Promotional feature with Austrian National Tourist Office
Alpine scenery, medieval-meets-modern architecture, Jazz and foodie discoveries – did someone say Austrian city break?
Salzburg is famous for many things and whilst you may assume it’s the two ‘M’s’ – Maria (Sound-of-Music von Trapp) and Mozart – look a little further to see what really draws thousands to this delightful city every year. With eleven breweries in and around the city, from large independent to privately owned, it is easy to see why Salzburg is regarded as the beer capital of Austria. For a contemporary take on the city’s music scene, the annual Jazz and the City festival (October) is a veritable feast for the senses. But Salzburg’s unrivalled baroque beauty will charm you, whatever your musical taste. A visit to the listed cultural heritage monument Mirabell Gardens and Fortress is a must and is part of the Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A tour of one (or two) of the many breweries is a must. Ones to try are the Augustiner Bräu, the Raschhofer’s Rossbräu, Die Weisse-Salzburger Weissbierbrauerei and Stiegl-Brauwelt.
With its cobbled streets and pastel-coloured Baroque buildings set high in the Alps, the Tyrolean capital has a fairy-tale charm that’s sure to captivate. Take the funicular, which starts directly in the city centre (just next to the Imperial Palace and Gardens) 2,000m to the top of Nordkette mountain for skiing (in winter) and hiking (in summer) – or simply enjoy the views from the terrace of Seegrube Restaurant. If an activity break with a fairytale setting is your bag, why not take a walk through the gardens and park of Ambras Castle Innsbruck complete with waterfalls and free wandering peacocks. For a truly authentic experience, make like the locals and head to the city gorge behind the ski jump which offers great outdoor walking trails.
Swarovski Crystal World. Incredible crystal installations by star artists, including one of Yayoi Kusama’s famous (and famously Instagrammable) mirror rooms.
It may be Austria’s second-largest city after Vienna, but Graz has a pleasingly small-town feel that makes it perfect for a short break. Widely regarded as one of the country’s culinary capitals, a day that begins at the city’s farmers’ markets and finishes with an evening of bar-hopping and grazing through the pedestrianised centre near the Glockenspiel (a foodie hotspot) will be a day well spent. As will a visit to Kunsthaus Graz, the modern art gallery known locally as the ‘friendly alien’.
The Schlossberg – this beautiful castle set on a hill just a stiff walk (or short funicular railway journey) away offers unbeatable views over the city.
We know that sometimes travelling between cities can be daunting but with a well connected network of transportation getting around has never been easier. Fly into Innsbruck with BA/EasyJet, after 2-3 nights head on to Graz, train times are around 6h passing by stunning alpine landscape. After 2-3 nights there take the train again to Salzburg, taking 4h. End your holiday there and after 2-3 nights fly back to the UK.