As the setting for (and inspiration of) The Sound of Music and the birthplace of Mozart, fans couldn't ask for a more beautiful location to celebrate the origins of everlasting masterpieces. If you are a movie enthusiast there are plenty of opportunities to see all the film locations. Bubbly Tourist has done two Sound of Music tours: one by bus and one by bike. We loved them both and can't recommend one over the other as they were equally as fun! As the birthplace of one of the greatest composers of all time, you'll be able to hear Mozart, see where he was born as well as where he later lived with his family. Read more to learn where in Salzburg the hills are alive with the sounds of music.
Explore Salzburg where the Hills are Alive with The Sound of Music
Von Trapp House
The Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron serves as the setting for the Von Trapp house while the kids are out on the lake on a boat with Maria. When the Captain returns home, you may recall them falling off the boat into the lake. As the story goes, the youngest child, Gretl (played by Kym Karath) didn't yet know how to swim and Julie Andrews was suppose to catch her in the water and hold her afloat. Unfortunately, Ms. Andrews fell off the other side of the boat, thankfully there were divers present to save the day.
Mirabell Palace Gardens
These beautiful gardens are part of the Mirabell Palace that was built in 1606. With the Hohensalzburg Fortress and Salzburg Cathedral as a backdrop, it is indeed a beautiful location for pictures. Throw in a scene from the Sound of Music and you'll absolutely want to come visit so you too can sing Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti, Do.
Sound of Music Pavilion
The Hellbrun Palace gardens serves as the current location of the gazebo for Liesl's first kiss and the long awaited kiss between the Captain and Maria. It is now known as the Sound of Music Pavilion. Rolfe kisses Liesl (played by Charmian Carr) during "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" and while filming, Carr leaps through the plate glass window and not only cuts her ankle but sprains it. Her ankle is visibly thicker than her other ankle in the film. If you can believe it, the city of Salzburg now has to lock the gazebo doors because too many people were getting hurt trying to recreate the scene. Maria and the Captain shared a kiss in that same gazebo, at the conclusion of their number “Something Good.”
Nonnberg Abbey is the Abbey from which Maria came before going to the Von Trapp family. It's where the song "How do you solve a problem like Maria" was filmed. It's also the real location where the Captain and Maria got married. The Hollywood location for their marriage is discussed below. This abbey has existed in its currents state since the 17th century (it has burned down a few times). It's relatively small but still beautiful. It sits above the city and can be accessed if you keep walking up the steep hill beyond the Fortress's funicular entrance. The views over Salzburg from up here are spectacular. See photo below.
St. Peters Cemetery
The cemetery at St. Peters is one of those nicely manicured, conveniently located cemeteries worth a visit. And for Sound of Music fans, this is where the Von Trapp family hid from the Nazi's at the end of the movie. In reality, the cemetery was re-created in Hollywood with taller tombstones because the real life cemetery tombstones were not tall enough for them to hide behind.
Felsenreitschule / Festival Hall
The Felsenreitschule or Festival Hall is where the song "Edelweiss" was performed by the Von Trapp family. It has a retracting roof that is rarely opened, but was opened for the filming. On a balcony of the Festival Hall, you'll also see a view of Salzburg from Maria's eyes in the movie. See the photo below of this view.
Basilika St. Michael
Basilika St. Michael in Mondsee is where Hollywood filmed the wedding of Maria and the Captain. Mondsee is an adorable little town about a 25 minute drive from Salzburg. On our bus ride there we were fortunate to take in some Sound of Music songs. Listen to the "Lonely Goatherd" as you travel through the pristine Austrian countryside. And as a special treat for you F1 fans, you'll pass by Red Bull's Headquarters on the way to Mondsee.
Exploring Salzburg via Mozart
Enjoy a Mozart Dinner
So, this is an absolute fun thing to do! There are several options around Salzburg where you can listen to Mozart, and we absolutely took advantage of this by booking one of the Mozart dinners. Where else can you be drinking bubbly while watching a quintet of strings playing Mozart with two opera singers well, singing? The food was good, the music and singers and environment was excellent. If you're not interested in a Mozart dinner, there are other options. Follow this link if you're interested in additional concert information for Mozart.
Visit the Mozart Residence
To learn more about one of the greatest composers of all time, visit the Mozart Residence. You can also listen to his works of art in the multimedia room (see photo below). The Mozart Residence is conveniently located right in the center of Old Town Salzburg in the area known as Markatplatz. In Mozart's Residence you'll find several of Mozart's instruments including his piano and viola and many original documents and portraits. The museum also provides a history of the house including its time as the "Dance Master's House", Mozart's Salzburg years, and the life of the Mozart family. Bubbly Tip: This is one of the "free" admissions you'll get when you purchase a Salzburg Card.
Mozart's Birth Home
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born at No. 9 Getreidegasse in Salzburg on January 27, 1756. The house is now a museum. You can see where he lived on the third floor that includes artifacts like the viola below. The house is free with your Salzburg Card. If you can't get enough Mozart, then by all means go visit. However, the museum doesn't make our list of the Top 11 things to see and do in Salzburg.
Bubbly Tourist Bon Voyage!