All the pathos and irony of leaving one’s youth behind is thus implicit in every joyous moment of travel: one knows that the first joy can never be recovered, and the wise traveler learns not to repeat successes but tries new places all the time.
Have you ever wondered what a day in Salzburg Austria might be like? The 2010 movie Knight and Day with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz might have you thinking one thing…but I can assure you, my experience there was much different. The train between Munich and Salzburg runs every hour and takes just under two hours, one way. The train ride is very scenic and picturesque as you pass through Bavaria to this very quaint gem in northern Austria.
With a population of only 150,000 Salzburg has a large student population as it is home for three universities. It truly has a small town feel and for international visitors it is generally only a stop-over destination in the midst of something else. As Mozart’s birthplace and the setting for The Sound of Music, Salzburg attracts all sorts of different travelers.
Gillian and I were only venturing to Salzburg for the day. We figured it would be a nice day trip during our stay in Munich. Turns out we were right. Just make sure you bring your comfortable shoes. From the Hauptbahnhof (train station) you are looking at about a 10 minute walk to the Mirabell Palace and Gardens (see pictures below)…and from there another 10 minutes to the Salzburg Cathedral in Domplatz.
The Historic City Centre of Salzburg (a UNESCO World Heritage site) is so much fun to explore. Much like Heidelberg, the city has a large ominous fortress overlooking the city that you can see from almost anywhere. Atop Festungsberg mountain, construction of Hohensalzburg Castle began in 1077 and is one of the largest medieval castles in Europe. You can enter the fortress for a fee by purchasing a Fortress Card, which will also include a ride up and down the mountain on the funicular (cable car). For a lesser charge, you are welcome to walk and simply enter the fortress.
Visiting the Hohensalzburg Fortress is something I really wish that we would’ve made the time for. After having visited a few castles recently though, we didn’t see the value at the time. If I ever end up in Salzburg again though, there is no way I’d miss it the second time around.
Little shops and kiosks are everywhere to compete for tourists’ business and horse and carriages frequent the plazas giving you the chance to travel back in time a little.
Or perhaps you feel like visiting the Mozarteum, the University of Music and Dramatic Arts honouring Wolfgang Mozart. Visit their site here if you are interested in catching a concert during your visit.
Whatever it is that draws you to Salzburg, I have no doubt you will enjoy your time there taking in the baroque architecture and meandering your way through this well preserved gem.
Thanks for reading!
For a peek at some other country profiles (including Costa Rica, Thailand, Cambodia and Germany), please check out my Travel Page.