museum featuring an aquarium, allows guests to get up close and personal with an array of interactive exhibits.

And visitors wishing to see some of the most important architectural monuments in the city will want to check out the DomQuartier Salzburg, which connects St. Peter’s Abbey, the Archbishop’s Cathedral and museum, as well as the Archbishop’s Palace.

Altstadt’s vibrant center is the Mozartplatz, the neighborhood’s central square where visitors will find a variety of restaurants and cafes surrounded by stunning architectural gems.

Horse-drawn carriage rides are a popular activity in the square, and it is an idyllic location to take a break from sightseeing within the historic district.

Of the many neighborhoods to stay in Salzburg, Altstadt is a top choice for visitors who prefer historic charm to a modern city atmosphere and are willing to spend a little more in order to stay in the center of the action.

Alternatively, backpackers willing to sacrifice private rooms will also find several hostels within this neighborhood, making it accessible to visitors on a variety of budgets.


2. Nonntal, exclusive, safe and a great place to stay in Salzburg for sightseeing

Best places to stay in Salzburg: Nonntal

As with many of the neighborhoods in Salzburg, the Nonntal district is divided into an inner historic district and an outer, more modern district. .

The historic inner center of the Nonntal is part of the Altstadt, so the area’s architecture is protected by the same UNESCO protections as the rest of the old town.

The Nonntal is dotted with Medieval homes as well as some more modern villas, and the scenic neighborhood is ideal for seeing Salzburg by foot. The area is somewhat exclusive and safe for visitors seeking accommodation in this neighborhood.

In addition to typical transportation options in the city, the Nonntal district is also home to one of the two bus terminals within Salzburg that allows for tour bus parking.

Unlike other residential neighborhoods in Salzburg, the Nonntal boasts a fair number of attractions for visitors, in addition to sharing some with Altstadt.

Those staying in this neighborhood will find the Hohensalzburg — also known as the Salzburg Fortress — within easy walking distance.  Built in 1077 atop the Festungsberg Hill, it is the most popular attraction for visitors who stay in Salzburg, and it boasts an unforgettable view of the alps from the top.

Fans of “The Sound of Music” will find the Benedictine convent known as the Nonnberg in this neighborhood particularly interesting as plays an important role in the musical.

The oldest nunnery in the Germanic world, the Nonnberg Abbey is a stunning example of Gothic architecture; in addition to several murals and pieces of art inside, the views from the top are also worth the visit.

When visitors are finished sightseeing in the Nonntal neighborhood, it’s an easy walk into the Altstadt to continue visiting popular attractions throughout Salzburg.

Alternatively, the neighborhood is also home to many cafes and restaurants, ideal for lunch breaks in between exploring Salzburg’s many attractions.

Visitors will find several apartments and vacation rentals available in this area, ranging from budget-friendly to luxurious. Hotels in the area tend to be on the high end, especially those that are within the UNESCO protected historic part of the neighborhood.


3. Neustadt, where to stay in Salzburg for nightlife

Best places to stay in Salzburg: Neustadt

Neustadt lies on the banks of the River Salzach opposite Salzburg’s old town area

It is a famous district with travellers wanting to stay in Salzburg, but who prefer to base themselves in a quieter region of the city, while still being close enough to ensure they can reach the many attractions quickly and easily.

After much of the area was devastated by fire in 1818, Neustadt was constructed in the mid/late 1800s on the foundations of Salzburg’s old city walls. The name translates to ‘New Town’, and is in relation to the ‘Old Town’ or ‘Altstadt’ area of Salzburg, which was constructed during the Middle Ages.

Neustadt is a mix of urban and suburban areas with old historical architecture, much of it in old Viennese style. Around the district, numerous businesses, shopping centers, restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs and attractions cater for residents and visitors alike.

Local interests in Neustadt include the Salzburg Congress Centre, the Mozarteum University of Music and Arts, the Schloss Mirabell Palace and Gardens, and the Baroque Andrakirche Church.

Visiting the old town from Neustadt is quick and easy. On a pleasant summer or autumn day, head for the pedestrian Makartsteg Bridge and its many love-locks left by starry-eyed lovers. 

The stroll across the bridge and into the old town takes around 15 minutes, with some great views of the Salzach River and the old town’s skyline.

Neustadt is also a popular destination for nightlife, with a good selection of national and international restaurants open for evening dining, and plenty of cafes, bars and clubs for those after-dinner drinks.

If you choose Neustadt for your stay in Salzburg, the journey from Salzburg Airport by bus or tram takes around 25 minutes with one stop, or for about €25 an airport cab will get you there in 20 minutes.
Visitor accommodation in Neustadt is pretty varied, ranging from economical 2 and 3-star inns, Airbnb, self-catering apartments and good quality 4 and 5-star hotels.


4. Elisabeth-Vorstadt, convenient location and affordable accommodation

Where to stay in Salzburg: Elisaberth-Vorstadt

The centrally located and densely populated neighborhood of Elisabeth-Vorstadt offers visitors a better idea of the local experience in Salzburg.

As a result, accommodations in this area tend to be less expensive with a variety of transportation options, including numerous cycling paths that run along the Salzach River.

Although not as beautiful as the old town, it is close enough to walk to many attractions within Altstadt, and it is also the home of the city’s main transportation center (the main railway station).

As many as 440 passenger trains travel through this station on a daily basis, enabling travelers who stay in Salzburg an excellent base location if they plan on traveling outside of the city.

