Salzburg: Mozart, salt and ‘Sound of Music’
Quick facts about Salzburg
Salzburg is an Austrian city close to German border and with views of the Eastern Alps. The town is bisected by the Salzach River, with old city, ‘Altstadt’ sitting on the left bank and new city, ‘Neustadt’ on its right bank. Salzburg is globally known as a birthplace of the most famous classical composer – Mozart. His birthplace house is preserved and it is now a museum featuring his early life.
Famous movie classic, “The Sound of Music”, was filmed in Salzburg, with Mirabell Palace used as a backdrop. Salzburg has been also a church state for more than 1100 years in a past, in which secular and church power was unified through the prince-archbishop ruler. The church state of Salzburg grew immensely prosperous thanks to natural resources including gold and salt. Salt was important good in the past as the name Salzburg means Salt Castle.
There are many historical buildings, palaces and fortresses that testify about immense political, economic and religious power that Salzburg had in the past, that it was even nicknamed as ‘the Rome of the North’.
Main attractions in Salzburg
Fortress Hohensalzburg. With dimensions of length of 250 m and width of 150 m, this 11-th century fortress complex is one of the largest in Europe. Located atop the Festungsberg, a hill overlooking Salzburg. Mirabell Palace. Opulent 1th century palace with expansive gardens, located in the old city center of Salzburg. Offering guided tours and hosting various events, especially classical concerts in its amazing ballroom. Schloss Hellbrunn. Built in 17th century, this palace located in south of Salzburg was summer residence of Markus Sittikus, prince-archbishop of Salzburg. Featuring gardens with grottos, novelty fountains and a theater.
Salzburg Cathedral. With its dual spire front end, this 17th century cathedral is very much the centerpiece of Salzburg. Featuring baptismal font, the crypt, the art installation “Vanitas”, as well as the chest containing relics of Saints Rupert and Virgil. Getreidegasse. A busy shopping street in the historic old town of Salzburg. More famous for a birth place of Mozart, who was born in No 9 and lived there until age of 17. Mozart’s Birthplace. Birthplace of Mozart, in Getreidegasse, No. 9 in historic Altstadt. His birth house is now a museum opened for visits and showcasing exhibits about his young life.
St Peter’s Abbey. A Benedictine monastery and former cathedral in Salzburg, considered one of the oldest monasteries in the German-speaking areas, as it is founded in 7th century. Salzburg Zoo Hellbrunn. Located in the south outskirt of the city, this family friendly zoo is hosting more than 1,200 animals from 140 species from Africa, Eurasia, Australia and the Americas. Hangar-7. Futuristic building, located next to Salzburg Airport, home of the Flying Bulls display team, featuring various aircraft exhibits and Formula 1 cars. Offering art shows, restaurants and bars.
Plaza de Mozart. Public square in the city center with a memorial statue of Mozart. Also famous for the fact that Constanze, Mozart’s wife, lived there in No 8. Residenzplatz. Large 16th-century square with baroque fountain, popular meeting place and for hosting of cultural and sporting events. Salzburg Museum. Large art museum featuring contemporary and 19th-century works by artists from Salzburg city and its province.
Petersfriedhof. Picturesque, historic Christian graveyard and catacombs, dating back from 12th century, located at the foot of the Festungsberg hill. Stift Nonnberg. Convent church, dated back to 8th century and consecrated in 1009. Featuring a crypt, 12th century frescoes and offering Roman Catholic services. Kapuzinerberg. City views with a cloister and a restaurant atop a scenic hill across the Salzach River.
Mönchsberg. Mountain in the center of Salzburg, accessible by lift and several footpaths. Featuring woods, meadows, castles and a modern art museum. Makartsteg. Famous bridge over Salzach River. Popular with tourist who come here to attach padlocks symbolizing their love to each other. There are thousands of padlocks, serving as a peculiar attraction. Haus der Natur Salzburg. Large, hands-on, interactive science and nature museum. Featuring also an aquarium and reptile zoo.
DomQuartier Salzburg – Mehr als ein Museum. Architectural complex comprising of five museums, featuring art, culture and historical exhibits. Franciscan Church, Salzburg. One of the oldest churches in Salzburg, originally founded in 8th century. Featuring architectural influences (including a Baroque interior) from several periods. Mozarts Wohnhaus. Former residence of famous composer, now hosting a museum showcasing Mozart’s life.
From other attractions we recommend: Stiegl-Brauwelt, Gaisberg, Saalach and Museum der Moderne Salzburg.
Top things to do in Salzburg
We recommended about 25 different landmarks and attractions that are most popular in and around Salzburg. Depending on your time limit and budget, you can also try and visit following: Day trip to Hallstatt, a scenic lake and village, Sound of Music Locations and Hallein Salt Mine Day Tour, or notorious Eagle’s Nest.
Festivals and events in Salzburg
Salzburg has very lively cultural scene with many concerts and art festivals. Here are few annual events.
Mozart Week (January/February), Salzburg Easter Festival (April/May), Salzburg Festival (July/August), Salzburg Culture Days (October), Jazz & The City (October), Salzburg Advent Singing (November/December), Winterfest (November-January) and several events related to Christmas (December).
Interesting facts about Salzburg
Best time to fly to Salzburg
The peak season for flights to Salzburg is January, February and December. The low season for purchasing tickets is April, May and November.
Salzburg is served by W. A. Mozart Salzburg Airport (SZG). Direct flights to Salzburg are offered by 13 airlines.