Salzburg, Austria, is perhaps the best European destination for a glimpse of Europe’s past. The city is split down the middle by the Salzach River, and it is centered around the base of the Hohensalzburg fortress. While many people associate Salzburg with Mozart and The Sound of Music, the city is much more than simply a tourist attraction for music enthusiasts. The city’s center extends down both sides of the river, and the sidewalks that parallel the river provide tourists and natives alike with a scenic stroll. From the Hohensalzburg castle to the city’s many cathedrals and museums, Salzburg is a great reflection of European history. On the other hand, the city’s many shopping malls and cafes make it a completely comfortable tourist destination as well.
If you’re planning a summer trip to Salzburg, then you may want to visit sometime between the last week of July and the end of August. During this time, Salzburg hosts the Salzburg Festival — a month-long celebration of classical music, orchestra, and theater.
Located at the top of a mountain, the eleventh-century Hohensalzburg fortress is a testament to Europe’s past. Beyond offering an amazing view of both the city and the Alps, Hohensalzburg is also the home to a museum filled with remnants of Medieval Europe. Mozarts Geburtshaus, Mozart’s birthplace, is also worth visiting. Located next to the river and surrounded by breathtaking gardens is Schloss Mirabell, a castle built by an archbishop for his beloved courtesan. This is also the location of the Marble Hall, a world-renown wedding hall that requires an extremely advanced booking.
chloss Hellbrunn was once an archbishop’s summer palace. Now, it serves as a tourist attraction that is popular among the youth because of its trick fountains that spray unsuspecting visitors. If you don’t want to get wet, stay near the tour guides. They’ll know the best dry spots. Other popular family attractions include the Salzburg Zoo, the Toy Museum, and the Museum of Natural History.
In Salzburg, you’ll find a café on every corner, extending in venue from typical coffee shops to upscale eateries where bagels are served on silver platters. Some of the best places for traditional Austrian cuisine can be found on the rivers edges in small remodeled medieval buildings. However, be sure you understand what you’re ordering — some traditional Austrian meals consist of cattle kidneys or lungs. For a typical college-oriented night of drinking, visit Rudolfskai on the left bank of the river. Here you’ll find the majority of Salzburg’s night clubs and singles bars. However, for more designer bars and an older crowd, you’ll want to head to Giselakai, Imbergstrasse, and Steingasse on the right bank of the river.