“Salzburg is nevertheless both a must and a joy.”
There’s two things Salzburg are most famous for, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the award winning film and musical The Sound of Music. Renowned for its baroque architecture and picturesque views, Salzburg has got so much more to offer. The city was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1997 and is dominated by historical churches, castles and palaces. Already a breathtaking city brings even more to the table if you visit it during the festive season. We travelled to Salzburg during the Christmas period when the city was buzzing with skiing enthusiasts from around the region, famous Christmas markets, traditional food and hot mulled wine (add a shot of Jägermeister if you are feeling the cold!). Late strolls along the river and across old narrow town streets made Salzburg look even prettier at this time of the year and it simply took my breath away. No matter where you walk or how quiet it was, you always felt incredibly safe and calm. Bright city lights pave the way even when the sun went down.Salzburg is a city with a wonderful arts scene, incredible Austrian food and concert halls that gathers many musical lovers. It is also a home of the Salzburg Festival, which is one of the largest classical musical festivals in the world that has taken place every summer since 1920.You can separate Salzburg into two parts and they are separated by the Salzach River. The old town is located on the left side of the riverbank with new town set up on the right side. You’ll know you are stepping into a new zone when you cross Makartsteg bridge which is famous for its love locks (and there is a lot of them). We left ours in the mix of it as well hoping that one day we will return & search for it.Where the best views at? Fortress Hohensalzburg is the place to be if you want to admire the stunning views over the city. It’s the most iconic 900 year old fortress in Salzburg & one of the biggest and best preserved in Europe. It’s a great place to expand your knowledge about Salzburg and its history or just to see the city from the top if history is not your cup of tea. You can walk up to the fortress within 15-minutes from the centre or you could take a speedy ride with the glass funicular. We did the latter and enjoyed the views on the way up. Your purchased ticket next to the funicular would include the ticket to the fortress too.The Sound of Music fan? Then Mirabell Palace & Gardens should be on your list where you will recognise the Pegasus statue, the gnomes of the Dwarf Garden and the steps where the mini von Trapps were singing their ‘Do-Re-Mi’ song. It’s close to the city’s old town and if you walk along the river, it opens up some beautiful views! If you visit Salzburg, don’t miss the Getreidegasse street which is the most attractive and most visited shopping street with tiny houses and romantic courtyards. All roads lead to Getreidegasse… almost. There’s a lot of narrow streets you can turn into from there with tiny souvenir shops waiting for you inside. I absolutely loved the concept of shops being set up inside historic buildings with low ceilings, reminding me of the old town of York.As I’ve already mentioned, Mozart is an important icon of the city. So if you visit Salzburg, you can visit Mozart’s birthplace where the famous musician was born and spent some of his childhood and youth before moving to Mozart Residence on Makartplatz Square. If you are not that into classical music and the history of Mozart, you don’t have to go inside. You can stop for a minute in front of the house, listen to the music coming out of the museum and check out some interesting facts provided just when you step inside the building. The building itself stands out from the crowd and is worth having a sneak peek at. We did not go to the museum itself and don’t massively regret it as it allowed us to do other things (okay, we were slightly more keen eating delicious Leberkäse sandwiches than checking out Mozart’s first violin). However, if you are interested in the life and times of Mozart, then pay those few pounds/euros & find out where the journey started. People say there’s some good things inside!If you want to finish off your Austrian experience with a good traditional beer-garden, check out Augustiner Bräustübl who was serving people with great beer and traditional food since 1621. It can get loud but it’s an experience you need to tick off your bucket list for sure! What’s better than ending your Austrian holiday with a sausage and a stein? Prost!