The Sound of Music made Salzburg and its surroundings famous around the world. More than 300,000 fans come to Austria every year to walk in the footsteps of the legendary von Trapp family. The movie shooting with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer in 1964 was scheduled to take six weeks but was stretched to 11 thanks to Salzburg’s infamous heavy rain. Explore the original film locations with our guide—most of them walkable from Salzburg’s city center.
“Do Re Mi” is one of the most popular songs of The Sound of Music and its ending was filmed at the Mirabell Palace Gardens right in Salzburg’s old town. Built in 1606 by prince archbishop Wolf Dietrich for his mistress, it is today a beloved wedding spot. In the film, Maria and the von Trapp kids dance around the Pegasus Fountain in front of the palace. You will also recognize the steps leading to a rose garden North of the Fountain and the Greek fencing statutes at the entrance. Enjoy stunning views of Hohensalzburg Fortress. Entrance is free.
Residenzplatz Square and Fountain, Salzburg
Residenzplatz Square in Salzburg’s old town is one of five squares built under Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau in the 16th century—and it’s prominently featured in the movie several times. During “I Have Confidence in Me” Maria splashes in the Baroque horse fountain. Later on, when Germany annexes Austria in March 1938, Nazi soldiers march through the square and a giant swastika flag is raised above the entrance of the Old Residence Palace.
Summer Riding School (Felsenreitschule), Salzburg
Built into the Mönchsberg nearly 400 years ago, the Riding School has been used as a concert venue since 1926. In The Sound of Music, the von Trapps hit the stage for the Folk Festival, performing “Edelweiss” and “So long, Farewell.” Hundreds of locals were hired as extras to sing along. You can either book a theater tour to get inside or buy tickets for a show. In real life, the von Trapp family never performed at the festival but won the Salzburg Music Festival in 1936 instead.
Horse Pond (Pferdeschwemme), Salzburg
Address5020 Salzburg, Austria
Just around the corner from the Riding School, on Herbert von Karajan Square, you will find the Horse Pond where Maria and the kids dance during the ending of “My Favorite Things.” It was built in the early 17th century and was originally used to wash the horses of the prince-archbishops. It features striking frescos and the huge “Horse Tamer” statue.
St. Peter’s Cemetery and Catacombs, Salzburg
St. Peter’s is one of the oldest (and most beautiful) cemeteries in the world, going back to 700 AD. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s sister, Nannerl, found her final resting place here among many other well-known Austrians. In the movie, the von Trapp family hides behind the tombs from the Nazis. While the scenes were not actually shot in Salzburg, fans will recognize all the little details carefully reconstructed on the Hollywood set. The cemetery is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Leopoldskron Palace, Salzburg
The lake terrace scenes at the von Trapp’s family home were all shot at the baroque Leopoldskron Palace dating back to 1736. It is here where Captain first listens to his kids sing, where they drink pink lemonade—and Maria falls off the boat. The palace’s golden ballroom and foyer were re-built in Hollywood for interior scenes. Leopoldskron is a 25-minute walk or a short bus ride from the city center. It nowadays operates as a boutique hotel and entrance is for guests only, however you can still see the palace from the west side of the lake.
Remember the famous “Lonely Goatherd” song? The scene was inspired by the Salzburg Puppet Theater. The local ensemble was asked to perform in the movie but had other obligations at the time, so American puppeteer Bill Baird and his wife Cora Eisenberg stepped in. There are no public theater tours, but they do have afternoon and evening shows almost every day. There’s also a full-length puppet version of The Sound of Music performed several times a year.
The Sound of Music Pavilion, Salzburg
Oh, so romantic! In this gazebo Liesl sings “16 going on 17” and Captain and Maria fall head over heels in love when they sing “Something Good.” There are two versions of the pavilion: The one you see today near the Eastern entrance to the Hellbrunn Palace and a larger one rebuilt in Hollywood where most of the scenes were actually shot. Visitors are not allowed into the gazebo, but you can take pictures from the outside. Unlike the palace, access to the pavilion is free.
Nonnberg Abbey Convent, Salzburg
The convent dating back to 714 AD became known as the home of novice nun Maria. Four scenes of the musical were shot in the building overlooking Salzburg: Maria leaving the abbey to take care of the von Trapp kids wondering “What will this day be like?”, the nuns talking about her, the kids visiting and the Nazis hunting the von Trapps. Shootings inside the convent were not allowed, so the setup for the interior scenes was rebuilt in a Hollywood studio. The real-life Maria lived at the convent for two years. The church on site where she got married is open daily from 6:45 a.m.
St. Michael Basilica, Mondsee
Less than 20 minutes’ drive or a 50-minute bus ride from Salzburg lies the picturesque lake-side town Mondsee. In the town center you will find the late Gothic Collegiate Church of St. Michael where Maria and Georg von Trapp got married. The bright yellow cathedral with its distinctive pink interior is a must-see for fans. The wedding was the first scene to be shot in April 1964—and is one of the famous ones of the whole movie. Thanks to The Sound of Music the site attracts more than 250,000 visitors a year. Entrance is free.
Picnic Meadow, Werfen
Address5450 Werfen, Austria
Phone+43 512 5788225
Another filming location outside of the city of Salzburg is Werfen, about a 40-minute drive or a 45-minute train ride south. Since 2015, a “Sound of Music Trail” leads you from the village up to the Gschwandtanger Meadow in about half an hour. The location is best known for the picnic scene where Maria taught the kids the lyrics of “Do Re Mi.” Bring snacks, sit down in the grass like the von Trapps and enjoy the views of the Hohenwerfen Castle.