Europe Trip SALZBURG
- After Vienna, Salzburg will seem small--for some, maybe even anti-climatic, but I would argue otherwise and encourage you to visit anyhow!
- This city is bustling...even during the off-season...with a fairly comprehensive shopping district ranging from Prada and Benetton to original venues and local shops, including one dedicated to the Sound of Music artifacts and trinkets.
- People are friendly and the city is cozy with an extensive pedestrian zone in the old city full of cafes, restaurants, and hidden alleys.
- Additionally, since this is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s birthplace, you have a multitude of options for violin or piano concerts with (or without) dinner performed in various locations throughout the city—all of which are walking distance if you are staying downtown.
Where To Stay
- Der Elefant is city center. It seems that we were prone to ‘dumb-luck’, because this little gem was in the heart of the pedestrian zone with access to everything.
- The hotel staff seemed to genuinely enjoy having guests and went to extreme lengths helping us find a money-exchange and ATM on a Saturday morning, ie calling several locations to see if they might be open.
- The accomodations were small, but clean and comfortable for two people.
- The breakfast buffet was comprehensive and delicious with everything from rolls and croissants to cheeses, cured meats, yoghurts, fruits, cereals, scrambled eggs, and full-service coffee and tea options.
- Additionally, the hotel featured a restaurant and bar with classic Austrian cuisine, including 'Wiener Schnitzel' and 'Salzburger Nockerl with Raspberry Sauce'.
- Off-season the price was reasonable, but I suspect the summer months take it up a notch.
- Salzburg did not have the public transport system as other cities...and this is when 'small' is better.
- For simplicity sake, we chose to take a taxi from the train station to our hotel and vice versa.
- Buses are available, but if you are downtown, walking accesses everything worth seeing in this city.
- Tours are available for the Sound of Music, Alpine Scenic Road trips, or visiting The Eagle’s Nest in Southern Germany.
- Hop On Hop Off bus provided access Schloss Hellbrunn park and the mansion where Sound of Music was filmed which were both located several miles outside the city and separate from each other.
My Favorite Attractions
The castle can be reached via hiking or taking a vertical mountain tram straight to the top.
We were able to catch the tram in the nick of time, just before dusk, for beautiful views of the valley and city sides!
During the day, cafes offer simple fare and beverages with outdoor seating to enjoy the scenery.
Mozart concerts and dinners are performed on a regular basis.
Probably best known for housing the Sound of Music pavillion where Liesl sings “Going on Seventeen”, but which I enjoyed much more for the beautiful park grounds and its stunning variety of trees, walking paths, fountains and sculptures.
Mirabell Palace & Gardens
Across the river from the downtown area within walking distance.
This is a smaller park with tree-lined paths and benches for meeting friends or strolling by yourself.
Just outside of the park is one of two Mozart Museums—this being his personal residence (different than his birthplace museum which is downtown)
Mozarts Birthplace Museum
A simple collection and museum staged in the building where Mozart was born and lived with his parents and sister Nannerl—who was also a child prodigy, but in her teens had “womanly duties and obligations” holding her back from continuing the music circuit—thank God those days are over! Well...come to think of it...are they?
Der Elefant—would totally stay there again.
Daily Market near the Universitatsplatz featuring every kind of “wurst” your heart desires—and you will want to try them all, except for maybe the “blutwurst” (blood sausage).
I personally love the ”Sacherwurstel”, but the “Kasekreiner” (a bratwurst with cheese) was delicious as well. If you are ‘on-the-go’, ask to have them stuffed into a crusty roll as a handheld hotdog...life is good!
Wurst--these are everywhere and a little "too convenient".
Original Salzburger Mozart Kugeln—created by Salzburger Confectioner Paul Furst 1890 and which continues to be made in Salzburg according to the original process. Essentially it is a pricey little bite of pistachio, marzipan, nougat drowned in dark chocolate. Not my favorite, but millions of other people would argue otherwise.
Schnitzel--just make sure you read the menu which will usually features the classic 'veal' Wiener Schnitzel. Sometimes, pork or chicken is featured as an alternate, but you may want to ask if you have a preference. Always good, but 'Trout Almandine' is one of my favorite dishes with salted potatoes and parsley. Branch out and sample the fare.
Salzburg Nockerl—specialty dish of Salzburg created centuries long ago. If you love meringue, these are large, sweet dollops of white meringue placed on top of a delicious raspberry mixture underneath which is tart and balances the sugar rush you are about to experience. Reportedly, they are supposed to represent the hillsides surrounding the city centre: Festungsberg, Mönchsberg and Kapuzinerberg. If you look at the picture above from castle you can see the similarities.