Tradition & Folk Culture

Folk culture and traditions is what many people associate with Salzburg.

Even by Austrian standards, Salzburg is well-known to famous for the province′s traditions and customs. For an overview on traditions in the course of a year, have a look at our article that is appropriately named "Traditions and Customs". It will provide you with an overview on annual events, holidays and celebrations (both religious and secular) that tourists might find interesting.

Note also the Salzburger Heimatwerk at the Neue Residenz, a society that aims to preserve traditions from the Salzburg regions. They sell traditional costumes ("Tracht", such as dirndl dress, lederhosen and alike) in the most traditional styles.

Note that Salzburg is the centre of Tracht manufacturing in Austria and you will see many dresses and costumes nicely arranged in the windows of the Old Town boutiques. The proper ones are extremely expensive, though. For details on folk culture, note also the Volkskundemuseum in the Monatsschlössel at Hellbrunn. It is a branch of the Salzburg Museum and dedicated to local ethnology.

Folk Culture: Where & When

Highlights of folk culture include the periods close to high holidays - Christmas and Easter. Some celebrations have Pagan origins, such as the Perchten or the bonfires on summer solstice. Others, including peculiar one like the Samson processions of the Lungau are of unclear origin, but worth seeing nonetheless.

The German term for customs is "Brauchtum", so watch out for anything labelled like this if you fancy that. For a detailed overview on events - both traditional / ethnic ones and others - note also our calendar with recommendations of things to do in Salzburg by month. Generally speaking, traditional customs will be more authentic off the main tourist destinations. We don′t think that there is a big city/countryside divide, since there can be a lot of tourism even in remote mountain valleys.

On the other hand, regions like the northern Flachgau are not touristy, yet functionally almost suburbs of the city with relatively little village lifestyle. Either way, you will find your Brauchtum hubs in various corners of Salzburg. Local tourist information centres will be happy to provide you with up to date information. There is also a Freilichtmuseum in nearby Großgmain for a historic approach to folk culture.


Salzburg Folk Culture
The Volkskundemuseum (Museum of Folk Culture) in Salzburg
Official Website of the Heimatwerk Folk Culture Society
Salzburg Province's Government on Arts and Culture
Salzburg Province and City on Culture

back to "art & culture"