A Short Visit To Salzburg Austria
From our stay in Vienna, we headed we headed for a short visit to Salzburg Austria.
After our visit to Budapest, we were undecided on whether to spend more time in Vienna or Salzburg. We ultimately decided there was lots to see and do in Vienna, so we planned to stay there longer. But we wished we planned more time for our stay in Salzburg. We really did love our first taste test.
It was easy to wander in the newer and older parts of town from our hotel base at the Sheraton Grand Salzburg. We walked out of the back of the hotel right into the Mirabell Gardens. From there it was a short walk along the river towards town. When we crossed the river we entered the Old Town and got to the Hohensalzburg Castle.
One day we took a tour to Hallstatt in the Austrian Alps. It was a fairytale town. Our trip through the Lake District made us wish we had just one more day on our short visit to Salzburg to enjoy the lake towns. But missing them will bring us back to see more of Austria.
We Picked A Good Hotel As Our Base For Our Visit To Salzburg
On our 6 week trip in Central Europe, we worked to build hotel loyalty status. There were often one or more options in many of the places we stopped. In Salzburg we stayed at the Sheraton Grand Salzburg. The hotel was located very close to the river. It was a perfect base as we explored on our visit to Salzburg.
For this stop we booked a Concierge Club room. And we got upgraded to a newly renovated room. The Sheraton Grand Salzburg had one of the best Concierge Club Lounges. Food and drinks were available from 11:30 every day and the selection was great. Beer, wine and spirits were served. I even got an Aperol Spritz! There was hot food for lunch and dinner. It was great to know that we could eat well when we arrived back at the hotel totally worn out from long tour days.
Breakfast was served in the main restaurant. There was a piano bar and a great patio area. The Italian restaurant looked like a good spot for dinner.
A great hotel stay will make your visit to Salzburg even better!
Great Customer Service Makes All The Difference
The measure of customer service excellence was often how well a problem was addressed. At the end of our staying Salzburg, we left the hotel early for the train station. The business class lounge was comfortable. We settled in the lounge before we went to the train platform about 15 minutes before our train to Zurich.
It was only then that David realized that he left his DSLR camera behind. A quick phone call to the hotel and they immediately put it in a cab. David ran to meet the cab and we had mere seconds to spare to throw our bags onto the departing train. The response time was extraordinary from the hotel. It saved us from missing our train and wasting a day waiting.
Great customer service ensured we enjoyed our travel to our next stop!
The Mirabell Gardens
When we walked out the back gate of our hotel, we found the Mirabell Gardens. We stood above the gardens and had a direct view down to the Hohensalzburg Castle high on the hill above the Old Town of Salzburg.
The Mirabell Palace was not open the days we visited. As we wandered through the gardens, we found a wide and varied number of statues set in fountains and flower gardens.
As we walked through the gardens we were serenaded by the large band set up under the trees. The music changed from waltzes to polkas as people sat under the trees and just enjoyed a break.
On our visit to Salzburg, we enjoyed the tranquil setting of Mirabell Gardens several times.
Walk Along The River
When we went past the Mirabell Gardens we quickly got to the Salzach River. The first bridge we hit was a pedestrian bridge. From here we got great views of the Hohensalzburg Castle and several churches perched along the river.
The next bridge towards town was the love lock bridge. We found such an interesting variety of love locks on the bridge. The next bridge down was the main car bridge between the newer and Old Town parts of Salzburg. From this bridge we caught a glimpse of the river boats.
There did not appear to be any big river cruise boats in Salzburg. But there were smaller boats that gave tours along the shores of Salzburg. We did a river cruise in Prague and then a night river cruise in Budapest. We were sure that no other river cruise would beat those views on this trip!
Explore the Old Town
Once we crossed to the other side of the river, we wandered about the Old Town of Salzburg. It was an interesting mix of high end stores and old historical sights. Horse and carriage rides wound their way through the old town.
We saw many statues as we wandered around the Old Town. We searched for and found the gold ball statue (Sphaera) in the Kapitelplat. This statue featured prominently in many views of Salzburg. A man stood on top of the dome with the spires of the Salzburger Dom Cathedral behind it.
This is just one of the unusual pieces of art positioned around Salzburg. We saw the Caldera piece by Anthony Cragg when we wandered another day.
