Each summer it hosts its famous Salzburg Festival. Wealthy as those guys were, when they ran out of caring relatives, they were dug up, shipped out, and their fancy tombstones ended up on the wall. By Rick Steves Rather than visit the real-life sights from the life of Maria von Trapp and family, most tourists in Salzburg want to see the places where Julie Andrews and company were filmed performing the Hollywood version of the former almost-nun's story. The regulars here know that there are enough flavors of schnapps to keep them coming back again and again. Rick Steves' Europe. we drove from Salzburg; it was easy (something like under 2 hours, as I recall), but do know people who did it by train. Is that right? Pondering the old-time signs — which were advertising back in the days when most shoppers couldn't read — you can almost imagine strolling here looking for a sturdy pair of boots, a stylish dirndl, or even a little schnapps. When it's cool outside, enjoy a historic indoor setting in any of several beer-sloshed and smoke-stained halls (one of which is still for smokers). Herr Sporer: You sip it, yes. This square, with its striking cathedral and Italian-style palace was the centerpiece of his Baroque dream city. Germany's Munich and the Foothills of the Alps, ©2021 Rick Steves' Europe, Inc. | Auf Wiedersehen. If you'd like to commune with nature in a uniquely Austrian way, Salzburg is the ideal jumping off point for spectacular countryside to the south. It’s known for its hilltop fortress, Baroque architecture, old town, and hometown genius, Mozart. Thanks to its charmingly preserved old town, splendid gardens, Baroque churches, and one of Europe's largest intact medieval fortresses, Salzburg feels made for tourism. You can count on Rick Steves to tell you what you really need to know when visiting Salzburg and Hallstatt.Rick covers the essentials, including Berchtesgaden and the Salzkammergut. The core of this book is five self-guided walks and tours that zero in on Munich's greatest sights and neighborhoods, plus two chapters on the best day trips (to Salzburg and to Neuschwanstein Castle). As is often the case in rowdy European eateries like this, you share tables...and make new friends. Lying on a busy trade route connecting northern Europe with the south, Salzburg was well aware of the exciting things going on in Italy. Different strokes, I guess. Mozart spent a good part of his childhood on the road, performing all over Europe. (17:24). This collection of lovingly tended graves abuts the sheer rock face of the Mönchsberg (free, silence requested). For centuries, Salzburg's leaders were both important church authorities and political rulers. A steep funicular runs up the mountain to Hallstatt's salt mine. They were "prince-archbishops" — combining both political and religious power. It's simple: push to go, pull to break...a treat for kids of all ages. Hi, I'm Rick Steves, back with more of the best of Europe. Through the centuries, Hallstatt was busy with the salt trade. You can count on Rick Steves to tell you what you really need to know when traveling in Munich, Bavaria, and Salzburg. In fact, because of the salt-mining importance here, an entire age — the Hallstatt Era, from about 800 B.C. Then, get set to fly. see our FAQ. For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, While its popularity has led to a glut of businesses hoping to catch the tourist dollar, Salzburg is nevertheless both a must and a joy. Apart from the waterfall, which rips through its middle, Hallstatt is an oasis of peace. And while you await your strudel, you can feed the swans. We're heading two hours southeast of Salzburg to my favorite Salzkammergut town on my favorite Salzkammergut lake. ▲▲ Sound of Music Tour Bus or bike through S.O.M. The organ loft fills the church with glorious sounds as Mozart, 250 years after his birth, is still powering worship with his musical genius. Each of the several hundred painted skulls has been lovingly named, dated, and decorated. You'll still see the traditional Fuhr boats, designed to carry heavy loads in shallow water. Rick- Glad to see that you are re-visiting some places that are among the favorites of my husband and myself- due to your TV show. Today, its three floors house rooms with exhibits displaying paintings, letters, personal items, and lots of facsimiles, all attempting to bring life to the Mozart story. They're reminders of the 1800s, when the first Romantic Age poets and painters discovered this region. Salzburg is forever smiling to the tunes of Mozart and The Sound of Music. Salzburg and Vienna will always have part of my heart! The square was ringed by blacksmiths, bakers, and craftsmen. Learn about Author Central. In good Baroque style, the art is symbolic, cohesive, and theatrical...creating a kind of festival procession that leads to the resurrected Christ triumphing high above the altar. It seems each plot