48 hours in Salzburg, Austria

Where to stay:

Luxury meets whimsy at the centrally located Hotel Goldgasse. All 16 rooms feature accents like rustic wood beams, marble-floored bathrooms, and Smeg refrigerators. Visit the Gasthof Goldgasse restaurant downstairs for traditional Austrian fare.

On the other side of the Salzach is the family-run Hotel & Villa Auersperg. Built in 1900, it has a tranquil vibe, with 55 earth-toned rooms and a garden with a fountain and lounge chairs. Take a yoga class on the roof or unwind in the hotel’s sauna.

Day 1

Ease into the day with breakfast al fresco. Savor offerings like Bircher muesli, coconut-passion fruit chia pudding, and vegetable omelettes in the garden at Glüxfall, a low-key café and bar.

Choose your adventure:

Slide 1 of 2
  • Option 1: Fitness

    This cycling-friendly city has numerous bike paths, many of them found on the banks of the Salzach. Consider a portion of the Tauern route, which stretches over 185 miles in its entirety, and goes between Bavaria and historic Austrian towns like Hallein, Golling, and Krimml. Citybike Salzburg provides round-the-clock rentals and you can join the trail from any point along the river.

  • Option 2: Culture

    Built in 1606, Mirabell Palace and Gardens is a romantic setting to explore. In the evenings, SchlossKonzerte Mirabell often presents classical music performances in the baroque Marble Hall. Go during the day to roam the grounds, which are arranged geometrically and adorned with mythology-themed statues, and take in the cherub-lined Angel Staircase.  

Comforting Austrian cuisine is best enjoyed in an atmospheric restaurant like Krimpelstätter. Seek out specials like salmon with asparagus and peas, spinach dumplings with brown butter and Parmesan, or the mixed salad with turkey. If you feel like indulging afterwards, head to Konditorei Schatz for an immersion into the city’s long-standing dessert culture. Dating from 1850, it’s known for the chocolate-covered marzipan confections called Mozartkugeln.

Dreamy artwork contrasts the minimalist décor at Paradoxon. This restaurant turns out strikingly-plated dishes like kohlrabi with lentils, spinach, and Chioggia beets, fiery Singapore-inspired chile crab, and octopus with Padrón peppers and potatoes.

No trip to Austria is complete without sampling the country’s impressive wines. Tiny, convivial Fridrich is just the place to become acquainted with bottles from local producers.

Day 2

Bright pink and bold patterns greet guests at the quirky Afro Café. Fuel up for the day ahead with date-adorned porridge or scrambled eggs with baby spinach and pomegranate-mint vinaigrette. Don’t miss the tea menu, with an extensive selection of rooibos and honeybush.

Choose your adventure:

Slide 1 of 2
  • Option 1: Fitness

    Spend the day hiking scenic trails at the Gaisberg mountain. From the city center, take a 15-minute bus ride to Valkenauerstraße, where another bus will drop you off at the Gaisberg. Walking Route 16 (just under six miles) takes approximately three hours, winding you through parkland and then, via Route 15, the former cog railway on up to the summit.

  • Option 2: Culture

    Post-World War II art is the focus at Museum der Moderne Salzburg. The two locations of this institution, Rupertinum and Mönchsberg, are about 20 minutes apart, so visit both for insightful exhibitions that span a wide range of periods and topics. Of all the majestic structures in Salzburg, Fortress Hohensalzburg is the most emblematic of the city. Although it houses museums, it’s the prince’s chambers, decked out in 16th-century furnishings, where you’ll want to spend some time.

One of the oldest inns in Salzburg, tracing its roots to 1663, is Bärenwirt. If you’re going to try the Austrian classic, Wiener schnitzel, this is the place to do it. For a lighter alternative, order the grilled trout.

Stiftskeller St. Peter claims it’s the oldest restaurant in Europe, but the menu is decidedly contemporary. Go for dinner and choose from selections like pickled vegetable salad and plaice with potato ravioli and spinach in addition to a bevy of gluten-free and vegetarian options. The traditional dessert, if you’re so inclined, is the Salzburger nockerl, a sweet dumpling served warm with powdered sugar.

Cocktail aficionados with a flair for the adventurous should round out their trip with a drink at The Jigger Bar. There’s the flaming Burning Blue, for example, which combines rum, rhubarb, olive, and marjoram and the refreshing Y2K.A with sake, carrot, coffee, fermented lime, pineapple, and cucumber.

48 hours in Milan

There are over 100 miles of cycling paths inside the city.