Three Cities Worth Celebrating

It’s a big year in city anniversaries around the world. Here are three metropolitan milestones worth celebrating.

> 50 Years: Salzburg, Austria

It’s been that long since the von Trapp kids harmonized in The Sound of Music, but visitors can still sing along in the city where the classic movie was made.

See puppets perform the musical at the Salzburg Marionette Theater, and cruise like the choral family on Fräulein Maria’s Bicycle Tour to scenic sites from the film.

> 100 Years: San Diego, California (USA)

With its own built-in noisemaker in the form of the world’s second largest outdoor organ, San Diego’s Balboa Park has been ready for a birthday bash since launching at the 1915 Panama-California expo.

For its centennial, the 1,200-acre park has opened its California Tower—which features 360-degree views of the city—to the public for the first time in 80 years.

> 1,000 Years: Leipzig, Germany 

On December 20, Leipzig will have its cake and 1,000 candles, too, when its entire populace (plus guests) shares the massive dessert in the city center to close the yearlong millennium party for its first documented mention.

The trade city that has nurtured musical maestros and renowned painters will honor its heritage during StadtFestTage, or Festival Week, May 31 to June 7.

This piece, written by Hannah Lott-Schwartz, first appeared in the May 2015 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine.