With its epic mountain scenes, charming historical feel, and quaint city centre, Salzburg is easily one of Austria’s most enchanting cities. For a city that offers so many activities and experiences, there’s no need to break the bank while planning for a romantic evening; here are 11 inexpensive or free ideas to try.
Go to a free jazz gig
Jazzit, Salzburg’s most legendary music venue, is a fantastic place for a night out and it also offers many free gigs. The club hosts regular ‘electro swing’ parties as well as various blues and jazz concerts that showcase local and international talent. Furthermore, the outdoor garden and the bar—both available to enter without purchasing a ticket—is a nice to relax and have a drink or two.
Visit a Christmas Market
Snow-dusted Salzburg is a beautiful sight, and exploring the cosy Christmas markets is sure to ignite some romance. Even if the date doesn’t involve buying any gifts, it’s fun to browse with a beer or a mug of glühwein and drink in the festive atmosphere. One of the best and most famous is Christkindlmarkt, a picturesque traditional market in Cathedral Square.
Explore the art scene
Although surprising given its initial antiquated aesthetic, Salzburg has a surprisingly interesting contemporary-art scene. While most of the galleries charge an entrance fee, find work by Salzburg’s most famous street artists, Jana & JS, along Steingasse. Alternatively, the Krauthügel Project offers different artwork every year during the summer.
Take a walk around St. Sebastian’s Cemetery
Although it sounds gloomy, this ancient grave yard has a romantic charm. Built way back in 1502, this decaying yet elegant burial ground is the resting place of some of Austria’s most revered residents. Although the composer himself isn’t buried here, Mozart’s mother, father, and sister were all buried in this cemetery. Terrifically spooky, the well-manicured grounds will be great for exploring and discovering some unique and interesting landmarks together.
Go to the gardens of the Schloss Mirabell
The Schloss Mirabell is well known for being a place of passion—many weddings are held on the grounds and in the magnificent marble hall (often cited as ‘one the most beautiful wedding venues in the world’) every year. It’s not hard to see why it’s a popular venue for romantic affairs thanks to the garden with flowers of every colour blooming and the marble hall is adorned with cherubs and an ‘angel staircase.’ It makes for a charming place for a date no matter the stage of the relationship.
Wander around Old Town
There are several sites to see for free in the city’s Old Town. A UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, it is one of Salzburg’s most romantic and charming areas. After strolling around the sites, grab a coffee and slice of cake to share at Café Tomaselli.
Café Tomaselli, Alter Markt 9, Salzburg, Austria, +43 662 844 4880
Swim and sunbathe by Lake Fuschl
Take a bus or drive half an hour out of the city to Lake Fuschl, a pretty little spot with four beautiful beaches and a mountainous backdrop. Enjoy a day of swimming and sun bathing in the glittering emerald waters. The surrounding areas are also wonderful for a romantic stroll.
Salzburg is famous for being a great destination for hikes. Get the blood pumping and go for a trek around one of the many routes around the city. Alternatively, those who aren’t quite ready for a long walk alone together can simply take the Untersberg Lift to the top of the city’s most famous mountain and drink in the glorious views.
Free cinema nights take place in Chapter Square every year as part of the Siemens Festival. This five-day film bonanza is one of Europe’s largest public viewing events and always promises a great night out. Romantic views of Salzburg Cathedral and Hohensalzburg Fortress are in the background, and several food stands are dotted around, so grab a (generally inexpensive) bite to eat and enjoy a movie or two. The festival runs annually from June-August.
Watch the sun set on the Mönchsberg Cliffs
Take the Mönchsberg Aufzug up to the cliffs to the most stunning panorama terrace in Salzburg—a perfect place to drink a few cans and watch the sun set over the city below.
Walk around Glanspitz
Talk a stroll through the streets of the recently renovated area of Glanspitz, now kitted out with a lovely landscape garden and rivers, a football pitch, water gardens, fruit trees, and picnic grounds. Public BBQs are allowed, so grab a portable grill and serve up some sausages on a warm summer’s day.