Car Rental in Salzburg
Cheapest Car Rental Rates
Most Popular Car Rental Deals
Why rent a car in Salzburg?
Salzburg is a great place to visit. One of the most picturesque cities in Europe, it offers everything from interesting architecture and high-class cuisine to old salt mines and impressive nature. Salzburg’s great location means that with a rental car, you can easily travel to other parts of Austria and even neighboring Germany, Switzerland, or Italy.
One-Way Car Rentals in Salzburg
The most popular one-way rental options for pick up in Salzburg and drop off in another city include:
- From Salzburg to Budapest - 78 offers from $77.31 per day
- From Salzburg to Munich - 89 offers from $74.39 per day
- From Salzburg to Copenhagen - 48 offers from $220.70 per day
- From Salzburg to Malmö - 48 offers from $220.70 per day
- From Salzburg to Vienna - 144 offers from $46.36 per day
Top ways to enter Salzburg
Salzburg Airport: Also known as Salzburg W. A. Mozart, it is the primary airport of the State of Salzburg and the second-busiest in Austria. The airport, served by a number of low-cost carriers, handles nearly 2 million travelers every year. Located just 3 km (1.9 mi) west of the city center, the airport can be reached in 15-20 minutes, depending on traffic.
Linz Airport: Serving the capital of the Upper Austria region, Linz Airport has flights by nine different airlines, although some are only active seasonally. The airport is sometimes also called Blue Danube Airport after the river on which Linz is located. Linz is about 125km (78 miles) northeast of Salzburg, and the distance between the two can be traveled in 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Innsbruck Airport: Serving the Austrian capital of winter sports, Innsbruck Airport is especially active from November to March. It handles more than 1 million travelers every year, offering flights to about 13 different European countries. The airport is 190km (118 miles) southwest of Salzburg, a distance that can be traveled in about 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Vienna Airport: By far the largest in Austria, the airport serving the capital city handles more international flights than all the other Austrian airports, put together. Vienna Airport offers countless flights to and from destinations not only in Europe, but also in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. For many travelers, flying here is the easiest (and often the only) way to reach Austria. Vienna Airport is 320km (199 miles) east of Salzburg and can be reached in about 3 hours and 15 minutes
Munich Airport: The second largest in Germany and the eighth-busiest in all of Europe, Munich Airport handled almost 50 million travelers in 2019. The airport is a hub for Lufthansa and is served by a large number of other airlines, including low-cost carriers like easyJet, Vueling, and Norwegian Air. The airport is just 150km (93 miles) northwest of Salzburg which can be reached in a bit over two hours. To travel from Germany to Austria, you’ll have to cross an international border, so ask your rental car provider in advance if they permit it. An alternative can be to travel by public transportation and to pick up a rental car after arriving in Salzburg.
- Salzburg has a humid continental climate with warm summers, cool winters, and four distinct seasons. The average high temperature is 25°C (77°F) in July, the warmest month, and 3°C (38°F) in January. Summers are quite humid while winters are drier, but the city experiences significant snowfall every winter.
- Salzburg’s name literally means “Salt Castle”. Some of the largest salt mines in Europe were located just outside of the city. In the 8th century, riverboats carrying the raw material through Salzburg were subject to a toll, making it one of the wealthiest cities of medieval Europe. The Hallein Salt Mine, just south of Salzburg, is often claimed to be the oldest salt mine in Europe. Nowadays, it is open to tourists.
- Salzburg’s old town, or Altstadt, is said to be the best-preserved historical center in German-speaking Europe. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it houses no less than 27 churches, some of them splendid examples of Gothic, Romanesque, and Baroque styles.
Top destinations and activities
- Schloss Hellbrunn (Hellbrunn Palace). Built in the early 17th century, Hellbrunn is not just a palace, but an architectural complex. In addition to the main building, there are impressive gardens with pools and fountains, an outdoor opera theater carved out of stone, and even in a zoo. One of the nicest places in Austria to spend a day outdoors, it is not to be missed if you’re in Salzburg.
- Hohensalzburg Fortress. Its name literally means High Salzburg, and it is more than deserved thanks to the stunning views that can be enjoyed from this hilltop fortress. There’s plenty to enjoy inside of it, too, from the old courtyard to several museumsand the Golden Chamber where the prince-archbishop used to reside. The fortress cannot be accessed by car, but you can park at the bottom and then either take a funicular or go on a steep, but rewarding climb.
- Mozarts Geburtshaus (Mozart’s Birthplace). Salzburg has had its fair share of notable residents, but none can match the genius that was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The world-famous composer lived in the 18th century, and nowadays, the house where he was born, grew up, and created some of his first works has been turned into a museum.
- Kapuzinerberg. One of the greatest things about Salzburg is the nature that surrounds it, and some of it can even be enjoyed without leaving the city. Known for its heavily forested slopes, Capucine Hill (named after a monastery that was once located in the area) is one such gem, offering stunning views of the city below and the even higher peaks that surround it.
