Things to do in Salzburg

Besides the setting for the Sound of Music movie, the Salzburg area overflows with “Things to Do”

Let’s start with its musical heritage. Salzburg, which is located in a very picturesque area of Austria, has quite a history with music, starting with its favorite son, Mozart, who was born and spent much of his young life here.

Mime in front of Mozart's yellow birthhouse in Salzburg, Austria

In Front of Mozart’s Birthhouse

Even today, 250 plus years later, he is still the inspiration for the spectacular music fest held here. One of the area’s top tourist attractions found in the heart of town, is Mozart’s Geburtshaus (Mozart’s Birthplace), where he also lived for seventeen years. Outside of it being yellow with white shutters, it is a non-discreet multistory building like many of the surrounding ones, that date back to the early 1,400s.

The spectacular Alpine scenery that surrounds Salzburg, was the inspiration for The Sound of Music movie which was filmed here. Today tour companies are ready to take you to the locales, where many of the scenes were filmed. Silent Night was first sung here, actually in a Chapel in Oberndorf, about an 1/2 hour drive outside of the city of Salzburg. BTW, Salzburg is the name of the city as well as the state whose capital it is.

Salzburg’s musical heritage is showcased in the world renowned Salzburg Summer Music Festival, which is held every year from the end of July through the end of August and is definitely one of Austria’s cultural highlights of the year. Is there Music in Salzburg? Salzburg and Music are synonymous.

Although music takes center stage in Salzburg, its history is actually founded in “salt”, which was discovered some 5,000 years ago and has been mined for 3,000 years.

Tram up to the salt mine entrance in Hallstatt, Austria

Tram up to Hallstatt’s Salt Mine

In fact one of the tourist attractions in the area are the salt mine tours, such as in Hallein just south of the city of Salzburg, where you’ll also learn the relation of the salt (“salz” in German) mining to the establishment and wealth generated in the Salzburg area. Another such, “open to the public” mine is located in Hallstatt, which is still within the state but, in an area known as the Salzkammergut. Now, there is a post card setting, WOW!

Salzburg is also an intellectual capital and the home of University of Salzburg, which had its origin as the Paris – London University in Salzburg. Founded in 1617, it offered courses in theology and divinity, philosophy as well as law and medicine. Today the university still offers theology and law and has added humanities and sciences. Medicine is offered but in a private setting. The University sits directly across from Salzburg’s Performing Arts Complex in the Old City, a setting that will certainly enchant you. This is also an area, where you’ll find some of the settings you may have seen in the Sound of Music Movie.

Panoramic view of Salzburg, Austria with the Hohensalzburg fortress in the background

Old Salzburg and the Hohensalzburg Fortress

Salzburg is ideally located for travel within and outside of Austria. It’s a great jumping off point for exploring and enjoying the Salzkammergut and the great outdoors offered in the Austrian Alps. Nearby is the Saalach Valley, which has become a favorite walking destination with its multi-day “Hiking without luggage” programs. If staying longer, within easy reach, is Southern Germany’s Bavaria and Munich, Northern Italy with its Dolemites and Lakes Region. Switzerland are also within easy reach. Enough things to do in Salzburg?

Things to do in Vienna

You will be hard put to not find “Things to do in Vienna”. Chances are you will not exhaust what there is to see, explore and partake in. The Vienna attractions for locals as well as tourists are manifold and definitely the major reason that Vienna is frequently rated as one of the most visited and livable cities in the world.

Statue of Johan Strauss in Vienna's central park
Vienna and Musicians are Synonymous

History Is Everywhere

Art, music and culture have a long history in Vienna, and many of the world’s best artists, philosophers, musicians and composers have hung out here over the past few hundred years. These are the same reasons visitors and tourists are attracted to Vienna.

For centuries Vienna has also been a seat of power in central Europe, whether in the Roman times, the Habsburg Dynasty era, in the near past as the go between East and West, or today as one of the four major hubs for the UN and the seat for OPEC.

