While Vienna may be the “City of Dreams,” Salzburg is the “Stage of the World” for its artistic and cultural significance. So after spending time in Vienna, take the three hour or so trip to Salzburg and also spend some time in Innsbruck. By train or by car, the trips involve some fabulous scenery. Salzburg is the birthplace of Mozart, the city where much of the “Sound of Music” was filmed and Innsbruck lays claim to a heritage of salt, silver and gold mines, an Olympic history and the Swarovski experience. GetAway Travel advisors can plan your trip and pack in some fabulous experiences and memories.
Architecture, Mozart and more
The fourth largest city in Austria, Salzburg sits on the border of Germany and is divided by the Salzach River. Salt mining was the primary source of income here, and the reason Salzburg became a huge trade center. It is renowned for its well-preserved examples of Baroque architecture and much of the city has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site because of the cultural significance of the buildings.
The city seems like a movie backdrop with its historic churches, abbeys, palaces, concert halls and a fortress. It’s like you are just waiting for Julie Andrews to show up and start belting out “the hills are alive…” as you look up at the Alps.
Much of the “Sound of Music” was filmed in and around Salzburg and Mozart was born here so, the hills pretty much are alive with the sound of music. That’s especially true in August during the Salzburg Festival. More than 250,000 people gather to hear classical and contemporary performances by more than 200 artists during the festival.
Wonderful view of Sazlburg featured right at the start of Do-Re-Mi
Tours of area historic sites make reference to their appearance in the “Sound of Music,” but there are also a number of tours that just take visitors to areas that were featured in the movie.
You can see the Von Trapp home which is actually Leopoldskron Palace, the Nonnberg Abbey where Maria’s abbey scenes were filmed and the Mondsee Cathedral where Maria married the Baron Von Trapp. There is, of course, a Sound of Music World Museum in Salzburg.
Maria and the Baron’s wedding at Mondsee Cathedral
Hohensalzburg Fortress sits on a hill overlooking the city. Take a trip on the cable car railway and wander through the medieval era rooms and the courtyard. It is thought to be one of Europe’s best preserved gothic structures.
The Mozart Museum is Mozart’s birthplace in the center of the city. You can’t miss the bright yellow building. Walk through the family apartments, see his musical instruments and other period memorabilia.
The Salzburg Cathedral is a stunning landmark. The centuries-old Baroque style building houses a crypt, some lovely statues, seven fabulous bells, the Vanitas art installation, a museum and a baptismal font. Mozart and Joseph Mohr, who wrote, “Silent Night,” were baptized in Salzburg Cathedral.
The bright, yellow Hellbrunn Palace is worth a visit because of the trick fountains. Wander the gardens and check out the water features, fountains, grottos and geysers.
A short drive from Salzburg will take you to Salt Mine Berchtesgaden. The tour there will give you all the information you need about the mines and salt mining and as an added bonus — a cool boat ride on a subterranean lake.
Add some sparkle with a trip to Innsbruck
Innsbruck is a little more than two hours for Salzburg. It was also a trade center. There are some great examples of design and architecture in Innsbruck. The city is home to two small, but stunning churches. Hofkirche has 28 bronze statues of founders and heroes of Austria. The Cathedral of St. James is a great example of Baroque architecture. The interior has a beautiful ceiling, as well as great artwork.
Schloss Ambras is a medieval fortress that was transformed into a Renaissance castle by Archduke Ferdinand II for his wife. Enjoy the medieval armor and artwork inside the castle. The city is also home to a quaint Folk Art Museum as well as Tirol Panorama, a modern museum that lays out the complicated history of Tirol.
The 1976 Olympic venues are still in use and you can enjoy panoramic views of the city from the Olympic ski jump.
Innsbruck is home to the world headquarters of Swarovski Crystals. Swarovski Kristallwelten is a delightful place to tour and visit! There are outdoor areas with large garden sculptures, a waterfall and a hedge maze. There are indoor displays about Swarovski, but the “Chamber of Wonders” is the star. Eighteen designers created inspired displays for Swarovski.
We couldn’t resist! – one last Sound of Music video – The Lonely Goatherd