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48 hrs in Salzburg

We will be in Salzburg for a couple of days (arriving 6 Dec and leaving 8 Dec) and staying at Hotel Elefant (near the university I believe). If it matters we will not have a car. The hotel looks like it is a short (5km) taxi ride from the train station. I saw the following items as things to try and visit. Any obvious items missing? Are the Gardens really worth visiting in the winter? "Hohensalzburg Fortress, the Cathedral, the Franciscan Church, St. Peter's Monastery, Church and Cemetery, Mozart's Birthplace in Getreidegasse, the Residence and its magnificent State Rooms and the Mirabell Gardens on the other side of the Salzach River with its Pegasus Fountain, Dwarves Garden, Hedge Theater and Rose Garden." I read that it is a good idea to get the 48-hour Salzburg card. Any must have/try food items? Especially interested in desserts. Thanks.

Posted by
18373 posts

You might visit Nonnberg Abbey, which was where the real Marie lived. It's around behind the hill on which the fortress sits, to the left as you see it from town. If you come out the main gate of the fortress, across the moat bridge, and through the ticket gate, at the bottom of the hill is a foot path above the town (I think it's where Julie Andrews start singing "I have confidence ...". That path goes around to the Abbey. You can see the outside of the Abbey, but not much of the inside. We did find the door to the chapel open. I don't know if we were supposed to go in or not, but we did. It's not the chapel used in the movie. That chapel was somewhere else in town, the only church that would let them film inside. Likewise, we couldn't see the courtyard, but the courtyard in the movie was a Hollywood set.

Posted by
1357 posts

If you're a Sound of Music fan, go to the gardens. Whether they're in bloom or not, it's fun to see where they filmed part of the movie. As far as desserts, although it's not Vienna, you can still get a decent Sacher Torte in Salzburg. And, of course, Mozart Kugeln.

Posted by
31510 posts

Richard, I really enjoyed exploring the various parts of the Hohensalzburg Fortress, and spent at least four hours there. However, I'm not sure whether all sections and exhibits in the Fortress will be open at this time of year?

Posted by
166 posts

Dessert is the topic! You must try the Salzburg tradition "Nockerln"! It is absolutely wonderful and this is the only place you can enjoy it. We found the best at a restaurant by the name of Sternbrau, although it is served other places in town. Also, at Demel - chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. If you enjoy coffee, try a melange at Demel - YUM!

Posted by
121 posts

Thanks for the suggestions. Most places are open in the winter but the hours are reduced. The Abbey looks interesting. I'm sure the two days will fly by. Throw in an inch or so of snow and I'll really be in the Christmas mood. Thanks.

Posted by
95 posts

My husband and I loved Salzburg, and I'm taking my sisters there in May. I did not get any Nockerl, and have regretted it since (almost 10 years!) Our waiter at St. Peter's actually talked me out of it, saying I wouldn't have room. I should have been the ugly American, ordered it anyway, and left some!! Guess what I'll be eating in Salzburg in May?? Nonnberg and the Hohensalzburg are must-sees. The protective majesty of the Hohensalzburg, and the peace of Nonnberg...such a contrast, and so beautiful!

Posted by
9363 posts

Hotel Elefant is actually in the old town, not near tne university, but it isn't far from the train station (across the river).

Posted by
11975 posts

I've never bought the Salzburg card, I would have to price it out. Normally you benefit from the transportation part of the card but I've never needed transportation once I'm in town. Once you are in old town, everything is very walkable. I would add the Augustiner Brewery for a beer and basic food. The foot bridges across the river north of town are a great place to view the lit cityscape in the evening - IMO one of the most beautiful views in Europe.

Posted by
3313 posts

Definitely the Augustiner brewery for the big beerhall experience (and food!).