Discovering Austria: Salzburg

Husband and I moved to Munich in January and since then we've been slowly exploring this city and the area around it. We've been to little medieval towns with a lot of charm, to beautiful lakes, to beer festivals and to huge markets and flea markets. So I've decided to share our little adventures with you all.

Salzburg is only a couple of hours away from Munich, so we decided to spend a weekend in this part of Austria and on Saturday, we visited this beautiful town. Salzburg is basically famous for being Mozart's birthplace and because the iconic The Sound of Music was filmed here. But once you're in Salzburg, you soon discover it has so much more to offer! The architecture is stunning and there are many green areas where you can just sit and relax. 

We arrived by car and parked it next to the train station. This area is not very nice but it's close to the city centre and its attractions. After a ten minutes walk, we arrived at the beautiful Mirabell Palace and its gardens. It was built in 1606 and its name actually means "admirable" anb "beautiful". The place has certainly earned that name. It's now the town hall and you can visit some areas during the week, but not on weekends.

The gardens surrounding the palace are divided in different sections. My favourite parts were the rose garden, with stunning views to the fortress and the collection of gnomes! After having a stroll around, we continued to the river. Still on this side of the river, there's one famous landmark: Mozart's Residence (the house where he lived is now a museum). Actually, make that two famous landmark, there's also the Sacher Hotel, where you can have the original Sacher Torte!

Once you've crossed the river, you are in the old quarter. Here, the streets are narrow and packed with shops (some really touristy ones, but others really nice). There are also street musicians and other artists, so it make for a really nice walk.

If you keep walking, you will soon end up in the Residence, a huge Baroque building where Medieval bishops used to live and that now holds a huge art collection. Next to the Residence, there's the Dom, one of the most ornate cathedral I've ever seen. You really feel small inside this mighty building. 

Behind the Dom, you can find the access to the Hohensalzburg Fortress, probably Salzburg's most famous landmark. The fortress is over 900 years old and was originally built to guarantee the safety of the archbishops. It can be easily reached on foot using the path up the mountain or by cable car. The ticket includes entrance to three museums. We didn't really find the museums that interesting. It was cool to see the fortress inside but I was not that interested and in the history of weapons and who owned what during the few centuries in the cities. 

I have to admit though that just for the views it was really worth the visit. There's a panorama terrace in the highest point of the main tower you can really appreciate how beautiful this city is from there. It was also interesting to see the other side of the city, as it is surrounded by the Alps and it makes for a really impressing view.

After our visit to the fortress, we recharged batteries with a great burger (not the most Austrian dish, but it was delicious) and then wandered a bit more. We even decided to cross the river again and go up the hill on the other side of the river and check the views from the Capuchin Monastery (on the photo above, it is the brown/yellow building you see on the right, on a hill).

After that, we were exhausted, so we decided to say goodbye to Salzburg and take the car to Werfen, a small village in the Alps where we had our hotel for the night. I'll tell you all about our day in the mountains on my next travel post!

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