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Art and international festival flair

In the summer months the city of Salzburg is full of festival-goers, city-breakers and tourists from around the globe. That’s no problem for the locals. On the contrary, they soak up the busy atmosphere, the international flair and the blend of numerous foreign languages a UNESCO heritage city has to offer. The people of Salzburg enjoy the chance to watch the world go by. The periods the old town is relatively empty are used wisely. Early Saturday mornings are perfect for shopping at the local Grünmarkt followed by a delicious cup of coffee at Café Tomaselli. The day can also be started well with a jog or a walk around the Mönchsberg. In fact, it’s a great tip for visitors that take their running shoes with them everywhere they go. Salzburg’s inner-city mountains and hills – Mönchsberg, Festungsberg and Kapuzinerberg – are excellent places to indulge in outdoor sports. Similarly, the Mirabell and Hellbrunn parks and the verdant, tree-lined Salzachkais along the banks of the river are ideal for nature-loving joggers. Although the weather can get hot in Salzburg, the evenings and early mornings are pleasantly cool. Mozart’s town is never really humid and hot, since there’s always a cooling breeze from the nearby mountains to freshen up the air. Even on days when the sun is at its most powerful, the many trees around the town provide plenty of natural shade. Every now and then a powerful summertime thunderstorm cools down the air, leaving the city pristine and refreshed.

The Salzburg Festival is the world’s largest and best-reputed festival of classical music. The closer the event approaches, the more the city changes its appearance. As the rehearsals begin, the countless artists, opera stars and musicians take up accommodation in and around the town. The stage for the famous ‘Everyman’ play is set up on Domplatz square, and during the daytime it’s a popular gathering point for city tourists. Increasing numbers of musicians can be seen carrying instruments and using public transport as the Old Town becomes a building site for stage hands, armed with tool belts and headsets. Salzburg is now drenched with music. Many major orchestras perform in the city and, alongside the festival, there are also numerous other events and art exhibitions. Shop windows in Getreidegasse lane are adorned with the most luxurious and sophisticated goods the season has to offer.

The locals sit back and enjoy the hustle and bustle from the side-lines, taking in a delicious cup of coffee out on the sun patio at Café Bazar. It’s a great melting pot for stars, starlets and wannabees – from the early morning and long into the evenings. The city of Salzburg is now more international and elegant than ever before. If things get too much for the local inhabitants, they disappear off up the mountains or drive out to the lakes – but, as a rule, they are unwilling to miss out on the unique buzz generated at this time of year.