Chamber music, cobblestone streets and mouthwatering cakes. Worldette writer and Austrian resident Lorena Mayr shares some insider secrets to her perfect day in the the refined, historic city of Salzburg.
Starting my day
To start my day on the right foot and get myself going for all that I have planned ahead, I would go have breakfast at the Café Tomaselli (www.tomaselli.at)
This café is one of the oldest in Austria, and it still has its very classy feel and really good cakes. The tables are small (and marble!) and the young ladies that serve the cake will come around with plates of all the different cakes you can choose from.
Now I am ready for a good walk. Even though most tourists head right away for the Hohensalzburg Fortress, I venture rather to the other side of the Salzach river to a hill above the city to get the views.
I head to the Kapuzinerberg, an easy walk, about 20 minutes uphill to see the views towards Germany and another 10 minutes to see the views of the beautiful city of Salzburg and also an excellent view of the fortress of Salzburg itself.
Also, on clear days you can see lots of the mountains close to Salzburg. Here is a good site to visit for more information: www.visit-salzburg.net/sights/kapuzinerberg.htm
After coming down from the views above, I head for the lovely cobblestone streets of the main downtown area of Salzburg, the very well-known Getreidegasse, which is the shopping street.
I like to walk this street mostly to see the cool shop signs above (and well, yes, to do some window shopping too!)
Of course, it is a popular place, and lots of tourists are walking here too, so I also decide to go to the Grünmarkt, which is right in front of the Kollegienkirche (University Church). This market is well-known to the Salzburg locals, since it is where you can get fresh cheese, pastries, vegetables and fruit and other knick knacks too.
Lunch and more information
I really have worked up an appetite. On my way to a good restaurant to eat Mediterranean cuisine at S’Nockerl, I keep my eyes open for any kind of concerts.
Salzburg is an incredible place for classical music, and you don’t have to be there for the Salzburger Festspiele (and tickets are really hard to come by, trust me!) All year long there are plenty of other venues where more concerts take place.
Whether churches or small concert halls where choirs or small orchestras or even soloists are playing, you are sure to find some music going on every day of the year. If you look around, there are posters everywhere about the concerts, or you can also go to the information center and ask for tips on where to go for classical music concerts, some are even for free.
Here is an excellent website too: www.salzburg.info/en/art_culture/music/events
More walking along gardens
After lunch I head out for another lovely walk to the Mirabell Castle and its incredible gardens. This famous castle in the newer (but still old!) part of Salzburg was a gift from an archbishop for his lover and her children.
My favorite store in Salzburg
Before the stores close though, I want to take a peek at one of my favorite stores, which carries all things traditionally Austrian.
This is not a touristy shop – it truly has beautiful typical dresses (the well-known “Dirndl” or “Trachten”), woven woolen jackets, pins, hats, scarves, dishes, pillows, materials…the store is called “Salzburger Heimatwerk”. I highly recommend it if you want to see (if not buy!) beautifully handcrafted articles that are truly Austrian.
Best-kept secret of Salzburg
Instead of heading to another restaurant to have dinner, I walk on for something that is really worth it. Now I am about to tell you the best-kept secret of Salzburg: This is another bakery or “Konditorei”, which in my family’s opinion, has the best cake in all of Austria.
It is not in the downtown area, you must go towards the train station, and you will find the famous “Fingerlos”, on the street of Franz Joseph #9.
Not too many tourists know about this place, so it is mostly the local Salzburg citizens (and other cake lovers from other parts of Austria, like us!) who come.
My personal favorite is the passion-fruit cake. I am passionate about that one! You can also get brunch or regular midday meals, but their desserts are definitely the best. (Be aware that they are closed on Mondays).
To end my perfect day in Salzburg, I head to one of the many Churches to listen to a concert, probably played by international music students who enjoy playing for people.
They are very gifted indeed, to even be admitted to the very best music schools in Salzburg. I imagine that they’ll be playing some Mozart too.
Ah, now to relax and close my eyes and enjoy the notes and the beauty of the music, and remember my perfect day in the city of Salzburg.
Have you ever been to Salzburg? Did you also get to try some specialties, or walked along the cobblestone streets, drinking in the environment of this city? Comment and tell us your experiences! We love to hear from you!