Salzburg Travel Guide: Top 5

Sep 29

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Salzburg Travel Guide – Top 5

If you are planning to visit Europe or Austria in particular, I highly recommend spending at least two days in Salzburg. It is a quaint town near the mountains filled with history and charm. The top five most noteworthy sites are listed below in my Salzburg Travel Guide.

1. Mozart’s Birthplace (Mozarts Geburtshaus)

One of my favourite places during my trip and the first I add to my Salzburg Travel Guide is Mozart’s home. Mozart was born on January 27, 1756 in Salzburg. His home, from birth until he was age 17, is now a museum in Salzburg. His first instruments (his first violin and the clavichord where he composed the opera The Magic Flute – Die Zauberflöte) and family letters are on display. This is a quaint house (above a grocery store) with many items from Mozart’s childhood which was spent composing under the watchful eye of his strict father, also a composer, Leopold. 

Mozart's house, Salzburg

Mozart’s childhood violin

2. Festung Hohensalzburg (Fortress)

Built in 1077 by Archbishop Gebhard von Helfenstein on Festungsberg, a small hill in Salzburg: it is the biggest and most preserved castle in Central Europe. The castle was further expanded under subsequent archbishops and only came under siege once during The Peasants’ War in 1525. Consequently, they did not take the castle.

To visit the fortress, I suggest taking the Fortress funicular with a guided tour (with audio guide) that covers the main rooms for roughly 12 euros (adult price). This is the package that I recommend as you get the tour guide and an audio guide with additional information. Following the tour, the Marionette Museum plus the other museums within the facility are worth a visit.

Festung Hohensalzburg - Salzburg Travel Guide

Festung Hohensalzburg

Festung Hohensalzburg

Festung Hohensalzburg

3. Salzburger Dom (Cathedral)

Salzburger Dom is a 17th century baroque cathedral. Saint Rupert founded the church in 774 on the remnants of an old Roman town. It was rebuilt in 1181 after a fire. It was once again rebuilt in the baroque style in the 17th century under Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich Raitenau.

For details on opening hours, please check HERE as it changes during season.

Salzburg Dom

Salzburg Dom

4. Schloss Mirabell (Palace and Gardens)

Mirabell Palace in Salzburg is a UNESCO Heritage Site which was originally built in the early 17th century at the instruction of Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich Raitenau. Between 1721-27, it was rebuilt in a baroque style. It houses concerts (I was lucky to see one in the marble room) and portions of The Sound of Music was filmed on the grounds (see Do-Re-Mi song).

It is open daily from 8 am to 6 pm (Mirabell Palace and the marble staircase). Gardens are open from 6 am to dusk. It is a beautiful place to walk around in the evening, therefore, save yourself time to visit later in the day.

Schloss Mirabell

Schloss Mirabell

Schloss Mirabell

Schloss Mirabell

5. Katakomben (Catacombs)

It is not a long climb but the stairs are steep and jagged, therefore skip if you have mobility issues. Otherwise, pay the two euros and enjoy the catacombs carved into the rock of Festungsberg, its chapels and frescoes. In the graveyard at the base, visit prominent members of Salzburg’s past, including Mozart’s sister, Nannerl. She is buried here in Crypt LIV in the Petersfriedhof.

Katakomben (Catacombs)

Katakomben (Catacombs)

Furthermore, come back next week and we will review another five sites I recommend that you should visit in the next installation of the Salzburg Travel Guide. There are many other sites to visit and day trips you may wish to take from Salzburg which are especially relevant.

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