Salzburg holidays from
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Experience a symphony of cultural delights
There’s plenty more to Salzburg than Mozart and The Sound of Music, though both of those can be found in abundance of course. Waltz your way around a city chock full of stately palaces, Baroque squares, world-class concert halls, charming cafes and buzzing beer gardens. Salzburg is also a gateway to the Alps, which form a staggeringly scenic backdrop to this pocket-sized Austrian city.
Take the funicular up to the imposing Hohensalzburg Fortress for 360-degree views of the city and mountains. Afterwards discover the ancient catacombs chiselled from the Monchsberg cliff face and visit St Peter’s Abbey, established in 696. Then call in at Mozart’s Birthplace to learn about Salzburg’s most famous son, before strolling through the beautiful gardens of the Mirabell Palace. Check out the DomQuartier, home to the impressive cathedral where Mozart was baptised and the equally lavish Residenz Palace with its gallery chock full of Old Masters. Look out for the Sphaera statue of a giant golden globe, too. Try not to get sprayed by the Trick Fountains in the extensive grounds of the Hellbrunn Palace where you’ll also find a mechanical theatre and hidden grottos. Catch a quirky rendition of The Sound of Music at the Salzburg Marionette Theatre, which is included on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Book your flights to Salzburg today.
Carefully selected Salzburg hotels
Best hotels in Salzburg for all types of traveller
We have a great range of quality hotels in Salzburg to recommend. The Imlauer Hotel Pitter Salzburg is in the Neustadt (New Town), near the Mirabellgarten. The Sky Bar & Restaurant offers award-winning cuisine and stunning city views. The Sacher Salzburg has been welcoming guests for over 150 years. Rooms and suites are elegantly decorated, some having balconies. Overlooking the Salzach River, the hotel is just yards from Mozart's former residence and the Linze Gasse Platzl, a historic plaza and shopping avenue. The Holiday Inn Salzburg City is a budget-friendly contemporary hotel in the New Town area, a short walk from the main train station. Thinking of heading up into the Alps? Hotel der Waldhof, in the lakeside resort of Zell am See, is close to the cable cars which provide year-round access to the slopes. It also offers indoor and outdoor heated pools, a spa/wellness area and a gym. Another good option nearby is the Hotel Two Timez. Offering modern, spacious rooms, it’s ideally located between the lake and mountains. Its facilities include a rooftop bar and terrace with stunning views, and a sauna.
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Salzburg Christmas markets
When: 23 November 2023 – 1 January 2024
Feel the warmth of festivities in Austria. Salzburg is home to several Christmas markets, from the main market around Cathedral Square, to the sparkle of the Mirabell Palace market. Wrap up in big coats, warm your hands with a cup of mulled wine and soak up the wintery enchantment of the city. Pop along to Hellbrunn Palace, for a real Christmas treat..
Salzburg holiday FAQs
Make the most of your Salzburg holiday
Salzburg has an impressive cache of museums for a city of its size. Some of the best include Hohensalzburg Fortress’s museums of torture and puppetry, alongside those showcasing modern art, sacred art, cutting-edge photography, House of Nature and even a Christmas Museum. There’s also the excellent Salzburg Museum.
What are the best things to do in Salzburg?
1. Tunnel 400 metres underground at the oldest salt mine in the world, the Hallstatt Salt Mines. Ride the funicular train up the mountain and then plunge into a unique underground world first carved by hand over 3,000 years ago. State-of-the-art technology brings this site of Bronze Age industry to life.
2. Hitler’s summer residence the Eagle’s Nest (Kehlsteinhaus) was built for his 50th birthday just across the border near the German town of Berchtesgaden and enjoys a scenic location on a mountain top some 1,300 metres above the valley below. Enjoy a bite of traditional Bavarian cuisine at its on-site restaurant with panoramic Alpine views.
3. Straddling the German border, the rugged, 1,973-metre-high peak of Untersberg rises above Salzburg. Take a twice-hourly cable car to the summit to feast on views of the city, the Rositten Valley and the Tyrolean, Salzburg and Bavarian Alps. It’s busy with local skiers in the winter, replaced by hikers, climbers and paragliders come summer.
4. You can’t go far in Salzburg without encountering the city’s famous musical prodigy. As well as Mozart’s birthplace, housing 18th Century furniture, his violin and clavichord, there’s the Mozart Residence, where the composer and his family lived from 1773 until 1781. See Mozart’s piano, alongside many original documents and paintings and then pop into the Magic Flute House, the shed transplanted from its original Vienna home where Mozart composed his masterpiece.
5. There’s a brace of charming Christmas markets in and around Salzburg. The best and biggest on Residenz Square hosts regular music events in front of the cathedral, while the one at Hellbrunn Courtyard features a giant advent calendar. There are also smaller markets on Mirabell Square, the Hohensalzburg Fortress and the St Leonhard Pilgrimage Church.
Where are the best places to visit in Salzburg?
Hallstatt is a small, picturesque lakeside village complete with pastel-hued houses wedged between lofty mountains on all sides. Its key attractions are the ancient salt mine, an ossuary, boat rides on Lake Hallstatt, a Catholic church with its mountainside graveyard, the mighty Dachstein glacier and trips to the stunning caves of nearby Obertraun.
You can drive just half an hour out of Salzburg to be within reach of three beautiful lakes in the Salzkammergut region. Many visit Wolfgangsee; it’s one of the area’s clearest lakes, and you can hire a motorboat to go out on the water. A cable car from the lakeside village of St Gilgen takes you to the top of Zwolferhorn – a green, pleasant hiking peak from where the surrounding lakes look like little puddles.
For a quieter stay, pretty Lake Fuschl (Fuschlsee) next door has a ban on motorboats and a reputation for hosting the rich and famous. The lake, home of the Red Bull HQ, is the site of choice for many fancy summer homes. The lake is one of the cleanest in the region with water pure enough to even drink.
Between Innsbruck and Salzburg, in the province of Tyrol, lies the upscale medieval town of Kitzbuhel. Speed demons flock there in winter to take on the Hahnenkamm ski race. The steep slopes conjure images of James Bond fleeing down the mountainside – Ian Fleming was educated here after being ‘removed’ from both Eton and Sandhurst. Head out on the biking trails after breakfast in the local coffee shops. For dinner, famous Rosi’s Sonnbergstuben is a restaurant with tableside yodelling courtesy of local celebrity Rosi.
Zell am See is one of Austria’s prime ski resorts offering spectacular views of Lake Zell and the surrounding mountains. The best skiing can be had on Kitzsteinhorn glacier above the village of Kaprun which shares a lift pass with the resort, while the sizeable town offers a lively apres-ski scene.
There are several other prime ski resorts near Salzburg. Saalbach has 270 kilometres of runs and is ideal for intermediate skiers. Centred around a charming Tyrolean town, it’s renowned for its rocking nightlife. Obertauern has a wide variety of pistes spread across 100 accessible kilometres catering for everyone from beginners to daredevils. There’s night-time skiing here and a dedicated snow park, plus the charms of a mile-long apres-ski scene. The lesser-known gem of Hochkonig offers 120 kilometres of versatile slopes taking in six peaks. Enjoy superlative Alpine panoramas and ski huts serving superior cuisine. Another underrated resort is the Salzburger Sportwelt. It’s spread across seven distinct holiday towns and nine ski areas, so freeskiers and snowboarders get their adrenaline fix here, while novices learn in one of 25 ski schools. A new cable car connects up to 210 kilometres of slopes.
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