Participate In Vienna’s History and Culture

Vienna is a city rich in history, traditions, museums and palaces, dating back centuries, in the mist of which you may spot some very interesting contrasts such as with the ultra modern building located opposite the St. Stephens Cathedral, which dates back centuries. And then there’s the Hundertwasserhaus located in the Landstrasse District, which does not have a straight line or repetition anywhere in its structure, exterior or decor. Even the sidewalk around it is uneven. If you are an organized type, this apartment complex would present a real challenge. To get an even deeper understanding of the city and get a broader perspective, attend an opera, theater or musical performance.  Join in and participate in some of the open to the public events and performances, whether as a tourist in Vienna or a guest – you are welcome.

Inside Vienna's famous opera house
Inside Vienna’s Opera House

Vienna and The Arts

Certainly one of the major attractions you’ll will notice , is the connection between Vienna and music. This is made very clear as you walk among the historical settings the musicians we so revere, got much of their inspiration from. Choose among the world’s best classical orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, attend one of the many amazing theaters, or why not a typical Viennese Operetta?

Vienna and Music Are Synonymous

If you don’t mind spur of the moment, frequently you’ll find people near the venue, selling concert tickets at a bargain. If you’re there in the May/June time frame, don’t miss out on the Vienna Festival Weeks . This is certainly a celebration of Vienna’s musical heritage and standing in the world of classical music – a city known for its art, culture and music and home base for the likes of Johann Strauss, Mozart, Schubert and Ludwig van Beethoven. More on that at Austria’s Summer Music Festivals.

The Majestic Schönbrunn Palace
The Majestic Schönbrunn Palace

Perhaps music is not on your list of things to do in Vienna. OK, then, how about visiting and exploring the Shönbrunn Schloss (Palace), St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Hofburg Imperial Palace (home of the Habsburg dynasty and the birthplace of Marie Antoinette), the Rathaus (the seat of the major and the city council) and the Vienna State Opera House.

A Must Visit to The Grandeur Of the Past

The Shönbrunn Palace grounds are huge and attest to its glorious past as the royalty’s summer home and hunting grounds. Its expansive gardens with the fountains and the Gloriette, which sits facing the Palace at the other end of the gardens, are magnificent. In fact the Gloriette at the Schönbrunn is said to be the finest example of its kind to be found anywhere.

The size and scope of the Hofburg Palace, in Vienna’s Central District, will amaze you. And as you’re gawking, watch out for the horse and buggy and tourist traffic, which is pretty heavy, except for early Sunday morning, when all is quiet. Also not to be missed are Vienna’s Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Fine Arts, which are among the finest in Europe.

Wine, Food, Pastries and More…

In addition to Vienna’s ties to classical music, you have the magic and history of the Danube River, which runs through the city, the nearby vineyards, the parks, and… of course, the food, pastries and kafes, which certainly are major attractions for tourists and locals alike. Can’t forget the ice cream places such as the one at Schwedenplatz – what a treat. Still looking for things to do in Vienna?

Contrast of old and new in Vienna's central district - St. Stephens cathedral and next to modern building c
Vienna Old and New Architecture Meet

If you enjoy a little walking, great scenery, good food and wine? Then check out the areas around the  Vienna Wine Trail, one of the major Vienna Tourist Attractions, stop in a local Heurigen – Vienna Wine Tavern,  have some of the proprietor’s wine along with some of their specialties and enjoy.

One Of the Most Livable Cities In The World

In addition to the many historic buildings, monuments and fairytale palaces, Vienna is a thriving metropolis perfectly suited for today’s tourist and visitor, as it was in its the past, when the likes of Beethoven, Schubert, Strauss and Mozart gained much of their inspiration in this city. With all of that going on, it’s no wonder that Vienna is rated as one of the most livable cities in the world.

 

When travelling to Austria and Vienna in specific, you’ll find the information and transportation resources at the Airport to be very convenient. Even though the public transportation system in Vienna is excellent, you’ll want the freedom of having a rental to be of great convenience, especially if you want to visit some of the very popular and atmosphere laden Vienna Heurigens, or take a trip to nearby Wachau Valley, with its terraced vineyards, old castles and monasteries.For your convenience, Car rental at Vienna airport provides easy pick-up and drop off.

Find additional things to do in Vienna at Central Vienna Attractions.

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