I will be driving from Munich,Germany to Salzburg in about a month. We are just going for the day. I was wondering if someone knew someone local guide that would give my family and I a tour of the top sights of the city. So far we have decided to see Hohensalzburg Castle, some Sound of Music sights, and Mozart sights. Is there anything you could recommend we not miss? Any important sights outside the city? Also would you recommend we get the Salzburg Card even if it is just for a day?
I don't know what the Salzburg card involves, but I doubt you need it. Salzburg is easy to get around by yourself. I have done two daytrips there from Germany, once by train and one time driving. On the driving trip we parked the car for the day and walked everywhere. It is a very compact city. A lot of people mention liking to do a Sound of Music tour. Bob's gets good reviews. If you want to do that you should reserve ahead of time. Otherwise, I don't think you need a guide, just a guidebook.
Unless your thing is spending a lot of money to ride around in a bus with a bunch of Americans, singing "Doe, a deer, a female deer", skip the SOM tour. There is little in Salzburg from the movie that you can't see on your own. They'll show you Leopoldskron, on a lake, and tell you it was the Von Trapp house in the movie, but the actual house in the movie was a different building, not on a lake, and the lakeside patio was a temporary set, long gone, somewhere else on the lake. The interior shots (the house, the convent, inside the Gazebo) were shot in sound stages in Hollywood. The Gazebo they show you was only used for distant shots. You'll see Mozart site just by walking around the old town, and you can easily go up the funicular to Hohensalzburg. Come down from the fortress on the path over the drawbridge and walk around Festungsgasse and see the outside of the actual convent. The Do-Re-Mi steps are at Mirabell Palace, on Rainierstrasse, between the train station and the old town.
Ian - I can highly recommend Mozart's Birthhouse museum in the old town. It gives you a good overview of his life and I think is well done. I would also recommend walking though Mirabel gardens. They are free, the site of many of Sounds of Music scenes and close to where the tours take off and drop you off. We did the Sound of Music tour with Panarama last weekend and had Peter as our guide. He was a great guide. Very personnable. Dirk
Salzburg Card is one of those "city" cards that covers free admission and local transit fees for a designate time period. Such cards are beneficial if you want to/can pack a lot of attractions OK into the designated period. The card may also save you time in avoiding lines for buying tickets. The Card can be purchased for 24, 48 or 72 hour periods, so a 24 hr card may or may not be your thing. A one day card cost the most on a per day basis for obvious reasons. City Cards are less of a cost advantage if you just want to wonder around enjoying the city's ambiance.
Now that the SOM tour bashing has posted, I'm going to tell you it's a hoot. I would recommend the smaller Bob's Tours. It's a half tour and it's in a van and it was a hoot. They didn't try to make out that everything was done in Salzburg. That said, you can see a lot yourself. The fountain that they drive by is in the main square. The Gardens of the Mirabell Palace is where Doe a Deer was filmed. The Schlos is great. The most similar cemetery to SOM is over the river from the old town, but you can see St. Peter's Cemetery and be fine. Also, just below the Schlos is the nunnery. The most familiar part is the gate. : ) Pam