Birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and backdrop for The Sound of Music, the pictorial hamlet of Salzburg is the jewel of Austria. Nestled snugly in the northern Alps, on the shore of the Salzach River, the city’s location couldn’t possibly be more idyllic.
Although blessed with achingly stunning vistas, Salzburg itself is quite a draw. The old quarter of the city is one of the best preserved in Europe and unsurprisingly, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. With tremendous inherent tourist appeal, the Old Town has a tendency to monopolize the bulk of attention in Salzburg, and for good reason. Like most vibrant university towns however, there’s a lot more in store for visitors than gorgeous Baroque architecture.
- Salzburg Castle – The most powerful of all central European fortresses, which was built in 1077.
- St Peter's Abbey – Founded by St Rupert during the Romanesque Period.
- Salzburg Cathedral – The cornerstone for the elaborate Baroque cathedral was laid in 1614.
- Franciscan Church – Magnificent example of Baroque architecture and one of the oldest churches in Salzburg.
- Stiftskeller St Peter – The oldest restaurant in Europe in which you can enjoy a candlelight dinner and entertainment by musicians who perform works by Mozart.
Salzburg Art & Culture
- Salzburg Festival – The most famous cultural event in Salzburg, in which 2,000 classical music events are performed in the spectacular palaces and churches.
- The Sound of Music Tour – Scenic guided tour of the historic scenes where the movie was filmed.
- Salzburg Residence Tour – Contains a priceless collection of paintings from the 16th to 19th centuries.
- Advent Singing & Advent Music – Features concerts and special events in churches, cathedrals and monasteries during Advent.
- Salzburg Christmas Eve Tour to the Silent Night Chapel – Attend Christmas Eve Mass at the famous chapel where "Silent Night" was first performed in 1818.
- Christ Child Fair – The best known of the Salzburg Christmas markets.
- Old City – Hundreds of shops and boutiques selling jewellery, antiques, souvenirs and other items.
- Getriedegasse – Mainly a pedestrian walkway featuring shops of every description in historic buildings.
- Linzergasse – Another pedestrian walkway in the New Town section where locals hang out.
- Europark – The largest of Salzburg's shopping malls.
Gay & Lesbian Salzburg
- 2-Stein at Steingasse and Linzergasse – Right next to the Hotel Stein is a well-known spot for gay people to meet.
- The Rosenhügel – One of Salzburg's most well-known late-night spots.
- The Princess – One of most popular gay bars with some great restaurants nearby.
- Hosi-Cafe/bar – Usually open on weekends and located at Mullner Hauptstrasse, West Bank.
- Diva – The most famed of the gay bars in Salzburg.
- Werfen Ice Caves Tour – The tour includes Salzach Valley, Castle Werfen and the world's largest ice caves.
- Private Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides – Three-hour tours of the countryside around Salzkammergut near Salzburg.
- Tauern Cycling Trail and Mozart Cycling Trail – Scenic bike routes are part of a network of trails going through Salzburg.
- Salzburg Hiking – Explore the mountains of the city for panoramic views.
- Untersberg – Reach Geiereck Peak by cable car for panoramic views of Salzburg and other parts of Germany.
- Enjoy spas with heated outdoor pools.
- Lakes of Salzkammergut, Neusiedlersee and Salzburger Seenland have great skating.
- Walk the Nordic routes through the forest near the Untersberg.
- Kayaking and white-water rafting on the Lammer.
- Traverse gorges, waterfalls and climb vertical rock walls.
The Sound of Music, one of the most popular films in history, put Salzburg on the map. Tours of locations familiar to fans of the landmark musical are readily available throughout the city.
The Salzkammergut is a popular resort area that spans Salzburg proper and the Dachstein range. With crystal lakes, mountains and alpine pastures, the UNESCO World Heritage region is ideal for a day-trip.
The extraordinary palace of Schloss Leopoldskron is a national emblem in Austria not just because of associations with The Sound of Music but for grand architecture and rococo interior decor. For a truly royal experience, visitors can stay and dine at the palace.
The former summer palace of Markus Sittikus, prince-bishop of Salzburg from 1612 to 1619, is now a popular recreation space. Hellbrunn Palace provides visitors access to the fabulous estate, in addition to beautiful gardens and trick fountains.
The Old Town of Salzburg is the principal lure in the city. The sites are plentiful here, from Salzburg Cathedral to a medieval castle and fortress that dates back to 1077. The Getreidegasse is a lively commercial street that features the birthplace and formative home of Mozart. The Benedictine monastery of Nonnberg Abbey, with foundation stones that date back to 714, is another compulsory Old Town site.
With over 4,000 music and theatre events held throughout the year, Salzburg is a hub of culture and festivals. As the birthplace of Mozart, the city has a lot to live up to. No matter what time of year you visit Salzburg however, superb palaces and historic concert halls host a surfeit of terrific and eclectic concerts.
The last week of January in Salzburg is Mozart Week, the most indelible tribute to the composer, with scores of international musicians in attendance.
The Salzburg Festival, held from the last week of July until the end of August, is one of the premier events in Austria. The paramount celebration of culture features a program of opera, plays and concerts that draws over 250,000 visitors.
Other important Salzburg festivals throughout the year include the Easter Festival, Summer Scene, Culture Days and Jazz Festival.
Salzburg has a typical Alpine climate with four seasons and medium to heavy rain and snow throughout the year.
- Winter (November to March) -3-10°C
- Spring (April to May) 4-20°C
- Summer (June to August) 12-24°C
- Fall (September to October) 6-20°C
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