Salzburg Disabled Access Review
By John Sage
When people ask me what my favorite destinations are in Europe I separate it into three questions:
- What are my favorite destinations for a first time visit?
- What are my favorite destinations for a repeat visit?
- Where could I see myself living?
When it comes to Salzburg, it appears near the top of the list for all three questions! Salzburg without a doubt is one of my favorite destinations in Europe, and Salzburg disabled access is good enough that wheelchair users, mobility scooter users, and slow walkers can enjoy it just as much as I have.
While visiting the old city center of Salzburg makes for a great experience by itself, disabled visitors to Salzburg should make sure that they allocate some time for day trips to the outstanding destinations outside of Salzburg: the quaint lakeside town of Hallstatt, Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest, and various mountain towns and lakes.
For first-time disabled visitors to Salzburg, I recommend a minimum of 5 days:
- Day 1 – In the morning, take an accessible walking tour of the old town to get your bearings and learn about the fascinating history of the city. In the afternoon, take some time to explore the churches, palaces, and museums.
- Day 2 – Take a driving tour of the Eagle’s Nest and the surrounding sights near Berchtesgaden
- Day 3 – Check out of your accessible hotel. Take a driving tour of the Sound of Music sights and the mountains and lakes located east of Salzburg. At the end of the tour, have the driver drop you off in the town of Hallstatt. Check into an accessible hotel in Hallstatt. Enjoy the evening in Hallstatt after the tourist buses leave.
- Day 4 – Spend the day relaxing in Hallstatt.
- Day 5 – Take an accessible transfer back to the train station or airport in Salzburg.
Best Aspects of Salzburg Disabled Access
Small Old Town – The historic, charming city center of Salzburg is not very big and is fairly easy to walk/roll around. On the map on the right, the red arrow indicates the 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) length of the old town.
Few curbs in Old Town – The old town of Salzburg is nestled between the river to the northeast and the mountain to the southwest. Very few cars are allowed in the old town. Most areas of the old town are flat with no curbs or sidewalks.
Moderate not severe cobblestones – Like many other city centers in Europe, the old town of Salzburg (and some areas of the new town located across the river) have cobblestones. Fortunately for wheelchair users and mobility scooter users, most of these cobblestones are mild/moderate rather than severe.
Some examples of the cobblestones in Salzburg are shown below. The mild cobblestones on the left are located near the Salzburg Museum. The paving stones shown on the right are located near Mozart’s Birthplace.
Most of Salzburg is flat – Salzburg disabled access if generally flat in many areas of the old town, the new town (shown below on the left) and the outskirts (shown below on the right…can you hear Maria von Trapp singing on this road?)
Outstanding day trips – No visit to Salzburg is complete without day-trips to the Eagle’s Nest and the towns Hallstatt, St. Gilgen, and Mondsee. Photos, a map, and a video of these locations are shown below.
Easy train rides to other destinations – Disabled visitors to Salzburg can take an accessible train to other great destinations including Zurich, Munich, Prague, Vienna, and Venice. Be sure to book disabled assistance in advance.
Most Challenging Aspects of Salzburg Disabled Access
Some steep areas near and on the mountain – While much of Salzburg is flat, the town is surrounded by mountains in most directions. These mountains provide excellent viewpoints, but getting to them can involve some steep hills.
Can be difficult to find accessible bathrooms – One of the most challenging aspects of Salzburg disabled access is that there are few accessible bathrooms in the old town. In order to avoid frustration, disabled visitors to Salzburg should map out the bathrooms they plan to use before they arrive.
Severe cobblestones and hills in cemetery – The famous Petersfriedhof cemetery (site of a key scene in Sound of Music) has some severe cobblestones and small hills.
Extremely limited accessibility in Old Town Hotels– Old Town Salzburg is the most charming and most convenient neighborhood to stay in.
Limited public transportation routes for tourists – While accessible public transportation does exist in Salzburg, it doesn’t connect many of the tourist attractions. As I mentioned before, the city center is primarily a pedestrian zone, so visitors will end up walking/rolling most of the time.
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