I am just now leaving Salzburg, Austria and heading on a high-speed train to Munich (Munchen), Germany. My impression of Salzburg was nothing if not amazing. It is a small city with a well-centered altstadt (old part of the city) that makes you feel like you are in some sort of Harry Potter or similarly magical film. The streets are filled with ‘hidden’ alleyways that link to other streets and the old-world charm of cobblestones, wrought iron, and horse carriages brings the city to life.
The altstadt is for pedestrians only and centers around a main street that maintains old-world store signs that hang from the side of the buildings. You must take your time walking down the main street in the altstadt. The best part of the trip was meandering through all of the streets and hidden alleyways. Each alleyway is different from the next and many have an open courtyard or atrium in the middle with small shops and even some cafes and places to eat. Sitting in one of these hidden cafes allows you to relax and take a break from the chaos that is just a few meters away outside the alleyway courtyard.
Salzburg also has a really cool fortress/castle (it’s actually a fortress) that towers over the city. This is definitely worth a visit. It is a massive complex that has the best views of the city. You can also tour many of the original rooms from the fortress and see how it was built over a period of 1,000 years. You can also visit the Hellbrunn summer palace and the trick fountains; this was a very fun experience. And don’t forget about the many churches here and the Cathedral (Dom) is well worth a visit; though the exterior may seem bland compared to churches like the Koln Dom, the interior does not disappoint. I will also upload videos of all of this on my YouTube channel MadManBlog.
And don’t forget this is also where Mozart was born and you can even tour his home and enter the room in which he was born. It feels kind of odd and creepy to visit a tourist attraction centered around where he was actually birthed, but it brings me to a particularly funny point. Mozart is basically the mascot of Salzburg. You will see his likeness everywhere, from the Mozart Ball chocolate candy to the Mozart coffee house to his very own square, statue, and more. He is kind of like big-bird is to sesame street and they actively make him the face of Salzburg, which is funny since he didn’t particularly like it there.
The last thing I will mention is that you need to make sure to eat while you are in Salzburg. I found the food options particularly limiting and not very good, except for one place, Die Weisse. It stands for The White and is the name of the first beer that they brewed in-house. This place serves authentic Austrian and German food along with home-brewed beer. My favorite meal there was die weisse beer with a large warm pretzel, mustard, and wiener schnitzel. For dessert, you can try the apple-strudel; however, I never had any room for desert because the beer tastes soooooooo good that you have to have at least two. I will write another article just about this restaurant with its location and photos or a video.
In summary, come to Salzburg if you are in the area. There is a fast train from Munich and also Vienna and they leave almost every hour or so. You can see the city in two or three days and it is a really pleasant place and it provides for an enjoyable experience. (note that it is very cold in winter and so you should plan accordingly)