ADVERTORIAL • August 2015
With summer beginning to draw to a close, what better time to start planning your next break? Mozart’s Austrian birthplace makes the ideal winter getaway
Peace and calm descend on the squares of Salzburg’s Old Town during the winter months. The statues in Mirabell Gardens stand firm against the dropping temperatures; snow-topped guild signage drawing guests into cosy taverns, restaurants and festively-decorated shops.
This is the perfect time to visit Salzburg, for romantic strolls, museum tours, Christmas gift shopping and whiling away time in cosy coffee houses.
And there are celebrations to enjoy too. The start of Advent (this year falling on November 29), is welcomed with almost as much enthusiasm as Christmas Day itself. From the devilish-costumed characters who run through the streets with rods and bells, to the brass fanfare from the Glockenspiel tower, festive feeling is in the air.
Wander along the Getreidegasse, the city’s busiest shopping street, listen to carol singing in front of the cathedral, visit the Salzburg Palace for concerts, or go and see a performance by the world famous Marionettentheater puppeteers.
Salzburg’s Large Festival Hall
Visitors with shopping high on the agenda, should head to Salzburg Christkindlmarkt in the cathedral square. An unexpected source of treasure; from delicate glass and tin tree Christmas decorations, to brass bells, traditional wooden toys, prune men and gingerbread creations.
Boost your energy levels by sampling the local festive fare. There are mugs of mulled wine and punch to sample, baked apples, and, of course, freshly toasted chestnuts.
No experience of Advent in Salzburg is complete without catching one of the world famous Adventsingen performances. Expect atmospheric instrumentals, songs, local traditions and, above all, the greatly loved pastoral ‘Hirtenspiel’ play. There performances take place at the weekend in the Large Festival Hall.
Planning a trip in early 2016? The celebrations don’t stop once Christmas is over. January sees International Mozart Week when Salzburg celebrates the birth of its most famous resident.
All this is less than a two-hour flight from Gatwick: British Airways flies to Salzburg nine times a week during the Christmas season. And don’t forget to take advantage of the Salzburg Card, which gives visitors free admission to the city’s museums, as well as discounts on concerts and theatre tickets, for 24, 48 or 72 hours.