Travel Notes: One day in the Salzburg area

When you think of Salzburg you can’t help but think of Mozart and “The Sound of Music.”


Salzburg is a wonderful city with plenty of things to do and many photographic opportunities. It is a great place to stay for three or four days wandering the streets of Old Salzburg and taking a car or tour outside the city up into the surrounding countryside.

One of the first things I usually do when traveling to a new city is to take a hop on, hop off bus tour. It helps me get my bearings. It’s also a good way to figure out which sites and areas of the city you want to spend time taking photos. Typically, the tours are good for a full day which makes it easy for you to get around that first day.

Salzburg is an easily walkable city though, as long as you don’t mind a few inclines every so often. Be prepared to see Mozart-branded everything. From chocolates to household goods, you’ll see it all. He’s a big deal there as it is his birthplace. I’ve been in both spring and summer and it’s truly beautiful with the surrounding mountain views and incredible green hills.

Street scenes

When I’m traveling I always keep an eye out for unique scenes. While big cities may be similar to home, there are almost always unique shops or ancient streets and buildings that make for interesting images.

The Sound of Music

Yes, we took The “Sound of Music” tour. Honestly, it’s a great tour even if you’re not a fan of the movie. Just know that you’ll be singing on the bus. Is it cheesy? Yes, but the tour guides do know this and play into it. They take you to several of the famous filming locations from the movie. This gives you the opportunity to head up into the hills and mountains outside of Salzburg and it’s beautiful.

In 2012, when my mom, brother and I went, our guide was awesome and actually talked the bus driver into a small detour so we could get photos of the snowy mountains. It doesn’t hurt to ask for something like that, all they can do is say no. We got lucky and they made it happen.

Hellbrunn Palace

Hellbrunn Palace is another location where several scenes were filmed, including the gazebo scene. You know the one, where Lisl sings “I am 16 going on 17.” This is definitely one of the locations I wish we’d had more time to wander. Basically, you get to see the gazebo and it may depend on the tour but the last time I was there we had a little bit longer to wander the grounds.


This is a gorgeous town located on a lake and in the mountains. The tour stops here so you can see the church where Captain Von Trapp and Maria were married. Basilica St. Michael is where the wedding was filmed. You may be overwhelmed when you go inside as it’s all pinkish, black and gold, and oh so over the top. Amazing to see. If you have time I would suggest heading down to the lake as well. It’s peaceful and the scenery is beautiful.

Or you can choose to meander the main street and check out the little shops. This location has quite a few different photo opportunities to choose from.

Man in front of the Sound of Music Tour bus Salzburg
You have to, don’t you?


  • Back up your images in more than one place! Seriously, some of these images are from 2012, the first time I visited Salzburg. I don’t have any of the original files because they were lost when switching to a new laptop. I “thought” they were saved on a CD.
  • Returning to a location? Go through the images from the last time you were there to see if you missed something or if there is a specific site you’d like to reshoot.
  • Don’t forget to include your fellow travelers in your photos and offer to take photos of them with their phones or cameras (I’m really bad at this).
  • Take the cheesy tour, you’ll get to see sites you wouldn’t if you don’t go on it.
  • Sit back and enjoy, relax and just take in the sites.