The most beautiful car-free excursions in Salzburg

Salzwelten Salzburg - visitors on the mine train ride deep into the mountain
Salzwelten Salzburg - Mine railway

In times of climate change and rising gasoline prices, there are all kinds of good reasons to take excursions that don’t involve a car. How nice it is, then, that many of Salzburg’s most beautiful sightseeing attractions and excursion destinations are easy to reach on public transportation. Here are a few tips for your wonderful car-free holiday experiences.


In the heart of the Salzburg historic district, vehicle traffic has been reduced to an absolute minimum for many, many years. And for good reason. After all, there truly is no better way to fully appreciate the magnificence of this “city of Mozart” than by taking a leisurely stroll. Needless to say, a visit to the DomQuartier – the Baroque heart of Salzburg – is an absolute must. From Salzburg Main Station, numerous bus lines carry you to the Old City in virtually no time. That said, even from the Mönchsberg Garage, this imposing museum tour is no more than a five-minute walk away. And from each of the four P&R parking lots, the shuttles and trolleybuses whisk you quickly to the city center. Complete Park & Ride information can be found here.


DomQuartier Salzburg
Residenzplatz 1/Domplatz 1a, A-5020 Salzburg

DomQuartier Salzburg - In the Carabinierisaal with ceiling fresco "Neptune tames the winds"
DomQuartier Salzburg - In the Carabinierisaal with ceiling fresco "Neptune tames the winds"


At Hohensalzburg Fortress, arrival via public transportation was in vogue long before the word “sustainability” ever crossed anyone’s lips. In fact, the fortress funicular has provided a link between this preeminent Salzburg landmark and the historic district since 1892. Which makes it the oldest funicular in Austria still in operation today. However, back in the old days it didn’t run on electricity, but rather on waterpower, which earned it the nickname Tröpferlbahn (which basically means “droplet train”). Today, the funicular is fully electric and the views from it are merely the first of many highlights courtesy of Salzburg’s iconic monument.


Festung Hohensalzburg
Mönchsberg 34, A-5020 Salzburg

Fortress Hohensalzburg - The fastest way to the fortress is with the fortress train
Fortress Hohensalzburg - The fastest way to the fortress is with the fortress train


Public transportation will also get you quickly to the Salzburg Open-Air Museum. The No. 180 bus connects this beautiful outdoor attraction at the foot of the Untersberg with Salzburg Main Station. And if, despite having arrived on the Postbus, you still don’t want to forego a train ride, you will definitely be thrilled by the museum’s very own train, which connects the various “regions” inside the museum. An absolute highlight, and not just for the kids!


Salzburger Freilichtmuseum
Hasenweg 1, A-5084 Großgmain

Salzburger Freilichtmuseum - view of the museum railroad that covers the area for 1,7 km
Salzburger Freilichtmuseum - view of the museum railroad that covers the area for 1,7 km


At the gateway to the city of Mozart, the pleasure palace of Hellbrunn, with its enchanting grounds and famous trick fountains, offers all kinds of opportunities to spend a day of your vacation in total relaxation. The No.25 bus departs Salzburg Main Station for Hellbrunn every few minutes. And for a very special highlight, you can also cruise there by ship: The “Amadeus” sails regularly from downtown Salzburg out to Hellbrunn and back.


Schloss Hellbrunn
Fürstenweg 37, A-5020 Salzburg

Hellbrunn Palace & Water Games - View over the water parterre to the Crown Grotto
Hellbrunn Palace & Water Games - View over the water parterre to the Crown Grotto


With its legendary guided tours, an exhibition about witches and sorcerers, and an astonishing bird-of-prey show, Hohenwerfen Castle is one of the most popular family excursion destinations in all of Salzburg province. How good it is, then, that it can also be reached easily without a car. In fact, this imposing fortification is only a few minutes from the train station in Werfen, a stopping point for regional trains as well as the suburban railway. From the train station, the village of Werfen provides a shuttle service that needs to be reserved one hour in advance by phoning +43 664 1266700. Alternatively, you can reach the castle from the train station in around 30 minutes via a shady footpath.


Erlebnisburg Hohenwerfen
Burgstraße 2, A-5450 Werfen

Hohenwerfen Adventure Castle - view through red flowers to the castle courtyard
Hohenwerfen Adventure Castle - view through red flowers to the castle courtyard


If you want to visit the biggest publicly accessible ice cave in the world, you will need good shoes, a degree of physical conditioning, along with a warm pullover. What you don’t need: a car. From Werfen Train Station, take the public bus (08:18, 10:18, 12:18 and 14:18) or shuttle bus (from the Gries bus departure point, leaving every 25 minutes whenever public buses are not scheduled) to the visitor center. From there, you will set out on a fantastic journey through one of the world’s most spectacular natural monuments.


Eisriesenwelt Werfen
Eishohlenstrasse 30, A-5450 Werfen

Eisriesenwelt Werfen Giant Ice Caves - group of visitors on the path through ice formations inside the cave
Eisriesenwelt Werfen Giant Ice Caves - Ice formations inside the cave


At one time, precious Hallein salt was shipped out from the Dürrnberg. Today, visitors from around the world embark on an adventurous subterranean journey in search of Salzburg’s rich mining history. The salt mine on the Dürrnberg, along with the neighboring Celtic Village, lends itself perfectly to a visit without a car. From Hallein Train Station, simply ride the No. 41 bus straight to the Dürrnberg. Once there, visitors are greeted, not only by extraordinary insights into the underground world of salt mining, but also an authentic replica of a Celtic village, where everyone is encouraged to explore, play and discover.


Salzwelten Salzburg
Ramsaustraße 3, A-5422 Bad Dürrnberg

Salzwelten Salzburg - Visitors in the mine with exhibition on the history of salt mining
Salzwelten Salzburg - Exhibition about the history of salt mining


At one time, only the best and most experienced drivers every got to sit behind the steering wheel of the legendary Glockner Bus. Today, thanks to modern vehicle technology, the Glockner Road is no longer the terrifying ordeal it once was. Though the original Glockner Bus isn’t around anymore, unfortunately, the tradition itself is alive and well: Several times a week, the Glockner Bus “2.0” departs from many halts throughout the Salzburger Pinzgau, bringing passengers to some of the most beautiful points along the world-famous scenic road. The drive is accompanied by a National Park Ranger, who has many fascinating facts to share with you about the history, mountains and nature of Hohe Tauern National Park. Complete information about fares and departure times for the Glockner Bus can be found here.


Großglockner Hochalpenstraße
Taxenbacher Fusch 96
A-5672 Fusch a.d. Großglocknerstraße

Grossglockner High Alpine Road - mountain panorama with view of Wilhelm Swarovski observatory
Grossglockner High Alpine Road - Wilhelm Swarovski observatory


The imposing High Mountain Reservoirs of Kaprun lie at 2400 meters above sea level, surrounded by the magical alpine nature of the Hohe Tauern range. Go hiking and mountaineering, experience the history of technology up close – here, everything is possible, and without having to resort to a car in order to get here. The No. 660 bus runs regularly from Zell am See to the ticket office at the Kesselfall. Incidentally: With the Pinzgau Mobility Ticket, visitors get to use all public transportation in the Pinzgau region for free.


Hochgebirgsstauseen Kaprun
Kassa: Kesselfallstraße 98, A-5710 Kaprun

Kaprun Alpine Reservoirs - Couple with backpacks hiking at Mooserboden reservoir
Kaprun Alpine Reservoirs - Mooserboden reservoir