Many tourists flock to Salzburg, Austria to see the birthplace of Mozart and the filming locations from The Sound of Music. However, the local residents have a much different perspective on their city. Here are a couple breathtaking views that the Austrians cherish and don’t tell the tourists about.
Salzburg sits at the foot of the Alps and boasts amazing panoramic mountain views. No matter what time of year you visit, the scenery is always beautiful. In the summer everything is lusciously green and in the winter all the mountains are snow-capped.
View #1: One of the best places to see an elevated view of the city, castle, and mountains is at a restaurant and hostel called Stadtalm Café which is located on top of Monchsberg Mountain. This outdoor beer garden serves traditional food (schnitzel, strudel, etc), cold beer, and has free WIFI. The best way to get there (if you don’t want to hike up the mountain) is to take the Mönchsberg Lift which is an elevator that ascends through a hallowed out tunnel INSIDE the mountain. It costs 3 euros and you arrive at the Museum de Moderne at the top, which I recommend wandering through as well. The café is only a 20 minute walk and you can enjoy a cold beer with an amazing view.
The gardens are named after the Italian words mirabile (“admirable”) and bella (“beautiful”). The adjectives stunning and elaborate also come to mind.
Located in the middle of Old Town, Mirabell Gardens are filled with perfectly manicured hedges, symmetrical flower-beds, gushing fountains, and marble mythological statues. It is free to enter the gardens and a great place to sip a coffee or enjoy your lunch.
View #2: The best place to enter the gardens is from the Small Parterre Entrance where you walk through iron gates and down a flight of marble steps. Directly in front of you is a beautiful statue of Pegasus and beyond that your gaze will rise to an incredible view of the entire garden with a backdrop of buildings, church spires and ultimately culminate in a castle on top of the hill. This view was made even more famous when Maria and the Von Trapp children sang ‘Do Re Mi’ on these exact steps in the musical The Sound of Music.
This elevated fortress you’ve seen featured in the photos above has a view of it’s own. It was constructed in 1077 and is one of the oldest remaining castles in all of Europe. A couple of the highlights inside are the majestic and intricate decorations of the Golden Chamber, “Salzburg Bull” – mechanical organ, and one of the oldest funiculars (railway elevators) in the world. There is also a beautiful courtyard in the middle of the fortress walls to a take a break and enjoy a picnic. Taking the castle tour gives you a true appreciation of what living in medieval times was like. The cost is approximately 15 euros.
View #3: The castle viewing deck is the most highest viewing point in the city and it feels like you can see for miles in all directions. There are two options to get there. You can walk up a winding gravel path or you can take the Festungsbahn (rail lift car). If you’re up for a hike, I would suggest walking up and taking the Festungsbahn down. The castle does have free WIFI as well so it is a nice place to Facetime or Skype your family/friends to say, “Check me out. I’m in a castle and look at this view!”
Getreidegasse – Old Town
Locals call it “Alstadt”. Salzburg’s Old Town is one of best preserved cities in Europe which is why it is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is most famous for its baroque style of architecture with beautifully decorated doorways plus domes and spires on top of all major buildings. The famous street is Getreidegasse and it runs through the heart of Old Town. Lined with shops, local restaurants, artwork, and great people-watching, this street is perfect for a long stroll and window shopping.
View #4: Treat yourself to an ice cream or coffee and find a vacant bench. The view might not be as picturesque as some of the others, but it will absolutely be just as entertaining. The interactions of people from all over the world mixed with cool little stores and local vendors selling their wares. Take it all in and then wind your way in and out of the never-ending passageways. This particular area is really beautiful around Christmas time as well with all the decorations.
Now the secrets are out! Go forth and travel. If you enjoyed this post please like, comment and share on social media!
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