Like most of Austria and neighboring countries like Czech Republic and Germany, Salzburg is fairly dog-friendly. Dogs can enjoy many of the city’s popular sites, particularly since many are outdoors. Dogs can also ride public transportation and go with their owners to many of the city’s restaurants and cafes. If you’re traveling to Salzburg with a dog, here is what you can expect.
Dog-friendly activities in Salzburg
Some of Salzburg’s most well-known and visited attractions are dog-friendly, so you won’t have to sacrifice much sightseeing on account of your furry baby.
Sitting atop a hill that overlooks Salzburg and the Alps, part of Hohensalzburg Fortress is accessible with dogs. There are two ways up the castle, both of which are dog friendly. One is to walk. It’s not a long walk but it’s extremely steep, and perhaps appropriate if you have an active dog that might enjoy the exercise. The other way up and down the fortress is the funicular. The funicular allows dogs provided they are leashed and muzzled. It’s a short ride up, so even if your dog finds the muzzle excessively unpleasant, at least it’s short-lived.
Once inside the fortress, dogs are allowed pretty much everywhere that is outside, including the courtyard and restaurants of the castle. Since the fortress is fairly large and its walls wrap around a fairly vast area, the price of admission is still worth it even if you’re not going into any of the castle museums or state rooms. Alternatively, if you’re going with one or more people and your dog, the best thing to do is take turns seeing the exhibits where dogs are not allowed. Hohensalzburg offers plenty to do to take up at least a couple of hours of time, with or without your dog.
Adjacent to Mirabell Palace, the gardens featured in The Sound of Music are a gorgeous place to take a beautiful stroll in Salzburg with a dog. There are plenty of tourists, of course, but many locals bring their families and dogs to the gardens as well. The gardens have elaborate landscaping with pretty floral displays (in the warmer months of the year) as well as intricate sculptures and fountains.
Though neither dogs nor people are allowed to disturb the fancy gardens, just next to Mirabell, there is a state park, Kurgarten, where your dog can freely roam around, chase birds, and play catch. The best part is that Kurgarten overlooks the Mirabell estate so you can see the gardens and Hohensalzburg just beyond.
The banks of the Salzach River are a great spot to walk and take in the beautiful Salzburg skyline, or to lay in the grass and enjoy a sunset. Several bridges including the Love Lock Bridge (Marko-Feingold-Steg) allow you to cross from one side to the other into different areas of historic Salzburg.
Hellbrunn Palace may not be dog-friendly but you can take your dog to the massive park that surrounds it including the palace gardens as long as they’re leashed. In addition to a leash, dogs need to wear a muzzle when walking around the Trick Fountains, probably due to dogs’ proclivity to snap at unexpected streams of water. The park includes a sculpture garden, the famed Sound of Music pavilion, which served as a shooting location for scenes in the movie, a couple of viewpoints, and a dog zone where dogs can run around unleashed. Dogs are also allowed in the Salzburg Zoo, which is at Hellbrunner, but they have to be kept on a short leash and pay a small admission fee.
Though perfectly dog-friendly in that dogs can walk around everywhere, the historic center of Salzburg is probably the least “dog-friendly” activity in Salzburg in that it’s a giant pedestrian zone with little to no greenery. Nonetheless, you can take your dog around the area of the Salzburg Cathedral, Mozartplatz, and down Salzburg’s famous shopping street, Getreidegasse. The few museums located in Altstadt including Mozart’s Birthplace, are not dog-friendly.
Riding public transportation with your dog
Though much of Salzburg is largely walkable, particularly if you’re staying and exploring the city’s historic Altstadt, you can also get around Salzburg by bus or trolley. Dogs are allowed on Salzburg public transportation provided they have a muzzle and are on a short leash. Tough you probably won’t need public transportation often in Salzburg, if you’re planning to go to Hellbrunner, for instance, you’ll need to take a bus unless you have a car.
Whether or not you need to buy a transport ticket for your dog depends on what kind of ticket you are riding with. If you have an Austria or Salzburg Climate Ticket (KlimaTicket), your dog can ride for free. Since this is an annual pass, unless you live elsewhere in Austria, you will probably be riding on a single ride ticket or other short-term pass, so you will have to purchase a “Minimum Fare” ticket for your dog.
Dog-friendly restaurants in Salzburg
Luckily for you and your pup, many cafes and restaurants allow dogs. In fact, people often make you feel kind of dumb for even asking if dogs are allowed as if it should be obvious the answer is yes. Though this is not nearly an exhaustive list, some places you can wine and dine with your pup in Salzburg include:
Zwettler’s has a cozy traditional interior and the best veal schnitzel I’ve ever had. With good service and even better beer, this is a great stop in Altstadt to have a good meal with your pup in tow.
Located in the heart of city center, next to Salzburg Cathedral on Mozartplatz, this café is a great spot to sit outside and people watch or enjoy traditional Austrian food. Most people just grab a coffee or beer to get a rest from walking around.
Fresh ingredients as well as vegetarian and vegan options, this pizza place is not to be missed if you’re sick of eating Austrian food.
Vets in Salzburg
On the off chance you find yourself needing veterinary care for your dog, there are a couple of highly-rated vets in the area. As you can imagine, seeing a vet in Salzburg involves having to leave city center, which caters mostly to tourists. You can find additional vets online by looking up the German word Tierärzpraxis (veterinary practice).
Hopefully this simplifies your trip planning to Salzburg with your dog. Enjoy pawing around town!