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Salzburg Sightseeing

From: Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg photo

ABOVE: A Salzburg street festival in early June.

What to see

Your personal tastes and available time will dictate your choice of sightseeing activities, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

Hohensalzburg. Parts of this castle date back to 1077, and the prince-archbishops of Salzburgs lived here until the late 15th Century. The Festung (fortress) is 120 meters or 400 feet above the river, so it provides great views of the city. Admission tickets and guided tours are available year-round.

You can reach the Hohensalzburg via a funicular in the Festungsgasse, on foot from the Kapitelplatz, from the Nonnberg Convent, or from paths along the top of the Mönchsberg (which is accessible via an elevator to the Café Winkler, which you'll find in the Gstättengasse).

Domplatz and Cathedral. Salzburg's Dom was built in the 1600s. The style is Italian Renaissance with an overlay of Baroque. Check the cathedral schedule for musical performances; you may be able to enjoy a first-rate choir concert just be attending a high mass.

St. Peter's Church and Cemetery. This handsome church dates back to the 12th Century, although the layout and decor were updated during the Baroque era. The graveyard next to the church is also worth a visit, and hourly Catacombs tours are scheduled from May through September.

Mozart-Wohnhaus. The composer's birthplace and childhood home in the Getreidegasse is an obligatory stop for Mozart fans; it's almost certain to be crowded during high season.

Residenz. The prince-archbishops lived here after they gave up their digs in the Hohensalzburg fortress. You can visit the art gallery, take a guided tour of the State Rooms (in German), or buy a combination ticket for both.

Festspielhäuser. The Large Festival Hall, Small Festival Hall, and Felsenreitschule (Rocky Riding School) are the primary venues for the Salzburg Festival. Concerts take place in the indoor halls throughout the year. Visit the ticket office for schedules and tours.

Trachtenmuseum. The term "Trachten" describes the regional costumes worn in many parts of Austria. In Salzburg, Dirndl dresses and men's traditional suits are still popular, and you'll see beautiful examples of the former at local concerts and other events. The Costume Museum in the Grisgasse has examples of Salzburg clothing from the 18th Century to the present day.

Spielzeug Museum (im Bürgerspital). The Salzburg Toy Museum, located in a former hospital, is small but interesting. It has modern toys for the kids to play with while the grown-ups ooh and aah over antique trains and dolls.

Hellbrunn Palace. You can reach this castle by bus #55 from the train station or the eastern edge of the old city; get a map and directions from the Tourist Office. An afternoon outing to Hellbrunn is pleasant in summertime, when you can enjoy the mechanical theatre and trick fountains in the palace gardens. A zoo is next door.


  • You'll need a good city map to find your way around. The Michelin Green Guide to Austria has a fairly decent map, and you can obtain a free map from the tourist office.

  • If you're pressed for time, stick to the Altstadt, or old town, on the left bank of the Salzach River. Distances are short, the architecture is unspoiled, and much of the area is a pedestrian zone. You could easily spend an entire day here, visiting small shops and enjoying the various beer halls, restaurants, and pastry shops in lieu of organized sightseeing.

Next page: Salzburg tourist information

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