Where to stay in Salzburg for first time: 5 Safe areas

Finding where to stay in Salzburg as a first-time visitor can be a daunting task. That’s why, in today’s article, I will help you to find safe places to stay in Salzburg for first-timers and tourists.

I’ll provide you with my recommendation for the best and safe areas to stay in Salzburg, along with a helpful map. I’ll also share where I stayed in Salzburg and suggest some of the best hotels in Salzburg for all budgets.

Before get into the detail of the main topic, let’s look at some facts about Salzburg:

Salzburg is a picturesque city located in western Austria, near the border with Germany. It is situated on the banks of the Salzach River, surrounded by the Eastern Alps, which provides a stunning backdrop to the city. 

The city has a rich history with a well-preserved historic old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is often called the City of Mozart due to its association with the famous composer. You can explore Mozart’s birthplace and residence, both of which have been turned into museums.

Salzburg is also famous for its music festivals, particularly the Salzburg Festival. This renowned event features performances of classical music, opera, and theater.

It is closely associated with the film The Sound of Music, and you can take guided tours that visit the film’s shooting locations around the city and the surrounding countryside.

Some of the must-see attractions in Salzburg are the Hohensalzburg Fortress, Mirabell Palace and Gardens, Getreidegasse shopping street, Salzburg Cathedral, and Salzburg Marionette Theater.

The name “Salzburg” means “Salt Fortress,” and the city’s history is closely tied to the salt trade. You can explore the nearby salt mines to learn more about this history. The surrounding area also offers outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and exploring beautiful lakes and mountains.

Is Salzburg safe to visit?

Yes, Salzburg is generally a safe city to visit. Violent crime is rare, and pickpocketing occur infrequently, mainly in crowded areas. As with in any city, it’s essential to keep an eye on your belongings and be aware of your surroundings, especially in the train station area.

Where to stay in Salzburg for the first time?

The best and safe areas to stay in Salzburg for first-timers and tourists are Altstadt (Old Town), Neustadt (New Town), Elisabeth Vorstadt, Maxglan, and Nonntal. These areas offer a wide variety of accommodations for all budgets and preferences.

Altstadt (Old Town) is the most popular area to stay in Salzburg for tourists who want to be in the heart of the action. Staying here puts you within walking distance from iconic sites like Mozart’s birthplace, Mirabell Palace, and the Salzburg Cathedral.  

Neustadt (New Town) and Elisabeth Vorstadt offer more budget-friendly accommodation options while still having easy access to major sights in Old Town. They are also known for their proximity to the city’s main train station and the famous Mirabell Palace.

Maxglan is a quiet residential area, making it a good choice if you prefer a quieter stay. You can find some great eco-friendly accommodation in this area, but you’ll need to use a bus or take a long walk to the city center to see attractions.

Nonntal is located just south of the Old Town and provides a peaceful and picturesque setting, with views of the Hohensalzburg Castle. It’s a pleasant place for a tranquil stay while still being close to the city center.

During my trip to Salzburg, I stayed in Old Town at the Radisson Blu Hotel Altstadt. The hotel is a very central location on the pedestrian street, within easy walk from major attractions. It offers superb breakfast and 24-hour front desk. I had a spacious comfortable room with river views.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Salzburg for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the safe areas to stay in Salzburg first time
Map of the safe areas to stay in Salzburg first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Salzburg, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Salzburg have been carefully selected by me, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

5 Safe areas to stay in Salzburg for first-timers and tourists:

1. Altstadt (Old Town)

Altstadt (Old Town) is a great choice for first-time visitors who want to fully immerse themselves in the city’s history and culture, with the convenience of being close to its most famous attractions.

Old Town is the heart of Salzburg, so staying in Old Town means you’ll be within walking distance of many of Salzburg’s most iconic and historic sites, including Mozart’s birthplace, Salzburg Cathedral, St. Peter’s Abbey, and the Hohensalzburg Castle.

Old Town is known for its narrow cobblestone streets, medieval architecture, and baroque buildings. It offers a unique and charming atmosphere, perfect for exploring on foot or by a horse-drawn carriage.

