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“Magic Winter”
Review of Salzburg

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Perth, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
1 review
33 helpful votes
“Magic Winter”
Reviewed 29 March 2008

If you are in Central Europe during the Winter months (northern hemisphere) you should make every effort to spend a few days in one of the most charming places I would choose for a European Winter experience that does not necessarily have to involve skiing.
Whether you go ice skating on the "Mozart Platz" in the center of the city, have mulled wine, take a stroll on on of the mountains in the middle of the city, which gives you magnificent views, or want to breath some thousand years of history, baroque style, music, arts, or museums, Salzburg is probably one of the most exquisite places I have been to.
If you want organized travel, there are bus trips to surrounding areas and sites available starting from the Mirabell Platz, a square in front of the Mirabell Schloss, about 5 minute bus trip from the main train station. The same Schloss Mirabell (a baroque castle with beautiful gardens, outdoor theater stage, maze of hedges, fountains, and statues depicting classical Greek mythology) also features top quality classical concerts (Salzburger Schlosskonzerte) in its Marmor Saal (marble hall), a hall with walls and floors entirely made of marble, which is used during the day time to conduct weddings in the most romantic setting.
Most importantly I would like to mention that the prices, compared by international standard, are very affordable. This goes for hotels, restaurants, concerts, museum admissions, etc.

A word about restaurants: Austrian gastronomy needs special mention, as besides formal restaurants for eating out, or coffee shops where one would mainly have a hot drink with one of the irresistible slices of cake, there are also Tavern-like places, where one can eat full meals, or just choose to have a glass of beer or wine, a spirit, a bowl of soup, franks, crepes, or whatever else the menu offers.
The most unusual feature of these places is that one can sit there alone, with a friend, or in larger company, over a cup of coffee or a glass of beer, and enjoy the atmosphere without feeling that one has to leave within a short time.
I used to go to the so called "Müllner Bräustübl" a large brew house where they serve great beer in big ceramic steins, and sit there over one beer for an hour or two, without being 'molested' by waiters. In smaller taverns (Gasthaus) the waitress or the waiter will approach the guests, when they see that the guest finished his/her drink, but only out of courtesy to find out if you want something else, and not in a pushy manner.
Again, the pricing in all the places I have been to was very reasonable.
I experienced New Year's Eve in Salzburg, which was an amazing event, with people - equipped with fireworks and champagne bottles - were packed in the city center as well as on the city mountains, from which most of the fireworks were launched. However there was a small disappointment: The fireworks started so early, and in such great numbers, that the old city was veiled in smoke by the time midnight came around. It also was extremely crowded, but due to the frosty weather this didn't feel oppressive. People in general were very friendly, happy, and disciplined that night.
I would like to suggest a beautiful walk along the Untersberg, Salzburgs highest mountain in the closer vicinity to the city.
It is a 15 minute drive in direction of Großgmain, with a forest road, closed to regular traffic, going along the mountain in a magic setting of snow laden trees and mountains. At the end of the valley one reaches "Wolfsschwang", and gets rewarded with the sight of a herd of deers that is kept in a large enclosed area there. A wooden cabin has a coin slot on one of the outside walls and when inserting 50 Eurocent, deer fodder is being ground, and falls into a bucket, which can be taken to feed the deers.
Most importantly, - the tourist masses are only in the city center, and when venturing onto one of the mountains, or into some old side street, one always can find quite recluse in order to just soak in the atmosphere.

Helpful?
33 Thank ariber1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bermuda
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
67 helpful votes
“Beautiful Salzburg”
Reviewed 5 February 2008

My friend and I spent a week in Salzburg in January 08. We stayed at the Goldener Hirsch Hotel, and set out on our first morning to do the walking tour that encompasses Mozartplatz, the Fortress, St Peter's, the Cathedral etc.
The fortress is a must, if only for the magnificent views it gives you of the city. The only negative part of the visit to the fortress was the rude, surly waitress in the cafe. In the cafe's favour, it served the best hot chocolate we had on our trip.
Eating out in Salzburg was a little difficult, as many of the restaurants only print the menus in German. Having seen some translated menus mentioning things like "boiled veal cheeks", I would be careful about just being brave and taking pot luck! We had great food at Yuen Chinese restaurant, and there are plenty of other options if you don't appreciate typical austrian food. Of course, the pastries and cakes are fantastic in just about all of the coffee shops.
We did the Sound of Music tour with Panorama Tours, and it was excellent. Even if you aren't really a fan of the film, do the tour purely for the fabulous sightseeing you do round and about Salzburg. We also did the tour to Bavaria with Panorama as well. Both guides, Peter and Bern, were knowlegeable and friendly.
Take time away from Getreidegasse to explore the other side of the Salzach river, and see Linzergasse. It's less picturesque, but prices are cheaper, and there is a great cafe called Cafe Habukkuk which lives up to it's other reviews on this site. For takeaway food, try Cafe Indigo(they have 2 sites on either side of the river)
Salzburg has only one negative that I can mention, and that is that smoking is allowed in restaurants, and in many cases, not even in a designated area. Many locals seem to smoke, and I found this really off putting when out for meals, coffee etc.

