Beautiful, beautiful Salzburg. The train ride from Lucerne to Salzburg took 6.5 hours, but it felt like a breeze. We were lucky that the train was quite empty, which meant that we were able to move to different seats or stretch out when we wanted to. I just loved tracking our journey live on my phone, and it was so exciting every time we crossed a border!
Where We Stayed
Our hotel was Star Inn Hotel Premium Salzburg Gablerbräu, which was a fair walk from the train station, but close to everything else (literally 2 minutes from Mirabell Palace!). The room was actually quite lovely, and we found it to be great value for the price.
What We Did
We attended a string quartet Mozart concert at the Marble Hall in Mirabell Palace on the first night. I have to admit that I've never been a big fan of classical music, but wanted to attend this for the experience. I felt so undeserving at times throughout the performance. I feel so ashamed of my poor knowledge of classical music despite having completed 8th grade in piano! However, it was still surreal knowing that it was where Mozart had performed before. The hall itself was so majestic and intricate, none of my photos do it justice.
The next day, we heeded the advice of the receptionist and purchased the 24 hour Salzburg Card. It really is the best way to see Salzburg, as it offers free admission to most attractions as well as free public transport. We spent the whole day exploring the city, visiting attractions and zipping in and out of lots and lots of museums. Salzburg is indeed a haven for museum lovers - our favourite was the Mozart Geburtshaus!
The Salzburg Card also gave us a free trip to and from Festung Hohensalzburg via the funicular - it's the fortress perched on the hill in the top right hand corner.
Naturally we coursed in and out the old town between attractions and soaked in the lovely atmosphere - market vendors, pastel-coloured buildings, people on their bicycles and people having picnics along the river. It must be amazing living in such a beautiful city!
On our second and final morning, I realised that I hadn't taken any pictures of Mirabell Gardens despite living so close! I braved the rain and joined other tourists and their umbrellas for some photo taking. It was so pretty even though it was grey, wet and gloomy!
What We Bought
#1: Mozartkugel (Mozart Balls)
If you can only buy one thing from Salzburg, it'll have to be Mozart balls! They are made of nougat, marzipan and dark chocolate. You will see them all over supermarkets and souvenir shops, and are great gifts to bring back from your holidays. We bought some for ourselves from the original makers, Fürst, which we thought were so delicious, but quite expensive at 1.20 euros a pop. The Mirabell brand is cheaper (cheapest at the supermarkets!), although we did not personally try them.
#2: Nannerl Schnapps
I'm not sure if Salzburg is actually known for schnapps, but Nannerl (Mozart's sister) definitely is! These flavoured brandies are sold in violin-shaped bottles of different sizes and are very pretty!
We stumbled across a shop, Salzburg-Salz, selling all sorts of salt from around the region. It was unfortunate that we didn't get to visit any of the salt mines because we were only there for a such a short period, but at least we managed to bring back some local produce! There were so many different flavours - natural, garlic, hibiscus, lavender, you name it!
What We Ate
We really only had one proper meal in Salzburg, which was at Zum Zirkelwirt. I loved, loved, loved the relaxed and authentic atmosphere - it was a great introduction to Austrian cuisine.
This was my first (of many) Almdudler that I ordered throughout my stay in Austria. It's a herbal soft drink that is oh so good and satisfying!
This was also the place where we first tried classic clear beef soup and oh my goodness, it really warmed my tummy and my soul. It tasted so nutritious, hearty and pure. We chose to have it served with semolina dumplings.
My main was mystery Austrian dumplings with sauerkraut. It still remains a mystery what I actually ate, but I love the ones with the crunchy filling!
Hubby had the Wiener schnitzel made of pork, and it was crumbed really well. I had a bite and it was so crispy!
We continued sampling Austrian food when we got to Vienna so do look forward to that in the next post!