Salzburg: a fairytale city
Clustered around a fairytale fortress with spellbinding views over the Austrian Alps, Salzburg blends historic architecture with a distinctly modern street scene. The Old Town may have barely changed since Mozart lived here more 250 years ago, but underneath that Baroque façade runs an undercurrent of cultural and gastronomic innovation that gives the city its endless energy.
If you are looking for a short city break, Salzburg is a prime destination. Come to stroll through wildflower meadows, peruse ancient churches, dine in world-class restaurants or simply paint the town red if that’s what you prefer.
Ride up in the Festungsbahn funicular railway to see the city’s 900-year-old clifftop fortress. Feast your eyes on the Golden Hall, where the gold-studded ceiling imitates a starry sky, breathe in the view from the vast ramparts and shudder at the gruesome torture devices housed in the Fortress Museum.
Address: Mönchsberg 34
Opening times: Daily 0930-1700 (Oct-Apr); 0900-1900 (May-Sep)
A single ticket gives visitors access to five museums within this vast UNESCO World Heritage Site, including the famous Cathedral Museum – check out its Art and Curiosity Chamber and see oddities including stuffed animals and scientific equipment from the 17th century.
Address: Residenzplatz 1/Domplatz 1a
Opening times: Wed-Mon 1000-1700
Mozart was born on 27 January 1756 on the third floor of the Hagenauer House. Now a museum and a pilgrimage site for fans of Mozart, it exhibits memorabilia from the prolific composer’s childhood, including his violin and clavichord.
Address: Getreidegasse 9
Opening times: Daily 0900-1730 (Sep-Jun); 0830-1900 (Jul-Aug)
Quirky things to see and do...
St Sebastian’s Cemetery
Skulls are the core theme of this fascinatingly morbid cemetery, which was built in 1502 and holds Mozart’s closest family as well as the famous philosopher Paracelsus. Have fun spotting the different macabre carvings, including winged skulls, skulls with hourglasses and a skull with a snake emerging from its eye socket.
Address: Linzer G. 41
Opening times: Daily 0900-1800
The Sound of Music Tour
This legendary film was shot in many places across Salzburg including Schloss Leopoldskron (the house where the family lived in the film) and Mirabell Gardens and the Pegasus Fountain (the dance scene with Maria and the children). Panorama Tours take visitors to see all of the original film settings.
Stiegl – World of Brewing
Brewing since 1492, this brewery now fills 90,000 bottles of Stiegl every hour. Take a guided tour to explore the facilities or sign up for a full-day beer seminar where visitors learn about beer varieties, enjoy an exclusive 5-course sampling menu and receive a beer connoisseur diploma.
Address: Bräuhausstraße 9
Opening times: Daily 1000-1700 (Sep-Jun); 1000-1900 (Jul-Aug)
Food and drink
Famous for its chocolatiers, fromageries and Michelin-starred restaurants, Salzburg’s is a gastronomist’s paradise. The must-try specialities include Schnitzel (battered veal), Tafelspitz (boiled beef), Salzburger Nockerl (baked vanilla soufflé), and Mozartkugeln, commonly known as Mozart Balls which is made of pistachio marzipan and covered with dark chocolate.