It’s hard to escape the city’s connection with Mozart, which is one of the things that makes Salzburg so special and helps it stand out among Europe’s many other cultural hotspots. Following in the footsteps of one of the world’s most celebrated composers is a great way to navigate the city’s Old Town and (slightly less old) New Town.
Visit Mozart’s birthplace at No 9 Getreidegasse and learn about his early years, before heading to Mozartplatz, an elegant square that’s dedicated to the city’s most famous son. Nearby is the extravagant Residenz, a palace where the prodigy performed his first concert at the tender age of six, and the cathedral where he was baptised. Across the River Salzach is the Mozart-Wohnhaus, another former home that’s now a fascinating museum chronicling his life; and the Mozarteum Salzburg, a university specialising in music and the arts where you can catch concerts, opera performances and seasonal chamber music.
Salzburg’s other major cultural connection is marginally more contemporary: the city and its surroundings provided the backdrop to iconic musical film The Sound of Music. People flock to renowned filming locations to relive famous scenes from the movie, such as the gardens of 17th-century Schloss Mirabell, where part of the famous ‘Do-Re-Mi’ sequence was shot. Cross the river into the Old Town and you’ll soon reach the Stift Nonnberg, the Benedictine convent where Maria intended to become a nun. Other sights include the lakeside Schloss Leopoldskron and the unique Felsenreitschule theatre, which was carved into the Mönchsberg Mountain.
Musical attractions aside, other key attractions include the Hohensalzburg Fortress, one of the city’s most iconic attractions. Sitting high above the Old Town on the top of Festungsberg, this imposing castle is one of the largest of its kind in Europe. From this elevated vantage point, you can witness the spectacular snow-capped Alpine peaks that surround the city. For views that also encompass the Hohensalzburg itself, cross the river and ascend Kapuzinerberg Hill.
Salzburg is definitely a year-round destination, cast in a different light as the seasons change. During the high summer months, the city becomes a stage as one of the world’s most prestigious and important musical events – the Salzburg Festival – begins. During the rest of the year, hundreds of cultural events take place with live music events proving particularly popular. When winter rolls around, Salzburg takes on a fairy-tale air with beautifully-lit streets and one of Europe’s most magical Christmas markets. The winter also brings plenty of snow to the nearby mountains, making the city a hub for winter sports enthusiasts.
A trip to Salzburg wouldn’t be complete without trying a few regional dishes. Of course there are the hallmarks of Austrian cuisine – schnitzels and strudels – however it’s well worth going off-piste and trying a few other favourites. These include tafelspitz (boiled rump steak served potatoes and vegetables), Salzburg nockerl (a sweet and fluffy soufflé) and kasnocken (cheese dumplings). Whatever you eat, it should definitely be washed down with a pint of the local brew – the city isn’t known as Austria’s beer capital for nothing.
If you want to truly immerse yourself in Salzburg’s past, stay in one of its many historic hotels. You can even stay in Villa Trapp, the home of the real Von Trapp family. How’s that for dinner party bragging rights? However, if your tastes are more modern there are plenty of stylish modern properties such as the ArtHotel Blaue Gans.
Salzburg is served by Salzburg Airport, the country’s second-largest international airfield. Simply contact one of our team and we can arrange everything you need to charter a private jet to Salzburg, Austria.