You can go shopping on the Getreidegasse which is a lively, historic street famous for its charming wrought-iron signs, narrow passageways, and Mozart’s birthplace.  

The Altstadt features several picturesque squares, including Residenzplatz, Domplatz, and Kapitelplatz. These squares often host events, markets, and outdoor cafes.

You’ll be surrounded by the city’s cultural heritage, with opportunities to attend classical music concerts, visit museums, and enjoy local cuisine at traditional Austrian restaurants.

The Old Town also offers a vibrant nightlife scene with bars, pubs, and live music venues where you can experience the local entertainment and social scene.

You’ll have the chance to enjoy scenic views of the city, including the Salzach River and the fortress on the hill.

However, keep in mind that Old Town can be crowded and touristy, and accommodations may be more expensive compared to other areas in Salzburg. Additionally, parking can be a challenge due to limited space, so if you have a car, you may need to arrange for parking in advance.

Best places to stay in Salzburg Old Town for first-time tourist:

  • Luxury ($$$): Hotel Goldener Hirsch, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Salzburg, great 5-star hotel located in Getreidegasse in Old town Salzburg, just a short walk from all the major sights such as  the Mozart’s Birthplace, Festival Hall, Cathedral, Hohensalzburg Fortress. It has superb breakfast, spacious family rooms, and private parking. 
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Elefant, popular 4-star historic hotel in central Salzburg next to the famous Getreidegasse in the heart of Salzburg’s Old Town, within walking distance from Mirabell Castle, the Hohensalzburg Fortress, and Mozart’s birthplace. It offers Very good breakfast, 24-hour front desk, and laundry services.
  • Mid-range ($$): Altstadthotel Weisse Taube, 4-star hotel, located in the heart of Salzburg’s Old Town, within walking distance from all main attractions and easy access to a bus stop for buses to go to the main train station and the airport. It has fabulous breakfast.

2. Neustadt 

The Neustadt (New Town) is a budget-friendly area on the right bank of the Salzach River from the Old Town. It offers easy access to the numerous attractions such as the Mirabell Palace & Gardens, Mozart Residence Museum, and Linzer Gasse Platzl.

Mirabell Palace and Gardens are a popular tourist destination. The gardens are known for their symmetric design and were featured in the movie The Sound of Music.

Neustadt is also close to Salzburg’s main train station, Salzburg Hauptbahnhof. This is advantageous if you plan to arrive in the city by train or if you want to take day trips to other destinations in Austria or Europe.

While Neustadt is busy, it tends to be less crowded and touristy than the Altstadt. If you prefer a slightly quieter and more local atmosphere, Neustadt offers that balance.

Best places to stay in Salzburg in Neustadt for first-time visitors:

  • Luxury ($$$): Hyperion Hotel Salzburg, popular 5-star hotel, conveniently located on Rainerstraße, within walking distance from Salzburg Central Station, Mozarteum, and the Mirabell Palace. The hotel has a tour desk and luggage storage for guests. You can catch the bus nearby to go to Hellbrunn and Untersberg cable car.
  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel am Mirabellplatz, 4-star accommodation located on Paris-Lodron-Straße in New Town, convenient location for a short walk to the Mirabell Palace, Salzburg Congress Centre, Main Train Station, and the Old Town. It offers fabulous buffet breakfast.
  • Budget ($): Gästehaus im Priesterseminar Salzburg, great 3-star guesthouse located in a Baroque building next to the Trinity Church, only  a few mins walk from Mirabell Palace and Gardens and the Old Town. It has fabulous breakfast according to nearly 3000 guests’ reviews.

3. Elisabeth Vorstadt

Similar to Neustadt, Elisabeth Vorstadt offers more choices for budget-friendly accommodation while still having easy access to the main train station, the new town, and the old town. You can find some popular and good guest houses and apartments in this area.

