Salzburg is the fourth largest city in Austria and borders with the German region Bavaria, which is located on the northern edge of the Alps. Salzburg's fame largely comes from the fact that it was the birth place of legendary composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Equally, it resides in peoples minds for being the setting for the world famous musical the Sound of Music. Summer and winter are both extremely busy seasons for Salzburg, but in general Salzburg is busy all year round.
Salzburg Airport is the 2nd biggest airport in Austria. It's located 4 km west of the city centre and is often used as a gateway to the numerous ski resorts surrounding the area. The airport opened in 1910, handles roughly 1.8 million passengers annually and is served by major providers such as EasyJet, Germanwings, AirBerlin and Australian Airlines.
Getting from Salzburg Airport to City Centre
The easiest way to get from the airport to the city centre is by bus. The number 2 and 8 buses run a service to and from the airport every 10-20 minutes and the journey lasts a duration of 15 - 20 minutes. Alternatively, there are also taxi services available offered by the airport that can take you to the city centre. The ATS (Airport Taxitranfer Salzburg) will pick passengers up from the front of the airport and offer limousines and small buses for those with lots of luggage. A regular taxi will cost between €20 and €33. The city can be accessed by driving by following either the A1 or B1 motorways.
Salzburg Hauptbahnhof opened in 1860 and offers connections with Austria and the rest of Europe. Connections to Germany are especially efficient given its close proximity to Bavaria. The facilities that can be found at the station are extensive due to the shopping mall which was constructed in 1996!
Getting from Salzburg Hauptbahnhof to the City Centre
Accessing the city centre by public transport is simple. In front of the main station building at Südtiroler Platz travellers can catch the S-Bahn or intercity train to then travel by bus into the centre of Salzburg. Lines 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 depart and arrive from the train station. Südtiroler Platz also has a taxi rank, where travellers can access the city centre with ease. Driving into the city centre will take only 5 minutes - it it is only 1.4 km and can also be accessed by foot in just 15 minutes. There are also park and ride facilities available; this is extremely helpful as parking spaces in the centre can be difficult to locate.
The Bus station is also found at Salzburg Hauptbahof, which provides passengers with alternative ways of travelling around Austria and Europe. The main operators servicing the station include FlixBus, Eurolines and MeinFernbus.
The major motorways leading into the areas include the A1, A10 and the A8. These roads link Salzburg with major European cities like Munich, Linz and Vienna. Take note that in order to drive in Austria, it is required that you have a Vignette - a toll sticker - which you can purchase at any petrol station.
Public transportation in Salzburg is limited to just bus services which are provided by StadtBus and Obus. The system is relatively popular but people tend to travel on foot given the small size of the city.
Next to Graz, Salzburg is the most cycle friendly city in Austria with 16 % of distances covered by bike. While travelling in the city centre, 30% more people choose to cycle as opposed to driving. The bike lanes are not only modern but very well maintained and cover a total distance of 183 km.
Taxis are probably the least popular mode of transportation in Salzburg due to its small size. Taxis are nevertheless available and are entirely competent.
Austria has an extremely efficient road network, something which has permeated to Salzburg. This efficiency does not entirely apply to the city centre, however. This is because the roads in the centre of Salzburg are extremely old and much of the centre is, in fact, pedestrianised. For this reason, visitors and locals alike tend to use park and ride facilities. During the peak summer season, the roads into the city centre tend to suffer from extensive gridlock due to the amount of tourists attempting to access the centre. Often, in this case the roads in the centre will be entirely closed off for vehicles without an Austrian licence tag.
Salzburg is an extremely pedestrian-friendly city, with almost the entire historical centre being pedestrianised. It is even possible to walk around the whole city by foot with ease, due to its small size.
Salzburg is the birthplace of Mozart, with its historic Altstadt city center and Alpine river valley, delightfully picturesque in any season. To avoid the crowds, the low-season from September to October is a good time to visit. Prices are lower, availability is higher and the weather has the colors of fall and cool temperatures of summer's end. As of November, if you're lucky, snow begins to blanket the town and surrounding heights, transforming Salzburg into a winter wonderland. The powdered rooftops and cobblestone streets, framed by the clifftop Hohensalzburg Fortress above the icy Salzach River, paint a romantic winter picture. The winter months are also considered low-season, except during Christmas time. The hills are alive in the Salzburg spring - The Sound Of Music was filmed here, after all. It can stay chilly however through to May when warmer temperatures arrive - along with the high-season of visitors. The weather is beautiful throughout the warmer months, though not unbearably hot. While the summer months from June to August are pleasant, prices and visitor numbers are at their peak, and rainfall can be higher. August is best avoided as Austrians and most Europeans typically vacation during this month.
If Vienna's cafe culture is world famous, it could be argued that Salzburg's deserves equal respect. The Alpine city's coffee scene includes some of the most venerable establishments in Europe, alongside some hip new arrivals. Coffee lovers will want to start at Cafe Tomaselli on the Alter Markt Square, which dates from 1703 and has claims to be one of Europe's oldest coffee houses. Mozart would drop in for a coffee and pastry in between symphonies. The rich chocolate confections named after the composer were first created nearby at Cafe Fürst on Brodgasse and are still served with the excellent coffee. Austria's other coffee shop cake specialty, the Sacher Torte, is available in authentic form in the upscale Cafe Sacher at the city hotel of the same name. If traditional establishments in Salzburg offer elegant Imperial decor, austere waiters and 19th century recipes, the new breed of Salzburg cafe is less formal. Cafe Shakespeare is typical of the new wave, a cool hangout housed in a church on Mirabellplatz, with modern art on the walls, and a diverse lunch menu. Similarly, Coffeesmith, in the old town, has stylish art deco interiors, single origin coffees and vegan pastries.