Overlooked by the Eastern Alps, Salzburg Austria is a gorgeous baroque city that wears its history on its sleeve. The ‘old town’ area is beautifully preserved, looking more like a film set than a modern city. Salzburg’s two big draws are Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and The Sound of Music, and plenty of tours and visits cater for fans of both.
When you see Salzburg from any angle, your eye is instantly drawn to the huge fortress that towers above the city. This is Hohensalzburg castle, accessible to tourists by a scenic train ride up the mountain the castle resides on top of. When you reach your destination, there is a fortress museum, a regimental museum, and a very unusual (and fun!) Marionette museum, which looks back on the history of Salzburg’s marionette theater.
Salzburg is the home of many grand palaces and castles, but Mirabell Palace is one of the best to visit in the city. Set in beautiful landscaped gardens (where many scenes from The Sound of Music were filmed), the palace is open to visitors most days. Mozart performed in its elegant concert hall, where classical concerts are still played in the summer months. Originally built for a King’s mistress, the grand palace has become one of the jewels of Salzburg, including beautiful views of the city and the Alps.
Things To Do
Birthplace and home to the greatest composer to ever live, Salzburg is incredibly proud to be the city of Mozart. Mozart themed attractions include his place of birth, a pastel yellow building in the old town which holds a small museum, his later home in the old town where he composed 150 musical works, and Mozartplatz, a beautiful square in the Old Town where his statue proudly resides. Fans will want to visit the city during Mozart week at the end of January, where the works of Mozart are performed at venues throughout the city.
Try Salzburg Cuisine
Salzburg is home to a large amount of five star restaurants considering its size, but the true taste of Salzburg is much more simple. It has a thriving beer culture, with some of the finest beers in the world brewed in the city limits. Austrian cuisine certainly has a sweet tooth too, with apple strudel being the most famous dish (try the one at Cafe Mozart), or Kaiserschmarrn, a warm shredded pancake served with a rich fruit compote, named after Emperor Joseph of Austria.
Where to Stay
The Hotel Am Dom is a very centrally located hotel converted from an 800 year old townhouse, meaning the old city is right on your doorstep. The Hotel Schloss Monchstein is a little bit outside the city, but rewards the trip with incredible views across the city from the hotel, which is a little bit up the mountain. It’s a five star luxury getaway, complete with a spa and a brilliant restaurant.
For budget travellers, there is a handful of good quality hostels in and around the Old Town area, including the very well run and centrally located Goldenes Theatre Hotel. Cheaper rooms can be found towards the train station and away from the historic centre, but these are only a short tram ride away from the sights.