Last year my husband and I went on a self-guided cycling tour through the company Donauradfreunde. It started and finished in Salzburg and followed the Tauernradweg for about 200 miles. We were a bit nervous as we had never done a cycling trip before but despite being surrounded by stunning mountainous scenery, the route itself was surprisingly flat. It was also almost entirely on very well-maintained cycle paths, away from the traffic and our luggage was transported for us from hotel to hotel. The bikes were waiting for us at our first hotel and looked as if they were almost brand new. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and would do it again like a shot!
The snow filled cobbled streets of Salzburg are the perfect location for a Christmas market. Every stall is packed with festive treats, from soft and chewy iced gingerbread and hundreds of varieties of marzipan to Amaretto flavoured mulled wine. The air is filled with the aroma of Christmas trees and gluwein, wrap up warm, listen to the choir singing Christmas carols and treat yourself as you wander through the fairy lit streets of this magical place.
Beautiful Christmas markets in a picturesque setting where you can follow climbing a snow laden hill to a stunning fortress with a warming and fortifying drink of gluhwein to power you through the atmospheric market selling a vast array of hand crafts and delicious foods.
The World of the Ice Giants, some 20 km south of Salzburg, is a natural ice cave inside a mountain in the Alps, the largest one in the world. David Attenborough included this spectacular cave in his series Wonders of Nature.
It's absolutely breathtaking. You are guided through the first kilometer of the cave 400 meters underground, walking around huge ice formations shaped like fairytale castles, vast cathedrals, and sparkling palaces. There are huge stalagmites and stalactites - everywhere you look is a spectacular natural wonder. It is permanently frozen inside so very cold even in the summer - you need to wrap up well for this unique journey through an icy Neverland.
Eishoehlenstrasse 30, A - 5450 Werfen
This is the house where Mozart spent his childhood. I really like it since I have read a lot about Mozart while at school. This is your chance to visit his old house which is now also a museum - and to brush up on your Mozart knowledge.
A superb hiking track, historic buildings and battlements, natural forest and amazing views, and all right in the centre of the city. The Monschberg track runs around the waist of the eponymous mountain, taking in the Hohensalzburg Fortress and the Museum of Modern Art.
Getting there: There are various points at which to join the track, including the steps from the old town and the elevator from below the museum.
Salzburg is a city of many virtues, but you are unlikely to feel them in your wallet. Which is why finding a spot that is economical while serving up great portions of good food in a central location is a true discovery. Humboldt Stubn is a traditional bar/restaurant just off the main street that offers excellent fare you can wash down with a large glass of beer. The steaktoast is recommended.
Address: Gstattengasse 4-6 (
Telephone: (43) 662 84 31 71
Take the elevator up to the bar on the roof of the Hotel Stein, order a cocktail, sit down and enjoy the view over the river, old town and Hohensalzburg Fortress. Treat yourself.
This YHA hostel may be a little outside the city centre and a tad severe, but it provides clean, modern rooms at a reasonable price, and that is not to be sniffed at in Salzburg.
Address: Aigner Strasse 34.
Telephone: (43) 662623248.
Getting there: A 20-minute walk along the river or a No. 7 bus from the centre.
Google map: tinyurl.com/md8gc8
The perfect base for exploring the beautiful lake district outside Salzburg. A lovely town on the edge of Fuschlsee, it offers a variety of hikes from the leisurely stroll around the lake to long taxing routes toward San Gilgen. Fuschl has several hotels, a well-run camp site, and Edenbergers restaurant.
Getting there: Bus No. 150 runs every hour from Salzburg bus station.
Google map: tinyurl.com/pwh2hz
Austria suffers from no shortage of beer kellers, but drinking underground is not everyone’s mug of beer. But the Stiegl Keller, located below the walls of the Hohensalzburg, lets you to sup while seated outdoors, enjoying some of the best views the city offers.
Well above average Italian, breaks the usual tourist rule that if there is an English menu the food is downmarket - useful if you struggle with German vocab for food. Friendly English speaking staff.
Linzergasse 10, new town - river end of the street, just a doorway between shops
Salzburg has a reputation as a beautiful but sleepy little city. However, look under the surface and Salzburg offers a quality night out.
If you fancy a day of drinking, the Augustiner Braustubl (mentioned previously) is a definite must and a good place to start. Great beer at an affordable price with plenty of food vendors to cap it all off.
The alternative is a pub/restaurant called Raschhofers; you can, depending on the time, turn up and order a barrel of beer which is then placed under your table and costs around 85 euros. In a group of four, this can last for 4-5 hours. Highly recommended. The Stiegl Keller is another that is recommended.
