Pristine Salzburg is neat, tidy and litter free and the townsfolk would rather it stayed that way. As Austrians in general have a tendency to stand on ceremony, here a few tips about what not to do in Salzburg.
Along with Red Bull of Formula One fame, Swarovski is one of Austria’s best-known exports; the bijou cut-glass animals that adorn many a shelf all over the world have bought fame and fortune to the billionaire Swarovski family. Now the company has surpassed itself in terms of creativity and branding to produce the extraordinary subterranean Swarovski’s Crystal Worlds – ‘Kristallwelten’ in German – near their company base in Wattens, 15 minutes outside Innsbruck.
Salzburg has a wide network of walking routes that stretch far out into the surrounding countryside for beautiful Alpine views and trails from easy to demanding – in fact more than 4,500 miles (7,200 km) of way-marked trails – but less well known is the existence of many walking routes around Salzburg that head right through the compact city center and the surrounding Stadtberge (city hills).
An annual event for years following its highly successful inauguration in 1956, in 2014 Salzburg Mozart Week will be held between January 23 and February 2, which straddles the great composer’s birthday on January 23, 1756. The festival is hosted by the Mozarteum Foundation Salzburg and encompasses a series of chamber and orchestral concerts as well as opera performances conducted by Mozart specialists from across the world.
Salzburg is alive with the sound of music all year around but over winter the Alpine meadows and mountains really do ring out to the tunes of Mozart and Maria as the winter music festival season kicks in.
Innsbruck looks at its romantic best at Christmas, carpeted with snow and with the magical sparkling backdrop of the Alps. Christmas in Innsbruck kicks off in mid November, when stores are decorated with elaborate Nativity scenes and festive lights, giant yuletide trees twinkle in all the squares and a number of classy festive markets spring up around town.