Salzburg

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Mirabell Palace Gardens, Visit Salzburg

Mirabell Palace Gardens, © Can Stock / tupungato

Visit Salzburg – Mirabell Palace

A great way to visit Salzburg is to start a Salzburg walking tour from the train station to Mirabell Palace.  The walk should take you less than 15 minutes.  Mirabell Palace includes the Pegasus Fountain, Dwarves Garden, Hedge Theater and Rose Garden.  The palace was one of the filming locations for the Sound of Music.  Also in the Mirabell Palace area are a number of other attractions like the museum at Mozart’s Former Residence, the Holy Trinity ChurchSt. Sebastian’s Church and Cemetery and the Marionette Theater.  The Marionette Theater plays classics by Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Shakespeare.  At the Kapuzinerberg Monastery you can walk up the hill into fortifications from the early 1600s.

Old Town Salzburg, Visit Salzburg

Old Town Salzburg, © Can Stock / gina_sanders

Visit Salzburg – Old Town

From Mirabell Palace you can cross the Salzach River and enter the Old Town.  The Salzburg Old Town is pedestrian only, but there are a few delivery vehicles around.  The main sights and attractions of Salzburg Old Town are:

  • The Getreidegasse – “the street” where everyone congregates in Salzburg.  It includes a museum at Mozart’s Birthplace (Mozart Gerburtshaus).
  • Hohensalzburg Castle – one of the largest castles in Europe, with views over Salzburg.  Take the funicular up to Hohensalzburg Castle from near St Peter’s.
  • Salzburg Cathedral on the Cathedral Square.  The Sphaera sculpture of a man on a golden sphere is a half block away.  Right beside the Cathedral is Residenz Palace, which was the former Prince-Archbishop’s residence.  The palace contains the Residenzgalerie of paintings.
  • St Peter’s Archabbey with St. Peter’s Cemetery.  Margaret Chapel is a small gothic building in St. Peter’s Cemetery.  The Catacombs are located in the cliffs behind the cemetery.  Dine within the Abbey walls at the oldest restaurant in Europe, Stiftskeller St. Peter, while listening to the music of Mozart.
Getreidegasse, Traditional Street Signs, Visit Salzburg

Getreidegasse, Traditional Street Signs

More Old Town Salzburg

  • The Salzburg Festival House hosts the Salzburg Festival each summer and the Salzburg Easter Festival too.
  • The Siegmundstor Tunnel (Neutor) – built in the 1760s to connect the Old Town to outer city districts, including Leopoldskron.  The Horse Wash (Pferdeschwemme), a pond formerly used for watering and washing horses, is located at the Old Town end of the tunnel.
Salzburg Cathedral, Visit Salzburg

Salzburg Cathedral, © Can Stock / hiro1775

Visit Salzburg – Other Sights

  • Hellbrunn Palace and its Trick Fountains are popular with tourists.  Get drenched by a cherub in this water park that surprises visitors.
  • Sound of Music Tour – visit Salzburg Cathedral, Mirabell Palace and Gardens, Nonnberg Nunnery, Schloss Leopoldskron, the Marionette Theatre, the Hohensalzburg Fortress and the Hellbrunner Allee (Lane) on route to Hellbrunn Castle.  The tour takes about 4 hours.
  • Monchsberg – city park with city views. Take the Monchsberg Lift and visit the Modern Art Museum.
  • Palace of Leopoldskron and the Freibad Leopoldskron Water Park.
  • Red Bull Hangar-7 – a collection of airplanes, helicopters and Formula One racing cars.
  • Zoo Salzburg
St Peter's Cemetery, Visit Salzburg

St Peter’s Cemetery

Visit Salzburg – Hotels

H+ Hotel Salzburg – a perfect location on the square facing the Salzburg train station and the main bus depot.  The rooms are quiet, comfortable and  reasonably priced.  There is an international client base and customer service staff speak multiple languages.

