A Tourist Guide to Salzburg, Austria : Places to See, Landscape, Shopping Tips and Best Time to Visit
Salzburg is one of these places in Austria which you surely have to visit if you travel in this beautiful country of Europe. It is located in western Austria in a charming landscape between the Kapuzinerberg and Mönschberg and lies on the Salzach River. Salzburg is surrounded through the Lake districts and also popular for many scenes of the popular musical movie “The Sound of Music”.
Alexander von Humboldt once wrote to a friend “The surroundings of Salzburg, Naples and Constantinople are one of the most beautiful places in the world”. Every traveler who visited Salzburg will share his written words and is amazed through the proud of its small city center. It is a city for all seasons where tourists can enjoy the beauty of this baroque town, the numerous lakes, beautiful gardens and flowers and the panoramic views from the top of Monschberg.
Discovering the beauty of Austria’s jewel Salzburg requires time and you walk best slowly through the streets and admire the beautiful buildings, museums and all touristic spots of this beautiful place in Europe. You best take the elevator which brings you to the top of the Mönchberg or the Kapuzinerberg and you can view the city from all sides and admire panoramic views.
The Residentzplatz is the largest square in the old town and lies between the residence of the former prince-archbishops and the new Residenz buildings. The Residence Fountain can be found in the middle of this square and has a height of 15 meters. It was created by the Italian sculpture Tommaso di Garona and can be considered as the biggest and most beautiful fountain outside Italy. Three giants stand on a rock which is surrounded by 4 water-spouting horses and holds a large dish on their shoulders with big fishes. The King of the Sea, Triton is sitting in this dish and blows a water stream through a conch in the air.
Salzburg is always associated with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the most famous classical composers all times, who was born in this town and you can still visit his birth-house which is nowadays owned by the Mozarteum Foundation and exhibits pictures, documents of his family and also instruments he played.
The Mozartplatz is another important monument which reminds the most famous son of Salzburg. Thousands of tourists visit each this bronze statue, created from a model of sculpture Ludwig von Schwanthaler and unveiled in presence of Mozart’s two sons in 1842.
The Dom is undoubtedly the most beautiful Italian building of the northern Alpines and constructed according the plans of architect Santino Solari. The façade of this cathedral is made of Unterberg marble. In front of this magnificent cathedral, you can see the Madonna statue with on the right and left side figures that represent devil and angels. Several statues can be viewed on different levels of the façade (the four evangelists on the central level, statues of Moses on the top of the façade). If you enter the Duomo, you can admire the frescoes of the 71m high octagonal cupola which represent occurrences of the Old Testament.
The Mirabell gardens are a colorful attraction of flowers and sculptures in Salzburg and well known as the place where the von Trapp children sang the song “Do Re Mi” in the musical-movie “The Sound of Music”. The Mirabelle Palace was originally built in 1606 by Archbishop Von Raitenau for his mistress Salome Alt and called “Altenau”. His successors enlarged it and transformed this into the summer residence of the archbishops Mirabell.
Nowadays, the Mirabell gardens are again according the designs of Fischer von Erlach in 1690 and can be considered as one of the most beautiful baroque gardens of Europe. You can enter the gardens through a gate where two stone fencers stand on pedestals. You will find numerous statues throughout these gardens and are inspired by the Greek mythology. The fountain is located in the middle of this park and surrounded by four groups of figures of the sculpture Ottavio Mosto which represent air, earth, fire and water. It is also amusing to visit the Bastion or Dwarfs’ Garden where you can see many dwarfs representing different characters and professions. You can spend hours in these Mirabell Gardens without boring one moment.
Salzburg is also an excellent place for shopping. The shopping center is located in the old town, in narrow streets around the Dom. More than 400 shops sell jewelry, clothes, books, music, handcraft, artwork, antique, leather and all products you can imagine.
It is even possible to do Christmas and Easter shopping all year around. It is amazing to see shops with Christmas trees and decorated with Christmas or Easter ornaments in summer.
The most famous shopping street of Salzburg is the Getreidestrasse, a long and narrow street with high historical houses where also Mozart’s birth-house is located. Even if you don’t have the intention to buy souvenirs in Salzburg; you surely have to walk in the shopping center. It is something you have to see and you can drink a cup of coffee, an Alm Dudler (an Austrian soft drink and considered as the national drink of Austria) or another beverage in one of the coffee shops which you find there. Popular souvenirs of Salzburg are Mozart-souvenirs, Mozartkugels (a round chocolate coated praline of nougat and marzipan) and tracht (traditional costumes of Salzburg).
However, Salzburg is a popular travel destination all seasons, you best plan your holiday from May to September when average temperatures are between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius. January is normally the coldest month and July often the warmest month. You need always an umbrella because it rains throughout the year. It is maybe good to remember Jonathon Caroll ‘s quote: Salzburg… is a mountain town with a rushing river running right through the center, everything in the rain various shades of green and brown. You may also prefer to visit Salzburg in winter when mountains, streets and houses are covered with snow.
Salzburg is a wonderful travel destination in Europe and offers attractions and places to see for everyone. Salzburg can certainly be called the city of music through the famous Salzburg festival and the birthplace of Mozart. Its amazing scenery with beautiful mountains, delicious food and interesting places to visit makes Salzburg to a top travel destination in Europe. It is maybe best to buy a Salzburg card when you visit this city and you can into all the popular attractions with the public transportation.