9 August 2012

The Hills are Alive With the Sound of Music

The hills really are alive with the sound of music in Salzburg. Admittedly, this was mainly my singing when I visited this amazing city. As a big fan of the Sound of Music (not even considered a guilty pleasure in my eyes), Salzburg then seemed an obvious choice of city to visit when I interrailed western Europe. Even if you aren't a fan of the Sound of Music, Salzburg is still a city where you can explore true Austrian culture and see Austrian locals at their finest. One of my most fond memories of Salzburg was sitting in the village square eating freshly baked pretzels watching two Austrian men play a giant game of chess. May seem odd but that is what Austria is about: the outdoors, good food and old school tradition.

There is a great deal to do in Salzburg as it is very theatrical city with cultural references ranging from Mozart to the Sound of Music. You can expect cobbled streets, salted pretzels, high meadows and boys wearing gurtels yodeling (honestly, that did happen). I’m not going to bore you too much of how I spent my trip but here are a few of the sights that I’d recommend.

Schloss Hellbrunn

Just a bus ride out of the city, this palace is definitely worth a visit and probably one of the main attractions in Salzburg. Beautiful gardens, huge palace and a feature called the Trick Fountains. A number of inexpensive tours run throughout the day for the Trick Fountains, which in a nutshell highlight how previous Austrian rulers and officials hosted parties at the palace and basically used to wet their guests with hidden, trick fountains in the dinner tables, the gardens and the dance halls. A fun tour and you get to know Austrian history as well. Also the famous Sound of Music glass gazebo is in the gigantic gardens of this palace, grab a photo op if you’re a keen fan like me…


Salzburg is the city of Mozart. May not seem interesting to some but you can find heaps of Mozart museums, his birthplace, his house where he grew up in and tons of Mozart souvenirs. Worth a visit to look at either the Mozart Gerburtshaus or the Mozart Wohnhaus, but definitely not a must see.

Salzburg Zoo

The zoo is a bus ride away from the centre and worth a visit as there are some nice palaces/gardens and true Austrian culture surrounding the zoo. I also think the Hellbrunn Palace and trick fountains may be near the zoo.

Science Museum

I love a good science museum. The more I look back at what I did in Salzburg, the more I love this city, and the science museum was one of the reasons why. May not seem appealing to all but quite a childlike place to press buttons, see an aquarium and explore the wonders of space, and all in the heart of Salzburg.

There is a great deal more to see than what I've mentioned, including the great castles on top of the city’s hills, puppet museums and even puppet shows. Also, very difficult to pinpoint anyone cafe/restaurant as all were incredible in my mind. Grab a pure hot chocolate at a cafe or a freshly baked pretzel from the street, and act like a real Austrian (or an obsessed English film fan) and fill the hills with the sound of music…

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