Salzburg

After ending my time in Munich I packed my bag, jumped on a train and my travels brought me to Salzburg. Birthplace to Mozart and the setting for the “Sound of Music”, its alpine scenery and baroque architecture really do make Salzburg one of Europe’s most picturesque travel destinations and if you happen to be travelling there over the festive period like I was, then you can expect a real winter wonderland experience.

I was staying at the hotel Goldgasse; a fantastic boutique hotel set in the heart of the old town. A member of the small luxury hotels of the world brand, this stylish, contemporary  hotel nestled down one of Salzburg’s intricate winding shopping lanes is a real gem of a find. Rooms are spacious and offer a relaxing, comfortable bed with a seating area and stylish furnishings. Each room is different and has its own large format scene dedicated to a performance from the Salzburg festival decorated on the walls offering a unique style and character. Bathrooms are spacious and well-decorated and offer a fantastic power shower. Downstairs you will find the cosy rustic style restaurant providing seasonal Austrian cuisine and a very friendly, welcoming atmosphere. The hotel receptionist was extremely welcoming and helpful and was quick to help with any enquires that I may have had.

If you are looking to unwind and surround yourself with nature then a stay at the Romantic Hotel Gmachl is in order. Situated on the edge of Salzburg and just a 15 minute bus ride to central Salzburg this picturesque wellness spa hotel offers up the opportunity for you to indulge in some much needed rest and relaxation. From saunas to steam rooms and with a spa set against spectacular views of The Alps this hotel is a must for everyone who is looking for the opportunity to engage in a slower pace of living.

With my check-in complete I set off to my first destination Hohensalzburg Fortress. Perched atop Festungsberg a small mountain just outside of Salzburg’s old town and just a stone’s throw away from the hotel Goldgasse. As I weaved my way through the courtyard where the Christmas market stalls were being arranged for the day and up the meandering path towards this grand spectacle of a fortress, you can really begin to see Salzburg’s charm as you look down upon the snow covered rooftops of this magical little city. Once you reach the top take your time to tour around this imposing fortress and revel in the panoramic views that it offers over the city and its surroundings.

On my return down from visiting the fortress I set off on a stroll to explore the old town. The Medieval and Baroque architecture gives Salzburg a unique look that helps attract millions of visitors to the city each year. So why not take full advantage of this perfect opportunity to lose yourself in the cities charming little streets? As you wind your way through the maze of boutique shops take a moment to grab a coffee and unwind at one of the coffee houses as you watch the world pass you by. With the Christmas festivities in full swing make sure not to pass up the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local festive traditions whilst indulging in some of the local delicacies at one of the many decorative Christmas stalls that you happen to pass by. Once you’ve had your fill of delicious food take a look over at Getreidegasse the famous street that runs parallel with the Salzach river for a spot of shopping, whilst along the way stopping to see Mozart’s Gebertshaus the birthplace of Mozart. Here visitors can get introduced to the early life of the famous composer.

For your fix of culture and museums make your way over to Mozartplatz Square. Here sits the bronze statue of Mozart that was unveiled in the presence of his sons in the 1800’s. Along with the statue you will find the Salzburg Museum offering you the chance to see the artistic and cultural history of the city, whilst within close proximity the Salzburg Christmas Museum guarantees to put you in the Christmas spirit by providing some festive sparkle. Also sitting beside the Mozartplatz lies both The Residenplaz and the Domplaz both of which are worth taking the time out of your day to get acquainted with and explore whilst if you take a glimpse overhead you will notice proudly looming over the Domplatz is Salzburg Cathedral, be sure to take a look inside and feast your eyes over the fantastically decorated architecture and interior.

Upon finishing my visit around the old town I made my way across the Salzach river and shortly arrived at the Mirabell Palace and Gardens. Listed as a cultural heritage monument and built in 1606, here you can walk around the pristinely immaculate gardens and go inside and marvel at the Marbell Hall one of the world’s most popular wedding venues and host venue of the Salzburg palace concerts.

Chances are by now you’re starting to get a little peckish and there’s no better place in Salzburg to grab a bite to eat than GustaV- this cosy, casual, vegan eaterie is the perfect place to enjoy some fantastic, creative, plant based food. With its vibrant atmosphere and delicious food making it is a must for your stop in Salzburg.

For the chance to experience life in the fast lane make a pit-stop at Hangar 7 for the chance to see a historical collection of air-planes, helicopters and famous formula one racing cars. It also serves as home for the flying bulls, a private aircraft fleet stationed in Salzburg.

To round off your evening why not take a leisurely stroll along the Salzach river to take in the city’s beauty as the day time turns into night. Take a moment to take an admiring glance at the alluring scenery as the city’s lights twinkle in the background. It was here as I walked along the peaceful river front I began a moment’s reflection on my time spent in this fabulous little city. With a quaint and charming personality combined with picturesque beauty, good looks and a splash of magic this city allows you to believe that you’re starring and walking on the set of a far-fetched whimsical movie. So with that in mind and like with all happy film endings I sauntered off into the sunset to prepare for my next stop- Vienna.

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