If you follow me on Instagram, you saw earlier this month we got to spend four beautiful days in Austria, which is quickly becoming one of my most favorite countries. Its so beautiful. We got to visit both Salzburg and Hallstatt, do the Sound of Music tour, visit the largest beer garden in Austria, eat delicious food, and explore some of the prettiest places. Ive talked in detail below about what we did each day, where we ate, stayed, and hung out.
Best Tip for Travel:: Make you own Google Map! Do your research before, & pin all the places you want to see and restaurants and bars you want to try! Ill link to my google map here that I created before we left, which I fully credit for such a smooth weekend. (Im already building one for my trip to Prague in a couple weeks!) I was able to pull it up when we needed a place to eat, with a list of options that I had already vetted as kid friendly, and right up our alley. I listed all the things we wanted to see so we didn’t miss a thing, and it was just the most handy tool the entire time. I highly, highly recommend building up your own map when your traveling to cities, it makes everything so seamless, and relaxing because you’ve already done all your research!
Okay! This is a wordy post, (& picture heavy but photos tell a story too!), but I tried to be as detailed as possible! This truly was one of the best trips we’ve ever had, and Ill never forget the memories we made!
WHERE WE STAYED
When we were looking into spending a long weekend in Salzburg, we checked out a ton of hotels and air b&bs and ended up finding the most perfect place! When we travel we try to stay as centralized as possible, even if it costs a little more, just to make it more convenient. Its easier with kids to not have long commutes at the beginning or end of the day. We stayed at this most amazing home that we found on Air B&B, and it couldn’t have worked out better.
The location was right next to a bus stop, or only a 15 minute drive into the center of downtown. We opted to drive and park in this parking garage each day, just because we were lugging a stroller, water bottles, changes of clothes (just in case!) so its just what was easier for us. The place itself was so cozy, comforting, spacious and welcome. It made me feel like I was right at home. They supplied all the amenities you could need including a welcome treat! Cant speak highly enough for this place! Favorite air b&b we’ve stayed in yet!
WHERE WE ATE
Ill link everywhere that we ate right here for quick reference, but for more details about each place, scroll down, and I talked more about them in the ‘What we did” section! Each place I would go back too, and all were kid friendly!
Cafe Konditorei Fürst, for sweet treats!
Augustiner Bräustuben, for a fun beer garden (kid friendly!), amazing soft pretzels, and loads of food vendors! (the sauerkraut, bratwurst, and mustard was outstanding!)
Bärenwirt, a really warm and cozy spot, amazing pumpkin soup! (<–seasonal dish) Reservation recommended. (We made a 6pm reservation at 3pm that day, so they don’t need too much notice.)
Grünmarkt, large outdoor farmers market with loads of food vendors, such a great stop for an easy lunch.
Sternbräu, favorite dinner spot! Warm, cozy, and delicious! Reservations weren’t needed.
Starbucks, for an easy breakfast and coffee to go!
WHAT WE DID
We drove from Vicenza to Salzburg on Thursday night after my husband got out of work. We wanted to maximize our time there, so we prefer to get in the night before. So we woke up Friday morning ready to go! We took our time, my husband went and got danishes from the local bakery and we headed downtown. We drove, and parked in this parking garage each day. It was about 20 euro/day, which was worth it to us.
From there we walked five minutes to the info center towards Mozartplatz to purchase the Salzburg card. I highly recommend this. We got the 48 hour one so that it gave us two full days of entrance to most everything and free access to public transport.
Right across the way from there is Salzburg Cathedral, and its a must. It is one of the most beautiful churches I have ever walked into, don’t even look at the pictures on google, just go! (Mozart was actually the organist there for a few years, and created some music for them!) The church itself is stunning all the way around, and then you get to go down the stairs and see the catacombs, and honestly, not to sound like to much, but its just a feeling in there. Don’t miss it, and don’t forget to look up, its the best view. 😉
When we left the cathedral, we headed right around the corner to Cafe Konditorei Fürst, where the original Mozartkugel was born! What is a mozartkugel you ask? Its a little treat made from marzipan and pistachio surrounded by nougat and dark chocolate, and honestly I loved it! ha If that doesn’t sound up your alley, don’t worry there are so many sweet options, my husband was a giant fan of the chocolate peanut brittle.
After a stop for treats, we walked along to Mozarts birthplace and residence. We weren’t originally going to do it, but the Salzburg Card gave us free entrance so we figured why not? It was really cool, to see their kitchen, the tiny little pianos, and to read all the interesting facts throughout about him and his family. Definitely worth a stop!
