Climb every mountain in Austria and follow the trail of Maria and the von Trapp children in the famous 1965 film, The Sound of Music. From the famous sites you’ll recognize from the film itself to the mountains surrounding beautiful Salzburg, our list of Sound of Music tours and Sound of Music locations in Salzburg will have you adding new attractions and places to your list of favourite things. For travellers looking to stay closer to home, don’t miss the Sound of Music attractions in North America. Join a Sound of Music tour like Trafalgar’s 10-day Sound of Music 2016 tour or visit these spots on your own while in Austria – we highlight the best places to visit for movie lovers and how to see it all:
This UNESCO World Heritage site is located along the Salzach River in Salzburg, home to a historic palace and gardens. You’ll spot the gardens in the Do Re Mi number in The Sound of Music, and will want to visit for picture-perfect views, architecture, and theatre in the midst. Find the exact location of the famous song by the von Trapp children and Fraulein Maria at the backside of the Mirabell castle, where the Pegasus statue stands tall. From here, run along the hedge arcade – belting out your favourite Sound of Music song – and pretend you’re in the film. Admission is free, and the Gardens can be easily accessed by public transit, which stops along the river-side of the Gardens. For travellers looking for a hassle-free vacation, you’ll visit here on the Globus Munich, Salzburg & Vienna 8-day tour.
- Best way to see it: The Mirabell Gardens are conveniently located in the centre of Salzburg, close to public transportation routes, walkways, and other popular attractions. The Gardens are included in almost all Austria tours including a stop in Salzburg, and Sound of Music walking tours, but the Palace and Gardens are easily discovered by foot on your own.
Follow the music through to Monschberg Hill, where Do Re Mi begins. Looking down the west side of the hill from the terrace, you’ll have a stunning view of Salzburg. Consider taking the Monschberg elevator up the side of the hill from the Salzburg museum, which will land you directly at the terrace on the top. For only a few Euro, the terrace is worth visiting for the view of the city alone. At the top of the hill, find the stunning Schloss Monschstein and Johannes Schlossl, stunning castles-turned-hotels. Want to hike the mountain? A staircase behind the Festival Hall runs up the hill, and the terrace can be reached within a 15-minute walk.
- Best way to see it: You won’t miss seeing Monschberg Hill once you’re in Salzburg, but the best way to see the Winkler Terrace is to experience the hill, elevator, or hike, on your own. Access the base of the hill by public transport along the main Franz Josef-Kai road.
Saint Peter’s Church Cemetery:
Though filmed in Hollywood on a set, the movie depicts the von Trapp family hiding from the Nazis in this cemetery, at the base of Monchsberg Hill. Keep your eyes peeled for Mozart’s sister Maria Anna, who is buried here.
- Best way to see it: Consider visiting the cemetery after your visit to the Winkler Terrace and Monschberg Hill, as you’ll find the cemetery and abbey at the base of the hill.
This bridge, in the city center, was built in 1903 and got it’s fame from The Sound of Music, when the von Trapps skip across it during their “Do Re Mi” number. The bridge is conveniently located in the middle of Salzburg, near a row of restaurants along the river, and not far from several museums, for a day of exploring by foot.
- Best way to see it: A walking tour (self-guided or guided) of the city will include a visit to the Mozart bridge. Don’t plan to spend too much time here, but enjoy this pedestrian bridge and the architecture and design of it.
This palace stands in as the façade facing the lake, and one of the views of the famous von Trapp family house. The pavilion in the movie is set to be in the gardens of this castle, where Liesl sings her famous “I am 16 going on 17,” but note you won’t find the pavilion at Leopoldskron today (find it at Schloss Hellbrunn). The castle is now known for its elaborate stucco works, ceiling painting, and its role in World War I and the Salzburg Seminar, meaning movie buffs and history lovers will love visiting here. For an even more personal visit, enjoy breakfast here with a private Sound of Music tour.
- Best way to see it: Because the Leopoldskron Palace is located outside the city center, it might be easiest to see this Sound of Music location on a tour. Consider the Sound of Music private tour with breakfast here to see inside the palace, or any range of Sound of Music tours in Salzburg that will point out this attraction.
This palace, where the pavilion famous from the film now stands is, is at the end of the Hellbrunner Allee: a tree-lined alleyway towards the palace – which will you recognize at the end of the row. Consider walking the full length, taking about an hour, for sights of the Salzburg University Faculty of Sciences, and other smaller castles, and the Frohnburg Castle which also served as a backdrop of the von Trapp villa in the movie. Buses do run along the row to Hellbrunn and back to the city centre for those looking to enjoy the area without tired feet!
