The city is well-known for its baroque architecture, extensive history, and as a gateway to the Alps.
The city is located on the banks of the Salzach River, at the northern boundary of the Alps. The backdrop of mountains to the south contrasts with the rolling plains to the north. The closest alpine peak – the 1972m Untersberg – is only a few kilometers from the city center. The inner city, or old town, is dominated by its baroque towers and many churches. This area is surrounded by two smaller mountains, the Mönchsberg and Kapuzinerberg. The city is approximately 150km east of Munich, and 300km west of Vienna.
As Salzburg is located next to the Prealps it is therefore influenced by the Alpine climate. Winters are cold and dry, summers are hot and friendly.
In Salzburg, the traditional exists side by side with the modern, the expensive with the simple. Everything has its place here.
Romantic narrow lanes curve around magnificent sacred buildings, flow into spacious squares only to squeeze again between proud, century-old burgher mansions. Crooked paths lead up to the Fortress, past venerable monasteries and take you back down to the bustling city live.
Skiing is a key attraction during winter. Salzburg itself has no skiing facilities, but it acts as a gateway to many skiing areas to the south. During the winter months its airport receives a huge number of charter flights from around Europe.
The baroque “old town”, with highlights including the Salzburg Cathedral, and the Mirabell Garden.
The Untersberg is next to the city, straddling the German-Austrian border, and on a clear day provides panoramic views of the city and the Alps.
Mirabell Palace and Gardens – This former palace now houses government offices. The gardens are where the von Trapp children sang “Do-Re-Mi” in the Sound of Music.
Mozart’s Birthplace (Mozart Gerburtshaus) – The birthplace of the famous composer displays numerous musical artifacts from his early childhood.
Salzburg Fortress (Festung Hohensalzburg) – This amazing 11th-century castle overlooks Salzburg from a hill on the outskirts of the city.
Salt Works/Hallstatt/Salzburg – A Fun day out for the family, visiting a salt mine. There is a very interesting and exciting guided tour, not to be missed.
How to get there
Salzburg Airport, 4 km (2½ mi) west of the city center. The Salzburg Airport has scheduled flights to key European cities such as Frankfurt, Vienna, London, Amsterdam and Zürich. The majority of flights, however, are charter flights.
If you’re coming over from Britain and have arrived at a Channel port in France, by either ferry or the Chunnel, Vienna is about 1,285km (800 miles) and Salzburg is about 1,030km (640 miles). It’s faster to travel on the motorways going through Frankfurt, Cologne, Passau (Germany), and Linz (Austria). One of the main roads into Austria is the Autobahn from Munich via Salzburg to Vienna. From Switzerland, the main arteries are via Feldkirch to Innsbruck (capital of Tyrol), or from Basel via Karlsruhe to Munich and then on that busy Autobahn to either Salzburg or Vienna.
Rail travel within Austria itself is superb, with fast, clean trains taking you just about anywhere in the country and going through some incredibly scenic regions.
Train passengers using the Tunnel under the English Channel can go from London to Paris in just 3 hours and then on to Vienna. Le Shuttle transports passengers along the 31-mile journey in just 35 minutes. The train also accommodates passenger cars, charter buses, taxis, and motorcycles through a tunnel from Folkestone, England, to Calais, France. Service is year-round, 24 hours a day.
Because of the excellence of rail service from all parts of the Continent into both Salzburg and Vienna, bus transit into Austria is not especially popular. But there is some limited service.
The Salzburg Festival is a world-famous music festival that attracts visitors during the months of July and August each year. A smaller Salzburg Easter Festival is held around Easter each year.
Wine Market – Cornelius-Reitsamer-Platz – May/June – Over the past decade Austria has emerged as an up-and-coming producer of dry white and dessert wines. Even its red wines are starting to make a name for themselves. A visit to the wine market, which is held in Salzburg every May and June, is therefore highly recommended for anybody remotely interested in wine. Dozens of wine-growers from Austria’s different wine-growing regions have stalls at the market,
Eating Dining Shopping
You will come across a host of cafes in the Old Town, good restaurants and a number of beautiful beer gardens.
The most famous brewery in Salzburg is the ‘Stiegl Brauerei’.Visitors can learn about the art of beer brewing. The Stiegl beer cellar where you can sample the Stiegl beer is situated near the Festung Hohensalzburg.
If you would like to try local food then you could try the Krimpelstätter, which is in the district Mülln, next to the Müllner Bräu. Or, you could try the Stiftskeller St. Peter. Although this is quite touristy, it is worth a visit, if only because it is located in the grounds of St. Peter’s monastery. The Kohlpeter restaurant Liefering is fairly central but it has a country-feel to it.
The Getreidegasse with its world-famous, wrought iron guild signs, is a shoppers paradise with a variety of posh boutiques carrying international designer clothes; it also houses Mozart’s birthplace, the city’s genius loci, where fans of the great composer.
Salzburg’s most famous edible souvenir is probably the “Original Salzburg Mozartkugel,” a round chocolate praline “invented” by Salzburg’s master confectioner Paul Fürst in 1890;
The first settlements at Salzburg were apparently begun by the Celts. Around 15 BC the separate settlements were merged into one city by the Romans. At this time the city was called Juvavum and was awarded the status of a Roman municipium in 45 AD. Around this time, first records of Jewish settlers appear.
Juvavum developed into an important town of the Roman province of Noricum. A Roman Catholic diocese was formed in the town around 700, which later became an archdiocese responsible for Bavaria.
The economic wealth of the town during this time was based on salt-mining. Salz is the German word for salt, making the name literally mean “Salt castle”. A variant English form of the name is ‘Saltsburg’. The town’s river was a main artery for transporting salt mined in nearby mountains.
In 1077 the fortress was constructed under the order of Archduke Gebhard. Until 1803, the Archbishop of Salzburg was the ruler of the city and the surrounding territory. Successive archbishop princes moulded the town, with the most influential being Wolf Dietrich who was largely responsible for the shape of the city today. His influence saw the creation of the towering Salzburg cathedral, the Mirabell Garden, and other landmarks. In 1803, Salzburg became politically a part of Austria, and so it remains to this day.
Useful telephone numbers
Emergency Number Tel: 112
Airport Information Tel: Tel: +43 (0)662 85 80-201
Train station: Tel: +43 (0)5-1717
Tourist Office: Tel: +43/662/88 98 7-0
Holiday rents online:
National Transport Line
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