One of Austria’s prettiest cities, Salzburg serves up a healthy dose of popular culture landmarks, exquisite parklands and striking baroque architecture from the 17th and 18th centuries. While Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the city’s most accomplished sons wowed the world with his musical prowess in the 18th century, the beautiful locale is better known as the setting for the iconic film, The Sound of Music. Today, the film – which amply showcases the beauty of the city – continues to draw tourists from all over the world to Salzburg. And the city obliges too, regularly staging productions of the musical at the State Theatre and the Marionette Theatre! If you happen to be a die-hard of the film, consider a visit to the Villa Trapp, a lovely mansion that dates back to 1863. While this is not the house depicted in the film, this is where the real von Trapp family – on whose lives the film is based – lived. Today, Villa Trapp has been converted into a hotel that aims to recreate the life and times of its famed occupants. Moreover, the house itself has a fascinating history, given that it has seen some of the most turbulent times in modern European history. Alternatively, you could also take a coach ride through all the different locations shown in the film, and enjoy the Sound of Salzburg dinner show.
Photo Courtesy: ©Tourismus Salzburg, Foto: Breitegger Günter
As for cultural heritage, Salzburg’s historic city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A rich tapestry of art and architecture that spans from the Gothic style of the medieval period to the Italian-inspired baroque style represents in a way, the coming together of northern and Southern Europe. The result is stunning gardens with ornate trick fountains and beautiful homes that line the quaint streets. A wonderful way to experience this region is through the Salzach River Cruise which takes guests across a journey through the best parts of the city centre, culminating at the Hellbrunn Palace. A formidable palace in its own right, this stalwart also affords fantastic views of the city.
Last but not least, the city is also famed for its expansive parks and immaculately landscaped gardens. These, combined with panoramic views of the imposing snow-capped Alpine peaks rising in the distance make for something that is just as visually spectacular as it is understated in its beauty. Amongst the most popular sites within the city are the gardens of the Mirabell Palace, or the Mirabellgarten. Dating back to the 17th century, these gardens are laid out in geometrical patterns and statues and sculptures depicting characters from mythology adorn the grand palace.
For the shopaholics, the Getreidegasse is probably one of the loveliest shopping streets in the world. Once the home of Mozart himself, the street runs parallel to the Salzach river in the historic city centre. Here you will find a wide range of stores inviting visitors to browse and shop till they drop. From designer fashion brands at one of the numerous boutiques, to the traditional Austrian “Trachten” apparel or antiques and jewellery, the avenue’s 800 stores make this spot ideal for a relaxing afternoon spent window shopping, munching on delicacies and of course, shopping.
Salzburg is a city that appeals to everyone, no matter what their motivation to travel. One moment you are staring at the humbling Alps and enjoying the myriad spots of natural heritage around the town, only to find yourself deep in the heart of European art and architectural history the next, before finishing off with an indulgent shopping spree at the Getreidegasse – a complete package, and then some!
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