Salzburg, or the princess-filled, castle-skylined fairytale section of an unannounced Austrian Disneyland? Sometimes, it’s honestly difficult to tell the difference: this is a city so steeped in scenic history that you almost have to pinch yourself. Church spires dominate the city skyline, backed up by countless idyllic mountains and centered on a striking fortress, you’ll find yourself subconsciously playing ‘The Sound of Music’ in your mind as you stroll these breathless alpine streets.
Inevitably, such a selection has bought some serious tourism with it: who wouldn’t want to see a gentle (freezing) river running out of the alpine meadows, guarded by streets that you simply have to photograph, and lit up at night like a magnificent fairy cake? The musical history here is all about Amadeus: Mozart still permeates every concert hall (and coffee shop), and it’s easy to see why he was quite so inspired. You can explore the city from the back of your own king-for-a-day horse drawn carriage, blast through and into the mountains on an off road bike, or simply sit by the river, sip on your tea and soak it all up.
The 11th century fortress – perched over the city on a gentle hill – is essential viewing, as is Mozart’s birthplace and the museum that commemorates him. Salzburg Cathedral is impressive year round, but comes to life at Christmas when the seasonal markets come to town, while the all-encompassing 7th century St Peter’s Abbey – the baroque home of numerous Benedictine Monks – is well worth a tour, too.
If you’re into your shopping, explore the claustrophobic and designer-focused main street of Gertreidegasse, admiring the gilded signs on the way past; if you prefer adventure, be sure to dedicate a day or two of your trip to heading for the hills instead. In the summer you’ll find the jingle of cowbells and some immense panoramas, while the winter brings an enviable ski culture.
A city of class and panache not to be missed, if Salzburg wasn’t so authentic it would almost be tacky. But it’s very real, so why not live out your fairytale fantasies?
Berchtesgaden is an old town in the South-East of Germany, on 3 sides bordered by Austria. It is a real tourist town now, with mountains rising up all around. The most famous is the Watzmann.…
I been there before