This post was originally posted on Anuja’s Endeavors and republished with permission.
During my trip to Europe, we spent most of our time in Munich, so we decided to take one day out of the five to go on a day trip to Salzburg, Austria—only an hour and a half train ride away. I could barely wrap my head around the fact that I would be in a completely different country only a little ways away.
The snowy weather was more intense in Salzburg compared to Austria, but despite the cold, I think the snow added to the amazing, historical views of the city. Once we got off the train, images and souvenirs with Mozart’s face overwhelmed our field of vision. For those that may not be familiar, Mozart, the famous Austrian musician, was born and raised in Salzburg. In addition, the popular classical film, “The Sound of Music,” was also filmed in the beautiful gardens here. Essentially, Salzburg is a huge representation of the musical field.
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We came to Austria not for anything Mozart or “Sound of Music” related, but rather for a huge castle-like fortress called the Hohensalzburg fortress, built in the 11th century. Plus, I had heard from friends and locals that a day trip to Salzburg was do-able and not too short of an adventure. A roller coaster-like lift first took us up to the fortress. The ride lasted about a minute, but gave us a nice view of the city.
The fortress’ interior consisted of multiple museums, some displaying torture devices used during the pre-medieval era and others displayed slightly creepy marionettes or puppets utilized for entertainment purposes. Standing inside the fortress made you experience a day in the life of Austrian archdukes and other royal family members. The feeling was epic!
The last part of the tour within the fortress was accompanied by a free audio tour guide that finally led us up to the tower, which led to steps on the outside. The Austrian flag proudly flapped in the wind, unhindered by the extremely cold and snowy weather up top. It was 20 degrees cooler up top than it had been at the fortress’ entrance, but the beautiful view of the snow-capped buildings and mountains in the near distance made the numbing of our face and hands worth it.
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1) Mozart Museum: We only saw the outside, but many people recommend this! You can have a view of Mozart’s residence while you’re here.
2) Classical concert: When you’re in the classical maestro’s city, maybe for longer than a day, watch a live classical concert! Student prices are about 25 euros.
3) Hohensalzburg fortres: An amazing remainder of Austrian royal history. A 12 euro basic ticket will allow you to take the ever-so-cool roller coaster lift up to the fortress and includes most of the museums and a free audio tour. You can pay more to see more of the chambers’ in the fortress.
1) Plethora of Italian eateries: Can’t go wrong with these!
2) More gluwein: Many of the traditions found in Austria are like the German ones. After all both countries speak the same language. You can find winter markets throughout Salzburg when you’re craving a drink to warm you up and save you from hypothermia.
3) Sample a Mozartkaffee: One of many tributes to the Salzburg-raised musician.
Anuja Shashipadme is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia with a double major in Cognitive Science and Spanish literature. When she’s not drinking coffee, you can find her traveling to different places, writing poetry, or getting lost in a good book.