What to See in Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg Austria Souvenir Ideas

1. Mozart Sheet Music Tote | 2. Swarovski Crystal Angelic Pierced Earrings
3. Mozart Christmas Ornament | 4. Traditional Handmade Felt Hat
5. Mozart Balls (Mozartkugeln) | 6. Heutschenreuther Christmas Bell 

I am going to start with saying that one thing that is high up on my bucket list is to go to a Krampus run, known as Krampuslauf and Krampusnacht. In German-speaking Alpine folklore Krampus is like the antithesis of Saint Nicholas. He punishes the misbehaving children while Saint Nicholas gives gifts to those that have been good. Every year in many Austrian and German towns locals participate in Krampuslauf which is when (mostly young men) dress up in Krampus costumes of varying styles,  and parade through the town (and usually get drunk while doing so). This is something that my family and I want to see badly. Tom wants a real Krampus mask but the handmade ones I find are a little too much for my wallet at the moment, but definitely on my wish list. Below are some of the What to See in Salzburg, Austria during Christmas list.

  1. Krampus – The beast who accompanies Saint Nicholas to punish and scare bad children. Many villages have yearly Krampus festivals but a notable one is a couple of hours drive from Salzburg in a town called Klagenfurt. In this very festive town they have the annual Krampuslauf. You can check out this YouTube video to see what I am talking about.
  2. Mozart’s House Museum (Mozarts Geburtshaus) – The house where Mozart was born on January 27, 1756. Here you can find out about his life, music, and family. Viewing original documents, mementos, things from his childhood, and one of the most famous portraits of him.
  3. Salzburg Historical Walking Tour – a  walking tour of the city to see many important sights and symbols that Salzburg has to offer.
  4. Old Town – called the historic centre is a mixture of medieval and baroque buildings and is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. Visit the shops and cafes along the many cobbled streets and alleys.
  5. Hohensalzburg Fortress – Built in the 11th century it is the largest intact fortress construction in Central Europe, and on of the largest medieval castles in Europe . The medieval princes’ apartments and Fortress Museum are of interest and it is open to the public all year round.
  6. Christmas Markets – Experience the Christmas season by walking through some of the Christmas markets around the city. The Salzburg Christmas market has been mentioned back as far as the 15th century and has tons to see and do, sleigh rides with real reindeer, mulled wine, brass bands, and great gift ideas.
  7. Residenz – For centuries it was were the archbishops of Salzburg lived in order to show their political status. Today is a museum and huge attraction in the city.
  8. Salzburg festival – established in 1920 it is a prominent music and drama festival held for five weeks each summer.
  9. Nonnberg Nunnery – It was founded between 713 and 715 and is considered the oldest nunnery in the world that existed with no interruptions. It was one of the locations for The Sound of Music.
  10. Mirabell Palace and Gardens – Built as a token of live in 1606 for the mistress of an Archbishop, they had 15 children 10 of whom survived. Today it houses the offices of the mayor and municipal council. The Marble Hall is described as one of the most beautiful wedding halls in the world. The gardens are extensive and beautiful, and part of the gardens were also in The Sound of Music.

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Sara

2 Comments

  1. Sara, thank you for these travel insights. I would love to visit Salzburg, especially during Christmas time. I did not know about the Krampus festivals. The video you included is so vivid, almost like being there. Thank you again, Ardith

    • There is something about Christmas that seems to make everything just a little more special. And about Krampus, we have versions of almost every other European Christmas tradition here in North America. I don’t know why we neglected to embrace the coolest one ;)

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