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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrThis picturesque city looks exactly as Mozart’s hometown should with its Alpine scenery, Baroque palaces and a mighty fortress bearing down on cobbled streets. It has a UNESCO-listed Old Town of medieval houses and cobbled lanes. The city was founded on the wealth of salt, mined from the neighboring mountains. Architecture is far from being Salzburg’s only cultural attraction.
Musically, the highlight is the annual summer Salzburg Festival, a month-long festival of opera and classical performances that attracts the world’s top performers. The festival may be the cultural highlight of the year, but it is also an expensive time to visit, with hotels often nearly doubling their rates. Pilgrims flock here for another musical triumph – The Sound of Music was filmed in the city. In winter, the city is truly beautiful, as squares transform into bustling Christmas markets and candlelit taverns fill with skiers. Being a university town and a city of music and culture par excellence, Salzburg has a bustling nightlife with a decent number of bars, clubs and live music venues.
Hohensalzburg CastleThe Hohensalzburg Castle, standing high above the city of Salzburg, is Europe's biggest medieval fortification. The castle, built in 1077 on the top of the Monchsberg mountain, is the home of the Archbishops of Salzburg for centuries. Take a ride on the funicular from the Festungsgasse and enjoy a breathtaking view over the city of Salzburg. You can also do it on foot, it's a nice walk up there and the climb is much easier than it looks. There are organised tours around the palatial state rooms, Ghotic torture chambers and museum collections or you can make your own way around.
Mozarts GeburtshausIn 1773, the apartment at Getreidegasse Alley became too small for the Mozart family and the family moved to the other side of the Salzach River. Located in the heart of the city, the three-floor Geburtshaus museum features Mozart's first violin and other instruments, as well as videos of his most famous operas.
Mozart-WohnhausThe house where the Mozart family lived from 1773 is worth a visit. Its main treasure is the famous painting by Johann Nepomuk della Croce showing the grown-up Wolfgang Amadeus, his sister, Nannerl, at the clavichord while their father, Leopold, plays the violin as a portrait of his dead wife looks down from a wall. Alongside family portraits and documents, you’ll find Mozart’s original fortepiano. A new ''multivision'' show illustrates Mozart's life and works several times a day.
Mirabell Palace & GardensThe Mirabell Palace was built in 1606 by the immensely wealthy and powerful Prince-Archbishop Wolf-Dietrich for his mistress, Salomé Alt, and their 15 children. If you can, visit in summer. That's when the flowers are in bloom, and the gardens are really amazing. Open year-round, the Mirabell Palace and Gardens are free to the public.
Hellbrunn CastleA short bus ride from the city center, Hellbrunn Castle is most famous for its magnificent gardens. Archbishop Markus Sittikus's 17th century summer palace still has traces of its formerly lavish Italianate décor to admire. One of the many delights of the castle gardens is the Mechanical Theater, a miniature model of a Baroque city complete with water-powered moving people and organ music—by Mozart, of course.
Salzburg CathedralSalzburg Cathedral is the best-known religious landmark of the city. The oldest bishop's church in Austria today, an early-Baroque building (1614-28) designed by Santino Solari, is situated on the site of the first documented church from 774. Outstanding features include the stucco décor throughout and the paintings in the archways.
Hallein Salt MineHallein Salt Main , located about 15 kilometers south of Salzburg, is a must-see. The expedition to the salt world of the Dürnberg Mountain starts with changing into traditional miners’ clothes. Completely dressed in white, a small miners’ train takes you deep into the tunnels of the salt mines. Wooden mine slides will bring you deeper and deeper underground. Guided tours depart every half-hour.
Salzburg FestivalSince 1920 the world-famous Salzburg Festival, the third-oldest on the continent, has developed into what may well be the world's most famous event of its kind. The festival takes advantage of many of the lovely buildings in the city as stages. The Residenz, or home of the archbishops, is a splendid palace where one may enjoy chamber concerts, Mozart's operas or lieder evenings by candlelight. Festival tickets sell out early, so buy them well in advance.
Food & DrinkThe variety of restaurants in Salzburg is great, from pubs and traditional cafés to fancy restaurants, trendy bars and cosy taverns. The streets of the Alter Market area, as well as Getreidegasse, Griegsgasse and Linzer Gasse all sport many different places to choose from. Local Austrian food is the specialty in many of the city's rustic inns, but you can also find excellent international dishes. For fast food, Salzburgers love their broiled-sausage street stands. Salzburg is famous for its desserts, especially Mozart-Kugeln, a confection of chocolate and marzipan.
ShoppingA variety of shops can be found in the Old City, on Getreidegasse, Judengasse and in the traditional passageways including long-established shops, international chains and small boutiques. The biggest shopping center is Europark with more than 130 shops. Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss and many other designer brands are all available at bargain prices at Designer Outlet Salzburg close to Salzburg Airport. At Christmas there is a special Advent market on the Domplatz and the Residenzplatz, offering regional decorations, from the week before the first Advent Sunday until December 26th. Shops are generally open Monday to Friday, from 10 AM to 6 PM, and Saturday 10 AM to 5 PM. Only shops in the railway station, the airport, and near the general hospital are open on Sunday.
Getting AroundAll the main sights are within walking distance of the spacious Old Town, which is largely pedestrianized. CityBus has a comprehensive bus route network covering Salzburg and its suburbs with around 20 routes in all. Taxis are plentiful at visible ranks throughout the city, but they are expensive.
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Author: Ayda. Last updated: Jan 30, 2015