From there we walked all along Getreidegasse, which is a shopping district in Salzburg, but with the prettiest fanciest signs coming off their buildings. (I think the Zara sign may have been my favorite!)
When you get to the end of that street, we kept going to head towards a beer garden. You’ll notice that you start walking a little bit outside the center of downtown, but if you walk right along the river, its such a beautiful walk! We went up to a playground called Spielplatz und Kletterparcours, for about 20 minutes for the kids to run around, plus it had the most beautiful views! We continue to walk further up the stairs and the hill, for even better views and some really pretty pictures!
By then the beer garden was open HA and all the kids were ready for some pretzels, (frankly so was I!) so we walked back down the hill, and went to Augustiner Bräustuben, the largest beer garden in Austria. It was so fun! We got pretzels (the cheesy ones were the best IMO!) and a couple pints of beer, found a table in the sun and parked our butts outside for a couple hours. There was a mini slide/playground for the kids and it was so relaxing after walking all day, we loved it so much we went back again our third day in Salzburg!
From there, we headed right down the street to Bärenwirt for dinner. This is where my kids became obsessed with Wiener Schnitzel, and I had the best pumpkin soup of my life. (The wine wasn’t bad either!)
After dinner we hopped on the bus to take us to the parking garage and headed back home. We snuggled up and watched Sound of Music in preparation for our tour on Day 2! 😉
After we woke up, we headed back into downtown and parked at the same parking garage. We walked directly over to Fortress Hohensalzburg, and because we had the Salzburg Card, we were able to just hop right on the funicular up to the top. I highly recommend doing this, it was so cool and you get some pretty spectacular 360 views from the very top of the fortress! Theres stop up there for drinks and snacks too and theres so much to explore, I was so glad we did this!
When we were done, we took the 60 second funicular ride to the bottom, and took an immediate left to walk through the cemetery at St. Peters Abbey. Its really so stunning, and fun fact, the cemetery in the Sound of Music movie was based off of this exact one!
We left through the back entrance and walked towards Grünmarkt for lunch. I had read about this farmers market and was excited to check it out. Its huge, with loads of food vendors and drinks, gingerbread, and the best soft pretzels! We stopped here for a bit to grab lunch, a couple beers, and shop around. I highly recommend the decorated soft gingerbread cookies, they were amazing-maybe the best Ive ever had! This was the perfect stop for an easy lunch!
When we left, we walked through one of the many throughways back to Getreidegasse, the shopping district, and headed out over Love Lock Bridge to the other side of the river. The view of the city and river from the bridge is so pretty, and the locks of course add something special!
We walked over to Mirabell Gardens, which was absolutely beautiful! Many of the Do Re Mi scenes from the Sound of Music were filmed there, and we had so much fun recreating them! (You can see our version on my stories!)
Right across the street was the start of our Sound of Music Tour, so we headed that way. I went back and forth up until the night before about whether to do it through a company, or just go see all the spots ourselves. Im so glad we booked the tour, it was 4 hours, we did the 2p-6p option, they take you to a bunch of places where the movie was filmed, and you learn so much about the behind the scenes which I always find so incredibly fascinating about movies! Ive loved this movie since I was a little girl, I watched it with my grandma more times than I could count, so this was so special to me, and honestly so much fun! We all loved it, and we got to see some really pretty places. The last stop was in a little town called Mondsee, and we got to go into the church where Maria and the Baron got married, followed up by a stop at a little cafe across the street where we had the best apple strudel of my LIFE! It was a really fun afternoon, and I highly recommend it! There were quite a few people that were on the tour that had never even seen the movie, hah so don’t worry if your partner hasn’t! 😉 (Oh! they sold beer and wine the entire time too! so that was fun!)
When the tour ended we walked along the river to Hotel Stein, where I had read had some pretty amazing nighttime views of the city all lit up. We took the elevator up to the rooftop, got seats along the railing, it was as smidge chilly since I was in a skirt, but they were passing out blankets so it was perfect. The music was mellow and relaxing, we ordered the kids a little bowl of ice cream, and we just relaxed after a really fun day, and clinked our glasses to a seriously awesome view and a perfect couple days!
After a couple glasses of wine, we walked back over the bridge to Sternbräu for dinner. This spot had been reccommended by a local, and I had seen other reviews on it that were spectacular. It had a kids room upstairs, although we chose to sit downstairs for dinner. We showed up with no reservations and they got us right in, It was perfect. The food was amazing, it was so cozy and comforting, and one of my favorite meals from the weekend!