If we saw lots of interesting statues in the Old Town, we also saw an interesting array of clock towers. And were fascinated by the sundials we saw.
We were happy we took time and wandered in the Old Town on a visit to Salzburg.
Visit The Beautiful Churches of Salzburg
Unlike many of the cities we visited from Prague through to Budapest, we found that Salzburg was a highly religious city. Almost 75% of the population were Roman Catholic. And everywhere we looked we saw yet one more church spire.
We walked around the outside of St Peter’s Church in Old Town. The church sat at the bottom of a steep wall. In the wall we saw remnants of old buildings built right into the wall.
There was a small cemetery in back of the church. It was interesting as we walked around and saw the variety of tributes. Fresh flowers adorned many of the graves.
While the outside of St Peter’s Church was quite plain, when we peeked inside we saw a much more intricate and beautiful design.
As we wandered around Salzburg we saw many other churches. We often looked inside. The Franciscan Church was easily identified by its high domed roof and slender gothic tower.
Three saints stood atop St Marks Church. St Mark the Evangelist was in the center and St Augustine and St Ursula stood on either side. When we went inside St Marks Church, the inside was another surprise after the simplicity of the outside design.
We found it interesting as we looked at the variety in the churches on a visit to Salzburg.
Head Up To The Hohensalzburg Castle
The Hohensalzburg Castle dominated the skyline of Salzburg. We couldn’t leave without a visit up to the castle. After walking through the Old Town, we found the funicular and took the trip up.
As we climbed in the funicular the view over Salzburg got better and better. The Salzburger Dom Cathedral was the large church in the middle of the Old Town. It’s spires towered above the town. When we reached the top we walked completely around the large castle complex and got views in every direction.
It was interesting when we looked out and saw the remains of the castle walls in the trees. It reminded us of our visit to the walled city of Obidos in Portugal.
We found a very large castle complex at the top including the St. George’s Chapel. There was much to see as we walked around. We saw the Marionette Museum. And some great shops that sold amber jewelry. Golling Amber was mined in the Austrian Alps and was quite rare. For one Euro, we visited the Love Grotto for everlasting love.
On our visit to Salzburg, we were so glad we visited the Hohensalzburg Castle. The views in all directions alone were worth it!
Plan A Visit To Hallstatt In the Austrian Alps
We got a great city panoramic view when we visited the Hohensalzburg Castle in Salzburg. But we got an amazing view of the Austrian Alps and the tiny mountain town of Hallstatt when we took a day trip out of Salzburg. A funicular took us high above the town of Hallstatt for a view over the town and the lake. A brief shower at the top even gave us a great rainbow.
When we went back down we walked around the small town of Hallstatt. It was a charming little mountain town. Views of the town along the lake were postcard images.
When we planned our visit to Salzburg, we were happy we took the time and visited to the small mountain town of Hallstatt. And headed up for the panoramic views from above!
Explore The Lake Region
We ran out of days in Salzburg before we got to explore the Lake Region. We could rent a car and explore at our leisure or take one of the many tour options to different lake regions. The Hop-On-Hop-Off Lake District bus provided another great option to see the lake region outside of Salzburg.
We wanted to walk the paths around the green glacial Lake Fuschisee. On a visit to St. Gilgen we wanted to take the cable car up. Then we hoped to take the boat ride to St. Wolfgang. If we made it to Wolfgang, we wanted to take the old cog railway up to Schafberg. But we needed another very full day to explore the towns and heights of the lake region outside of Salzburg.
A visit to the Lake Region will definitely be factored into our planning for a return visit to Salzburg.
We Loved Our Visit To Salzburg Austria
We had a busy two full days on our short visit to Salzburg. But we definitely left wanting to see so much more. The city of Salzburg was quite compact but there was much to see. A visit to the Old Town and the Castle alone took the better part of a day at a leisurely pace.
And we missed so many great day trips out of town. We loved our visit to the small lake town of Hallstatt and the stunning views from the observation point. But we were really sorry we missed the Lake Region. And then there were tours that provided the full Sound of Music experience. And other tours that took you to Hitler’s Eagle Nest. We may need a full week on a return visit to Salzburg.
Our short stop in Austria was over. We boarded the train and headed to our next stop in Zurich, Switzerland for another view of this amazing region.
Have you done a visit to Salzburg? What was your favourite thing to see or do?
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