Salzburg See And Do
The Salzburg Festival—a world-class programme of opera, theater, and concerts—runs from the end of July through August (43-66280-45500; www.salzburgfestival.at). The Salzburg Easter Festival is another important musical tradition; it features the renowned Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, also an important component of the summertime festival. The Easter Festival begins the Saturday before Palm Sunday and lasts until Easter (43-66280-45361; www.osterfestspiele-salzburg.at/en/).
Tel: 43 66288 13930
One of several hip commercial galleries in town—this one has a sister in the Marais, in Paris, which also specializes in European and North American contemporary art. Find it incongruously housed in a grand old Schloss.
Open Tuesdays through Fridays 10 am to 6 pm, Saturdays 10 am to 2 pm.
Tel: 43 66284 243011
Looking like the box cover of a Goth videogame, the 11th-century Hohensalzburg looms over Salzburg. The stony facade is forbidding, and the complex includes the obligatory medieval torture chamber, but all the butch posturing is offset by the unexpected opulence of the state rooms and the ethereal views of Salzburg itself.
Open daily 9 am to 6 pm, May through June and September; 9 am to 7 pm, July and August; 9 am to 4:30 pm, October through April.
Tel: 43 66280 722334
Some of the grandest mayoral offices in Europe are housed in this beautiful palace, built in 1606 and remodeled by famous Baroque architect Lukas von Hildebrandt in the 1720s. His putti-bedecked grand stairway and the Marble Hall (where, as a boy, Mozart performed with his father and sister) are breathtaking. And the second most famous Sound of Music number was shot in the gardens, so sing a round of "Do-Re-Mi" for luck.
Open daily 8 am to 10 pm.
Tel: 43 6628 44313
This building was Leopold Mozart's family residence from 1747 to 1773. W. A. Mozart, as the golden letters on the front announce, was born here on January 27, 1756. Now the family's modest apartment (one bedroom, plus study!) is a museum. See the prodigy's childhood violin, and marvel. You can also visit the Mozart Residenz, where the family lived from 1773 to 1780 (8 Makartplatz).
Open daily 9 am to 7 pm, July through August; 9 am to 6 pm September through June.
Tel: 43 66284 2220401
The former Salzburg Museum für Moderne Kunst became this streamlined, world-class showcase in 2004. Consisting of the Rupertinum (the Collegium Rupertinum palace, in the early Baroque style) plus two buildings by the Munich architecture firm Friedrich Hoff Zwink, the museum houses the sizable Rupertinum collection of Austrian Expressionists—especially strong on Klimt and Kokoschka—as well as works from the Austrian Gallery of Photography and (for the first time in Salzburg) visiting international exhibitions. Even here there's a Mozart connection: Look for arias from Don Giovanni carved into the Untersberg marble on the museum's facade. Architect Stephan Braunfels called this "one of the most beautiful museums in the world."
Open Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 am to 6 pm, Wednesdays, 10 am to 9 pm.
Tel: 43 66284 6483
This fashionable gallery, on an ancient alley in the heart of the old town, focuses on European and American pop art and artists who evolved from that direction. Damien Hirst, Keith Haring, David LaChapelle, and Roy Lichtenstein are among the big names. There are sister galleries in Vienna and Graz and a linked space in New York.
Open Tuesdays through Fridays 11 am to 6 pm, Saturday 10 am to 1 pm.
Tel: 43 6628 72406
Founded in 1913 and offering a serious program of opera, Salzburg's rococo marionette theater presents the thinking person's puppet show. And it's quite a show. The elegantly costumed marionettes don't just dance on a string but sing (well, lip-synch) everything from Die Fledermaus to The Magic Flute (try to get a Muppet to do that) and move with the expressive grace of any bona fide diva. The marionettes are good enough to go on periodic world tours, and their performances can sometimes feel more human then the grandest flesh-and-blood opera.
Tel: 43 66282 03720
This 17th-century summer palace on the outskirts of town, commissioned by Archbishop Markus Sittikus, features some lovely frescoes, but it is the surrounding garden that puts the pleasure (and a little pain) back in the notion of a pleasure palace. Conceived as an elaborate plein air joy buzzer by Sittikus, who loved a good party prank, the fun-house gardens incorporate references to alchemy and the occult and feature an extravagant layout of water cascades, follies, neoclassical statuary, trick fountains that may leave you dripping, a mechanical theater with 200 water-driven figures hammering and sawing in a tiny Baroque city, and a birdcall grotto that simulates the twittering of songbirds. It's the Neptune Grotto's water-powered centerpiece satyr, though, whose eyes roll back in his head as his tongue shoots out at you, that may be the Archbishop's final word, and truest doppelgänger.
Open daily 9 am to 4:30 pm, April and October; 9 am to 5:30 pm, May, June, and September; 9 am to 10 pm, July and August.