There are some places in the world that make you feel giddy with excitement. It’s not always explainable, but the destination holds a little bit of magic.
For me, one of these places is Salzburg, Austria.
I visited Salzburg on a day trip from Vienna. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but Vienna wasn’t living up to my expectations and I figured an impromptu day-trip would be perfect.
Getting to Salzburg
Unless you plan on renting a car, the simplest way from Vienna to Salzburg is by train. The total journey time is just under 2.5 hours, so leave early to experience as much as you can. From Wien Westbahnhof Station, regular trains depart daily. There are a couple of train companies that make the journey, so pick one that works best for your schedule (and budget).
What to do in Salzburg
Wander in awe at Mirabell Palace and Gardens
Wandering around these beautiful gardens is enough to make your heart flutter. The beautiful landscape within the gardens and the mountains in the background will make for some perfect pictures.
Allow yourself 30 minutes here.
Journey up Kapuzinerkloster
After some breathless moments, you’ll find yourself on top of Kapuzinerkloster. The path is lined with stairs, so it’s not like you’re mountain climbing, but it can be a little tiring. The area itself is home to a monastery. With spectacular views of all of Salzburg you’ll forget how much effort the journey up was.
Admission: Free to wander up.
Tip: Buy a bottle of water before heading upwards.
Cross the river and wander Getreidegasse
One of the cutest streets I have ever seen in Europe, this narrow lane is home to countless shops. Even the McDonalds had the fanciest sign I’ve ever seen for a fast food outlet. Give yourself some time to see what the area has to offer and find a cute cafe for lunch.
Take some snaps of Motzart’s birthplace
While you’re on Getreidegasse, keep an eye out of Motzart’s birthplace (Hagenauer House). If you’re interested you can pop in and visit the museum.
Admission: EUR10, although I was happy enough to just see it from the outside.
Another climb to Hohensalzburg Castle
This 900-year old castle/fortress is a must-see in Salzburg. Aside from the obvious history, you also have access to my favourite views of all-time (I make this statement very seriously).
Access to the mountain can be made by foot, or by a lift that leaves every 10 minutes. Because I like to torture myself, I opted for another steep hike upwards.
Allow yourself a couple of hours to wander through the entire castle, but make sure not to miss the Reckturm watchtower. Small groups are taken up the tower every 30 minutes. Displays are in place for you to view, but the best part is at the end, when you’re allowed to the top of the tower where the view is so magnificent I swear I could live up there.
Ice Cream and Salzch
At this point, it’s been a long and active day. After coming down from the castle, cross the river and buy an ice cream from one of the many vendors. Take a seat by the Salzch river and take in this incredible city before heading back to Vienna.