The Design Lover's Guide to Salzburg, Austria
Tucked between the Alps to the south and Germany to the west, the Austrian city of Salzburg is beloved for its gorgeous mountain scenery and charming city center, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Once the seat of an important ecclesiastic principality, Salzburg is where Italian and German culture met and mingled over the centuries. The extremely well-preserved city center boasts a wealth of Italian Renaissance and Baroque architecture that lends the cobblestoned streets their romantic character. Thought Salzburg is lovely year-round, itâs especially nice to visit in summer, when the famous Salzburg Festival transforms this city of 150,000 people into a nonstop party featuring galas and performances by top international stars. This yearâs edition is especially exciting thanks to an ongoing partnership with Swarovski, which contributed half a million crystals to the costumes. Herewith, ADâs roundup of the top reasons design lovers should plan a trip to Salzburg.
Where to Stay
Though Salzburg has plenty of hotels, two stand out for their style, heritage, and service. Hotel Goldener Hirsch, a Luxury Collection Hotel, boasts more than 600 years of history and has hosted famous guests including Elizabeth Taylor and Luciano Pavarotti. The design evokes a quaint Austrian country manor, with antiques and patchwork carpets.
The Hotel Sacher Salzburgâ"a member of Leading Hotels of the Worldâ"is decidedly more opulent. Founded by the son of Franz Sacher, who invented the famous Sacher torte, this classic grand dame has been receiving distinguished guests since 1886. Privately ow ned, itâs now managed by the second generation of the GÃ¼rtler family, which took over the property in 1934 and just refurbished 25 rooms on the fourth floor.
Where to Eat & Drink
According to Alexandra and Matthias Winkler, the second generation of the GÃ¼tler family, âthe restaurant M32, designed by Matteo Thun, ranks among the probably most spectacular restaurants within Salzburgâs culinary scene.â The must-visit restaurant is perched high up on MÃ¶nchsberg Hill, boasting fantastic views over the city. Alexandra and Matthias also recommend âSchloss Aigen, a country manor with an elegantly rustic interior, a chestnut-shaded courtyard and delightful Austrian cuisine; Carpe Diem with one Michelin star and two Gault Millau Toques on the famous Getreidegasse boulevard; Esszimmer, awarded with three toques and one Michelin star; and of course the gourmet restaurant Zirbelzimmer at the Hotel Sacher with finest regional cuisine.â A great option for coffee, cakes, and strudel is the charmingly old-school CafÃ© Tomaselli, which was once frequented by Mozart.
What to Do
As Mozartâs birthplace and the setting for The Sound of Music, itâs no wonder that music is a crucial part of Salzburgâs identity. Every year, the Salzburg Festival (currently running until August 30) brings world-renowned opera singers and musicians to the city for an impressive lineup of performances. The world-class productions feature costumes embellished by Swarovski crystals, which has partnered with the festival for the past six years. âIt was really impor tant for us as an Austrian company to team up with another Austrian institution that really celebrates culture,â Nadja Swarovski tells AD. âItâs really kind of like the jewel in a crown, and thatâs something that Austria can be so proud ofâ"that history and that heritage.â
Whether youâre in town for the Salzburg Festival or not, there are plenty of other things to see and do. âThe must-see places in Salzburg are certainly the fortress, the cathedral, St. Peterâs Church, and the catacombs, as well as the Mirabell Palace with its beautiful gardens,â Alexandra and Matthias Winkler tells AD.
Where to Shop
âAt the Getreidegasse boulevard you will find shops of designer brands and numerous lovely boutiques, such as Prada or HermÃ¨s, and Trachten Stassny, where youâll find exclusive traditional clothing and beautiful Austrian dirndls,â according to Alexandra and Matthias Winkler.
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