Two Days in Salzburg

By Blonde Bowhemian - November 13, 2018

After Budapest we hopped on a bus to Vienna then got on a train to Salzburg. The trip took about five hours but gave us (barely) enough time to watch The Sound of Music...for the first time ever 🙈. The list of "classic" movies I've seen is embarrassingly small, but that's a story for another time. We loved our time in this area of Austria and felt that two and half days for Salzburg and Hallstatt was just right. Salzburg itself is a pretty small city and the Old Town section is easily walkable in a day. The only part I didn't love was the food - as someone who's gluten free and (tries to be) dairy free, Salzburg was not the place for me. Austrian cuisine is pretty much just sausages, fried meat, and potatoes. At one point I begged to go to an Indian restaurant for dinner because I couldn't eat one more potato 😂. Also, finding gluten free beer was a bit of a challenge but we did succeed once! Read on for more of my recommendations:

// S T A Y //

We stayed at Hotel Stein, the only non-Airbnb during our trip. The room itself was small, but really nice, with an amazing view out over the river and up to the castle. There was also a breakfast buffet (on the rooftop!) in the morning for an additional charge. As for the location, it was perfect. It's situated in the midst of a pedestrian-only street and right across the bridge from the majority of the Old Town. It was so nice to be able to head back to the hotel after a day of exploring and relax before dinner without feeling like we were trekking super far out of the way.

// D O //

Mirabell Palace/Gardens - We enjoyed wandering the grounds here and looking at all of the different flowers and landscaping. You'll also recognize the gardens from the "Do Re Mi" scene in The Sound of Music.

Old Town - This is where pretty much all of the touristy things are. Super cute small streets with a mix of boutique shops and larger international stores. Not to miss are Mozart's birthplace, (we just walked by it) on the main shopping street, Getreidegasse, Chapter Square, and Salzburg Cathedral. There's also the two main squares: Residenzplatz and Mozartplatz. While we were there, Mozartplatz had a small farmer's market going on with all sorts of pastries and produce for sale. As usual, I enjoyed wandering all the small winding side streets the most.

Hohensalzburg Fortress - Otherwise known as the castle on the hill (@Ed Sheeran). If you choose not to take the funicular up (this way saves you a few dollars) you can enjoy (?) a super steep trek up to the top of the mountain. Once at the top, we bought tickets to see the fortress and walked around the grounds before starting an audio tour. One weird thing to note is that the audio tour is still done in groups, so you go from room to room with your group, but you're all listening to your own headsets. The tour was about 20 minutes, so not too long to get boring. Plus, it ended on the roof where you got an incredible view over the city. There's also two lunch spots on the grounds; the nicer one overlooks the backside of the fortress out onto the countryside. The food was nothing special but the view made up for it.

// E A T + D R I N K //

Die Weisse - We went here our first night, looking for an authentic beer garden experience, and that's what we got! It's a little outside the main touristy area, but they had a small outdoor seating area and cozy indoor seating. Expect classic Austrian food (read: sausages, wiener schnitzel, potatoes) and lots of different beers. But! They do have gluten free beer, and I didn't totally hate it, so that's really a ringing endorsement because I usually hate any and all beer.

Darwin's - We went here after Die Weisse for some cocktails. They have a great assortment in a small and cute atmosphere but it's not cheap. So, needless to say, we only stayed for one drink.

Augustiner Brau - If you want a beer garden experience that's a little more lively than Die Weisse, this is the place. They make one beer and one beer only, so if you want something else you're out of luck. (Or sneak your own alcohol in and mix it with a lemonade bought from the brewery 🙊.) The outdoor seating area is huge and it was crowded the whole time we were there, which was not even on a weekend night. There's also a bunch of small stands indoors with different food options (pretty much all varieties of Austrian cuisine).

Gasthaus Zwettler's - Okay, if you're going to eat Austrian food, go here. The atmosphere is so cute and feels very Bavarian. And I actually enjoyed my dish with potatoes, fried egg, and sausage, so that was a plus. Also! They have the most insane giant meringue dessert thats gluten and dairy free. You have to try it. The service was super quick and the prices were affordable as well.

Taj Mahal - This would be the Indian restaurant I begged to go to on our last night in Salzburg. Honestly, for being in the middle of Austria, this was high qual Indian food.

Enjoy Salzburg!

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