Picture the scenes from the 1965 production of The Sound of Music. Salzburg still emanates the very same charm with its baroque architecture and alpine setting. The city is celebrated for being the birthplace of Mozart in 1756. Many still strive to understand if these were the surroundings that led to the inspiration for his life work. The city is separated into old and new by the meandering Salzach River. Outdoor activities are plentiful given Salzburg’s setting at the foothills of the Austrian mountains. The latest craze is hiking through the city and its higher vantage points for a fantastic view and al fresco adventure.
Café hopping and milling through the cobbled shopping thoroughfares is a way of life here. Every narrow street holds its own story and every passageway is cloaked in its own past. Although this picturesque city might lead you to believe that it’s stuck back at the end WWII, you would be foolish not to take a closer look. The gay community here has a full and busy life, within the city’s smallish population lives a sprightly LGBT community.
“Getreidegasse” would be a good place to start your tour as it’s considered one of, if not the prettiest street in Salzburg. By day it’s a flurry of activity with shoppers and tourists interweaving their way on and off the main road and into the tapering streets where eclectic artisanal shops can be found. By night the crowds decrease but the setting remains equally as quaint with dainty streetlights illuminating the medieval buildings.
Horse and carriage is still a method of getting around town, however this is mainly to offer tourists the chance to explore the city with the trappings of old-fashioned transportation. It will definitely allow you to save your energy for a walk across the Mönchsberg or Kapunzinerberg mountains. Other sporting activities include Nordic walking, swimming, tennis, jogging, cycling, climbing and cross-country skiing. This is not the place for couched potatoes, and even if you consider yourself on the less sporty side, you might find a little attack of inspiration given the fresh air and clean surroundings. Gastronomy has its place here too with 650 years of tradition set in the “Blaue Gans” (Blue Goose) restaurant. This is not surprisingly the oldest restaurant in Salzburg and a great culinary experience if you get the chance to go.
For the new musical sounds of the city head to the “Rockhouse” which does what it says on the packet. Every style of classified music you can imagine can be heard here. If you’re looking for a tour of the gay bar scene, start across the river and take your pick of cozy little retreats where you’ll feel more than at home in the informal surroundings. “Daimlers” on Giselakai is a snug bar-bistro and overlooks the river. On the top floor it gets even friendlier with a sofa-lounge setup where you can spread out and put your feet up. To amplify your surroundings move a few doors down to “Zwei Stein”, the busiest gay bar in Salzburg. Rub shoulders with girls and guys of all ages as the music keeps the crowd jiving until late.
Photo: Tourismus Salzburg GmbH