Discover the Golden City: Salzburg
When you think of Salzburg, The Sound of Music probably comes to mind… but journeyPod is here to tell you that you can visit this baroque city and have an amazing culturally and historically inspiring trip without the movie tour! Want to hear an interesting tidbit? The film actually failed in Austria – closing after only a single week’s showing in Salzburg and Vienna. Now really… skip the tour and do Salzburg the local way!
When you’re planning a trip to the fourth-largest city in Austria – make sure to bring your walking shoes. Being an easy city to navigate, you’ll find yourself walking your way through it – so you might as well be comfortable.
Salzburg’s “Old Town” with its world-famous baroque architecture is truly one of the best-preserved cities in the German-speaking world. Most of the major attractions are located in the Old City… and it’s extremely easy to wander the cobblestone streets of the old town and become a part of history.
The Getreidegasse “Trade Street” is the Rodeo Drive of Salzburg – shopping galore… so be prepared to spend some Euro. Whatever you do, make sure to check out Mozart’s birth house – the most famous address in all the city. For those looking to explore further, know this: Salzburg is situated on the Salzach River and only about a four-hour train ride from Zurich and a four-hour train ride from Vienna.
But remember: there is much more to Salzburg than Mozart! Though we do recommend trying the delicious Mozart Chocolate balls. They are heavenly – even if they are quite touristy!The greatest views of this city can be seen atop the Monchberg peak at Fortress Hohensalzburg. So make sure to grab a pretzel in the “platz” (Square) below to nibble as you walk up or take the cable car – you’ll likely stay awhile.
For all those beer drinkers out there – Salzburg folks have been drinking this libation for over 3000 years. Matter of fact, Salzburg’s beer gardens are almost as well-known as the city’s churches! And interestingly, the most famous beer garden isn’t too far from the city’s landmark, Hohensalzburg Fortress, called the StieglKeller – a garden that has been serving its own Stiegl beer and features some awesome views of the city. For those of you looking for even more info on the beer-hopping opportunities in Salzburg can check out Europe’s largest beer exhibition, “Stiegl-Brauwelt”.
When it’s time to eat, you’ll have your choice of traditional spots or have the opportunity to take a culinary excursion from around the globe, among this city’s restaurant choices. Whichever you decide, you’ll likely hear “Guten Appetit” and “Prost” when you’re about to chow down. And if by chance you don’t have time to sit and have an official meal, Salzburg’s fast food and snack shops are open around the clock!
Here’s some of journeyPod’s food picks:
Sternbrau – Translated to “Star Brew”, this local beer garden (just off Getreidegasse) is a hidden gem and definitely a favorite. Made up of more than one restaurant, you’ll find yourself coming back over and over again! Try the Weiner Schnitzel – the local favorite. And for dessert, check out the traditional Marillen Knodel – an apricot dumpling (yummy!) or the Salzburger Nockerln (a huge, sweet and eggy-like soufflé). And naturally, go for the local brew called Kaiser.
Die Wiesse – Another local favorite, tucked away across the river from the Old Town, this is the most popular beer garden in town! Also serving traditional Austrian meals, expect lots of goulash and dumplings. Pretend you’re a local and try a beer mixed with elderberry juice… we did!
Stiftskeller St. Peter – A must when you’re in town – this old beer cellar is the oldest restaurant in Austria and is one of the most dazzling dining experiences in the city! Legend has it that Mephistopheles met Faust here. Along with the traditional dishes like the finger-lickin’ good morsels of fried Wiener schnitzel, you can even have your selection of fresh fish caught locally. Enjoy the famous Salzburger Nockerln here too – but most importantly, make sure to wash it down with the local beer called Stiegl.
Café Sacher – Check out this outpost of one of Vienna’s landmarks – its world-famous SacherTorte and coffee are second to none!
At night, head for a leisurely walk through the famous Mirabel Gardens. The fountains and gardens are lighted and if you’re lucky, you may even hear a concert going on in the Mirabel Palace. Then stroll back over the bridge to Old Town and have another Kaiser or Steigl at SternBrau. If you can schedule your trip at the end of July, beginning of August, you’ll also be in for a treat – the world- famous Salzburg Music Festival is the biggest event of the year here! With a number of hotel choices in this beautiful city, here’s just a few of journeyPod’s picks:
Hotel Sacher Salzburg – Located in the heart of the city, this top-notch renovated turn-of-the-century beauty is situated on the banks of the Salzach River and only a few minutes walk from the Festival Halls. Both Hillary and Chelsea Clinton have stayed here, as did the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. Ask for a room (we stayed in 311) that overlooks the river and the Old Town – you may never want to leave! And, be sure to enjoy the champagne breakfast on the terrace. Listen in on journeyPod’s luxury podcast about Hotel Sacher.
Goldener Hirsch – Picasso, Pavarotti and Queen Elizabeth have all made this “Golden Stag” their home away from home. A hotel of patrician pampering all the way, Hotel Goldener Hirsch displays European heritage and dates back to the 1400’s. Situated in the Baroque city center, it faces the famous Getreidegasse – the city’s main shopping street and across from three of the city’s Festival Houses. From the décor to the impeccable personal service, this hotel truly displays luxury!