We woke up with the original plan of doing a day trip to Hallstatt for the day, but my youngest was feeling so awful, and we really didn’t want to push it and be so far away if we had to come back to the air b&b in case he got worse. We gave him some meds, and just headed back downtown. The weather was incredible, high 70s and sunny, so we didn’t make any plans other than to just walk and explore some more, relax and take our time. He was such a trooper the entire day and just chilled in the stroller.
After parking back in the same garage, we headed to Starbucks first thing to grab some breakfast and coffee, let me say, their breakfast sandwiches blow the states out of the water! Ha, they were amazinggg!
We walked around the old town some more, but since it was Sunday most of the shopping was closed. We decided to grab a bottle of champagne from the store and go hang out in Mirabell Gardens for a couple hours. We found this playground off to the side and the kids played, we sipped some champs, soaked up the sun and just relaxed, it was so nice.
From there we walked the path along the river bank, it had so many pretty views, and it was such a nice day. We headed back towards the beer hall we visited the first day, like I said we were taking it easy and just going with the flow. We hung out there for a couple hours, snacked on some pretzels, the kids played and we headed out.
We had checked the weather app for what time sunset was, and made sure to be back up at the top of Hotel Stein for it. It was so worth it. The sun set right behind the city, and it was so beautiful! Seriously that spot has the best views with a drink!
By the time the sun went down and wed had a couple glasses of wine, my youngest was so wiped out, so instead of sitting down for dinner somewhere we opted to grab takeout and headed back to our air b&b. We found Prima Pizza right around the corner from where we had parked, it took them only 10 minutes to make it and we headed back. It was really good pizza, truly tasted so similar to the pizza we get here in italy! It was another perfect day!
Day 4, Hallstatt
This was our last day here and we were planning on driving home that night, so we got up and got out early and drove straight to Hallstatt. It was one of the driving forces that brought us to Salzburg in the first place, so there was no way I was missing it. I had been dreaming of visiting Hallstatt for years.
It was just under an hour and a half drive from Salzburg, and its totally worth the day trip if you’re ever there. It is a complete picturesque, fairytale town. Straight out of Beauty and the Beast! We walked all over, and I filled my camera roll! ha!
We walked all the way to one side first and made our way back. I NEEDED to see that famous postcard view, and so thats where we began. Here is the location on google maps. The day we were there, the gorgeous church was all wrapped up and under construction, and I was so bummed out, I may have thrown a mini tantrum about it…but even with that, the view was amazing, I mean those mountains behind it, seeing this in real life after dreaming of seeing it for years, it was a total pinch me moment.
After I took a million photos, we started walking back toward the center of town, and took a detour and walked up a bunch of stairs to go to the Ossuary, which is a cemetery outside a church, otherwise known as ‘the bone church’. The cemetery itself was beautiful with incredible views. We had to pay about 2 euro to get into the ossuary, but it really was quite cool. Since Hallstatt is so small, cemeteries fill up quick, so they exhumed some bodies to make room for the more recently deceased.The skulls are painted by the families of the deceased in crosses, wreaths, and roses, theres really not anything quite like it.
From there we just walked, explored, gawked and took lots of pictures. We popped into a few shops along the way. We stopped at Bräugasthof for a drink outside on the water. And from there decided to buy the tickets to the funicular to take us up to the Skywalk! Its a world heritage viewpoint, and truly spectacular.
After getting to the top, we walked out over to the Skywalk, which basically just hangs midair off the side of the mountain, quite freaky when you look down, but truly one of the most amazingly incredible views I have ever seen in my life. I would go back just for that, it was my favorite part of our entire day in Hallstatt. Just so spectacular that it could have been a dang green screen. Just stunning. Photos will never do it justice.
Since the weather so so good, we stayed up there for lunch outside at Rudolfsturm, just staring at those views, it was so surreal. I had the hungarian goulash with spätzle, and it was out of this world amazing. Just try it and thank me later! 😉 Plus, THE VIEWS. (insert alllll the praise hands!)
After a few hours at the top, we headed back down to start heading home, it was after 3pm and we still had about a 5 1/2 hour drive. We hit the road, and talked the entire way about how this was one of our, if not THE best trip we’ve taken.I don’t know if its because I did all the research beforehand instead of along the way, or if it was the perfect weather, or the locations, or just everyones attitudes (seriously we were all so happy and relaxed all weekend with no arguments or frustrations, which can tend to come along with traveling), or more likely, a combination of all the above, but it was my favorite trip we’ve taken. I think about it everyday, and were all still talking about it.
If you ever get the change to spend a weekend in Salzburg, don’t hesitate. Its an easily walkable city, seriously my kids did it all day everyday with zero complaints, its beautiful fun, and so delicious!