Salzburg’s Alstadt is comprised of beautiful Baroque-style architecture, spiked towers and fairy-tale churches and monuments. Some of the oldest buildings in the Alps have been preserved between its streets and its no wonder that UNESCO named Salzburg’s Alstadt a World Heritage Site in 1997. This list will cover all of the best things to do and see when in town.
Hohensalzburg is impossible to miss, as it sits above the Altstadt on Festungsberg Hill. The tremendous castle was built in 1077 and has never been conquered. Inside the castle, visitors can find multiple towers, courtyards, a fortress museum and the medieval prince’s apartments. Also, don’t miss the beautiful Chapel of Archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach. While the inside of the castle is beautiful, the views of Salzburg from the outside are also breath-taking, extending right across the old town, the Salzach River and to the snow-topped Bavarian Alps in the distance.
Hohensalzburg Castle, Mönchsberg 34, Salzburg, Austria, +43 662 8424 3011
DomQuartier Salzburg is a cultural museum complex and relatively recent addition to the Altstadt. The complex connects St. Peter’s Abbey, the Archbishop’s Cathedral and the Archbishop’s Palace. For the first time in 200 years, visitors can finally tour all of these magnificent buildings at once. Guests will see Baroque treasures in the Abbey, artifacts and curiosities in the Cathedral museum, a large and ornate organ in the Cathedral and beautiful works of art in the palace. As the cultural hub of the Altstadt, DomQuartier is simply not to be missed!
DomQuartier Salzburg, Residenzpl. 1, Salzburg, Austria, +43 662 8042 2109
Haus der Natur Salzburg
Meaning “house of nature,” Haus der Natur Salzburg is a large science and natural history museum boasting a number of interactive exhibits. Visitors can also check out Haus der Natur’s aquarium and reptile zoo. Founded in 1924, the Haus der Natur is the best place in Salzburg’s Altstadt to learn about all aspects of nature, from dinosaurs to exotic fish. Since the Haus der Natur is so large, guests can plan on spending the day there and visiting their café for lunch in the meantime.
Haus der Natur Salzburg, Museumspl. 5, Salzburg, Austria, +43 662 8426 5399
Calling all classical music lovers because Salzburg’s Altstadt also comes in as the birthplace of the famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Now converted into museum, the house in which the prodigy was born on January 27th 1756 still stands. Guests can learn about Mozart’s life and his music by walking through his bedroom, living room and kitchen. The museum features various original documents chronicling his life and even a replica of his piano!
Mozart’s Birthplace, Getreidegasse 9, Salzburg, Austria, +43 662 844 313
The Panorama Museum gives visitors an up close view of a painting by the iconic Austrian artist Johann Michael Sattler, depicting the city of Salzburg in bright and vibrant colors. Visitors are able to use periscopes to see every detail of the panorama. The painting was finished in 1829 and captured the very essence of the city at the time as it is surprisingly accurate, detailing everything from the specific chimneys to the windows on each building. Much of the painting still aligns with Salzburg’s landscape today, giving guests the opportunity to compare an older view of the city to what it looks like in the modern age.
The Panorama Museum, Residenzplatz 9, Salzburg, Austria, +43 662 62080 8730
Beurle – The House for Costumes
Salzburg’s Altstadt also offers visitors a variety of shopping choices. One of the most well known stores in the old town is Beurle – The House of Costumes. Although the name says costumes, this store specializes in traditional Austrian clothing. Beurle opened 65 years ago and has been providing the Altstadt with quality clothes ever since. It is recommended that visitors to the Altstadt visit Beurle even if they are not planning on buying anything, just in order to experience the traditional Austrian culture and see the region’s unique customary dress.
Beurle – The House for Costumes, Neutorstraße 23, Salzburg, Austria, +43 662 843 119
The Kollegienkirche is the collegiate church of the University of Austria. The church is a masterpiece of Baroque architecture, featuring ornate moldings, large archways and one seriously beautiful façade. Built in 1707 in order to honor Mary Immaculate, the church has been one of the Altstadt’s most prominent places of worship ever since. Moreover, the church boasts a high altar, large organ and four smaller open chapels integrated into the floor plan.
Kollegienkirche, Universitätspl., Salzburg, Austria, +43 662 841327
Mozartplatz is the Altstadt’s main square. Created in the early 17th century, the square now offers visitors multiple cafés, horse drawn carriage rides and beautiful Austrian buildings. Named after the famous composer, the square features a memorial for Mozart sculpted by the famous Austrian artist Ludwig Schwanthaler. Meet friends here for a coffee, wander around the courtyard and enjoy the typical Austrian setting, or just settle in for some people watching – the options are endless!
Ready for a break? Afro Café is the perfect place to stop for a coffee or tea. The café also specializes in contemporary African cuisine – believe it or not! The café adds some unexpected diversity to Salzburg’s Altstadt: the décor is bright and funky with African fabrics and a large elaborate snake art piece covering the ceiling, while the menu includes delights such as ostrich burger, pineapple chicken wraps or piri-piri prawns!
Afro Café, Bürgerspitalpl. 5, Salzburg, Austria, +43 662 844 888
Meaning “large festival hall” in German, Grosses Festspielhaus is one of the Altstadt’s many theaters in which visitors can enjoy live concerts and shows. The theater boasts one of the largest stages in the world, as it is over 100 meters wide. Typically, the theater hosts classical music acts such as the Symphony Orchestra Philharmonic. Guests enter the theater by walking under one of four formidable gold doors and then walk into a large foyer with sizable murals painted the walls. It’s all very Baroque; very Austrian!
Großes Festspielhaus, Hofstallgasse 1, Salzburg, Austria, +43 662 80450
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