Salzburg is the prettiest city I have seen in Europe. I know that’s a big statement to make, but I’m going to put it out there.
There’s something about the city that makes you feel so safe, like nothing bad would ever happen. It’s exceptionally clean, the mountain air is fresh and clear and there’s barely any traffic noise. Families ride through the city on bicycles, whilst tourists ride through the cobbled streets in horse-drawn carriages. Visiting Salzburg is almost like going back in time to bygone days.
Walking through Salzburg, it’s a struggle not to burst into song like Maria and the Von Trapp children in The Sound of Music. In fact I did hum the songs to myself…but had to resist skipping through the streets in a curtain dress.
The best way to see Salzburg is on two wheels. We rented bikes from the Yoho Youth Hostel for 10 Euros and cycled past the Mirabell Gardens and over the bridge which crosses the Salzach River.
We parked them at the bottom of the hill and climbed the steep stairs to the Hohensalzburg Castle. It’s quite exhausting in the sun, but worth it for the beautiful views of Salzburg from the top. It’s also worth paying the entrance fee to see inside the fortress, where you can see displays of weapons and instruments of torture, as well as other artefacts.
Hungry from our climb, we then bought some chocolates in the oldest chocolate shop in Salzburg called Fürst, which has been around since 1884. Opposite is a cafe-restaurant which has existed in Salzburg since 1703, called Café Temaselli.
Afterwards we splashed out a little and took a horse and carriage ride around the Old City to see the main sights. There are usually lots of horse and carriages lined up in the Residenzplatz, which features a beautiful fountain. I know it’s considered a very ‘touristy’ thing to take a carriage ride, but at 35 Euros, split between 3 that isn’t too bad.
Our guide took us past the Salzburg Cathedral, the horse fountain (Pferdeschwemme), St. Peter’s Abbey, the yellow building where Mozart was born and Mozart Square (Mozartplatz).
To round off the day, we went to a shop where you can dress up in clothes like in the 1900′s and have your photo taken! The ultimate geek thing to do, and quite expensive at 23 euros for one photo with 3 people in it. However, it was a bit of fun and the lady was very friendly. My friend and I dressed up in bustle dresses with hooped underskirts, long gloves, hats and fans, whilst our male friend wore a waistcoat and top hat with a cane. The shop owner spent quite a while and took many many photos and then let us choose our favourite ones. The first photo is 23 Euros, then every print after is 9 Euros. You can ask her to email digital copies for 9 Euros too.
If I were to sum up Salzburg, it’s kitsch and quaint. Expect cobbled streets, theatrical costumes, horse-drawn carriages and buildings with elegant spires.