St. Peter's Abbey (Stift Sankt Peter)
The star attraction at St. Peter’s is its 12th-century church: a combination of Romanesque architecture and swirling baroque detailing. Other highlights include the cemetery and catacombs—used in scenes in the 1965 movie The Sound of Music—and the Stiftskeller, a 1,200-year-old restaurant believed to be Europe’s oldest.
St. Peter’s Abbey church is best visited with a guide who can detail its history—information you might miss alone. Visitors can pass by or go inside on a panoramic or private Salzburg tour. Sound of Music fans can choose tours that pause outside the cemetery, while music lovers might want to book tours that incorporate a Mozart-themed dinner concert at the Stiftskeller. Alternatively, save money when visiting the abbey with a Salzburg Card: it provides free admission to the catacombs and other Salzburg highlights.
Things to know before you go
- St. Peter’s Abbey is a must-see for history and Sound of Music fans.
- Choose to explore the church on a tour for extra insight into its art and architecture.
- The church, cemetery, and catacombs are not wheelchair accessible.
- The catacombs are reached via steep and narrow steps.
How to get there
St. Peter’s Abbey stands directly below the funicular railway to Salzburg’s Hohensalzburg Castle. The easiest way to reach it is on foot through the cobbled Old Town, although you can hop on buses to the Herbert von Karajan Platz or Zentrum Rathaus stops—both are just short walks from the entrance.
When to get there
St. Peter’s church is open Monday–Friday, year-round, although, as a working church, it may not be accessible during special services or Masses. The cemetery and catacombs are open daily.
What to See at St. Peter’s Abbey
Take time to admire the opulent sculptures and frescoes of St. Peter’s church before strolling around the beautifully kept cemetery, home to the vaults of Mozart’s sister and Haydn’s brother. The graveyard’s iron-gated family crypts will hold a particular resonance for Sound of Music fans—they provided the inspiration for the famous cemetery scene when the Von Trapp family hid from Nazi soldiers.
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- Michael Haydn Museum
- Salzburg Cathedral (Dom zu Salzburg)
- Cathedral Museum (Dommuseum)
- Hohensalzburg Fortress (Festung Hohensalzburg)
- Salzburg Marionette Theatre (Marionettentheater)
- Residenz Gallery (Residenzgalerie)
- Museum of Modern Art Salzburg Rupertinum (Museum der Moderne Rupertinum)
- Salzburg Museum
- Panorama Museum
- Mozart Square (Mozartplatz)
- Georg Trakl Memorial (Traklhouse)
- Salzburg Old Town (Salzburger Altstadt)
- Large Festival Hall (Grosses Festspielhaus)
- Mozart’s Birthplace (Mozarts Geburtshaus)