Being the birthplace of Mozart and the filming place of the acclaimed movie ‘The Sound of Music’, Salzburg is thronged by day trippers. But maybe because it was the onset of autumn, with cooler days crowds had diminished. Or maybe everybody was having a jolly good time at Augustiner Bräustuber, an always crowded beer garden, but a fun place to be. Whatever the reason, with fewer crowds, we enjoyed our two (and a half) lovely days in this pretty and compact city.
So, you wanna know what to do in Salzburg? Read on –
Salzburg is a beautiful Austrian city, renowned for its Baroque architecture. River Salzach which flows through the city, the surrounding Alpine mountains, and the beautiful turquoise domes— all together elevates Salzburg’s beauty.
What to do in Salzburg:
Walk the length and breadth of Salzburg taking in the views from every angle
On our arrival in Salzburg, the first info our host gave us was not to buy ‘Salzburg card’ (free single admissions to the city’s attractions and free use of public transport) because everything is just walkable. And we adhered to that.
We hiked up to Hohensalzburg castle with splendid views of the city, Salzach river, and the Alps.
If you don’t prefer the steep hike, there’s a funicular that runs all the way to the top, for a price.
Roamed around Residenzplatz, a square in the heart of the Old city. In the middle of the square there’s a large Baroque fountain and the Salzburg cathedral (Dom zu Salzburg) is next to it.
Rambled on the alleys and the main street of Getreidegasse, famous for signs outside each shop symbolizing the profession/type of store.
Strolled by the Salzach river and picnicked by its banks.
Ambled on the bridge to the other side of Salzach to Schloss Mirabell and the beautiful Mirabell gardens. Here, we came across quite a few living-statue performers dressed as Mozart.
Salzburg was our first Austrian city and we were eager to try out Austrian cuisine. Our first traditional meal at Alter Fuchs was excellent, and it just kept getting better thereon. This was our first Austrian meal–traditional Austrian wedding soup, beef goulash, and everybody’s favorite, made to order Apfelstrudel (apple strudel).
Here’s a list of Austrian dishes you must have:
- Beef goulash – Beef pieces with thick gravy served with bread dumpling
- Schnitzel – Boneless meat thinned and coated with flour, egg, bread crumbs and deep fried, served with potatoes or salad.
- Apfelstrudel – Apple strudel
- Topfenstrudel – Cream cheese strudel
- Sachertorte – Chocolate cake with apricot jam filling
- Rindsuppe – Beef soup
- Kuerbiscremesuppe – Pumpkin cream soup traditionally served in Autumn
We also had game meat of deer with seasonal vegetables; absolutely delicious.
And how can I not mention the worst dish we ordered ? Salzburg Nockerln–a local dessert, slightly sweet and very eggy. It was disgusting; the worst dessert I have ever had!
Our best meals were at these places:
- Alter Fuchs on Getreidegasse
- Panorama restaurant inside the Hohensalzburg castle. Good food, great views!
- Bärenwirt – Close to Augustiner Bräustübl. In addition to the delicious food, there was live German music (in the spirit of Oktoberfest) and beer from Augustiner. I would recommended to reserve (for dinner) in advance.
- Augustiner Bräustübl – Many small shops called ‘Schmankerlgang’ selling varieties of local food.
Drink to your heart’s content
We quite liked a glass of Sturm with every meal. Sturm is wine in the fermentation stage, usually available in Autumn.
Beer evenings at Augustiner Bräustübl pub are again a must. Bräustübl is Austria’s largest beer inn and has been brewing beer since 1621.
So, don’t do a day trip to Salzburg; instead, stay here for a couple of nights—slow down, chow down, and walk around!
And, if you have to choose between Salzburg and the capital city Vienna, skip Vienna. Not that Vienna isn’t beautiful. Vienna is too big, whereas Salzburg has that small-town charm—turquoise Baroque-style spires dotting the city skyline, and the green rolling hills adding to the beauty.
We took a train from Munich, Germany to Salzburg. It’s just a 3hour journey with beautiful scenery all along. Few pictures clicked from the train –
Other places of interest around Salzburg
If you are in Salzburg for more than two days, explore these surrounding places:
- Eisriesenwelt ice cave in Werfen
- Hohenwerfen fortress
- Salt mine Berchtesgaden.
(We visited Salzburg in the first week of October)