salzburg: a few of my favorite things
Okay, friends. It's confession time: for all the traveling I've done, up until this weekend, I had never traveled solo. I have always been blessed with a bunch of great travel companions close at hand, so it had never occurred to me to travel alone. Then these last few weeks, I'd realized I'd been dragging my feet when it came to scheduling trips since it's been hard for my friends and I to line up our schedules. Then one day, I realized that there wasn't anything stopping me from traveling but myself. It was time to venture out on my own and see the world. And friends, Salzburg was the perfect place to dive right into this crazy world of solo travel. Anyone who has been around for a while knows that I'm a big musical fan (if you need further proof, click here). So naturally, Salzburg and all of its Sound of Music Glory has been on my list for a long time. I bought a train ticket and booked an AirBnb and was on my way.
Y'all, Salzburg didn't disappoint. Here are a few of my favorite things about this weekend:
The Old Town of Salzburg doesn't disappoint. It's a literal fairytale town and the city has done a magnificent job preserving the all the tiny details from the scrolling metal signs to the ornate facades of the buildings. Also: the majority of the city's museums are located in this area. These museums include, but are not limited to: Dom Quartier, Mozart's Birthplace, the Christmas Museum, the Museum of Natural History and the Salzburg Cathedral. Insider tip: buy a Salzburg Card prior to your arrival. For 24, 48 or 72 hours, you have access to nearly all museums, free public transportation and discounts on many private tours. I chose the 48 hour option and it paid for itself the first day. This is a huge value and also saved me so much time. I didn't have to decide what museums I wanted to see because they were all at my fingertips. You really can't go wrong with any of them.
A great place for a stroll and also full of shooting locations from The Sound of Music. I would recommend going early for the best pictures and fewer crowds. I was able to enjoy the last blooms of summer and have a quiet moment to take in the beauty of the city. I could even hear some music coming from somewhere a few streets over for a completely idyllic experience. This is a great place to stroll through on your way to another attraction, as it's not nearly as large as you think it's going to be. It's super easy to check off your list without feeling like you're missing something else.
It's not only the most important meal of the day. It's also one of the things Salzburg does best. The city has a vibrant coffee culture steeped in tradition, but also has collectively decided that breakfast should be a meal, not just a quick bite as you rush out the door. Breakfast was my favorite meal in Salzburg and my recommendations would be the historic Cafe Tomaselli, Cafe Fingerlos and Cafe Würfel Zucker. Great service, fantastic coffee and fresh breakfast. What more does a girl need but to linger over coffee in the late September sun?
This blog wouldn't be complete if I didn't give you this bit of advice: get up at sunrise one day and go for a run or walk through old town and up the hill by the Museum of Modern Art. You won't regret it. Nobody else seems to be awake, you get your fitness in and also get to see completely unobstructed views of all the best landmarks. Best choice I made, as I arrived for a weekend at the end of the busy season. It was a refreshing break from the crowds and the endorphins propelled me through the rest of my day.
Schloss Hellbrunn was my favorite stop for many, many reasons. The first reason I went was because that was were the famous pavilion from The Sound of Music has been relocated post-production. It happened. I got to have my moment dancing in front of the pavilion and strolling through the expansive grounds in the sun. That being said, if you think (as I did) that this was the Von Trapp mansion, you will be disappointed. The actual filming location is further away from the city. This is still a magnificent place to while away the afternoon.
I still had a wonderful time exploring the trick fountains designed by an archbishop to play tricks on his guests and look through his former palace which was devoted not only to his life, but the curiosities of the time. This included the blurred line between fantasy and reality and the preservation of cultural tradition. They also have a unicorn on display-- no joke. This whole exhibition was a wonderful surprise.
In case any of you are thinking about solo travel, here's my completely biased opinion: do it. Do it now and enjoy every second. Stop waiting for the right travel partner, moment or opportunity. There were so many moments in all of this where I found new pieces of myself. I became more comfortable and confident in my own skin and fell in love with a new city in a way that I couldn't if I had done it with another person. Take the leap, friends. You won't regret it.