Sightseeing by foot, Salzburg
The three top things for me in Salzburg are: 1) getting up high to see the town with its stunning backdrop, 2) the Dome's equally stunning interior and 3) the Augustiner Bräustüberl.
Fondest memory: With the major excursion to Italy behind us, we took a few days to explore Munich and lay out the plans of our final day trips in the region. I thought the pace had been pretty fast and imagined my Dad being ready for an extended breather but he grew restless by the third day and by the time we were on the train to Salzburg it truly was time to get back on the road. This seemed like a sure thing so I was not overly concerned about a disappointment factor. It was Austria and if Innsbruck had been interesting to both my Dad and sister, more stunning Salzburg would likely prove at least as much a winner. I had only been to the town once and it was a dismal gray day so I was looking forward to seeing it in sunnier light. Unfortunately, this sun came with unusually hot temperatures. It would hit 86 F which may not sound warm to the average American who hails from the northeast but by central European standards and with a lack of air conditioning, it is beyond the comfort zone.
We had endured our share of hot days on the trip but I guess as the days passed, it just wore us down. This was evident on the walk from the train station into town and though it was a stunning day visually, it was not the best for sightseeing. I wanted to gain a bit of elevation to see the mountains that surround the town but the paths up were too steep for my Dad in this kind of heat so I ventured up solo and left the rest of the group to do some window shopping. It was well worth the effort but I returned quickly and we took refuge in a few churches to escape the heat.
To conclude my fondest memory, click here
I’m not sure it was a factor of too many churches in too few days or that some of them were less than spectacular but no one seemed overly enthused, least of all my Dad who I think was a lot more tired than he wanted to admit to. Certainly, the cathedral which had been recently and very completely restored should have garnered more awe. The ceilings, in particular, were positively incredible but he sat in the pew and seemed ready for a nap. To be fair, he is 86 and does generally take a nap in the afternoon and we had been on the run since his arrival nine days earlier but on being offered the chance to take a few days off, he’d only said he wanted to see as much as possible. If anything, he was restless when we weren’t doing something. So, after tackling the churches and a few cemeteries, we opted to skip the castle and head to the Biergarten to have a meal before catching the train back to Munich. This was a bit on the outskirts of town so we wisely grabbed a bus. Once there, we wound down a bit and under the shady chestnut trees, gathered some much needed energy for not only the trip back but also what we had on the agenda the next few days. It wasn’t going to cool down anytime soon so this I think was a breather we all needed.
For a great meal and one of Salzburg's top sights, click here
Here is some useful information about Salzburg for you just in case:
tel.+43 0662 88 98 70
fax +43 0662 88 98 7-435
Salzburg Guide Service
Tel. +43 0662 84 04 06
Fax +43 0662 84 54 70
Fondest memory: Visiting the city center and walking up to Hohensalzburg
Favorite thing: As there is such a lot to see in this wonderful city, comfortable footwear is a must. There are a few cobbled streets, and in wet weather, they become slippery. Yes even in June we had a heavy shower.
I love walking around new cities and getting lost. Well, not literally lost, but lost in the city's beauty, its culture. Salzburg is no different. I walked through the city and its streets on both a rainy day and another filled with sunshine. Okay, so the photos look better when it's a sunny day, but I'm the kind of girl who likes walking in the rain (preferably rugged up warmly and with an umbrella :) ).
Salzburg is a small enough city that you can see a lot of the major sites by foot. My hostel was just to the east of Hohensalzburg Fortress and from there I would walk through the Altstadt, across the Salzach River, through Mirabell gardens and its nearby streets.
Fondest memory: I especially enjoyed walking along the Salzach River, people riding their bikes, other people taking cruises along the river. Plus the view of Aldstadt and Hohensalzburg is impressive. Also looking back across the river to Kapuzinerberg (mountain opposite Altstadt), a beautiful dark green mountain with a few coloured houses on it (some of them look like brightly coloured miniature castles).
I definitely recommend seeing this city by foot, or if you are feeling slightly more energetic, then hire yourself a bike :).
Favorite thing: Of course the Mirabel gardens looking across to the fortress is a classic view of the city but another favourite one is taken from the bridge as you cross from the old town to the train station. Even on a dull wet day the baroque architecture of this beautiful city with its domes by the River Saalach was evident.
Favorite thing: One of the most commonly overlooked sections of Salzburg is just east of Mozartplatz, between Kaigasse and the river. There is a lot of history and interesting architecture over in this area... plus, this is where the seats of the Salzburg government and the city public affairs offices are located. Definitely worth a quick stroll through these streets.
Favorite thing: If you can find a private guide or go through a knowledgeable tour operator, you may have a much different experience in Salzburg then just walking the street by yourself. Salzburg is a city of great history, stories and tales. You may benefit from taking tours (not the sound of music one!) like the audio tour at the fortress and a private walking tour. The other option is to read up on the city before you visit. Most stories and histories of Salzburg are found in big books on Austria. There aren't that many Salzburg only tourist books and the ones I found aren't that detailed.
Favorite thing: While walking around any historic town or city center make sure to look in every open door and look around every corner as you just never know what you will find. Many of the old city centers have been built and rebuilt so many times that objects of interest may have been built around. Remember to not just walk into someone’s home or to stare into someone’s window but do look around. Ya just never know what you might find.
We found that much of what we wanted to see within Salzburg, within our limited time spent, was within walking distance. We spent a full day in the Old Town part of the city on the west bank of the river and stayed on the east side of the river, nearer the train station.
Fondest memory: The views from Hohensalzburg
One of the things I miss the most now that I'm back in the states is taking afternoon hikes along the Kapuzinerburg. It's not very big, but pretty, with lots of isolated scenic spots.
Shown pictured is duck 339 (www.ifoundaduck.com) enjoying the view from the Kapuzinerberg.
Favorite thing: Salzburg pays attention to details. You need to look around you, slow down, and look up. Lots of beautiful details on the buildings, proper to the city.
Strolling around aimlessly in Salzburg is very nice: one can find nice little surprises like this aviary.
Fondest memory: The city oozes culture, even with all that tour groups.