Our Gay Salzburg Travel Guide
Gay Salzburg Travel Guide: Salzburg Gay Travel Guide Austria: The month of May was the time for us to travel to Salzburg, the fourth-biggest city in Austria. The city of Salzburg is located just by the German border and is parted by the river Salzach into a north-eastern and south-western part. The Austrian city with its Hohensalzburg fortress and its well-preserved Baroque city center that was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site was for us simply beautiful, especially because of its surrounding mountain ranges of the Alps and the traditionally strong connection to nature. The majority of you will know Salzburg from the story of the American musical drama film “The Sound of Music” about the Trapp Family that was filmed in Salzburg in 1965 starring Julie Andrews. And of course, we have to mention the music genius, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as Salzburg was his birthplace in 1756 and the place for his creative work for the first part of his life.
We traveled to Salzburg by flying directly to Munich with KLM and taking a train from there to Salzburg. Already the train ride was a stunning experience through picturesque Bavarian villages, wide meadows with cows and sheep, and the raising height of the majestic Alpine mountains. The first thing to do was a gay guided tour of the most important parts of the city of Salzburg and familiarizing with the customs of the local LGBT community with our tour guide Roman. The next days can be described as a gay-friendly mix of nature and culture with hiking on the Kapuzinerberg to the Franziskischlössel, feasting delicious local cuisine and beer, multiple churches, museums, and concerts as well as our one-day biking adventure to Hellbrunn. We are happy and proud to tell you how gay-friendly and open-minded we experienced Salzburg. Especially the positive feedback from members of the LGBT community can be seen as a positive sign for a growing acceptance within Austrian society.
Everything you need to know for a city trip to Salzburg can be found in this Gay Salzburg Travel Guide by a couple of men traveling!
City Trip to Salzburg – When to go?
The city of Salzburg is the capital of the Austrian state of Salzburger Land. In summer, many LGBTQ+ travelers are drawn to the city of Mozart and of the Sound of Music. On the one hand because the city has made a name for itself as a destination for a city trip, for example with the music festival Salzburger Festspiele or the numerous LGBTQ+ events. On the other hand, Salzburg is the perfect starting point to explore the surrounding alpine mountains. Hikers, mountaineers, and adventurers like us can let off steam in the unique nature of the Alps or just let themselves be carried away.
In winter, the city on the Salzach River is transformed into a true winter wonderland. We imagine romantic days for two with a visit to around 20 museums in the city to be simply wonderfully relaxing. Did you know that Salzburg has one of the most beautiful and oldest Advent markets in the world with the Salzburg Christmas Market on Dom and Residenzplatz? We are hereby immediately adding a visit to Salzburg in winter to our bucket list. If you want to be more active in winter, you can simply bring your skis or snowboard. The Salzburger Land has over 30 ski areas to offer.
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How LGBTQ+ and gay-friendly is Salzburg?
Even after our second trip to Salzburg together, we are still fascinated by the openness and ambitious commitment of the people of Salzburg to support the city’s colorful and diverse LGBTQ+ community. Of course, it goes without saying that a city with a population of around 150,000 is difficult to compare with European gay metropolises like Berlin or Amsterdam. But as LGBTQ+ travelers, we don’t necessarily come to our favorite Mozart city on the Salzach for a weekend with extensive nightlife with clubs and party nights. Art, culture, and nature are the main reasons for us to travel to the Salzburger Land.
And yet, several times a year Salzburg turns into the queer capital of the Salzburg region be it at the annual Pride Boat Weekend, the Long Night of Diversity, the HOSI festival that takes place 4 times a year, or the CSD Salzburg Pride. The LGBTQ+ community is small but active and offers enough variety even during a city trip weekend in Salzburg. And of course, the close connection between the Salzburgers and the Emperor’s brother Archduke Ludwig Viktor must not go unnamed, as he was the patron of the Salzburg Art Association and gave large events. Even if the homosexuality of “Luziwuzi” was not really openly discussed, it was still an open secret. For more information about Salzburg and the LGBTQ+ community, we recommend joining a queer city tour, for example with travel guide Roman. Email request a gay guide for Salzburg >
Gay CSD Salzburg Pride
Did you know that the HOSI Salzburg – Salzburg’s initiative for homosexual, bisexual, trans*, intersex, queer, and asexual people – as the oldest institution of its kind in Austria, celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2020? We really call that outstanding achievement, hats off! As the organizer, the HOSI team is also behind most of the LGBTQ+ events in Salzburg, including the CSD Salzburg Pride. Pride in Salzburg has been taking place every year since the first CSD Salzburg event in August 2010. According to official information from the Police, the CSD Salzburg Pride in 2020 was the biggest Christopher Street Day in Salzburg ever with about 1,200 participants, members of the queer LGBTQ+ community, and its allies. Happy Pride Salzburg!
