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The baroquely beautiful old town of Salzburg nestles beneath steep hills and looks almost the same as it did when former resident Mozart walked the streets here around 250 years ago. Wander the snowy streets of the pedestrian-only old section of the city resting snugly on the south bank of the Salzach River, and discover a labyrinth of fountains, squares, bridges, cathedrals and palaces, occasionally stopping to warm up over a steamy cup of cocoa or coffee at one of the city’s famous cafes. Numerous sightseeing attractions and the stylish shopping boulevard of Getreidegasse are accessible from this area. Look here for Mozart's residence ...

The baroquely beautiful old town of Salzburg nestles beneath steep hills and looks almost the same as it did when former resident Mozart walked the streets here around 250 years ago. Wander the snowy streets of the pedestrian-only old section of the city resting snugly on the south bank of the Salzach River, and discover a labyrinth of fountains, squares, bridges, cathedrals and palaces, occasionally stopping to warm up over a steamy cup of cocoa or coffee at one of the city’s famous cafes. Numerous sightseeing attractions and the stylish shopping boulevard of Getreidegasse are accessible from this area. Look here for Mozart's residence (Wohnhaus) and birthplace (Geburtshaus), along with the Schloss Mirabell.

Skiing is deeply rooted in Austrian culture and wintertime means primarily one thing: time to hit the slopes. The mountains in Austria are not as high as in Switzerland or Western Italy, but the snow is often better, as snowfalls tend to be stronger in the eastern Alps. The picturesque alpine scenery, steep terrain and powdery snow helped cement Austria's reputation as a skiing nation and continues to draw crowds from all over Europe and the rest of the world. In the past 50 years, the rustic and mellow villages dotting the mountainsides have been transformed into an industry serving millions of alpine enthusiasts every winter, as thousands travel to Salzburg and surrounding areas to ski, snowboard, cross-country ski, toboggan or snowshoe.

The most popular skiing destinations are in Southern Salzburg and include towns like Bad Gastein, Bad Hofgastein, and Dorfgastein that are also spa towns known for their hot springs, adding a therapeutic element to après-ski. The ski season opening and closing dates can vary slightly year to year and among different areas, but generally high season is between late December and early March.

Aaron Anderson
About the Expert

Aaron Anderson is coauthor of Lonely Planet's Washington, D.C. City Guide, a contributor on western states to Lonely Planet USA, and he wrote the Austria chapters for Lonely Planet's Western Europe and Europe on a Shoestring.

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Aaron Anderson for Triporati

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Now Happening in Salzburg (Winter)

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Salzburg is on the banks of the Salzach River, at the northern boundary of the Alps and noted for its scenic Alpine backdrop. The "Old Town" has internationally renowned baroque architecture and one of the best-preserved city centers.
  • Language: German
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Christmas through early March