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“Of all the lovely regions I have seen, none can compare to Salzburg’s striking natural beauty,” said the city’s most famous son, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and we can't help but feel the same.
Spend a day in the City of Salzburg. Use your first day in Salzburg to get an overview of the most important historic sights. The old town is compact and accessible, so you can best explore the highlights by foot.Morning
Start your first day with a walk up to Hohensalzburg Fortress. Tour the fortress' state rooms and museum, and enjoy great views of the city. Once you've made your way back down the mountain, visit the Cathedral and the Franciscan Church, and stroll through St. Peter's district. St. Peter's cemetery, church, monastery, and catacombs are made of rock from the local Mönchsberg.
Salzburg was an independent city-state run by the Catholic church until the 19th century. The city occupies an interesting patch of Austrian history, brimming with great stories. To learn more about Salzburg's past book a private walking tour guaranteed to give you deeper insights into the history surrounding you.
Enjoy lunch in one of the numerous local inns and taverns, or head to the Green Market, the city's farmer's market (daily except Sunday at Universitaetsplatz) for local delicacies. And make sure to stop for afternoon coffee and cake at the famed Café Tomaselli (Alter Markt 9).
Wander along Getreidegasse, a narrow lane lined with medieval courtyards and great shopping. You will find international brands as well as more traditional "trachten" apparel, antiques, jewellery, books and music. Try to spot the original wrought iron store signs that have been there for centuries.
If you have time, round off your afternoon across the Staatsbrücke, a bridge over the Salzach river. Walk along Linzer Gasse to Stefan Zweig Weg, where you can hike the steep narrow lanes to the top of the Kapuzinerberg, one of the city's mountains. Here you will find a quiet oasis of greenery and views over the city. In the evening, treat yourself to a show at the famous Salzburg Marionette Theater. This beloved institution has performed popular operas, musicals and plays since 1913.
The second day in Salzburg will let you delve deeper into the local scene and look at some of the city's Baroque sights more closely.Morning
Start your day with a leisurely breakfast at the Café Bazar (Schwarzstrasse 3), a true institution. Afterwards, head to Mirabellplatz and hop on a bike: Fräulein Marias Bicycle Tours leads a 3 ½-hour tour through some of the city's most scenic spots -- including many famous locations from The Sound of Music. Tours leave at 9:30 a.m. most days.
For a change of pace, get off your bike and walk to the Domquartier, the opulent former seat of the Prince Archbishop. Immerse yourself in the Baroque architecture of a bygone era, when Salzburg was ruled independently. With 15 ornate state rooms and a special museum, there is a lot to explore. The Domquartier was recently renovated, making it one of Salzburg's most exciting new attractions.
Head to St. Peter’s restaurant, Central Europe's oldest restaurant for a special Mozart Dinner Concert. For a more down-to-earth experience, dive into Salzburg’s famous beer scene at the lively Augustiner Bräu Monastery, in Mülln. Mingle with the locals over a cold pint and hearty Austrian snacks.
See some of the SalzburgerLand highlights on your way to Bad Gastein. Begin your exploration of the Salzburgerland, the region outside the city itself. Rent a car and head 115 km (70 miles) south toward Bad Gastein, today’s final destination.
Things to do along the way
We suggest a brief stop at Kuchl, for a visit to the Fürstenhof Cheese Dairy (Fürstenweg 15, 5431 Kuchl). Watch award-winning cheesemaker Niki Rettenbacher in action, or try your hand at cheesemaking yourself. The Fürstenhof belongs to the Via Culinaria, a route that follows Salzburg’s outstanding regional cuisines.
Another stop to consider is the enchanting
In the afternoon head to St. Johann for a visit to the Liechtensteinklamm, one of the longest and deepest gorges in the Alps. You can witness the natural spectacle during the day in summer and early fall.
Arrive in Bad Gastein
From St. Johann it's another 40 km (25 miles) to Bad Gastein, one of Austria’s most famous mountain and spa towns. You can choose from many
Discover Bad Gastein and the Hohe Tauern National Park.
Spend a day in and around Bad Gastein, the renowned high-valley spa town of the Hohe Tauern National Park. Its distinctive townscape and beautiful Belle Époque buildings blend harmoniously with the natural setting.
The Gastein cable cars make a trip into the surrounding mountains easy, so anyone can explore the peaks. For a thrill, head up the Stubnerkogel and walk across
After a day of Alpine exploration, head to one of Bad Gastein's many spas. The town is famous for its thermal springs and many resorts have specialised in pampering their guests. Head to the Felsentherme Bad Gastein for a few hours of deep relaxation.
Explore the peaks near Kaprun and Zell am See. Head from Bad Gastein to Zell am See, which is only a 60 km (37 mile) drive away.
Three-quarters of the way to Zell am See you'll reach the town of Kaprun, and the Kitzsteinhorn glacier area. Take one of the three cable cars to the Kitzsteinhorn summit. Gipfelwelt 3000, Salzburg's highest panoramic platform, offers a breathtaking Alpine experience. At 3,000 meters (9,850 feet), you have incredible views of the surrounding mountains.
For another spectacular attraction in Kaprun, visit the High Altitude Storage Lakes. These water dams at an elevation of 2,000 meters (6,500 feet) are an architectural marvel. The artificially created, bright blue lakes look dramatic in this Alpine setting.
Your final destination is the picturesque town of Zell am See. Take an evening stroll along the lake promenade, a beautiful vantage point to look at the mountains you just scaled. If you are in town on a Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday, don’t miss the Magic Lake Laser Show which projects bright light rays out of the water.
This top drive was provided by the Austrian National Tourist Office