From the museum tour with a flashlight to the Christmas market at the fortress: these excursion destinations in the city and province of Salzburg will provide variety in your sightseeing program and promise exciting hours for the whole family in winter.
Salzburg in Winter: The Most Beautiful Tips for your Trip
It doesn’t always have to be skiing. Even in the cold season, there is plenty to discover in the Salzburg countryside off the slopes. We have collected some of the most beautiful destinations in winter for you. The program includes traditional Christmas markets, horse-drawn carriage rides and night museum tours.
Haus der Natur Salzburg
Science and technology come to life in the Haus der Natur. The museum is one of the most popular attractions for families throughout the year. Winter is no exception: when it is snowing and storming outside, a journey through all seven seas awaits visitors, where exotic ocean dwellers can be admired. You can warm up in the tropics and encounter snakes, iguanas and turtles. Or simply leave the planet and calculate your moon weight in the space hall. With its many interactive stations, the Haus der Natur is an ideal destination in winter. It is open all year round, except December 25th. There are also popular special tours in winter entitled “Nights at the Museum”. During this tour visitors take a flashlight on a journey through the dark corridors of the museum. It’s a real highlight that’s not just for children!
Haus der Natur
Once upon a time, the mighty prince-archbishops ruled Salzburg. They used their wealth from the salt trade to transform their royal residence into a unified work of art of Baroque splendor. In the DomQuartier, visitors can now follow in the footsteps of the former sovereigns and admire one of the world’s greatest Baroque treasures. The tour through the former residence and the subsequent buildings leads through a total of five museums and allows spectacular views of the UNESCO-protected old town of Salzburg. During the Advent season it is also worth a visit because of the beautiful views from the Cathedral Archway Terrace over the Salzburg Christmas market. For children there is a lovingly designed audio guide in three languages. Once a month, on Saturday morning at 10:30 am, the DomQuartier. gives a special tour for children and families. The current dates can be found on the DomQuartier website.
Residenzplatz 1/Domplatz 1a
Hellbrunn Palace and the Trick Fountains
In summer, Hellbrunn Palace will delight you with its trick fountains, large and small. In winter, the popular tourist attraction on the outskirts of Salzburg takes a break. Nevertheless, it is worth a trip to Hellbrunn: A real highlight of the year is namely the Hellbrunn Advent Magic, a beautiful, authentic Advent market on the grounds of the summer residence. A visit to the market is ideally combined with a walk through the large palace park. With its many ponds, sculptures and statues there is much to discover for adults and children. By the way: When there is enough snow, the people of Salzburg pack their cross-country skis and make their rounds on the trails of the park. You can find out about the state of the trails on the Hellbrunn Palace Facebook page.
The Hohensalzburg Fortress stands proudly above the rooftops of the city of Mozart. Just as it should be for a landmark. The fortress is open all year round in summer and winter and is a fixture of any visit to Salzburg. Among the highlights of the fortress are the unique medieval State Rooms and the Magic Theater, which takes visitors on a journey back in time to the Middle Ages. A secret tip among locals is the Fortress Advent, an atmospheric Christmas market high above Salzburg. On Advent weekends there are authentic handicrafts, alpine brass bands and a supervised children’s program. The website of the Hohensalzburg Fortress provides information about the exact dates.
Open Air Museum
The Salzburg Open Air Museum is located at the gates of the city of Salzburg in Grossgmain. There, 100 real Salzburg farmhouses from across six centuries were reconstructed and lovingly made accessible to visitors. The absolute highlight for children is the museum railway, with which visitors can take a ride through the beautiful landscape of the area. The Open Air Museum is closed from November to March, but is open during the Christmas holidays from 26th December to 6th January. Wrapped in warm blankets you can ride in the horse-drawn carriage through the quiet landscape. In the museum restaurant “Salettl”, where the wood-burning stove roars, warm meals and hot drinks are served to the visitors.
A visit is also worthwhile on the first two advent weekends, because of the “Adventroas”, a Christmas market of a different kind: Hundreds of lanterns and candles light the way from house to house, where crafts are made and food is cooked, yarn is spun and music is performed, wood is carved, clay is modeled, iron is forged and stories are told. If you want, you can climb on the horse-drawn carriage and get a ride, maybe to the Engerl post office, where you can write to the Christ Child. Unless you’d rather run through the Christmas tree labyrinth. The dates of the Adventroas can be found on the website of the Open Air Museum.
Kaprun High Mountain Reservoirs
A true monument of Austrian architectural history are the Kaprun high mountain reservoirs. Like two fjords they lie between the mighty peaks of the High Tauern mountains and bear witness to the greatest pioneering achievement of the young Second Republic. In summer you can explore the area on a tour of the dam wall. In winter, the information center in the Kaprun power station offers exciting insights into the topics of electricity generation from hydropower, the myth of Kaprun, history and technology. The information center is open daily from 8 am to 6 pm with free admission.
Kassa: Kesselfallstraße 98
Whether traders, travelers or vagabonds: Mauterndorf Castle has seen them all in its long history. After all, the fortification on the important north-south route served for many hundreds of years as a toll castle on which travelers had to pay a road duty. Today, the castle is a museum where visitors get exciting insights into the Middle Ages. Especially popular among old and young is the restored defense tower. The atmospheric Christmas market in the castle courtyard is also worth a visit. Or take one of the evening tours of the defense tower. All information on the winter opening times can be found on the Mauterndorf Castle website.