Salzburg, Austria: The birthplace of Mozart is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, where the romantic charm of the Baroque and Renaissance periods come alive in its impressive architecture of the historical buildings and right down on the cobbled streets. The capital of Land Salzburg is also called the “heart of the heart of Europe.” There is so much to see and do in this popular tourist destination and for first-time visitors, here are five of its top tourist attractions:
Situated on the southeastern summit of the Monchsberg, Hohensalzburg Fortress is said to be the largest completely preserved castle left in central Europe. Spanning over 250 metres and towering 122 metres above the Salzach River, the fortress was used as a stronghold of the ruling prince-archbishops of Salzburg. Visitors to the site marvel at the grandeur of the architecture and layout as well as the breathtaking view of the Alps from its massive towers.
Known around the world for its 4,000-pipe organ, the Salzburg Dom is located on the south side of Residenzplatz. At one time it was hailed by some critics as the “most perfect Renaissance building in the Germanic countries,” with its marble façade and twin symmetrical towers. The Salzburg Cathedral is also home to the Dom Museum, which showcases historical and religious artifacts collected by the archbishops in the 17th century. As well, the cathedral excavations shows the ruins of the original foundation.
Old Town District
A visit to Salzburg is not complete without going to the birthplace of its most famous son, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In Getreidegasse, the house where the famous musician was born has been converted into a museum where mementos of his life are displayed. The place is also a busy shopping district lined with burghers’ houses dating from the 15th to the 18th century.
Mirabell Gardens and Palace
Built in the 1600’s, this magnificent garden is a perfect example of Baroque landscape gardening and has been featured in the classic movie “Sound of Music.” The banquet hall is a historical landmark since this was where Mozart performed for the elite society of Salzburg.
St. Peter’s Abbey
Founded in 696 A.D. by St. Rupert, this Romanesque basilica is one of the most popular attractions in Salzburg, renowned for its onion domes and high altar. It houses the oldest library in Austria as well as the nearby Petersfriedhof cemetery where aristocratic families and famous personalities are buried, including Mozart’s sister, Nannerl Mozart and Haydn’s brother, Johann Michael Haydn.
Check out the most popular guided tours in Salzburg from our trusted tour partner Viator
- Salzburg Salt Mines
- Berchtesgaden and Eagle’s Nest
- Salzburg Museum
- Mirabell Palace and Gardens
- Mozart Residence
- Hellbrunn Castle
- St. Peter’s Abbey