Our Salzburg day trip


We heard a lot of people say that we shouldn’t travel so much once we got to Europe. It’s the side effect of knowing we won’t be going back in the near future. We wanted to make the most of it. And after watching Rick Steves’ episode on Hulu about Salzburg we really wanted to go.

Salzburg is about an hour and half by train from Munich. It was an easy trip. I bought our tickets online before we left from DB Bahn so it was easy. We got one Bayern Ticket, which made the trip pretty cheap. And again our hotel was pretty much across the street from the train station so getting around was very easy.

We left for Salzburg pretty early — around 7 a.m. so that we would arrive in time to eat breakfast in Salzburg. It was pretty chilly and rainy even in August. And my phone crapped out as soon as we got to Austria. I guess that’s the price of the data card; it isn’t reliable. There was a good 15 minutes of terror as we realized we had no idea where we were and couldn’t speak the language. But we found an information booth that had easy city maps (for FREE!) and we were able to purchase the Salzburg card.

On that note, I highly recommend the card. It covered any bus trip, even though you don’t really need to bus in the main city, and all of the sights we wanted to see. It was worth it to not have to worry about waiting in lines or paying so many individual sights.

My first impression of Salzburg is that is was so easy to walk. It was kind of shocking how quickly we reached all our destinations. We started walking from the Hbf toward town and in 10 minutes were at Mirabell Palace. It was closed since it was Sunday but we wandered through the gardens, made famous in “The Sound of Music.” That place was beautiful.

mirabell palace

Directly across the street was one Mozart museum (there’s another one in the old part of town). We hadn’t planned to go in but it was there and we had the pass. Plus, it was raining.

It’s funny that Salzburg is divided into the old part of town and the new part because it all feels pretty old. It was really pretty and very clean. It was also pretty quiet but I think that’s because it was raining and it was Sunday.

2014-08-24 12.36.28

Then we went in search of food. Easier said than done. We wanted to a great breakfast but with no cell service we just ended up walking through the streets. One place seemed to only have coffee and liquor so we stumbled on a bar/restaurant with a live band playing American 90s music in German and low lights serving brunch. So weird. And the traditional Austrian breakfast we ordered from the Austrian menu via Googling random phrases was weird, too — basket of breads, jam, soft boiled egg, a plate of charcuterie and cheese and fruit with yogurt.

austrian breakfast

When we finally left (as we discovered eating anywhere is a time consuming affair), we realized we were directly at the corner of the famous Salzburg street Getreidegasse. We’d planned to go to have chocolates at Fursts and schnapps at Sporer (we learned about that via Rick Steves). But both were closed. We should have done that appropriate Googling before planning that leg of the trip. Oh, well. While a lot of the stores were closed on Sunday there was still plenty to see.

shopping in salzburg

A few blocks down we stumbled on other stores that sold schnapps (so we bought a couple bottles of course) and then we found another Fursts with customers out the door getting chocolates (there was also a restaurant so if we’d only walked a few more blocks …). We bought a couple bites for a snack as we walked around the beautiful old town.

fursts austrian chocolate

Salzburg was amazing. So many old churches. We even stumbled on the oldest restaurant in Europe, open since 807! In one church a guy was practicing the pipe organ and were treated to a show.

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We happened to be there during the Salzburg Festival so stages were set up in the town square. I’d looked into getting tickets to a show but everything was sold out or at a bad time. It didn’t matter though, the town was filled with music, street performers playing on random corners everywhere.

old salzburg

Then we found the tram to take us up to the fortress, Hohensalzburg (it was all covered and we didn’t wait in line with the card). It’s a real medieval castle and has breathtaking views of the city and the Alps. The museum in the fortress wasn’t amazing but it was interesting to see the old chambers and recovered items. It was definitely one of our favorite stops.

hohensalzburg fortress

We stopped and had a beer (and hot tea for me since I was coming down with a cold) atop the mountain with an incredible view.

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One of the big reasons we wanted to go to Salzburg was to see the Stiegl brewery. I’d read that they do an English language tour on Sunday at 4 p.m. so we started out to get there from the fortress. We could have taken a bus (the bus map was really easy to understand) but the husband thought we could just walk. It was a little less than a mile walk through the newer part of town and some neighborhoods. Then we saw the giant brewery with kegs stacked the length and height of the building.

stiegl brauwelt

Unfortunately the tour wasn’t in English (the Internet lied!) so we opted to just enjoy all the beer we could at the restaurant. That was the kind of beer experience we were looking for that we didn’t find in Munich. Had we wanted to take the tour, it was covered with the card.

stiegl brew

By then we were wiped and hungry. We debated eating at the brewery but Chas had a weird idea about eating ethnic food while we could. We searched for the best Thai in town and found one near the train station. But we knew we had to take a bus to get there. So we started tying to figure out where we could catch the bus and which one to take.

Chas fell asleep on the bus.

Chas fell asleep on the bus.

Unfortunately we got on the bus going the wrong direction but we did get a good view of the entire city. We walked through a residential neighborhood to find a hidden gem of a Thai place. The food didn’t disappoint and we left stuffed, heading back to the train station.

We were about an hour early for our 10 p.m. train. We wanted to catch the earlier train since there’s a new one to Munich every hour but no one was available to help. So we grabbed more hot tea (I seriously felt crappy at this point) and more schnapps from the market in the station and waited. We arrived back in Munich around 11:30 pretty exhausted but it was very much worth it.

We didn’t see every inch of Salzburg but I felt like we had a great overview of the beautiful city. I also discovered that hot tea and schnapps really helps a sore throat.

2014-08-24 13.21.14 HDR

One Response to “Our Salzburg day trip”
  1. Charles says:

    Salzburg is one of my favorite European cities. It can be pricey but a little research can save much. The music venues, the sights and sounds are a treat. And whether a “Sound of Music” fan or not, the movie tour with Peter on Panorama tours is a very pleasurable trip to the lake area.
    For a beer buff, the Stiegl brewery is a must. Great beers all served at proper temperature, in it’s proper glass, unhurried until ready to serve. Great food. These people know what they’re doing and at a very reasonable price.

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