Salzburg can get scorching hot in the summer months. What better way to cool off than by going for a dip outside? The Salzach river, though cool and enticing, is off-limits to bathers because of the strong currents, but Salzburg boasts three central outdoor swimming pools, including one adventure pool in Leopoldskron. If you have a free afternoon, kick-back poolside while enjoying the mountainous location. Most pools also have a volleyball court and café, so why not make an afternoon of it? You can also travel to the nearby lakeside town of Fuschlsee.
Having a decent breakfast is imperative when on holiday. With a strong heritage of café culture, it’s a great idea to spend a leisurely hour (or two) in the morning enjoying a coffee and a generous breakfast spread. If you’ve got a particularly jam-packed day ahead, go the whole hog and indulge in an Austrian breakfast made up of cheese, cold meats, rolls and croissants, jam, muesli and yogurt. With a huge range of cafés to choose from, you could go to a different one each morning.
An ideal trip for a rainy day, the Stiegl Brewery is home to Salzburg’s most popular beer. This brewery is located a short bus ride away from the centre of town, in the direction of the airport, and contains various exhibitions and the offer of a beer-tasting session at the end of the tour. The museum takes you through the brewing process, the various advertising campaigns and gives you a brief history of Austrian beer culture. All the production is done locally, with the water for the brewing process sourced from the mountains nearby. If you’re feeling peckish or thirsty, Stiegl also has a restaurant and beer garden attached.
If you’re only going to visit one museum in Salzburg, then the DomQuartier Museum is the one to go for. Located in the heart of the Old Town, this museum combines five smaller museums in one space, giving you real value for your money. The Residenz Palace will be fascinating for those interested in Austrian history and the guided tour gives you an exclusive view of the cathedral from the upper gallery. The terrace linking the Residenz and the cathedral spans across the two main squares in the Old Town, so be sure to take your time to enjoy the curious architecture.
For those with kids, or the young at heart, this museum makes for a fun afternoon. Containing extensive and interactive exhibitions, Haus der Natur has something for everyone, with exhibitions on subjects such as space, energy, music and technology, as well as an aquarium and reptile house. Perfect for a rainy day, Haus der Natur is centrally located and also boasts a cosy and inexpensive café, serving some of the best all-day breakfast in the city.
It wouldn’t be a trip to Salzburg without at least one mention of the timeless classic, The Sound of Music. Instead of forking out for a coach tour, why not pay a visit to the beautiful and tranquil Mirabell Gardens? Just a short walk from the centre of town, these gardens are highly maintained and were part of the famous ‘doe, a deer’ scene. Enjoy a walk past the flowers and fountains, before taking those must-have photos on the steps, where Julie Andrews struck her famous hat-in-the-air, hand-on-hip pose.
A short bus ride takes you to the cable car station in the valley beside Salzburg’s imposing mountain, Untersberg. In the summer months, it is, of course, possible to hike up to the top, but another option is to take the cable car and then walk around the top. The view from the peak is nothing short of incredible, boasting panoramic views of the Alps, Bavaria, Salzburg and the lakes in the Salzkammergut National Park. Snow covers the mountain throughout the winter and there is the possibility of skiing down the mountain to a village nearby, although this is only for experienced skiers. Don’t forget to check the Untersberg online webcam before embarking on your trip, as it’s really only worth the visit on a clear day.