Things to Do in Salzburg in Summer

Things to Do in Salzburg in Summer

Salzburg in summer is truly a fairytale. The city comes alive with events and celebrations as the temperatures soar and the sun beams down upon us. Sometimes, mountain summer storms crash down and it seems as though a year's worth of rain will fall in a day, but the inevitable summer heat will always return, wild and intense. This is my third summer living in Salzburg now and during this time, I have tried to experience as much as this little mountain city has to offer.

So, if you're visiting Salzburg in the summer months or you're a local and you're on the hunt for new ideas, I hope you enjoy this curated list of everything I've done in Salzburg in the summer:

1. Jump in the Almkanal

The Almkanal is perhaps my favourite local swimming spot in Salzburg, an icy-cold fast-moving canal with plenty of spots to park your bike and plop down waterside with a picnic and a book. I come as often as I can in the summer to laze along the riverbank and swim in on hot days. The Almkanal is about 18km long so there are loads of options to choose from but here is where I like to go.

jana meerman almkanal salzburg austria picnic
jana meerman almkanal salzburg austria-1
jana meerman almkanal salzburg austria-2

2. Have a picnic on the Salzach

By far one of the most popular summer activities in the city is to sit yourself down somewhere along the River Salzach and have a picnic. On a warm day, the grassy riverbanks are likely to be full of people enjoying the sun, having a snooze, sharing a meal, reading a book...

jana meerman picnic salzburg salzach
jana meerman salzburg austria salzach view (1)

3. Walk along the Monchsberg

The Monchsberg is one of the best little walks to do in Salzburg, with countless beautiful viewpoints looking at various angles of Salzburg, starting with my all-time favourite from just below the Festung Hohensalzburg and then all the way along the Monchsberg, following along the Salzach River below.

Check out my complete guide to hiking the Monchsberg here!

jana meerman monschberg salzburg (3)
jana meerman monschberg salzburg (3)

4. Hang out at Waldbad Anif

Waldbad Anif is a manmade lake just south of Salzburg in Rif. It is a pretty little spot to hang out on a hot summer day, featuring a small cafe and, if the weather is good, summer dance parties on Sundays, the legendary Sonntagstanz - keep an eye on their Instagram to see when the next one is!

jana meerman waldbad anif salzburg austria
jana meerman waldbad salzburg austria

5. Head a little further out of the city to spend a day lakeside

Salzburg is right on the border with Germany, in the middle of Austria. It is surrounded by mountains, making it seriously stunning when it comes to nature, access to adventure and pretty little lakes to discover. I've put together a complete guide with twenty of my favourite lakes near to Salzburg that I absolutely adore visiting - and they're all great for a day trip on a hot summer day.

Check out my guide to the best lakes to visit near Salzburg!

jana meerman mondsee austria-10


jana meerman attersee austria-04


6. Go on a day trip to Hallstatt

Hallstatt is Austria's truly quintessential fairytale town. The moment you arrive, you feel as though you've stepped into a picture-perfect postcard, where idyllic streets, quaint houses and absolutely breathtaking landscapes make you feel as though there's a touch of magic around every corner. If you're visiting Salzburg in the summer, you must add on a day to visit Hallstatt!

Check out my guide to visiting Hallstatt!

jana meerman hallstatt austria (19)
jana meerman hallstatt austria (19)

7. Visit the Katakombs above Petersfriedhof

For just 2 euro, you can visit the ancient Katakomben built into the rockwall overlooking Petersfriedhof, the famous baroque noble cemetery. They also filmed the scene here in the Sound of Music where the Von Trapp family hide in the cemetery from the Nazis. The Katakomben date back to the 12th century and show early signs of Christianity, plus feature some of the most photoworthy views.

jana meerman katakomben catacombs st peter friedshof salzburg austria-5
jana meerman katakomben catacombs st peter friedshof salzburg austria-5

8. Check out all the best viewpoints in Salzburg

Being a mountain city, Salzburg seems to be in abundance of beautiful viewpoints from the many bergs across the city in all different directions. I've put together a complete guide with sixteen of my favourite viewpoints in Salzburg that I love and visit often.

Check out my guide to the best viewpoints in Salzburg!

jana meerman kapuzinergberg salzburg austria viewpoint-5

Viewpoint on the Kapuzinerberg

9. Visit the Festung Hohensalzburg

The most iconic building on Salzburg's skyline, towering high above the city and along the river, is the impressive Fortress Hohensalzburg - a fortress that claims to never have been conquered (although they did hand it over to Napoleon's army at one point). Built in the 11th century, this massive complex offers museums, panoramic views and a great story of the history of Salzburg and the salt that made the city rich.

