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Salzburg

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This article is about the city of Salzburg. For the state, see Salzburg (state).

Salzburg [1] is a city in central Austria, near the German/Bavarian border with a population of some 148,000 in 2005. If you have seen the movie The Sound of Music [2], you may think you know all there is to see in Salzburg. Admittedly, it is difficult not to burst into songs when you're walking along the Salzach River, or climbing up to the Hohensalzburg fortress which looms over the city. But there is a lot more to this compact, courtly city than Julie Andrews and as Mozart's birthplace.

Understand

Salzburg is the fourth-largest city in Austria (after Vienna, Graz and Linz) and the capital of the federal state of Salzburg. Its "Old Town", with its world famous baroque architecture, is one of the best-preserved city centers in the German-speaking world and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

Origins of name

The name Salzburg literally means "Salt Castle", and derives its name from the barges carrying salt on the Salzach river, which were subject to a toll in the 8th century.

Early history and medieval period

Traces of human settlements dating to the Neolithic Age and later a Celt camp have been found in the area. Starting from 15 BC, the small communities were grouped into a single town which was named by the Romans as Juvavum. Little remains of the city from this period.

The Festung Hohensalzburg, the city's fortress, was built in 1077 and expanded in the following centuries. Independence from Bavaria was secured in the late 14th century.

Independent state

Salzburg has been the capital of an independent state from the early 14th century until 1805. It was ruled by duke-archbishops, who became rich by the salt mines located in the south of the city. This led to the architectural gem you see today, as not only materials, but also architects were imported from Italy and other European countries. This is also the reason why, compared to other Austrian cities, sacral monuments overtop the few secular buildings in every respect.

Get in

By car

Salzburg is well connected to both Wien (Vienna) and Munich, Germany via the autobahns A8 (Munich - Salzburg) and A1 (Salzburg - Vienna). There is an Austrian Motorway "Vignette" you have to purchase. The price varies depending on if you buy a yearly or 10 day vignette.

Driving around Salzburg can be a pain. The road names are small and written in a "Traditional" German font which can be hard to read. The best bet is to get into the city, find a parking space, and travel by foot. Be sure that if you are driving in cold weather to be prepared for snow. Snow chains should be recommended, in extreme weather. (All cars must have snow tires by law from October to April)

By train

Salzburg's train station, the Hauptbahnhof, is located to the north of the Salzach River within the New Town of Salzburg. The train ride from Munich to Salzburg takes about an hour and a half, and international trains operate from Zurich, Zagreb, Ljubljana and Budapest to name just a few destinations. Inter-city trains operate very frequently (especially to Vienna where services are almost hourly). The station itself is currently undergoing renovation, slated to be finished by 2014. The station is operated by both the Austrian Federal Railway Company (OBB) and the National German Railway company (DB). Both companies have ticket stalls and machines in the station. The popular train pass for Bavaria sold by DB (in German: Bayern Ticket) also covers train rides between Bavaria and Salzburg. The rail pass can be brought from DB ticket stalls as well as DB Ticket Selling Machines in the station.

By bus

By plane

Get around

The best way to get around Salzburg is by foot. There is a network of city buses (StadtBus, with numbers from 1 to 8 (O-Buses, electric) and 20-27 (fuel-powered)). Single trip: €2. 24 hour ticket: €5. One week ticket: €12.40.) which cover the whole city star-shaped from the center. If you travel by bus, make sure you don't catch any of the last buses. They will take you several miles out of town with your only way back being by walking or taxi, should you be fortunate enough to wave one down. With that said, if you need to get somewhere late at night it may be best to either take a taxi or walk.

Conveniently, bus tickets can be bought on the buses from the bus driver. However, if you have time, buy the tickets in advance at a "Trafik", since they are then significantly cheaper. For example, a single trip then costs only €1.50, but you have to buy the tickets in blocks of 5.

The "Lokalbahn" train has a separate train station under the main train station and travels in the direction of Oberndorf and Lamprechtshausen. Tickets can be bought on the train.

Another option for exploring areas around the main city (Bad Ischl, Fuschlsee, etc.) are the POST-BUSes. These also leave from the main train station; tickets can be bought from the driver.

Finally, another excellent option is renting a bike. Salzburg has over 100km of bike paths, and using this mode of transportation is often faster than bus, car or foot. There are also excellent bike paths on either side of the river which you can follow to either Freilassing (35 minutes), Oberndorf or Hallein (each about an hour one-way).

See


Do

Tours

A number of companies run coach tours in and around Salzburg. By far the most popular of these are dedicated to the locations featured in The Sound of Music.

Festivals

For almost a century, Salzburg has hosted the world famous Salzburg Festival [10], with operas, concerts, and theater plays in different locations throughout the city. It was founded by Hugo von Hoffmansthal, Max Reinhardt and Richard Strauss in 1920. It takes place in July and August, the most famous piece is the "Jedermann" ("Everyman") by Hugo v. Hoffmansthal, being conducted in front of the dome every year.

More recently, festivals also take place during Easter time (with mostly Baroque music), and in autumn (Jazz music).

The annual Frequency festival (mainly Alternative Rock) with world famous acts takes place only a few kilometers from the center of Salzburg.

Salzburg Card

Depending on how long you want to stay in Salzburg and how much you want to pack into one day, the Salzburg card could be a good investment, it includes:

Buy

Eat

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Drink

Beer

Café

Sleep

Camping

Hostels

Budget

Mid-range



Splurge

Internet

Salzburg has a growing number of options available for email and Internet access:

Get out

Related Information




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A list of contributors is available at the original article on Wikitravel. Additional modifications may have been made by users at TRAVEL.COM [25].

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.

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