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Where to Stay in Salzburg: Best Areas & Hotels, 2018

Salzburg's old town is split into two halves by the Salzach River, but thanks to three footbridges, it is easy to walk to most of the top tourist attractions and explore the entire city by foot. The north side includes the Linzergasse shopping district, the Mozart Museum, and Mirabell Palace and Gardens, with the train station on the outer edge. In the southern section of the old town, you will find University Square, landmark churches and cathedrals, Residenzplatz, and Mozart's birthplace, among other sights. Because of the city's narrow streets and numerous pedestrian-only areas, those with their own vehicle may find that walking or public transportation is the best way to get to most places.

Where to Stay for Luxury

Salzburg skyline
Salzburg skyline
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Tucked in the narrow streets of the southern section of the old town, among the shops of Getreidegasse, the 600-year-old Hotel Goldener Hirsch, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Salzburg is a favorite spot for celebrities visiting the historic city's nearby sights, like University Square, Residenzplatz, and Mozartplatz. The staff provides five-star service, including a knowledgeable concierge and room service, and amenities include a restaurant, business center, and airport transportation. The hotel and its rooms are furnished with antiques and decorated with fine tapestries that add to the rich character of this historic building.

The Hotel Goldgasse is fully updated with the latest technology but has retained its old-world charm in the wide exposed beams, muraled walls, and original stone steps. Each room is individually decorated in its own theme and includes a mini-fridge and coffee maker. The breakfast here is one of the best you will find anywhere. The Goldgasse is located in the heart of the old town, just a block from Market Square and a short walk to Salzburg Cathedral, Michaelskirche, and the Glockenspiel.

The Sheraton Grand Salzburg is conveniently located just three blocks from the train station and only two blocks from the waterside promenade. This five-star hotel has an on-site restaurant and spa, plus a fully equipped fitness center.

Where to Stay: Mid-Range

Mirabell Palace
Mirabell Palace
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The family-owned Stadtkrug Hotel has a prime location on Linzergasse, Salzburg's premier shopping street on the northern side of town. This pedestrian-only route runs along Kapuzinerberg park and is filled with high-end boutiques and restaurants, although you will want at least one meal on-site - the house chef's organic Highland beef is unsurpassed. Updates to this 800-year-old building have kept the original structure intact, including exposed wooden beams and stone archways, and the owners have taken care to retain its ambience with classic and tasteful décor.

A few blocks north, the Hotel & Villa Auersperg is only a 10-minute walk to the Mozart Residence and Museum, and it takes about 35 minutes to get from the hotel to the top of the Kapuzinerberg trail, where you can look out over the entire city. It has a sleek, modern feel and offers spa services, a rooftop terrace, peaceful backyard with a garden, and a game room. The hotel is dedicated to sustainable and eco-friendly practices, including the use of local organic produce at the in-house restaurant.

The Crowne Plaza Hotel Salzburg - The Pitter also has a restaurant and spa, as well as a fitness center with a pool and sauna, which has beautiful mountain views. Although located on the far side of town by the train station, it is just a few minutes' walk from Mirabell Palace and on the same block as the tourist office; most of Salzburg's commercial tour companies meet along this same street. From the hotel, you can reach the Mozart Museum in 10 minutes on foot and the other side of the old town via footbridge in around 20 minutes.

Where to Stay on a Budget

Salzburg Cathedral
Salzburg Cathedral
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On the southern side of Salzburg, the Star Inn Hotel Salzburg Zentrum has basic but tidy rooms in a residential neighborhood near the old city gate, Sigmundstor. It is about ten minutes via pedestrian tunnel to attractions, including Mozart's birthplace and the Franciscan church.

The family-run Pension Adlerhof has a simple elegance that you would not expect in a budget lodging, and has several room options, from very basic to fully equipped apartment-style suites for longer stays. Near the train station, it is an ideal starting point for excursions to Salzburg's surrounding attractions, such as Hallstatt, the Ice Caves, Untersberg, and the Salt Mines. Breakfast is complimentary, and there is a limited number of free parking spaces available.

At the northern tip of Kapuzinerberg park, MEININGER Hotel Salzburg City Center is close to a bus stop where you can catch a five-minute ride to the attractions. What it lacks in location is made up for in affordability and splendid views from the rooftop terrace. Rooms are clean and modern, and in addition to an in-house restaurant there is a small guest kitchen. A coin-operated washer/dryer is available, and snacks - including Ben & Jerry's ice cream - are sold in the lobby.

Where to Stay for Families

Horse and carriage, Salzburg
Horse and carriage, Salzburg
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For a luxury family vacation, the Hotel Sacher Salzburg provides five-star service and has a nearly perfect location that is central to both halves of the city. Overlooking the river, the hotel is just steps from the Kaipromenade (river walk) and the Makartsteg pedestrian bridge and just a couple of blocks from several dozen restaurants, shopping, and some of the top attractions. It is a stunning landmark property, opulent and lavish, known for hosting celebrities and musicians. Suites and family rooms are available, and services include babysitting, room service, airport transportation, concierge, and a chic spa.

For a more low-key experience, the privately owned Haus Wartenberg is a quiet hotel where families - including the furry four-legged kids - are welcome. Rooms are spacious, and there are family suites available. A generous breakfast spread is included in the room price, as well as parking. Extras like babysitting and laundry service are available at an additional charge.

Where to Stay for Romance

Salzburg in summer
Salzburg in summer
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For a fairy-tale romantic getaway, the Hotel Schloss Monchstein will provide the ambience and setting. Housed in a castle-like mansion near the Museum of Modern Art, rooms are furnished with antiques, and the private event rooms are available for special moments, including civil marriage ceremonies in the Gothic Chamber. Amenities include an outdoor heated pool and hot tub, a spa and fitness center, airport transportation, free parking, and an intimate restaurant that claims to be the smallest in the world.

In the center of the pedestrian zone and just steps from Old Market Square, Hotel Am Dom is less than five minutes on foot to Mozart Bridge, which crosses the river to the rest of the city's main attractions. Rooms look down onto the narrow old town streets, or across the neighboring Residenzplatz, and feature ceilings of traditional exposed wooden beams, original artwork, and a luxurious soaking tub.

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