Modern Salzburg: Moving Beyond Mozart
The historic Austrian city, often referred to as “stage of the world,” may attract visitors through its famous native son and its past musical glories captured in the movie “The Sound of Music”. However, there are some well-kept secrets and many other cultural venues that will have you wanting to return again and again.
By Elyse Glickman
The siren call of Salzburg transcends the strains of Mozart and the Salzburg Festival, the world–renown theater and opera festival that celebrated its 90th anniversary this year. It also transcends the legacy of “Sound of Music,” the record-breaking 20th Century Fox movie starring Julie Andrews that was filmed in and around Salzburg and – more than 30 years after its release – still draws thousands of American tourists to Salzburg to view its glorious setting that blends the natural splendor of the mountain ranges and the banks of the river Salzach with the impressive sight of the medieval fortress Hohensalzburg and old-world architecture. It should be no surprise that Salzburg has a tourist-per-capita ratio higher than Venice or Florence and is the busiest destination in Europe all year round. However, there are new ways to enjoy Salzburg’s old world legacy as well as some modern venues that render it surprisingly trendy. From October 28 to November 7, 2010, Salzburg will host its 15th annual jazz festival that brings internationally acclaimed artists like Dianne Reeves to the picturesque town. Around the same time, Salzburg’s Culture Days (October 14-30), a fixture of classical music since 1972, is in full swing.
This year the House for Mozart will present a classical dance group performing together with break dancers. Mozart’s music and legacy follow you at every turn in the city. A special treat are the Mozart Dinner Concerts that are held at the historical Baroque Hall of St. Peter Abbey or the Salzburg Fortress Concerts with performances of the most popular works of Mozart and the great classical masters up in the Golden Hall of Hohensalzburg Fortress. A quick trip with the funicular takes you up to Moenchsberg with its sweeping views over the Baroque city’s inspiring alpine countryside. Mozart aficionados should not only visit Mozart’s Geburtshaus (the building where Mozart was born) but also Mozart’s residence (Wohnhaus) which is close to Castle Mirabell on the other side of the Salzach.
This area, in general, is less touristy, restaurants less overpriced, and just a short walk to the medieval alley Steingasse where we discovered the charming bar Koechelverzeichnis which offers wine tastings and a small daily changing menu. While on this side of the river, don’t miss the rooftop terrace of Hotel Stein, the Steinterrace bar and lounge, one of the locals’ favorite hangouts. It is open every day from noon until midnight and offers a magnificent view of the Hohensalzburg Fortress at any time of the day.
To best experience Salzburg, however, you will want to consult a local for the inside scoop on what is happening in town. For this reason, several proud residents put together www.visit-salzburg.net, which takes you out of the guidebooks and into the city’s best-kept secrets. It is even bold enough to provide an irreverent list of ten things not to do during your visit, because they understand your vacation time is precious and care about the memories of their town you will take home.
Where to shop
• Fürstin Marwar – collections of high-quality cashmere and silk, Bergstrasse 11
• Trachten Stassny – elegant dirndls, Getreidegasse 35
• Gabriela Kainberger Lederwaren – handmade leather goods, Goldgasse 7
• Ploom – trendy dirndls, accessoires and bags, Müllner Hauptstrasse 14
• Wanger – cutting-edge men’s fashion, Getreidegasse 21
Schwärzler Hotel Neutor-Künstlertreff , the perfect starting point for a night ramble through Salzburg.
Watzmann Bar, completely renovated, is known not only for its garden but also for some unusual special events, such as an Austrian alpine jamboree and Russian nights.
Saitenspung, a must for cocktail enthusiasts.
Hangar-7, one of the hippest local bars.
To get the latest on what’s up and coming, visit www.global-nights.com/salzburg.
Where to stay:
Parkhotel Castellani ****, Alpenstrasse 6, 5020 Salzburg – Tel. +43- 662 2060 0 – www.hotel-castellani.com
Situated about a 20-minute walk from the town center, this comfortable and modern 4-star hotel offers an excellent restaurant, a very nice terrace in a garden setting and spacious rooms and conference facilities. Rooms start at 90 euros a night (in October).
Hotel & Villa Auersperg, Auerspergstrasse 61, 5020 Salzburg – Tel. +43 662 889440 – www.auersperg.at Under family ownership for three generations, this small but charming city hotel is located in the quiet but central heart of Salzburg and offers a beautiful garden and patio. Rooms start at 109 euros a night (in October)
The Felsentherme Bad Gastein is known for its gorgeous setting amid the classic backdrop of the Gasteinertal valley situated at an altitude of 1,000 meters above sea level. The Alpentherme Gastein in Bad Hofgastein, set in a similarly scenic area, is reputed to be one of the most modern spas in Europe. Its grounds include six differently themed areas that add fun and variety to the wellness experience.
How to get there:
Austrian Airlines, Air Berlin and Lufthansa all offer service between major US cities and Europe with connections to Salzburg. During the months of October and November, economy fares start at $935 from West Coast US cities and $875 (plus tax) from East Coast US cities.
For more information visit: www.austrian.com, www.airberlin.com and www.lufthansa.com or www.salzburg.info
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