I spent this past weekend in Salzburg, primarily for the Christmas Markets. We traveled by train (OeBB) from Vienna's Hauptbahnhof to Salzburg in 2.5 hours. We spent the extra 6 Euro for a seat reservation. Total cost for our three tickets (two adults and an 11 year old) was 54 Euro each way, using our family vorteilscard. We stayed at the NH Collection Salzburg City (great location, just off of Linzergasse, good value and recently renovated - very happy). Left on Friday afternoon and returned on Sunday afternoon. We've been to Salzburg many times, but never for Christmas.
Friday - Checked into our hotel and had a quick wander over to the Christkindlmarkt Am Dom- Und Residenzplatz. This is a huge, twinkling markets covering two large squares. Scoped everything out and headed to dinner at Lazarte for Peruvian. Perfect meal for the three of us, happy, happy, happy.
Saturday - Grabbed breakfast at Backwerk, walked through Mirabell. Headed to the Mönchsberg Aufzug to get up high for photos. Walked on top of Mönchsberg towards the fortress for about 30 minutes, stopping to relax in the warm sun at Richterhöhe, taking in a long view of the Alps. Headed back towards the center for more markets and we drank and ate well. We particularly enjoyed the apple rings and the Bosna. The gluhwein was also very nice and warming. Didn't buy any crafts, but plenty to choose from, including many handmade items. We then hopped on the 25 bus to Hellbrunn for their Christmas Market (bought our tickets from the machine at the bus stop). Paid 6 Euro per person to enter the market and received a voucher for a hot drink. Once inside, we enjoyed the Krampus display - pretty creepy and fun. There are so many trees with lights, that it looks like you are in a magical forest at the foot of a palace. Huge, huge kids area with live animals and fun little houses to play inside. Gluhwein was good as was the punsch. We didn't eat any food, but the burger stand was popular as was the spiral potato chips. The crafts were local and seemed to be carefully selected. The crowd was manageable for a Saturday night. Took the 25 back into town (I used the app for the bus service to buy the tickets as there is no ticket machine at the Hellbrunn stop and the driver doesn't sell tickets) and had dinner at Sternbrau. Bratwurst, schnitzel and the absolutely stunning, amazing Salzburger Nockerl for dessert (a huge pillowy meringue baked with raspberry sauce, must have).
Sunday - We repeated our walk to the Richterhöhe for another view of the Alps - we live in Vienna so don't get to see far distances very often. Walked through the market one last time, grabbed some Mozartkugel at Fürst. Got to the train station 10 minutes before our train arrived and were back in our apartment a few hours later.
Highlights - The view from Richterhöhe, the pisco sour from Lazarte, the Salzburger Nockerl, the Krampus display at Hellbrunn.