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Salzburg Travel Guide

About Salzburg

Encircled by mountains and straddling the Salzach river, the beautiful Austrian city of Salzburg has a dramatic setting matched only by the Baroque splendour of its architecture. Most visitors recognise it from its portrayal in The Sound of Music – and there are various tours capitalising on the film’s fanfare.

In the flesh, the city’s Alpine surroundings and UNESCO World Heritage historic centre of cobbled streets, narrow alleyways and elegant squares, is even lovelier than on the silver screen.

Salzburg is also the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose home you can see on Getreidegasse, one of the city’s many pedestrianised streets. Inspired by the composer, Salzburg has since developed an incredibly rich musical life that would no doubt have made him proud. Started in 1920s, the Salzburg Festival is considered one of the most important musical festivals in the world, and there are plenty of other festivals in the city too – Salzburg puts on some 4,000 cultural events (most of them musical) every year.

While an air of cosmopolitan sophistication hangs over the elegant shops, restaurants, lanes and squares of the Old Town, a different but just as interesting culture can be found the many Bierstuben taverns. Salzburg is extremely proud of its beer, which has a history here dating back more than 500 years.

The city may seem a bit quaint and poky compared to Vienna, but Salzburg has a young and energetic side to it too - largely thanks to the city university. There are lots of noisy bars and clubs along the river, and there are several hip joints in the zone around the Modern Art Museum.

The latter is a must-see in itself – visitors ascend through a lift to the top of one of Salzburg’s highest hills, where they find an extraordinary mix of bold exhibitions courtesy of the museum’s recently-appointed art director. Staring back at the museum from an even higher hill is Salzburg’s incredible castle, Fortress Hohensalzburg, the biggest in Europe and the city’s icon. Together they show a city both treasuring its past and embracing the future.

Key facts

Population:
148,521
Latitude:
47.816628
Longitude:
13.048017

Featured Hotels

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Castellani Parkhotel

Ideally located hotel on the edge of the Old Town, this handsome hotel has comfortable, modern rooms and top facilities including a fitness centre and steam room. The breakfast is a vast buffet, which includes cooked food, and the restaurant is pleasant. For extra luxury, try one of the 15 suites that are based in its 17th-century priory.

Hotel Stein

One of the hottest hotels in town is, without doubt, Hotel Stein. Commanding terrific views of the river and reached by bridge from the Old Town, it combines sexy modernity with classic style. Boasting a history dating back to 1399, its rooms range from the glamorous to the super-chic.

Yoho

Among the cheapest digs in town, Yoho is perhaps the most unique lodging in Salzburg. The rooms are comfortable and boast impressive mountain views, while the bar is always busy with young backpackers. What’s more, The Sound of Music is screened every day at 7pm in the TV room – take that as you will.

Hotel Goldener Hirsch

The hotel of choice for celebrities and royalty over the years, the Goldener Hirsch (the Golden Stag) is a Salzburg institution. Highly exclusive yet exuding genuine hospitality, the hotel has a unique old-world atmosphere combining the rustic with the luxurious. The hotel boasts two superb restaurants and a wonderfully decorated bar.

Wolf-Dietrich Hotel

The Wolf-Dietrich Hotel comprises the Altstadthotel and the Residenz, two houses that face each other near the city centre. In addition to being very comfortable, it is also healthy and environmentally friendly, being powered only by green electricity, serving organic food in the restaurant and incorporating feng shui into the design.

Haus Wartenberg

Housed in a 400-year-old building, and furnished with antiques and homey bric-a-brac, Haus Wartenberg exudes plenty of character and charm. Rooms are snug and cosy rather than spacious, but that only adds to the warmth of the place. It's within walking distance of Salzburg's Old Town.