Salzburg likes to dress up over Silvester, Austrian New Year; its cobbled streets roar into life with a series of concerts and gala dinners, firework displays, and street parties among its Baroque edifices. Stores close at around 4pm on New Year’s Eve and reopen only on January 2; most of Salzburg’s street parties are accessible on foot.
1. Street Parties
Salzburg’s biggest street parties take place in the Altstadt—old town—around Kapitelplatz Square and Domplatz, where DJs, live music, and dancing kick off New Year as the bangs of firecrackers and the strains of ‘Blue Danube’ resonate through the streets. The pubs and restaurants of Rudolfski overflow onto the streets and the party continues until dawn.
2. Classical Concerts
Classical concerts take place throughout Salzburg on New Year’s Eve, from small chamber-music recitals to full-blown orchestral blowouts at the Great Festival Hall by the Mozarteum Orchestra. Other venues include the Hohensalzburg and Mirabell castles plus the Landestheater (state theater).
3. Mozart Fest
Appropriately for the birthplace of Mozart, the arrival of 2013 is heralded at the Mozart New Year’s Eve Gala in Salzburg’s Baroque Hall with arias and duets from The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and The Magic Flute played by the Amadeus Consort Salzburg; the concert is complemented by a festive dinner and champagne.
The New Year is welcomed in at midnight with fireworks high on the hill at Hohensalzburg Castle, against a romantic backdrop of the Austrian Alps. Watch the display from across the Salzach River at Staatsbrücke bridge.
5. Recovery Tips
Relax to the gentle tones of the ‘Best of Mozart’ chamber-music concert at Hohensalzburg Castle on January 1, New Year’s Day, as performed by the world-renowned Salzburger Mozart Ensemble.