Land of Magical Beauty
Located in central Europe, Austria is a land of magic and beauty. The name means “Eastern Kingdom” or “Eastern Empire” in medieval Latin. Settled from ancient times, Austria is a beautiful land full of historical remains. From this wonderful country, our
here are about five main cities in Austria, the first being the capital, Vienna. Then follow Graz, Linz, Salzburg and Innsbruck. Salzburg, the fourth-largest city (in terms of population), has some interesting spots for hungry tourist eyes. Not only is this the birthplace of Mozart; Salzburg is also the location where breathtaking views of the landscape in the opening scene of the movie The Sound of Music were filmed.
The Birthplace of Mozart Salzburg people are proud to live in the birth town of that most talented and famous musician, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. When in town, do not miss the chance to stop by the attractive yellow house located on Getreidegasse in the old city. This is where Mozart was born in 1756.Although it was almost three centuries ago, the house today still contains the original items and furniture that belonged to the Mozart family. There is also an exhibit displaying original works by Mozart including musical instruments that belonged to him, such as his clavichord and original musical manuscripts written by him. Next, be prepared to visit the venue where Mozart spent his teenage years. This second museum is located in the centre of the new city, across the main vehicular bridge. The brightly painted house is where the once-wealthy Mozart family moved in 1773 as it was more spacious. It is well lit and the displays well spaced so guests will not feel cramped or hurried. Mozart spent about seven years here, creating symphonies, concertos and songs. It is said that the key to enjoying this museum is the audio guide which is quite comprehensive, featuring interludes of Mozart’s music. Even though World War II bombing partially destroyed the house in 1944, it was faithfully restored and re-opened to the public in the 1990s.
‘Sound of Music’ Experience Do you remember the house where Maria danced in The Sound of Music? Or the church where the wedding scene was filmed? You will find them here in Salzburg. Small wonder the place draws fans of the film worldwide, keen to enjoy the scenery and soak up the atmosphere. Beware, though, for some say the Sound of Music tour is really a scam. The bus is so large it cannot reach some of the more inaccessible locations. Consequently, you may prefer to put together your own tour.
Here are some tips:
See the Leopoldskron Palace from across the lake. It is privately owned so cannot be visited, but the view alone is really lovely. You may get here by number 21 or 22 public bus. Visit Nonnberg Abbey, where you can take a short detour and see the Abbey chapel, and, if you are lucky, may hear the nuns singing their devotions, hidden behind a screen. Magical. The glass pavilion at Hellbrunn Castle is a must-see place, accessible by public bus 25. The pavilion was originally at Leopoldskron Palace but was relocated. Mondsee is place where the wedding scene was filmed, and the inside of the church is stunning. Worth the visit if you still have some time. Untersberg accessible by public bus 25, has very picturesque lakes and mountain scenery.
At different times, Hohensalzburg Fortress was used as a prison, residence and fortress. Originally built in 1077, Hohensalzburg evolved into Europe’s largest fortification. It is very well preserved, thanks in large part to its favourable position and the fact it was never taken over. Inside is a museum with the World of Marionettes, the Burg museum, which has a medieval art collection, and the Rainer museum where medieval armor and weapons can be seen. You will be able to see what Salzburg first looked like and how it has grown to what it is today from the prints and plans on display. Enjoy the Gothic architecture and see the instruments used for torture. If that does not appeal, sit back and listen to the the Salzburg Bull, an open-air barrel organ constructed in 1502. It plays melodies from Haydn and Mozart every day after the glockenspiel chimes. Another interesting object in this fortress is the ever-presented turnip symbol of Prince Leonhard von Keutschact. No one really knows why the Prince chose this unusual symbol, but he had a considerable role in expanding and decorating the fortress in the 15th century. This is why the turnip symbol can now be found in 58 different places throughout the fortress and Salzburg. To get to the Hohensalzburg Fortress, follow the uphill pathway from Kapitelplatz or Monchsberg. However, the funicular railway from Festungsgasse behind Salzburg Cathedral might be an easier option. Don’t forget to enjoy the fantastic views from the terrace that look over Salzburg and the Alps, they’re lovely.
