Before I offend anyone’s geographical expertise or tar you with the same brush as those I am clearly aiming this post at.. I am simply referring to people similar to I, who having a burning desire to see new places but sometimes unsure of which destinations warrant receiving the benefit (aka cash) that hard working days provide (not to mention the 28 work free days we’re allowed per year to rome the world). Therefore ladies and gentlemen, I insist at least 2 of those precious days (and around €100 euros spending money per day) are spent where the hills are alive with the sound of music….
If you haven’t clicked by now, I am talking about the birthplace of the Von Trapp family and that beautiful scenery that your memory triggers when you rarely hear the opening squeaky lines to ‘Do Re Mi’. Of course I am assuming you have all seen the sound of music? If not, consider your next rainy Sunday afternoon activity the first gift I have graced you with from this post. The second gift is a 48 hour insight into what to see, do, eat and drink in the beautiful city of Salzburg and its surrounding lakes and mountains (after all, it’s only a 2 hour £40 Ryanair flight away from Stansted so no excuses).
Firstly, a few tips;
Salzburg is a VERY walkable city. So if your an ambitious traveller but come with a side of transport anxiety then fear no more, you can walk from one end of the city to the other in less than 20 mins covering fairly comfortable terrain.
You should learn the basics of German to show a little respect. I’d recommend ‘thank you’, ‘good morning’ & ‘bill please’ written in German in the exact order: Danke, Guten Morgan & Rechnung bitte.
Arrive early and hop on the trolleybus directly outside the airport which will take you straight to the city for a little over 2 euros, dump your bags and take a full afternoon to walk the cities streets, I can guarantee it will feel different to anywhere you’ve been before. They’ll be chaps eating ice cream dressed in lederhosen and girls out for dinner in their best dirndl dress. I’d recommend dedicating an hour to walk along the river in the opposite direction to the fortress, before finding a suitable place to stop and turn around to begin the walk back – this way you’ll get an amazing view of the river with the mountain skyline either side. If your into classical music then an ideal afternoon activity would be to visit Mozart’s birthplace or Geburtshaus to be precise (Be sure to try Mozartkugel at any point during the trip if you don’t mind marzipan). Alternatively, you could visit the cathedral for some architectural amazement, but either way be sure not to miss an aimless wander down Getreidegasse street and mozartplatz. If your legs are up to it, a short trek to the viewing platform of Kapuzinerberg mountain where the streets and steps make you feel like you’ve walked out of a Disney Princess movie (the view across the city at the top is a winner too!). The inner child in me was doing all sorts of dabbing dance moves.
For lunch, if your mind is open to a little tradition then take a walk to Pauli Stobm restaurant which is located down the old street that housed the brothels, although perhaps that information won’t help when searching for it on google maps. At first it looks as though there is nothing inviting about this little door to the right with an all German menu displayed outside and some steps that appear to lead up to nothing but a black hole – trust me and enter. You’ll be greeted with the cutest little cupboard like restaurant traditionally decorated in dark wood paneling, or keep walking through and take a seat on the outdoor terrace which came as a complete surprise to us. I ordered the Pork with dumplings and beer gravy, a common dish to find in Austria and worth a try.
Day 2 –
You can feel as though you’ve got a good sense of the city after just one day exploring the streets so on day two, take a trip to one of the nearby lakes. My recommendations have to go to either Zell am see or Lake wolfgang. The beauty is that no matter what the season, a trip here will be beautiful – perfect for the sun seekers and the skiers. If your choice is Zell am see, then don’t miss the toboggan ride! – We didn’t manage to get time to do this during our trip but I have done one the same in the US and they are more fun than you anticipate, especially being able to choose your own speed – you’ll turn into an adrenaline junkie overnight. If you fancy a caffeine boost to settle (or intensify) your nerves, visit the RedBull headquarters just a short walk away where the famous flying bull’s can be witnessed first hand ;).
Also in the city of Salzburg be sure not to miss:
- Cafe Tomaselli for brunch or an Aperol spritz or two.
- A walk through the enchanting Mirabell gardens.
- A beer on the terrace at Steiglkeller.
….”and these are a few of my favourite things”
If your making an extended trip to Austria, consider a third day exploring the picturesque village of Hallstadt, bearing in mind you’ll want a fully charged camera for this one.