Sound of Music Tour, Salzburg (Self Guided)

The Sound of Music (1965) is a formidable musical with a great screenplay shot in Salzburg. The major scenes were filmed in amazing locations that perfectly show the magnificence of the city and its surroundings. The following walking tour will lead you through most of these places, and will leave you impressed by the beauty of the sites.
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Sound of Music Tour Map

Guide Name: Sound of Music Tour
Guide Location: Austria » Salzburg (See other walking tours in Salzburg)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 km
Author: julian
Mirabell Palace and Gardens

1) Mirabell Palace and Gardens (must see)

The Mirabell Palace and Gardens are located north of the Salzach River. It was used by the Prince Archbishops to entertain guests and now houses government offices including the office of the Mayor of Salzburg.

The palace was constructed and the extensive gardens were laid in 1606 as the residence of the mistress of Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau, Salome Alt. At the time it was called the Altenau Palace. His successor renamed it as the Mirabel Palace. Successive Archbishops improved and added to the structure and the gardens. It was damaged by a fire in 1818 and most parts were burned except the marble staircase and marble hall. After the reign of the Archbishops came to an end, it became the residents of the royal family of Austria.

The Mirabel palace today is not open to the public. The marble hall that was once the concert hall and ballroom of the Archbishops is regarded as one of the most beautiful wedding halls in the world. Today it is the venue for meetings, award ceremonies, and concerts. The Mirabell gardens consist of a hedge garden, a dwarf garden with sculptures of dwarfs made of locally quarried Untersberg marble. The famous Pegasus fountain was the setting for the song Do Re Mi in the 1965 Hollywood film, 'The Sound of Music'.

Why You Should Visit:
The palace, which is also the venue for many classical concerts (need pre-booking) makes a nice backdrop to the marvelous gardens.
Standing next to the palace and gazing towards the garden, you get a spectacular view of the Hohensalzburg Fortress as well.
Salzburg Festival Halls

2) Salzburg Festival Halls (must see)

The main stages for the world famous Salzburg Festival are the two festival halls and the Felsenreitschule. The former were once the riding stables of the Prince Archbishops of Salzburg. Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau commissioned the buildings in 1606 and they were completed in 1607. They continued as stables until the early 20th century. They were converted as halls to stage theatrical productions in 1925.

The small festival hall called the Haus für Mozart was built in 1925. Besides theatrical productions during the Salzburg Festival during Easter and summer, the annual carol singing event, the Salzburger Adventsingen takes place here. The Grosse Festspielhaus or the Large Festival Hall was opened in 1960. It is used for staging concerts and opera and the play 'Jedermann' when the weather is not suitable for staging it in the cathedral square. The Felsenreitschule was built in 1693 and designed by renowned architect, Johann Fischer von Erlach. Max Reinhardt the famous theatrical producer used it for many of his productions. It has become a well-known stop for tourists because the last performance of the Von Trapp Family before fleeing Nazi-occupied Austria in the movie the Sound Of Music was filmed here. It was the scene of the song, ‘So Long, Farewell’ in the movie.

Why You Should Visit:
A backstage tour of the Festival Halls is well worth doing, especially to see the Rock Riding School, converted to a theatre now with a retractable roof.
The tour runs for about one hour and is conducted in both German and English.

3) Residenzplatz (must see)

The Residenzplatz is a large square located in Salzburg’s Old Town. It is flanked by the old and new residences of the archbishops and the Salzburg Cathedral.

Archbishop Wolf Deitrich von Raitenau commissioned the building of the Residenzplatz in front of the old residence of the Archbishops. Over fifty-five medieval burgher houses and an ancient cemetery were demolished to make way for the square. The design was based on the style of Baroque Italian piazzas and was built according to the plans of Italian architect, Vincenzo Scamozzi. Besides the residences and the cathedral, the square is also flanked by a row of burger houses that now house shops and a café.

The most beautiful part of Residenzplatz is the ornate fountain called the Residenzbrunnen. It is the largest Baroque fountain in Central Europe. It was commissioned by Archbishop Prince Archbishop Guidobald von Thun and created by Tomasso di Garona between 1656 and 1661. The base of the fountain has three sea horses around a central rock. The rock is covered with figures of marine plants and animals. The statues of four men carrying a bowl stand on the rock and the figures of three dolphins rise from the bowl carrying another bowl where there is a figure of the Greek sea God Triton holding the shell of a snail. The burgher houses around the square have uniquely ornamented facades and Residenzplatz is the venue for an open air cinema that takes place annually in July and August.

Why You Should Visit:
Has a very beautiful fountain from the 17th century in the middle (considered one of the most significant Baroque monuments in Europe), and a perfect view of the Salzburger Dom.

Grab some lunch from bakeries/shops nearby and sit on one of the benches near the fountain, enjoying the view.
Nonnberg Convent

4) Nonnberg Convent (must see)

The Nonnberg Convent is the oldest continuously existing nunnery in the German-speaking world. The monastery complex is today a protected monument and part of the Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. The church of the convent, the Maria Himmelfahrt is the second oldest church dedicated to the Virgin Mary in Salzburg.

