Thursday, October 20, 2016

Salzburg, Austria in 24 Hours

So many people are gearing to study abroad this spring! I'm 100% on board. Spending a semester abroad will be, without a doubt, the best experience you have in college. You will learn and see so much, grow as a person, and come back to the U.S. more cultured and ready to take on the world.

I've decided to start a little travel series here on the blog. I hope you like it! Right now I'm aiming for every Thursday... but we will see how that goes!

First up is Salzburg, Austria.

Bear with me as I try to get through this post. Salzburg will always have a special place in my heart, since it was my home away from home for four months. I love everything about the city (except when it rains for days on end…) and there’s a lot to do, but if you’re only there for a day, here are the highlights you won't want to miss:

9:00: Get a donut (or two… or three) at Tasty Donuts on Theatergasse. You can thank me later. Personal favorites: Lady Marmalade, Cinnamon, and Berry and White. Honorable mentions: anything else.

9:30: Cross the main bridge to Getreidegasse. This is the most famous (and expensive) shopping street in Salzburg. Turn left and walk along the street until you get to Mozartplatz at the end. (“Christmas in Salzburg” is also a really cool store to go in if you get a chance! It’s on the way to Mozartplatz and features tons of painted eggs that are used as ornaments.) From Mozartplatz, make your way to the Residenzplatz, which is a block over. Spend time looking in the Dom and at the booths outside it.

10:30: Walk through St. Peter’s Cemetery next to the Dom to the other side. Make your way down the block to the Universitätplatz. Explore the booths and go inside the Universitätkirche. Pro tip: get a hotdog from one of the booths in the square. Again, you can thank me later.

11:30: Go through the alleyway toward Mozart’s Birth House. This is one of the more crowded areas of Salzburg, simply because it’s the birthplace of a prodigy. The museum is 7 with a student I.D., and cool… but it’s not necessary.

12:00: Make your way to the other end of Getreidegasse and see the horse wall. (There’s probably an actual name for this landmark, but you’ll know it when you see it.) From there take a right and cross the river on the bridge with the lovelocks. That bridge offers a fantastic view of the city! Plus it leads you right to the final stop, Mirabellgartens.

1:00: Once you’ve finished in the gardens, if the day is nice you could walk up Kaputzinerberg, off of Linzer Gasse. It’s not that hard and ends with a beautiful view of Salzburg! (Plus, there is an incredible and tiny crepe restaurant at the foot of the hill. Seriously. Amazing.)

2:00: Cross the river and make your way up Mönchberg. (Start walking toward the mountain and eventually you will find a path toward Hohensalzburg Fortress.) The hike is so worth it because at the top you will be treated to an incredible view of the city. Start by the fortress and make your way all around the back toward the Modern Art Museum. That’s my favorite view of Salzburg… Ever.

3:30: In the afternoon, there are a ton of of cute little cafes to stop by. Cafe Sacher (across the river from Getreidegasse) has amazing Sacher Torte - one of the most famous cakes in the world! You could also stop by a grocery store (or vending machine) and grab a Stiegl or two, and enjoy them down by the river. You could even tour the Stiegl brewery near the train station. This would also be a perfect time to shop for a dirndl as well. If you're trying to pack the Sound of Music highlights into this trip, you could also spend the afternoon at Hellbrunn Palace, the yellow house in the movie.

6:00: For dinner, go to Goldene Kugel on Getreide Gasse. Best schnitzel I’ve ever had in my entire life. Don't forget to order pretzels and beer to go with it!

8:00: Head across the city to Augustiner Bräuhaus for a nightcap. It's across the city, but you can easily walk to it next to the river.  This is Salzburg’s original beer, and it’s great. There are tourists, but not too many since it’s off the beaten path a little! There are a ton of locals with their own steins and reserved tables as well. A liter of beer is only €6,00 (half a liter is €3,00)

If you have an extra day in Salzburg, go up the Untersberg! It’s the giant mountain overlooking the city. (Seriously, you can’t miss it.) Get on the #25 bus at Rathaus or Mirabellplatz and buy a ticket from the driver (2,30). With a student I.D., the ticket up the mountain and back is €15, and the view is incredible! The last car down is at 5 P.M., but it’s a great place to go early and bring a picnic! There are several benches as well as two restaurants up at the top.

P.S. Check out my Europe MUST SEE List and some of my hostel recommendations!

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