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Published on Jul 14, 2009

In Salzburg we take taxis to our deluxe hotel, the Goldener Hirsch, right in the heart of the Old Town. On this tour we did use mostly five-star hotels and there was universal agreement that the Goldener Hirsch was the favorite hotel of the tour. Salzburg is a town of castles, church towers, horse-drawn carriages and pedestrian alleys lined with appealing shops, but its sound is the divine music of favorite son Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and yes, the hills are still filled with The Sound of Music. Nestled in the Alpine foothills of north-central Austria, this cozy town and surrounding scenic areas have so much to offer that you could easily spend three enjoyable days here, especially if you venture into the lake and mountain district for day-trips. Or if you have less time, squeeze our suggestions together and you can still get a lot out of one or two days visiting this UNESCO World Heritage Site, recently ranked among the worlds top 20 cities by Conde Naste and Travel & Leisure magazines.

If forced to choose only one word to depict Salzburg, it would have to be Mozart. Then as now we are talking about a city of serious music. There are always performances of various types to enjoy, but coming right up at the end of July and throughout August is the annual Salzburg Festival, one of the worlds top music events that you could still get to, if you make plans immediately. (See our listings.)

To summarize the essence of Salzburg in a nutshell: At the center of town is the Getreidegasse, a narrow pedestrian street lined with medieval-facades that shelter modern shops and which leads past Mozarts house towards the great Cathedral, a masterpiece of the Italian Baroque. Towering above it all on a hilltop is the castle that looms large over the history of this city -- and on the other side of the river you will find the ravishing flower gardens of Mirabell Palace and more sights to keep you happily occupied. You are not the only ones to hear about Salzburgs charms, however, so brace yourself for big crowds if you come in the peak season at mid-day. Follow our tips and you can avoid much of the congestion created by 7 million annual visitors.


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