Sights & Attractions in Salzburg
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Getting to know Salzburg is not too difficult, since most of its sights are within a comparatively small area. The Altstadt (Old City) is a compact area between the jutting outcrop of the Mönchsberg and the Salzach River. The cathedral and interconnecting squares surrounding it form what used to be the religious center, around which the major churches and the old archbishops' residence are arranged (note that entrance into all Salzburg churches is free). The Mönchsberg cliffs emerge unexpectedly behind the Old City, crowned to the east by the Hohensalzburg Fortress. Across the river, in the small area between the cliffs of the Kapuzinerberg and the riverbank, is Steingasse, a narrow medieval street where working people lived. Northwest of the Kapuzinerberg lies Mirabell Palace and its gardens.
It's best to begin by exploring the architectural and cultural riches of the Old City, then go on to the fortress. Afterwards, cross the river to inspect the other bank. Ideally, you need two days to do it all. An alternative, if you enjoy exploring churches and castles, is to go directly up to the fortress, either on foot or by returning through the cemetery to the funicular railway.
If you are doing this spectacular city in just one day, consider taking a walking tour run by city guides; one sets out every day at 12:15 pm from the tourist information office, Information Mozartplatz, at Mozart Square (closed on some Sundays during off-season). There are also escorted bus tours through the city, but because much of Salzburg's historic city center is for pedestrians only, the bus doesn't get you close to some of the best sights.
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