A picturesque city that almost feels like you’ve stepped back in time to the Baroque era, Salzburg is one of the best preserved cities in Europe. Most people remember it as the setting for ‘The Sound of Music’ and spending a day in there means a day full of hectic sight-seeing and some truly touristy photo opportunities.
Upon arrival, it’s obvious to see that the people of Salzburg really care about preserving the historic nature of the city. The next thing to catch your eye is the appeasing hundreds of umbrellas and signs held high in the air indicating different groups of tourists.
The first stop is the Schloss Mirabell, a palace with gardens that have seen many a sing-a-long as people run through it, reminiscing over a somewhat catchy song. Despite its popularity, it is always easy to get a photo near the fountain, on the steps or in the archway – all of which Julie Andrews used to her advantage in ‘Doe, a deer’.
Once we had enough of pretending to be a nun with a troupe of singing children, there were two special houses that we decided we had to visit, that once were home to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The bright yellow Mozart Geburthaus (birthplace) is home to some of the musicians most beloved instruments. From the clavichord where The Magic Flute was composed, to the violin that Mozart played as a child, this house had a magical feel about it. The second, Mozart Wohnhaus wasn’t as spectacular as the birthplace but it is still a must-see to complete the Mozart tour.
By this point in the day, we were desperate for something to eat, but didn’t want to miss out on maximising the number of places we could visit in a day. From most places in the city, there is a view of a castle on a hill so this was where we went next. The Fortress Hohensalzburg looms over the city and with a choice of routes to get to it, we opted for the funicular that takes visitors straight up the side of the mountain. The castle itself wasn’t all that amazing, but the views were something else. It was possible to see across the whole city and surrounding areas whilst standing on the hill.
Alongside the spectacular views, was a quaint little café that was apart of the fortress complex, and although it was full of tourists there was something special about this little place. One particular sight which I don’t think we will ever forget was a group of three nuns we saw sat at the table across from us. They were all drinking beers and we couldn’t help but laugh at their diverse choice in shoes – one was wearing crocs, another flip flops and the third was in leather walking boots. After stifling an outbreak of hysterical laughter at this fact, there were a few attempts to take a picture of this spectacle. On the second try, however, the flash went off and so the quest for the photo failed.
By the time we had finished wandering around the fortress, it was time to head back down into the city. As the afternoon was drawing to a close, there was just enough time for one more touristy thing; a horse-drawn carriage around the city. The driver we had would tell the most amazing stories as we went around the route that we had seen other passengers on earlier in the day.
Once that was done, we headed back on the park-and-ride to where our car was parked to begin the long journey home. Salzburg is a truly amazing city. With more than a day, there would be so much more to be seen and done around the city and its surrounding area. However, even with only 24 hours, we had managed to cram in all of the essentials of this beautiful place and there’s no reason why you can’t do the same.