The German word Salz means salt and the rivers name is derived from it. Until the 19th century shipping of salt down the river was an important part of the local economy. The shipping ended when railways replaced the old transport system.
It is the main river of the Austrian state of Salzburg. The source is located in the Alps near Kitzbühel (Tyrol). From here it runs northwards and passes the cities of Hallein and Salzburg. Then it forms the border between Germany (Bavaria) and Austria for almost 70 km. Cities on the banks in this last section include Laufen, Tittmoning and Burghausen. All this towns have border crossings. The river finally joins the Inn near Braunau.
It is possible to walk the about 40 km from Laufen to Burghausen on the German side.