Guten Tag! This weekend I spent Saturday in Bratislava (see post here) and on Sunday I got up bright and early and traveled to Salzburg Austria with some friends! Salzburg is well known as the setting for The Sound of Music, and is situated near to the German-Austrian border. The city is about 2.5 hours from Vienna and cost 52 euros round trip by Westbahnhof train. At the train station, we purchased a “Salzburg Card” for 27 euros. I highly recommend this as most attractions require entry fees and this also includes free public transportation. It is definitely economic to purchase the card if you plan to see more than one attraction.
After catching a bus into the city, we found the center and ate lunch. While Vienna feels more metropolitan, Salzburg has a more quaint small town feel. Given its proximity to Germany, the German influence is more prevalent, based on the food and traditional dress of the locals we saw. In the city center, we ate a delicious meal of sausage stuffed with cheese and a giant pretzel from a pop-up stand. Afterwards, it was time to explore!
Activities in Salzburg
First we took time to walk through part of the city, which is beautiful. It feels like a fairytale town. The architecture of the buildings is truly charming and the cobbled streets are somewhat narrow with a very European vibe. Take all of this and put it against the backdrop of the Alps and you have Salzburg!
We walked up to Hohensalzburg Castle, one of the largest European medieval castles! There is an elevator that takes you from bottom to top, however we managed to miss the entry way. So we walked! The weather was quite warm for Austria, and going up the mountain is somewhat steep, however it is a fun hike with friends. The top view of the castle is stunning! My friends and I agree that no pictures can do it justice. Looking across you see the rooftops of Salzburg and the Alps. One can just imagine Fraulein Maria singing in the hills like in The Sound of Music. We spent a good hour taking in the view and beauty.
What goes up, must come down, including 6 tired hikers. We walked down from the castle in the woods which was very nice. Halfway down the mountain, we found a fountain to fill up our water bottles with fresh water straight from the Alps. After we reached the city center, we went for ice cream at a reasonable 1 euro per scoop. Austria or Salzburg must be known for pumpkins because everything from its pretzels to their ice cream flavors includes a pumpkin seed option.
Mozart’s House and Birth Place:
Next, we visited Mozart’s house and birthplace. Although many tourists visit the city, we did not have to wait in long lines. Walking through Mozart’s house is an incredibly cool experience. I played violin and flute growing up so of course I have a high appreciation for classical music. We were able to see the room he was born in as well as many of his first instruments and learn more about the Mozart family. Fun fact: there actually are not any direct descendants from him as he never had children and neither did his siblings who lived past childhood.
Churches & Mirabell Palace:
After, we visited two historic Roman Catholic churches. I found it very pleasant to sit in the pews and just embrace the breathtaking ornate art and designs of the time period. To conclude our trip, we visited the Mirabell Palace and Gardens, a beautiful site and considered an UNESCO world heritage site. By then, it was time to head back to the train station and to Vienna.
In conclusion, Salzburg is a beautiful city, rich with history, nature, and scenic views. I 100% recommend visiting. Personally, if given the chance I would visit it again. Truly like a fairytale gem here in Austria!
Recently, I learned of the German word GemÃ¼tlichkeit. There is no direct translation to English, but roughly it means a sense of peace of mind and the feeling of bliss. To me, Austria is the embodiment of this and I felt it especially in Salzburg. I cannot believe how fast my time here is going but luckily it is not over yet 🙂 I will be off to Prague this weekend and later down the line Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, and England!
TchÃ¼ss (Goodbye) ! (I can type this easily as I’m using an Austrian laptop/keboard ha)
PS. Don’t forget to keep up with my adventures on Instagram as well!