The 13 Coolest Day Trips From Salzburg, Austria

Looking for the best day trips from Salzburg, Austria? In this guide, you’ll find a range of options, whether you’re interested in outdoor adventures, historical sites, or cultural experiences.

As much as I love wandering through Salzburg’s historic streets and enjoying its cozy cafes and restaurants, I highly recommend exploring beyond the city limits for first-time visitors.

Salzburg is surrounded by stunning landscapes, including mountains, lakes, and charming towns, many of which are easily accessible for a day trip. From scenic hikes and bike rides to exploring medieval castles, enjoying local wine, and much more, there’s something for everyone.

As someone who has extensively explored the Salzburg region, I’ve personally experienced a variety of day trips. This curated list includes 15 of my favorite day excursions from Salzburg, catering to a range of interests and budgets.

I’ve focused on realistic day trips that require a maximum of 4 hours driving each way, although most destinations are within a 1.5 to 2-hour range from Salzburg.

Updated transport information and prices for 2024 have been included to help you plan your excursions efficiently and affordably.


Often regarded as one of the most beautiful lakeside villages in the world, Hallstatt is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It’s one of Austria’s most visited destinations, a true gem that’s a must-visit for anyone touring the country.

You can easily reach Hallstatt from Salzburg by car or public transport, with both options taking around an hour and 20 minutes. The trip is a beautiful scenic experience, giving you a chance to see some of Austria’s breathtaking landscapes.

Once in Hallstatt, your first stop should be the lake promenade. Stroll along the water’s edge, and maybe grab a coffee at one of the lakeside cafés. If the weather’s nice, you can rent a swan-shaped pedal boat or even take a dip in the lake. 

Don’t miss the famous “Beinhaus” or Bone House at the cemetery, home to over 600 intricately painted skulls, dating back to the 12th century.

Hallstatt is a popular spot year-round, so it’s best to start your day early to avoid the crowds and truly enjoy the atmosphere of this Austrian village.

Eagles’ Nest (Kehlsteinhaus)

This historical site was once used by Adolf Hitler. Perched high on Obersalzberg Mountain, the Eagles’ Nest, or Kehlsteinhaus, with breathtaking panoramic views. 

Originally built for Hitler’s 50th birthday, it served as a diplomatic meeting place during World War II. Despite its dark past, today it is a restaurant, where you can enjoy both history and stunning alpine scenery.

Take a bus from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden HBF, followed by a bus to the Eagles’ Nest stop. The final leg of your trip is a special bus ride up a remarkable road, carved into the mountain, leading to the Eagles’ Nest car park. From there, a tunnel and a brass-fitted elevator will whisk you up to the historical site.

Open from May to October, the Eagles’ Nest is a place where you can enjoy the natural beauty of the Bavarian Alps. Whether you’re dining in the restaurant or exploring the surrounding trails, your visit to this once-pivotal site of power is sure to be memorable.

The trip back to Salzburg is equally interesting, so take advantage of your day out by appreciating the scenery and thinking about the historical importance of what you’ve seen.

Salzkammergut Lakes

Only an hour away from Salzburg, you’ll find beautiful lakes like Wolfgangsee, Fuschlsee, and Mondsee in the Salzkammergut area.

Start your trip at Wolfgangsee. It’s a big, clear lake with mountains all around. You can take a boat trip or just walk along the side of the lake. There are nice little towns nearby like St. Gilgen and Strobl where you can grab a coffee and look around some shops.

Then, head over to Fuschlsee. It’s a smaller lake and really peaceful. It’s a great spot to just chill and have a picnic. The area around the lake has lots of trees and hills, so it’s pretty cool for taking photos or just relaxing.

Last stop, Mondsee. This lake is famous because there’s an old church there, the Mondsee Abbey, and it’s really beautiful. The town around the lake, also called Mondsee, has a market place where you can eat some local food and maybe buy some souvenirs.

Bad Ischl

Bad Ischl, which has been named the European Capital of Culture for 2024, is a town you definitely should check out. It’s right in the heart of the Salzkammergut region and there is a lot of things to see in it.

This town is famous for its history with the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I, who used to spend his summers here. One of the main attractions is the Kaiservilla, the emperor’s former summer residence. It’s a big, beautiful building with gardens you can walk around in.

Bad Ischl also has some great spots for relaxing. The town is known for its spa, where people go to chill out and enjoy treatments. 

If you like pastries, you should try the local cake called Zaunerstollen at Café Zauner, which is popular.

Hohenwerfen Castle in Werfen

Just about 40 minutes away, Hohenwerfen Castle makes for an easy day trip from Salzburg.

