A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Bern vs. Salzburg for Old Town, Couples, Attractions, and Food

Should you visit Bern or Salzburg?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Bern or Salzburg? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Bern

Bern is a historic, charming, and beautiful city. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include nightlife, food, and shopping.

Salzburg

Salzburg is a musical, cultural, and recognizable city. You'll find world class beauty here as well. It also has that perfectly quaint feel that is like no other place. It's also known for food, shopping, and museums.

Bern and Salzburg: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Quaint atmosphere


How is Bern different from Salzburg?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Salzburg and Bern. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Bern or Salzburg better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Both Bern and Salzburg have interesting landmarks and museums for visitors.

Bern offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. Visit the Einstein Museum, the Clock Tower, and Bern Cathedral.

Many visitors head to Salzburg specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. There are many historic sights to explore including Mozart's birthplace, the Mozart Residence, the Salzburg Museum, and the many stunning churches and concert halls.

Bern
Salzburg


Is Bern or Salzburg better for Food?

There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at great restaurants in both Bern and Salzburg.

Bern offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. The city has cozy cafes, high end fine dining, traditional eateries, and modern venues.

Salzburg has a huge number of terrific restaurants. The old town is filled with charming restaurants that serve local specialties including schnitzel, tafelspitz, and strudel. The city is also known for it's impressive breakfast spread that is often served on a three tiered cake stand and includes cheeses, salami, fresh fruit, pastries, olives, jams and more.

Bern
Salzburg

Is Bern or Salzburg better for Nightlife?

Both Bern and Salzburg are comparable when it comes to partying.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Bern. There are bars, Irish pubs, and clubs around town.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Salzburg. The city has a number of trendy bars, pubs, and clubs where you can enjoy music and a lively atmosphere.

Bern
Salzburg

Is Bern or Salzburg better for its Old Town?

It's fun to wander around the old towns in both Bern and Salzburg.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting Bern. The charming old town is filled with quaint alleys and sandstone buildings. It's a compact area that flows down a hill to the River Aare.

Salzburg offers visitors a world-class historical old town to explore. This beautiful old town is filled with cafes, restaurants, and churches. You can enjoy local music performed by street performers as you soak in the atmosphere and the regular chime of the church bells really gives the city personality. There are also frequent markets and shops to explore.

Bern
Salzburg

Is Bern or Salzburg better for Shopping?

Both Bern and Salzburg are good shopping destinations.

Bern is an extremely popular place for shoppers. The old town is filled with boutique shops and unique markets. The main shopping streets are Spitalgasse and Marktgasse and popular items to buy include jewelry, art, and watches.

Known for shopping, Salzburg draws large crowds to its stores. The city's historic heart is filled with boutique shops, chocolate markets, and charming local vendors. It's fun to peruse the many shops that line the streets while you shop for local souvenirs.

Bern
Salzburg


Is Bern or Salzburg better for Families?

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Bern or Salzburg.

Bern is a very family-friendly place to visit. This charming town has riverside parks and pools, a zoo, a waterpark, and kid-friendly museums that the whole family can enjoy. You can also visit nearby Gurten, a mountain with tobogganing, concerts, and a mini ski resort.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Salzburg is very family-friendly. Kids who know the Sound of Music will enjoy visiting the setting of a number of scenes from the movie. There are even popular Sound of Music tours that take you to the gardens where they sang "Do Re Mi" and out of town to the church where Maria married the Captain. There are also Marionette Puppet shows, cooking classes, castles and more around town that everyone can enjoy.

Bern
Salzburg

Is Bern or Salzburg better for Couples?

With fun activities for couples, both Bern and Salzburg make for a good place to visit.

Bern is a very popular place to visit for couples. With charming restaurants, a beautiful rose garden, and nice hotels and spas, this town makes a beautiful romantic getaway.

For those traveling as a couple, Salzburg has plenty to offer. The town offers a romantic setting with elaborate breakfasts, beautiful architecture, live shows, and plenty that couples can enjoy. You can simply wander around old town or explore the many gardens around town.

Bern
Salzburg

Is Bern or Salzburg better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Both Bern and Salzburg are popular destinations for backpackers.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Bern. Like most of Switzerland, prices are a bit high, but there are some hostels and free activities that backpackers and budget travelers can enjoy.

Many backpackers visit Salzburg. This is a popular city to visit, so there are plenty of amenities for backpackers. If you want to save a little money, you can stay and eat outside of old town where the prices are a little less.

Bern
Salzburg

Is Bern or Salzburg better for Public Transit?

Both Bern and Salzburg offer public transit options.

Visitors to Bern can move around easily with public transportation. There are trams and buses that run around town.

The public transit in Salzburg can get you around easily. Trolleys and buses make it easy to get around town.

Bern
Salzburg


Is Bern or Salzburg a more walkable city?

Bern and Salzburg both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Bern is very walkable. It's fun to explore the old town on foot. It is compact enough to that you can see all of the highlights in a few hours.

Salzburg is a very walkable city. The old town is very walkable, but if you stay outside of the main tourist areas, you'll likely want to take a bus.

Bern
Salzburg

Should I spend more time in Salzburg or Bern?

How long in Bern or Salzburg?

In either Bern or Salzburg, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Salzburg than Bern because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Bern is 1-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Salzburg is 3-5 days.


  • How many days in Bern or Salzburg? Ideal Length of Stay
    Bern 1-3 
    Salzburg 3-5

One day in Bern or Salzburg?

The beautiful city of Bern offers food and shopping. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and live music when visiting the destination of Salzburg. Visiting the old town is also a must. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

A weekend in Bern or Salzburg?

Bern is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Bern, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area.

Salzburg is a fun place to experience. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. The entire area has lots to do.

Five days in Bern or Salzburg?

Bern is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire area has lots to do.

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the beautiful destination of Salzburg. This city offers something for everyone. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Plenty of people spend five days here when traveling. Five days is often enough time to spend here.


A week in Bern or Salzburg?

Bern is a great place to explore. Visiting the old town is also a must. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.

The cultural city of Salzburg offers shopping and museums. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

Which city is cheaper, Salzburg or Bern?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Bern is $186, while the average daily cost in Salzburg is $119. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Bern and Salzburg in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Bern $120
    Salzburg $71
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Bern $240
    Salzburg $142
Compare Hotels in Bern and Salzburg

Looking for a hotel in Bern or Salzburg? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Bern


Hotels in Salzburg


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Bern $25
    Salzburg $15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bern

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bern:

  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Bern Belp Airport to Bern City - One Way: $105
  • Premium Private 1-Way Transfer to/from Interlaken: $250
  • Geneva: Premium 1-Way Private Transfer to/from Bern: $277
  • Private Transfer from Bern City Center to Zurich City Center: $318
  • Private transfer from Bern City to Zurich Airport: $416
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Bern Belp Airport to Basel City - One Way: $586
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Bern Belp Airport to Zurich City - One Way: $661

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Salzburg

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Salzburg:

  • Salzburg Airport transfer from W.A. Mozart airport to hotels or apartments: $25
  • Private Airport Transfer: W. A. Mozart Salzburg Airport (SZG) to Salzburg: $28
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Salzburg to W. A. Mozart Salzburg Airport (SZG): $28
  • Low Cost Private Transfer from Salzburg Airport or Salzburg City to Salzburg City or Salzburg Airport: $37
  • Low Cost Private Transfer from Salzburg City to Salzburg Train Station: $37
  • Private Transfer between Salzburg Airport and Salzburg City: $50
  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Salzburg Airport to Salzburg City - One Way: $60
  • Salzburg Private Transfer from Salzburg Airport to City centre: $63
  • Private transfer: Salzburg to Salzburg Airport (SZG): $67
  • Private transfer: Salzburg Airport (SZG) to Salzburg: $67
  • Private Transfer to Salzburg Airport or Station: $78
  • Departure Private Transfers: Salzburg to Salzburg Airport SZG in Business Car: $83

Is it cheaper to fly into Bern or Salzburg?

Prices for flights to both Salzburg and Bern change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Bern $45
    Salzburg $31

Typical Food prices in Salzburg

Some typical examples of dining costs in Salzburg are as follows:


  • Lunch Salad
    $8.72

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Salzburg

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Salzburg.

  • Cookies and Apple Strudel Cooking Class Including Lunch: $52
  • Austrian Apple Strudel Cooking Class including Lunch: $57
  • Salzburg Christmas Cookies and Apple Strudel Cooking Lesson: $60
  • Salzach Cruise & Dinner at Hohesalzburg Fortress: $68
  • Best of Mozart Fortress Concert and Dinner: $79
  • Mozart and Advent/Christmas Concert with Dinner at Fortress Hohensalzburg: $82
  • Best of Mozart Concert and Dinner or VIP Dinner at Fortress Hohensalzburg: $82
  • Mozart Concert with Dinner: $84
  • Mozart Dinner Concert at the Baroque Hall of St Peter`s Abbey in Salzburg: $86
  • Fortress HohenObservationtower Admission, Dinner and Mozart Concert: $92
  • Dinner Cooking Class & Concert - Prezels, Dumplings, Apple Strudel & Mozart: $93
  • The Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg With Lunch or Dinner: $102

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Bern $25
    Salzburg $23

Tours and Activities in Bern

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Bern are as follows:

  • Tour with iPod Audio Guide: $20
  • Bern Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $45
  • 1-Hour Must-See Express Tour: $72
  • Tirano to St. Moritz: Bernina Red Train Return Day-Ticket: $79
  • Art and Culture Tour with a Local Guide: $83
  • Instagram Highlights Tour: $83
  • Bern Capital City Small Group Tour: $90
  • Best Introduction Tour of Bern with a Local: $91
  • 2-Hour Historical Walking Tour: $162
  • Schilthorn Piz Gloria (James Bond Location) Small Group Tour from Bern: $179
  • GAILY TOUR in BERN - Gay & Lesbian Tour: $187
  • Bern Capital City Private Tour: $194

Tours and Activities in Salzburg

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Salzburg are as follows:

