Beautiful and majestic, Hohensalzburg Castle – the largest fully preserved fortress in Central Europe – has looked down on the Austrian city of Salzburg for over 900 years. Whether walking through the richly decorated Golden Chamber, enjoying the breathtaking 360-degree views from the ancient watchtower or attending one of the spectacular Fortress Concerts, a visit to the castle is, quite simply, wonderful.
Open year-round, Hohensalzburg Castle can be accessed by foot or funicular. While the 30-minute uphill walk can be challenging, the numerous viewpoints en route make it well worthwhile and it remains the recommended means of arrival. For those less inclined to break a sweat, the funicular leaves from the centre of Salzburg every 10 minutes and offers a comfortable ride with its own share of photo opportunities.
As picturesque as the journey is, the real magic begins inside the castle. The magnificent regency rooms, including the Golden Chamber, are stunning in their intricacies and are widely considered the most beautiful Gothic secular chambers in Europe. There’s also the famous Salzburg Bull organ, built in 1502 by Archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach and still played today more than 500 years later. The torture chamber, watchtower and courtyard all offer different insights into castle life and the entire experience is enhanced by an audio guide, which is included in the cost of a standard ticket.
The standard ticket price include entries into the Fortress Museum and the Magical Theatre. Spending time in both provides a rich history of the site and the generations who’ve lived there. Hohensalzburg Castle also regularly hosts events, and visitors can find themselves enjoying everything from opera to art and open-air markets, which are truly magical in this one-of-a-kind venue.