Linz (Salzburg), Austria
What do you get when you mix a beautiful baroque-style Old Town with the rugged majesty of the Austrian Alps? The magical city of Salzburg, where a musical wunderkind was born, a beloved Hollywood movie was filmed, and festivals keep things lively year-round. Set on the Salzach River, this classic Austrian destination is achingly picturesque with a rich history that lives on via its penchant for celebrating practically everything.
What We Love
Mozart Slept Here: Born in Salzburg in 1756, prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed 150 songs here as a child and young man before moving to Vienna. Visit his birthplace, Mozart’s Geburtshaus (Getreidegasse 9), a later residence (Makartplatz 8), and the square named in his honor.
The Hills Are Alive: Ever since “The Sound of Music” was shot on location here in 1965, visitors from the world over have flocked to tour a half dozen places featured in the film. These include such sites as the Benedictine Convent on Nonnberg, Mirabell Gardens, and the Residenz Fountain.
Best Known For
Altstadt: Salzburg’s Old Town is a mosaic of medieval, Renaissance, and baroque architectural styles. There's the hilltop Hohensalzburg Fortress, built in 1077, the copper-domed Salzburger Dom Cathedral (consecrated in 1628), and the expansive Salzburg Residenz, a former palace of the Archbishops that's now a beautiful museum. The best way to see it all is to wander.
Hellbrunn Palace: Fancy a display of dancing waters? You’ll find plenty at this 400-year-old, Renaissance-style palace, where the gardens include many jetted fountains constructed for the enjoyment of the city’s archbishops.
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Who It's Best For
Festival Lovers: Whether you are into Mozart (his celebration is the last week of January), theater and opera (the focus of the Easter Festival in March), performance art (the International Avantgarde Festival is in late June), or all of the above (the Salzburg Festival takes place in July or August), this city has you covered.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
The Weather Can Be Inconsistent: Thanks to its position in the Alps, the city can experience quick shifts in weather. There's unexpected rain (including heavy downpours known as “schnürlregen” or “rope rain”), in addition to wind and snow.
Donna Heiderstadt is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Coastal Living and Islands.