Salzburg most famous resident might have been Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart but, this small Austrian city, will be forever associated with the movie the Sound of Music as many scenes were filmed in and around the city.
For a bird’s eye view it is a short climb to reach the Capuchin Monastery; from here the compact city can be seen; stretching from Nonnberg Abbey on one side to Mulln Church on the other guarded by the Hohensalzburg Fortress on the opposite hill.
Crossing the river Salzach, the Old Town (a UNESCO World Heritage site) is easily explored on foot or by hiring a fiaker (traditional horse-drawn carriages) often found in the main squares in the city center.
A good starting point for a visit to the Old Town would be Mozart’s Square with a statue of the famous musician, Salzburg Museum is located nearby inside the New Residence; this magnificent building includes the famous Glockenspiel (carillon) which plays a melody three times a day attracting the attention of both residents and visitors.
A number of interesting buildings can be found all around the city center including the Dom, the churches of St.Michael and St.Blaise and the historic St.Peter’s Abbey with the adjacent Cemetery. Catacombs carved into the rock can be seen there.
Hohensalzburg, Salzburg Fortress, towering over the city is reached by a 15 minutes walk up the hill or by boarding a funicular that takes only a few minutes.
There is plenty to see beside the breathtaking view of the city from its walls: the Gothic regency rooms, the fortress museum, the Chapel and the torture chambers; a house in the distance known as the Hangman’s House can also been see from here, away from everything as no one wanted to be the hangman’s neighbour.
Before going back to the city center one last stop should be at the Marionette Museum. Back in town, after a brief stop at Cafe’ Tomaselli, a Salzburg institution, walking down Getreidegasse, the main shopping street, will lead to Hagenauerhaus, Mozart’s birthplace.
And the music theme continues across the river with a visit to Mirabelle Palace and Gardens, familiar to fans of the movie the Sound of Music as the set of a very famous scene, with the children singing DO-RE-MI around the fountain in the gardens. The Baroque Museum can also be found here.
For chocolate lovers, do not forget to stop at the Sacher Hotel for a slice of the famous Sachertorte and also stock up on Mozartkugeln (Mozart’s Balls), pistachio marzipan covered in chocolate. But beware of imitations as only Fürst sells the original Salzburg Mozartkugeln in its branches in the city based on a recipe handed down through generations.
Day trips from Salzburg include visits to the Bavarian Mountains, old Salt Mines or an excursion combining a visit to the Königssee, the picturesque village of Berchtesgaden and a chance to see Eagle’s Nest, a chalet built on top of a mountain as a 50th birthday present to Adolf Hitler; nowadays it houses a restaurant open in the summer months. For visitors to Austria, a trip to Salzburg can be combined with a visit to Innsbruck, a short train ride away.
Before leaving Salzburg, on the way to the airport, a curious building called Hangar 7 can be visited; inside there is an aircraft museum, a gourmet restaurant, two bars and the chance to get up close and personal with a Red Bull Formula One racing car.