10 reasons why you should travel to Salzburg instead of Vienna

Murad Akhundov 21 February 2021 166 views 7 min. read

Maybe among you, there are those who did not know the information about Salzburg's city, so I will start my blog with an answer to the question of where is Salzburg located. The city of Salzburg is a luxurious city surrounded by the Alps. Despite being only the fourth most populous city in Austria, Salzburg receives more than 1.5 million visitors annually, second only to Vienna's capital.

Many tourists who are going to visit Austria on an Austria Schengen visa often ask themselves the question "Salzburg or Vienna"?

In this article, we will try to answer your question and tell you about 10 reasons why it is worth travel to Vienna, but to Salzburg.

Salzburg's city is divided into two parts by the Salzach River, and there are interesting places to visit on both sides of it. In general terms, we can say that the old town is on the left bank, and the "new" district is on the right.

Before continuing, the list of " things to do in Salzburg," do you know why it is called Salzburg? Because the local population has long carried salt across the Salzach River.

1. Salzburg Cathedral

salzburg cathedral

Coming to this city of Salzburg, you will not ask yourself the question "What to see in Salzburg?" because the city is rich in architectural monuments. Salzburg attractions, which are located in the heart of the historic city center. There is the Salzburg Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Virgil and Saint Rupert. The latter was involved in the foundation of a new church in 774, built on the ruins of the previous one.

In the 17th century, the Salzburg Cathedral was wholly rebuilt in the Baroque style under Prince and Bishop Markus Sittich von Hohenems, designed by the architect Santino Solari, who completed the work in 1628. Three arches lead to the sanctuary, connecting the Domplatz with the Salzburg residence and San Pietro's Abbey. Inside, there is still a font in which Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was baptized as a child among various works of art.

2. Mirabell Castle

castle in salzburg

The picturesque, decorated with cherubs and cupids, and the magnificent Marble Hall, where the brilliant composer himself performed, is now one of the most popular places where lovers prefer to get married. Mirabel Castle is considered one of the most romantic places not only in Salzburg but also in the whole of Austria. Built-in 1606 by Wolf Dietrich von Reitenau for his beloved Salome Alt and later restored by architect Lukas von Hildebrandt in the Baroque style, Mirabel Castle is surrounded by a beautiful garden with exquisite fountains, flower fields. Also, she includes the oldest gnome garden in Europe.

3. The House of Mozart

house of mozart

The third floor of the building at Getreidegasse 9, where Mozart was born, is one of the most popular tourist places in the "Salzburg attractions" list. It is this place that gathers hundreds of music lovers from all over the world every day. The house museum houses family portraits, a violin that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played as a child and two of his pianos, and numerous letters, personal belongings of the composer, and scores of his works. With their original furniture and furnishings, the rooms also give an insight into the lifestyle of a middle-class family in Mozart's time.

4. Glockenspiel (Carillon)


It is impossible to not have any carillon in the city of music. A tower with 35 bells plays the most famous musical works of Haydn, Mozart, and other great composers. The game of all the bells fascinates guests' and locals' hearts every day, regardless of the weather.

Once on the bell tower's observation deck, visitors will find a special fascinating sight: 35 bells hang high, the melodies of which fill the old town every day. Very small bells are light - 16 kg. Large ones weigh up to an impressive 380 kg. Musically, they are all different: their series of tones spans almost three octaves. The repertoire consists of 100 pieces and changes monthly. So there is something for every taste - whether it's operas, folk songs or famous Christmas songs.

5. Hohensalzburg Fortress

hohensalzburg fortress

Built-in the 11th century, the Prince-Bishops of Salzburg's castle-fortress, towering over the city from the top of the Festungsberg Hill, is one of the largest and best-preserved fortifications on the European continent.

During the Napoleonic Wars, Salzburg surrendered without a fight, and this saved the fortress-otherwise it would have been razed to the ground. In the 19th century, it was used as a barracks, and during the First World War, Hohensalzburg served as a prison for Italian prisoners of war and later for Nazi activists until the annexation of Austria to Germany.

After the Second World War, Salzburg became more and more a place of international tourism, so various restoration works were carried out, even very extensive, thanks to which the fortress is now in perfect condition. More than 950,000 visitors climb the hill every year to visit the large medieval complex, which occupies a huge area. Hohensalzburg Fortress is the most visited Austrian monument outside of Vienna because it offers an incredible city view!

6. Old Restaurants

sacher grill

The city of Salzburg is rich in fine-concept restaurants for every taste. Below we will tell you about the two most famous ones, which are very popular among tourists and locals:

The Blue Goose: The oldest hotel in Salzburg, with a history of more than 660 years, is located in the Blauen-Hans district on the Getreidegasse. For centuries, people had gossiped and dined in the hotel's ancient restaurant with its vaulted ceiling. Careful attention is paid to the precise preparation of classic Salzburg dishes, such as fried chicken or boiled beef in a copper pot. There is also a wine cellar where the wines are stored in a glass case.

