If you weren’t familiar with the fact he was a famous composer you would assume on a visit to Salzburg that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart made chocolates…and rubber ducks. You cannot turn a corner without seeing the city’s most famous sons whether it is on the packet of the marzipan chocolate balls, creme liquors or bathroom products. Embrace it – obviously not every location that claims an affiliation with the composer is entirely true but go with it, find your inner Cassation in D-Minor and explore the beautiful back streets of this wonderful city.
Salzburg is an interesting place to spend 24 hours. Most tourists on organised trips cram in everything during the day, meaning the streets can be heaving but come 5pm they all depart, leaving the narrow, cobbled lanes, fantastic restaurants and bars to the 24-hourers. If you plan on really maximising your time in this beautiful city, then consider investing in the Salzburg Card which offers free entry to basically everything and free local transport to boot.
The centre of Salzburg is small, which means nowhere is really more than a 5 minute walk away. Even the smart airport, unsurprisingly named after Mozart, is just a short bus ride away from the city centre – bus number 10 runs every 10 minutes and takes just 15 minutes to arrive at the main station, costing just €2.50. What many first time visitors probably don’t know is how close to Germany the city centre is – a ten minute walk north of the airport and you will be swapping your Euro’s for, erm Euro’s and saying Danke Schoen in a slightly different accent.
On the opposite side of the runway to the terminal building you will find the glass dome belonging to Red Bull. Hanger 7 is the home to the air racing team and also includes a collection of their F1 racing team. The dome has a restaurant and a bar and is just a hop off bus route 2 – a good option as a pit-stop before heading to your flight home. Likewise, on the other (the terminal) side of the runway there is a decent-sized Outlet shopping centre for those who want to stock up on their Austrian Designer Brands.
If Mozart doesn’t get you then the Von Trapps will. Salzburg features heavily in The Sound of Music, no venue more so than the Mirabell Palace on the right bank of the Salzach, where you can relive the “Doe, Ray, Me” song on the steps just to the left of the palace. On your way don’t forget to allow time to pop into ultra formal Hotel Sacher for a slice of the world-famous Sacher Torte – although it’s worth remembering that you’ll pay a premium for enjoy a slice here.
Want a decent view of the city then head up to the Hohensalzburg, the huge castle that sits 500m above the centre. You can access the fortress by funicular which whisks you up to the top in a few minutes every 10 minutes. Entrance to the fortress and it’s museums is €11.50.
For a different overview of the city then the Salzburg Museum is a great starting point but I’d give that a swerve and head for Steigl Brewery in Kendlerstrasse, just outside the centre, for a few local brews and some excellent Austrian fayre. If you don’t fancy the walk then there’s plenty of excellent bars in the city centre including the Alchimiste Belge on Bergstraße with its 150+ beers or The Beer Lounge on Schwarzstraße. One of the most popular new bars in the old town is the excellent Sternbräu on Griesgasse which despite its modern, sleek design, has been around since 1542. In the summer then head to one of the excellent beer gardens such as Urbankeller, Augustiner Bräu or Bierheuriger Eder in Gaisbergstraße.
If food is what you want, what you really really want then you are in luck as Salzburg covers every taste and does it in style. Want some typical Austrain fayre featuring meat and potatoes, then Gasthaus Zwettlers in Kaigasse is a great shout. If you want something smaller then Carpe Diem in Getreidegasse is very popular, whilst on the right bank of the river, Jonanneskeller is highly recommended on Richard-Myr Gasse
For those in the city for a bit of football, Red Bull Salzburg have dominated the domestic scene for a few seasons now. The play, unsurprisingly, at the Red Bull Arena halfway between the city centre and the airport. Close by the stadium is the casino and an Ikea – so something for everyone.
For those needing a bed for the night then the Goldener Hirsch on Getreidegasse in the old town and a stones throw from Mozart’s official childhood house, is an excellent choice. A great boutique option, just off Residentzplatz is the Dom, with each room uniquely designed. For those looking for a more budget option, the Holiday Inn is locates close to the Mirabell Palace.