The convent was established between 713 and 715 by St. Rupert. He placed it under the control of his sister St. Erentrudis who became the first Abbess. The complex that makes up the Nonnberg Convent includes the Maria Himmelfahrt church, the cloisters, a hall with pillars, the convent, the kitchen court, the dining hall, the St. John’s Chapel, the Pieta Chapel, and other small buildings.

The Maria Himmelfahrt church was built in 1463. It is a simple gothic structure with a baroque principal altar and side altars dating back to 1515. The principal altar depicts the Virgin Mary between St. Rupert and St. Virgil. At the back of the church are Roman frescoes painted around 1140. The Romanesque West Tower was constructed in the 12th century and was remodeled in Baroque style during the 19th century. It contains a crypt containing the tomb of the first abbess St. Erentrudis. The St. John’s Chapel has a magnificent winged gothic altar donated by the Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich. The convent also houses a museum that is open occasionally to scholars and researchers. Maria von Trapp, the author of the book, 'The Story of the Trapp Family Singers' that later became the well known Hollywood movie, 'The Sound of Music' was a novice at the nunnery.

Why You Should Visit:
If you want to get off the beaten path and see a church that seems unaffected by the passing of time, this is a great stop!

For some of the finest Romanesque & Gothic artwork in Austria and Europe, go to the Convent's museum ("Stiftsmuseum").
Make sure you also have some 50-cent coins to light up the area at the back of the church and see frescoes or the altar.
Leopoldskron Castle

5) Leopoldskron Castle (must see)

Schloss Leopoldskron or Leopoldskron Castle is a rococo mansion built on the banks of the Leopoldskroner Weiher Lake in the southern part of Salzburg. It is regarded as the birthplace of the Salzburg Festival.

The castle was built by Prince Archbishop, Count Leopold Anton von Firmian as his private residence in 1736. It was designed by the Scottish Benedictine Monk, Pater Bernhard Stuart and was inherited by Leopold's nephew, Count Laktanz Firmian who housed his collection of valuable paintings in the castle. After his death, it was sold to the owner of a shooting gallery who removed most of the paintings and other valuable objects. In 1918, the famous Jewish theater director, Max Reinhardt restored the building to its former glory and used it for theater products. He established the Salzburg Festival here. The property was confiscated by the Nazi regime and restored to Reinhardt after World War II. The widow of Reinhardt sold the property to an American Educational Institution called the Salzburg Global Seminar.

This was the location where the 1965 Hollywood movie, 'The Sound of Music' was filmed. It is not opened for public viewing. Part of the building is used as a hotel. Visitors can see the grand exterior of the Leopoldskron Castle while strolling along the banks of the Leopoldskroner Weiher Lake.

Why You Should Visit:
There isn't an angle of the building to look at that isn't absolutely incredible; inside or out.

Don't miss the fantastic water park (Freibad Leopoldskron) right opposite the castle!

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.
Gift Shops, Old Town

Gift Shops, Old Town

Specialty shops make up an integral part of tourist life in Salzburg. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs unique to Salzburg, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit. Located within the Old Town, the shops are all within a pleasant walk.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.9 km
Children's Attractions in Salzburg

Children's Attractions in Salzburg

With its great history, culture and entertainment, Salzburg is a place both adults and children can enjoy. The city is home to countless places which will keep the kids happy, like fun for children museums, toy stores and a huge historic fortress. Take this walking tour and enjoy some of the many options Salzburg has to offer for the whole family.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 km
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

The Austrian city of Salzburg straddles the Salzach River near the German border in the Eastern Alps. It went down in history primarily as the hometown of great composer Mozart, whose birthplace is now a museum and the main local attraction. Other than that, Salzburg is also famous for its medieval and baroque architecture, as well as for the abundance of “platzes” (squares) that make up much...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
Old Town Museums & Galleries

Old Town Museums & Galleries

Salzburg has many fascinating modern art museums and galleries with beautiful paintings and prints. Their charming interiors and pleasant atmosphere make for an unforgettable experience. Take this walking tour and explore the museums and galleries in Salzburg's Old Town.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 km
Religious Walking Tour

Religious Walking Tour

Salzburg is listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to countless cultural, architectural, and religious landmarks. The city features numerous historic places of worship, from small churches and abbeys to the impressive Salzburg Cathedral. Take the following walking tour to discover Salzburg's holy places and their history.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 km
Old Town Nightlife

Old Town Nightlife

Salzburg, known worldwide as the city of Mozart, offers its visitors a large spectrum of nightlife. The city is home to many clubs with a fantastic atmosphere. Get started with this walking tour of the Old Town to become acquainted with the wonderful nightlife available on your visit to Salzburg.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Salzburg for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Salzburg has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Salzburg, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.