Gay-friendly Hotels in Salzburg
During our first Salzburg trip, we just had to walk about 10 minutes from Salzburg Central Station to reach our gay-friendly accommodation, the 4-star Imlauer Hotel Pitter Salzburg. Our highlights of this gay-friendly hotel: modern styled rooms, comfortable beds, and a stunning rooftop bar & restaurant. Two years lats, we stayed at the Arte Hotel Salzburg right next to Central Station as well. This time, we were accommodated in a Loft room on one of the highest floors. The modern hotel in a spectacular design offered a fantastic breakfast buffet, a sauna, and a stunning view from the hu:goes14 rooftop bar with amazing cocktails. These two hotels are considered to be the most gay-friendly and LGBTQ+ community supporting accommodations in Salzburg. Of course, there are more places to stay in Salzburg. We are looking forward to testing more hotels in Salzburg.
Gay-friendly Activities & things to do in Salzburg
If you are thinking of a trip to Salzburg, you simply cannot avoid the music all around the city. Mozart, Sound of Music, cathedral concerts, and street performers – Salzburg is full of music and that is what makes the city’s atmosphere so special. In addition to the Hohensalzburg Fortress, which towers above everything, the city on the Salzach also has other architectural masterpieces to offer. Above all, the old town of Salzburg, which has received the title of World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1996, a city with ‘special value for humanity’. We can only confirm that!
However, the following activities must be on every Salzburg to-do list: a queer city tour, a visit to the Hohensalzburg Fortress, the Salzburg Cathedral with its spectacular catacombs, an extensive stroll through the alleys of Salzburg’s old town, of course, with a Mozartkugel tasting, a classical concert, at least two museums and two Walking Tours and a bike tour to Hellbrunn Palace. If you still have time left or, like us, are in town for the second or third time, you can, for example, hike to the Kapuzinerberg, see the free aircraft exhibition in Hangar 7, or cycle to Untersberg and take the gondola to the top of the mountain.
Gay Bars, Clubs & Events in Salzburg
For a relatively small city, Salzburg has a lot to offer regarding gay nightlife and LGBTQ+ events, especially, when you are planning to meet the local community. A (gay) men-only cruising location, an LGBTQ+ welcoming café/bar, and a popular queer party location/bar – Salzburg has much to offer for queer locals and the international LGBTQ+ traveler. In our list of LGBTQ+ and gay-friendly places in Salzburg, we added the address and a link to the location. Enjoy your trip to Salzburg with our tips for a great night out or a culinary journey in Salzburg.
List of the best LGBTQ+ locations:
- 1. Mexxx Gay bar – bar and discotheque at the end of Linzergasse, Schallmoser Hauptstraße 20
- 2. Dark Eagle Cruising bar – ‘men only’ gay bar with dark rooms ins the basement, Paracelsusstraße 11
- 3. HOSI bar – public café/ bar operated by the Homosexual Initiative Salzburg, Gabelsbergstraße 26
- 4. Rainbow bench on the Rose Hill in Mirabellpark
Gay Austria Travel Guide
Sound of music, UNESCO world heritage architecture, Mozart – The Austrian city knew how to impress us. We enjoyed some wonderful summer days in Salzburg as part of our Staycation Road Trip adventure around Sweden, Germany, and Austria. Apropos Austria, Salzburg is just one state capital city of 9 other federal Austrian states, all individually beautiful with their exceptional highlights and atmosphere. And in the end, it is all about the mountains, the majestic Alps with its wide mountain pastures. However, Austria has everything for every type of LGBTQ+ traveler including urban cities, beached by the mountain lakes, and 9 annual CSD and LGBTQ+ pride events. Make sure to put a trip to Vienna, Salzburg, or the Southern Austria Carinthia and beyond to your bucket list while visiting the gay-friendly European country according to the annual Gay Travel Index 2020. We are sure you’ll have a remarkable experience, too!
We found some great flight options flying within Europe with KLM, one of our favorite airlines based in Amsterdam, with some pretty good return-flight deals starting from around €99 to Munich. From there, it was a stunning train trip into the Austrian mountains. Train and car trips to Austria in general are a sustainable alternative!
Plan your Gay Salzburg Travels with the Couple of Men Guide
Our experiences in Salzburg have been unexceptionally positive: Holding hands in public, giving each other a kiss, or checking in a hotel asking for a double bed – we never faced any difficulties and could thereby fully enjoy our trip to the Mozart and Sound of Music city Salzburg. Thanks to our local friends, we knew the best and safest places to visit and which places you should avoid as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any additional questions.
Nevertheless, please consider our tips as suggestions with no guarantee that it still will be like that when you are traveling there. Though we did our research and all our opinions written in this article are honest, authentic, and true. So, are our photos and videos always aiming to prove our experiences to be authentic? We would like to thank Visit Salzburg for their invitation, support, and the possibility to experience the Austrian city in a very free and authentic way.
For any clarifications about your plans for traveling to Salzburg, Vienna, Carinthia, and Austria, follow us and email us or drop us a line on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, and Instagram. See you around the world and the next time in Salzburg!
Karl & Daan.
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