This 11th-century fortress, nestled in the Salzach Valley and flanked by the Berchtesgaden Alps and the Tennen Mountains, is a great place to explore old castle walls, learn some history, and enjoy amazing mountain views.

As you explore, you’ll discover the castle’s rich history. Built originally by the Archbishop of Salzburg, it’s evolved from its early wooden fortifications to a vast stone structure. Imagine walking through the same halls and courtyards that were once the site of peasant revolts in the 16th century and later transformed into an elegant residence by Archduke Johann in the 19th century.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can hike up the forest path to the castle, enjoying the natural scenery. But if you prefer a more relaxed approach, there’s also an elevator that will take you right up to the upper bailey.

The castle is more than just a historical site; it’s been a film location too, known for “Where Eagles Dare”. Today, you can check out the museum, watch impressive falconry shows, and soak up the stunning views of the valley and mountains.

Grossglockner Alpine Road

This route, about 48 kilometers (29.8 miles) long, connects the Austrian states of Salzburg and Carinthia, taking you right through the heart of Hohe Tauern National Park.

As you drive, you’ll see incredible views of the alpine landscape, including the towering Grossglockner, Austria’s highest peak.

The road is usually open from early May to early November, with the best times to visit being late spring, summer, and early fall. As you navigate the hairpin bends and steep inclines, you’ll find yourself at a maximum elevation of 2,504 meters (8,215 feet). Remember, the road conditions can vary, especially in late spring or early fall, so it’s a good idea to check the weather before you go.

If you’re into hiking, there are trails like the Pasterze Glacier Trail and the Gamsgrubenweg hike that offer stunning valley and lake views.

Keep an eye out for local wildlife like marmots, chamois, and ibex. The history of the road is fascinating too. It was built in the early 20th century and later improved to support the growing number of tourists in the Alps.

Driving the road costs 40 EUR for cars and 30 EUR for motorcycles, with discounts for electric or hydrogen vehicles. You’ll find toll stations at Wildpark Ferleiten if you’re coming from Salzburg and near Heiligenblut if coming from Carinthia. If you have a SalzburgerLand Card, you might even get a free drive on this road.

Make sure to stop at places like Edelweiss-Spitze for panoramic views, Glocknerhaus for the start of some great hikes, and Kaiser Franz Josefs Höhe for a close-up look at the Grossglockner and the Pasterze Glacier.

Hallein and Salt Mines

At the Hallein Salt Mine near Salzburg, one of the world’s oldest, you can check out how salt has been mined for over 7,000 years.

Your visit starts with a train ride that takes you deep into the mountain. You’ll wear special white overalls to keep your clothes clean while you’re inside the mine.

The tour includes a cool 400-meter train ride and two big wooden slides that are 42 meters long, which you slide down to get to a lower part of the mine. Plus, there’s a boat ride across an underground lake, which is pretty awesome.

The mine’s tunnels are really important because they stop the mountain from sinking. You can explore about 12 kilometers of these tunnels, spread out over 9 levels. Sometimes, you might even see archaeologists working there, digging up stuff and learning about the past.

The town of Hallein, where the mine is located, grew a lot because of this salt mine. Salt mining here has been a big deal since the 13th century and made the town pretty wealthy.

If you want to visit, the mine has different opening times in summer and winter. In summer, it’s open from 9 am to 5 pm, and in winter, from 10 am to 3 pm. Tickets cost 32 euros for adults and 14-16 euros for kids, depending on their age. Unlike the salt mine in Hallstatt, this mine is usually open all year round.

Bavarian Alps

There is a lot to see and do in Bavarian Alps so it’s best to start early. You can drive or use public transport, which takes about 1-2 hours. In the Bavarian Alps, Berchtesgaden is a good first stop. It’s a nice town with great views. You can walk around and grab something to eat.

Check out the Eagle’s Nest while you’re there. It’s a historic place with a great view of the area. Another cool spot is Lake Königssee. It’s a beautiful lake where you can take a boat ride or just enjoy being near the water.

If you like hiking, there are trails in the Bavarian Alps for all levels. Pick one and enjoy the walk. For food, try some local dishes like pretzels or apple strudel.

After spending the day exploring, head back to Salzburg in the evening. If you drove, it’s the same way back. If you use public transport, make sure to know the times for your return trip.

Bring comfortable walking shoes and a jacket because it is usually cold in the mountains, especially if you are in Salzburg during the winter.


With a car drive of only 45 minutes, it’s among the top-rated day trips from Salzburg.

The town, rich in history, dates back to Celtic and Roman times and became fortified in the 12th century. With its Baroque parish church and 17th-century town hall, Gmunden offers a glimpse into Austria’s past.

