Salzburg was the home of Mozart and if that isn’t enough, it was also the film set for The Sound of Music. If you’re a Sound of Music fan, this city should be a Gap Map priority. If you’re not a fan, now is the time to be converted and see that the hills are indeed alive in Salzburg. This river side city is more picturesque and quaint than the capital of Vienna and there is much to explore among the cobbled streets. The snow capped mountains, green rolling hills and untouched nature that surrounds the area is what made this the most stunning film set for the musical. Although the film is somewhat outdated (and very long) with many corny songs like all musicals, there is much to be learnt from the film. It tells the story of many Austrians who had to escape the country when the Nazis invaded. Enjoy Salzberg in the footsteps of Julie Andrews and…
‘climb every mountain,
walk every stream,
follow every rainbow,
until you find your dream…’
*All images of Salzburg were taken by my talented travel companion @caleyjeang on our gap year!
To get to Salzburg in Austria, follow The Gap Map itinerary and travel from Prague.
Get the train from Prague to Salzburg in Austria. Usually this involves changing trains in Linz. Inquire at the train station at least one day before departure.
Leave a day early and get an overnight bus from Prague to Salzburg. This saves you spending most of your day on the train and also saves you paying for a nights accommodation. The cost is around 27 Euro one way with Student Agency Buses. Book here
Explore Salzburgs beautiful historic centre.
The pristine nature makes it an ideal place to get on the hiking shoes and go for a walk. See this link for trail routes that can be accessed form the city centre.
Schrannenmarkt is a market place located at the beautiful Schloss Mirabell. Produce, flowers, crafts and hand made leather goods are all on sale at these colourful stalls. Grab some snacks for a picnic lunch.
There is more than one Sound of Music Tour to be offered in Salzberg. The best one is the bike riding tour which takes you to all of the main sets of the film while you pedal along, to the soundtrack provided on your headset. You might want to brush up on your lyrics beforehand because most tours will include at least one sing-along to ‘Doe a Deer’. This light hearted and fun day trip allows you to see a lot of beautiful scenery as well as the original Abbey where the nuns lived. This can be appreciated by fans and critics alike. You can even see the famous gazebo where Leisl and Rolf danced in secret. The only down side is that, due to previous injuries, tourists are no longer allowed to re live Leisels joy by jumping from bench to bench. If you aren’t too confident on two wheels you can also take the bus tour version which has the extra benefit of visiting the hills which is too far to reach by bike.
See the bike tour here.
Müllner Bräu Brewery is a popular beer garden dating back to 1890. Relax in the shade with some of Austrias best beers on tap and take in the atmosphere.
Hohensalzburg Castle is perched on top of a hill that offers beautiful views of the city and the river. Make the hike up or pay an extra fee to use the elevator. It’s over 900 years old. Tickets for entry are around 9.20 Euro.
Getreidegasse is the street where Mozart was born in house number 9! Located in the city centre, you will usually see tourists huddled around the front door taking photos.
Schloss Mirabell is a palace with Unesco World Heritage status that is visually stunning for its perfectly groomed gardens and architecture. Wander the grounds and enjoy the peace and quiet of this haven in the city. If you go on the mentioned Sound of Music tour, this will be one of your stops because it was featured in the film when the Von Trapps sing ‘Do-Re-Mi’ around the fountain and the stairs. Fans will probably recognise the Pegasus statue.
Dom Zu Salzburg is a famous cathedral in the city. You will probably spot its blue domes and beautiful exterior but it’s also interesting that Mozart was once baptised here. The cathedral is free to enter.
Get a discount on your Airbnb booking by using this link.
Yoho Hostel is the best option if you are a Sound of Music fan! They feature photographs of the film in its corridors and provide sing along showings in the common room daily, but don’t get over excited and start cutting down curtains for new outfits any time soon. Dorm beds cost around 20 Euro a night and there are buffet and meal options from just 3 Euro. Located in the city centre with all of the facilities you need.
Paracelsusstr. 9, A 5020 Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria.
It can be difficult to find cheap eats in the historic old town area which is the main tourist hub. In this area, quality is often not as high as the prices. Keep in mind that the suggested Yoho Hostel offers cheap meals in house. However, to find real Austrian cuisine at a reasonable price, look out for mittagsmenüs which are lunch time set menus featuring daily specials at a fixed price. If you’re lucky, you might even find a few of Maria’s favourite things…
“Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles”
Unfortunately most schnitzels generally aren’t served with noodles but you can find both schnitzel (with potatoes) and strudels at much loved Austrian restaurant Barenwirt. Just a 15 minute walk from the city centre, the casual atmosphere and traditional food will not disappoint. Locals say it’s the best schnitty in town and costs about 10 Euro.
Mullner Main Street 8, Salzburg 5020, Austria
Hagenauerstuben is an example of a venue offering a great value mittagsmenüs. Located smack, bang in the city centre you can get a two course lunch for just 7.50 Euro. Casual, home cooking is whats on offer here and it would be a mistake to turn it down.
Street food options in Salzburg include gourmet hot dogs called bosna sold at various stands around the city. Be sure to order it with onions, mustard and spices for an extra boost of flavour! Kasnocken are small cheesy dumplings that can also be found for very cheap. Get a dish to takeaway and eat it with a view of the river. For an easy breakfast or snack on the run, a giant pretzel for 3 Euro will be the perfect thing to keep you going. You can find these warm and freshly baked in Universitatsplatz (University Square). Don’t forget to visit the local markets as well.
Wildermann is a restaurant where you get the whole Austrian package. The menu features all of your favourite dishes including schnitzels and Austrian dumplings. To top it all off, the waiters are dressed in traditional Austrian clothing to make you feel like you’re at Oktoberfest all over again. Mains are priced between 8 and 12 Euro.
Getreidegasse 20, 5020 Salzburg
Magazin restaurant is where to go if the cooler weather has got you running for cover and you want to treat yourself to a modern and gourmet lunch. You can get a two course lunch menu for around 16 Euro that is worth a whole lot more at dinner time. This place features a gourmet deli with beautiful wines and even cooking classes. A real treat for a splurge in Salzburg.
Follow The Gap Map itinerary and reach Interlaken by train travel from Salzburg in Austria. This is unfortunately not the easiest or the cheapest route so if you invested in the Eurail pass, this would be the perfect time to use it. The journey takes around 7 hours and requires two changes in Zurich and Bern before arriving in Interlaken. If you would prefer to spend less time on train travel you could obviously stay in Zurich or Bern instead. This would also give you direct access to an airport in order to continue on your Gap Map itinerary to the UK
See the train details here.