Salzburg in the Rain: The Best Destinations and Attractions in Bad Weather
In addition to Mozart and the Salzburg Festival (Festspiel), Salzburg is also known for its drizzle. Luckily, there are numerous excursion destinations and sights in the province of Salzburg, which ensure you a good mood even in bad weather.
When the famous drizzle comes to Salzburg, it can be a bit uncomfortable outside. Fortunately, the province of Salzburg has plenty of excursion tips for you, which can be undertaken even in bad weather. Of course these places are worth a visit even in the sunshine!
For 200 years, the passages and doors of the former archbishop’s Residenz and Cathedral complex in the heart of Salzburg’s old town were closed. With the opening of the DomQuartier in 2014, the spectacular Baroque complex around the Salzburg Cathedral Square was finally made accessible again. Since then, visitors have enjoyed unique insights into the Baroque splendor of the Salzburg archbishops and fantastic views of the city and the Hohensalzburg Fortress. Further highlights in the DomQuartier are the state rooms of the Residenz, the Residenz gallery, a visit to the Cathedral Archway Terrace and the Cathedral museum as well as the Cabinet of Art and Curiosities.
If ever an excursion destination were made for the occasional rainy day, then it has to be Salzwelten. Deep inside the mountain, the rain simply doesn’t stand a chance. Even below ground, there are plenty of things to experience: a historic mine train, crossing a subterranean lake, and slithering down a slide just like the miners of old. But the program doesn’t merely promise fun and action: At the salt mine, aided by modern technology, visitors learn about the significance of “white gold”, from which the Salzburg prince-archbishops accumulated their extraordinary wealth for centuries. Afterwards, in a new salt manufactory, you can see how pyramid-shaped salt crystals are grown and hand-scooped to create a unique gourmet salt known as BAD ISCHLER Salzzart.
Hohensalzburg Fortress is considered the landmark over the roofs of the city of Mozart. The fortress was built over 900 years ago and is one of the largest existing castles in Europe from the 11th century. Countless legends, stories and myths of bygone days as well as interesting historical facts are just waiting to be discovered here. Highlights are certainly the sumptuous State Rooms, the new Magic Theater and the Reck tower with its 360° panoramic view.
In the lofty heights, the Hohenwerfen Fortress sits majestically on the steep, 155-meter-high rocky prominence above the Salzach valley. This defensive fortification was built in the late Middle Ages – at the same time as the Hohensalzburg Fortress. If you want to feel as if you were transported 900 years back in time, the best thing to do is take a tour of Hohenwerfen Fortress. This includes a visit to the castle chapel, the pitch kitchen, the armory, the battlements, the belfry and the restored state room. The illuminated exhibition on the history of its construction and the new special exhibition on Leonardo da Vinci offer even more insight into the time of the Middle Ages. Between April and October, the fortress also hosts many events, such as festive weekends, mystical castle tours or historical birds of prey shows.
A visit to the Lungau region is always a good tip, because when it’s raining buckets in the city of Mozart, the region beyond the Tauern mountains is one of the sunniest places in Austria. Mauterndorf Castle can be explored individually and on your own with the help of an audio guide. On this adventure tour you will encounter, among other things, life-size figures, a wardrobe that contains medieval garb for dressing up, a rock cellar and a cozy castle tavern. The 700-year-old defense tower – one of the highlights at the Mauterndorf Castle – offers a 360° panoramic view across the Lungau region. Incidentally, this was formerly a toll castle, which was first documented in 1002!
The big advantage of visiting the trick fountains in the rain is that you can’t get even more wet. During an entertaining tour through the trick fountains, it’s possible that you or someone else will get doused with water, because the water sprays unexpectedly from all directions. In 1615, Prince-Archbishop Markus Sittikus had this facility built and played pranks on his guests. If it gets too wet then you can visit the exhibition in the Hellbrunn Palace. Under the motto “SchauLust – The Unexpected World of Markus Sittikus” ten rooms have been redesigned and equipped with a sophisticated lighting system. In the context of the exhibition you will learn more details about the prince-archbishop and his time.