Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

Salzburg, a city renowned for its musical heritage and breathtaking landscapes, is a treasure trove of hidden gems that are just waiting to be explored. While popular attractions like Mozart’s birthplace and the Hohensalzburg Fortress are undoubtedly worth a visit, several lesser-known gems in Salzburg deserve your attention.

From unique gardens and secret courtyards to off-the-beaten-path museums and hidden viewpoints, these hidden gems offer a unique perspective on Salzburg’s rich history and culture. To discover these hidden treasures, I’ve tapped into the insights of locals and fellow travelers who have shared their favorite places through Giving Getaway’s Hidden Gems Collector.

1) Salzburg Catacombs

The Salzburg Catacombs have been a must-visit attraction for centuries, offering a unique glimpse into the city’s rich history and cultural heritage. Carved into a mountainside during the 12th century, these catacombs hold great significance as a mystical site and were used for Christian hermitages. Located within St. Peter’s Abbey, which is the oldest church and cemetery in Salzburg, the catacombs are well-maintained and contain preserved remains of altars, relics, tombs, inscriptions, and faded murals from antiquity.

One of the notable features of the Salzburg Catacombs is that they are the final resting place of renowned composer Michael Haydn and Nannerl Mozart, the sister of the famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This adds to the cultural significance of the catacombs, as they provide a connection to the city’s musical heritage.The Salzburg Catacombs Have Been a Must-Visit Attraction for Centuries, Offering a Unique Glimpse Into the City’s Rich History

In addition to their historical and cultural importance, the catacombs were featured in the iconic film ‘The Sound of Music’ and played a role in the Trapp family’s escape from the National Socialists.

Open to the public, the catacombs consist of two levels, namely the Gertrauden Chapel and the Maximus Chapel. You can explore these chambers and admire the preserved artifacts and architecture. The catacombs also offer a breathtaking view of the city from their windows and balcony, adding to the overall experience.


2) Museum der Moderne

Continuing our exploration of Salzburg’s hidden gems, let us delve into the Museum der Moderne. Perched high above the rooftops of Salzburg’s old town on the Mönchsberg, this museum offers a truly unique experience for art enthusiasts. Spanning four levels, the Museum der Moderne showcases international art treasures from the 20th and 21st centuries in a stylish and puristic setting.

With a total area of 24,757 square feet (2,300 m²), the museum displays a remarkable collection of modern and contemporary art pieces, as well as works from its collections. Here you can enjoy a series of rotating exhibitions, ensuring that there is always something new and exciting to discover. The museum’s dedication to displaying world-renowned art has attracted visitors from all corners of the globe.

One of the highlights of the Museum der Moderne is its unique architecture. Designed by the Munich architecture team Friedrich Hoff Zwink, the building features glassed-in staircases that offer stunning views of the 19th-century water tower.

To enhance the visitor experience, the museum now offers a multimedia guide through the MuseumStars app. This guide provides a wide range of information and services, including an introduction to art in public space, digital art walks, and site plans to help visitors navigate the museum.


3) Kapuzinerberg

Moving on to another hidden gem in Salzburg, let us now explore Kapuzinerberg, a picturesque mountain known for its outdoor activities and historical landmarks. Standing at 2,100 feet (640 meters) high and located to the right of the River Salzach, Kapuzinerberg offers a multitude of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

One of the main attractions of Kapuzinerberg is its hiking trails, which allow you to enjoy the natural beauty of the mountain. As you ascend the mountain, you will come across several churches, including the Capuchin Abbey, which adds a spiritual touch to the surroundings. The religious section of the mountain is adorned with chapels marking the Stages of the Cross, providing a serene and reflective atmosphere.Kapuzinerberg Provides Numerous Options for Both Outdoor Enthusiasts and History Enthusiasts

For history enthusiasts, Kapuzinerberg boasts 400-year-old defensive walls and fortifications that offer a glimpse into the region’s past. These structures serve as a reminder of the mountain’s strategic significance in protecting the city of Salzburg.

Kapuzinerberg is also home to two historic taverns, the Franziskischlössl and the Paschinger Schlößl. The former was once a popular excursion destination, while the latter served as the former residence of renowned author Stefan Zweig. These landmarks provide a unique experience and insight into the cultural heritage of the area.

4) Mozart Residence

Located on Makartplatz, the Mozart Residence is a historic house that used to be the home of the Mozart family from 1773 to 1787. The house, known as the ‘Dance Master’s House’, gained its name due to the dancing lessons that were offered there for the nobility. The Mozarts moved into this house because their previous residence had become too small to accommodate their growing family.

Although the Mozart Residence suffered partial destruction during an air raid in World War II, it has since been meticulously reconstructed. Today, it stands as a museum dedicated to the life and works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Here you can explore the various rooms that were once inhabited by the Mozart family and admire the original documents and portraits on display. The museum also offers a multi-vision show, rotating exhibitions, concerts, and talks, providing visitors with a comprehensive and immersive experience.

A highlight of the Mozart Residence is the Magic Flute House, located in the courtyard. This house, where Mozart composed his famous opera “The Magic Flute,” was originally in Vienna but was moved to Salzburg and underwent extensive renovations.


5) Zwergelgarten

The Zwergelgarten, nestled in the Small Bastion Garden in Salzburg, showcases a collection of 17 meticulously restored marble dwarf sculptures dating back to the 17th century. Originally auctioned off, these dwarf sculptures have made their way back to their original home in Salzburg, where they have been lovingly restored and rearranged in new groups.

