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Salzburg: The city of Mozart


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Salzburg is an Austrian city on the German border with views of the Eastern Alps. I can also say that it is a mini Switzerland considering its beautiful views of the Alps, lakes, castles, ice caves among other things. It’s also known as the birthplace of Mozart and the setting for the film “The Sound of Music.” The city is divided by the Salzach River, with medieval and baroque buildings of the pedestrian Altstadt (Old City) on its left bank, and 19th-century Neustadt (New City) on the right.
It is internationally renowned for its baroque architecture and is one of the best-preserved city centers north of the Alps. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Austrian German is widely written while Austro-Bavarian is the German dialect of this territory and widely spoken. 

HOW TO VISIT

The best way of exploring the Salzburg is by using the Salzburg card. This card provides free entry to all the museums, free use of the Fortress funicular, the Untersberg cableway, cruises and public transport. Furthermore it also provides discount on tickets of many concerts and theaters. The price of this card depends on the number of days one is planning to stay the city. The price chart is as follows:

24 hrs card / Adult – 27 Euro
48 hrs card / Adult – 36 Euro
72 hrs card / Adult – 72 Euro
Note : The price for child card is half of the adult card.

The card can be taken from the main railway station or any tourist place in Salzburg. It can also be booked online through the Salzburg tourist website.

COST ESTIMATION

In order to cover the whole of Salzburg, one requires 3-4 days as the place has lot of things to do and visit. However if one plans for a budget trip two days are fine and one can cover the most beautiful parts of the city. The cost estimate for the 2 day budget trip apart from the cost to travel to Salzburg will be as follows:

Accommodation : Youth Hostels cost around 20-30 Euro per day and can be booked online through various websites like Hostel Bookers and Hostel world.
Food : Depending on what one prefers to eat. However one can expect 5-7 Euro per meal in inexpensive restaurants.
Transportation Cost : With the Salzburg card, transportation is free.
Sight Seeing : Most of the sight seeing is already covered in the Salzburg card and does not cost anything extra. However, place like Ice Caves, Salt Mines etc require an additional cost of transportation and tickets (Approximately 50 Euro for both). This two are not covered in the Salzburg card. The list of places covered can be obtained from the Salzburg tourism website.

Money Saver Tip :

1) Travel with the Salzburg Card.

2)  Book the hostel in city center as all the major city attractions are near the city center and one will thus save time and money on travel.

3) If you are in group of 5 or more ask for the group discounts as many city attractions and train tickets are at discounted prices for groups. However the minimum number of persons to form groups differs for different places. For eg. at the Ice Caves, the discount is available for a 20 person group although for the train tickets for Ice Caves, a discount is also available for a group of 5.

MUST SEE PLACES

Ice Caves

The Ice Caves are located in Warfen around 40 kms from Salzburg. These are the largest Ice Caves in the world and while visiting the caves, one can explore and see the beautiful mountains. The caves are 42 kms long, however they are open for up to 1 km for the public. It is a guided tour and one has to purchase the ticket once they've reached the caves. In order to visit, one needs to book the train tickets from Salzburg. The same can be brought at the main railway station.

Important Tip : Plan the trip for the Ice Caves in the early morning. The first train from Salzburg railway station starts at around 7 and then at 8. Going late to this place does not make sense and one will miss the beautiful views.

Salt Mines

Salt mines  can be covered on the same day along with the Ice caves i.e while returning from the caves. The place is around 20 kms from Salzburg. It is the place for the local miners and an attractive tourist place. Unfortunately I was not able to visit the place so I don’t have much information about the same. However one can find more information on the Salzbug tourism website.

Important Tip :  Take the one day train pass from the main station which is valid for an entire day and thus one can cover both the Ice Caves and Salt Mines at the cost of one pass. But one has to start early in the morning if both the places are to be covered. One should take 1st or the 2nd train early in the morning as after 9 o’ clock it will be a little too late.

Unsterberg

Here one can enjoy the cable ride to the top of the mountain. While going towards the top, one can enjoy the beautiful alps views. One can also see the beautiful salzburg lake from the top of the mountains. One can also hike the mountain if interested. One can spend almost 1-2 hrs at the top and can come back via cable car. Cable car runs once in every Hour.

Zoo

Salzburg Zoo is on the foot of the Hellbrunner mountain with the steep rocky Cliffside on one side and the hilly floodplain landscape on the other. It is home to around 140 animal species all over the world.

Important Tip :  The zoo is on the way while coming back from Unsterberg. So if one is interested in visiting the zoo, they can cover it with Unsterbeg as it will save your travel time.

Cruise Ride

A cruise ride on the Salzburg lake is a wonderful experience especially for those who have not done something like this before. The ride is free with the Salzburg card and it takes around 45 – 60 mins. During the ride one can experience the beautiful views of the city, the lake and at the same time listen to the beautiful music played during the ride.

Mirabellplatz

Mirabellplatz is a beautiful garden in the city. One can spend 30 – 60 mins, relax and take some beautiful photographs. I personally feel it is a beautiful place for those who love and want to spend some time in peace with the pretty flowers.

Mirabell Palace

Mirabell Palace is near the Mirabell Gardens. Its a beautiful palace and one can see it from outside as today it houses the offices of Salzburg’s mayor and the Municipal Council.

OTHER PLACES

a. Salzburg Castle: The main castle turned museum where one can go back to the history of Salzburg.

b. Tricky Fountain: Also known as Schloss Hellbrunn, it is famous for a lot of water tricks and fun. I personally suggest one to go here and experience all-together new water tricks. One can cover the place with the castle as they are nearby.

c. Hohensalzburg Fortress  

d. Mozart’s Birthplace

e. Museums 

Useful links

Tourist Info : http://www.salzburg.info/

City and Bus Maps : http://www.salzburg.info/en/service/salzburg_maps

This trip was originally published on Travel and Photography.

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