Mirabell Garden and Altenau Palace
Altenau Palace is also known as “A precious jewel”. The large building has some charming sculptures and beautiful little cherubs decorating the balustrade made from marble. It is said that the Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau had this palace built in 1606 as a token of his love for Salome Altenau, and they had 15 children together. Besides the romantic background story of the palace, another interesting part of this palace is the garden. The Mirabell Gardens are very beautiful, being given the title horticultural masterpiece. There are many lovely statues and fountains dotted around the garden. One of these is the Pegasus Fountain which has four groups of statues surrounding it. They symbolize the elements fire, air, earth and water. This is the fountain where Maria and the children sang ‘Do-Re-Mi’ in the Sound of Music. There are also the Urns with angry faces that were sitting on the fence line of the Palace, which one of the favourite objects to be snapped by tourists. Don’t forget to go to the top terrace of the gardens, the view of different designs of flowers swirls together are just wonderful, and the Pergola, which is a long vine-covered tunnel with a romantic atmosphere. Today, the Palace is the home of Salzburg’s mayor and the municipal council. It has a marble hall considered to be one of the “most beautiful wedding halls in the world”. Meetings, awards ceremonies and concerts are held here regularly. Entry is free, but it is closed to the public for special events.
I once remember a friend from Salzburg told me that whoever visited the city must try the local speciality, Salzburger Nockerl. This is a delicious egg and sugarbased sweet souffle freshly prepared and served warm with caster sugar. Located just metres from Mozart’s birthplace on Getreidegasse, is Cafe Mozart, which served this particular local food. The cafe is packed with tourists, so you might have to wait a while before getting a seat. The price of Salzburger Nockerl here is around 10.50 euros and considered cheaper than any other place in town. However, the drinks are fairly expensive but still worth it. Bear in mind that Salzburger Nockerl may come in a large portion so it is wise to order one first and see how it looks before ordering another if you come accompanied. The overall apperance of Salzburger Nockerl is like a large souffle with a meringue-like surface and texture. The slightly crispy exterior covers a softer, sweeter interior that somehow feels like egg custard, and there is also a layer of raspberry sauce inside. It tastes good and is worth a try.
This is a large garden where you will find hundreds of chestnut trees spread throughout. Set behind a 16th-century Augustine church, this wonderful beer garden lies adjacent to the brewery. You can buy only drinks here. If you have a craving for food, you may go inside a part of the church where a long hall is lined with deli booths selling cheese, meat, salads, sandwiches and desserts. You can take the food away for a garden picnic as long as you buy drinks. Even though you have to walk about 10 to 15 minutes west of the old town to get to this place, it’s worth it. It is full of life and you can find many types of visitor here, from students and tourists to local celebrities hanging out and having a good time under the trees.
Situated above the rooftops of the Old Town and surrounded by the mighty fortress, Restaurant StieglKeller offers a magnificent view, pleasant Austrian dishes, home-brewed Stiegl beer and friendly service. Start your dinner with few glasses of Stiegl, followed by the house speciality dishes, Stiegl Pfandl and Eierschwammerl.You can also find Salzburger Nockerl here as a dessert.The food here is tasty and the view extraordinary, worth visiting on your culinary adventure in Salzburg.
Where to Stay
Hotel Sacher Salzburg
If you want a high-end hotel for holiday in Salzburg, then Hotel Sacher Salzburg is it. The highlight of a stay at this beautiful hotel is simply to look through the window and enjoy the river scenery. The entire old city, including Hohensalzburg Palace, is lit up at night, a stunning sight before you retire to bed. The hotel retains its classic architecture including a major staircase worthy of royalty, with each room different and with both hallways and rooms decorated with fine art. The restaurants all overlook the river and the facilities include a fitness and health club. The location is good, not far from the Maribell Gardens and the Mozart Museum, and it only a short walk across the pedestrian or State Bridge to the old city.
Address: Schwarzstrasse 5 - 7, Salzburg, Salzburg, 5024, Austria.
Schloss Monchstein Hotel
This hotel is in a secluded location, away from the bustling crowds. It is a 12-minute walk through the forest to an elevator that takes you down to the heart of Salzburg town. The rooms are quite small, just like those in many other European hotels, but very comfortable and luxurious. The staff are polite, professional and able to speak English fluently. It is about a 15-minute taxi journey from the central station. The hotel also gives you free access to the lift at the modern art museum, just five minutes’ walk to the centre of old Salzburg. It is also said to be a favourite place for celebrities mainly because of its privacy and excellent service.
Address: Monchsberg Park 26, Salzburg, 5020, Austria.
Bristol Hotel Salzburg
The hotel is well located and oozes oldfashioned service and charm as only an independent hotel could. Bristol Hotel Salzburg is perfectly situated in the new town opposite Mozart’s house and next to the Gardens, also just five minutes’ walk from the river and old town. The hotel interior is classic and charming, the rooms are spacious, and the bathrooms roomy and modern. Wifi internet covers the entire building and they also serve a large, buffet-style breakfast. Some of the rooms provide breathtaking views of the Fortress and Unterbergen mountain.
Address: Makartplatz 4, Salzburg, Salzburg, A-5024, Austria.