|Band at Mirabell gardens|
Salzburg has good connections with some cities such as Munich, Linz, Vienna and Innsbruck. Check the Austrian rail site OEBB (http://www.oebb.at/) for details. There's also an airport (http://www.salzburg-airport.com/en/) serving Salzburg.
Why might you want to visit Salzburg?
Salzburg is a truly beautiful city offering splendid architecture. Its location makes visiting the stunning Tyrolean Alps logistical and the green area, with lakes such as Wolfgangsee and Mondsee, is very close as well.
Salzburg is not a very big place. It is divided by the river Salzach. The Altstadt (Old Town) occupies the south bank while the Hauptbahnhof (Central Train Station) is on the north bank.
|Beautiful architecture in the Altstadt|
You can start in the Aldstadt (Old town) by roaming around the streets seeing some great squares like Mozartplatz. It's fun to roam around and the architecture is delightful. My personal recommendation is to reach the entrance of the Altstadt and just lose your map; go where your instinct takes you. You won't be disappointed You can take a funicular to Festung Hohensalzburg , a fortress above the Old Town. When you're up there, you get bird's eye views of the Old Town and beyond--a great way to see the landmarks of the city. You can take a guided tour (with audioguides) to explore inside the fortress (this is included in the admission fee if you buy the full ticket) and you can see the dungeons, torture chambers etc.
|View from te fortress|
|Statue of Mozart at Mozartplatz|
On the opposite bank of the river
is the Schloss Mirabell
(Mirabell Palace) and the Mirabell gardens, some
lovely, picturesque gardens
where part of the movie The
Sound of Music was shot. Sometimes, there are musicians performing here in a band.
We stayed in Hotel Mozart , around a 20-min walk to the Hauptbahnhof and a 15 min walk to the Altstadt. It's a nice hotel with fair rooms and fine staff. The rooms lack A/C though, which could become a necessity in summer. http://www.hotel-mozart.at/
Rooms- 7/10 Rooms were fine and had all the usual mod-cons. It did get warm though; we went in June.
Staff- 7/10 The staff were mostly fine including the receptionist, who however seemed to have gotten pretty pissed once because we called him twice one evening for towels.
Location- 7/10 A 20 minute walk each from the Hauptbahnhof (main railway station) and the Altstadt (Old Town). However it is very close to Mirabell Gardens and Palace besides there are many some restaurants nearby.
Breakfast- 8/10 Nice breakfast each morning. There were also nice cakes in the buffet spread. It cost us 5 EUR extra.
Total- 29/40 Mozart is a fine hotel in Salzburg. A bit far from the main touristy areas but Salzburg is a small city so it shouldn't really matter much.
Try the Italian restaurant Spaghetti and Co in the Old Town, near the northern peripheral road (near Mozart Geburthaus). They serve good pizzas.
There is a good cafe at Mozartplatz serving nice cakes.
|Mirabell gardens and palace|
Here is a possible half-day trip:
(We took it on a private tour though)
Go to St Gilgen, a very picturesque town by the Woolfgangsee, Lake Wolfgang. Take a ferry to St Wolfgang (40 min), another nice town on the banks of the same lake. Explore the lovely church of the town (no pictures allowed in the interior). Then go to Mondsee, another lakeside town, with a lovely church. The town is nice for shopping and roaming around too.
|St Gilgen as seen from the ferry|
|Mozart's house in St Gilgen|
|cathedral at St Wolfgang|
|Church at Mondsee|
|Innsbruck's Altstadt with the backdrop|
The Hauptbahnhof is south-east of the Aldstadt. It takes around 20 min to walk to the Aldstadt. Once there, you can see the picturesque architecture and some amazing views of the mountains.
|view of Innsbruck from the Innsbruck Nordkette train|
|view from atop the mountain|
Feel the urge to go up there? It's not too difficult. Just take the escalator down from near the Congress and pay 27 euros pp to the person at the ticket counter. Then take the train up to a mountain. The train would stop twice but don't get down. At the next stop, take a special kind of lift to the top. You get great views. There's a buffet up there too. The place is called Innsbruck Nordkette.
|One of the many works at Swarovski Crystal Empire|
This is located at the village of Wattens, some 25-35 km from Innsbruck. The center has some amazing works etc with crystal, like a crystal room where you feel totally out of orientation and some crystal calligraphy etc. Of course, they also have a shop.
Salzburg is a very safe city. In many areas of the center, even walking around midnight shouldn't be a problem- with some general precautions.
|Inside Salzburg's Dom (Cathedral)|
|A church in Salzburg, near the Mirabell Palace|
|Yet another beautiful square...|
|A classic shot: the Mirabell Gardens, the Cathedral and the fortress|