Anticipating the summer
May is indeed a merry month in Salzburg. It seems as if spring was such a long time ago and winter is but a distant memory. In May, the climate on the northern edge of the Alps allows for days that reach temperatures of up to 30°C. However, it’s this changeability between chilly nights, sunny and rainy days, that enables nature to burst into bloom. This is the time of the ‘Schnürlregen’, heavy downpours that never seem to stop. Nevertheless, rain – and the weather in general, are no problems for the people of Salzburg. The weather changes so quickly anyway, and there’s always a meteorological plan B.
The outdoor swimming pools traditionally open on the 1st of May, and countless tourist sights such as Fortress Hohenwerfen, the Eisriesenwelt caves, the Lustschloss Hellbrunn palace and boat rides up and down the Salzach are all popular features of the summer season. Citizens of Salzburg who had to do without their bicycles, however unwillingly, for the winter months, can now dust them down and ride through the rest of the year. Salzburg is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in Austria and can be explored very conveniently from the saddle. One possibility is a guided ‘Sound of Music’ cycling tour to Hellbrunn. The city never looks the same from one day to the next. Tourists and day-trippers often come back to Salzburg to see the UNESCO world heritage site.
The locals may head off for the ski slopes in the wintertime, but right now every spare minute is spent out on the lakes. Lake Fuschlsee and Lake Wolfgangsee are just half an hour’s drive from the city. The Salzkammergut region is just around the corner and includes Bad Ischl and Bad Aussee. May is the perfect month for the first recreational days outdoors. Numerous religious public holidays shorten the working weeks and provide families with extended weekends. The Whitsuntide Festival is held under the artistic directorship of Cäcilia Bartoli and provides a foretaste of the festival season ahead. International crowds and artists are all drawn into the city. The summer solstice on the 21st June celebrates the longest day and the shortest night of the year with bonfires out on countless mountainsides around the region: Summer in Salzburg has now begun! The holidays are just around the corner. Life is celebrated out on the streets – with music and festivals, on balmy evenings in the beer gardens of Müllner Bräu or the Stiegl-Keller, and with lively cocktails up on Salzburg’s most attractive roof-top patios.