Salzburg is only a short distance from the Austrian-German frontier, so it's convenient for exploring many of the nearby attractions in Bavaria (covered in Frommer's Germany and Frommer's Munich & the Bavarian Alps). On the northern slopes of the Alps, the city is at the intersection of traditional European trade routes and is well served today by air, Autobahn, and rail.
Most of what visitors come to see lies on the left bank of the Salzach River in the Altstadt (Old Town). If you're driving, you must leave your car in the modern part of town -- the right bank of the Salzach -- and enter the Old Town on foot, as most of it is for pedestrians only.
The heart of the inner city is Residenzplatz, which has the largest and finest baroque fountain this side of the Alps. On the western side of the square stands the Residenz, palace of the prince-archbishops; and, on the southern side, is the Salzburg Dom (Salzburg Cathedral). To the west of the Dom lies Domplatz, linked by archways dating from 1658. Squares to the north and south appear totally enclosed.
On the southern side of Max-Reinhardt-Platz and Hofstallgasse, edging toward Mönchsberg, stands the Festspielhaus (Festival Theater), built on the foundations of the 17th-century court stables.
Street Maps -- You'll find handy pocket-size maps, with street indexes, all over the city at bookstores, newsstands, and hotels.
Neighborhoods In Brief
Altstadt -- Most visitors head for the Altstadt, or Old Town, on the left bank of the Salzach, that part stretching from the river to Mönchsberg. This is a section of narrow streets (many from the Middle Ages) and slender houses, in complete contrast to the town constructed by the prince-archbishops across the river. The Old Town contains many of Salzburg's top attractions, including the cathedral, Mozart's birthplace, and St. Peter's Cemetery.
Nonnberg -- The eastern hill occupied by the Hohensalzburg Fortress, Nonnberg, rises to 455m (1,493 ft.). Some of the scenes from The Sound of Music were shot here. Nonnberg stands to the south of Kajetanerplatz. Stift Nonnberg is a Benedictine nunnery founded about A.D. 700 by St. Rupert. Dominating the entire district, however, is the towering Hohensalzburg Fortress, lying south of the Old Town on the southwestern summit of Mönchsberg.
Mönchsberg -- To the west of the Hohensalzburg, this area is a mountain ridge slightly less than 3km (2 miles) long. It rises over the Old Town to a height of 542m (1,778 ft.). Fortifications atop it are from the 15th through the 17th centuries.
Right Bank -- The newer part of town is on the right bank of the Salzach, below Kapuzinerberg, the right-bank counterpart of Mönchsberg. This peak rises 637m (2,090 ft.) and is a lovely woodland area.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.