how to spend 5 days in salzburg at Christmas time
In case you didn't already know I'm a travel agent. I have a confession. I always tell my passengers that more than 3 days in Salzburg is plenty, wow the probably a little lie. After experiencing Salzburg although it's Christmas time I definitely would have spent more than 5 days here. Do you want to know how I got to that conclusion? Read on..
I want to start but telling you how I got here. To Salzburg that is not to be "the travelling nanny" if you want to know about that you can read my about me page here. We came from Munich in Germany so we had a couple of options when travelling to Salzburg from Munich:
How to get to Salzburg:
Option One: - Drive: you can hire a car and drive the gorgeous mountain side and country side. It's about 1h 35m from Munich. Not too far but far enough that you will require road trip snacks. You can find the route here.
Option two - Fly: you can fly from Munich to Salzburg if that's what you want to do. Please keep in mind there are no direct flights at the moment from Munich to Salzburg however connection times start from 35 minutes in length. This might be an option if you're meeting someone who is flying in from another destination or if you love those window seat photos as the mountains coming into all the airports would be special.
Option three - Train: From Munich it's about 1h 45m. This is the way we came in. Although we crossed the border we didn't require our passport, ID or anything either prior to boarding or once we arrived in Austria. A train ticket can set you back a little. I highly recommend if First Class is cheaper to do this option as you will have a little more space in the cabin. If you've got lots of luggage as well it'll give you a place to put it. You can book two seats if you want to put your luggage on an extra seat however bare in mind if there is no room on the train and someone needs the seat you will have to give the seat up.
Once you have arrived into Salzburg you will need a place to stay right? Being a travel agent I know a thing or two believe it or not about the good hotels and the ones to avoid. In regards to location I would highly recommend the following hotels:
Staying in Salzburg:
Boutiquehotel am Dom
If you're not too sure where the best place to stay is I've got a map below of the area I highly recommend staying. All the markets are local to that area, you've got most of your shopping, a large amount of restaurants and some grocery shops for day to day things. It's a great 'touristy' area that you'll feel comfortable going to knowing you're in a safe area.
It's not abnormal for a hotel to cost this much around christmas time. If you are a little more on a budget you can stay a little further out but you will have to prepare to pay for taxi's, learn the bus system - which works fairly well, I never used it but it looks fairly reliable or put your walking boots on.
The station is about a 20 minute walk to the main town area, it's about 8-10 euros from the station to the pin on the map. If you want to go to the other side of the river I would say expect around 15-20 euros. There is a taxi stand outside the station on the right hand side near the small shopping centre (Mc Donald's is at the front). You can always pre organise a transfer, it'll set you back almost triple but they should help you from the platform and take you door to door with the piece of mind you know it's all paid and sorted for you.
Now that you've arrived and got yourself a place to stay it's now time to explore! No matter who you ask my top tip for any destination is always the hop on hop off bus. Salzburg has one and boy it's pretty long. The route will take you out to the zoo where the Christmas market in Schloss Hellbrunn are. These are great for families, couples and friends who want to explore markets a little bigger than the ones in town. They have a kindy farm and amazing water features at the back of the markets that glow at night.
Things to do in Salzburg:
- Hop on Hop off Bus - (prices as of Dec 2019) 19-24 Euro for Adults and 9-12 euro for Children depending if you do a one or two day pass. This can be booked through me by emailing me your intended date and pick up point. Discounts applicable use the code "blog5%" in your email to see if 5% discount applies.
- A local experience cooking class: You can find these by enquiring in local restaurants and on Airbnb experiences. Use my code here for a discount on your stays or experiences.
- A self guided walking tour: simply walk around the old town with a map in hand exploring what you come across.
- Sound of Music day tour: Departing in Mirabellplatz you can take a half day tour to visit the sites from the movie and experience the mountain side like no other experience. This can be booked through me by emailing me your intended date and pick up point. Discounts applicable use the code "blog5%" in your email to see if 5% discount applies.
- Museum of Science: A museum full of both alive and canvas animals, plants, history and more from Salzburg and around the world. It's great for families, couples and people who need to kill the time.
- Explore the christmas markets: There are a couple of markets scattered around town as well as the larger market in Schloss Hellbrunn. You'll find the markets in town located in Residenplatz & Sternarkaden.
- Visit Mozarts birth home (you also have to taste a mozart ball. They sell them at most chocolate/sweet shops, souvenir shops)
- Visit the castle of Fortress Hohensalzburg
- Visit the river Salzach river
- Put a lock on the lock bridge
Now that you've chosen a couple of activities I bet you're thinking about food and what's good to go to eat. Well staying for 5 days I have got some ideas so don't worry.
Eating out in Salzberg:
Imlauser Sky Bar (Austrian, Italian, Australian)
I loved all of these restaurants. You should prepare yourself to spend a little on food because it's not as cheap as I would have hoped. The food at all three was amazing, in saying that there are other cheaper alternatives nearby you can go into. If you want to order in you can download the Lieferando App that gives you a choice of a wide variety of restaurants in your local area. The time between making the order and it coming to your door is about in hour so just bare this in mind if you're fairly hungry it might not be the best option.
Lastly I wanted to talk about some things to consider when travelling to Salzberg.
First Language: German
Average meal: 15-20 Euro
Average night in a 4-5* hotel: 180 -230 p/n Euro
Most popular form of transport: Bus or Car
Average taxi cost from Station to City centre: 10-15 Euro
If you are thinking of travelling to Salzburg and you want some more information or need someone to help you book your trip I'd love to hear from you! I am a qualified travel agent working worldwide to help you out! Click here and mention the code "blog5%" for 5% off**
If you want to see a little more about what we did in Salzburg and some videos from our experience you can visit my Instagram and look for the "Austria" Highlight in my stories.
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