Salzburg, what a dream!
Andrew and I only had 24 hours in Salzburg, and in that short time, I decided this is a place I could live. We stayed at the most adorable, traditional Austrian hotel, The Goldener Hirsch. We attempted to take pictures to display its beauty, but we are not very good photographers and it was difficult to truly capture its charm. This was by far my favorite hotel of the trip and quite possibly my favorite hotel visit ever.
Upon arriving, we explored the city, shopped for souvenires, and grabbed lunch at Cafe Sacher, home of the “World’s Best Chocolate Cake.” It was delicious! They say the recipe to this cake has been a secret since 1832.
We strolled along the river and visited the Hohensalzburg Fortress. The fortress was built in 1077 and is the biggest fully preserved castle in Central Europe. To get to the top, we took the fortress funicular. I was surprised to find that there were restaurants in the fortress as well! Full from our chocolate cake, we took in the stunning views.
The fortress graces the skyline of most views in Salzburg. I just couldn't get over the quaintness and charm of this city!
After touring the fortress, the fun for me really began! It was time for the Sound of Music Tour! I was looking forward to this stop on the trip for many reasons, but mainly because it is the location The Sound of Music was filmed. Nearly every corner we turned, I recognized something from the movie. Salzburg is a smaller city of only about 150,000 people (still much bigger than any of the cities I grew up living in), so the movie crew used almost every part of the city to film. What is crazy to me is that Austrians are not very familiar with the “American hit film.” In fact, even a German man stopped us and asked why we were taking pictures of a house and what film we were talking about. WHAT? The Sound of Music, of course! He had never heard of it!
We took a Sound of Music Bike Tour with a local company, Fraulein Maria’s Bike Tour. The gazebo, the concert hall, the Abbey, the Von Trapp house- we saw it all! The tour lasted around 3 hours and we saw all the highlights.
Not only did we see the popular film locations, but we also got a great tour of Salzburg and learned fun facts about both the movie and the city. I actually heard that Christopher Plummer hated being in Salzburg and filming "The Sound of Mucus" as he so lovingly referred to it so much that he gained a lot of weight from eating and drinking away his sorrows. What a shame! I don't know how anyone couldn't like Salzburg! We made a pit stop at a pretzel stand, Original Brezlstand, which is said to be the first pretzel stand in Salzburg. I had a chocolate covered pretzel- delicious!
We soaked it all in and biking was such a fun way to see the city. The ride was easy, but I did have to push my bike up one hill. Thankfully, I wasn't the only one on the tour that struggled through that portion. Fortunately, Andrew was there to snag a picture of my struggle...
Funny story about the bike tour... My dad and sister visited Salzburg a few weeks after us and my sister, Katherine, totaled one of the bikes! She ran right into a tree and bent the bike in half. Luckily, she was ok and sustained no injuries! I guess I'm not the only one that struggled.
If you've seen the movie, recognize any of the places below?
After the bike tour, we found a local restaurant by the hotel, Sternbrau. This was one of the few meals on the trip that wasn't planned. We just popped in somewhere that looked good, and we loved it! It was actually one of my favorite meals. I had the spinach balls- yummy! We did try the sausage. I think Andrew liked it better than I did, but it was alright. We had to do the authentic thing, so we also got the apple streudel for dessert.
We sadly had to leave the Salzburg the next morning. Luckily, Salzburg gave us an incredible sunset to end the night!
When leaving Salzburg, we took a beautiful train ride through the Swiss Alps. Andrew was especially in awe of the beautiful views and we are definitely planning our Switzerland trip after getting a glimpse into its beauty. But off to Venice we went!
Have you ever visited Salzburg? Did you like it as much as we did? If you are planning a European vacation, we would definitely recommend a pit stop in Salzburg!
Thanks for reading!