Just a thirty minute taxi ride from Bavaria and we had arrived in Salzburg. But I hadn’t prepared myself for quite how quickly this city would capture my heart, make me feel like we were in a land straight out of the pages of a fairytale, and have me dreaming up another visit before we’d even left.
We only had one night and a far to brief 24 hours here but even so it very quickly became one of my favourite European cities – for its beautiful architecture, the prettiest of gardens, the exceedingly delicious cake, and the huge amounts of enjoyment for the whole family.
The Visit Salzburg tourist office had kindly left a map and guide book waiting for us at our hotel, along with a Leo the Lion colouring and sightseeing book that Evie delved straight into, and a Salzburg card for me which gave us free use of public transport around the city as well as free admission to all tourist attractions and museums. Not wanting to waste any time we headed straight out to start exploring.
Here’s how to spend a wonderful 24 hours in Salzburg with kids:
♥ What to do in Salzburg with kids ♥
Salzburg is a small compact city which makes it extremely easy to get around on foot. We covered most of the main sights in our short time here as well as stumbling upon some hidden gems, wandering across romantic bridges and through enchanting districts.
Mirabell Palace and Gardens – Seriously some of the prettiest gardens I have ever visited with the palace on one side and the fortress in the distance up on the hill on the other side. There were grand fountains shooting water up in the air, colourful flowers bursting from every hedge, charming carts on wheels offering delicious flavours of ice cream, and a children’s choir entertaining passers-by with their melodious voices. If it sounds magical that’s because it was and if you’ve seen The Sound of Music you’ll recognise the gardens from the movie.
There is also a small children’s playground as well as a dwarf garden showcasing (rather big) dwarf statues which Evie seemed to be delighted with. I was also a little charmed by the dwarfs if I’m being honest and was totally imagining myself as Snow White in this setting.
Haus der Natur Museum – I’m not usually a big fan of museums but if they were all as fun and interesting as Salzburg’s Natural History Museum I would be. Spread over several floors with fascinating sections dedicated to dinosaurs, animals, space, science, an underwater world, and a huge floor full of fun interactive exhibits for little (and big) kids to play and learn from.
We spent all morning here having lots of fun but you could easily spend a whole day exploring every level.
Hohensalzburg Fortress – Sitting up high above the historical district, this castle deserves a visit, firstly with a fun but extremely rapid ride in the funicular up to the top where we looked out at the spectacular views over Salzburg.
Altstadt – At the base of the Castle is Salzburg’s incredibly enchanting Old Town with narrow cobblestone alleyways lined with adorably cute shops and street cafes, and squares surrounded by beautiful buildings. Whether playing near the water fountains, visiting Mozart’s birth place or simply watching the horses and carriages riding by, there was plenty to keep us both entertained.
Because we only had such a short time here we didn’t get to do everything that I would have liked but that just means we have an excuse to make a return trip! The Trick Fountains at Hellbrunn Palace look like lots of fun for families but are a little out of the city so we didn’t visit these. I also really fancied a ride around town with Salzburg Rickshaw Tours but I thought Evie was probably a bit too little for this. Next time!
♥ Where to eat in Salzburg with kids ♥
Organic Pizza – A lovely casual setting with outside seating and highchairs in a peaceful residential part of the city, serving up huge yummy pizzas and local organic cola. The pizzas were so big that Evie and I shared one and still had plenty left over to finish for dinner.
Sacher Hotel – For a slice of the famous Sacher Torte chocolate cake we popped into the hotel’s very plush confiserie and ordered some to go. It wasn’t cheap at over €7 for a slice but you can’t go to Austria without trying one of the country’s most popular desserts. Luckily for me Evie fell asleep before we could tuck in so I got to devour this all to myself!
Cafe WurfelZucker – A sweet (both in looks and taste) traditional Austrian café with tables overlooking the river and the best apple strudel in town.
Mozartkugeln – This might not be a place to eat but these are Salzburg’s most famous sweet treats. Little chocolate covered marzipan and nougat balls which can be found all over the city and should most definitely be tried at least once. We were kind enough to be gifted some from the Visit Salzburg tourist office so we had a traditional local delicacy to try as soon as we arrived!
Okay, now I know it looks like we pretty much just ate cake the whole time we were in Salzburg and I’m not going to lie, because yes, yes we did. I mean we only had a day here and you can’t visit Austria without trying a few slices of cake so who was I to resist?
♥ Where to stay in Salzburg with kids ♥
While I was researching family friendly hotels in Salzburg there was one hotel that kept popping up as a great place to stay with or without children, and when Visit Salzburg personally recommended the same hotel to me, I knew this was where we had to stay. Hotel & Villa Auersperg, a charming and homely boutique hotel nestled in a quiet area of the city not far from the Mirabelle Gardens, was wonderful.
Our room was small but perfect with a huge selection of teas and coffees, complimentary water and a super comfy bed. The breakfast in the morning had such a huge selection of food we didn’t know where to start – pigs in blankets for breakfast? Yes please! There’s a children’s corner full of toys, games, books and DVDs which you can borrow to watch in your room. I wanted to watch The Sound of Music having never actually seen the movie, but of course someone else had already borrowed it seeing as we were in the place that it was filmed!
Salzburg had such a magical effect on me and I cannot believe how quickly I fell in love with the city. It wrapped me up in its beauty and fairytale atmosphere, the people were so friendly helping me up and down stairs with the pram, smiling at Evie everywhere we went, and offering to take photos of the two of us without me even having to ask. We both enjoyed our trip here so much so I know without a doubt that we will be back again one day soon.
Have you visited Salzburg? What did you love most about the city? Let me know in the comments below or at:
Thank you very much to Visit Salzburg who hosted our extremely wonderful visit to their city. We will definitely be back!