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- 28 Jan 2021, 3 nights
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As the birthplace of Mozart and home of the von Trapp family, Salzburg in Austria is a city that celebrates music 365 days a year. In summer, Hohensalzburg Fortress comes alive with classical concerts, while in the streets below bars vibrate with students and visitors all year round. There's plenty of opportunity to make the most of the surrounding Alpine peaks too. A cable car up to the mountains takes less than half an hour, then you can explore on foot, bike or skis.
One Salzburg hostel has happy hour drinks offers and a restaurant serving local dishes. You could have free breakfast on a terrace with views of the old town or spend the night in a rustic hostel in the hills. Most hostels in Salzburg have social areas or outdoor space to hang out in the evenings, as well as free Wi-Fi and city maps. If you don't feel like making your own meals in the guest kitchen, look for a spot where you can rent a bike to explore the city's restaurants instead. Find the best hostels in Salzburg here.
The historic centre of Salzburg is divided by the Salzach River into Altstadt and Right Bank. The pastel-coloured Altstadt (old town) lies in the shadow of Hohensalzburg Fortress, the fairytale castle on the hill. On the northwest edge you can climb up Mönchsberg into the woodlands above the city. The Right Bank has the same narrow lanes full of arty boutiques and elegant cafés but has a calmer feel than Altstadt. Head to Neustadt (new town) and you'll find a Viennese-style neighbourhood of attractive 19th-century buildings.
There's more to Salzburg than just music. The DomQuartier Museum is actually five museums in one, including the lavish Residenz Palace where the prince-archbishops held court. High up on Mönchsberg is the Museum der Moderne, a sleek modern art gallery a short stroll from Hohensalzburg Fortress. On a clear day, you could take the cable car to Untersberg mountain and then hike on to the summit for views over Bavaria. When the sun shines, make like the locals and take the 45-minute bus ride to Fuschlsee (Lake Fuschl) for a swim.
You can either fly to Salzburg Airport (20 minutes away by bus) or catch a train to the Hauptbahnhof (main station). There are rail connections from Vienna (3 hours), Berlin (5.5 hours) and Budapest (8.5 hours). Most of Altstadt is pedestrianised and it's small enough to explore on foot, and buses leave from the Hauptbahnhof for other parts of the city. There are extensive bike paths too.