Located about 296km from Vienna is one of Europe’s top beautiful cities, Salzburg!
The city is not only famous for being Mozart Amadeus’s birthplace and The Sound of Music (1965) film setting, but it is also famous for its baroque architecture and being one of the best-preserved city centers north of the Alps. In 1997, Salzburg and its Old Town was listed as the UNESCO World Culture Heritage Site. Hence, Salzburg is one of the most popular weekend travel destinations from Vienna, Munich, and other neighboring cities.
So on my first free weekend, I decided to take the train to Salzburg. On May 26, Saturday, I took an early morning train to reach there at noon and spend the entire day until I took the night train back to Vienna. Generally, other people spend more than two days here to enjoy the city and visit the Salt mines. But since I was there to spend just about 15 hours, I decided to do everything I could to see what Salzburg has to offer. (I mean literally EVERYTHING. Thanks to Salzburg Card that provided full access to all major tourist sites, museums, and public transportation in Salzburg, I was able to visit a lot of places with just 22 Euros. A pretty good bargain for any visitors going to Salzburg!)
Plus, I was lucky. The day I visited the weather was beautiful and there was some kind of Austrian themed holiday in which many were dressed up in their traditional costumes. With the blue sky, a slight chilled spring breeze, and an adequate number of tourist (not too little nor not too many) made my full day in Salzburg altogether a ‘too perfect start for my weekend adventures.’
The best part of this all was that I just stumbled into them.. I stumbled into the main tour sites..or I stumbled into one of the world’s oldest bakery store that makes bread with water mill…or I stumbled into this annual festival that happened to start when I walked in…its like you turned a corner and then you suddenly realize you’re in the middle of a huge festival!
Now as a tourist, there are a number of MUST VISIT places in Salzburg: Salzburg Cathedral, Mozart’s Birthplace, Hohensalzburg Fortress, Residence Gallery, Salzburg Museum, Mirabell Palace and Gardens. It sounds like a lot, but they are all pretty close by and the city is walk friendly. In addition, most sites are in the Old Town area where you will be walking around the narrow streets built in the 14th century. While Vienna is Austria’s capital city today, Salzburg has been teh capital of an independent state from the early 14th cenutry until 1805. And it still holds that pride. When you close your eyes as you walk that cobble stone, it feels like your stepping back into time. Imagine, this is the street where Mozart used to walk and grow. This is where Hayden did his music. This is where…and before your thought finishes its line you will come across another beautiful angle of the city that you have to stop and admire it. (Or at least that is how it was to me.)
The more time I spend in Salzburg, the more easier it is for me to understand why this city was one of the elite communities capital. Going to Salzburg in the 14th-18th century meant that you were going to an upper class’s hidden culture and society…and in regards to music and culture, I believe that is still true.
Here are few highlights I captured in my photo collections.
A footnote to Hohensalzburg Fortress is necessary. It was built in 1077 and expanded in the following centuries. It is one of the Europe’s largest fortress because it has a capacity of a small city of its own within the fortress. While the building is bland from the outside, it was able to prevent major attacks throughout the history. Even today, you are able to enjoy the city’s wonderful city view from this Fortress. The emerald and blue colors you witness from here would not have been available without this fortress protecting the city, Salzburg!