Discover Salzburg with Scenic

Salzburg: never has a city been so steeped in cultural wonder.

Birthplace of Mozart, setting for The Sound of Music, and home to more beautiful Baroque buildings than is possible to take in during a single visit. Salzburg may not be Europe’s biggest city, but it’s by far one of its most enchanting.

Branching across the Salzach River, Salzburg conjures nostalgia by the bucket-load. On its left bank lies the Altstadt (Old City), an area characterised by its medieval spires and cobbled boulevards. And on the right bank is the Neustadt (New City), which, despite its name, boasts some of the finest 19th-century architecture in Europe. The result is a city that’s imposing and magical in equal measure, and one prime for cultural exploration.

Trace the steps of Wolfgang Mozart along the fabled Getreidegasse, savour the vistas of Hohensalzburg Castle, or sip Elderberry schnapps on the banks of the Salzach. The cultural highlights and boundless heritage of this Austrian city make for effortless sightseeing, and you’ll travel to its very heart as part of a luxury Scenic river cruise.

Architectural  Highlights

Medieval, Baroque, Neo-Classical; Salzburg offers an architectural masterclass like no other, showcasing some of the finest buildings in Europe.

Hellbrunn Palace

Festung Hohensalzburg
Salzburg has long been an affluent destination, and nowhere is this legacy more evident than Hellbrunn Palace. Built in the 17th century as a summer residence for Markus Sittikus, the prince-archbishop of Salzburg, Hellbrunn is a stunning example of Late Renaissance architecture, designed by Santino Solari and built between 1612 and 1615. What makes Hellbrunn so unique is its Mannerist fountains, named the Trick Fountains, which have been dazzling visitors for centuries. We don’t want to ruin the surprise, but Hellbrunn is worth a visit if only to see this magnificent water feature alone.

Festung Hohensalzburg

Hellbrunn Palace
From the moment you float into the heart of Salzburg, you’ll spot the Festung Hohensalzburg. Crowning one of the city’s peaks, this commanding fortress gave Salzburg a defensive foothold when it was built in 1077, and is one of the largest medieval castles in Europe. Perfectly preserved, Hohensalzburg Castle is fascinating inside and out, and benefits from the 19th-century Festungsbahn cable car, which connects the fortress to the town — offering breath-taking views on the ascent.

Salzburger Dom (Sakzburg Cathedral)

Salzburg cathedral
Showcasing Salzburg’s Baroque pomp in all its splendour, the Salzburger Dom has much humbler origins that its design suggests. Founded in 774 by Saint Rupert, the cathedral began life as a simple stone structure. It wasn’t until Italian architect Vincenzo Scamozzi was employed to rebuild the site in the 18th century that the Salzburger Dom received its ornate makeover, which was largely completed using bright Untersberg marble. If the Baroque architecture isn’t enough to convince you to visit, the Salzburger Dom played host to Mozart’s baptism, and features the very baptismal font used at the ceremony.

Mirabell Palace

Mirabell Palace
Standing on the bank of the Salzach River, Mirabell Palace is one of Salzburg’s most spectacular sights. The palace is located just north of the medieval city walls, and was the residence of Wolf Dietrich Raitenau, who wished to escape the narrow streets of the city. Aside from its palatial architecture, Mirabell is also renowned for its geometric gardens, which were designed by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach in 1687. Today, the Mirabellgarten is one of Salzburg’s most popular tourist attractions, and was used to film several scenes in The Sound of Music.

Cultural features

Austria, Germany and the Alps have all had a hand in shaping the Salzburg we know and love today, and, of course, there’s no forgetting the lasting influence of one Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.


Residenzgalerie is an art gallery situated in the Salzburg Residenz, a majestic palace and the former seat of the Archbishops of Salzburg. The gallery’s collection of paintings provides a cross-section of art from the 16th to the 19th century, and features works from Rembrandt, Carlo Saraceni and Carel Fabritius. The cornerstone of the Residenzgalerie collection is the Czernin Collection, first introduced to the gallery in 1954. The offering features mostly Italian and Dutch works from the 17th century, including Rembrandt’s Old Woman Praying and Hieronymus Francken II’s The Last Judgement.

Residenzplatz Market

Visit Salzburg in September or December, and experience the beauty of the Residenzplatz Market. Taking place in the magnificent public square of Salzburg’s majestic New Residence palace, the Residenzplatz Market takes place just twice a year - once in September to mark the celebration of Saint Rupert’s Fair, and again at Christmastime. The Christkindlmarkt is a particularly enchanting affair, with the entire square transformed to mark the festive occasion.

Getreidegasse 9

Pass along Salzburg’s historic Getreidegasse, and you’ll find a clutch of tourists taking photographs of a very specific building. This is Getreidegasse 9, Mozart’s birthplace, where his family lived on the third floor from 1747 to 1773. Now a museum, the building houses an incredible variety of artifacts, including Mozart’s childhood violin and early editions of his music. The street itself is one of the oldest in Salzburg, with many of the buildings built in the 12th century.

Museum of Modern Art

While Salzburg may feel like a place with its toe dipped firmly in the past, it isn’t without its contemporary touches. Indeed, the Museum of Modern Art Salzburg is internationally-renowned for its permanent collection of over 55,000 modern and contemporary works, spanning across the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. It’s here where you’ll find Austria’s Federal Photography Collection, which itself holds up to 12,000 pieces from a huge number of different artists, as well as the Generali Foundation Collection, which covers the cutting-edge of modern art from a range of international artists and multi-media performers.

Best of Salzburg's Food and Drink

Experience the Beauty of Salzburg with Scenic

If you’re keen to explore Salzburg, Scenic can get you there in complete luxury and comfort. A handful of our Danube river cruises give you the opportunity to experience Salzburg as part of a Scenic Freechoice excursion, transporting you to the heart of Austria’s fairy-tale second city. To find out more, download our latest European river cruise brochure or call us on 0808 252 5111.