HomeAway travel expert
Julie Andrews once famously declared to the world that the hills were alive with the sound of music, gleefully bursting into song as she waltzed around said terrain. And for all the saccharine sentiments of the beloved 1960s sing-along, anyone who has ever witnessed Salzburg with their own eyes would find it difficult to disagree. Aside from the tourism boom that the movie generated in the city, this historical port is also the birthplace of Mozart and a haven for anyone who cherishes the classical genre in particular.
There is, of course, more to Salzburg than just musical heritage - as detailed below in our brief guide to the city. When you’re ready to book your city break, take a look at the fine selection of Salzurg rental properties that HomeAway has to offer by means of accommodation.
City breaks to Salzburg: the highlights
This remarkable attraction is only open between April and November, but time your trip accordingly and it's not to be missed. Perfect on a hot summer day, the plethora of trick fountains around the gardens are a beautiful – if slightly wet - backdrop for a walk or a picnic. The former residency of the Archbishop of Salzburg also comprises of an old stone theatre and a surprisingly well-equipped zoo within its grounds, rendering it an alluring day out for all ages.
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As the city’s most famous son, it's hardly surprising that much fanfare is made of one Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart even to this day in Salzburg. The most prominent homage to the composer is his birthplace and home for the early years of his life, now a museum charting his formative musical talents and family values. Similarly, the Mozart residence where the young maestro composed some of his most famous symphonies is also open to the public, carefully restored after partial destruction during the war.
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Sound of Music tours
OK, let’s face it; you’re unlikely to gain any credibility for suggesting this to your fellow travellers, but it would be criminal not to revel in the feel-good factor in what is essentially an open-air film set. Incredibly, most Austrians have not seen the movie: you can therefore expect to receive a few bewildered looks as you follow in the footsteps of the Von Trapp children on the steps outside Mirabell Palace and breeze through the gardens. All together now: “Do-Re-Mi….”
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Austria on the whole is famed for its mountainous terrain and breathtaking scenery; and the area around Salzburg fits this description to a tee. Untersburg is the most popular mountain amongst tourists, mainly due to its accessibility via either an energy sapping hike or jaunt on a cable car. When you reach the 6,473ft peak, the rewards are great, with spectacular views of the region and across the nearby border into Germany. Before descending, stop for some refreshment at the Hochalm restaurant atop the summit.
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Dominating the Salzburg skyline not unlike its Edinburgh counterpart, Hohensalzburg Fortress is the most intriguing testament to the city’s medieval heritage. The mountaintop castle can be reached by funicular railway, once there offering visitors the opportunity to marvel at the incredible 15th-century architecture and vast array of historic artefacts inside. From the exterior, you should have your camera at the ready, as the bird’s eye view of Salzburg is unrivalled by anywhere else in the area.
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Image 1 (Hellbrunn) © NH53
Image 2 (Mozart) © edwin.11
Image 3 (Sound of Music) © pdbreen
Image 4 (Untersberg) © Hardo
Image 5 (Hohensalzburg Fortress) © Abhijeet Rane
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