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Exploring Mozart's Hometown: Salzburg

About a three hour's drive west of Vienna, Salzburg is one of Austria’s most visited cities.

Famous as the setting for The Sound of Music, this opulent city has plenty of fascinating sites for tourists interested in art, architecture, and music.

Renting a holiday home in Salzburg will help you and your family get the most out of your vacation. 

A good place to begin any exploration of Salzburg is at the city’s centuries-old fortress perched atop a nearby mountain. Called Festung Hohensalzburg, most historians believe construction on this fortress began in the 11th century.

Guests visiting this fortress will see plenty of grisly implements that were once used by executioners who were employed here. On a lighter note, the Festung Hohensalzburg offers splendid views of Salzburg and the nearby Alps. 

After descending from the Festung Hohensalzburg, take a walk to the famed Getreidegasse shopping street in Salzburg’s Old Town. The most famous building on the Getreidegasse nowadays is the home where composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in 1756. Music lovers from around the world make the pilgrimage to this historic home/museum every year. 

Another great place to learn about Mozart’s time in Salzburg is at Mozart’s Wohnhaus on Makartplatz. Unfortunately, this temporary residence of the Mozart family was demolished in World War II, so what you see today is a reconstruction. One of the most impressive artifacts on display in this museum is an authentic fortepiano used by the legendary composer. 

To get the full Mozart experience while in Salzburg, book your trip to the city between July and August. During these summer months, Salzburg hosts its world-renowned classical music festival. In case you miss this most famous festival, Salzburg also has special events during Easter week and in the fall. 

If you only have time to visit one of Salzburg’s palaces, then you should plan on taking a tour of the Schloss Hellbrunn. Constructed in the early 1610s, this Baroque-style palace was once the local archbishop’s summer home. The most famous feature of this palace is the wacky waterpark area, which is full of sprinklers designed to get tourists soaking wet. 

For those who have time, another beautiful Salzburg castle is the Schloss Mirabell. Situated on the Salzach River, this palace was commissioned by an archbishop for his mistress in the early 1600s. Today, this palace is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has a fantastic garden area.

The most famous area of this palace, however, is the Marble Hall. Couples wait years to exchange vows in this fairytale-like setting. 

Parents traveling with children will find plenty of wonderful places to bring the little ones on a Salzburg journey. A few exciting museums to add to your Salzburg itinerary include the Museum of Natural History, the Salzburg Museum, and the Toy Museum. Salzburg also has a lovely zoo perfect for families visiting the city.

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