The hills are alive in alpine Salzburg
As the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and film set for The Sound of Music, Salzburg has plenty of musical and historical connections. The Salzburg Festival in July and August draws classical music fans from all over the world and Salzburg’s immaculate baroque architecture has led to its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Catch a recital in Schloss Mirabell’s elegant Marble Hall or watch an opera performance by realistic marionettes at the nearby Marionettentheater. The hills are indeed alive - paintings by Gustav Klimt are on display at the Museum of Modern Art, while the Schloss Hellbrunn Summer Castle keeps you on your toes with its trick fountains and water gardens. Take a Sound of Music bike tour or wander through the cobbled lanes and stop at a café for a stein of Stiegl beer or creamy Alpine cheese and wood-fired bread, followed by a crisp apple strudel.
Go for all things Mozart – if you enjoy classical music, Salzburg should be top of your travel list. Savour Austrian cheeses and pastries – then walk them off with a hike in the mountains. The preserved palaces and castles are worth seeing and Hallein’s famous salt mines take care of a rainy day.
When to Go?
Salzburg enjoys a typical central European climate, with hot summers and cold winters. It sits at the northern edge of the Alps, so be prepared for a lot of rain. The tourist season peaks in July and August when the Salzburg Festival’s in full swing, and again in December with the popular Christmas markets. For quieter times and cheaper airfares choose spring, early summer and autumn.
How to get there?
Salzburg is served by Salzburg Airport, which lies 2 miles (3km) southwest of the city centre. The main railway station, Salzburg Hauptbahnhof, is linked to Europe’s major rail networks and trolleybuses operate in the city centre.
Scale the ramparts of 900-year-old Hohensalzburg fortress for rooftop views of Salzburg. For a panoramic view of the mountains, the Old Town and the fortress, pack a picnic and take a cruise along the River Salzach. If you’re into Mozart or The Sound of Music, you might want to join an organised tour – otherwise just settle in a café on the edge of Mozartplatz and listen to the chimes of the Glockenspiel.