Mondsee, Austria is a charming lakeside village and a popular place for both native Austrians and tourists to visit. Situated about 30 minutes outside the city of Salzburg, Mondsee makes for a great weekend lake escape for locals. It’s also a favorite stop on “The Sound of Music” tour.

The town of Mondsee

With brightly colored buildings and outdoor cafes that line the street, the minute you arrive in Mondsee you will be taken aback by its charm. It’s hard not to relax and just be in the moment when you are in Mondsee. Sit and have lunch, an afternoon cup of tea, a glass of wine or a beer, or some delicious, refreshing ice cream. We completely forgot about our day’s itinerary and everything else we planned to see, and just got lost in the delightful atmosphere of this small town. Sometimes you just have to do that on a trip, and it was wonderful. There are also little shops selling everything from Edelweiss trinkets to lederhosen. The Edelweiss is a popular white flower in Austria found in the alps, and perhaps more notably,  the name of one of the songs in “The Sound of Music” movie.

Mondsee Austria - Parenthood and Passports

Mondsee Abbey

At the heart of the town is the prominent Mondsee Abbey. The beautiful church is a must-visit for guests to the town. It’s free to enter, and is just as pretty on the inside as it is on the outside.

Mondsee Austria - Parenthood and Passports

You may actually recognize the interior of the church from “The Sound of Music”. It was the setting for Maria and Baron von Trapps’ wedding. Although the famous scene was filmed inside the church, the outside of the abbey never appeared in the movie. It was awesome to finally lay eyes on the exterior of the church featured in one of my favorite movies of all time.

Mondsee Austria - Parenthood and Passports

Lake Mondsee

Just a short walk down a shady tree-lined road is a lovely lake where kids and adults alike pass time splashing in the water. Mondsee Austria - Parenthood and Passports We didn’t want to walk back to the car and change into our swimsuits, so we sat at the edge of the lake and dangled our feet in instead. It was fun to watch the ducks and swans swimming nearby. They seemed to be enjoying the perfect summer weather just as much as we were.

Along the shoreline of the lake, people can sit at tables and have a drink or a light lunch. There are also grassy areas and a splash fountain for kids to play. It would be the perfect place for a picnic or even a relaxing afternoon siesta in the grass.

While Vienna was one of the highlights of Austria for me, my husband, Damon, particularly liked Mondsee. If you are looking to escape the larger cities and the crowds, it is definitely a great Austrian alternative to Vienna or Salzburg. Even if you only decide to spend an hour or so, it is worth the slight detour to see this charming town!

Parenthood and Passports - Mondsee Austria

Have you visited Mondsee? Leave us a comment with your thoughts.

18 thoughts on “Mondsee, Austria: lakeside charm outside Salzburg”

  1. Lovely! We were just in Salzburg with our toddler. We didn’t stop in Mondsee but I’m guessing it was probably one of the three towns that my husband says I slept through on our way to Halsttatt that he thought were every bit as beautiful.

    1. Thanks! That header photo was taken in Prague last summer. I’m sure we looked ridiculous trying to take it ourselves. LOL. My toddler doesn’t quite understand the importance of travel photos yet.

  2. Mondsee is a hidden gem and well worth the 30 minute travel from Salzburg. It looks like the perfect town to relax on a nice day and enjoy a coffee or beer. I love the picture of your daughter in front of the Mondsee Abbey, I have a similar one of my daughter outside a church in Mexico, she was running around crazy in the plaza.

    1. Yep! That’s basically what my daughter does every time we travel. I’m either running after her trying to take a picture or running after her so she doesn’t get hit by a car. 😉

  3. What a beautiful and charming place to visit. I am also a Sound of Music fan and I would love to see that lovely church. This is a great example of a wonderful place that you find if you take the time to wander outside of the large cities that get most of the tourists. Such lovely photos as well. Must visit here when we get to Austria.

    1. We always make the time to visit a few of the smaller towns where we travel. I’m a city girl, but my husband is not a fan of big cities so we compromise and visit both.

  4. I’m from Vienna and your post reminded me how me and some friends went on a camping trip spending a long weekend on the beautiful camping place there. The best part was when we went for a swim in the lake and found out afterwards that we sank our car keys in the lake. 😀

  5. Such a cute Austrian town! I wish I had more time in Vienna to explore more of Austria, because Salzburg (and now Mondsee) are high on my list! The Abbey reminds me a lot of all the yellow buildings and palaces in Vienna! I would definitely be checking out its interior, as I am a sucker for the Sound of Music! Thanks so much for putting Mondsee on my radar! I will definitely be adding it to my Austrian bucket list!

  6. Your daughter looks so cute in her pretty dress. I love the facade of the cafes. They look charming and friendly. I would love to visit this place someday.

    Iza c/o Fill My Passport

  7. What a charming little town! I had taken a Sound of Music bus tour in Salzburg and got to see many of the filming sites that way. I would love to see the rest in Mondsee. Thanks for sharing about this gem!

    1. We wanted to do a Sound of Music tour but since we had a toddler, we decided to do it on our own… it actually turned out better because we had more time in places like Mondsee and Mirabell Garden

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