Visiting Salzburg - What to See and Do
(Salzburg Airport W. A. Mozart SZG, Austria)
The home of Mozart and backdrop of the Sound of Music, Salzburg
is one of the sparkling gems of Austria
if not all of Europe
. Cut in two by the cobalt Salzach River and surrounded by the rolling Alps, Salzburg offers the perfect blend of natural beauty and historic charm.
Its UNESCO-protected Old Town is one of the finest in Europe, a storybook setting of stately houses, historic attractions, plazas like the Waagplatz and cobbled lanes. This quarter is certainly the jewel in the crown of Salzburg, even though the equally impressive Hohensalzburg Fortress literally crowns the city on its hilltop.
The Salzach River provides a great place for breezy walks, with the popular Folk Garden park being located along its banks, right in the heart of the city. Check out Austria's largest brewery, or soar up to the summit of Mount Untersberg in a scenic cable car. There is amazing shopping and dining along the Getreidegasse Lane, and plenty of nightlife options to enjoy, ranging from classical symphonies to cavernous beer halls. Prepare to fall in love with Austria.
Ten things you must do in Salzburg
- Wander the twisted cobblestone streets of the Old Town to experience the wealth and glory of medieval Salzburg's attractions. Its alleys are filled with taverns, cafés, boutique shops and lovely old burghers' houses. Even better, let a horse and carriage ferry you around this UNESCO district in comfort.
- Relive your favourite scene in the Sound of Music at the Mirabell Gardens. This public park right in the heart of the city is laid out with reflecting pools, fountains, pathways and green lawns. It is a regal beauty amidst an equally enchanting urban cityscape.
- Towering over Salzburg is the 900 year-old Hohensalzburg Fortress, the best-maintained medieval fortress in central Europe. Besides the jaw-dropping panoramic views from the site, the castle offers a glimpse into the power and royalty of the prince-archbishops of Austria. Walk up a lane, hike a path or ride the funicular train to reach this iconic attraction.
- The Salzburg Museum is the ideal place to get a taste of the antiquity of this region of Europe. Besides its renowned collection of Old Masters art, visitors can see some rare ancient artefacts uncovered from the area, dating back to the Roman era and beyond.
- One of the most opulent palaces you will ever see is the Residenz State Rooms, just north of the Domplatz. The art and décor here are stunning, from its collection of paintings to the magnificent Residenz fountain and its series of stately rooms befitting royalty.
- Take a break from the city and ride the cable car to the top of Mount Untersberg. As the tallest peak in the area, Untersberg offers unbeatable views over the entire Alps range, Salzburg and the green valleys that spread off in the distance.
- Famous across the globe for its organ with 4,000 pipes, the Salzburg Dom is a beautiful piece of architecture. Some critics even call this Renaissance cathedral the most perfect in the whole Germanic region. You be the judge, and don't miss the treasures of the church housed in the adjoining Dom Museum.
- Fans of Mozart have plenty of personal history to explore in the composer's birth town. From the Mozart Geburtshaus where he was born to the Mozart Wohnhaus, where he lived in his later years, you can see mementos of this genius and get a sense of how he lived while composing his masterpieces.
- Plan your visit around the famous Salzburg Festival, held every July and August. The city showcases an extraordinary schedule of theatrical, opera and musical performances at historic venues across Salzburg. It is a fantastic time to be in town if you enjoy the cultural arts. However, if you are here at another time, you can still catch world-class opera at the 18th-century Landestheater or a very enjoyable traditional puppet performance at the Marionette Theatre.
- Take a tour of the Stiegl's Brewery World, Austria's largest beer brewery. In addition to the massive brewing facility tour, visitors get a look into the history of beer brewing in Austria and even get two glasses of beer at the end of the tour.