There is a lot to see in Salzburg. It’s where Mozart was born. It was ruled independently for over 300 years. Salt made the region fabulously wealthy. There are spectacular views of nature. But mostly, the Sound of Music was filmed there.
I went to Salzburg for the weekend with my parents. Like typical Americans, we took the Sound of Music tour. But we did have some time to explore the rest of what Salzburg has to offer.
One of my favorite parts of historic downtown Salzburg was Getreidegasse. It is a narrow street full of shops. Each shop has a decorative iron sign. The street is crowded with them. It is so quaint.
While we walked around, we found a music festival in front of the cathedral. We weren’t surprised, since Salzburg is one of the music capitals of the world.
We also took an afternoon to explore the Hohensalzburg fortress. Situated high in a hill, you have to hike or take a funicular to the top. We rode. The view was very nice. Inside, you can see the rooms where the ruling prince bishops lived. The center building houses the richly decorated Golden Hall and Golden Room. All of the wood paneling was very Gothic. The fortress remains intact today, because it was never conquered by enemy troops. There are many homes for the prince bishops in Salzburg. Built in 1615 by prince bishop Markus Sittikus, Hellbrunn palace was a summer palace situated just outside of the city. It is also called the Lustschloss because of its special features: the trick fountains. All through the garden are fabulous fountains that move and squirt visitors with water. We took the guided tour through the garden on a rainy day, so we were always surprised. We were okay getting wet though, because we were already dressed for rain. The fountains were hilarious and unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Maybe my parents and I can build a trick fountain for our yard. It was certainly fun at the prince bishop’s parties.
So, Salzburg had lots of fun and charming things to offer that weren’t from the Sound of Music. But the Sound of Music tour was amazing. We chose to use Bob’s Tours because they limit each van to 8 people, instead of having a giant bus. We were very happy with our choice. Our guide, Christoph, who my mother insisted on calling Bob, told us about the real Von Trapp family, the filming of the movie, and some facts about the area. We got to visit lots of sites from the film as well. One of them was Monsee Cathedral, which was used for the interior shots of the wedding. It is out away from Salzburg, but we got to enjoy a very pleasant drive through the countryside to get out there. We drove through the beautiful Lake District. That was my father’s favorite part of the tour. And the whole time we listened to the soundtrack and sang along!
I think even if we hadn’t been drawn in by Julie Andrews and Rogers and Hammerstein, Salzburg would have still been a must see destination in Austria. It was so quaint and the area was so beautiful. I’m glad I got to see Salzburg, and dragged my parents along with me.