8 Best Day Trips From Salzburg to Suit Everyone’s Taste

Berchtesgaden or Hallstatt, Vienna or Innsbruck?

Salzburg is ideally located for day trips to some of the prettiest cities, villages, and natural attractions in Austria and neighbouring Germany. Here are 10 of the best day trips from Salzburg to consider when you’re using the city as a base when visiting Austria.

Top day trips from Salzburg

Hallstatt

Distance from Salzburg73 km
What to SeePicturesque village on Lake Hallstatt
Getting ThereCar, bus, train, and tours (see reviews and prices)
Best Time to VisitYear round, but spring and autumn is quieter while still warm

Visiting the picturesque village on the shores of Lake Hallstatt is probably one of the most popular day trips from Salzburg. A bonus is that you pass some beautiful scenery in Austria’s Salzkammergut lake district on the way there.

Hallstatt Austria
Approaching Hallstatt with the ferry from the train station.

We took the bus and train on our day trip from Salzburg to Hallstatt. What I love about the train option is that it drops you across the lake from the village. The short ferry ride is a great opportunity to take pictures of the village with the lake in front and mountains behind.

While every corner of Hallstatt seems to be picture-perfect, make sure to walk to the Catholic church and adjacent St Michael’s chapel where the bones of departed villagers are held. Also, make time to take the Salzberg cable car to enjoy the World Heritage View from the Hallstatt Skywalk.

Berchtesgaden and Eagle’s Nest

Distance from Salzburg26 km
What to SeeEagle’s Nest, Königssee, Salt Mine
Getting ThereCar, bus, train, and tours (see reviews and prices)
Best Time to VisitBerchtesgaden, Königssee, and Salt Mine: Year round
Eagle’s Nest: May to October

This corner of Germany that cuts into Austria close to Salzburg was Hitler’s favourite place to spend time during WWII. You’ll learn all about this at the Dokumentation Obersalzberg on the way to Eagle’s Nest outside Berchtesgaden.

Eagle's Nest Berchtesgaden
The Eagle’s Nest or Kehlsteinhaus as seen from the Königssee.

If you’re visiting between May and October, it’s definitely worth taking the tour up to Eagle’s Nest where the Nazis entertained important guests during WWII. The journey up (think 24 % incline and only one hairpin bend plus a 124-metre lift ride inside a rock) and the view from the top is a bigger attraction than the historic facts. Of the latter, you’ll learn more at Salzburg Dokumentation which is housed in the underground bunkers built to protect the Nazi leaders.

The Berchtesgaden old is small enough to see in half an hour. If you have more time, a tour through the local salt mine is great to do with kids. It even includes a boat ride in an underground lake. Or drive the few kilometres to the Königssee for ice cream or a boat ride.

Werfen and Werfen Ice Caves

Distance from Salzburg61 km
What to SeeWorld’s largest ice caves, Werfen Castle, Sound of Music Meadow
Getting ThereCar, bus, train
Best Time to VisitWerfen Ice Caves: May to October Werfen: Year round, but especially spring, autumn, and summer

Visiting the world’s largest ice caves in a mountain above the town of Werfen is a real adventure for nature lovers. The journey to the mouth of the cave involves two short but spectacular hikes as well as Austria’s steepest cable car ride.

Werfen ice caves mouth
The view from the mouth of the Werfen Ice Caves makes the journey there worthwhile.

The Eisriesenwelt as the Werfen Ice Caves are called is a cave system totalling 42 km of which you walk the first 2 km on the cave tour. To see the wonderful ice formations you must brave an average temperature of 0 °C and walk up and down 700 steps. The only lighting is provided by carbide lamps.

The town of Werfen is also home to the medieval Werfen Castle which is seen from the picnic meadow in The Sound of Music. You can even go on a themed hike to the meadow from the centre of Werfen.

Salzkammergut Lake District

Distance from Salzburg50 km
What to SeeSt Wolfgang, Mondsee and several other towns and lakes
Getting ThereCar, bus, and tours (see reviews and prices)
Best Time to VisitSpring, summer, and autumn

The Salzkammergut is an Austrian lake district and number one for scenic day trips from Salzburg. While Hallstatt is technically part of the Salzkammergut lake district, I don’t recommend going there and seeing the rest of the district both on one day. They are definitely worth two separate day trips.

St Wolfgang on a day trip from Salzburg.
Autumn view towards St Wolfgang.

The closest lakes and lake towns from Salzburg are Lake Fuschl (Bad Fuschl), Lake Wolfgang (St Wolfgang), Mondsee, and Attersee. One way to experience a part of it is to join a Sound of Music tour from Salzburg. The bus stops for views of St Wolfgang before continuing to the Mondsee where the Von Trapps got married. It’s a fun trip filled with music and singing.