is lovingly tended by relatives. Share hotel & restaurant reviews. Rick: But this is after breakfast and you're still quite busy. By Rick Steves Hohensalzburg Fortress looms 400 feet above Salzburg's forest of Baroque spires. The Mozart family was successful enough to entertain Salzburg's high society in this fine room. Do you have a favorite? Getting a beer is fun in itself. Since it was built in only about 15 years, the church boasts particularly harmonious art and architecture. Today, the people of Salzburg are happy to pay a premium for the reliably fresh and top-quality produce. Rick Steves' guidebooks are the first I turn to when I get ready to plan a trip, and this one is really just excerpts (word for word) from the Germany and Austria ones, but since Munich, Fussen and Salzburg are my destinations for that area this book works perfectly. There were major salt mines just upstream. Waiters only bring beer; they don't bring food — instead, go up the stairs, survey the hallway of deli counters, grab a tray, and assemble your own meal (or, as long as you buy a drink, you can bring in a picnic — many do). The surrounding Mirabell Gardens, laid out in 1730, are a favorite with locals and tourists alike. Terms of Service | Privacy, Salzburg, Austria: Hohensalzburg Fortress and Mönchsberg, Salzburg, Austria: Music, Lakes and Mountains, Salzburg, Austria: Sampling Schnapps on Getreidegasse. Its 500-year-old altars and frescoes feature Hallstatt's two favorite saints: St. Barbara (patron of miners) and St. Catherine (patron of foresters) — lots of wood was needed to fortify the many miles of tunnels and boil the brine to distil out that salt. Though I don’t consider it my job to breathlessly promote every destination that comes down the pike…rather, I try to give hard opinions in the spirit of the king of hard travel opinions, Rick Steves. Herr Sporer: Yes, there are many fruits in Austria and we distill almost everything. You don't throw it down, you sip it. At the mine, visitors slip into overalls, meet their guide, and hike into the mountain. This time we're in the land of Mozart…it's Salzburg. Nine years later, a little boy was born — Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. I'm Rick Steves. The exhibits are aimed a bit more toward the Mozart connoisseur than those at Mozart's Birthplace, but the place comes with a good introductory video, is less crowded, and includes an informative audioguide. In the tour you'll learn the story of salt. Rick: Obstler is apple and...? (photo: Rick Steves) Those who climb (or ride) up to Salzburg's fortress are treated to … Best of all, it comes with a fun funicular ride to the Rudolfsturm "Skywalk" Viewpoint, with stunning panoramas over the town and lake. Amidst all the tourists and chain outlets, its classy shops and traditional wrought-iron signs give it a touch of elegance. There's no audioguide, but everything's described in English. While this particular tunnel dates only from 1719, Hallstatt's mine claims to be the oldest in the world. If you have yet to tour a salt mine, consider visiting Hallstatt's, which is still active, producing 1.1 million tons of salt each year (mostly used for road salt, though you can also buy souvenir shakers of table salt). And the Steckerlfisch...now that's my kind of fish stick! If no one cares enough to make the payment, you're gone. The lake is a playground for visitors in rental boats, which come with two speeds: slow and stop. The courtyard was the main square of this hilltop community of a thousand — which could be self-sufficient when necessary. Back then, salt was so precious because it preserved meat, and Hallstatt was, as its name means, the "place of salt.". Access is quick and easy from the Old Town by funicular. Wolf Dietrich was raised in Rome, counted the powerful Medicis in Florence as his buddies, and had grandiose Italian ambitions for Salzburg. On this tour of Germany and Austria, your Rick Steves guide will bring this region's rich history and culture to life in festive Munich, Baroque Salzburg, sparkling Lake Hallstatt, monastic Melk, the blue Danube, and royal Vienna — with cozy villages and alpine vistas all along the way. The one in Fuschl am See (closest to Salzburg) is a little cheaper, and takes about 10 minutes for the ride up and down. There was a Hallstatt before there was a Rome. That's because in Austria, grave sites are rented, not owned. Until next time...keep on travelling. Vienna. For dessert — after a visit to the strudel kiosk — enjoy the incomparable floodlit view of old Salzburg from the nearby Müllnersteg pedestrian bridge and a riverside stroll home. Archaeologists claim that since 7000 B.C., people have come here to get salt. To build "the Rome of the North.". While fires have been a recurrent problem, many houses go way back. Since it had no road access, people came and went by boat. 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