With three universities, multiple baroque churches, and palaces aplenty, there are loads of amusements in Austria’s most musical city.
Many visitors flock to Salzburg to celebrate The Sound of Music. Beware, some of the tours taking you to sights from the famous film are quite literally all-singing, all-dancing. Try the One and Only Sound of Music Tour, which whizzes you through all the key sights with gusto. Tired of Von Trapp re-enactments in the Mirabell Gardens? Then leave the city – it’s not such a drastic measure; a pleasant half hour bike ride takes you to the quirky Hellbrun Palace, where oddities include trick fountains in the gardens, and a taxidermied unicorn.
Salzburg’s most visible icon is its 900 year old clifftop fortress, Festung Hohensalzburg, which is reached by a fun funicular ride. On the way, stop at a few churches – you can choose between 27 in the city, but the most impressive is, of course, Salzburg Cathedral, with its magnificent dome and frescoed interior.
You can’t move for Mozart in Salzburg; first there’s his modest birthplace, the Mozart-Wohnhaus. Then you’ll find his statue at Mozartplatz and his stately family home the Mozart Residence, which contains a museum. Among the many priceless treasures here is his diminutive first violin, which he received when he was just six years old.
Shopping and food
Salzburg’s most famous shopping street is the Getreidegasse, where wrought iron guild signs hang outside every shop. Traditional businesses and coffee houses still thrive in the centre of the city. Café culture is very much part of life in Austria, and ordering a coffee – with a generous side of whipped cream – is one of the city’s great pleasures. Afterwards, drop into a chocolatier for another Salzburg delicacy – the marzipan-filled ‘Mozart ball’.
Festivals and events
Salzburg is famous for festivals – the century-old Salzburg Festival has over a hundred classical performances over 40 days in July and August. In winter, between November and December the coming of the popular Christmas Markets turn Cathedral Square into a maze of gingerbread and gifts.
Skiing in Salzburg
The Salzburg area has 23 ski regions and more than 2,750 km of exceptional slopes – so everyone, from beginners to black run veterans can find great skiing. The Salzburg Super Ski Card is accepted in all 23 major ski regions in the area, including the popular resorts at Kaprun, Saalbach-Interglemm and Zell am See. Whether you’re snowboarding, sledding or skiing, it’s all a simple transfer from Salzburg airport.
British Airways flies to Salzburg up to nine times a week during the winter season.