Augustiner Brewery is a one of a kind place that is a must visit when you’re in Salzburg. It’s the largest brewery in Austria and is over 400 years old! Heck, even if you’re just near Salzburg, this brewery is worth a detour.
Incidentally, there is another (even older!) Augustiner Brewery just a hop and skip over in Munich, Germany. They aren’t related except through their shared origin of beginning with Augustine monks.
About Augustiner Brewery, Salzburg
The Augustiner Brewery, or Braustübl, was founded in 1621 by Augustinian monks. It sits at the foot of the Mönchsberg mountain. It has a huge interior that consists of several different seating halls, and an exterior beer garden that seats 1,400. The beer is served out of traditional beer steins. First, pick out an empty stein and pay at the ticket booth. Then get it filled with tasty beer from one of their traditional barrels.
There are food stalls in the hallways just outside the main hall. They sell a wide variety of traditional snacks, salads, and even full meals. I’d recommend grabbing a beer and a seat first, before perusing the food.
There were booths selling sausages and ribs, fried curly potato chips, mixed salads, fresh pretzels, and even plates piled high with thinly shaved radishes! You can also find fish-based spreads, pickled herring, and olives with sardines.
How do you DO Augustiner Brewery?
When you walk in, head straight ahead to the wall with all the beer steins on it.
Choose a stein, go to the cashier and pay for your beer. He’ll give you a ticket.
Next, wash your stein off in the communal fountain.
Finally, bring your freshly washed stein to the table by the kegs. Give the person at the table both your ticket and your stein and he’ll fill it up with the beer of your choice.
Take your beer filled stein into the hall or outside to the garden and grab a table.
If you want to learn more about the brewery (than just what the beer tastes like) you can take a tour Monday through Friday, by appointment. They even offer horse drawn carriage rides through the city of Salzburg with a traditional snack at the brewery to cap it off!
Tips and Tidbits
- The Augustiner Braustübl doesn’t open until 3pm on weekdays and 2:30pm on weekends. This may seem perfectly reasonable for a local but when you’re touristing, you’d be surprised how early in the day you feel like enjoying a beer. Take care that you don’t accidentally head over there too early.
- This brewery is cash only, including all of the food stalls. I don’t recall seeing an ATM machine anywhere around there either, so come prepared.
- Arriving early is a good idea as the tables can fill up quickly. Don’t be surprised if there are a few people waiting around the entrance even before it opens.
- Tables are large and can be communal so don’t be afraid to ask to join a table if you don’t see any empty ones. Likewise, if there is room at your table, share and share alike!
- The Augustiner Brewery is about a 20 minute walk from the Salzburg old town. Most of it is a very pleasant stroll along the river. If the weather is nice, this is the way to go. Otherwise, you can take a 5 minute taxi ride or take the #9, 21, 27, or 28 bus to Salzburg Landeskrankenhaus.
- The entrance is right off the parking lot and sort of looks like the back door. Don’t worry, you’re in the right place.
Getting Back (and enjoying immersive art along the way)
Clearly, you can get home the same way you came. But if you’re up for another little adventure, I’d recommend walking back through the smaller streets towards the Museum der Moderne where you can check out one of James Turrell’s Skyspace installations.
To start, head out of the brewery through the “back” down a long flight of stairs.
Take the winding street of Am Mönchsberg until you pass the fancy 5 star hotel Schloss Mönchstein.
A couple of minutes after you pass this imposing and unmissable hotel, veer left.
You’ll be on a pretty nature path that eventually takes you by the Museum der Moderne Salzburg Mönchsberg.
Just next to the museum you’ll find the large cylindrical structure of James Turrell’s Skyspace.
If you time it right, you can get the full effect of the art installation by sitting inside it during the sunset.
We have a James Turrell Skyspace exhibition in our hometown of Austin, Texas and I was surprised to encounter one here. I hadn’t realized that he made more than one but in fact, there are over 80 spread across the world. I guess you really do learn something new every day.
From there, it’s just a quick 5 minute walk back to the old town. This pathway, while nice, does have some slopes and a few places where there are stairs so it might not be the best route for everyone.
If you do go this way though, don’t forget to stop for great views of Hohensalzburg Fortress!