When I was researching things to see and do in Salzburg, I came across Untersberg mountain and the cable car that carries visitors to the top of it for most of the year. I was almost finished with our itinerary, and it was pretty museum, cathedral, and Christmas market-heavy, so I jumped at the chance to ascend a peak with snowy trails, views, and a restaurant at the top, especially since it was so close to Salzburg.
Getting to the base of Untersberg is easy - the number 25 (public) bus goes directly from the center of Salzburg to the station where the cable car leaves for the top every half an hour. We had a 48-hour Salzburg Card, so our ride up and down was included (Untersberg was an important factor in us choosing the 48-hour card over the 24-hour card), as was public transportation to and from the area.
It's hard to say whether we enjoyed our time on the cable car or our time walking around at the top of the mountain more. We were able to see different yet striking views from both, although the cable car was certainly warmer and felt a bit more secure as we didn't have to watch our step like we did walking around on the snowy summit! I can't imagine that there's a bad time of year to visit Untersberg, honestly. We were there at the end of December, but I'm sure every season has something special to offer. This was, for sure, my favorite thing we did while in Salzburg, and I can't recommend a trip up Untersberg enough - just be ready for the wind and cool temperatures that await you at the top!
D - Besides eating copious amounts of fatty foods at the local Christmas markets, Untersberg was definitely the most dangerous thing that we did on our Christmas vacation. I'll admit, I'm far from an adrenaline junkie, but the cable car certainly made my heart beat just a bit faster. Beyond that, there are no guard rails at the top of the mountain and it would be all too easy for a person to wander a bit too close to the edge of one of the many cliff sides, slip on some black ice, and plummet over the edge into the oblivion. There was an unleashed dog running around while we were up there and I was legitimately scared for his life on several occasions as he sniffed his way towards the edge and his paws started sliding around on the ice. Thankfully, the dog is fine (as far as I know). The wide path up on top of the mountain is just a series of steep, slick, icy hills. All that being said, the sliver of (very real) danger made the activity all the more awesome, and I would readily recommend Untersberg to any tourists nearby.