Munich to Salzburg day trip: your complete guide

Last Updated on June 25, 2024 by Ingrid & Alex

It was one of the few sunny spring days in Bavaria when we decided to go on a Munich to Salzburg day trip.

It was the first time for both of us in Salzburg, and we were traveling with our 5-month-old baby. Thus, we wanted to do and see as much as possible while respecting her sleep schedule.

We chose Salzburg because it is easy to get there from Munich and has plenty to do and see.

Let me share the perfect Salzburg itinerary based on our experience and all the things you should know and do.

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How to get from Munich to Salzburg

Driving (roughly 2 hours)

Munich to Salzburg by car map

Getting from Munich to Salzburg by car was our best option, as we traveled with a small baby.

A motorway connects the two cities, making it fast and easy to travel the roughly 150 kilometers.

We took the A8 motorway and crossed the border into Austria.

The good thing is in Germany, you don’t have to pay any tolls for highways and motorways.

Conversely, in Austria, you must pay for the “vignette.” So consider that before traveling by car to Austria because it is an extra cost.

Don’t worry. You can easily purchase it online here, and there is a 1-day option.

Driving in Germany is easy, and most people generally respect the rules, so you don’t have to worry.

By the way, if you consider this option, we recommend renting a car on DiscoverCars. We always use this aggregator to find the best deals and save up to 70%.

When we reached Salzburg, we parked at the Tiefgarage Barmherzige Brüder. This was a great parking option because it is in the city center, close to all the main attractions. Moreover, you can pay by card, and the parking is underground – which is also great when traveling in winter or summer. Don’t expect to find any free parking in the city.

By train (1.30 – 1.45 hours)

We like taking the train in Europe whenever possible. Since the baby was so small, traveling by train this time around was more complicated.

However, trains in Germany are an excellent option for getting around, and we have used them on several occasions in the past.

Tickets might not be cheap, but the main advantage is that the train station is centrally located in both Munich and Salzburg. Additionally, you can do other things while you travel.

You can book your ticket directly at the train station, but you might want to check it online on the official site beforehand. At certain times of the year, tickets get sold out fast for specific routes.

If you are flexible with your travel date and want to find the best price, use DB’s Best Price Finder tool.

Another thing worth knowing is that you can use the Bayern ticket for the trip from Munich to Salzburg and back. This regional train ticket allows you to travel unlimitedly within Bavaria for a whole day.

In my experience, traveling as a larger group is more convenient and allows you to save more. Apart from regional trains, the ticket offers free transportation on almost all buses within Bavaria. Thus, you can save more.

You can buy it from the ticket machine at the train station (Munich Hauptbahnhof), and you must write the travelers’ names on the ticket.

By bus (approx. 2 hours)

Flixbus is an excellent option for traveling by bus in Germany.

We used it in the past to go from Munich on various day trips, such as the ones to Innsbruck or Garmisch.

While the bus option is the cheapest, and there are a few options throughout the day, it can also be unreliable. On both occasions, buses were delayed, and we had to wait up to one hour.

If, however, you are flexible with your time, this is a great option.

Check out bus options here and book ahead of time. This route is very popular, and tickets are often sold out.

By Organized Tour

One of the best ways to visit Salzburg from Munich is by booking an organized tour. You will be joined by a guide who will take you by train to Mozart’s city of birth.

Additionally, he will create your itinerary in Salzburg, so you won’t have to worry about anything. On top of that, you get 3 hours of free time so you can explore at your own pace.

See more about the tour here!

However, if you want to see the filming locations for “The Sound of Music” movie, there is no such tour with a transfer from Munich. It would be better for you to travel by train, bus or car and go on this tour from Salzburg.

Things to do in Salzburg in a day

Things to do in Salzburg from Munich day trip

We loved Salzburg, which we think is one of the prettiest towns in Austria. There are plenty of things to do and see here, and you won’t get bored if you spend one day in town.

Since you will travel for roughly 3-4 hours, you have about 8 hours to explore. We spent a little less since we were traveling with a small baby, but we still got to see quite a few attractions.

Therefore, here is a potential itinerary for your time in Salzburg.

Fortress Hohensalzburg

Fortress Hohensalzburg

After a quick breakfast, we started our ascent to Fortress Hohensalzburg. It was the first thing we visited in Salzburg, mainly because of its location close to the parking we chose.