Sacher Grill: Another iconic restaurant in Salzburg is the Sacher Grill. After the renovation, the restaurant formerly known as the "Salzach Grill" in the Sacher Hotel was reopened as the "Sacher Grill." It means that guests and locals have returned to the cherished institution with a new concept and design. Viennese schnitzel, the famous Salzburger, and Tafelspitz can still be found on the legendary restaurant menu. And "Austrian tapas" and the corresponding varieties of Austrian beer will not leave anyone indifferent.

7. Christmas in Salzburg

christmas time

Salzburg or Vienna? If you chose not to travel to Vienna, but travel to Salzburg Austria, during Christmas, then you did not lose! What do you think to see for Christmas in Salzburg? We will try to answer your question about why Salzburg is the perfect place in winter.

Suppose you are looking for a city where the Christmas atmosphere is truly magical, where sparkling lights and decorations give it a special charm, where hundreds of stalls in the historic city center beckon you with their aromas and tastes. In that case, Salzburg is the right choice!

Every year at Christmas, this Austrian city dresses up in a New Year's atmosphere: exciting live choirs, concerts, shows, and, above all, traditional Christmas fairs that enliven the streets and squares throughout the month, attracting thousands of tourists from all over the world.

The "Salzburger Christkindlmarkt," which stretches over the Piazza della Residenza and the Piazza Duomo, is one of the oldest Christmas markets and one of the largest and most beautiful markets in Europe. In the characteristic wooden houses, there are countless opportunities for shopping (local crafts, toys, Christmas decorations, souvenirs) and the opportunity to taste typical sweets and traditional dishes of Austria, allowing you to warm up with fragrant mulled wine. Any tourist who has visited Salzburg for Christmas will say for sure-Salzburg is simply beautiful in winter!

8. Music Festival

music festival

For six weeks a year, the city of W. A. Mozart becomes the main character of one of the most prestigious cultural events in Europe: the Salzburg Festival!

Salzburg Festival has a rich concert program, theatre performances, and operas staged in different popular places of the city (theatres, squares, concert halls, and even parks).

Every summer, from July to August, Salzburg becomes the most important international stage, where great musicians, conductors, singers, actors, and directors perform, making this Salzburg Festival a unique event in the field of culture. The writer Hugo von Hofmannsthal, the theatre director Max Reinhardt and the composer Richard Strauss laid the foundation for the festival in 1920, which began with the drama "Edermann" on Cathedral Square.

In the following years, the event was enriched with concerts and excellent quality works, which increased its popularity and popularity from year to year. After the Second World War, in 1948, the festival regained its fame, primarily due to the great conductor Herbert von Karajan, with whom the festival became even more international. More "bold" than the previous ones, the latest editions of the festival are characterized by an open policy to expand and modernize the program to attract a younger audience. Tradition and innovation-these are the components of the famous festival's success, which makes the city of Salzburg the music capital of Europe.

9. Austrian Cuisine

austrian cuisine

Austrian cuisine is distinguished in Europe by its austerity. So many dishes of this cuisine migrated not only to the diet of neighboring countries but also gained fame all over the world. However, what could be better than trying Austrian cuisine in Austria? If in Vienna, as in the capital of Austria, there are many restaurants with a variety of cuisine, then in Salzburg, it is the strict national flavor that prevails.

A classic Austrian meal begins with a vegetable or meat soup, followed by a meat dish such as meatballs (fleischknodel) or beef stew with beer (bierfleisch) or a classic boiled sausage with mustard.

10. Salzburg Sweets


Oddly enough, despite all the Austrians' severity and composure, it was they who gave the world countless sweets.

Apple strudel-a rolls with apple, cinnamon, sugar, and raisins will not leave indifferent, even those who do not like sweets very much.

Or a dessert with the hard-to-pronounce name "Kaiserschmarn," an omelette cut into pieces and fried until crisp. All this is sprinkled with powdered sugar. This dessert was named after Franz Joseph, the Emperor of Austria, who was very fond of this delicacy.

The most lauded dessert in Salzburg is the Salzburger Nockerln. It is a delicate souffle, which, according to legend, represents the snowy peaks of Salzburg. It is usually served with raspberry syrup. It is so popular in Salzburg that it can be enjoyed in any restaurant in the city. The famous Austrian composer Raymond even wrote the operetta Salzburg Knockerln, in the text of which the dessert was awarded such an epithet as "sweet as love, and tender as a kiss."

In this article, we tried to tell you why it is worth travel to Salzburg Austria, and not to Vienna. We hope that this material helped you choose favor of this wonderful city – the Old World's musical capital.

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