|The capital of Salzburg lies in the so-called
'Salzburger Becken' (Salzburgian basin) on the northern border of the Alps
and it is surrounded by the Kapuziner-Mountain (636m), the Monk-Mountain
(508m) and the Gais-Mountain (737m). Although there are official
districts, not all of them are of interest when giving an overview of
Salzburg. There are a few districts that have a distinct feel to them, but
it is the city's historic Altstadt, or Old Town that merits the most
In 1997, Salzburg's Old Town was included in UNESCO's world heritage list in the category that listed cultural monuments worth preserving for future generations. This should speak for itself, but the Old Town should be on every visitor's 'to do' list despite, not because of such an accolade. Because the city centre is not very big, you should be able to find your way around fairly easily. Classic Salzburg is a sight for sore eyes, with impressive buildings, most of which date back to the baroque period, dominating the scenery. Different epochs can easily be distinguished from one another, with Italian baroque features meeting Austrian individualism. The river Salzach acts as a natural border to the Old Town and the traffic-ridden Rudolfskai stretches out alongside it. Another natural feature that encloses the Old Town is the Mönchsberg, a big rock face that protected the city's treasures form unwanted guests during the 'dark' Middle Ages.
Salzburg Cathedral is without doubt the main attraction in the Old Town. It is flanked by two squares, the Residenzplatz (a good place to see open-air concerts during the summer), and the Kapitelplatz (also used for concerts and theatre performances). The nearby Residenz, the 'new' Residenz, the Fransiscan-Church and the collegiate church of Saint Ruprecht are only a stone's throw away from each other. Towering above all of these attractions is Hohensalzburg fortress on the Mönchsberg (Monk's mountain).
In the western part of the Old Town, you can admire the 'Kollegienkirche' (a church), the house in which Mozart was born, the two famous festival halls festival (Festspielhäuser) and the so-called 'Pferdeschwemme', which was once a spot where horses could drink water. The Getreidegasse, which is one of the most expensive streets in Salzburg, is also situated here, with the Church of St. Blasius at to be found on its west end. The Getreidegasse has always been the Linzergasse's elegant equal but the Linzergasse is on the other side of the river Salzach. It is one of the main traffic routes, which gives the districts on the right of the river access to the city and heading west, it is also one of the main roads for those travelling towards Linz and Vienna.
The area around the Mirabell Palace is charming. The elegant palace, which is situated on the northern side of the river, has a beautiful park, which is elegantly landscaped in the manner prevalent in bygone centuries. The square in front of the palace is best known for its market, the so-called 'Schranne'. Farmers from all over the province meet here once a week to sell their high quality produces. The small stalls around the church of Saint Andrä further ensure that the area has a lively feel about it.
The area to the north of Salzburg is mainly residential, with the buildings becoming increasingly modern the closer you come to the main train station. Head north-west and you will soon discover that the charming older buildings found in proximity to the Mirabell Palace soon become increasingly rare. The station itself is a main infrastructure point that connects Salzburg to the east and west of Austria as well as to the province's different regions, most of which can be reached by bus.
Two big, US-style shopping malls dominate the west of Salzburg. The 'Airport Center' is directly opposite Salzburg's Airport (sic!) in the Himmelreich (kingdom of heaven) district and the 'Euro-Park' another huge shopping and leisure centre is situated in the Taxham district. The two are surprisingly close.
Aigen, which lies in the southern part of town, is known as a somewhat posh area. Living there could cost you a small fortune, as real estate prices there are extremely high.
The Lehen district is famous for its football stadium, which is home to the local premier league team of Austria Salzburg.