Salzburg is an old European city. By historical standards, he entered Austria recently, and this left an imprint on architecture, culture and even culinary traditions. Tourists are attracted here by the narrow streets of the city and the intricate Baroque facades of ancient buildings, especially picturesque from the top of the Festungberg, to which the cable car leads. Along with the usual museums and galleries, there are several interactive exhibits. According to populationmonster, Salzburg is one of the largest cities in Austria.
In winter, Salzburg becomes the starting point for skiers seeking the resorts of the Austrian Alps.
A kind of symbol of the city is the world-famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The place where he was born is one of the main tourist attractions. Not only streets, squares and exhibitions are named after the virtuoso musician, but also numerous coffee houses, shops, sweets and even liquor.
Salzburg has several tourist centers located in different parts of the city:
- Info-Terminal Flughafen at the airport.
- Tourist Info – Mozartplatz at Mozartplatz 5. Opening hours: low season: Monday-Saturday – 9:00-18:00, high season: Monday-Sunday – 9:00-19:00.
- Tourist Info at the railway station, Bahnhofsvorplatz. Opening hours: low season: Monday-Sunday – 9:00-18:00, high season: Monday-Sunday – 8:30-20:00.
- Tourist Info in the south of the city (Salzburg-Sud), address: Alpenstraße, P+R-Platz.
Accommodation in Salzburg is represented mainly by hotels, there are several hostels, guest houses and apartments. Most of the hotels are 3 and 4 *, “fives” and options without “stars” are few. In many, even cheap rooms, breakfast is included in the price, and there are offers for those who prefer to cook on their own.
Prices in Salzburg hotels do not really depend on the location (only in the railway station area they are slightly lower). But on Christmas Eve and during the classical music festival, you need to be prepared to pay an order of magnitude more.
Salzburg is not a cheap city, and even for a place in a modest hostel you will have to pay 50 EUR per day. Prices in 3 * hotels start from 60 EUR for a double room and reach up to 150 EUR, accommodation in the “four” will cost 80-250 EUR, and the most expensive luxury options cost up to 350 EUR per night.
Most of the shops in Salzburg are located in the historic city center – on Getreidegasse and Judengasse streets. The largest shopping center is “Europark”. It works from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 19:30, on Fridays from 9:00 to 21:00, on Saturdays from 9:00 to 18:00. The rest of the shops are usually open from 10:00 to 18:00 on weekdays and from 10:00 to 17:00 on Saturdays, souvenir shops are open on Sundays, many have a lunch break of 1-2 hours.
Austria produces clothes and shoes of excellent quality. In the boutiques and shopping centers of the city of Salzburg, you can find goods of local and world brands – democratic and elite. However, in normal times, shopping here can cost a pretty penny, so it’s better to go for new clothes during the winter (December-February) and summer (July-August) sales – discounts reach up to 70%, it’s cheapest to buy in outlets.
As a gift, cosmetics, jewelry and bijouterie are usually brought from here (Swarovski crystals are in special demand). Cow bells and Tyrolean hats can be taken as inexpensive souvenirs. Those with a sweet tooth will be delighted with Mozartkugel chocolate and sweets with marzipan, and connoisseurs of good alcohol will not be indifferent to apricot schnapps, wines from nearby regions and Mozart liqueur.
From the end of November to the end of December, there are Christmas markets in Salzburg on three squares: Domplatz, Kapitelplatz and Residenzplatz. There you can try traditional local fast food – hot potatoes, donuts with herbs and, of course, sweets, as well as buy Christmas tree decorations, winter clothes and local artisans.
Cuisine and restaurants in Salzburg
Salzburg cuisine is slightly different from traditional Austrian cuisine. It has something from the Bavarian culinary traditions and quite a bit from the Mediterranean. The most popular local dish, which can be found on the menu of any restaurant, is breaded Viennese pork schnitzel accompanied by cranberry sauce and potatoes. Other meat dishes are also in demand – hearty and high-calorie. You should definitely try the culinary symbol of Salzburg – “nokerln” – a delicate, airy dessert. Those with a sweet tooth will also enjoy apple strudel and marzipan sweets. It is better to try them in one of the coffee houses, accompanied by a mug of aromatic coffee, which the city is famous for. If you also add pancakes, you get a full breakfast for 20 EUR per person.
Foam lovers will love local pubs and bars with a cozy atmosphere and excellent beer, which clearly shows the influence of the Bavarian brewing culture.
For budget travelers, the city has several self-service chain restaurants – the ubiquitous McDonald’s and lesser-known but healthier menus. You can have lunch for two there for 35 EUR. In a middle-class restaurant, you should count on the amount of 60-80 EUR for two, with drinks it will turn out even more expensive. Salzburg has many fashionable gourmet establishments and more Michelin-starred restaurants than anywhere else in Europe. Dinner for two people in such a place will cost 100-120 EUR, and with wine the bill can reach up to 200 EUR.
