5 Awe-Inspiring Places to Visit in Salzburg
August 04, 2018
Salzburg, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is dominated by churches, castles and palaces. Its picturesque old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This city on the River Salzach looks back on a long history as a metropolis of the arts and culture. Even in early times, craftsmen and artists were drawn to Salzburg. Many of the baroque buildings were created by Italian architects such as Vincenzo Scamozzi and Santino Solari. There is very good reason why Salzburg is known as the “Rome of the North”. Besides joining “The Sound of Music” tour, you should also visit the following 5 attractions in Salzburg.
#1 – The Residenzplatz
Residence Square is an especially magnificent forecourt between the archiepiscopal residences in the heart of Salzburg’s Old City. It is bordered by the New Residence with its carillon, the Cathedral, the Old Residence and a continuous row of townhouses. Today, it is a popular venue for big sports or music events, including public airings of football games, live concerts and New Year’s Eve parties. It also serves as the setting for St. Rupert’s Fair in September and a Christmas market during the Advent season.
The highlight of Residenzplatz is the massive Residence Fountain which features four snorting horses springing forth from the spouting rock. Giants rooted in the rock carry the lower basin, in which three dolphins balance the scalloped upper basin. The upper basin holds a Triton, a jet of water shooting into the air from his conch-shell trumpet.
Address: Residenzplatz, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
#2 – Fortress Hohensalzburg
The biggest fully preserved castle in Central Europe, Fortress Hohensalzburg is enthroned on the Festungsberg, high above the rooftops of the Baroque historical district. Since it is perched so high up, it is always a visible landmark and an unmistakable part of the world-famous Salzburg silhouette. I’ve always been drawn to ancient ruins and structures, so I found my castle visit very interesting. I was so fascinated by the castle’s history and the stories buried within the old walls.
Address: Mönchsberg 34, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Opening Hours: Jan-Apr 9.30am to 5pm daily. May-Sep 9am to 7pm daily. Oct-Dec 9.30am to 5pm daily. Advent weekends & Easter 9.30am to 6pm.
#3 – Schloss Mirabell and Mirabell Gardens
Mirabell is a woman’s name from Italy, a compilation of two words – “mirabile” which means ‘admirable’ and “bella” which means ‘beautiful’. The Palace which was built in 1606 by prince-archbishop Wolf Dietrich for his beloved Salome Alt serves as the backdrop for the most romantic weddings you could possibly imagine today. Moreover, the Marble Hall, the former banquet hall of the prince-archbishops, is generally regarded as one of the most beautiful wedding halls in the world.
If you’ve seen “The Sound of Music” musical-movie, you will recognize Mirabell Gardens as one of the most important shooting locations. In the film, Maria and the children dance around the Pegasus Fountain in front of the palace, singing the song “Do Re Mi”. At the end of the scene, the Trapp family stand on the steps in front of the Rose Hill and sing the song’s final bars.
Schloss Mirabell and Mirabell Gardens
Address: Mirabellplatz, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Palace and Angel Staircase – 8am to 6pm daily
Marble Hall – Mon, Wed & Thu 8am to 4pm. Tue & Fri 1pm to 4pm
Mirabell Gardens – 6am to dusk daily
#4 – Salzburg Cathedral
The Salzburg Cathedral is another prominent structure that leaves an impressive stamp on the city skyline. The cathedral is very much the centerpiece of Salzburg. There’s so much to discover, from the baptismal font to the crypt to the art installation “Vanitas” to the chest containing relics of Saints Rupert and Virgil. In addition, many secrets are associated with the seven bells and the three entrance doors. If you take a closer look, you will notice 370-year-old graffiti scratched into the marble entranceway. You should definitely pay a visit to this cathedral.
Address: Domplatz 1A, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Opening Hours: There are various opening hours. Please check their website before your visit.
#5 – Mozart Birthplace
It’s almost impossible not to know who Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was! A prolific and influential composer of the classical era, Mozart was born in Salzburg back in 1756. The Mozart Residence on Makartplatz and the Mozart Birthplace on the Getreidegasse, both of which are now museums, remind us of his extraordinary childhood. After the years in Salzburg which shaped him, he eventually moved to Vienna, where he died at the young age of just 35. Mozart chocolates, Mozart rubber ducks, Mozart ice cream … You can basically find Mozart imprinted on almost every souvenir in Salzburg.
Address: Getreidegasse 9, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
To be honest, I wouldn’t have visited Salzburg if not for my musically inclined mother. She plays the piano at home and is very familiar with Mozart’s piano compositions. While I was living in Germany due to a student exchange programme, my mother visited me over the Easter holiday and convinced me to explore Salzburg together with her. It turned out to be one of my favourite trips, even up till today. If you’re planning to go on a Euro-trip, I would highly recommend stopping by Salzburg.