Salzburg is a beautiful city in Austria most famous for the Sound of Music and for Mozart, which they are very proud of. You can buy Mozart coffee, perfume, chocolate, liqueur – the list is endless. And when you take a break from singing all of the songs from The Sound of Music you can experience the beautiful gardens, scenic bike rides, great shopping, hill walks, and of course, the water palace built by the crazy archbishop!
First of all, if you are looking for a youth hostel in Salzburg then you should definitely go to YoHo, which has the best slogan ever (“Easy to find, hard to leave!”) the staff are really friendly, the rooms are nice, and when I was there, I was fortunate enough to be with a brilliant mix of fun people. Some of the other hostels are out on the hills which would be a nightmare when returning home after going out, but don’t worry, because YoHo is conveniently near the city centre.
Things that you should do/ visit:
1) Rent and Octobike
Unfortunately I never had either enough friends or enough courage to rent an octobike, but they look seriously amazing – so if you make up for what you lack in fear with mates and a valid driving license then go to one of the riverside bike rental places and get an octobike. I think you probably have to YouTube it to realise its full glory. However if, like me, you settle for a more traditional one-person bike then I recommend the bike path to Hellbrunn Palace, which goes past the building that was used as the Von Trapp house in The Sound of Music. Another positive of this route is that it is relatively short.
2) Hellbrunn Palace
This place is insane. It was built by a crazy archbishop who liked to throw extravagant parties in the garden and in the house. The garden is a lot of fun for children and the archbishop liked to play tricks on his guests and therefore installed hidden fountains of water which will shoot up if you sit on a bench or walk through a doorway. Inside the palace there are lots of cool things, like paintings of mythical creatures and a ‘unicorn head’ which looks like it has been smoking too much weed. Also in the garden is a great children’s play area and picnic site and a conservatory which looks a bit like the one from The Sound of Music.
3) Mirabell Gardens
These are gardens which are near the city centre and they are full of colorful flowers and a beautiful fountain. They are even better at night when the fountain is lit up and often lederhosen-clad Austrian men will give a free open air concert in the gardens. Oh, and of course, the gardens were featured in The Sound of Music.
4) Mozart’s House
I have never felt the need to go inside because I have always been distracted by the fact that it is now an ice cream parlor which sells really good ice cream. The house is on the main street in Salzburg, which also has some good sites for shopping where you can buy traditional dirndls and lederhosen.
In some of the little squares, there are market stalls selling local produce and traditional products. If you come across one then I recommend getting a giant pretzel (you can choose from a whole variety) and enjoy it while sitting beside one of the city’s many water features.
My favourite bar/club in Salzburg! You will meet the most hilarious people here, crammed into this tiny space. When we were 16, the club photographer bought us all shots and then offered my friend a ‘breakfast of whipped cream’ at his house. And that’s just someone who was working there, the other club goers are equally as fun-loving and if you’re lucky, slightly less creepy. Drink of choice: Malibu and strawberry juice – it’s a tradition.