Elisabeth-Vorstadt originated as a suburb to Salzburg, and it has undergone three reconstructions since its origin. Restaurants and breweries are relatively abundant in this budget-friendly part of town, and it maintains close proximity to numerous attractions.

One of the most popular attractions within Salzburg, the Mirabell Palace and Gardens, is a short walk from Elisabeth-Vorstadt.

Within this neighborhood, visitors will also find an opportunity to listen to live music at Jazzit, a cultural venue hosting a variety of musical acts housed in the former headquarters of Salzburg’s Communist party.


5. Schallmoos, budget friendly and residential area

Best places to stay in Salzburg

Built atop swamps and wetlands, the Schallmoos neighborhood is a primarily residential area, transformed into a railway neighborhood in the 1860s. It is located between the Main Railway Station and Salzburg – Ginigl station

Sightseeing is rather limited in the Schallmoos district; chateaux Robinighof, with its well-preserved Baroque architecture, is one of the highlights in an area predominantly recognized for its shopping mall developments.

Visitors looking for live entertainment will find the Rockhouse Schallmoos to be a point of interest, drawing in bands whose sounds range from jazz and blues to metal and avant-garde.

Also nearby is the Neuhaus Castle; although the privately owned property is not generally open to visitors, it can be seen perched on the side of Mount Küberg.

In the southern section of town, it is possible to to walk to many popular attractions in Altstadt.

As one of the more residential neighborhoods in Salzburg, few tourists venture to this neighborhood, although accommodation in the area can be relatively cheap.


6. Leopoldskron-Moos, where to stay in Salzburg for relaxation

Where to stay in Salzburg: Leopoldskron - Moos

Located in the southern part of Salzburg, the Leopoldskron-Moos district is most notable for its main attraction, the Schloss Leopoldskron.

The historic monument, located on Leopoldskroner Weiher Lake, is surrounded by a large park and adjacent to a private hotel for visitors looking to splurge on a luxurious and historic accommodation during their stay in Salzburg.

Many people recognize the palace from “The Sound of Music” because the palace was the primary exterior locations used during filming, but the inside is also notable for its well-preserved Rococo style.

Other popular attractions in the district include the Lehrbauhof, an arts venue, and the nature reserve, Hammerer Moor.

The Leopoldskron-Moos district is one of the less densely populated areas in Salzburg; beyond the middle-class residential neighborhoods, rolling acres of agricultural land makes for lovely scenery in the region.

Although this neighborhood is farther away from many of the main attractions, Leopoldskron-Moos offers visitors relaxation without being too far from the old town.

In addition to the luxurious hotel adjacent to Schloss Leopoldskron, a number of accommodation options are available for visitors who don’t mind staying outside of town.

Many of the lodging options are quiet and situated on scenic rolling hills, making for a perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Pensions, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals are available in addition to a few hotels, most of which are highly rated.


7. Maxglan, where to stay in Salzburg on a budget

Best areas to stay in Salzburg

Located west of the Altstadt, Maxglan is a diverse neighborhood in Salzburg which is also home to the Salzburg Airport.

Visitors who are flying in or out of Salzburg, especially in the early morning or late evening, may find the proximity to the airport sufficient reason to choose this district for their stay in Salzburg.

Although not frequented by as many tourists, Maxglan has more attractions than some other areas in Salzburg. The Stiegl Brewery offers guided tours as well as a cinema, museum, and on-site restaurant for visitors who want to learn more about the family-run Austrian brewery.

Hangar-7 is also located in this district, and it is a must-visit for racing fanatics; in addition to several race vehicles and exhibits, visitors can also view Red Bull’s fleet of historic planes and helicopters, many of which were revolutionary to the world of aircraft.

Accommodations are typically budget-friendly, and visitors will find a number of apartments and homes in addition to several basic hotels.


8. Lehen – Mulln, perfect districts for the economic traveller

Where to stay in Salzburg: Lehen

Although often paired together, Lehen and Mulln are actually two neighboring districts in the city of Salzburg offering a seamless mix of old-world charm and modern facilities.

Both districts are ideally placed for visitors to explore the narrow lanes, small squares, architecture, shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. With trains, trams, buses and taxis all readily accessible, the old town district and the wider Salzburg area are equally easy to reach.

The history and culture of the area date back to the Middle Ages, with Mulln being mentioned as far back as 790 during the Roman era.

The name ‘Mulln’ is believed to be derived from the many millers and mills that operated in the area during this time. Sadly, the vast majority of these mills have now disappeared.

Lehen is Salzburg City’s most heavily populated district, with just under 20,000 residents and is more commercialised than Mulln. 

Although some areas of the community require some serious refurbishment, in other places you can find the modern Red Bull Stadium if you’re a football (soccer) fan – or Europark shopping centers if you fancy a little retail therapy.

Mulln, on the other hand, is considered by residents to be more modern chic, with a population of around 5,000. It is a surprisingly popular go-to evening destination, with both locals and visitors arriving to enjoy the beer gardens, bars, restaurants and clubs.

It is also home to Müllner Bräu, one of Austria’s oldest and most popular breweries.

Accommodation in both areas comprises an excellent selection of hostels and private lets, economy and budget hotels, and a smattering of 4 and 5-star venues, all very competitively priced. Overall, with reasonable value-for-money accommodation.


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