Salzburg in Austria, is known for being the birthplace of famed composer Mozart. Sitting on the Salzach River on the border with Germany, and amidst the Alps, this quaint town has hardly changed over the past 200 years. It is also known as the setting for the movie The Sound of Music.
Salzburg is divided by the fast-flowing Salzach River into the Old and New towns, and is surrounded by the graceful domes and spires, a formidable clifftop fortress and the mountains beyond. With its flourishing arts scene, wonderful food, well-kept parks, and quiet streets, there are lots of amazing things to see in Salzburg.
1. Hohensalzburg Castle
Set atop the Festungsberg hill, Hohensalzburg Castle is one of the best places see the city below and is one of the top things to see in Salzburg and the breathtaking mountains and forests surrounding it. Dating back to 1077, the castle can be reached via a Funicular Cable Car, though it can also be reached by foot.
2. Salzburg Old Town
Salzburg’s Altstadt or Old Town is full of magnificent medieval and Baroque architecture, beautiful squares, and quaint side-streets as well as many important historical sights. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is best explored on foot.
Located in the Old Town, this narrow and popular shopping street is home to all kinds of global and local brands. Walk along and see the picturesque shop windows
4. Mozarts Birthplace
Also on the Getreidegasse is the house that was Amadeus Mozart’s birthplace. The classical composer was born in Salzburg in 1756 (inside Number 9 Getreidegasse), and today, the house is a monument containing many treasures from his lifetime. You can also find many other museums and concert halls dedicated to Mozart across Salzburg.
5. Mirabell Palace and Gardens
This historic UNESCO World Heritage Site was built in 1606 by Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich Raitenau for himself and his mistress. It is most famous for its beautiful geometrically-arranged gardens.
6. Salzburg Cathedral
The centrepiece of Salzburg is the imposing Salzburg Cathedral. It was founded by Saint Rupert in 774, but was rebuilt in 1181 after a fire, and once again in the Baroque style in the 17th century.
This expansive Baroque cathedral-museum complex surrounds (and encompasses) the Salzburg Cathedral. The DomQuartier includes the Residenz (the staterooms of the archbishops), the Residenzgalerie, the Cathedral Museum and St Peter’s Museum. Here you will find amazing artwork by masters such as Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Peter Paul Rubens.
Across the Kapitelplatz from the Salzburg Cathedral is the St. Peter’s Cemetery. Located adjacent to the Nonnberg Abbey (which itself is known for its amazing 12th-century frescoes), this somberly beautiful place is the oldest burial ground in Salzburg and, as a result, is the final resting place for many notable residents, including Mozart’s sister, Maria Anna.
9. Salzburg Museum
The expansive Salzburg Museum is spread across six exhibition locations, but one of the most popular is the New Residential Palace (Neue Residenz). Here, there are collections related to the city’s historical culture all the way back to the Bronze Age. Also, don’t miss seeing the rare musical instruments in the museum.
10. Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art (Museum der Moderne) is located on a dramatic sheer cliff overlooking Salzburg. It houses the work of some of the best modern Austrian and international artists from the 19th, century onwards.
11. Coffee Houses
Austria is famous for its unique coffeehouse culture, and Salzburg is full of wonderful and cosy cafes where you can experience this. They are excellent places to take a break from sightseeing; so relax with a cup of coffee and traditional pastries like Sachertorte; Apfelstrudel; Linzertorte, or Salzburger Nockerl.