Not far North of Zell Am See lies the fourth largest city in Austria: Salzburg. This baroque place is rather picturesque with its scenic Alpine surroundings, historical monuments and 11th century fortress. It’s location is a top tourist attraction for lovers of The Sound of Music and even more so for fans of Mozart with his former house functioning as a museum in his memory. The Salzach River flows through the center of Salzburg, segregating the more historical sector on the left bank from the mighty Capuchin Mountain on the right.
View over the Salzach River © Jessica Gatfield
The journey by train from Zell Am See to Salzburg took around 90 minutes at the cost of €18. The route was very scenic and even more beautiful when covered in untouched snow. Thankfully Salzburg as a city had a lot to offer on the sightseeing front. The train station is a 25 minute walk from the center of Salzburg and does take some navigating to find your way around. Locating a free map is a must-do to save both time and energy on getting lost!
Our first stop was visiting Mozart’s Residence. Whether you are a keen classical music fan or not, learning about Mozart’s life up until his unexpected death is very interesting. At a quite pricey €10 a ticket, we were apprehensive of not getting our money’s worth. However, there is a lot to see, a lot to hear and a lot to read. The museum consists of many artefacts, timelines and more interestingly letters to and from his wife whom he was extremely besotted with. We were informed of his gambling addictions, his travelling all over Europe to perform as well as his love for his two surviving children. The Residence’s artefacts are spread over a number of floors and through long corridors taking a good hour or so to complete the loop. A Salzburg must-see!
To further the Mozart experience, a visit to the Mozart monument in Mozartplatz is worth a see.
Lunch in Salzburg
Among the windy cobbled streets lies a hearty array of small cafe’s, restaurants and clothing stores. We came across Tascaria Moredo, a steak house by name that also offers a wonderful salad bar that caters for vegetarians & vegans. Recommended by my wonderful companion, we eagerly dug into the salad bar and piled our plates high for the €5.50 price tag. Accompanied by the best potato wedges this side of Europe, we were rather content with the food and reenergised for a long afternoon of walking.
Picturing the fortress in the distance, we decided to climb up to the City’s most famous landmark. The castle offers a tram-like lift from the bottom of the fortress to the top, saving the lless ambitious a case of leg burn. It is quite a climb to the castle gates however worth it just for the view. We decided against going into the castle itself in order to save our Euros for other sightseeing opportunities ahead however walked around the castle itself and photographed the view.
Upon coming down the hill, we explored the Salzburg Cathedral in all of it’s beauty. Rebuilt in its Baroque style in the 17th century, this exquisite building still beholds the baptismal font in which Mozart was baptised in as a child. The interior paintings within the Cathedral’s dome are unique, framed by small windows allowing natural sunlight to illuminate each piece individually.
Before returning to Zell Am See, we stopped for Apple Strudel and a coffee as well as exploring many of the traditional shops en route. Austrian hand painted eggs are quite the spectacle and drew us in to The Christmas Store. Filled with hundreds of decorated eggs, this store explored both Christmas and Easter themes in a variety of sizes, colours and designs. The ornaments are sold individually and placed in egg boxes to safely transport home. To top it all off, along with having witnessed an array of Mozart chocolates within Salzburg, you could also buy Mozart themed eggs to hang upon your Christmas tree!