SUSAN’S GUIDE TO SALZBURG

which is about Mozart, nature and hearty food & beer.

Salzburg old town is made up of interconnected squares, dotted with elegant shops & cafes and surrounded by forests and mountains. Rent a bike and cycle along the river or hike the mountain tops.  Finish the day in the Augustiner Abbey beer hall, with a pork knuckle and a beer served in a porcelain stein.

  • good day: grosse gotte
  •  good evening : guten abend
  • goodbye: auf weideresehen or tchuss
  • how are you?  vie gates?
  •  good: gute
  • yes: ja(yah)
  • no: nein
  • ladies: damen
  • men: herren
  •  thank you : danke
  • please or you’re welcome: bitte

SOM means from the film ‘The Sound of Music’.

Getting around   Salzburg is very walkable, with lots of cycle paths and a mainly pedestrianised old town. All bus routes are on the easily obtainable tourist maps, as well as on maps by the main bus stops.  You can get singles of 24 hour passes.  The price is always less if you pre buy from a machine, so expect to pay more if you buy on board.  Remember to validate it once on board.

Salzburg card or 24 hr free admissions to most sites & all public transport.   Buy from tourist info in Mozartplatz or some hotels.  Most are within walking distance in the old town.

Highlights covered on the card are the Hohensalzburg Fortress, Mirabell trick fountains, Steigl-Brauwelt brewery tour and the Untersberg mountain cable car. The free sites I have listed are worth a visit.  The other pay-to-visit sites that the card covers have only been impressive for true enthusiasts only.

 

 City Sites

Hohensalzburg Fortress : On arrival in Salzburg you will see the dominating 1,000 year old fortress on the hill.  The old town is between this hill and the river.  I highly recommend you visit and allow a couple of hours.  Museums, weapons collection & torture chamber, visited with audio guide. May-Sept 9am-7pm/ Oct to 5pm /Use the funicular or the stairs take 15 mins

Be aware it is very steep at fortress entrance.  If you have problems with that, take the funicular. From the top, you can see Leopoldskron castle (house in SOM).  On the side of the mountain is the Nonberg abbey (SOM).

Once up there, commune with nature, walk through forest along mountain top to art gallery and lift/ Or stairs from top of mountain to  Toscanini Hof , or go right across to Augustiner beer hall.  Lots of trees, benches at viewpoints and part of old city walls. Bliss on a sunny day.

 

Augustiner Brewery : Monk run brewery with 1,000 seat outdoor beer garden in warm months. For self service beer (schank): pick mug: ½ or full litre. Pay the lady, wash your mug & give Mr Keg receipt and mug, where he fills it. Waiter service (bedienung) costs abit more. For food, either bring your own in from outside or browse the deli counters in the food hall.  If garden is open, choose from roast meats & fish at outdoor stands. It’s okay to sit with locals.  Augustinergasse 4. Open 3pm-11pm. (last drinks 10:30 pm & lights out at 10:59.99 pm)  This is a must visit site, if only for the cultural experience.  It’s wise to not drink too much and become a tourist knob. The beer is strong, so go slow.

 

Getriedegasse: the main drag running pparallel to the river.

  • Mozart’s’ birthplace (20) 9am-5:30pm/ Jul, Aug to 8pm This is a slightly off beat museum, which has arty displays like a piano upside down on the ceiling, and bird figures. It is pretty cool to wander through the great man’s nursery room.
  • Café Mozart at #22 if you want to share a Salzburg specialty, knockerl, which is a sweet 3 peaked soufflé
  • Look for Maria, the famous ‘puppet woman’ with her brown basket, on this street. She has been selling puppets there since 1987.
  • Further along to where it changes to Judengasse, see the Christmas shop full of decorations & hand painted eggs.

 

Universitatsplatz:  food and flower market for cheap eats. Roast pork sandwiches, fruit, bratwurst, books & postcards.  Don’t touch the fresh fruit and veg.  Point and request.

 

Festival Hall (Felsenreitschule) Hofstallgasse,  This is where the real Von Trapp family sung before leaving Austria, and it was also used in the film.    English tours: January – May, October – December: daily 2 pm / June, September: daily 2 pm, 3:30 pm / July, August: daily 9:30 am, 2 pm, 3:30 pm    (SOM)

 

Panorama museum Curved screen shows city as it was over 150 years ago. Beside the post office and the Dom.   9am-5pm   (SOM)

 

Salzburg Cathedral (Dom): the biggest of all the cities’ many churches, dates from 1620. Mozart baptised at font. Free entry, but man sits at door booth hoping to get donations     May-July 8am-7pm/ Aug 8am-8pm/ Sept 8am-7pm/ Oct 8am-6pm   Definitely worth a look.  Public toilets just outside.

