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Five things to do in Salzburg

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1. Sound of Music tour: This four-hour coach tour is great fun, stopping at recognisable locations from the beloved 1965 film, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Sing your favourite Sound of Music songs in the film settings, although the gazebo used for Sixteen Going On Seventeen is closed because too many octogenarians injured themselves jumping up and down on the seats. Panorama runs the "Original Sound of Music tour". Cost 40 euro ($64).

2. Mozart's birth house: There are two Mozart houses in Salzburg but my Airbnb host, Gabriele, recommended this original home where the great composer was born in 1756. Check out Mozart's childhood violin, the clavichord on which he composed several pieces, including The Magic Flute opera, and the famous portrait painted two years before his death. 10 euro.

3. Hohensalzburg Castle: Explore one of the world's largest medieval castles on Festungsberg Hill. Take the funicular to the top for majestic views of the medieval and baroque buildings of Salzburg, the Eastern Alps and the Salzach River. 11.30 euro includes funicular.

salzburg

4. Mondsee: Take a bus to this chocolate-box town on the side of the lake with the same name to see the medieval, cloistered Mondsee Abbey, which was used for the wedding scene in The Sound of Music. 7 euro.

5. St Peter's cemetery: Don't miss one of the world's oldest and most beautiful cemeteries as you exit the castle's funicular. You may remember it as the hiding place of the von Trapp family in The Sound of Music. It has catacombs from the early Christian period. Free.

Fact file

Peak tourist season is July and August, as well as Christmas for its markets. Best to travel in spring and autumn to avoid the high prices and the masses of tourists.

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Susan has been a finance journalist for more than 30 years, beginning at the Australian Financial Review before moving to the Sydney Morning Herald. She edited a superannuation magazine, Superfunds, for the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, and writes regularly on superannuation and managed funds. She's also author of the best-selling book Women and Money.
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