Salzburg, Austria

July 9-11:

My parents came to Europe on their honeymoon and traveled to many places. Salzburg was one place they came and spoke so highly of. With our plans constantly changing, we decided to add it to our list and make the short train ride from the Czech Republic.

Storefront with traditional Austrian clothes
There were 3 large town squares- Mozartplatz, Redidenzplatz, and Domplatz. Each had a statue or fountain at the middle and restaurants around the sides.
A beautiful Christmas store with thousands of hand painted eggs!

The Hills are Alive

The Sound of Music was filmed in Salzburg in 1964. I grew up watching this movie and singing the songs on repeat. While walking around the city and seeing the Swiss Alps in the distance, “the hills are alive, with the sound of music” played over in my head (and sometimes randomly out loud before Graham reminded me that people were around). We got to go to a couple spots where scenes were filmed. It was wild being there!

Scene from the Sound of Music
At Mirabell Garden

Mozart’s Home

We purchased the Salzburg card, which I highly recommend! It was a small fee and included so many popular attractions. We saved big time by getting the card and went to a lot of spots we wouldn’t have otherwise visited. Our first stop with the card was Mozart’s home. In the first room of the house tour sat the families piano that Mozart once played. Graham and I spent about 25 minutes in just the first room standing by the piano amazed at what we were looking at. Mozart played on THAT piano!

We learned that the piano was made with wooden keys for the natural notes and the sharps/flat keys were made of ivory. Some pianos were made this way to save money since there were more natural keys on a piano and wood was a cheap material compared to ivory.

The museum also housed his father’s violin, letters written by Mozart to his father, and original sheet music by Mozart! We also learned that his older sister (Maria Anna) was just as musically talented as Mozart, but because she was a woman she was unable to publish work or perform as a career.

Mozart’s home
Mozart’s family piano. Photo taken from Google. We were unable to take pictures inside the museum.

Fortress Hohensalzburg

With our Salzburg card in hand, we headed up the funicular to the large fortress looking over the city. The first building in the fortress was built in 1250 and had many additions added until the 1800s. In case Salzburg was ever attacked, the townspeople would all head to the fortress for safety. The fortress was massive and had several great museums inside with many interactive activities. Graham and I felt like kids again touching all the materials of old armor, trying to lift different sized cannon balls, clicking all the buttons to light up part of a 4D model of the fortress, and designing our own soldier for battle. The fortress also gave a great view of the city!

Taking the funicular up to the fortress
The fortress from below
Fortress in 1250.
Fortress in 1800.

Mirabell Garden

Right inside the center city is a beautiful public garden-Marabell Garden. Several scenes from the Sound of Music were filmed in this garden! The garden was filled with beautiful fountains and flowers. As we were walking through, one garden area looked SO familiar. I quickly realized that I had seen a photo of my mother in this garden when my parents were here 35 years earlier on their honeymoon. The garden was not as full as it was then, but it was so neat to make that connection. We had to try and recreate the photo!

Mirabell Garden
Top photo-my beautiful mother 35 years ago on her honeymoon. Bottom photo – Me in 2021.
Mirabell Garden
Scene from the Sound of Music at Mirabell Garden
Mirabell Garden


Untersberg is a massif (mountain range) on the German-Austrian border. Some choose to take a long strenuous hike up to the top, but we decided to take full advantage of our Salzberg card and take the very fast cable car. We spent about an hour and a half at the top until the cable car took its last trip to the bottom at 5:30. The views were stunning! It was probably the most beautiful mountain range we have ever seen!

The cable car from the bottom of the mountain.
Riding the cable car to the top
Untersberg – border of Germany and Austria (that’s the Austrian flag spray painted on the rocks)

Our Airbnb Stay

We stayed just outside of the town in a wonderful Airbnb. On our last night there, our host invited us to share a glass of wine on her back porch and we spoke for hours before it was time for bed. We love getting to know the locals at each of our stops!

Sitting in the garden at our Salzburg Airbnb home
The view from our Airbnb home!

A cute café for lunch one day.
Apple strudel for dessert (and coffee ice cream)! Salzburg is famous for their apple strudel
Using our Salzburg card- We took the Mönchsberg elevator to a panoramic terrace of the city.
Also using our Salzburg card- we took the Salzach boat cruise up the river.
Salzach Cruise
Yummy dinner! Graham got schnitzel and Lizzie got a salad with chicken and pumpkin seed oil dressing. This salad was amazing! Definitely one of the best salads I’ve had!

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