 

St Peters Church & Cemetery : Church 8am-noon & 2:30-6:30pm / cemetery: wrought iron crosses & immaculate flowers  (used as the model for SOM cemetery scene)  6:30am-7pm  free.  Small catacombs in the hill side 10:30am-5pm (notice the recycled tombstones used on some of the steps)

 

 On the other side of the river from the old town

 

Mirabell Palace & Gardens: This was a Palace made for the mistress of Archbishop-Prince Wolf Dietrich. Landscaped gardens with beautiful rose garden,  Zwerglgarten (dwarf garden) & unicorn fountain (SOM)  free

 

Mirabellplatz Schrannenmarkt: On Thursday mornings from 6am to 1pm, visit the traditional market and commune with the locals for meats, cheeses and  baked goods/ good photo opportunity.

 

St Sebastian Cemetary  off Linzergasse, graves of Mozart’s family and wife Constanze/ tomb of Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietricht (read his will in the doorway of the large crypt in the centre of the grounds) 9am-4pm (6:00pm summer). Lots of memorials in walls of peaceful courtyard.   Free and a must see if it is open.

 

Capunizer hill  lookout over city /stairs along front of hill, or take ‘stations of the cross’ road from Linzergasse. Church on top.

 

Hellbrunn Palace & trick fountains:  4 km south of old town, 17th-century Baroque pleasure palace, grounds & fountains.  Guided tour of trick fountains (you can get wet so watch your camera), audio guide to palace and adm to folk museum on hill. Gardens free (gazebo from SOM)     May, June, Sept 9am-5:30pm/ Jul, Aug to 6pm / bus #25 from the river (15-20 mins ride) or rent a bike and ride down.

 

Steigl-Brauwelt : Largest beer exhibition in Europe. Tour, tasting, snacks & gift.  10am-5pm/ July & Aug to 7pm   Brewpub open 10 am –12pm/ restaurant 11am-2pm/6 to 12pm/ outdoor beer garden in summer         bus 1, 21 or 22

 

Red Bull Hangar 7: Free display of racing vehicles, bikes and planes. Open 9am-10pm. Lounge open 9am-6pm & trendy restaurant.  Lunch 12-2pm & dinner 7-10pm/ Bus #2 to Karolinger stop.  You will see hangar in distance. To corner & left/ 10 min walk.  An intriguing place for either vehicle lovers or just for a drink.

 

Untersberg cable car  Get an out of city bus ticket and catch bus #25 along river for 20 mins ride.  Cable car return, or only one way.  Free with Salzburg card 8:30am-5/5:30pm

 

Mozartkugel:  “Mozart’s balls were first dipped in chocolate in 1890″ (Marzipan, nougat & chocolate)  For hand made, original blue foil chocolates, look for the small shop under the archway near University square. If you’re not bothered, pick up red ones in the supermarket or Universitatsplatz.

 

 The Sound of Music bus tours and dinners, etc.

I get asked a lot about these package Sound of Music things you will see advertised all over.  First of all, these are not my opinions. Secondly, you really must do what you want when it comes to them.  This is an industry created by people who have never seen or loved the movie, nor really get what all the fuss is about.  Edelweiss was written by an American song writing team, and a lot of the movie was shot on a sound stage in Hollywood.

With the bus tours, there are some enthusiastic guides, and you will be held hostage on a bus full of loud tourists for 3-4 hours.  They don’t get you singing all the songs together, and you cannot get near many of the sites from the film, so the guide will point at them from afar.  That is why I have listed as many as I can on this page, allowing you to get nearer to them or go inside them.   For every 5 people who have taken one of the tours or gone to the shows: one has thought it was their tour highlight, 2 have thought it was okay but long, and 2 would have snuck away as soon as they could.   I leave it up to you to chose your level of enthusiasm.  The nice part, is on the bus tours they do visit Mondsee, where the wedding church is based.  You can also visit Mondsee on a sightseeing tour of the area.  The SOM dinner show has not been well received by anyone from my tours.

If you wish to visit the SOM sites yourself, there are souvenir booklets available in the small postcard kiosk, in Universtadtplatz.  Facing the church, take the passage on the left and walk towards the hill.  Tourist information in Mozartplatz can also help you out.