Quick guide to Salzburg: seven must-do’s
n Mozart’s hometown, harmony reigns: among its Baroque buildings and the alpine landscape that surrounds it, the traditional taverns and the trendy bars of Hangar-7, tourists taking selfies all over the Sound of Music location and the locals walking around, nonchalantly accustomed to its beauty. We tell you how to get the most out of your trip to Salzburg without missing a thing.
With more than 4,000 cultural events a year filling the theatres and streets, Salzburg is the world’s stage. Its packed calendar starts in January with Mozart Week and runs through to Winterfest and the Advent Concerts, with the famous Salzburg festival, created by Max Reinhardt, Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal in 1920, celebrated all over the city in July and August.
The spirit of Mozart still permeates the entire city, in the museums, squares and festivals that pay tribute to the young genius. But the sweetest homage by far is the Salzburger Mozartkugel. The marzipan and pistachio-filled chocolate was invented by master confectioner Paul Fürst in 1890. Handmade to this day, it can be tasted at Fürst’s original establishment, at Brodgasse 13, not far from Alter Markt.
Designed in the early 17th century and renovated in 1690, the Mirabell Gardens, belonging to the palace of the same name, are one of Salzburg’s most romantic locations. Chosen by many newlyweds as the backdrop for their photos, they were famously used as one of the settings for The Sound of Music. The Von Trapp family children, led by Maria, sing Do-Re-Mi around the Pegasus fountain and on the steps leading up to Rose Hill.
To get a great bird’s eye view of Salzburg, ride the FestungsBahn funicular, which takes you to the Hohensalzburg Fortress in just a few minutes. The fortress has reigned over the city from the Festungsberg mountain since 1077, when it was built to protect the principality, which it has done successfully ever since. It’s the biggest fully preserved castle in Central Europe. From its privileged position it has watched the history of the city unfold at its feet and become one Salzburg’s most recognizable icons.
Getreidegasse, in Salzburg’s Old Town, is a bustling shopping street lined with traditional shops selling leather goods, stationery and antiquities. The iron signs overhanging the pavement are hand-crafted at a metalworking business on that very street. No. 9 is where Mozart was born in 1756. Today it is a museum with exhibits that include the composer’s childhood violin, letters and other memorabilia.
The DomQuartier complex houses more than 2,000 valuable objects in five museums, some of whose artistic treasures are more than 1,300 years old. The architectural complex includes the Cathedral, the Residenz and St. Peter’s Abbey. The prince-archbishops’ elegant state rooms and the art galleries narrate the Baroque history of Europe’s music capital. For an even more enriching experience, don’t miss the Mozart dinner concerts at St. Peter Stiftskeller restaurant in St. Peter’s Abbey. The candlelit dinner features a menu based on historical recipes.
With more than 600 years of tradition, beer is one of Salzburgers’ favourite tipples, best enjoyed with dishes like Wiener Schnitzel (Viennese cutlets). Two of the best places to try this magnificent combination are the dining terrace of Stieglkeller and the beer garden of the Augustiner Bräu Kloster Mülln. If you are partial to cocktails and less mainstream cuisine, don’t miss Salzburg’s most cosmopolitan venue, Hangar-7. There you’ll find the ultra-modern Ikarus Restaurant and bars like the Mayday Bar, overlooking an exhibition of vintage and contemporary aircraft below.