Visit Salzburg to enjoy medieval architecture, music festivals and a sophisticated food scene. This scenic city sits on the banks of the Salzach River. Take a cruise on the water to get your bearings. Walk along the shores on the weekends to experience the Salzach Galleries (Salzachgalerien), a fabulous open-air market.
On the Salzach’s western bank is Salzburg’s Old Town (Altstadt), a World Heritage Site where building is strictly regulated in order to preserve the area’s original flavor. You’ll find many historic attractions, including the Salzburg Cathedral (Salzburger Dom) and Mozart Square (Mozartplatz). Overlooking the stately square of Residenzplatz, is the Residenz palace where the rulers of Salzburg lived in the 1500s. Visit this ornate building to see grand chambers and works by Rembrandt and other European masters. On the medieval street of Getreidegasse you can shop for high-end clothing and traditional souvenirs, and visit Mozart’s Birthplace (Mozarts Geburtshaus).
Bordering the Old Town is the towering Mönchsberg mountain. Ride the cable railway to the top of the mountain to visit Hohensalzburg Fortress (Festung Hohensalzburg), among the largest and most impressive castles in Europe.
Cross to the eastern banks of the river to walk up Salzburg’s tallest city peak, Kapuzinerberg. You’ll be rewarded with panoramic city views that are especially grand at sunset.
Beyond the city, visit the Baroque villa of Hellbrunn Palace (Schloss Hellbrunn). It’s famed for beautiful gardens and whimsical Trick Fountains. Kids will love dodging the water shot from sculptures and hidden wall fountains.
Music plays a major part in Salzburg’s cultural scene. Hear the work of the city’s celebrated native son Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart during the Salzburg Festival (Salzburger Festspiele), held in summer. Take a guided tour around some of the locations used in one of the world’s most beloved musical movies, The Sound of Music. Any tour is sure to take you to Mirabell Palace (Schloss Mirabell), where there are impressive monuments and gardens.
Salzburg’s food scene is as diverse as its other attractions, with coffee houses, beer halls and award-winning restaurants. Sample homemade cakes and strudels at Café Tomaselli, Austria’s oldest café. Beer drinkers will enjoy a variety of traditional breweries, including the famous Augustiner Brewery.