Grab a $5 bratwurst from the stall in the Grunmarkt in Universitatsplatz, then marvel at the crisply designed baroque cathedral (free entry) before getting a dose of Salzburg's ecclesiastical city state history in the Salzburg Museum (salzburgmuseum.at, $11).
Go Balkan for lunch with $15 grilled cevapcici at buzzy food-focused pub Zwettler's (zwettlers.com), before learning all about the city's most famous son at Mozart's birthplace (mozarteum.at, $15), now a museum covering the man and his music.
The $12 barbecued ribs with baked potato and cabbage from the food stalls at the Augustiner Braustubl (augustinerbier.at) – a jaw-dropping collection of beer halls inside a monastery – is passable as dinner, but it's the $9 litre of beer poured from the barrel into a stoneware mug you're really there for.
Stay at the fun-loving and bonus freebie-packed YoHo hostel (yoho.at, from $78 a double).
Easy does it
Fill up on the omelettes, cous cous and fruit salad at the cartoonishly cool Afro Cafe (afrocafe.at, $21), then head to the centuries-old Salzzeitreise salt mine for ridiculous underground slides and subterranean lake rafting. The half-day tour with Panorama Tours (panoramatours.com) costs $72.
Head up the Monchsberg lift ($3) for a bargain two-course lunch ($21) with tremendous city views at the Museum der Moderne's M32 restaurant (m32.at). Enjoy the contemporary art exhibitions inside the museum (museumdermoderne.at, $12) before strolling across the Monchsberg hill to the Festung Hohensalzburg (salzburg-burgen.at/en/hohensalzburg, $17, including the funicular down to the old town). Lavishly decorated state rooms, tremendous views from the tower and a marionette museum are part of the castle's mix.
Go shamelessly kitsch for dinner with a three-course traditional feast accompanied by singers warbling Sound of Music tunes (soundofsalzburg.info, $74), then stay at the historic-meets-designer Hotel am Dom (hotelamdom.at, doubles from $164).
The DomQuartier (domquartier.at, $18), a new route connecting the state rooms of the archbishops' residence, the upper reaches of the cathedral and the city's treasure collections, opened in 2014. Spend most of the morning gawping at the lavish decoration and art works, then take a 50-minute horse and carriage ride (fiaker-salzburg.at, $132) around the old town.
Lunch on herb-crusted lamb chops in the Alt Salzburg (alzsalsburg.at, $40), a restaurant built into the Monchsberg rock, then take a four-hour private tour of the key filming locations from the Sound of Music with Salzburg Sightseeing Tours (salzburg-sightseeingtours.at, $480).
Enjoy dinner at hip, Michelin-starred Carpe Diem (carpediemfinestfingerfood.com), where Japanese influences mix with local produce. The nine-course special menu costs $158.
Take the fairytale sleeping option at hilltop castle Schloss Monchstein (monchstein.at, from $525 including breakfast).
The writer was a guest of Tourismus Salzburg (salzburg.info).