  • Auto-guided Private Tour of Salzburg: $4.91
  • Salzburg Private Tour: Sound of Music City Exploration Game: $5.21
  • Cathedral Entry Ticket with Audio Guide Option: $5.67
  • Salzburg Cathedral: Guided Tour with Entry Ticket: $5.67
  • A taste of An audio tour through the birthplace of Mozart: $6.99
  • Sightseeing with the Sound of Music: A Salzburg Audio Tour: $6.99
  • The Sound of Music Exploration Game & Tour: $7.93
  • Salzburg Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • DomQuartier Entrance Ticket and Audio Guide: $15
  • Interactive Puzzle and City Exploration Tour: $18
  • Hohensalzburg Fortress Admission Ticket: $19

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Bern $20
    Salzburg $20

Typical Alcohol prices in Salzburg

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Salzburg:


  • Beer
    $3.59

Sample the Local Flavors in Salzburg

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Salzburg:

  • Private Austrian Food and Wine Tasting with a Sommelière & Chef: $101
  • Private Half Day Salzburg City Tour including Visit to the Stiegl Brewery: $523


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Bern and Salzburg, we can see that Bern is more expensive. And not only is Salzburg much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Salzburg would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Salzburg and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Bern would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Bern than you might in Salzburg.


When is the best time to visit Bern or Salzburg?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Bern or Salzburg in the Summer?

Both Salzburg and Bern are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Bern for the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Salzburg in the summer for the music scene and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Bern is generally around the same temperature as Salzburg. Temperatures in Bern average around 21°C (70°F), and Salzburg stays around 20°C (68°F).

It's quite sunny in Salzburg. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Bern. Bern usually receives more sunshine than Salzburg during summer. At this time of the year, Bern gets 250 hours of sunny skies, while Salzburg receives 227 hours of full sun.

In July, Bern usually receives less rain than Salzburg. At this time of the year, Bern gets 63 mm (2.5 in) of rain, while Salzburg receives 91 mm (3.6 in) of rain.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Bern 21°C (70°F) 
    Salzburg 20°C (68°F)

Should I visit Bern or Salzburg in the Autumn?

Both Salzburg and Bern during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Bern in the autumn for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Also, most visitors come to Salzburg for the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

Bern is a little warmer than Salzburg in the autumn. The temperature in Bern is usually 13°C (55°F) in October, and Salzburg stays around 11°C (52°F).

In the autumn, Bern often gets more sunshine than Salzburg. Bern gets 126 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Salzburg receives 108 hours of full sun.

Bern usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Salzburg. Bern gets 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Salzburg receives 51 mm (2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Bern 13°C (55°F) 
    Salzburg 11°C (52°F)

Should I visit Bern or Salzburg in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Bern and Salzburg. Most visitors come to Bern for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Salzburg because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Salzburg can be very cold. Bern can be very cold during winter. In the winter, Bern is much warmer than Salzburg. Typically, the winter temperatures in Bern in January are around 3°C (37°F), and Salzburg is about -0°C (31°F).

Bern usually receives more sunshine than Salzburg during winter. At this time of the year, Bern gets 65 hours of sunny skies, while Salzburg receives 44 hours of full sun.

In January, Bern usually receives around the same amount of rain as Salzburg. At this time of the year, Bern gets 54 mm (2.1 in) of rain, while Salzburg receives 56 mm (2.2 in) of rain.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Bern 3°C (37°F) 
    Salzburg -0°C (31°F)

Should I visit Bern or Salzburg in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Bern as well as Salzburg. The spring months attract visitors to Bern because of the natural beauty. Also, the natural beauty are the main draw to Salzburg this time of year.

In April, Bern is generally around the same temperature as Salzburg. Temperatures in Bern average around 11°C (52°F), and Salzburg stays around 11°C (51°F).

In the spring, Bern often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Salzburg. Bern gets 164 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Salzburg receives 155 hours of full sun.

Bern usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Salzburg. Bern gets 59 mm (2.3 in) of rain, while Salzburg receives 55 mm (2.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Bern 11°C (52°F) 
    Salzburg 11°C (51°F)

Typical Weather for Salzburg and Bern

Bern Salzburg
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (37°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) -0°C (31°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Feb 4°C (40°F) 51 mm (2 in) 2°C (36°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
Mar 8°C (46°F) 50 mm (2 in) 6°C (43°F) 53 mm (2.1 in)
Apr 11°C (52°F) 59 mm (2.3 in) 11°C (51°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)
May 15°C (60°F) 76 mm (3 in) 15°C (59°F) 82 mm (3.2 in)
Jun 19°C (65°F) 74 mm (2.9 in) 18°C (65°F) 92 mm (3.6 in)
Jul 21°C (70°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 20°C (68°F) 91 mm (3.6 in)
Aug 20°C (69°F) 80 mm (3.1 in) 19°C (67°F) 93 mm (3.6 in)
Sep 18°C (64°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 16°C (61°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
Oct 13°C (55°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 11°C (52°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Nov 7°C (45°F) 58 mm (2.3 in) 5°C (42°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
Dec 4°C (38°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 1°C (35°F) 64 mm (2.5 in)


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Bern vs. Salzburg Travel Comparison

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