Entertainment and attractions
The Old Town of Salzburg, located on the left bank of the Salzach River, is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and is known for its baroque architecture. Of interest is the central square of the city – Residenzplatz, whose appearance has been preserved since the 18th century. It houses the 17th century archbishop’s residence with a gallery of European paintings, the New Residence with an old clock and 35 bells installed on its tower, and the Sattler Museum. And in the very center of the square stands the Residenzbrunnen fountain, built in 1661.
It is worth visiting the Benedictine abbey of St. Peter, founded by St. Rupert in 690 and now operating as a monastery. On its territory are the Cathedral of St. Peter and the catacombs. The temple was originally built in the Romanesque style, and then rebuilt in the Baroque style. It houses the relics of Saint Rupert. The catacombs are carved into the Mönchsberg rock, to which the abbey adjoins. In a narrow passage between the rock and the wall of the cathedral is a cemetery where the monks were buried.
Salzburg Cathedral has a long history. The first basilica, located on the site of the current cathedral, was consecrated as early as 774, later a Romanesque cathedral was built there, destroyed by fire in 1598. The modern church, erected at the beginning of the 17th century, was the first Baroque cathedral in the German-speaking lands. The third largest cathedral in the Old Town is the Franciscan Church, built in 1223 in the Baroque style.
A popular place for walking is the Getreidegasse street, which runs through the entire Old Town from Residenzplatz. On this street stands the house where Wolfgang Mozart was born; a museum is open for visitors. And at the cemetery of St. Sebastian is the grave of the wife of the great maestro.
Outside the Old Town, the medieval castle of Hohensalzburg is of interest, located at an altitude of 12 m above sea level on the Festungberg mountain. You can get to it on foot or by funicular. The Benedictine Convent of Nonnberg, founded by Saint Rupert in 714, is the oldest convent in the German-speaking countries. Mirabell Palace, built in 1606 in the Baroque style, is very popular among tourists. The Baroque Museum is open to visitors. Read more about the sights of the city here.
5 things to do in Salzburg
- Find the real Mozartkugel.
- To get to a Mozart concert is completely by accident and several times.
- In every coffee shop, order nockerln for dessert and find the best recipe.
- Take a look at the city from different angles – from the Hohensalzburg fortress and the Untersberg peak.
- Count all museums, pastry shops, shops and other establishments that bear the name of the great composer.
Salzburg for children
There are a lot of places in Salzburg that will be of interest to young travelers. The Toy Museum (off. site in English) will delight a child of any age. On the first floors there are game rooms with balls and development complexes. And above are the exhibition halls – hundreds of collectible dolls clearly demonstrate the history of toys.
In the Salzburg Zoo (off. site) on an area of 60 thousand square meters. m in close to natural habitat contains more than 1000 animals from different parts of the world – rhinos, lions, kangaroos, koalas and many others. During the summer months, the nearby Hellbrunn Palace Park is worth a visit, where kids will love squealing between the hidden fountains that unexpectedly splash cool water onto visitors.
There are two amusement parks 30-50 km from the city – Fantasiana and Ruhpolding air, archery competitions, summer toboggan runs and many more interesting entertainments.
The climate in Salzburg is continental with alpine influence due to its proximity to the mountains. Summers are usually warm, although rainy days are not uncommon, and winters are cold with temperatures slightly above or below zero with heavy snowfalls.
You can have a fun and interesting holiday in Salzburg at any time of the year. For excursion tourism and walks along the old streets, the warm months – July and August – are better suited. And for those who want to combine sightseeing of the city with an active holiday on the slopes or plunge into the bright and bustling European Christmas, it is better to choose the end of December or the beginning of January for a trip.
Holidays and events in Salzburg
Every year in July-August the city hosts one of the most famous classical music festivals. At this time, musicians and theater troupes from all over the world come here, the program includes concerts and opera performances. In different years, several high-profile opera premieres took place on the stage of the Grand Festival Palace.
Mozart’s music can be heard on the streets of Old Salzburg at any time of the year – the townspeople are proud of their talented countryman.
On the night of January 5-6, all guests of the city have the opportunity to take part in a fun, but creepy Parchtenlauf procession. The round dance of ghosts on this day takes place throughout Austria and Europe, but in Salzburg it is held more massively – a real carnival of scary masks and costumes.
No less interesting is the feast of St. Rupert, the first archbishop and patron of the city. In September, street performances are shown in front of the Cathedral, local residents in old national clothes walk around the squares, artisans sell handicrafts.