Visiting Hellbrunn Palace

Salzburg Austria

What to see outside of Salzburg, Austria

Okay so you have seen the sights of Salzburg (and if not, please see previous blog post for info on what to see!). Now… it is time to go outside the city and visit:

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Hellbrunn – Palace and Trick Fountains

This is a most amusing outing to make, and yes you did read that correctly, “trick fountains.”

The Palace was built as a summer palace by the Archbishop Markus Sittikus, 400 years ago. However, this is not just palace, it is a palace built for the amusement of the archbishop who invited guests and then played tricks on them! During the tour (yes you have to take a tour, but the guides have a great time and you will see why) you will see what looks like an outdoor dining area surrounded by fountains only to find that if you were a guest seated at that table you were bound to get soaked while your host laughed at the head of the table – dry and amused. The trick fountains continue on with caves full of surprises, jumping water, a carnival of water and more. Enjoy the house, see the gardens, and you might want to wear a bathing suit.

The Hellbrunn Palace also includes a visit up the hill to the Volksundemuseum – Folklore Museum. This is a charming gem of a museum with examples of traditional costumes, hats, dresses, shoes, toys, art and more. It is a little museum but oh so fun!

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Hellbrunn Palace also houses the “Sound of Music” Pavillion where the song “I am 16 going on 17” was performed. If you walk all the way to the entrance of the gardens, not far from the road you will find the Pavillion.

To read more about the Hellbrunn Palace and the trick fountains, click here.

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**For photographs of Salzburg click here and find photos, prints, and canvas prints of Salzburg.

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Top 10 Sights in Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg Fortress Austria

What to see in Salzburg, Austria

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Top 10 Sights to See in Salzburg

1 – “The Sound of Music” is one reason to visit Salzburg. You can visit locations where they filmed, either creating your own treasure hunt or you can take an official tour. My suggestion… enjoy the city, see the sights, and when you get back home watch the movie again and you will find that you saw all of those places in the film!

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2 – Hohensalzburg Fortress

This fortress is the castle that dominates the skyline above the city. The 900 year old fortress started as a sanctuary for archbishops, barracks, and a prison (all at different times of course). The fortress features a museum, small chapel, courtyards, and a Marionette museum (a small cave with a brief history and examples of marionettes which is fun for kids!). The fortress wall facing the city below provides a panoramic view.

How to get to the fortress? You can walk up the hill on a stone path or you can take the cable car. When you find the cable car entrance, the foot path is right next to it and continues up in a zig zag fashion. The cable car is included on the Salzburg Card so take advantage (the ride is literally 54 seconds), plus enjoy the ride! If you do not have the Salzburg card, there are a multitude of options for fortress tickets to include the cable car down only or up only (to see those options click here and scroll down for latest prices and hours). You should probably count on needing 2 to 3 hours to see the fortress (including getting there and back down to the town).

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3 – St. Peter’s Monastery and Catacombs

If you have visited catacombs in other cities, these are different in that there are no skeletons. These catacombs date back to the 700’s and are more like caves, carved into the side of the rock. You can walk through the entire complex (just past the cemetery).

4 – Salzburg Cathedral

After the catacombs, you can walk right to Salzburg Cathedral which is on Cathedral Square. The Cathedral was rebuilt three times after three separate fires, you can see the dates on the iron gates: 774, 1628 and 1959.

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5 – DomQuartier Salzburg

Right in front of the Salzburg Cathedral, the building complex known as the DomQuartier makes for an interesting visit that takes you through galleries, stately rooms, museums, art collections, terraces, and the Cathedral organ loft. Sounds like a lot? It is! Allow for at least 2 hours, and you can walk through at a good clip while still admiring everything. You are not required to go on a tour, and in fact most rooms have informational signs in multiple languages.

The DomQuartier dates back 400 years. The building complex acted as a residence for the prince-archbishops. You will walk through stately halls, see art galleries and eventually find yourself on an outdoor terrace with panoramic views of the city. From the terrace you re-enter the Cathedral and since you’ll be two stories up in the Organ Gallery you’ll have a stupendous view of the Cathedral. After the Organ Gallery is the Cathedral Museum.

Overall the DomQuartier is an impressive sight to walk through. The brochure for the complex states it so eloquently that I will simply quote that: “On a footprint of 15,000 square meters, 1,300 years of power; art and church history come to life in 2,000 artefacts – embedded within the unique architecture of the former prince-archbishops’ residential city.”

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6 – Salzburg Museum

As the name suggests, this is a museum about the history of Salzburg. The fun thing about this museum is that the way it is organized, everyone in your group/family can pick a floor that interests them. For instance, there is a floor devoted to the world wars if you are a history buff, if you are a musician there is an entire section devoted to the history of Salzburg music history. There is a floor for art work from religious art to modern art. I actually ran out of time in this museum as it closes at 5pm, so pick your area of interest wisely or simply get there earlier than I did.