Helpful?
9 Thank overseaslass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
60 reviews
54 helpful votes
“A little bit of everything”
Reviewed 14 January 2008

There is only one place outside my home country that I have visited more than any other place and that is Salzburg. I visited in 2003 and it was one of the best places I visited whilst on a 3 month tour of Western Europe. I returned in 2005, 2006 and 2007. One of those years is when I gave the old Oktoberfest a visit in nearby Munich. Salzburg wouldnt have those brilliant memories for me if it wasnt for the accomodation and that is the YoHo hostel located about 10 minutes from the train station and about 15 minutes from the old town. The hostel is great for meeting like minded travellers and is also a stop off destination for 'Busabout' and if you're around when the that lot are in town then expect lots of drinking and little sleep. Salzburg is famous for its salt mines, 'The Sound of Music' and Mozart but its the futher afield attractions which also makes Salzburg a good place to visit. The hostels and Tourist Information can arrange trips to Werfen where you can see the largest Ice Caves in Europe and see them with a guide using old lighting techniques of oil lamp and magnesium strip or you can catch a train to Berchtesgaden and see Adolf Hitlers Eagles Nest where amazing views of the Alps can be seen and Salzburg in the distant valleys. A trip to the Salt Mines can be done also and most hostels and hotels do daily Sound of Music Tours. There are good pubs and bars with live music down by the river and there is good food in and around the town also but if you want to stay at the YoHo then you must book early in the summer months

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5 Thank Rich-Lee-Rewarded
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
6 helpful votes
“Mostly Mozart”
Reviewed 11 November 2007

I wouldn’t recommend going to Salzburg, unless you’re very keen on Mozart. There isn’t much there in the way of museums & art galleries, and most of what there is closes at 17:00. About the only attractions remaining open after this time are Mozarts Geburtshaus & Mozarts Wohnhaus. We wandered around Mozarts Geburtshaus one early evening, looking at exhibits such as a drawing comparing Mozart’s left ear to somebody else’s, and and a lock of what the museum thought might possibly be a lock of Mozart’s hair. I did like some of the exhibits in the Dommuseum (Cathedral Museum), and the cathedral itself was no less attractive than the average cathedral, but there wasn’t much else that was worth going to see.

In particular, beware of the Barokmuseum. It’s only after you’ve paid your money (admittedly not much, I think it was five euro) that you read that they haven’t actually got any finished works of art at all: just a collection of pencil drawings and what is translated into English as ‘rough sketches’ (I think sometimes we use the word ‘esquisse’; I can’t remember the German).

If you go on the river cruise, note that there are a few seats at the back of the boat which are open to the elements, whereas most of the seats are covered and you have to look out through the plastic walls of the enclosure.

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2 Thank NeilTT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
28 helpful votes
“Traveling in Salzburg with my Dad”
Reviewed 6 October 2007

The Salzburg Card – Must Buy!

Travel Agents Beware: Salzburg is a no-brainer; all you need is a 72 hour Salzburg Card. For 36 euros you get free access to most of the major attractions with free public transportation. Mark up the card for dry or wet days and enjoy. Below are the sights my father and I saw with comments. BTW: The card is only good once per sight for one user. My father is 83 and requires the use of a walker for longer distances. My handicap rating is NOT for those who require wheelchairs.

Cable-Car Untersberg - A must see! The regular price is 18 euros and hence you’ve paid for half the card. The views from atop the mountain are breathtaking but a little scary if you decide to go for a hike to visit the mountain climber’s memorial. Those of you who are vertically challenged will still enjoy the views as long as you don’t stray from the guard rails.

Handicap Friendly for those with walkers. The bus almost takes you right to the Cable Car.

Hellbrunn – Palace and Trick Fountains – More for the kiddies. The fountains were fun but the palace itself didn’t have that much worth seeing. It’s on the way back from the Untersberg Mountain, so you might as well drop in.

Not Handicap Friendly. The bus doesn’t drop you off near the Palace and hence there is far too much walking required.

