Hohensalzburg Fortress, Salzburg

Hohensalzburg Fortress, Salzburg (must see)

The mighty fortress dominates the skyline over Salzburg, as of course was the intention. Constructed about 1077 by one of the city's Archbishops, it was more a show of the Catholic Church's power and determination than anything else. Let's just say that the Archbishops were more businessmen and politicians than churchmen... but that sums up the Middle Ages in many places. What started as a small castle eventually grew into a mighty, whitewashed fortress – so foreboding that no army even tried attacking for over eight centuries (though it was once unsuccessfully besieged by a group of Protestant peasants in the 1500s).

After a stint as a military barracks, the fortress was opened to the public in the 1860s by Habsburg Emperor Franz Josef. Today, it remains one of Europe's mightiest castles, offering unique panoramic views (of the city, mountains, and surrounding plains) as well as cafés and a handful of museums. It’s a pleasant place to grab an ice cream cone and wander the whitewashed maze of buildings while soaking up some medieval ambiance. Don't miss visiting the few rooms with the marionettes on display, and try to leak into the old church as well.

Why You Should Visit:
Worth going to for the views alone, but the short guided tour is also fascinating. They do a great job telling the story of this fortress and its growth over the centuries.

Tip:
Although most visitors opt for the one-minute trip on the funicular, consider walking up if you are in decent shape and if the weather allows, as that makes the experience more enjoyable and there are some nice things to see on the way.
To save money and avoid the crowds, take advantage of online booking using the 'early bird' pricing (you'll then scan tickets from your device to get access to the site). If time allows, take advantage of dinner and the concerts which feature local musicians playing wonderful classical music from the region.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Salzburg. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Hohensalzburg Fortress on Map

Sight Name: Hohensalzburg Fortress
Sight Location: Salzburg, Austria (See walking tours in Salzburg)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Salzburg, Austria

Create Your Own Walk in Salzburg

Create Your Own Walk in Salzburg

Creating your own self-guided walk in Salzburg is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Historical Religious Buildings Walking Tour

Historical Religious Buildings Walking Tour

The historic center of Salzburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996, is home to numerous landmarks, including religious sites. Collectively, these historical sanctuaries, from small churches to the impressive Baroque-style Salzburg Cathedral, bear witness to the city's fascinating past and contribute a great deal of charm to its alluring present.

The local Saint Peter's Abbey is...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Old Town Gift Shops

Old Town Gift Shops

Specialty shops make up an integral part of tourist life in Salzburg. The picturesque Old Town of Salzburg boasts a delightful array of gift shops, all within a pleasant walking distance, offering a diverse range of souvenirs and local treasures. Let's take a stroll through some of the notable establishments in this historic area.

We start at Kirchtag, a quaint gift shop known for its...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 Km or 0.6 Miles
Mozart Walking Tour

Mozart Walking Tour

Salzburg was Mozart's home throughout most of his short life. For those who wish to immerse themselves in the Mozart world, there are several locations in the city well worth exploring.

Born on Grain Street (Getreidegasse) and baptized in the nearby Cathedral, Mozart played his first big concert, at age 6, at the Residence Palace.

Later, he served as an organist for the Cathedral,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Sound of Music Tour

Sound of Music Tour

As the hometown of Mozart, Salzburg is a true mecca for music fans, with no shortage of visitors. In the past few decades, though, Salzburg's Old Town has gained international fame thanks to the Hollywood film "The Sound of Music," shot in 1965. Set on the eve of World War II, the movie follows the lead characters, the Von Trapp family and their nanny played by Julie Andrews, all...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles
Salzburg Introduction Walking Tour

Salzburg Introduction Walking Tour

Dubbed the "City of Mozart", the enchanting Austrian city of Salzburg has gone down in history primarily as the hometown of its greatest son, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. His birthplace on Getreidegasse, a busy shopping street, is now a museum, much like the Mozart Residence, a place where the 18th-century composer spent much of his early life.

Apart from Mozart, however, Salzburg is also...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles