Where to Stay in Salzburg First Time: 10 Best Areas

The best areas to stay in Salzburg for first-timer are Altstadt (Old Town), Neustadt, Elisabeth Vorstadt, and Maxglan. These are popular neighborhood for tourists that offer a wide variety of attractions and amenities. In thig blog, I will help you to decide where to stay in Salzburg for the first time, for Christmas markets, family, budget, and near the train station.

Founded in the 7th-century, Salzburg has a rich history, which has resulted in Salzburg’s Old Town section of Altstadt being awarded the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hometown of Mozart and home to recognizable filming locations for iconic films such as ‘The Sound of Music’, as well as boasting numerous galleries, theatres, and museums, Salzburg is a center of Austrian art and culture.

Altstadt, also known as Old Town, is the best area to stay in Salzburg for first-timers due its proximity to the city’s famous attractions and many choices in accommodation. If you stay here, you will be located in the middle of action, within walking distance to the famous sights such as Fortress Hohensalzburg, Salzburg Cathedral, DomQuartier, and Mozart’s Birthplace,, as well as many restaurants, bars, and shops.

If you are looking to explore a more contemporary side of Salzburg, particularly the nightlife the city has to offer, look tino Neustadt. The area has a good mix of history and culture, along with a wide range of dining and entertainment options.

If you are traveling in or out of the city by train and want to stay near the station, look into Elisabeth Vorstadt. Helpfully, this also has the benefit of being one of the more affordable districts of Salzburg, so it’s both convenient and budget-friendly.

If this is your first visit, I recommend stay at least three days in Salzburg to explore the city. Three days is enough to see the popular tourist landmarks, to get the sense of local culture and history. The Old Town is very walkable and compact, you can easily explore on foot. If you have more days, you can take a day trip to Mondsee and Wolfgangse.

💖 Best Area for first-timers:Altstadt (Salzburg Old Town)
💎 Best luxury hotel:Radisson Blu Hotel Altstadt
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:Altstadt Hotel Stadtkrug
💰 Best budget hotel:Star Inn Hotel Premium Salzburg Gablerbräu

🎬 To get an overall idea of where to stay in Sazlburg first time, check out this video:

Where to stay in Salzburg: Best areas & neighborhoods

1. Altstadt (Old Town), where to stay in Salzburg for first-timers

Altstadt, Where to Stay in Salzburg for First Time Tourists

Altstadt, or Salzburg’s old town, is the best place to stay in Salzburg for first-time travelers due to its prime location. If you stay here, you will be located within walking distance to famous attractions such as the Fortress Hohensalzburg, Salzburg Cathedral, DomQuartier, Mozart’s Birthplace, and the famous shopping street, Getreidegasse.

Located on the left bank of Salzach River, Salzburg’s old town is the oldest area and historical heart of Salzburg. It is where the city first started out back in the 7th-century and many of the buildings constructed over the centuries still stand today. In fact, so much of the city’s historical architecture has been preserved that in the 1990s UNESCO awarded the neighborhood the status of World Heritage Site.

There are so many narrow, cobblestone streets, museums, luxurious palaces, and historic buildings in Altstadt with architecture from the Middle Ages, Romanesque, Baroque and Renaissance periods.

Salzburg is dominated by the charming Fortress Hohensalzburg (Festung Hohensalzburg), on the top of the Mönchsberg Moutain. You can reach the castle by a delightful walk from the Old Town center or via a Funicular Cable Car from Festungsgasse.

As the hometown of legendry composer Mozart, the city has a number of monuments and museums dedicated to his legacy. In Altstadt, you can visit Mozartplatz, a public square, overlooked by the Salzburg Museum, that hosts a statue of Mozart as its centerpiece. A few roads away, the house where Mozart was born has been converted into a museum dedicated to his youth and upbringing.

Mozart’s Birth Place is located on Getreidegasse street, Salsburg’s famous shopping street. It is a part of the large pedestrian zone in the Old Town and is lined with shops, restaurants, hotels, and cafés.

Just a few meters from Mozartplatz is Residenzplatz, a larger 16th-century plaza around an intricate baroque Residenz Fountain. It was named after the Residenz building of the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg (Alte Residenz) on the west side of the square.

This plaza is where the famous Salzburg Christmas market is held each winter. Several museums and galleries surround the plaza, but the grandest structure is the towering Salzburg Cathedral dedicated to St. Rupert and St. Virgil to the south.

DomQuartier is also an interesting landmark where you find State Rooms of the Residenz, Residenz Gallery, the Cathedral Museum, and the museum of St. Peter’s Abbey.

To the east of Getreidegasse street, you will find Kranzlmarkt, the old Town Hall (Rathaus), the Old Market (Alter Markt), the 13th-century Court Pharmacy (Hofapotheke), Collegiate Church, and the 17th-century St. Florian’s Fountain.

In the northern part of Altstadt, near the Staatsbrücke bridge, you can find some more modern amenities. Well-known brands line the shopping streets, interspersed with chain coffee shops and restaurants. Whilst this section of Salzburg is old, it’s still the center of a modern city, with all the conveniences that bring.

There are a wide range of accommodation options in Old town that suits all budget travelers from luxury hotel to backpacker hostels. Booking hotel in this area, you can stay in some truly beautiful, historic buildings, with views over both the river and the historic architecture.

Stay in Old town if It is your first time visiting Salzburg; You want somewhere that is very central with plenty to see and do; You are visiting in winter for the Christmas market, December, winter, or any time of the year;

Best Places To Stay In Salzburg Old Town:

luxury ($$$): Radisson Blu Hotel Altstadt This 5-star hotel is centrally situated in Salzburg Old Town, on the banks of the Salzach River. It has an on-site air-conditioned Symphonie restaurant offers Austrian cusines and the views of Kapuzinerberg mountain.

mid-range ($$): Altstadt Hotel Stadtkrug This 4-star hotel is located in Salzburg’s Old Town, in the charming Linzergasse street, close to Mirabell Palace and Mozart’s Birthplace. It features elegant rooms with a flat-screen cable TV, a minibar, a safe, and a spacious and stylish bathroom with a hairdryer.

budget ($): Star Inn Hotel Premium Salzburg Gablerbräu, by Quality, This 3-star hotel is located in the Old Town, at the foot of the Kapuzinerberg hill. It is close to Mozart’s residence, the Mirabell Gardens, and Getreidegasse street. It features air-conditioned rooms with a flat-screen TV, parquet flooring, a safe, and a modern bathroom.

2. Neustadt (New Town), where to stay in Salzburg for nightlife

Neustadt, Where to Stay in Salzburg for Nightlife

Neustadt, or ‘New Town’ is the best area to stay in Salzburg for nightlife because Neustadt has a huge range of bars, clubs, and restaurants that have earned the district a reputation as the top neighborhood for nightlife in the city

Neustadt is located directly across the Salzach River from Altstadt. The other half of the city center, Neustadt offers a contemporary alternative to its historical neighbor. If you want to stay right in the heart of the city, close to the major attractions, but the vintage atmosphere of the Old Town doesn’t appeal to you, then this is a good neighborhood to consider.

The streets here are lined with contemporary shops and cafes. . There are several concert halls and theatres too if live art is something that appeals to you.

There are a number of interesting sights to visit in the area. Most notable is the 17th century Mirabell Palace, and its vast decorative gardens. Just south of the palace grounds, a house once occupied by Mozart has been converted into a museum dedicated to the composer.

Further south along the river, the grand Kapuzinerkloster monastery and Paschinger Castle sit on either side of the path leading up into the forested hill that dominates the east side of Neustadt. Viewing platforms along with the route offer views across Salzburg that are well worth the trek.

Being in the city center, surrounded by prominent tourist attractions, there is plenty of accommodation on offer. Whilst much of it is priced at a premium, due to the privilege of the convenient location, there is also a wider variety of budget-friendly options than in the Old Town.

Stay in Neustadt if You would like to experience Salzburg’s nightlife; It is your first time visiting Salzburg; Staying somewhere central is a priority;

Best places to stay in Salzburg in Neustadt:

3. Elisabeth Vorstadt, where to stay in Salzburg on budget

Elisabeth Vorstadt, where to stay in Salzburg on budget
H+ Hotel Salzburg in Elisabeth Vorstadt

Elisabeth Vorstadt is a relatively new and still developing district, and is known for being one of the cheaper areas to stay in Salzburg. This is compounded by the fact that it’s a little further from the attractions of the city center than other neighborhoods. 

The district of Elisabeth Vorstadt is located between the central station (Hauptbahnhof), the River Salzach and the Neustadt. Salzburg Central Station has several railway links with Munich and Bavaria in Germany, and many cities in Austria like Vienna, Graz, Innsbruck, and Linz. It is the most important rail hub in Western Austria.

As a primarily working-class and immigrant community, the area is one of the more diverse neighborhoods in Salzburg. As a result, you can find a particularly interesting variety of shops and restaurants in the area, catering to the local population.

Despite being comparatively unpopular with many tourists, the proximity of the city’s primary train terminal means there is plenty of accommodation available to cater to rail travelers. There are some really interesting, and well-located, options available in the area and much more reasonable rates than the more tourist-centric hubs. 

Stay in Elisabeth Vorstadt if you are working on a budget, you are traveling to or from Salzburg by train and want to stay close to Salzburg Main Train Station, you don’t mind being a little farther out from the city center

Best places to stay in Elisabeth Vorstadt:

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4. Maxglan, where to stay in Salzburg for local vibe

Maxglan, diverse neighborhood, home to the Salzburg Airport
Hotel Max 70 I in Maxglan

Maxglan is located directly between Altstadt and the airport. Primarily a residential area catering to locals rather than tourists, the shops and hospitality are less fashionable than in the city center. However, being just a short journey from the bustling Old Town, this isn’t something you will need to worry about.

Being a little removed from the main town means that more reasonable prices of accommodation make up for a mildly less convenient location. You can stay in some lovely, charming locations, for much more affordable rates than similar options in the city center.

Whilst in the area, you should stop by the Stiegl-Brauwelt beer museum. With exhibits on the history and development of brewing practices, as well as tasting sessions and an onsite bar and restaurant, it is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon, learning about a significant aspect of Austrian culture.

One of the largest perks of staying at Maxglan is being so close to the airport. Salzburg’s W.A. Mozart Airport (SZG) is the second largest airport in Austria. It is four kilometers from the city center that can reach within 15 minutes by taxi or public bus.

If you are just staying in the city for a single night and don’t want to waste too much time getting to and from your hotel, this neighborhood is perfect. If you have an early flight, you won’t need to worry about dealing with public transport or taxis first thing in the morning, as most hotels in the area either offer airport shuttles or service for arranging transport for you.

Stay in Maxglan if you want local experience; you want to stay close to the airport, you don’t mind staying a little further out from the city center, you are on a budget.

Best places to stay in Maxglan:

5. Nonntal, convenient location close to the old town

Immediately south of Altstadt is the leafier suburb of Nonntal. The quiet, residential, and peaceful neighborhood of Nonntal is ideal for anyone wanting to stay close to the historic Old Town, whilst avoiding the crowds and higher prices for accommodation.

More than just a convenient access point to the attractions of Altstadt, there are fascinating sights to see in Nonntal too. The area gets its name from the 11th-century Stift Nonnberg monastery. At the north of the district, on the border with Altstadt, the imposing Salzburger Burgen & Schlösser Betriebsführung castle overlooks the surrounding neighborhood from atop its hill.

The neighborhood is home to several sprawling parks, offering lots of open space for children to run off some of their energy. In the west is the tree-filled Hans Donnenberg Park, which contains decorative ponds and several play areas amongst its many lawns.

In the east, the Naturdenkmal nature reserve provides even more green space and is also home to several historically significant buildings and the Salzburg University Botanical Gardens.

Other attractions are the Castle (Fortress Hohensalzburg), which is set on the southeastern peak of the Mönchsberg; Fortress Museum and the Rainer Regiment Museum are also worth checking out.

Stay in Nonntal if you want somewhere conveniently close to the old town but without the high price tag, you are staying with family and young children, you enjoy spending time in urban parks and green spaces.

Best places to stay in Salzburg in Nonntal Hotel Via Roma This 4-star hotel is located under the shade of the Hohensalzburg Castle and offers free parking, free wifi, an on-site restaurant, and a garden terrace. The Nonnberg Abbey and Salzburg’s historical center can be reached by foot from this hotel.

6. Mülln, a cool place to stay in Salzburg

 Mülln, a cool place to stay in Salzburg
Augustiner Kloster Mülln – Salzburg @iturde

Mülln is located just to the northwest of Salzburg Old Town and is believed to be the oldest suburb of the historic Salzburg Fortress. Its name derives from the abundance of mills that used to be located in the area.

Being located just outside the city center, it provides easy access back in, while also being able to offer more affordable accommodation. This makes it a fabulous choice for anyone traveling on a budget.

While all of its historic mills have long since been demolished, the parks and river, as well as it is more residential feel, make it a great way to get out of the hustle and bustle for a while, without ever being too far away.

Müllner Stadtpfarrkirche and the Müllner Bräu are the two main attractions in Mülln. Müllner Bräu (also known as Augustiner Braü Kloster ) is one of the oldest breweries in the city. It can be very crowded in the summers.

You can also hike at Mönchsberg which offers nice views of the Old Town. Here you will also find the 17th-century bastions and gates of Müllner Schanze.

Stay In Mülln If you are traveling on a budget, you want to stay near the city center but not in it, you enjoy parks and rivers.

Best places to stay near Mülln:

7. Morzg, familiy-friendly area in Salzburg

Morzg is much further from the city centre than the other areas on this list. Located at the southern-most tip of Salzburg, it is connected to the main town via the direct Morzge Straße. Whilst it is quite a way from the central districts, this road makes it easy to get in and out of the city if you want to.

Morzg provides a more relaxed environment, away from the hustle and bustle. The vast fields that surround the area make it particularly convenient for families to spend time outside, whilst children can run around and play.

There are several historic castles nearby that are worth a visit, but the most prominent attraction of the area is the Schlosspark von Hellbrunn estate. The wooded grounds of this renaissance mansion are home to various gardens and walking routes, a small folklore museum, and Salzburg Zoo. 

The area may also have a unique appeal for fans of ‘The Sound Of Music. Filming for the iconic movie took place here and there are several recognizable locations you can visit. The Sound of Music Pavilion in the gardens of Hellbrunn Castle is particularly worth visiting. If you visit in December, you will be taking part in of lovely Christmas Market in this garden.

Stay in Morzg if You love ‘The Sound of Music’; Being close to the city center is not a priority; You are traveling with family or young children.

Best places to stay in Morzg:

8. Schallmoos, a residential area in Salzburg

Schallmoos is located just across the river from Altstadt. A primarily residential neighborhood, it features very few of its own attractions. That said, its convenient location and accommodation prices among the lowest in the city make it an incredibly popular area regardless.

Fantastic Baroque architecture and shopping malls should give you a few options to fill the days when you don’t want to travel too far from your hotel. Meanwhile, it also boasts one of the more popular nightlife venues in the city, the Rockhouse Schallmoos. Neuhaus Castle, chateaux Robinighof are nearby.

Hosting live musicians playing genres that include blues, jazz, metal, and avant-garde, it is a great choice if you fancy a few drinks and some live entertainment of an evening.

Stay In Schallmoos If you want to take advantage of some of the cheapest rates on accommodation in the city, you want to be near the city center but not in it, you are a fan of live music.

Best places to stay in Schallmoos:

9. Leopoldskron-Moos, where to stay in Salzburg for relaxation

Leopoldskron-Moos is located in the south of the city and is primarily famous for one particular attraction, the Schloss Leopoldskron. A historic monument, it is located on Weiher Lake, surrounded by a beautiful park and a palace.

Included in its rich history is the fact it was used for many exterior shots in The Sound Of Music, making for a great sightseeing adventure for fans of the movie. While other attractions in the area are limited, there are a few points of interest, including an arts venue and a nature reserve.

Outside of the attractions, many people will also visit here as it is one of the most natural, least densely populated areas in the city. This makes it a great destination to enjoy a relaxing vacation, taking in the stunning scenery.

Stay In Leopoldskron-Moos If you are a fan of the movie “The Sound Of Music”, you want a less populated, more rural destination.

Best places to stay in Leopoldskron-Moos:

  • Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron This exclusive hotel offers scenic mountain views and cosy rooms in an annex of the historic Leopoldskron Palace, just 2 km from Salzburg’s historic centre. Scenes from The Sound of Music were filmed on site, and the Salzburg Festival was founded there.
  • Pension Ballwein Located 2.6 km from Festival Hall Salzburg, Pension Ballwein features free WiFi access and free private parking.
  • Haus am Moos Located at the foot of the Unterberg Mountain. Free private parking is available on site.

10. Lehen, a great base for authentic Austrian

Lehen, a great base for authentic Austrian
Stadtwerk Lehen, Salzburg @wohnblogAt

Lehen is perhaps the best part of the city for those traveling as a family, especially if you have children. It is located close to the city center, so you won’t have to worry about lots of traveling, but is surrounded by plenty of parks and greenery, ideal for letting the kids run off their energy.

As another largely residential area, it also gives you a better glimpse into the way the people of the city live. Shops, bars, and restaurants all cater primarily to locals, allowing you the chance to experience authentic Austrian cuisines and wares.

This traditional Austrian experience, combined with a quieter atmosphere and lower prices make Lehen a fabulous choice for anyone looking for a truly relaxing and enriching getaway in the city.

Stay In Lehen If you are traveling as a family or with children, you want to experience the authentic Austrian way of life.

Best places to stay in Lehen Easyapartments Riverside City Apartment

Where should I stay in Salzburg for the first time?

Altstadt, also known as Old Town, is the best area to stay in Salzburg for first-timers due to its prime location. If you stay here, you will be located in the middle of everything, within easy access to major sights, as well as many restaurants, bars, and shops.

What are the best areas to stay in Salzburg?

Altstadt (Old Town), Neustadt, Elisabeth Vorstadt, and Maxglan are the best areas to stay in Salzburg because they are the most popular neighborhoods for tourists that offer a wide range of attractions and amenities.

See Also: Frequently Asked Questions about Best Places to Stay in Salzburg

See more:

Located between Austria and Germany, near the Alps, Salzburg is, primarily, ideal for those looking to take in the history and culture of Austria, in one of its ancient cities. From its museums to its historic structures and winding streets, lined with traditional buildings, Salzburg has the iconic alpine aesthetic that Austria is known for.

Overall, Salzburg Old Town is the best place to stay in Salzburg for first-timers because it has prime location with plenty of things to do and see nearby. If you stay here, you will be located in the heart of action, within easy walk to some of the best nightlife, shopping, and dining of the city.

If you are visiting in December, there are numerous Christmas markets and events pop up across the city. You should definitely plan ahead to make sure you can fit everything in though, however long you can stay. Now as you know all the best areas to stay in Salzburg, all you need to do is to book your accommodations and ready to go!

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