Schloss Hellbrunn (Hellbrunn Palace)

#5 in Best Things To Do in Salzburg
Schloss Hellbrunn (Hellbrunn Palace) picture
Nik Rogul/Getty

Key Info

Furstenweg 37

Details

Castles/Palaces, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.1

scorecard

  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Although "The Sound of Music"was shot at a handful of places throughout Salzburg, the movie's gazebo scene, where Liesl and Rolf sang "Sixteen Going on Seventeen," was filmed at Schloss Hellbrunn. But even without the cult movie's following, travelers say this palace would still be enormously popular. The simple exterior hides exquisitely decorated rooms, ballrooms and halls (check out the octagonal music room). Here, you'll preview the lives of Salzburg's archbishops, the former religious and political rulers of the region who built its palaces.

Immaculately maintained, the gardens have stolen much of the thunder from the actual house. This 17th-century palace is the only royal estate in the world that will squirt you with water if you aren't looking. The Wasserspiele, or trick fountains, send streams of cool water at visitors from humorously placed jets — an archbishop's idea of a joke. So if you're not looking to get wet, make sure to wear a poncho while wandering the gardens.

Schloss Hellbrunn sits on a hilly perch about 5 miles outside Salzburg. It's open from 9 a.m. to 4:30, 5:30 or 9 p.m., depending on the month. However, keep in mind that the palace and gardens are closed from November to March due to the colder weather. Regular admission costs about 12.50 euros (or roughly $14), with discounts for students and children. The Salzburg Card is valid at this attraction.

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#1 Dom zu Salzburg (Salzburg Cathedral)

A giant monument to this city's religion, power and wealth, Dom zu Salzburg awes visitors with its turquoise domes and towering facade. Built, burned and re-built multiple times in the past millennia, the current structure — which came in the 1940s and 50s after the roof suffered damage from World War II — demonstrates the pinnacle of early Baroque ecclesiastical architecture.

During your visit, pay particular attention to the structure's smaller details — such as the statues of apostles Peter and Paul at the front or the individual murals on the copulas — to appreciate its supreme craftsmanship and ornamentation. And music lovers will appreciate the cathedral's prominence in Mozart's life: The building served as the location of the musical prodigy's baptism, as well as where some of his pieces were composed during his time as an organist.

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