Best places to stay in Salzburg in Elisabeth Vorstadt for first-timers:

  • Mid-range ($$): Cocoon Salzburg, great 4-star hotel located within a short distance from Salzburg Central Station and easy access to the Old Town. You can enjoy Superb breakfast at this hotel.
  • Mid-range ($$): Levy’s Rooms & Breakfast, 4-star accommodation located only a few mins from  Salzburg Main Station, making it a great base for those traveling by train to arrive/depart. It offers very good breakfast, and family rooms. Ideal for couples.
  • Budget ($): Motel One Salzburg-Mirabell, popular 3-star hotel, located in Elisabeth-Vorstadt, on the banks of the Salzach River, within 10-15 mins walk from Mirabell Palace and Old Town. It offers a Very good breakfast, an onsite bar, and 24-hour reception.

4. Maxglan

Maxglan is a good choice if you prefer a peaceful, residential environment and are willing to trade off some immediate proximity to the Old Town for a quieter experience. It offers a balance between local life and access to the city center.

Staying in Maxglan provides you with a taste of everyday life in Salzburg. You’ll find local shops, bakeries, and cafes where you can enjoy authentic Austrian experiences.

This area is also close to Salzburg Airport (W. A. Mozart Airport) and home to the Stiegl Brewery Salzburg GmbH, a family-run brewery with brewery  tours, a cinema, and Austrian pub food.

You can find Hangar-7, an extraordinary building and  a project of the Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz, boasting a collection of aircraft, Formula 1 cars, and various art and design exhibitions. 

Maxglan doesn’t have many choices in accommodations compared to Salzburg hotel, but you can easily find quality guest houses, apartments, and villas here. 

Best places to stay in Salzburg in Maxglan for tourists:

  • Mid-range ($$): Das Grüne Hotel zur Post – 100 % BIO, popular family-run eco-friendly hotel in a quiet location called the Maxglan, offering Superb breakfast and free parking for those who drive. You can find a bus stop nearby for the bus to the center of Salzburg (5 mins away).
  • Mid-range ($$): Villa Ceconi by Das Grüne Hotel zur Post – 100% BIO, great 3-star accommodation offers modern apartments, featuring organic breakfast buffet, bicycle rental services, and charging station for electric cars.
  • Mid-range ($$): numa I Maximilian, great accommodation located on Bayernstraße, in a quiet residential area, 10-15 mins walk from bus stop to the city center.

5. Nonntal 

Nonntal, right next to the Old Town, is known for its picturesque setting, with views of the Hohensalzburg Castle and Salzach River. It offers a serene and idyllic backdrop for your stay.

This neighborhood offers a quieter and more tranquil environment compared to the Old Town, making it an excellent choice for those who prefer a more relaxed and peaceful setting.

In this area you can find Stift Nonnberg Monastery, 19th century villa Künstlerhaus, and the Unipark Nonntal rooftop terrace of the University City Salzburg offer stunning views of the Fortress Hohensalzburg.

Hohensalzburg Fortress is a medieval fortress, perched atop a hill, offers breathtaking views of the city and surrounding mountains. It’s one of the largest and best-preserved fortresses in Europe.

Nonntal is still within walking distance of the Old Town and its iconic attractions. You can easily reach the city center on foot or by using public transportation.

Best places to stay in Salzburg in Nonntal for travelers:

  • Mid-range ($$): Hotel Via Roma, great 4-star hotel located close to Hohensalzburg Castle, within 15 mins walking distance from Salzburg’s historic center and the Nonnberg Abbey. There is a bus stop nearby. It offers free private parking which is a bonus for those with a car.
  • Mid-range ($$): JUFA Hotel Salzburg City, 4-star hotel located within only a 5 mins walk from Old Town of Salzburg, offering views of Hohensalzburg Fortress and Very good breakfast.
  • Mid-range ($$): ARCOTEL Castellani Salzburg, 4-star accommodation, 15 mins walk from Old Town, featuring a rich buffet breakfast and fine-dining Restaurant.

In conclusion, Altstadt (Old Town), Neustadt , Elisabeth Vorstadt, Maxglan, and Nonntal are the best places to stay in Salzburg for first-timers and tourists. They are safe central areas that offer plenty of accommodations for all budgets and easy access to major attractions and amenities.

You can continue reading about and other destinations in Austria in these articles:

I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful. If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I'll earn a small commission if you click through and purchase something I've recommended. I only recommend products that I use myself or firmly believe in. Thank you!

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