*Side note: You might notice that Salzburg has a plethora of shops with traditional Austrian clothing and even traditional clothing with a bit of a modern update (people do still wear these gorgeous and exquisitely made clothes). Via the courtyard of the Salzburg Museum is a store where you can buy fabric, trims, jackets, and even see the seamstresses working away.

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6 – Monchsberglift and Museum of Modern Art

The Monchsberglift is actually a set of elevators that take you up through the rock and out onto a panoramic terrace where you get another amazing view of the city and the fortress. As an added bonus, you can also visit the Museum of Modern Art which is right at the top of the terrace. The Salzburg Card covers both of these!

7 – Mozart’s Birthplace

You can visit the home and museum – historical instruments, artefacts, documents, portraits, and more. Right below the museum is a shop selling food specialties of Salzburg.

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8 – Getreidegasse
This is one of the main streets in the historical downtown (easily reached if you are crossing the pedestrian only bridge called Staatsbruke, and one block in from the bridge). The street is lined with charming homes, stores with whimsical signs, and passages with arcades and small courtyards that lead to other streets.

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9 – Mirabell Palace and Gardens

The Mirabell Palace was built in 1606 by prince-archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau and only made available to the public in 1854. You really just need to take a stroll through the gardens, getting a view of the fortress in the distance and don’t forget to sing songs from “The Sound of Music” as you stroll.

10 – see the next blog post for more information on this last “must see sight.”

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** For photographs of Salzburg click here and find photos, prints, and canvas prints of Salzburg.

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For more information visit the official tourist website for Salzburg, Austria by clicking here.

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The Salzburg Card

Salzburg Austria

The Salzburg Card

With the Salzburg Card you can enter museums, ride cable cars, visit the fortress and more. Prices vary by season (May through October prices are a few Euros more). Cards can be purchased for 24, 48 or 72 hours use (three price points).

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Is the card worth the price?

Yes! The Salzburg card gets you into museums and attractions for free AND includes the use of public transportation. If you visit the main sights in 24 hours which would include the Catacombs, Cathedrals, Palace, Fortress (Castle) via the Cable Car, Modern Art Museum and Cable Car (another one), Salzburg Museum, Domquartier – that would all add up to over 80 Euros! With the 24 hour card, at 24 Euros you can see all of the main sights and use the public transportation to quickly add some more sights to your list!

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Where to buy: cards can be purchased at most hotels (just inquire at the front desk), the tourist office, or on-line.

Prices: Vary by season:

24 hour card is 24 Euros (12 for children)
48 hour card is 32 Euros (16 for children)
72 hour card is 37 Euros (18.50 for children)
*Children are 6-15 yrs old

Click here for the most up to date prices on the official website.

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** For photographs of Salzburg click here and find photos, prints, and canvas prints of Salzburg.

In the next blog post – read about which top sights to see while in Salzburg.

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Cake in Innsbruck

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“You can either have good cake and bad coffee, or bad cake and good coffee. It is not possible to have both.”

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When in Austria, one must have pastries and cakes; in fact having a slice of sachertorte is basically a requirement. While in Innsbruck, I asked a local at one of the museums where they would suggest having cake, to which I received this response:

“You can either have good cake and bad coffee, or bad cake and good coffee. It is not possible to have both.”

This was followed by complicated instructions. I am not entirely sure I found the recommended pastry shop, however the cake was indeed delicious and I refrained from ordering coffee. So when in doubt, ask a local where to get your Austrian coffee and pastry.

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For more travel photography of Innsbruck, Austria click here for Monica Goslin Photography – photos available as framed photos, canvas prints, and more.

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For more travel tips and info on Innsbruck see previous travel blog posts.

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Mountains in Innsbruck – Seegrube

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Mountains in Innsbruck

I highly recommend taking an afternoon to climb a mountain while in Innsbruck. It’s not as strenuous as it sounds, I promise. Use the Hungerburgbahn funicular to get from the city center to Seegrube Station at 6,250 feet! Put your Innsbruck Card to good use here as well!

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How to get there:

  • From the city center, follow the Inn River, North and when you see a large public park on the right called Hofgarten, the Congress Station in on your left.
  • The station looks like melted spaceship, designed by Zaha Hadid, you can’t miss it.
  • You’ll go underground and buy tickets at the ticket booth – the maps and brochures explain your options. But you can buy a ticket for just this funicular or you can continue on to the next cable car to reach Seegrube Station. There is even one further cable car past Seegrube Station!
  • Choose your destination and purchase your ticket.
  • The well-mannered station with clearly designated lines, waiting area and boarding zone means you don’t have to know German to figure out where to go
  • The ride is stunning, starting underground and climbing like a rollercoaster, passing over the river on a bridge designed solely for the funicular. Then the car starts to climb the mountain until you arrive at Hungerburg station – another melted spaceship formation.
  • From Hungerburg station, exit and walk around to the right for the next cable car ride if you are going on to Seegrube.
  • This cable car is the traditional car, passing over trails, a few homes (lucky them!) and finally eases into the Seegrube Station at 6,250 feet.

