Perhaps most famous as the birthplace of Mozart, the city of Salzburg is a popular destination with tourists and boasts beautiful landscapes, a rich culture and delicious food. Situated on the northern edge of the Alps, just under 300 kilometres to the west of Vienna, it is home to some 150,000 residents.
The city is composed of several districts, each with its own particular atmosphere. The Old Town is one of the most intriguing of these and has natural borders provided by the river Salzach and the Mösnchsberg, a large rock face that gave the town a natural defence from invaders during the Middle Ages.
Among the sights that the Old Town has to offer is the house in which Mozart was born and the impressive Hohensalzburg fortress, which towers over the city. There are several town squares, notably the Residenzplatz and the Kapitelplatz that, particularly in the summer, play host to numerous open-air concerts and theatre performances.
For those interested in shopping, the west of Salzburg is dominated by two large, American style shopping centres, located very near to each other. One is well placed opposite Salzburg’s Airport while the other is in the nearby Taxham district. In addition, Salzburg has a wealth of museums and galleries and an active nightlife. In the winter visitors can take advantage of the fantastic skiing and snowboarding facilities, while the most popular activities of the summer months include cycling and hiking in the mountains.
Salzburg’s economy is very important to Austria as a whole. While only about six per cent of the country’s population lives there, it contributes nearly a fifth of the net economic product of Austria and is one of Europe’s most dynamic regions. The Empirical Research Institute based in Cologne has recently ranked the city among the top fifteen locations for investment in Europe.