Zell am See

Distance from Salzburg86 km
What to SeePicturesque town on lake, mountains
Getting ThereCar, train, and bus
Best Time to VisitSpring, summer, and autumn for beautiful nature, winter for snow

Zell am See is conveniently located for a day trip from Salzburg by train. The train, with connections as fast as 1,5 hours, drops you almost in the centre of town right next to the lake. From here, you can walk around the lake, take a boat ride, explore the old town, or go up the Schmittenhöhe mountain.

Grand Hotel Zell am See
Grand Hotel

If you manage your time in Zell am See well, there may even be time to take a bus to Kaprun 5 km away. From here, you can take the cable cars to the Kitzsteinhorn, the highest mountain peak in Austria’s Salzburgerland province.

Munich

Distance from Salzburg145 km
What to SeeHistoric centre, Nymphenburg Palace, Hofbrauhaus, Dachau Concentration Camp
Getting ThereCar, bus, train
Best Time to VisitYear round, but especially spring, summer, and autumn

The capital of Bavaria is within easy reach for a day trip from Salzburg. An early start will enable you to explore the historic centre in the morning and visit the Dachau Concentration Camp in the afternoon. Or you could omit the concentration camp for a tour of the beer halls and breweries.

Dachau Munich
Dachau Concentration Camp

I included Dachau because if you’re only ever going to have one day to spend in and around Munich, this is a life-changing experience. Some things are hard to see and read about, but being confronted with the atrocities of war in this way sends a powerful message.

Innsbruck

Distance from Salzburg187 km
What to SeeHistoric old town, Golden Roof, mountains, Swarovski Crystal Worlds
Getting ThereCar, bus, train
Best Time to VisitYear round

Innsbruck is the capital of the Austrian Tyrol and one of the best day trips from Salzburg if you want to get into the mountains. The Nordkette cable cars leave from the city centre and whisk you to the top of a mountain in three stages in under an hour.

Innsbruck Austria
View down Maria Theresa Street toward the Golden Roof and Nordkette.

A self-guided walking tour of the Innsbruck old town with the famous Gold Roof at its centre doesn’t take longer than an hour or two. That leaves enough time for the mountain excursion and to visit the Swarovski Crystal Worlds in the nearby town of Wattens on your way back to Salzburg.

Vienna

Distance from Salzburg259 km
What to SeeHistoric centre, famous art museums, palaces, parks
Getting ThereCar, bus, train
Best Time to VisitYear round

Visiting Vienna is not the closest day trip from Salzburg, but more than doable with the train taking just under 2,5 hours. However, with only one day in Vienna, you’ll have to prioritize what you want to see.

Belvedere Vienna
Vienna’s Belvedere Palace.

My advice for spending one day in Vienna would be to take a walking tour through the historic centre (self-guided or organized). Highlights to see include the Hofburg, St Stephen’s Cathedral, St Peter’s Church, and the Plague Column. Walking down Graben and Kärtner Streets will take you past or very close to all of these.

Then I’d recommend taking one of the hop-on-hop-off bus tours and get off at one or two attractions you are most interested in. It can be one of the Viennese palaces like Schönbrunn or Belvedere or even the Prater amusement park to ride the famous Riesenrad (Ferris Wheel).

*Disclosure*

Having fun in Austria, and then writing about it is hard work 😆 . That’s why some links in this article are affiliate links. I may earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you use any of them to make a purchase. It’s totally cool if you don’t. I love to help anyway. If you do, it will help us discover another part of Austria to write about.

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About Linda de Beer 89 Articles
Name: Linda de Beer Profession: Travel blogger and freelance writer
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Deborah Patterson

What a great selection. I love Salzburg and the Salzkammergut. Lovely ideas for day trips to take from the city.

Hi Linda!

I love this blog! I have been to all these places except Zell am See. I never thougt of approaching it from Salzburg. I think from Munich it could be the easiest way to get to Zell am See by public transport.

Thanks for the idea!
Diana

Jenny

These day trips all sound amazing. I don’t know what one I would want to do the most! Every one of those places looks so beautiful and historical. The Werfen ice caves look incredible, I’ve never seen anything like that before. Thanks for sharing.

Lina

I totally agree with the fact that Salzburg is perfect for day trips! I remember when I went to Munich and I think it was only a bit more than an hour with the bus. Would love to visit Berchtesgarden too 🙂

Rachel

All of these options seem incredible but I love caves so would definitely head to Werfen Caves. What an adventure!

Anita

I love Austria and Salzburg and, yes, because of the location is great to visiting places in Germany too. From your list I would love to visit The Salzkammergut lake district. Thanks for sharing!

Nina

Love all the day trip ideas! Had no idea Salzburg is located ideally for so many trips to all these beautiful places!

Lisa

Loved this post! Austria is high on my bucket list, and I hope to visit once things calm down enough for travel 🙂