Hohensalzburg Fortress – Spectacular views and you get a close-up look at the famed Marionettes.

Not Handicap Friendly. Cabs won’t even take you up to the funicular.

Salzach Cruise – Good orientation to place yourself in the city. It’s a combination of video/live guide and music.

Handicap Friendly.

Miracle’s Waxmuseum – A little too touristy for me. Go for it with the card but don’t pay 12 euros.

Not Handicap Friendly. There is no lift and too many steps.

Mozart’s Birthplace – A must see since you are in Mozart Land but again…a little too touristy and not enough substance. A guide to ask questions of would have made the experience so much better.

Not Handicap Friendly. There is no lift and too many steps.

Mozart’s Residence – Lots of substance here with a very interesting self audio guide and good film.

Handicap Friendly with a lift.

Mönchsberglift to the Museum of Modern Art Salzburg – Only worth it on a sunny day for the view. The art exhibit was a little too modern for my liking. This site was difficult to find and curiously, there were trucks and cars blocking my father and myself from getting into the building to the lift! There was a painting of Salzburg Royalty with a Camel Head which I would recall later during my stay. Quite a few people smoke in Salzburg.

Museum of Natural History – Close to the Museum of Modern Art, so you might as well drop by. More for the kids.

Handicap Friendly.

Panorama Museum New Residenz – Interesting exhibits comparing the past to the present of Salzburg.

Handicap Friendly with a lift.

Residenz Gallery – Okay on a rainy day.

Handicap Friendly with a lift.


Schnitzel, best free site, music and more!

Favorite Restaurant: Stiftskeller St. Peter Restaurant – Best Schnitzel I’ve ever had with lots of potatoes. Beautiful ambience and good service. Go during lunch hour as the menu prices are lower.

Handicap Friendly.

Best Free Site: St. Rupert’s Cathedral for Sunday Mass at 10 in the morning. The Dom, as it’s called, actually boasts more art eye candy than any gallery in Salzburg. I recommend you give a small donation.

Handicap Friendly.

Salzburger Schloss Konzerte – The place to be if you’re into ‘baroque.’ We were treated to 2 Mozart Pieces along with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. I was very impressed with the quality of the chamber music. The violinist, blonde and very tall, played with such passion I thought her violin might catch fire!

Handicap Friendly with a lift but you have to find it yourself as they had very little theatre personnel from what I could see. On our way out, the door in the hallway we came in was closed. My dad was in a hurry and hence navigated the stairs. It was raining heavily and to my surprise there were no taxis lined up outside as is the custom at Canadian theaters. I had to scamper 2 blocks to a nearby hotel who kindly called a cab for us.

Wolf-Dietrich Altstadthotel und Residenz – Best breakfast brunch I’ve had in my life. All the food was BIO and well-prepared. They also treat you to afternoon coffee and late afternoon latté. Christine, who worked reception, was very helpful and also very attractive. The room was bigger than I thought it would be with a wide screen LCD, DVD player and mini fridge.

The only major problem was zero ventilation to rid yourself of unwanted washroom odors! Also, the staff and some guests smoked around the internet access area. It was supposed to be a smoke-free hotel.

Handicap Friendly in Altstadthotel part of hotel (lift).


Shopping, Mozart Balls, and who let the dogs out?

Shops – Everybody was very friendly complimenting me on my German even though I was very rusty. You’ll quickly learn to “Gruß Gott.” It’s the local greeting meaning Greeting God. I purchased a light blue Nehru linen jacket to compliment a denim Nehru shirt that I never thought I would find a jacket for! Beer was only 75 cents (Euro) at the Spars market.

Avoid the Europark, as it has nothing to capture your eye for a keepsake and the surrounding neighborhoods are a little run down.

Biggest Surprise – Dogs are welcome in cafés and restaurants and I’m happy to report the canine population in Salzburg was much better behaved than their Canadian canine counterparts – Many DO NOT even require a leash.

Mozart Balls – The Mozart Kugels in the blue silver wrapper tasted better but the others were delicious too.

Salzburg Tourism Office – They’re very serious about tourism in Salzburg! I received a brochure and many other materials within a week via mail from Salzburg to Canada. They even mailed me a short 12 minute promo about Mozart (Mozart 2006 Salzburg - 250th Anniversary) by Curt Faudon gratis. I’ve been told it was their last copy. I viewed it from my hotel library but couldn’t find a copy for sale in Salzburg. To use a favorite word of Andre Rieu, it was Fantastisch!

All in all, I had a good time but wished it hadn’t rained so much.

Helpful?
19 Thank thewizardofwords
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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