You can hike up to the top from the Kapitelplatz or you can take the much quicker and easier FestungsBahn! You can buy tickets in advance or on site when you get there.

jana meerman salzburg austria salzach view (2)

Festung Hohensalzburg seen from the Salzach

jana meerman kapuzinergberg salzburg austria viewpoint-3

Festung Hohensalzburg seen from the Kapuzinerberg

jana meerman salzburg austria (5)

View from the Festung Hohensalzburg over the city

jana meerman salzburg austria (6)
jana meerman salzburg austria (6)
jana meerman salzburg austria (6)
jana meerman salzburg austria (6)

Festung Hohensalzburg from Kapitelplatz

10. Watch outdoor cinema at the Sternenkino

Every June for ten days in the Kapitelplatz, the Sternenkino comes to Salzburg where free films are shown every day at 8pm. Food trucks are present on site so you can grab a delicious dinner and then settle into one of the many chairs for a night under the stars (and, they play no matter the weather!).

Check out the schedule here!

jana meerman sternenkino salzburg outdoor cinema

11. Attend the world famous annual Festspiele (or watch reruns at Siemens)

Salzburg is famous for its annual Festspiele, held at the Festspielehaus, bringing world-class performances to the stage. Running for six weeks every summer, you'll see people dressed to the nines for some of the best in performing arts.

Check out the schedule here!

Otherwise, you can watch reruns of previous years' performances for free on the big screen in the Kapitelplatz at the Siemens Festival!

12. Go out dancing!

Many people complain that Salzburg nightlife is non-existent. And sure, it doesn't compete with big cities, but I actually love our small night life because it doesn't get outrageously loud and unruly and there are a few really wicked clubs to go dancing in and really... a few good ones is all you need. My favourite is definitely reggaeton at Pepe's Club, and there are plenty of other choices in that same neighbourhood. Start your night with drinks at Mentor's (they do some really great virgin cocktails, too!) and then head out.

jana meerman pepe culture club salzburg


13. Go hiking

The mountains around Salzburg - both across northern Austria and in Bavaria across the border in southern Germany - are seriously otherwordly. Probably my absolute favourite summer activity of all is to be out hiking in the mountains.

Check out all my Austrian hiking guides and my German hiking guides!

jana meerman schafberg hike wolfgangsee austria (23)

Schafbergspitze above Wolfgangsee, Austria

jana meerman konigsee berchtesgaden (11)

Königssee in Berchtesgaden National Park, Germany


This little pavilion at Schlosspark Hellbrunn is most famous for being the filming location where Liesl sang her "I am 16, Going on 17" song in The Sound of Music. They actually only used this pavilion for the outdoor shots as they need a more open and larger one to get the right angles for the indoor shots, but it's still fun to twirl around it.

Check out my guide to visiting Schlosspark Hellbrunn!

jana meerman schloss hellbrunn salzburg austria-41
jana meerman schloss hellbrunn salzburg austria-41

15. Wander through the Mirabell Gardens

I visited Salzburg just once before I moved here, on a day trip with my parents in 2001 when I was five years old. My mum and I have a photo together in front of the fountain in the heart of the Mirabell Gardens and it remains a dear memory.

Mirabell, along with the Palace at the end of it, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Palace features the Marmorsaal where Mozart used to perform and where you can go watch live performances to reminisce on what it might have been like.

The gardens were also famously used as the filming location for the scene in the Sound of Music where the Von Trapp family and Maria sing "Do-Re-Mi" in their clothes converted from curtains.

jana meerman salzburg austria (3)
jana meerman salzburg austria (3)

16. It's the season for outdoor dining!

I shared lots of outdoor lunch and cafe spots in my spring Salzburg guide, but now that summer is here, it is the perfect season to dine outdoors and enjoy the warmth of the day over a delicious meal late into the evening. Salzburg has some amazing restaurants with outdoor terraces just right for the occasion.

jana meerman cafe san marco in markatplatz

Cafe San Marco

jana meerman waldbad salzburg austria food

Waldbad Anif

jana meerman steinterasse salzburg austria


jana meerman vegitalian salzburg austria


jana meerman superstanza salzburg austria


jana meerman tula bistro salzburg austria

Tula Bistro

jana meerman spicy spices salzburg austria

Spicy Spices

jana meerman kombu salzburg austria


17. Cool down with an ice cream

When it's boiling hot out, there is simply nothing for it but to beeline it to the nearest ice cream shop for a cold treat. My favourite is Moritz Eis at the end of the iconic Getreidegasse, the big shopping street in the heart of the Altstadt.

jana meerman moritz eis salzburg ice cream



salzburg summer
salzburg summer
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Jana Meerman

Hi! I’m Jana, a British-Dutch-Canadian with a dream of seeing every country in the world. I am a storyteller, photographer and adventurer passionate about documenting and sharing my travels.

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