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The picture says it all. Salzburg has one of the most beautiful old towns in all of Europe that should be on every traveler’s list. It’s worth a trip here just to stroll around and experience the same beautiful streets that Mozart roamed.
But there’s so much more to Austria’s 4th largest city than Mozart and The Sound of Music. And surprisingly, visiting Salzburg doesn’t have to put a big dent in your budget, and 2014 promises plenty of fun, hip events on tap. From free jazz festivals and mountain skiing with free shuttles to ancient (and affordable) beer halls and discounts on major attractions, here are some highlights on what to see in 2014—and how to save along the way.
Your key to Salzburg
If you really want to see the best sights in the city, the first thing to do is purchase the all-inclusive Salzburg Card. It only costs €36 for 72 hours (or €23 for 24 hours and €31 for 48 hours), and it gives you access to attractions including Mozart’s Birthplace and Residence, the Cable Railway up to Hohensalzburg Fortress, Hellbrunn Palace and Gardens, all of the city museums, and many more.
On top of that, you also get free use of the city’s public transportation system. For one low price, you get an an in-depth look at the culture and history of Salzburg, and you get to explore the city on your own schedule.
Getting hip to the performing arts scene
When the weather warms up, so does the art and music in Salzburg. Fans of creative theater will enjoy the performing arts festival Summer Scene that runs from June 25 to July 5. Many of the events are free, and the festival brings a vibrant buzz to the city.
Dance music lovers probably already have the Electric Love Festival on their calendar (July 10-12), and you should too. This three-day event brings the best DJ’s from around the world to spin tunes for a loving audience of young Europeans and global citizens who want to dance the night away under the Austrian skies.
If you enjoy the sounds of a different kind of beat, then make sure to visit during the fall when Jazz & The City comes to life. From October 22 to 26, the best music clubs open their doors including cool hotspots like Rockhouse, jazzit, republic, and argeKultur. You can see top international stars and up-and-coming artists hit the stages and town squares of Old City for a memorable five-day event where every single show is free!
Sip the city’s ancient beer culture
Since the 14th century, Salzburg has been brewing beer for its citizens from monks to Mozart. It started out as a movement by religious orders, but today the modern beer scenes keeps moving forward thanks to ambitious newcomers. One of the best places to experience the 600-year old tradition is at the Stieglbrauerei (founded in 1492!) or the classic Augustiner Bräu establshed by monks in 1621 that holds Austria’s largest beer garden. Don’t miss this bustling spot where locals and tourists drink fresh beer from traditional steins.
Get a sneak peek inside a private airplane hangar
If you don’t know that Red Bull is an Austrian/Salzburg brand, you will find out very quickly when you see the company’s presence everywhere. One of coolest contributions by Red Bull is Hangar 7, an airy architectural gem near the airport that’s home of the owners’ impressive private car and aircraft collection. You will find Formula 1 and NASCAR race cars, historic and modern jetplanes, and even the capsule and space suit of Felix Baumgartner’s famous stratosphere jump.
Hit the slopes with the help of a free shuttle
When you’re ready for a break from the city, you can spend a day hitting the slopes at one of Austria’s popular mountain resorts. Salzburg provides a complimentary ski shuttle direct to Flachau Winter Resort. The ride is only about an hour, so you can be feeling the fresh powder beneath your feet by mid-morning.
And if you’re looking for even more skiing and snowboarding, Salzburg is perfectly located at the foothills of the Alps—all of the major resorts are easily accessible. Ride the slopes during the day, and enjoy a night on the town in the evening! Now that’s Salzburg living.
Sleeping for cheap
EuroCheapo has a range of excellent and affordable stays from hostels starting at $60 a night to four-star hotels around $90. Check out our hotel guide for rates and more information.