The area on the road to the copper mines in the Pongau region in the south had been settled at least since the Bronze Age. Formerly held by the Bavarian counts of Plain, Golingen first appeared in a 1241 deed issued by the Salzburg Archbishop Eberhard II. A market was already mentioned in 1284, market rights were officially granted about 1390. The Prince Archbishops had Golling Castle erected on a rock above the town as seat of the local administration. It was heavily devastated during the German Peasants' War in 1526.
In September 1809, Pass Lueg south of the town was the site of heavy fighting, when Salzburg rebels made a stand against united Franco-Bavarian occupation forces during the War of the Fifth Coalition. They could however not prevent the annexation by the Kingdom of Bavaria according to the Treaty of Schönbrunn. With Salzburg, Golling passed to the Austrian Empire in 1816 by resolution of the Vienna Congress