 

Seegrube Station sits right on the edge of the side of the mountain… that doesn’t make sense, but when you see it, it will. There is a café with picnic tables right on that edge, chairs, and then the beginning of hiking trails in the summer and skiing runs in the winter.

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Seegrube Panorama Trail

For an easy walk, take the Seegrube Panorama Trail. In 25 minutes you’ll circle a small hill by the station, getting great views (there are benches along the way as well so you can sit and admire the valley below). Plus you’ll feel quite accomplished while not overly exerting yourself.

There are more vigorous trails, daring rocky paths, and of course hang-gliding and paragliding options. I did see a man prepare his hang-glider and then take a running start, which actually just consisted of about five steps off of the Seegrube edge I mentioned, down a small incline and off he went!

The station and mountain are part of Nordkette, Austria’s largest nature park, Karwendel Nature Park. So enjoy the views, take a leisurely walk, eat at the café, climb a mountain, ride the cable car and more!

For more information on hiking/sking/visiting in Karwendel Nature Park visit www.nordkette.com the photos alone will make you want to go!

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For more travel photography of Innsbruck, Austria click here for Monica Goslin Photography – photos available as framed photos, canvas prints, and more.

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Using the Innsbruck Card

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Museums and the Innsbruck Card

Innsbruck is full of museums and churches that deserve a visit. If you get the Innsbruck Card you can see all museums for free, a cable car ride, use public transportation and more. You can purchase a card for 24, 48, or 72 hours. With the Innsbruck card you can visit the art museums, Alpine Zoo, Golden Roof Museum, City Museum, City Tower, Imperial Palace, and the Railway Museum just to name a few! So if you plan your visit well you can really get the most out of your Innsbruck Card. Visit www.innsbruck.info for more information.

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A few notes on a couple of museums/locations:

The Museum of Tyrolean Folk Art has an extensive collection that will truly delight those who appreciate arts and crafts. There are historical rooms and traditional costumes as well.

The Museum of Tyrolean Folk Art connects to the Court Church (Hofkirche) which houses Andreas Hofer’s tomb, the national hero of Tirol (the region) and Maximilian’s cenotaph. The cenotaph, a monumental empty tomb, is impressive in itself. The cenotaph is made up of 24 stone reliefs that depict events in Maximilian’s life, done with exquisite detail. But you won’t notice the tomb right away for it is surrounded by life size bronze statues, again executed with minute detail. The statues range from King Arthur of England to Leopold III Duke of Austria to Ferdinand II King of Aragon. Walk around and notice all of the statues details, the swords, the shields, a small dragon on a shoulder, the rings on fingers, the armor and more. It’s an impressive sight!

Visit www.innsbruck.info for more information, events, festivals, what to see and more.

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For more travel photography of Innsbruck, Austria click here for Monica Goslin Photography – photos available as framed photos, canvas prints, and more.

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Travel Tips for Innsbruck

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Visiting Innsbruck, Austria

Innsbruck, Austria is a city with a charmingly colorful Old Town, tucked in the Inn Valley and surrounded by soaring mountains – it’s a rather dramatic setting which is would certainly be heightened in the winter by snow and winter lights.

I visited Innsbruck in the summer, finding a richly colored historical center packed with tourists. The Inn River runs through the valley and provides a few bridges, such as the Old Inn Bridge from which you can get views of Amsterdam-like rows of houses (only these are painted in jolly colors).

The first and main sight is the Goldenes Dachl, or Golden Roof. The Golden Roof sits on one end of a small plaza, which is ringed with equally interesting buildings. The Golden Roof was built for Maximilian to mark his wedding and completed in 1500. From that ornate balcony, Maximilian would watch festivities below. Also on this small plaza is the ornately decorated, 18th century Helblinghaus (white building on the corner) which looks like a wedding cake. Note the details of the painted facades, statues on corners, fountains, and the scrolling iron shop signs.

From the Golden Roof you can see the City Tower (Stadtturm), completed in 1450 as part of the Old Town Hall. Guards kept watch over the town from that tower for almost 450 years! Now you can climb up the tower to 31 meters where the viewing platform lies and see 360 degrees. The panoramic views are wonderful! With that birds eye view you can see the landscape of the city.

While you wander around the Old Town, it’s likely you’ll hear music and spot groups in traditional dress. This would be one of over 300 local brass bands in the region that play year-round. These bands have been a tradition for over 200 years and you’ll notice the age range of those band members, allowing for generations to play together. So keep an ear out for a musical note.

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For more travel photography of Innsbruck, Austria click here for Monica Goslin Photography – photos available as prints, canvas prints, framed photos and more.

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