The ‘heart of the heart of Europe‘, as it’s known, Salzburg is one of the continent’s top tourist destinations for all the right reasons. Straddling the banks of Austria’s Salzach River along the German border, this ancient city is blessed with the Alps as its backdrop and a wonderfully intact medieval Old Town at its core. Salzburg may be the city of Mozart, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Salzburg is one of those wonderfully compact European cities where walking is the best and most convenient way to see the sights. At the heart of it all is the charming, labyrinth Old Town on the western side of the river. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997, this is where most visitors spend their time wandering along narrow lanes and past Baroque buildings, bustling markets and small plazas.

The rest of Salzburg keeps this timeless feeling going with beautiful architecture and dozens of museums and cultural venues. Classy cafés, bars and boutique shops provide plenty of distraction, while the hometown of Mozart makes this unique status clear to everyone through ubiquitous Mozart-themed souvenirs and frequent festivals in his honor. If you have time, explore the surrounding valleys and mountains which are littered with castles, quaint villages and the surreal beauty of the Alps.


Hohensalzberg Fortress: Central Europe’s largest and best-preserved fortress is a Salzburg landmark offering panoramic views over the city and surrounding valleys.

Mozart’s Home: the great composer’s childhood home has been converted into a small museum featuring some of his early instruments, compositions and other memorabilia.

Natural History Museum: although the museum focuses mainly on regional themes, the on-site aquarium is one of the best in Central Europe and adds a touch of life to the comprehensive selection of historical exhibits.

Salzburg City Theater: this legendary Baroque venue was hosting performances long before Mozart was born, and continues its status as one of the world’s premier cultural arts venues.

Schloss Mirabell: this remarkable Baroque castle with its equally stunning grounds is recognizable as the place where Julie Andrews danced around in The Sound of Music.****

Schonbrunn Palace: considered one of the finest Baroque palaces in Europe, period furnishings along with incredible grounds boasting a garden maze and other delights make this a popular Salzburg highlight.