- Mirabell Palace and Gardens. The historic Mirabell Palace was built in 1606 and is part of the historic city center of the City of Salzburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Several scenes of The Sound of Music were filmed in the Mirabell gardens.
Traffic and parking
- Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the speed limits are 130km/h (80mph) on highways, 100km/h (62 mph) on country roads, and 50km/h (31mph) or 30km/h (18mph) inside populated areas.
- During winter, some smaller high-altitude roads and passes can be inaccessible due to snow conditions. It is a good idea to have snow chains in your car. Ask your car rental car provider about it.
- During the year’s warmest months, July and August, or during major winter/ski holidays, it is not uncommon to experience traffic jams on national highways, especially during the weekends, as this is when most Austrians go on vacation.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for experienced and 0.01% for novice drivers. Exceeding the limit can lead to large fines, an EU-wide license ban, or even imprisonment.
- Proof of insurance and the car’s documentation needs to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- If you’re the driver, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The emergency number, like elsewhere in the EU, is 112.
To travel on many motorways and other roads in Austria, you need to purchase a special highway vignette or toll sticker. An Austrian highway vignette can be purchased for three periods of time - 10 days, two months, or one year. As a visitor to the country, you’ll most likely choose the first option.
You can buy the Austrian highway vignette in many of the gas stations and stores that are located along highways in Austria. If you arrive in Austria by car from another country, make sure to purchase the Austrian highway vignette at the border, otherwise, you’ll have to pay a fine. Once purchased, it is important to place the vignette inside your vehicle’s windshield. At major border crossings, digital toll stickers are now available.
Many rental cars in Austria already come equipped with a highway vignette. The price of the vignette is included in the full rental price. To find out more, get in touch with your car rental provider in advance.
In addition to the required purchase of a highway vignette, there are specifically designated toll roads in Austria, many of them tunnels and alpine passes. Usually, you’ll pass through a toll gate before entering the road where you’ll have to pay the toll fee. The payment can usually be made either by cash or credit card. The exact fee will depend on the specific road. Find out more about the toll roads and the fees of using them in Austria on the European toll road website and on the Austrian toll road website.
Ideas for day trips
- Grossglockner High Alpine Road. The highest paved mountain road in Austria cuts across Hohe Tauern National Park, delivering staggering views of Austria’s highest mountains. This toll road links Bruck in the state of Salzburg with Heiligenblut in the state of Carinthia. The road is open seasonally, usually from late May, or early June until late October. It’s a 1 hour and 15 minute drive from the city center of Salzburg to Bruck an der Großglocknerstraße.
- Hochkönig Holiday Region. This gorgeous alpine region in the state of Salzburg is a popular ski destination in winter and well-known hiking destination in summer and early fall. The region encompasses the towns of Mühlbach, Dienten, and Maria Alm am Steinernen Meer. Brimming with gourmet mountain huts and hospitable accommodations, this is one of the best places to visit around Salzburg.
- Filzmoos. Blessed with a fabled setting at the base of the Gosaukamm mountains, this lovely town in Salzburg is a fantastic base for hiking in the Dachstein in summer and fall and cross-country skiing in winter. It’s only an hour-drive from Salzburg city to Filzmoos.
- Bad Reichenhall. A cozy town in the Bavarian Alps, Bad Reichenhall is on the German side of the border, but could be considered a miniature of Salzburg. Much smaller, but just as beautiful, it has many squares, churches, and fortresses to explore as well as high-quality spas and old salt mines that are open for tourists. Located just 17km (10 miles) southwest of Salzburg, Bad Reichenhall can be reached in about 20 minutes. You’ll have to cross an international border and even though both Austria and Germany are part of the Schengen Area and there are no border checkpoints, it’s still a good idea to ask your rental car provider in advance if they permit it.
- Hallstatt. Squeezed between the west bank of Lake Hallstatt and the rugged Dachstein mountains, Hallstatt is a small, but impressive village. Many Austrians consider it the most beautiful place in their country. It is also a place of ancient history - inhabited since the Iron Age, it gave the name to the Hallstatt culture of Celts and Illyrians and is often claimed to be the oldest continually-inhabited settlement in Europe. Located 77km (48 miles) southeast of Salzburg, Hallstatt can be reached in just one hour and 20 minutes.
- Munich. Bavaria’s capital and Germany’s third-largest city is often said to be a big village, and in this case, it comes as a compliment. Its medieval streets and cathedrals are splendid, the locals are cordial, and Munich Weißwürste have no match anywhere in Europe. If you’re up for something more exciting, you can even go river surfing in the city center (all year round)! Just 145km (90 miles) northwest of Salzburg, Munich can be reached in about 1 hour 45 minutes. Like with Bad Reichenhall, ask your rental car provider in advance if they permit crossing the international border.
- Carinthia. Perhaps a little less known to foreign visitors, the scenery in the southern state of Carinthia can match the mountains and highland lakes of Salzburg and Tyrol. The best place to enjoy the Carinthian nature is HoheTauern National Park, although the region’s quaint capital, Klagenfurt, shouldn’t be overlooked either. The latter is about a 2-hour-and-40-minute drive from Salzburg, but the region itself is nearer and can be visited on a day trip.