For a night out, the Rudolfskai area is the place to go. Vibrant and loud, it's popular with Austrian youngsters. There is plenty of bars to keep you occupied. Bar Flip is the one we enjoyed the most.
Nightclubs, just ask about and follow the crowd!
A massive beer hall and good, monk-brewed beer. But, to get the best out of it, you need to know the ropes.
Buy your food from the little shops that line the corridor; sausages and roast pork; olives; cheese spread and stuffed peppers. Remember, the bread comes from the bakery, the butter from the delicatessen!
Then queue up to pay for your beer, and collect your receipt. Next, grab a mug and finally, present it for filling at the tap. Then relax and enjoy!
Lindhofstrasse 7, Muelln, Salzburg
Take a train or drive from Salzburg to Werfen, a pretty little town at the foot of the mountains. From here, a bus will take you up to the start of the walking track, and then it's a hike and a cable car up to the caves (don’t worry, there’s a café en route!).
The Eisriesenwelt is a labyrinth of ice caves, high in the mountains, which stretch over 40 km. The caves are only open during the summer months, and the guided tour takes you deep into the heart of mountain, where you can see some spectacular ice formations.
You really need to dress sensibly for this though. Even though it gets hot walking up to the caves, it’s often below freezing even in the summer, and there are many stairs to climb up and down. So make sure you don’t wear sandals and someone’s borrowed socks, like me!
Really lovely hotel five minutes' walk through pretty streets to the historic centre of Salzburg. The owner, Peter Kuhn, is really helpful and will give you plenty of advice about things to do and where to go. He also provides free bikes which you can borrow and ride all around Salzburg, which is very cycle-friendly. The rooms are large, with ensuite bathrooms and nice views, it's on a quiet residential street and has a great buffet breakfast. Very reasonably priced too.
Rupertgasse 15 - A-5020 Salzburg
Tel. +43 662 872318 - Fax +43 662 872318-8
Three course meal of food from Mozart's time in a beautiful old Baroque-era hall, while a quartet and two opera singers perform some of Mozart's music.
Definitely value for money (especially if you have a student discount card) - the food and music were both excellent!
Buy your tickets beforehand by visiting the restaurant -- don't just turn up on the evening (the Baroque room fills up first, so you may find yourself seating in a smaller and less spectacular back room!)
St. Peter Stiftskeller
An enchanting region of Austria with beautiful countryside, great skiing, hiking and walking in the Dachstein West, Postalm, Krippenstein, Loser, Hallstatt, Obertraun, Bad Ischl and more. Countless lakes to visit in summer and wintertime.
We travel to the picturesque village of Gosau in both summer and winter, a traditional, wide and sunny village located at 800m.
There are two ski lifts in Gosau giving access to the Dachstein West, a large family-friendly area with over 140km piste.
We chose mountain biking in the summer as there is direct access to the Dachstein Runde bike trails with 100s of kilometres of trails to choose from.
Lots of photo opportunies especially at the Gosau Lake (Gosausee).
I recommend The Muhlradl Apartments. A family-run business with excellent apartments, atmosphere and a brilliant view from your balcony of the Gosaukam Mountain.
Visit www.gosautal.net/muehlradl. to take a look at the facilities in the region. Just 50 minutes drive from Salzburg Airport or a train to Golling and bus transfer to the village.
Muhlradl Apartments, Gosau
Nearest Airport - Salzburg
Nearest Station - Golling
My husband and stayed at the Gablerbrau in December 06 and we were delighted with the hotel. Rooms are simple but very comfortable, clean and relaxing after a tough day on the cobbles. We usually prefer to dine away from our hotel when on holidays but the Gablerbrau's restaurant is great - very popular with locals also. The bar is a great spot to watch people come and go.
The location is excellent also, situated over the bridge from the old town. The bathroom was spacious and very modern with a great big sink and a pull-out face mirror.
Overall great value (there was no mini-bar in the room but who would use a mini-bar with such great beer on tap downstairs? there is also a beer vending machine on each floor) and heartily recommended.
Linzergasse 9. www.gablerbrau.com
Climb up to the Nonnberg Nunnery and follow the path upwards to the Museum der Moderne and from there onwards to the Humboldt Terrace viewpoint. There are a number of viewpoints on the way giving fantastic views of the city (as seen in the Sound of Music). It's also a beautiful woodland walk. Carry on down the hill towards the Augustiner Abbey for a stein of beer.
Nonnberg Nunnery to Augustiner Abbey
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