Getting Around Salzburg
Walking, biking, fiakers and public transportation are the best ways to get around Salzburg. Many of the city's attractions are found in the Altstadt neighborhood, which means many are within walking distance of one another. For short distances, bicycling is a viable option as well. Within the city, fiakers, or horse-drawn carriages, are also a fun way to get around. There are plenty of taxis available throughout the city as well. But if you're interested in venturing outside of the historic city center, Salzburg's BusTaxi and railway are ideal. And for getting to and from Salzburg Airport, bus routes Nos. 2, 8 and 27 routinely stop at the airport and near Altstadt. Regional bus fares start at 1.80 euros (about $1.95) per ride.
One of the best ways to take in Salzburg's famous Baroque architecture while getting to and from many of its iconic attractions is to walk. You'll find several of the city's top sites — like the Salzburg Museum, Dom zu Salzburg and Mozarts Geburtshaus — within steps of one another in Altstadt, Salzburg's historic city center.
Although cycling may not be ideal during the winter months, getting around by bike is extremely convenient in Salzburg. With more than 105 miles of bike paths and 5,500 bike parking spaces throughout the city, it's no wonder Salzburg consistently ranks as the top bicycle-friendly city in Austria. In addition to bike tours, many of the area's hotels offering complimentary use of bikes or on-site bike rentals. Visitors also have access to a free bicycle route planner provided by the city. Plus, travelers can rent electric bikes, which are available at 10 stations throughout Salzburg (prices vary depending on the company or hotel).
If you want to get around Salzburg much like Austrian archbishops once did, consider hiring a fiaker. These horse-drawn carriages can be hired from Alstadt's Residenzplatz square to take up to four people to many of the city's top attractions. To hire a fiaker, which are available from 10 a.m. until 4 or 9 p.m. (depending on the season), expect to pay 44 euros (roughly $48) per 25-minute ride or 88 euros (about $95) for every 50-minute ride.
|Bus and BusTaxi||
To venture long distances or outside of Salzburg, plan on taking the bus or BusTaxi. All bus services offer multiple stops within and outside of Salzburg (including to Salzburg Airport and the local train station), making it an ideal way to get around the area. And because the BusTaxi operates late at night (11:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. during weekdays and 3 a.m. on weekends), you won't have to worry about being stranded after a night out on the town. Bus fares start at 1.80 euros (about $1.95), while the BusTaxi will set you back 4.50 euros (about $5) per ride. However, if you have a Salzburg Card, all city buses are complimentary to ride.
|S-Bahn and Salzburger Lokalbahn||
For traveling to other Austrian cities and across the German-Austrian border, travelers can take the S-Bahn or Salzburger Lokalbahn trains. The S-Bahn offers trains that depart every hour 24 hours a day, while Salzburger Lokalbahn trains run from about 5 to 2 a.m. daily. And because all public transit is incorporated into one system in Salzburg, single and 24-hour transit tickets can be used on any form of public transportation, including buses, S-Bahn trains and Salzburger Lokalbahn lines (as long as you're traveling within designated Salzburg zones). If you have a Salzburg Card, you'll be able to ride the Salzburger Lokalbahn line to Acharting for free.
Taxis are easy to find in Salzburg, but you should only use them when necessary since fares can quickly add up. The starting fare is about 3.10 euros (roughly $3.36), with every additional kilometer costing between 1.35 and 1.90 euros (approximately $1.46 to $2.06). At night and on holidays, taxi drivers charge an additional fee for their services. To ensure a fair rate, agree on a fare before getting into a cab and talk to your hotel concierge about what the typical rate is to and from various sites.
Much like other Austrian cities, Salzburg's streets are narrow and its parking spaces limited, so using a car in Salzburg isn't recommended. However, should you opt to rent a set of wheels, there are some parking options available. Some streets feature automatic ticket machines, which allow you to park for up to three hours for 3.90 euros (about $4.23); Saturday street parking is free. But keep in mind that street parking is extremely limited and is only available during certain hours (9 a.m. to 7 p.m. during weekdays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays). In addition to street parking, the area also features three park-and-ride lots just outside of the city, and several of Salzburg's attractions have on-site parking lots as well. While rates vary depending on the lot, park-and-ride options start at 1 euro (about $1.08) per hour or 4.50 euros ($4.88) for the day.
Rental car companies can be found on the ground level of Salzburg Airport's car park, as well as near the city's train station. Do note that cars rented at the airport will likely incur an airport surcharge fee. To rent a car in Salzburg, you will need your passport and an international driving permit.
Entry & Exit Requirements
For visits up to 90 days, U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter Austria. If you plan on staying longer, proper visa documentation — which can be obtained from the Austrian Embassy — must be completed prior to departure. A passport that is valid for at least three months after your return is also required. For more entry and exit requirements for Austria, visit the U.S. State Department's website.
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