The Best Castles near Salzburg

You can find many castles in and around Salzburg. This is because Austria has a rich history of royalty and aristocracy. And lucky for us, many castles and palaces in and around Salzburg have been preserved.

Salzburg is Austria second largest city. It is the birthplace of musical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. And the historic city center “the Altstad” is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

There is no shortage of beautiful buildings you can visit in and around Salzburg. And in this post you will find the best castles in the Salzburg area that you can visit.

From one of the oldest fortresses in Europe to a palace made famous by The Sound of Music. Salzburg has a rich variety if historic Palaces and Castles for you to enjoy.

Castles and Palaces in Salzburg

The city of Salzburg offer multiple castles and palaces that you can visit. And because Salzburg is a compact city, they can all be reached on foot. But don’t worry, Salzburg also offers a very good public transport system if you prefer that.


Hohensalzburg Fortress

The Fortress stands proud atop the Festungsberg in the center of Salzburg. The built of the Hohensalzburg Fortress started in 1077 for the Prince-Archibishops of Salzburg. This makes Hohensalzburg Festung one of the oldest but also one of the best kept fortresses in Europe.

From the 19th century the fortress have undergone refurbishments and therfor it became one of the most popular tourist attractions in Austria.

In the 20th century, the Fortress was used as a prison. First for Italian prisoners of war during World War I. And later it became a prison for Nazi activists before Germany’s annexation of Austria in March 1938.

From the Salzburg city center it is a short climb to reach the fortress. But you can also take the Festungsbahn to the fortress if you prefer not to walk.

Salzburg Residenz

The Salzburg Residenz is located in the old town of Salzburg called Altstad. As I mentioned above, the Altstad is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a wonderful place to spend time in.

The Salzburg Residenz was a bishop’s palace. And the Renaissance appereance of the Palace is thanks to Archbishop Wolf Dietrich Raitenau.

The Baroque features in the facade and interiors were added by Raitenau’s successor. And the Baroque fountain is the largest outside Italy. 

view from the Salzburg Residenz

Today you can take a tour of the DomQuartier in which you’ll find the Salzburg Residenz. With a ticket you can visit the State Rooms and galerie of the Salzburg Residenz. The Cathedral Museum and the Cathedral’s organ, from where you’ll have a beautiful view of the church. And the St. Peters Museum.

Mirabell Palace and Garden


The Mirabell Palace was built in 1606 by prince-archbishop Wolf Dietrich for him and his mistress Salome Alt. His successor Mark Sittich von Hohenems gave the Palace his current name from Italianmirabilebella: “amazing”, “wonderful”.

Between 1721-1727 the palace was rebuilt in Baroque style. And the current Neoclassical appereance dates back from 1818 when the palace was restored after a blaze.

The Mirabell gardens were designed in the 18th-century and houses many statues inspired by Greek myths. The Palace and garden can also be seen in The Sound of Music.

Schloss Hellbrunn


A few kilometers south of the city (but easily reached by bus) stands Hellbrunn Palace. The palace was built between 1613-1619 by Markus Sittikus von Hohenems.

He spend many years in Italy and wanted to create a palace in Italian design. And this early Baroque style can still be seen today because Hellbrunn Palace has undergone no style changes throughout the years.

The gardens are famous for their jeux d’eau. These watergames were conceived by Markus Sittikus to entertain his noble guests and are still a big tourist attraction today.

There’s a large park surrounding the Palace that you can visit free of charge. You will also find the famous Sound of Music garden room at Hellbrunn Palace.

Castles Near Salzburg

The area surrounding Salzburg also offers wonderful castles that you can visit.

Burg Finstergrün

Finstergrün Castle is a Medieval castle in the state Salzburg. In the 19th century the castle had fell into ruin. But in 1899 Count Sándor Szapary bought Burg Finstergrün. And he restored the castle and turned it into a home.

Todat the castle can be visited for a tour. And in the Summer months the castle also offers childrens activities.

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Burg Hohenwerfen

Hohenwerfen Castle is a “sister” to the Hohenwerfen Fortress we’ve seen earlier in this article. Burg Hohenwerfen is a Medieval rock castle overlooking the town Werfen.

Today, the castle is a popular tourist attraction. You can see the 900 year history of the fortified castle. And it is especially popular for families with children. The castle offers demonstrations, guided tours for adults and children, a quiz for children and special exhibitions.

Transport yourself back to the Middle Ages at Hohenwerfen Castle. And discover the castle’s secret spots and surround yourself with history.

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Schloss Moosham

Moosham Castle is a medieval “sput castle” near Unternberg in the Salzburg region. The castle is first documented in 1191. And in 1285 Moosham Castle was seized by the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg.

From 1495 the castle has been rebuilt and extended by Prince-Archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach. With later becoming the administrative seat of the Lungau region.

Today the castle is privately owned. But the extensive art collection of former resident Count Johann Nepomuk Wilczek can be visited.

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Schloss Anif

photo: Pixelcreatures

Located beside the artificial pond Anif stands Anif Palace or also know as the Water Palace Anif. .

The Palace is first mentioned in 1520. But between 1838-1848 the palace was rebuilt by Alois Count Arco-Stepperg in a romantic Gothic style. The Palace was once the seat of the Bishops of Chiemsee, but it was also used as a court.

The castle can be seen in multiple films such as The Sound of Music and The Great Race. Today the palace is privately owned but you can spot in from the other side of the lake.

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