There is a little bit of climbing involved to reach the top of the hill and the fortress, but you can also take a funicular (we took it to return to the city center).

At the top, you not only get to explore the best-preserved castle in Central Europe, but you also get to enjoy a 360-degree view of the city.

Fortress Hohensalzburg was built in 1077, and its main purpose was to protect the principality and the archbishops from enemy attacks.

You can see the whole fortress in around 1 hour, and we think it was worth it, especially for the views we got.

Also, don’t skip visiting the Princes’ Chambers, where you can see the original furniture dating back to the 1500s.

St. Peter’s Abbey & the Salzburg Cathedral

As we approached the river, we passed by the St. Peter’s Abbey and the Salzburg Cathedral (Dom zu Salzburg).

St. Peter’s Abbey dates from the 7th century and is considered the oldest monastery still in use in the German-speaking world.

You might not have enough time, but if you are interested, you can stop here to visit the Cemetery and Catacombs. These were featured in the famous “The Sound of Music” movie. Thus, it is a mandatory stop for fans.

Extra tip: No fan of the movie should skip going on a “Sound of Music Original Tour“. While you won’t get to see Salzburg, you will travel to the countryside and visit the locations of the movie’s filming. See more about the tour here!

Moving forward, we passed by the Salzburg Dome. An impressive baroque building dating from the 17th century, today the most important sacred building in the city.

Fun fact: this is where Mozart and Joseph Mohr, who wrote the lyrics for Silent Night, were baptized.

DomQuartier Salzburg

DomQuartier Salzburg

A UNESCO World Heritage Site that comprises the Residenz, Cathedral, and St Peter’s Archabbey.

You’ve already passed by the Cathedral and the Archabbey, but you should now stop at the Residenz. Visit the state rooms and see where Mozart gave his first concert at the age of 7.

Additionally, art lovers should not skip the Residenzgalerie. Here, they can admire masterpieces by Dutch, Italian, French, and Austrian painters.

Mozart’s Birthplace

This is one of the most famous museums in Austria. It’s easy to understand why Salzburg is all about Mozart’s life and creations since he was such a great artist.

You can take a one-hour tour to see the original rooms of this famous building. On the tour, you will see furniture, portraits, and other objects dating back to Mozart’s time.

Extra Tip: The best way to see it all in a short time (2.5 hours) is by attending a Salzburg Walking Tour. A guide will take you to the most iconic places in town and tell you everything you need to know about their history. See more about the tour here!

Mozart Residence

Cross the Marko-Feingold-Steg bridge and head to the Mozart Residence (Mozart-Wohnhaus). This is another museum dedicated to Mozart, hosted inside the building where the family moved in in 1773.

Here, you can see the famous composer’s piano, along with various other documents and portraits.

Mirabell Palace & Mirabell Garden

Schloss Mirabell is one of the nicest buildings in Salzburg and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage.

The palace and its picturesque gardens are perfectly set on the Salzach River’s banks and offer stunning views over the Old Town and fortress.

It dates from around 1606 and was later rebuilt in the 1720s in the current baroque style.

The Mirabell Gardens were featured in the Sound of Music movie, so you should not miss a visit to this tranquil corner of paradise.

Today, visitors can attend Mozart concerts at the Mirabell Palace in a fairytale-like setting. The concert lasts for 1.5 hours and is held in the Baroque Marble Hall.

Don’t wait too long before booking because it is a popular activity in Salzburg. Book the concert here!

Cruise on the Salzach River

The Salzach River splits Salzburg and its Historic Old Town into two parts.

Until the 19th century, the river served as the main route for transporting salt (salz), thus its name.

Today, one of the activities that allows you to admire the city from a different perspective is going on a cruise on the Salzach River.

On this 40-minute tour, you will see much more than the Old Town. You will sail to admire the exclusive villas in the southern part of Salzburg with the Hagen and Tennen mountains in the background.

Book your river cruise here!

Admire the city from one of the many viewpoints

Salzburg is such a charming town that deserves to be admired from above from as many viewpoints as possible.

I know you don’t have too much time left, but here are a few of the best spots in town:

Have a good coffee with an apfelstrudel

You cannot come to Salzburg and not try the local coffee and apfelstrudel (apple cake).

Austrians make the best apfelstrudel, and I love the one served with vanilla sauce. Try the one at Cafe Würfel Zucker located along the Salzach River, or the one at Café Habakuk.

PIN FOR LATER!

Munich to Salzburg day trip

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