During the past six months, I was living in Vienna (City number 2 in my top 3 of most amazing cities I ever have been). During my time there I had the chance to meet remarkable people from different countries and origins. Zuza one of my friends who is originally from Poland, told me about all the places she has been in Austria and we noticed she didn’t have time yet to visit Salzburg. I express to her my interest to visit Salzburg and suddenly we were planning how to get there. I must confess that the first time I heard about Salzburg was when I was a child (around 7 or 8 years old) and I was watching “The Sound of Music” movie (1965). If you are not familiar with the history and you like musical I encourage you to check it. My friend Zuza, never saw this movie before so the day before our trip we check it together. Here you can appreciate in advance the beauties that Salzburg has for you.
How to get to Salzburg?
We decide the easiest way to go was by train and we pay around 38 Euros each per round trip. We plan our schedule for a one day trip because the hostels/rooms were quite expensive, and yes we’re students 🙂 Our train departs around 7.30, and it was almost empty. Zuza expends that time checking intermittently through the window and her mobile phone, because she forgot her earphones. I just felt sleep until our arrival.
What to see in Salzburg?
Mirabel’s Garden, Mozart’s House and Residenz Square
Once we arrive, we found a map and we decide to start or adventure. So we start follow the zombies (all the huge group of people leaving the train station) and suddenly we were in our way to the city center. The first place we visited was the gardens from Mirabel Palace. In general this place is really beautiful if you have a sunny day it will be splendid expend some time walking around the different gardens. My favorite things in this place were definitely the Pegasus fountain and the Dwarf Garden, because even when this places are not the most beautiful for me were the most unique. Specially the Dwarf area, because all the sculptures are really funnies and we were making funny pictures resemble the dwarfs poses. Then, when we leave Mirable Garden we proceed to see the Mozart-Wohnhaus Building (The residence of Mozart) and we decided skips the tour because I already have been in Mozart’s residence in Vienna. Anyway I believe it may be an interesting point to refresh the biography from this talented musician. From there we walked trying to reach the Salzburg’s old town and suddenly we found the Salzach River which gives a wonderful touch to the amazing landscapes. Then we saw the city center mainly the commercial part and then we stopped in the Residenplatz. We recognized this place from the movie, because there are several scenes were recorded in this area. In the center of the square there is a really beautiful fountain, that it shows four sea horses and other marine animals. I believe is a nice place to spend some time and just admire the beauty that surrounds you. Stop taking pictures and just admire the Cathedral, walk around and discover all the historic buildings read a bit of their history and don’t worry you will have enough time this city is not really big.
We decided to book tickets into the Salzburger Residenz. There you can see several paints collections that belong to the prince-archbishops from Salzburg during the past centuries including works from famous artist as Rembrandt. One of our favorite parts in this gallery was definitely the view we get from the city, because there is a kind of terrace, were you can seat just to read the newspaper and have a nice conversation, is a really quite place and we really enjoy it. Also as part of the tour you may access to a balcony that connects the Residenz with the highest part of the Cathedral, and the view you get is unique, the angle you get from this point allows you to see pretty well the details and configuration and is really tied to the roof. The price is about 12 euros per head.
From there we decide to takes something to eat, and then we proceed to visit the Hohensalzburg Fortress. One of the most preserved of its kind in Europe. In order to enter, there is a fee to pay we took the basic tour from the footpath access and it cost about 9 euros, but it was possible to get the same tour but going on top of the mountain with a funicular and this tickets was about 12 euros. So it’s up to you which choice to make. The slope is quite high, to go up there so if you’re lazy or have any injury in your knees, ankles or something other health conditions I strongly advise you to pay the 12 euros tickets. We went on foot because we thought the footpath access was completely for free but I was not like this, anyway we needed to pay. In the Fortress, we spent a high quality time checking the evolution of the building during the past centuries. Exploring each of the different sections, admiring the rooms and history of the prince-archbishops, and learning more about the history this amazing building has. We have our chance to admire the Alps and the city from this strategic point, and fortunately that day the weather was not cloudy at all then the landscapes were clear for awesome pictures. We spent there about 2 and half hours. Honestly a remarkable experience.
What to eat?
Late in the afternoon, we visited the Mozartplatz. We also check the surroundings from the Abbey were the main character of Sound of Music – Maria used to live. And finally, to wait for our train to comeback and find a shelter from the rain we just went to a really nice restaurant and try the most famous dessert from this lovely city which is called “Salzburger Nockerl”. Casually this soufflé, was conceived as a representation of the hillsides that surround the city, really original right? I general terms, there is a lot to see in Salzburg but if you are quite short of money during a whole day you will see pretty much the main things. We really spent a good time there and in any case there is always reason to come back and continue exploring. I hope you find useful our experience and I can’t wait for your feedback about this lovely city in Austria.