Hallstatt near Salzburg

Hallstatt near Salzburg, © Can Stock / macism

Day Trips from Salzburg

Trick Fountains, Hellbrunn Palace, Visit Salzburg

Trick Fountains, Hellbrunn Palace, © Can Stock / happyalex

Salzburg Area Salt Mine Tours

Salzburg was founded on the salt mine industry, so salt mine tours are very popular.  You might often hear the phrase Salzkammergut which means ‘good salt chamber’.  Options for Salt Mine Tours include Saltmine Berchtesgaden, Salt Mines of Hallein, Salt Mines at Hallstatt and Salt Mines at Altaussee.  The Saltmine Berchtesgaden includes a salt raft ride and a train ride around the lake.  The Hallein Salt Mine has a miner’s slide, a salt lake boat ride and a Celtic village.

Mirabell Palace & Old Town Salzburg, Visit Salzburg

Mirabell Palace & Old Town, © Can Stock / sborisov

Savor the Tastes of Salzburg

  • Try Mozart-Kugeln (a Mozart ball) –  Pistachio and marzipan coated in milk chocolate.  This was created in 1890 in honor of Mozart.
  • Typical Austrian foods such as Sachertorte (apricot & chocolate cake), Apfelstudel (Apple), Baumkuchen (layer cake), pretzels, Wiener Schnitzel (veal, not hotdog), Salzburger Nockerln (high calorie pastry) and Marillenknoedel (apricot dumpling).
  • Combine the Austrian emphasis on pastry desserts with a cup of coffee at Afro Cafe, the terrace at the Hotel Stein, the “Rosthaus und Cafe 220 Grad” or the Republic.  For a classic coffeehouse try Cafe Bazar, Cae Wernbacher or Cafe Fingerlos.
  • Have some German Beer at Augustiner Braustubl or Stiegl-Brauwelt.
  • Have a meal at Restaurant Goldener Hirsch, in the Hotel Goldener Hirsch.
Hohenwerfen, Werfen Castle near Salzburg

Hohenwerfen Werfen Castle, © Can Stock / gina_sanders

Salzburg Weather

May to September are the best months to visit for comfortable Salzburg weather, but summer also brings rainy drizzly Salzburg weather.  Expect average highs from May – September of 70 F (22 C) and lows of 50 F (10 C).  The Alpine setting means that visiting in the winter is great for skiing.  Salzburg airport is the gateway to the Austrian Alps.  Average highs for December – February are just above freezing, while average lows are a few degrees below freezing.

Hohensalzburg Castle above Salzburg Old Town

Salzburg Old Town © Can Stock / hiro1775

Get to Salzburg

Rail is the best way to get to Salzburg.  The Austrian Rail System (OBB) offers many ticket options for rail transport.  In addition to Eurail passes, Austria also has an Einfach-Raus ticket that offers single day rates for small groups.  The Einfach-Raus ticket is similar to the Bayern Ticket in Germany.  Another popular way to get to Salzburg is on a Danube River Cruise.  Many Danube River Cruises arrange day trips to Salzburg when they stop at Linz.

The Salzburg Airport is not used very often by tourists because it is a smaller airport.  The No 2 trolley connects the downtown railway station (Sazlburg Hbf) to the Salzburg airport.  The Old and New Towns are located quite close together and each make good walking tours.  Local buses are an excellent option to Hellbrunn Palace and for a day trip to Berchtesgaden.

Visit Salzburg – Background

Almost 200,000 people live in Salzburg.  The city is on the plains at the base of the Austrian Alps, near Munich, Germany.  The name Salzburg means “salt town”, which refers to the many salt mines in the area.  In the past, a major part of the economy was shipping salt down the Salzach River.  Old Town Salzburg is a UNESCO World Heritage site.  People here speak Austrian German and also an Austro-Bavarian dialect.  Salzburg’s claim to fame according to its residents is that this is the birthplace of Mozart.  North American tourists, however, are more interested in its filming locations for the Sound of Music.

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