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?

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