PHEW! What a week. I have had the most hectic 9 days of my life, and I cannot wait to just crash in my bed and sleep for ages. If you didn't know (then you obviously hadn't looked at my social media!), my beautiful mother came to visit me in London. We dipped out for a few days to Salzburg in Austria and to Munich for a quick day. And it. was. a. blast.
I've explored Vienna twice before, but this was the first time I've actually stayed over night in the country of Austria. We wanted to go somewhere neither of us had ever visited before, and somewhere with somewhat of a nature element. Mom and I spent about 4 weeks slaving away over an Excel spreadsheet in which I laid out a bunch of destinations that fit our timetable and criteria, and finally came to the conclusion that we couldn't really go wrong with any of the destinations we chose. In the end, we settled on two days in Salzburg and one quicky run to Munich for our final day, as we couldn't get a good flight out of Munich that fit when we wanted to leave.
And let me just say, Salzburg is a dream.
Spending 48 hours in Salzburg, I felt, was just a little bit too short. Maybe 3 days would have been a little better, as we were sort of rushing around to get everything done. But 48 hours are surely doable. And that being said, here's my guide to 48 hours in Salzburg!
Sound of Music Tour
BY FAR one of the best tours I have ever been on in the history of travel. I spent half the day in hysterical laughter while belting out Do-Re-Mi and Edelweiss as our tour bus navigated the Austrian Lake District. It's a great way to see parts of Salzburg that you may not have seen otherwise, like the suburbs of the city and a little further out into the mountains. And it's a must see for anyone who has ever seen the Sound of Music as a child or an adult. DO IT.
Semi-Sound of Music related, Untersberg is the mountain in the final scene of the film where you see Maria and her family crossing over to get to Switzerland. Well, Untersberg doesn't actually border Switzerland; It borders Germany (cinematic genius), but it's still a must visit destination if you've got some time in Salzburg. About 20 minutes by bus from the city center, you can take a funicular up to the top and wander around, or if you're a serious adventure hiker, you can journey across into Bavaria in Germany. I can only really speak for the Salzburg side, but the views over the city are stunning, and there's even a pub at the top where you can enjoy a beer while watching the sunset.
Salzburg Old Town
Salzburg has a small but charming old town, with buildings that are hundreds of years old. There are little cafes, tons of shopping, and winding cobblestone streets that can get you lost for hours.
Whenever I travel, I always scope out the best places for excellent views. Hohensalzburg is one of the best. It's one of the oldest Medieval castles in Europe, dating back from 1077. You can spend about a half day there just wandering around, doing an audioguide, and learning about the castles rich history.
Almost a little much for two days, but even a half day tour to one of the lakes is doable if you've got some extra time. One of the closest lakes is Mondsee, which you would visit on the Sound of Music tour, but spending a few hours to explore one of these lakeside towns would be idyllic.
Love Lock Bridge
Most major cities in Europe have them now, and it's always picturesque to stroll along with your loved one across a famous love lock bridge. Located close to the old town, many souvenir shops sell locks you can purchase to seal your love forever.
Salzburg is the hometown of Mozart, so obviously, seeing where exactly he grew up is a must do. It's located in the heart of the old town. You can't miss it when you're strolling down the winding main road.
In my opinion, Salzburg over Vienna any day. The nature, the surroundings, and the friendly people (seriously some of the friendliest I've met) make this small city a worthwhile visit. Add Salzburg to your wanderlist, and start making your journey there.