You can start your adventure with a visit to Traunstein, the highest mountain on the banks of Traunsee. Standing at 1,691 meters, it’s known as the guardian of the Salzkammergut. If you’re up for a challenge, there are several climbing routes up the mountain, each offering breathtaking views of the Alps and the lake below. For a less strenuous experience, you can hike around the mountain and enjoy the Alpine scenery.

Another must-visit spot is Grunberg, accessible via the Grunberg Cable Car. From the top, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the landscape below. It’s a great spot for hiking, with numerous trails that wind around the mountain and neighboring Traunstein.

Make sure to check out the town hall in Gmunden. Its unique green and white facade and the ceramic bell display that plays music are quite charming. Nearby, Toskana Park, located right on the shore of Traunsee, offers fantastic views of the castle, the surrounding mountains, and the lake.

For a unique experience, take a boat trip on the Gisela, a historic paddle steamboat, offering various cruises on Lake Traunsee. If you’re into wildlife and nature, visit the Cumberland Wildpark in Grünau, where you can see various animals and enjoy hiking trails.

Kayaking on Traunsee is also a great option if you’re looking for some adventure on the water. Various operators around the lake offer kayaking tours, all led by experienced professionals.

Finally, take a stroll along the Rathausplatz, the main square in Gmunden.


Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana, is suitable for a day trip by train from Salzburg.

The ride is just over 4 hours, and tickets start at 22 euros, going up to 60 euros depending on when you buy them. By car, it’s faster by about half an hour, but I got stuck in front of the Karavanke Tunnel for several hours due to maintenance, twice.

Ljubljana is a charming city with a blend of historical architecture and modern culture. The Ljubljanica River runs through the city, with cafes and restaurants lining its banks, perfect for a leisurely meal or drink. The heart of the city is the old town, where you’ll find the famous Ljubljana Castle perched on a hill, offering stunning views of the city.

For art and history enthusiasts, the National Gallery and the Museum of Contemporary Art are must-visits. Ljubljana also has a vibrant street art scene, with Metelkova Mesto being a standout spot – a former military barracks turned into a cultural hub.

Stroll through Tivoli Park, the city’s largest green space, or browse the Central Market for local crafts and foods. Don’t miss the Dragon Bridge, a symbol of the city, adorned with dragon statues.


Graz, the second-largest city in Austria and the birthplace of Arnold Schwarzenegger is just 2 hours from Salzburg.

While you can take a train from Salzburg, I’d recommend driving by car. This way, you can make a stop in Bad Mitterndorf and see the impressive Kulm ski flying hill.

Graz itself has a beautiful old town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city’s most famous landmark is the Graz Clock Tower, located on Schlossberg, a hill in the city center. From the top, you get a fantastic view of the city.

In Graz, you can also visit the Kunsthaus Graz, an ultra-modern art museum, and the Styrian Armoury, which houses the world’s largest historic armory collection. The culinary scene here has everything from traditional Austrian dishes to international cuisine.


Getting to Innsbruck from Salzburg is easy. You can take a train, which takes about 1.5 to 2 hours, and they run often. Or, you can drive there in about 2 hours, but sometimes there’s traffic or road work.

Innsbruck is right in the middle of the mountains and has a lot of old buildings and places to see. It’s good for outdoor stuff like skiing or walking in the mountains. There are some famous buildings there too, like the Golden Roof and the Imperial Palace.

But, if you’re trying to decide between Innsbruck and Hallstatt, I’d say go to Hallstatt. It’s a small village by a lake and it’s really pretty. It’s quieter than Innsbruck. You can see beautiful views there, go to an old salt mine, and walk on the Hallstatt Skywalk.


To see everything in Munich, you’d need more than a day, but it’s just over an hour and a half from Salzburg, so why wouldn’t you visit it when you’re already there? 

In Munich, you can start by exploring Marienplatz, the city’s central square, where you’ll find the New City Hall with its famous Glockenspiel. The English Garden, one of the world’s largest urban parks, is perfect for a stroll or a picnic. Don’t miss the chance to see surfers on the Eisbach, a small river in the park.

Of course, here you will find world-class museums. The Deutsches Museum is one of the oldest and largest science and technology museums in the world. Then there is the Pinakothek Museum with a huge collection of art ranging from Old Masters to modern pieces.

For a taste of Bavarian culture, head to the Viktualienmarkt, a daily food market with a beer garden in the center. Here, you can sample traditional Bavarian dishes and beer. And, if you’re interested in BMW cars, the BMW Museum and BMW Welt near the Olympic Park are must-visits.

While it’s challenging to cover everything in a day, Munich’s efficient public transport system makes it easy to get around and see the major sights.