Hi Journeys of Girls! My name is Katie (founder of www.acultureapiece.com, @acultureapiece) and, as a former resident of Salzburg, Austria, I want to take you inside this magical town and show you all the best things to see and do while you’re here. With historic castles, gorgeous gardens, and mountains galore, your time in Salzburg will be something you’ll never forget.
Let’s get started!
WHAT TO SEE:
Mirabell Gardens is a must-see on your trip to Salzburg. Set against the backdrop of the famous one-thousand-year-old castle and the breathtaking Alps, the view from the entrance will cause you to immediately reach for your camera. With two central gardens, a smaller rose garden, and countless statues and fountains from Greek mythology, strolling through these baroque-style grounds is sure to bring a smile to your face.
For you Sound of Music fans, Mirabell Gardens is also where they filmed the end of the “Do-Re-Mi” song in the popular movie. With the leaf-covered tunnel, the Pegasus horse fountain, and the steps at the entrance, you will recognize many a film location as you walk among the brightly-colored flowers. A great place to sing a little “Do-Re-Mi” yourself, if you want my advice!
Getreidegasse is the main shopping street in Salzburg, located in the Altstadt, or old town, of the city. But even if you’re not a shopper, Getreidegasse is worth a visit. With old-fashioned street signs hanging from the historic buildings, you’ll feel like you stepped back in time as you wander along this iconic cobble-stone street. Grab an ice cream from one of the cute little ice cream shops, and make your way past the lederhosen and dirndl boutiques, Salzburg souvenir stores, and even Mozart’s Geburtshaus - the house where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart himself was born!
Festung Hohensalzburg Castle
A one-thousand-year-old building is impressive in any city, and the Festung, as the locals call the castle up on the hill, is no exception. Whether you’re a history buff or a modern girl, the castle is a must-do during your time in Salzburg – for the view of the Alps it offers as much as anything else. Imagine mountains after mountains after mountains, with the tips of the far-off glaciers visible on the clearest of days. Simply beautiful.
Speaking of views, no trip to Salzburg would be complete without standing on top of a mountain. While most of the larger mountains are farther away from the city, you can make it to one of Salzburg’s “city mountains” by taking a short little bus trip (under 30 minutes). Just hop on Bus #25 from any bus stop in the old town (Rathaus, Mozartsteg, Justizgebäude), and then get off at the very last stop, called Untersbergbahn. From there, take the gondola up to the top of the 6,470-foot mountain and enjoy the jaw-dropping views. There is also a cute little restaurant near the peak where you can enjoy some local Austrian dishes!
Speaking of Austrian dishes, where should you eat in Salzburg? Below are some of my favorite spots for different times of the day.
Coffee and Cake
Austrians are famous for their coffee and cake, (or Kaffee und Kuchen, as they say), so it would be almost a travesty to leave the city without taking advantage of this afternoon tradition. While you can’t go wrong at any café in town, if you are a strudel lover, you must go to Café Würfel Zucker on Griesgasse – with flavors from apple to plum to grape to apricot, it is a strudel lovers’ heaven!
Austria is also well-known for its sausages, attested to by the fact that there are many sausage trucks scattered throughout the city, open at all hours of the night. One of the most famous sausage stands is at the bottom of Linzergasse, right on the river – and it is so good. My personal favorite sausage is a Käsekrainer – a hot dog filled with cheese. I repeat – cheese, in a hot dog – absolute genius.
A Hearty Meal
If you’re looking for a heartier meal than a sausage or hot dog – whether it be cheese-filled or not – then no worries, you don’t have to look very far. There are countless Austrian restaurants in Salzburg, and you will be in good hands in any of them. If I had to choose, however, some of my favorite restaurants would be the following:
· Die Weisse
Whether you decide to get Wiener Schnitzel (breaded pork or veal), Kasnocken (Austrians’
version of macaroni and cheese, grilled in a pan), or Knödel filled with meat or spinach (similar to dumplings), the hearty Austrian cuisine will leave you happy and full for days to come!
Need something refreshing after all that Austrian food? Try one of these places, some of the
local favorites in Salzburg:
If you want a cocktail with a view, Steinterrasse is the place to be. Located on the rooftop of Hotel Stein, this slightly ritzier cocktail bar offers picture-perfect views of the city. Sip your drink as you gaze out at the castle, the turquoise river, the rolling green hills, and the (sometimes snow-covered!) Alps. While the view is also beautiful at night, I would recommend going during the day so you can see all the mountains!
Augustinerbräu Beer Hall
For a typical Austrian/German experience, enjoy a beer at Salzburg’s famous
Augustinerbräu. This massive beer hall, founded in 1621, is one of the most lively places in the city. Just grab a krug (beer mug) off the shelf, order your drink (I like the Radler, a beer with lemonade, but the regular Augustiner beer is also delicious), and find a table in the outdoor beer garden or one of the spacious indoor beer halls. If you’re lucky, maybe the Austrians will start singing – they do have a lot of great drinking songs. And hey, maybe after a couple of beers, you can join in yourself. Prost!
So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed your time in Salzburg, and are leaving the town full of memories of castles, mountains, and delicious Austrian food. As the Austrians say, bis zum nächsten Mal – until next time!
Katie Schober is the founder of www.acultureapiece.com. She lived in Salzburg, Austria for four years, and goes back at least once a year with her Austrian husband to see friends and family. Katie loves to travel and has been to 30 countries so far! Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @acultureapiece, and sign up for her newsletter (http://eepurl.com/goSv-1) to get more travel, culture, and language stories sent straight to your inbox.