The Museum

Mission / About

Salzburg Open-Air Museum – experience the rich heritage of rural Salzburg

As an institution of the federal province of Salzburg, the Salzburg Open-Air Museum fulfills its mission to preserve, collect and exhibit the heritage of building, housekeeping and lifestyle in the Salzburg province from the 16th to the 20th century.

Mystery tour across six centuries

Visit the museum and enjoy a voyage of discovery across six centuries. Discover ancient mills, explore hidden nooks in old farmhouses, test your ears at the house of sounds, marvel at a power station dating back to the early days of electrical power production and delve into the rural life of times past.

Experience culture and nature

Located in the foothills of mount Untersberg the 50 ha museum grounds are based in a landscape conservation area and nature reserve. The setting of the buildings was planned according to the historic regions of the federal province of Salzburg. Hence the assemblies of structures have been grouped as: Flachgau, Tennengau, Pongau, Pinzgau and Lungau. A 7 km long network of hiking trails connects over 100 buildings. The heritage railway follows a 1.7 km long track passing through large parts of the area. Additional attractions such as several permanent exhibitions, a Kneipp hydrotherapy area, an interactive butterfly-watching trail and demonstrations of old handicrafts enrich the broad array of historic farming culture.

Length of stay

In order to be able to explore at least part of the exhibits we suggest planning a minimum of two to three hours for a visit at the Salzburg Open-Air Museum. As one of the major attractions of the Salzburg area the museum offers a cultural and recreational experience bound to make your stay memorable.

Facts and figures

Museum mission

The Salzburg Open-Air Museum fulfills its mission to preserve, collect and exhibit the heritage of building, housekeeping and lifestyle from the 16th to the 20th century, cherishing the legacy of Land Salzburg. Following this objective, original, rural constructions of the province of Salzburg are being collected, historically investigated, reconstructed and furnished.


The Salzburg Open-Air Museum was founded on December 21, 1978 by the Salzburg based historian and folklorist, who specialized in houses, Kurt Conrad. Some of the objects had already been collected in 1968, however the targeted assemblage started in 1972. In 1979 the first houses were erected.


The museum was officially opened on September 24, 1984 in the presence of Austrian President Rudolf Kirchschläger.

Legal ownership

Land Salzburg is the legal owner of the Salzburg Open-Air Museum. The museum is legally operated as a “businesslike institution” and yet control over financial and personnel matters remains with the Land Salzburg.

Extension and land owner

The museum area comprises a total of 50 ha. The territory has been leased by the owner family Mayr-Melnhof to Land Salzburg for a period of 99 years.

Number of employees

24 full-time and 4 part-time employees, 17 freelance museum guides, 5 temporary supervisors, 2 freelance assistants in the photographic archives and the library, approx. 30 honorary train drivers.

Number of visitors

The Salzburg Open-Air Museum is attended by more than 100,000 visitors annually. So far the museum has attracted a total of 2.3 million of visitors.


1995 Österreichischer Museumspreis (Austrian Museum Award)
2002 Zipfer Umweltpreis (Zipfer Environmental Award)
2005 Österreichisches Museumsgütesiegel (Austrian Museum Quality Seal)
2005 Zipfer Tourismuspreis (Zipfer Tourism Award)



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