Bubbly Tourist has been to Salzburg twice now this past year and we just absolutely love Salzburg! The majesty of the green hills that surround Salzburg calls to you and is quite stunning. Whether you arrive by plain, train, or by car, the mountains help welcome you to beautiful Salzburg which sits on the winding Salzach river. And with its baroque era architecture and cobblestone streets, this small city is perfectly romantic. Salzburg, where water, salt, and the Alps meet, became rich on salt and trade and created its place in history along the way. And as the birthplace of Mozart and the setting for the Sound of Music, well, fans couldn't ask for a more beautiful location to celebrate the origins of such everlasting masterpieces. Read along with us and discover specifically what makes Salzburg so beautiful.
Its Natural Beauty makes Salzburg so beautiful
The Green of the Countryside
As our plane was landing into Salzburg on a picture perfect day, Bubbly Tourist couldn't help but notice how lush and green the surrounding countryside was just outside of Salzburg. The rolling hills and the bucolic setting of these beautiful Austrian villages added to the anticipation of our second visit within the year. How amazing it was once again to be reminded of the natural beauty that makes this magnificent small city even more grand.
The Salzbach River
The Salzbach river winds its way through Austria and helped define Salzburg's place in history. With its water source from the Kitzbühel Alps, this river forms the border of Bavaria in Germany and the Austrian state of Salzburg and it eventually joins the Danube. It derives its name from the German word "salz" (salt) as it was used to ship the salt from the nearby salt mines making Salzburg a rich and important city of Austria for centuries. Today, the river with its twists and turns brings a focus to Old Town and really helps give Salzburg its beauty.
The surrounding hills and mountains
The gorgeous Alps that surround Salzburg make way for the fertile green hills that envelope Salzburg. So, naturally the city of Salzburg has a combination of flat and hilly streets. Adjacent to the river, it is primarily flat but just a few streets away from it, you'll find the hills and the fortress that was built to protect the city. Indeed there are funiculars and elevators that can help you climb the cliffs that look down over the river and the city. When you visit the Hohensalzburg Fortress (a recommended Top spot) and you look down over the city and the surrounding countryside, you'll see just how beautiful this country is. See the photo below.
The Beautiful Sights within Salzburg's Old Town
In addition to the amazing sights highlighted within our article: The Top 11 Place to See and Things to Do, here are a few additional photos of Salzburg that will enamor you to this beautiful city.
Walk the cobblestone streets up into the Hills of the Kapuzinerberg
As you make your way up Linzer Gasse (Alley) from Platzl on the east side of the river, you might notice a historical landmark on your right that sits above an arched entrance. The Francis Gate (or Franziskuspforte) is an archway that has above it a walled-in marble relief from 1617 depicting the vision of St. Francis: a six-winged seraphim. Walk through the gate and you can still see part of the old medieval wall. Keep going up this winding cobblestone street as you make your way up the Kapuzinerberg and you'll get to an observation deck and a monastery with beautiful views looking down over the city.
Off the Beaten Path in Mönchsberg Mountain above Salzburg
The Hohensalzburg Fortress sits in the Mönchsberg mountain. There are roads and paths that can take you up above the city if you want some time to just relax and take in the surrounding beauty from up above. On our walk back to the Old Town from the Augustiner Bräu Müll, we came across some stairs into the hills that beckoned us for a peek. As we walked up Am Mönchsberg on the north end of Mönchsberg mountain, we realized that there were sights here that were originally off our radar. Always willing to go off the beaten path, we continued climbing and exploring. Although we didn't go too far, we found several historical landmarks, beautiful views of the rooftops above Salzburg, and silence. Had we continued, we realize we could have spent the entire day here above the city.
Want more beautiful sites in the surrounding region?
It's only an hour and a half by train or by car. So why not? It's Bavaria, it's beautiful, and there's much to see. If you time it right like Bubbly Tourist, you can do both cities and experience both versions of Munich's Oktoberfest. Even if timing doesn't work out or you want to steer clear of Oktoberfest, Munich is a city rich in history with plenty to offer and convenient to get to.
Austria's Salzkammergut Region - Hallstatt/Five Fingers/Salt Mines
About an hour and a quarter drive from Salzburg is the beautiful, picture perfect town of Hallstatt (see stock photo below). This quaint little town is definitely worth a visit. With its lakeside presence and Bavarian style homes built up in the hills, it's just gorgeous. Stroll through the town and grab lunch with a view. Not too far from Hallstatt is the Five Fingers viewing platform that gives it its name from the shape of the five viewing platforms. It's in the Dachstein Mountains on Mount Krippenstein and provides phenomenal views of the picturesque mountains and lakes that surrounds this area. On your way back to Salzburg, stop at Wolfgangsee Lake. It's so beautiful, you may wish to spend the night here at any of the small towns that dot the lake. Or visit a salt mine that is a source of the white gold (salt) that brought prosperity and its name to Salzburg. It is just 30 minutes from Salzburg. These mines have been producing salt uninterrupted since 1517 and is a good family destination.
It may be a 3.5 hour drive from Salzburg, but Bubbly Tourist has driven between the two cities and Ljubljana is enchanting and romantic and cheap. It is very similar in many ways to Salzburg and absolutely worth seeing! Whether you decide to do these cities back to back or not, please consider putting it on your bucket list. You'll absolutely love it and won't regret it.
Bubbly Tourist Bon Voyage!