In Brief

Sights, sounds and schnitzels: A guide to Salzburg

Classical concerts and absurdly picturesque scenery await in Mozart's birthplace

Wedged between the Salzach River and numerous ski slopes, Salzburg is best known for music: Mozart was born above its cute cobblestones, and The Sound of Music set along them. Castles, spindly bridges and glorious gardens enhance that fairytale feel, while British Airways' new services from Manchester render Austria's fourth-largest city even more accessible.

What to see

Admire Mozart's first violin at his birthplace at 9 Getreidegasse, now a museum, before riding the funicular to clifftop Hohensalzburg Fortress for glorious alpine views. Then enjoy your own Julie Andrews experience at the many concert halls, or via a film-location tour.

Where to go

Real classical hounds should come for summer's annual Salzburg Festival, which reliably stars the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. That said, festival tickets tend to be hot property. If you miss out, consider attending one of the regular recitals performed year-round by the Mozarteum University's students at their Mirabellplatz HQ.

Where to shop

As well as a dream of medieval cobbles, lanterns and Baroque plazas, Salzburg's Old Town is its best place to shop. On the right bank, Linzergasse also does a fine line in small boutiques such as Via Venty and its mix of classic and contemporary womenswear.

Where to eat

A sound bet for vintage Austrian fare - wiener schnitzel, bratwurst and the like - is Zwettler's, an old-fashioned gasthaus inn. Alternatively, cave-like Magazin offers a more 21st-century seasonal approach in dishes like marinated alpine char with avocado salad. It contains a wine store (and deli), too, so you're guaranteed good plonk.

Where to drink

Across the river, Steingasse not only offers street-art stencils by local couple Jana & JS, but is Salzburg's liveliest street after dark. Darwin's is a good bet for cocktails while the Hotel Stein's revamped rooftop bar (reopening in spring) - accessible to non-guests - has fine vistas. Another option, further north, is Jazzit, where electro-funk nights rival visiting jazz legends for popularity.

The best digs

Opulent hotels are common but Hotel Am Dom, positioned near the cathedral, is a bit more interesting. Though an historic beamed townhouse, it offers funky lights and Pop Art prints, as well as freestanding tubs. Buffet breakfasts are taken in an old vault.

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