- Best way to see it: Perhaps best visited on a Sound of Music tour, or on an old town river cruise in Salzburg that will include a stop here for the palace’s famous water fountains. Many city highlight tours should also include a stop here. Admission to the Hellbrunn Palace and its fountains are also included in the Salzburg Card, along with public transportation for those looking to access the palace on their own.
Nonnberg Nunnery, or Abbey, is considered the oldest convent in the German-speaking world, founded in 714AD. The nunnery is visible from almost all points in the city, so you won’t miss seeing it. There isn’t much at the top, so you may just want to do a quick walk or drive-by and look up the staircase for your photos of this nunnery (note: visitors aren’t allowed inside, but church services welcome the public), where the movie opens with Maria arriving late to mass, and where the song “Maria” was performed in the abbey’s courtyard. Nonnberg is still a working nunnery, so you may even spot a Maria look-a-like if you’re hanging around. In real life, Maria and Baron von Trapp married here (filmed in Mondsee).
- Best way to see it: Consider visiting on a Sound of Music tour, or visit by foot for photos. Attending mass will be an exceptional experience (and not offered through a tour), so you may want to add this to your personal walking tour of Salzburg list. Can’t make it up to the Abbey? Look up – you can’t miss a view of Nonnberg Abbey while in Salzburg.
Collegiate Church of Saint Michael in Mondsee:
Venture outside of Salzburg to Mondsee, Austria and visit the church where Maria and Captain’s wedding was filmed in The Sound of Music. Just as exciting to visit as the Sound of Music locations in Salzburg, you’ll find the two towers of this bright church standing out in the middle of town. It’s one of the most photographed churches in the world, and you won’t want to miss getting your picture perfect photo here on your Sound of Music tour.
- Best way to see it: Rent a car and drive the 16 miles east of Salzburg to Mondsee to discover this church, or opt for an easier route and visit the town on the 8-day Globus Munich, Salzburg and Vienna tour.
The Alps aren’t only about skiing. Enjoy the mountain range, that stretch through Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Slovenia, and Switzerland, with their white capped tops and beautiful trails. Drive the Salzkammergut region of the Alps from Salzburg and re-trace the dancing-through-wildflower-fields steps of Maria and the children. This region is known for its stunning views and lakes. Don’t miss Untersberg Mountain, where the von Trapps hike over to leave Austria and reach freedom. The mountain is close enough to Salzburg that you aren’t required to take a full day trip into the Alps.
- Best way to see it: The original Sound of Music private tour will take you from the movie’s filming locations right into the Alps. Take public transportation bus 840, 25, or 28 to the village of St. Leopold and then ride the Untersberg Alpine Lift Route to the top of the mountain. Keep in mind the Salzburg Card includes the cable-car at Untersberg Mountain, among other attractions around the city and public transportation.
The Trapp Family Lodge:
Visit the farmhouse where the von Trapps originally settled in Vermont after moving to the United States. This lodge, now somewhere you can spend the night, is run by the youngest child of Maria von Trapp, and family members are often on-site. Maria died here in 1987, and is buried at the Lodge, making a visit something special for many movie lovers who feel a connection to the music-loving mother, here.
- Best way to see it: Visit the Trapp Family Lodge on a northeastern states road trip, or rent a car and drive from Burlington, Vermont, just a short flight from Montreal. Consider a stop in New York City or Boston on a road trip that includes Vermont.
HOW TO GET TO SALZBURG
How do I get to Salzburg?
The Salzburg W.A. Mozart Airport is the second most popular airport in Austria, second to the capital of Vienna. Fly into either airport (Vienna is approximately 3 hours driving from Salzburg for those looking to rent a car or hire a coach), from most international gateways. From the Salzburg airport, opt for public buses, railway, or taxi to the downtown core to start your Austria vacation. To get around the city, consider one of the many Sound of Music tours hitting the hotspots for those looking to see the hills come alive, or public transport to explore the downtown core yourself and do a self-guided tour.
If you’re looking to explore countless Sound of Music sites, and explore the Alps, renting a car may be your best option – but keep in mind international driving permits are required. Roads in Austria are well-kept, making driving fairly easy.
Visiting Salzburg, and most of the main Sound of Music attractions, is also commonly done through a guided tour. Consider a tour with a stop in Salzburg for the best options and an itinerary that fits your travel needs.