Salzburg: Our favorite free (and cheap) activities

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St. Peter's Church in Salzburg, Austria
The organ in St. Peter's Church. Photo by NH53.

The hills may be alive with The Sound of Music in Salzburg, but there’s plenty to do that doesn’t involve Mozart and the Von Trapp family. For a trip down the less-touristy path, follow our tips on the best cheap (and free) activities in this stately Austrian city.

Toy Museum
Bürgerspitalgasse 2
Tel.: +43-662-62 08 08-300
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday (open Mondays in July, August and December)
Admission: €3

To every city’s expensive modern art museum, there is a cheaper, quirkier collection to check out. Enter Salzburg’s Spielzeugmuseum (Toy Museum), home to Austria’s largest collection of European toys. If you’re a die-hard toy train fan, you’ll find plenty to feast your eyes on; if not, the inoffensive €3 admission is worth it for a chuckle.

If you have children in tow, make sure to stop for one of the Punch and Judy shows, offered every Tuesday and Wednesday at 3 p.m. Check the museum’s Web site for a complete list of children’s programs.

Museum of Historical Musical Instruments
Bürgerspitalgasse 2
Tel.: +43-662-62 08 08-300
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday (open Mondays in July, August and December)
Admission: €3 (or free with admission to the Toy Museum)

Hangar-7 in Salzburg, Austria

Hangar-7. Photo: Strizale

If you visit the Toy Museum, your ticket is also valid for admission to the Museum of Historic Musical Instruments. If the centuries-old pianos start giving you déjà vus of the exhibit at Mozart’s House, check out the collection of audio samples demonstrating the ancient instruments’ sounds.

St. Peter’s Church and Catacombs
Sankt Peter Bezirk 1
Tel.: +43 -662-844576
Hours: Open daily from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Admission: Free (€1 to visit the Catacombs)

The self-proclaimed “oldest cloister in the German-speaking world,” St. Peter’s Church dates back to 696. (The church also boasts the oldest library in Austria.) Visiting the church is free, so stop by to admire the Baroque-style ceilings or to catch a performance on the church’s organ.

Outside, St. Peter’s Cemetery houses centuries-old tombstones. For €1, visitors can access the Christian catacombs in the cliff face above the cemetery.

Schloss Mirabell
Mirabellplatz 4
Tel.: +43-662-80722334
Hours: 8 a.m.-4 p.m (Monday to Thursday), 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (Friday)
Admission: Free

One of Salzburg most photographed attractions is also free to visit! Schloss Mirabell is as elegant as can be, with marble statues, grand hallways and perfectly manicured gardens stretching in all directions. The palace was built under Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau as a present for his concubine Salome Alt.

Nowadays, Schloss Mirabell is best known for being a coveted place to tie the knot; couples must reserve their weddings here at least a year in advance. The palace also offers a concert series, though attending a performance is not free.

Hangar-7
Salzburg Airport
Wilhelm-Spazier-Str. 7A
Tel.:+43-6620-2197
Hours: Open daily from 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
Admission: Free

Located near the Salzburg airport, Hangar-7 is a restaurant and bar complex that also houses “The Flying Bulls” aircraft. While the aircraft exhibit—complete with large Red Bull logos stenciled on each plane’s side—smacks of sponsorship, Hangar-7 does showcase some interesting work from a variety of international artists. Though Hangar-7’s dining options come with a hefty price tag, stopping by to gaze at the art (and marvel at the super-modern building) is completely free.

About the author

Sarah Silbert

About the author: Sarah joined the EuroCheapo team as an intern while studying languages and writing and Sarah Lawrence College. Upon graduating, she became a listings editor (and occasional hotel reviewer). She’s currently contemplating a move to Berlin, her favorite European city.

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