Altstadt (Old Town)
Comprised of beautiful baroque churches, elegant plazas, grand monuments and narrow lanes, Salzburg’s Altstadt (Old Town) is certainly one of Europe’s most beautiful and charming town centers. It is no wonder that in 1997, this stunning historical center was listed a UNESCO World Heritage Site by the United Nations.
Located on the left bank of the Salzach river and nestled under the Mönchsberg mountain, Salzburg’s Altstadt is small and compact, making it ideal to explore on foot. A series of squares runs through the Altstadt, and you will find that all the squares are dominated by a beautiful church and often also feature a stunning fountain. It was for this reason that Salzburg was known as the Rome of the north. You will also find abundant shopping, elegant cafes, and cozy traditional restaurants. For music lovers, you can even visit the Mozart Geburtshaus (the birth house of Mozart).
Neustadt (New Town)
To the right of the Salzach River, you’ll find Salzburg’s Neustadt, otherwise known as the “New Town”. While it may be just slightly newer than the Altstadt, New Town still boasts a great deal of historical sights which you can easily find as your explore its winding and medieval lanes.
The most famous sight in the Neustadt is the Mirabell Palace & Gardens, made famous in the “Do-Re-Me” scene in the Sound of Music. The baroque masterpiece is well worth a visit, even if you are not a Sound of Music fan. Built in 1606 by the Prince Archbishop of Salzburg for his concubine, it’s one of our favourite spots in the city, especially in the summer months, so we recommend it in every Salzburg itinerary! Visitors can also mingle with locals at the many restaurants and pubs located on the nearby Linzer Gasse, the main street that runs through the Neustadt district.
Dominating Salzburg’s skyline with the most beautiful Alpine background, the Hohensalzburg Fortress is one of the top places to visit in Salzburg. Reach its summit effortlessly by funicular railway or if you’re feeling more energetic, make you way up by foot. Even if you do not wish to take the official tour of the fortress and its staterooms, make sure you find time to explore its vast grounds and terraces.
From one side of the fortress you will enjoy a beautiful view of the city, and from the other a breathtaking view of the nearby Alps. You can also visit the Fortress Museum, a Marionette Museum, the Torture Chamber, an observation tower, and more.
Towering high above the rooftops and spires of Salzburg’s Altstadt, Mönchsberg - Monks Mountain in English - is a place well worth discovering. The Hohensalzburg Fortress occupies the southern end of the low-lying mountain, but elsewhere you will find idyllic forests, pastures, romantic homes and castle ruins.
Include it in your Salzburg itinerary and we promise you won’t be disappointed. Take a stroll through this enchanting landscape which affords numerous breath-taking views of Salzburg city below and the marvellous Alpine Mountains that frame the city. Best of all, it can be enjoyed away from the tourist crowds of the city. For beer lovers, visit Austria’s largest beer hall, situated at the northern foot of the mountain. Since 1621 it has served a famously delicious brew produced by Augustinian monks.