Each dwarf in the Zwergelgarten has its unique role and symbolism. Some of them represent gardeners, while others depict ball players. These dwarf sculptures were originally derived from copper engravings by Jacques Callot, adding to their historical and artistic value.The Zwergelgarten Displays a Collection of 17 Carefully Restored Marble Dwarf Sculptures From the 17th Century

It is worth noting that the Dwarf Garden was originally populated by 28 dwarfs, but now only 17 remain. However, there is a possibility of reuniting all the dwarf sculptures in the future.

The Small Bastion Garden itself provides a serene and picturesque setting for the Zwergelgarten, making it a delightful spot to explore and appreciate these hidden gems of Salzburg’s history.


6) Welt der Gifte

The Welt der Gifte (translated as ‘world of poisons’) is Austria’s smallest and most toxic zoo. Located in Salzburg, this unique exhibit is dedicated to the fascinating realm of venomous animals and the intriguing world of poison.

Welt der Gifte was brought to life by Doctor Nils Kley and opened its doors in 2020. It offers the opportunity to delve into a mesmerizing collection of organic and inorganic toxins. From poisonous plants and mushrooms to microorganisms and poisonous elements, the exhibit showcases a wide range of deadly substances.

To experience this extraordinary zoo, you must book a guided tour. Once inside, you can observe bacteria under microscopes, learn about unexpected means of intoxication, and explore peculiar fashion trends associated with poison. Additionally, you can marvel at the real ingredients used in Harry Potter’s potions classes.

The highlight of the exhibit is undoubtedly the collection of venomous animals. With around 50 snakes, lizards, scorpions, spiders, and toads that produce deadly venom, you can witness these creatures up close and learn about their unique adaptations and the dangers they pose.


7) Leopoldskron Palace

One notable attraction in Salzburg, Austria that should not be overlooked is Leopoldskron Palace, a historic residence steeped in cultural significance. Located near the Salzburg historical district, the palace was built in 1736 as the residence of the Salzburg prince-archbishop. However, its importance extends far beyond its architectural beauty.

In 1918, Max Reinhardt, a famous theater director, purchased the palace and embarked on a 20-year restoration project. Since then, Schloss Leopoldskron has served as a meeting place for the artistic and cultural scene and was even the founding location of the renowned Salzburg Festival.The Lake and Gardens of Leopoldskron Palace Served as the Backdrop for Numerous Iconic Scenes in the Film

One of the palace’s claims to fame is its appearance in the beloved movie ‘The Sound of Music’. The lake and gardens of Leopoldskron Palace provided the backdrop for several iconic scenes in the film, forever associating it with the von Trapp family’s story. Despite its popularity, admission to the palace and its grounds is restricted to invited guests and customers. However, for those lucky enough to secure an invitation, Leopoldskron Palace offers luxurious suites and rooms for visitors, providing an exclusive and unforgettable experience.

Additionally, the palace is a popular event location for private and professional occasions. Its elegant rooms, stunning views, and historical charm make it the perfect setting for weddings, conferences, and other special events.


8) Grünmarkt

The Grünmarkt in Salzburg is a vibrant and longstanding market tradition that has been held since 1857. Located in the shadow of the Collegiate Church on Universitätsplatz, this daily market is a popular spot for both tourists and locals alike. Open every day except Sundays and public holidays, the Grünmarkt offers a wide variety of products to satisfy all tastes.

From fresh food to spirits, flowers to souvenir wooden toys, the market stands are filled with an array of items that cater to everyone’s needs. The atmosphere at the Grünmarkt is truly one-of-a-kind, creating a friendly and casual environment that is a magnet for both the young and old.

On Saturdays, the market extends to Wiener-Philharmoniker-Gasse and Max-Reinhardt-Platz, making it even more expansive and exciting. If you’re an early bird, you’re in luck as the market stands open at 6 a.m., allowing you to start your day with a visit to this bustling marketplace.

The Grünmarkt is known for its specialties, which include farm products, bread, rolls, meat and processed foods, fruit, vegetables, and spirits. Whether you’re looking for fresh produce for your meals or unique gifts to bring back home, this market has it all!

9) Stiegl-Brauwelt

The next hidden gem in Salzburg that shouldn’t be missed is the Stiegl-Brauwelt, a testament to the rich tradition and craftsmanship of brewing. Stiegl Brewery, Austria’s biggest and most successful brewery since 1492, is known for its focus on tradition and innovation. One of their most popular beers, Stiegl-Märzen, has been enjoyed since the brewery’s establishment. In fact, Mozart himself was a fan of Stiegl beer!Stiegl Brewery, Austria’s Largest and Most Successful Brewery Since 1492, Is Renowned for Its Commitment to Both Tradition and Innovation

The Stiegl-Brauwelt offers you a fascinating insight into the world of brewing and beer production. This interactive museum takes you on a journey through the history of Stiegl Brewery and showcases the brewing process from start to finish. You can explore the different ingredients used in brewing, learn about the bottling process, and even try your hand at brewing your own beer.

What sets Stiegl-Brauwelt apart is their commitment to brewing craftsmanship and high quality. They use only the finest regional raw ingredients and employ sustainable practices. They source their pure spring water from a well located below the Untersberg, ensuring that each batch of beer is of the utmost quality.


10) Gherkins

A rather quirky and unique hidden gem that showcases the artistic interpretation of gherkins is the ‘Gurken’ project by Austrian artist Erwin Wurm. Located in Furtwänglerpark, this art piece features five gherkins arranged in a row, scaled up to human size and seemingly growing out of the tarmac. Wurm intends to infuse ordinary objects with individuality, transforming the humble gherkins into works of art.

By elevating pickled gherkins to the realm of art, Wurm invites viewers to contemplate the diversity of forms and the multifaceted individuality of the human body. The installation leaves room for interpretation, oscillating between critical irony and parody. It serves as a reminder that even the simplest and most popular objects can be imbued with deeper meaning and artistic value.


By Lala