Two ways to visit Salzburg

Salzburg is one of these holiday destinations you can visit in two ways: the hard way or the soft way. The hard way involves sensible shoes, a lot of leg work and quite a good level of fitness to conquer Salzburg’s famous landmark, the Festung Hohensalzburg, perched high up on the Festungsberg. You can if course use the cable car, but the dedicated visitor to the castle climbs up on foot starting a steady uphill path through the Mirabell Garten, then crossing into the old part of town and following the Festungsgasse.

Construction of the castle  started in 1077 when the original building was a wooden structure. Over the following centuries, the castle was expanded and fortified until it reached its present state as one of the largest and best preserved medieval castles in Europe. Within the castle there is a lot to see too, the Fortress museum, the Regency chamber and the marionette museum. You need quite a lot of time to enjoy the views and to catch your breath along the way as well as walking around  the buildings themselves. After that you can of course take the cable car down.

The soft way is somehow more in tune with the particular laid back atmosphere and melodious dialect  of Salzburg. People don’t seem to be in a hurry here, just watch a housewife choosing fruit or flowers  at one of the many stalls in the market.  They’ll meet their friends and neighbors and stop for a chat in the middle of the sidewalk and you’ll never find an empty coffee house.

Flowershop in Salzburg

Therefore the more sedate exploration of Salzburg commences with a stroll around the vast and lovely Mirabell Garten, admiring the artistic landscaping, the statues and fountains. If you are lucky, you might even witness a wedding.

Carriage in Salzburg's Mirabell Garten

Follow the Rainerstrasse until you come  to the house were Mozart lived and, close to it, the famous Hotel and Café Sacher. This is one of the must-dos in Salzburgh, either sitting on the terrace overlooking the river Salzach or inside admiring the wall of fame and sampling a piece of Sacher torte and coffee.

Interior of Cafe Sacher

Thus fortified you cross over one of the many bridges, look at Mozart’s birthplace and then make your way through the many winding Gassen to the Domplatz.  It’s easy to spend hours just looking at the antique shops, the market, the Residenz and the Dom, all without climbing anywhere.

House where Mozart was born

If you have come by train from Munich, as I did on this occasion, it’s an easy 40 minute walk back to the station past all the beautiful Salzburg attractions in reverse. You will never lose sight of the mighty Festung Hohensalzburg either.

You can also follow Arwa’s Top 4 Sightseeing Tips for Salzburg.

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