Most popular cars
The most popular rental car in Salzburg is the Fiat Punto, and many travelers also go for the Ford Focus and the Ford Focus. The most popular rental car types are economy, compact, and intermediate.
For more about traveling around Austria with a rental car, check out our complete guide.
Lech am Arlberg. Wedged between the Lechquellen Mountains and the Lechtal Alps, this charming alpine town in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg is a premier ski destination in winter and a hiking destination in summer. Lech is 300 km southwest of Salzburg city, a three-hour drive.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Located at the base of Wetterstein mountains, this resort town in the Bavarian Alps in Germany is a fantastic holiday destination for active travelers. Make sure to visit the Partnach Gorge, open all year long, Lake Eibsee, accessible all year long, and Höllental Gorge, only open in summer.
Vienna. The former capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Vienna has lost nothing of its imperial charm. Its boulevards and buildings are impressive, its museums are world-class, and its cafeterias promise a truly delicious coffee and cake. Located about 295km (183 miles) east of Salzburg, the capital of Austria can be reached in about three hours.
Innsbruck. Innsbruck is the winter sports capital of Austria. It hosted the Winter Olympics in 1976, and ski resorts like Kühtai, Seegrube-Nordkette, and Igls-Patscherkofel remain among the best in Europe. Should you eventually like a day off, visiting Innsbruck’s Ambras fortress and the Golden Roof are a very enjoyable relaxation from physical activities. Just 190km (118 miles) southwest of Salzburg, Innsbruck can be reached in about two hours.
Venice. One of the most famous cities in Italy, and all of Europe, Venice is less than a five-hour drive south of Salzburg. There are many truly famous landmarks in the sinking city from Saint Mark’s Basilica to Doge’s Palace and the old Jewish Ghetto of Venice. It’s number one attraction, however, is its unique atmosphere found in its narrow side streets and canals away from the main tourist sites. If you have enough time, it’s also worth taking a boat to one of the neighboring islands like Murano or Lido. Before driving from Austria to Italy, ask your rental car provider if they permit crossing the border.
Car Rental Prices in Salzburg
- Station wagons - from $135 per day
- Large cars - from $102 per day
- Medium cars - from $82 per day
- Vans - from $159 per day
- Premium cars - from $174 per day
- Small cars - from $67 per day
- SUVs - from $136 per day
It’s easy to reserve a great rental car in Austria if you follow these tips:
- Compare the rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit during the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Salzburg is the cheapest in October when renting a car is about 54% cheaper than the yearly average and a whole 71% cheaper than renting a vehicle in May. Come visit Salzburg in autumn!
Top 6 Cities near Salzburg
Vienna Car Rentals from $15.31 per day267.8 km / 166.4 miles away
Innsbruck Car Rentals from $64.37 per day138.0 km / 85.8 miles away
Graz Car Rentals from $43.38 per day203.9 km / 126.7 miles away
Klagenfurt Car Rentals from $44.84 per day162.8 km / 101.2 miles away
Linz Car Rentals from $60.21 per day100.7 km / 62.6 miles away
146.2 km / 90.9 miles away
Top 8 Locations near Salzburg
Salzburg Airport Car Rentals from $36.09 per day4.3 km / 2.7 miles away
Linz Airport Car Rentals from $60.21 per day96.4 km / 59.9 miles away
Innsbruck Airport Car Rentals from $64.37 per day142.3 km / 88.4 miles away
Klagenfurt Airport Car Rentals from $44.84 per day162.5 km / 101.0 miles away
Graz Airport Car Rentals from $43.38 per day201.7 km / 125.3 miles away
Vienna Hauptbahnhof Train Station Car Rentals from $72.10 per day250.7 km / 155.8 miles away
Vienna Simmering Car Rentals from $68.68 per day253.6 km / 157.6 miles away
Vienna Airport Car Rentals from $15.31 per day263.9 km / 164.0 miles away
Map of Car Rental Locations
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Salzburg?
What’s the usual rental length in Salzburg?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Salzburg?
Car Rental Information
|Car rental locations||2|
|Popular suppliers||Megadrive, SIXT, Global Rent a Car, Buchbinder, Europcar|
|Popular car categories||Medium cars, Small cars, Large cars, Station wagons|
|Lowest price||$49 per day|
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|Megadrive||Fiat Punto||3||2||Small cars|
|Megadrive||Suzuki Swift||2||1||Small cars|
|SIXT||Opel Crossland X Aut.||4||1||Medium cars|
|Megadrive||Kia Ceed||5||2||Medium cars|
|Buchbinder||Opel Astra||5||2||Medium cars|
|Buchbinder||VW Polo||3||1||Small cars|
|Megadrive||Opel Crossland X||4||2||Large cars|
|Thrifty||Ford Focus||5||2||Medium cars|
|Megadrive||Kia Ceed STW||5||3||Station wagons|
|Europcar||Volkswagen Transporter T6||4||3||Vans|
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