Salzburg, Austria, looks like a destination plucked straight out of a fairy tale. From the skyline filled with church spires and old buildings to the narrow streets and charming storefronts, it’s not hard to fall in love with this picture-perfect city – especially if you visit when it’s all dressed up for the holidays.
Regardless of the time of year you choose to visit Salzburg, there’s something for everyone to see and enjoy in the city – teenagers included. While they may not be the easiest group of travelers to please, you’ll find plenty of things to see and do in Salzburg that are perfect for teens – and the rest of the family, too!
Planning a trip to Salzburg with teenagers? Here are a few things you’ll want to check out together while you’re there:
TOUR THE EAGLE’S NEST
The Eagle’s Nest is one of Hitler’s former mountain hideaways, and it’s well worth a visit when you’re in Salzburg. However, it isn’t actually situated in the city proper, but still reachable in under an hour, thanks to a local train and bus service that’ll take you to Berchtesgaden, the nearest stop. Once you’re there, it’s easy to see why Hitler chose this spot – perched atop a mountain, you’re treated to incredible, 360-degree views of the Alps mountain range.
Unlike many buildings in Germany, the Eagle’s Nest wasn’t damaged during the war, making this a nearly pristine example of what folks would’ve seen in the ’40s. You can tour the inside and check out the various rooms of the Eagle’s Nest, where many important meetings once occurred. You can also grab a bite to eat at the onsite restaurant while you’re there.
While you can absolutely experience the Eagle’s Nest on your own, a guided tour can help you make the most of your experience and alleviate any concerns if you aren’t confident in your abilities to navigate the local bus system!
EXPERIENCE HELLBRUNN PALACE
Built to be a place for the princes of Salzburg to escape and relax, the Hellbrunn Palace is now a favorite for locals and tourists looking to take a break and explore. Sign up for an audio tour of the palace and explore the various rooms and chambers, learning about the lives of those who vacationed there along the way.
While the palace itself is a stunning piece of architecture, save some time for the palace grounds – the real star of the show. Unlike many of the parks built around the same time, which valued symmetry, straight lines, and well-manicured grounds, the Hellbrunn gardens embraced a more natural look and feel, preserving the surrounding forest. And the highlight of the whole thing? The fountains. Hellbrunn is known for its trick fountains, which are sure to delight visitors young and old – including your teenagers!
CHECK OUT HANGAR-7 AT THE SALZBURG AIRPORT
Most of the time, when you’re on vacation, you’re trying to spend as little time at the airport as possible. That’s not the case in Salzburg. There, the airport is home to Hangar-7, the home of the Flying Bulls – the Red Bull fleet of trick planes.
Hangar-7 holds exhibits that highlight some of the death-defying feats people have performed under the Red Bull brand. Witness the pod Felix Baumgartner used in 2017 when he leaped from the capsule and descended 40 kilometers back to earth, as well as the wingsuit he used to soar across the English Channel. You’ll also find lots of Red Bull Racing cars, vehicles designed to push the limits of what drivers can handle.
Teens – and the whole family – will enjoy experiencing these exhibits up close and learning about the different ways the Red Bull team have truly tested the limits of human potential. And if you get hungry? There are a few different dining options onsite, making it the perfect spot to stop for lunch.
TAKE A SALT MINE TOUR
For a one-of-a-kind experience, you won’t replicate anywhere else, plan a trip to the Hallein Salt Mines. These mines were first excavated over 2,500 years ago, and they’ve been open to visitors for the last 400 years, hosting nearly five million explorers since that time.
When you arrive, you’ll get to put on a pair of overalls – designed to protect your clothing and keep you warm as you navigate the chilly mind! Slide down the old miner’s slide to begin your tour of the salt mines, where you’ll learn about the significance of this subterranean salt source. The tour itself lasts just over an hour, during which you’ll sail across an underground salt lake and learn all there is to know about the history of the mine.
While learning about salt might not sound like a blast, trust me – you’ll all be surprised by how much fun you have!
EXPLORE ALSTADT, SALZBURG’S OLD TOWN
One of the best things you can do when you’re in Salzburg costs absolutely nothing at all! You can’t say you’ve experienced Salzburg without spending some time in Altstadt, the city’s Old Town. The whole family will fall in love with this UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is filled with many of Salzburg’s most historically significant monuments, museums, churches, and palaces.
Wander through the narrow alleys, streets, and lanes, which are lined with local shops, restaurants, and other gems to explore. Let yourself get lost among the winding streets, or map out an itinerary that takes you and your family past the city’s most important buildings – there’s no wrong way to enjoy Altstadt.
It’s a great spot to pick up some souvenirs, stop for a coffee or a sweet treat, or people-watch.
Going on vacation with teens might feel like a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be – especially when you’re visiting Salzburg. There’s so much to see and do here, virtually anyone will have fun in this Austrian city. As long as you take your teens into consideration when planning your trip and incorporate some fun, teen-friendly activities into your agenda, you’ll be guaranteed to have a great time.
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