Top 8 things to do in Salzburg
Mozart's birthplace, mesmerising scenery and a fairytale castle. See what else Salzburg has to offer.
Nestled in amongst Alpine trees in the Austrian Alps, Salzburg’s domes and turrets rise dramatically from the forested mountains.
The city’s charm can be found in its historic centre where you’ll see many reminders of its most famous resident - Mozart - amongst trendy cafés and pristine parks. It is a truly magical city – after a day of strolling around you’ll understand exactly just what Julie Andrews was singing about…
1. Hohensalzburg Fortress
Despite being over 900 years old, Salzburg’s dominating fortress is incredibly well preserved and is visible throughout much of the city. Accessible via a steep climb or quick ride in a glass funicular, it is a place that you could spend hours exploring, taking in the surrounding views and breathing in the fresh mountain air. It also houses several museums, the Fortress Museum in particular being one not to miss as it is filled with medieval objects, weaponry and for the less faint-hearted, some pretty grisly torture devices.
2. Salzburg festival
From mid-July to the end of August, Salzburg hosts the third oldest festival in Europe - a celebration of music and theatre. You can see a variety of classical and modern musicians and performances in venues throughout the city.
Read more: 10 of the world's most amazing festivals
3. Mozart’s birthplace
Like many a genius during his lifetime, his hometown did not pay much notice or celebrate the success of Mozart – you’d hardly believe that these days with the sheer amount of Mozart themed tat in its gift shops. Many attractions even use him as their claim to fame (the city’s cathedral promotes itself as being the church that he was baptised in, for example). However, a trip to his birthplace is highly recommended. Filled with mementoes, portraits and of course instruments, it is a treasure trove collection that explores his early years.
Read more: 5 must-visit cities for culture-vultures
Dominated by a statue of the man himself, the heart of Salzburg’s hometown pays tribute to the composer. This beautiful square is framed in baroque architecture and it is the best starting point to explore the rest of the old town.
5. Hellbrun palace and trick fountains
This beautiful yellow mansion sits in rather luxurious surroundings. It is a great place for children (or indeed the young at heart) as in its neighbouring gardens you’ll find an array of trick fountains that have been in place for 400 years. You are more than likely to get splashed so maybe leave the expensive camera at home when you visit here…
6. Brunnauers Magazin restaurant
Along with the excellent Austrian cuisine, served by award winning chef Richard Brunnauer, this restaurant stands out due to its stylish interiors and location in a repurposed World War Two bunker – a cave at the side of the Mönchsberg Mountain.
7. Mirabell palace and gardens
There are spots all over the city that pay some sort of tribute to The Sound of Music, but it is probably here that’ll make you want to fling your arms in the air and declare that the hills are alive with the sound of music. These gardens were the scene for the song Do-re-mi, so even the most ardent hater of musicals will be humming the tune by the time they leave. Doe a deer….
8. Brewery Stiegl-Brauwelt
If you are going to drink anything in Salzburg, it should probably be Stiegl. Founded in 1492, it has been the tipple of choice for over 500 years. Its brewery prides itself on being a ‘paradise’ for beer lovers with over 35,000 square metres to explore. _Prost! _
Read more: Beer we go: 7 of the best drinking destinations in Europe
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