Salzburg in Austria is well-known to many people as the birthplace of Mozart in 1756, but the history of the city goes back many centuries before that time – there is evidence going back to the 5th century BC. Tourism has not been going quite so long, and there are many attractions in the area in addition to the classical music connections.
The city of Salzburg is about 300km (nearly 190 miles) west of Vienna, and very close to the German border. Munich is only 145km away, so it would make sense to fly there if you can’t get a direct flight to Salzburg.
Once you are in the city itself, you’ll find it is a relaxed and comfortable place for family tour, as most of the common tourist sites are in easy walking distance. There are actually some museums especially for children, and you can also get a pass to access many of the attractions. These include the a cable-car, a funicular railway, all public transport, and the museums and other sites.
Walking around the old center of Salzburg, you quickly notice there are so many historic buildings almost wherever you look. Despite the bombing raids during World War Two, most of the baroque architecture survived, and the area is now a designated World Heritage Site.
The most prominent landmark is the fortress which overlooks the city – Festung Hohensalzburg. It is the largest intact building of its type in central Europe, and dates from the year 1077. This building has an amazing record – in over 900 years, it has never been conquered – surviving the wartime bombing was the icing on the cake. The fortress is open all year, and also serves as a concert venue.
If you want to get a bit more active during your stay in Salzburg, you’ll be pleased to find it is the most cycle-friendly city in Austria. There are extensive routes for bicycles which can take you from the city into the mountains. And mountain bikers can choose from scenic routes or try out something more challenging – especially around the Untersberg. For road cyclists, there is a World Championship route which takes you to the local lake district.
With all the mountains around, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of opportunities for climbing, and all levels of experience are catered for, from the expert to the complete beginner. Many visitors come to CLC World’s Alpine centre to experience mountain activities. One tip is to try one of their free promotional holidays to find out what a full membership can offer you.
Why not do something even more amazing when you climb to the top of a mountain – jump off, and take the quick way down! There are some popular places for paragliding near Salzburg, and anyone can get a bit of experience by booking a tandem jump with an instructor.
Like a great many places, the best time to visit Salzburg is to avoid the local summer holidays. September and October are still comfortable temperatures – usually a bit warmer than spring. If you like winter sports, there’s plenty of snow and ice in winter, but the mist and cloud means you can’t actually see the mountains so much.