Our trip across Europe was coming to an end so we wanted to take things easy in Salzburg, so that’s exactly what we did. We arrived in the early afternoon from Vienna on the train which cost €26 for each of us one way. The train was incredible, through the rolling Austrian countryside. Homes were sparse but the ones we did see were constructed of wood, in keeping with the surrounding landscape. There were lakes, mountains and fields for miles the entirety of the three hour train journey.
When we arrived in Salzburg, we walked the fifteen minutes to our hotel, Garni Lehenerhof, before heading into the centre of town. We walked another fifteen minutes, alongside the river, as the sun began to go down over the city. The river was vast, separating the Altstadt (Old Town) and Neustadt (New Town). On our first evening we ate at an authentic Italian restaurant in the Altstadt, surrounded by homes that were centuries old. The Altstadt as a whole is very pastel in its colour scheme, with whites and greys mixed in. We managed to catch the sunset over the river, with pinks and blues only further complimenting the colour palette of the city.
On our only full day in the city we explored more of the Altstadt, through the winding and interconnecting streets like Getreidgasse and Linzergasse which were lined with an eclectic mix of shops selling everything traditional Lederhosen to modern high fashion stores. Through these streets we arrived in Mozartplatz, where a statue of the composer dominates the square. On this square is also the Salzburg Museum and access to the Hohensalzburg Fortress. The fortress is a striking landmark in this city so dominated by baroque architecture. Its exterior contrasts greatly with the buildings it towers above; bare white and grey with stark straight lines, nothing like the decorative city below. To access the fortress you can either walk or take a tram. Once at the top there’s an admission fee, but I found the views outside of the fortress to be satisfactory.
To your left you have a panoramic view of the city; the number of church bell towers only noticeable from this vantage point. The river sweeps your eye around to the right, and beyond that you can see only mountains for miles. We had a perfect sunny day with a blue sky dotted with light white clouds.
After that we walked further along the river and crossed into the Neustadt, which was evidently more modern than it’s counterpart. There were many more tourists, street bars and performers on this side of the river and more modern chain stores.
There are so many things to do and see in Salzburg. Countless castles and fortresses, stunning parks and palace grounds. There are tours related to both Mozart and the Sound of Music, as well as the incredible surrounding mountainous landscapes. Salzburg has a high concentration of Catholic churches built and decorated in the Baroque style which are worth seeing.
There are cycling, horse and cart and segway tours around the city, and it has great bus, train and tram links across its centre and outskirts to allow easy access from all points of the city. In my opinion to walk and be able to take everything is the way to do it. It has the beauty, cleanliness and architectural style of Vienna but has a more relaxed atmosphere and is framed by the extraordinary Austrian countryside.