Happy New Year, everyone! I’m going to join the rest of the world by saying that I cannot believe it is 2018 already. I don’t know where last year went, but I’m excited about what this one has in store. I’m probably going to do a separate blog post in the coming days about goals for 2018, what I want to do etc, but for now, this one’s going to be about my recent trip to Austria!
My husband and I went for a whole week, and we divided our time between Salzburg and Innsbruck. We did a lot during this time, and goodness knows I’ve taken enough photos, so I’m going to be doing two blog posts. This one is about Salzburg, and I’ll have one up for Innsbruck sometime in the next week.
I’ve wanted to visit Salzburg for a very long time. Yes, I’m a big fan of The Sound of Music, but I swear that isn’t the only reason. It always seemed like such a beautiful city – with its cobbled streets, amazing architecture and oodles of history ensconced in snow-covered mountains.
We flew straight in to Salzburg Airport from London Gatwick. The flight’s about 90 minutes, and thankfully everything was on time. We’d booked accommodation on AirBnB – a wonderfully cozy little place about half an hour away from the centre that we had all to ourselves. And with 3 days to spend in Salzburg, I had many mental notes about every place I wanted us to visit. Our AirBnb host gave us suggestions on where to go, as well. It became apparent very quickly that 3 days wasn’t going to be enough time! I’m now going to share some of the highlights with you.
We start off with Old Town – which is probably the most ‘touristy’ part of Salzburg – but with good reason. It’s filled with a lot of attractions, like the Salzburg Cathedral, Hohensalzburg Castle, Salzburg Museum and a whole many many shops. Because of this, it’s full of people. If you’re looking for something off the beaten track, you might be tempted to not spend a lot of time here, but that would mean you miss out on a few gems. So avoid the tangle of selfie sticks and shoppers and head straight for the fortress on the hill. There’s a funicular that goes straight up or you can walk if you feel like giving your calves a workout! The view is spectacular. It was snowing the whole time we were up there, but that made it seem even more magical.
Besides the view, there’s also a lot to do within the walls of the castle. It has its own museum, and there are loads of fascinating tidbits of historic information sprinkled around. Because it was snowing so much, it felt like we had the castle to ourselves for most of the time we were in it. Not a bad thing at all!
Since we were going to Salzburg the week after Christmas, I was worried that all the Christmas markets would be gone and I’d miss all the festivity. I couldn’t have been more wrong! Everything was up and running – lights everywhere, market stalls, decorations and plenty of food and drink! I’m a vegetarian, so I found I couldn’t sample too much of the food since most of it had meat in it. But it’s safe to say that I had more than enough gluhwein and apfelstrudel to make up for this.
Another part of the trip that I thoroughly enjoyed was visiting Untersbergbahn – a mountain that is only 30 minutes (by bus) outside of Salzburg. We were told that the views from the top are gorgeous, but as luck would have it, the weather didn’t exactly lend itself to visibility on the day we visited. It made for a completely different atmosphere though, and the whole experience felt really surreal.
You go up the mountain by cable car and it takes about 10 minutes. As the cable car rose through the clouds, we saw snow covered trees far below. Soon we were in the middle of fluffy white clouds, and couldn’t see a thing apart from the cables that seemed to disappear into nothingness.
At the top of the mountain, we were greeted by a blizzard. There was a viewing balcony that we braved, and I think I spent 15 minutes out there. There was also a little hill that I suppose you can climb when it isn’t covered in swathes of snow. I did try, though! Probably got about 10 feet before the wind really picked up and my eyes started stinging. But when I emerged with my snow-covered boots, wet hair and running eyeliner (so attractive), I was pretty proud of myself! Probably could have passed for Rudolph, though.
There’s also a restaurant at the top. We were both famished so you can imagine our disappointment when we didn’t see any vegetarian options on the menu. But the lovely man there said he said a couple of frozen margherita pizzas he could heat up for us. Pizza + mulled wine in the middle of snowstorm? Hell yes!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post and seeing the pictures. I’ve posted a lot more on my Instagram, so feel free to take a look there. And stay tuned for Innsbruck coming up next!
Have you ever been to Salzburg? I’d love to know!