25 Apr Cycling Around Salzburg, Austria

View of Salzburg from the castle and fortress

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.

Residenzplatz Fountain, Salzburg, Austria

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.

Hohensalzburg Fortress, Salzburg, Austria

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.

Furst confectionary shop salzburg austria

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 beautiful modern outdoor fountains as well as old. 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.

horse and carriage ride salzburg austria

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).

Salzburg Cathedral, Austria

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.

dress up in 1900s clothes and have your photo taken in salzburg

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.

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Victoria Brewood

Hi I'm Victoria, a British girl from Manchester. After graduating from university I decided there was more to life than the hours between 9 and 5, so I packed my journalism degree into my suitcase to travel the world and find a way to make money at the same time. I now call London home, although I still travel whenever I can. I hope to inspire you to be your own boss, live life and see the world.

  • Roy | cruisesurfingz
    Posted at 15:42h, 25 April Reply

    I’ve “blacklisted” Salzburg *because* of the Sound of Music. My sister made me watch it every weekend with her when I was little. The horror…

    • victoria
      Posted at 16:10h, 25 April Reply

      haha well it is a beautiful city, and it’s very easy to avoid the movie there because Austrians don’t watch it!

  • Jeni, GetawayGirlBrissie
    Posted at 02:39h, 15 June Reply

    Have to agree with what you say – I LOVED Salzburg. It is my favourite city of all and would go back there in a heartbeat! So clean, so quaint, so picturesque with absolutely no graffiti, and the people were so friendly. We had lunch in the oldest restaurant in Europe – dating from the 1100s – which was amazing. I highly recommend visiting Salzburg for a trip back to enchantment!

    • victoria
      Posted at 00:19h, 11 September Reply

      It is such an enchanting city. I saw that restaurant but didn’t eat there, perhaps I’ll go back some day and do that.

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