Art lovers call Salzburg the Golden City of High Baroque; historians refer to it as the Florence of the North or the German Rome; and music lovers know it as the birthplace of one of the world's most beloved composers, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–91). If the young Mozart was the boy wonder of 18th-century Europe and Salzburg did him no particular honor in his lifetime, it is making up for it now. Since 1920 the world-famous Salzburger Festspiele (Salzburg Festival), the third-oldest on the continent, have honored "Wolferl" with performances of his works by the world's greatest musicians.
- The view from Fortress Hohensalzburg. Ascend to the fortress on the peak and see what romantic visitors in the 19th century enjoyed so much—the soul-stirring combination of gorgeous architecture in a stunning natural location.
- A pilgrimage to the Rome of the North. See the magnificent Baroque churches built not only to honor God but also to document the importance of the ruling prince-archbishops during the 17th century.
- Concerts, operas, and more. Feel the spirit of 1,300 years of musical history as you listen to the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, arguably the greatest Western composer who ever lived, in the Marble Hall of Mirabell Palace. World-class talent in a wide array of genres populates Salzburg’s numerous music festivals, handcrafted marionettes perform well-known operas, and stunning, reverberant choral music accompanies a Mass or concert at many of the gorgeous churches. You'll run out of time, not options, in Salzburg.
- Medieval city. After exploring the Altstadt's grand churches and squares, cross the river Salzach to take in the completely different atmosphere of the narrow, 16th-century Steingasse, where working people once lived, and shops, galleries, and clubs now beckon.
- Rulers' delights. Drive, bike, walk, or take the boat out to Schloss Hellbrunn, a Renaissance-inspired pleasure palace with trick fountains, a lush, green lawn perfect for picnics, and the gazebo that witnessed so much wooing in The Sound of Music.