The year turned into the second half of April and the road to Salzburg could easily be accompanied by the song »Driving home for Christmas« or any other that indicates a decent amount of snow. April is a very unpredictable month in this part of Europe, it senses when people change their winter tires and the clothes that scream for the summer.
It was my first time visiting Salzburg. I took the car and bought a 10-day vignette for a highway (the cost was 8,90 euros) but could not avoid the additional cost of more than 12 euros (for one way) that came unexpected. I asked the lady on the first cashier stop on the highway for what was I paying for. »The tunnels!« she said, and well, there were really many many tunnels.
Finally arriving in a pretty, adorable, historical, old Salzburg I had to ask myself why was I never here before. Why has no one told me? Well, I tell you now, Salzburg is a city to go! It is small but incredibly rich with history, art, stories and fascinating architecture.
Before and during my stay I collected some of the best tips that can help every traveller to plan his visit to Salzburg in the best way and get the most out of it.
City of Mozart, but not only Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a child prodigy, one of the most known composers and Salzburg’s »favourite son« was born in Salzburg and lived there until moving to Vienna. His birth house and a house of his later residence are welcoming many tourists every year.
But it is important to be aware that Salzburg is not only the city of Mozart. Joseph Mohr wrote the famous »Silent night« Christmas song on Steingasse 9 (you will find the note next to the door) and Franz Gruber composed the melody. It is a birth city of Christian Doppler. The movie The Sound of Music was filmed there. And there is much more, so if interested in the notable events and people from the area of Salzburg, you will not stay disappointed of what you will discover.
Walk or cycle
Salzburg is a small city and its population is a bit more that 150 thousand people. I would definitely recommend every traveller to plan seeing it by foot or with a bicycle and enjoy the history and nature around him while doing so. You will notice that being in Salzburg does not even feel like being in the city – the river, the green hills and the mountains that surround you take the »city mess« away.
Live museum, UNESCO Heritage (charge the batteries of your camera!)
The Historic Center of Salzburg is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and taking a walk through the old town feels like taking a walk through the history. The Old Town (Altstadt) is protected to any building activities that might affect the Historic Centre and is as such under strict regulations, which keeps the old times of the Old Town still alive.
Getting a Salzburg card means many opportunities for free or with nice discounts, like entrances into the museums, concerts, tours, public transport and similar. The prices of the card vary between 12 and 42 euros, depending on the hours of the validity of the card (you can choose between 24, 48 and 72 hours validity), the month of your visit and your age. You can find more information about the card (and Salzburg) here.
No free tours
Free tours are available but only self-guided. I have chosen Big Boy Travel one and it turned out to be an amazing thing since I could take as much as time as I wanted for different attractions and stop for anything else anytime I felt like. I headed to the city with a printed map and the descriptions in the folder, but it is as well possible to download the files on your phone.
Checking through the apps on the mobile phone you will notice that there are many tour apps available as well.
Possibility for Short-term rentals
Already looking through the regular popular sites (such as booking.com and similar) you will notice a good number of studios and apartments. On the site Rent For Short you can book the whole apartment for days, weeks and up to 6 months period, with a relatively low caution. The prices vary between 800,00 euros and up per month for the whole apartment or room. If you want to spend the whole month in the city with a couple of friends or family, it is a great way to organize your staying.
The Old town is, of course, the most beautiful and charming, which means as well full of tourists and places, where you can over-calculate your dinner easily. But because Salzburg is a small town, passing the bridge to the other side of the Salzach river will take you 10 minutes walking and give you an opportunity to find a nice place to sit and eat for a lower price. I took a walk through the Linzer Gasse street and had nice meals that in average cost 8 euros. However, I found beer being expensive everywhere in the restaurants, its cost was around 4,00 euros.