Salzburg Pension: The Cheap Accommodation
In Austria, the term "Pension" can refer to two things: Retirement - or private accommodation that ranges from something similar to a B&B to a borderline hotel (which, we guess, is similar to the variety of applications for the term B&B in English speaking countries). The plural of Pension is Pensionen and we are telling you about this because we, the editorial team of Visit-Salzburg.net, have received several requests regarding private accommodation in Salzburg by e-mail in the past.
Unfortunately, the city of Salzburg itself is sub-ideal for finding nice and affordable Pensionen. This is because Salzburg and its immediate surroundings are so touristy that what might have been a Pension a few decades ago has developed into a four star hotel by now. Or closed to serve a different purpose - real estate in Salzburg is expensive and running a Pension might not be the most lucrative use for a building.
Why a Pension & How to find one
The advantages of a typical Austrian Pension are obvious: It is more authentic, you get to talk to locals, you usually live in an area where you get to see other people than just tourists - and it is usually significantly cheaper than hotels. Whilst this is not necessarily the case in Salzburg, it still applies in the smaller towns and villages in the capital′s surroundings. The communities that border to Salzburg are still very touristy and popular for travel agents that sell package deals for coaches. Therefore, we recommend to look for places in a distance of at least 15 kilometres to the city centre.
Note that every village in Austria has a tourist information centre (TIC). In touristy areas, these occupy proper offices at least during the main season; in less touristy areas, the TIC might be part of the municipal administration and some civil servant is in charge with advising visitors. In any case, TICs are indicated by white "i" letters on a green background and will provide assistance in finding the right Pension for your needs.
If you travel by car, you will in good shape for finding bargain deals off the beaten track. If you prefer to rely on public means of transport, have a look at villages that are linked to the local railway network. For example Puch and Oberalm in Salzburg′s south or Seekirchen, Neumarkt and Oberndorf in the north of the Flachgau.
Wikipedia on Pension in the touristy sense