Anyone here a fan of The Sound of Music? I grew up on that movie! So when I learned that a lot of it was filmed in Salzburg, Austria, I knew we had to make a day trip there the next time we were in Munich. The best part? Salzburg is covered in the price of the Bayern train ticket, which you can read about here. And it’s just a quick 2 hour ride from Munich Central Station.
Exploring Salzburg in Less Than 24 Hours
There, of course, is more to Salzburg than just The Sound of Music sights, but if you are even remotely a fan you will appreciate this lively city for that reason alone. Here are some must see movie locations for you to explore:
Mirabell Park and Gardens at Schloss Mirabell
Mirabell Palace, built in 1606, is a historic building in the center of Salzburg, housing some of the most gorgeous maze-like gardens around. We visited at the end of September and the gardens still looked lush. I can only imagine what they look like in the spring!
Inside the gardens you will find at least three filming sites from The Sound of Music, the “Do-Re-Mi” scene in particular:
The Pegasus Fountain
If you are walking from the train station, you will enter the gardens to the famous Pegasus statue and fountain. Walk down the steps (that are also the same steps Julie Andrews and the children hop up and down on) and you are officially engulfed in the grounds of Schloss Mirabell.
The Gnome Garden
Here you can find the famous gnome from the “Do-Re-Mi” scene, along with a bunch of other fascinating gnome statues.
The Hedge Maze
If you haven’t already gotten the urge to skip around singing the song that is bound to be in your head for the rest of the week, you will once you reach the Hedge Maze. The stunningly lit vine dome, that was barren when we walked through, is the perfect spot to skip happily down, feeling like you were taught the music scale by Fraulein Maria herself.
When you’ve belted out “Fa- A long long way too run” until your heart is content, exit the gardens and head on over to Nonnberg Abbey, the famous Abbey that Fraulein Maria and her sisters (nuns) were part of in the movie.
The walk is about 20 minutes. You can walk down the river path and get a gorgeous view of the Salzburg waterfront buildings, complete with the Festung Hohensalzburg (The Fortress) as a backdrop.
At some point you have to cross over the river. This is where you can take the Mozart Bridge; the footbridge that the Von Trapps and Maria skip and sing over. Feel free to follow their lead and skip and sing yourself. Just don’t run into any tourists.
You will be able to see Mozart’s birthplace. If you have time, you can go inside for a tour of the home and museum. We opted not to because we only had about 8 hours in the city.
Continuing along, you will come to Mozartplatz which is a big square in the city center. The square had a fair going when we visited. I’m not sure how often that happens, but it was fun. There were a bunch of rides, beer gardens, and food stands. We stopped here for a quick lunch, enjoying the atmosphere with a beer and a schnitzel sandwich (or currywurst for Anthony).
After you pass through that area, you soon start your ascent up to the Abbey. Yep, it’s at the top of a hill, right beneath that Fortress I mentioned earlier. It’s a little bit of a hike, but the views from the top are worth it!
The inside of the Abbey is gorgeous. And you can peak into the underground area and pretend that’s where the Von Trapps hid from the Nazi’s.
If you walk around to the other side of the Abbey, you can continue hiking up to the Fortress. There is a beautiful view of the city about halfway between the Abbey and the Fortress. We chose to not walk all the way up to the fortress since we were pressed for time and I really wanted to walk over to the Von Trapp mansion.
From Nonnberg Abbey, it’s a 20 minute walk to Schloss Leopolskron, the famous (and gorgeous) Von Trapp mansion from the movie. It is now a hotel that you can actually stay in. I haven’t looked into this, but I’m sure it’s probably hard to get into. So make sure you start planning (or letting me help you plan) early if you’d like to stay here.
The walk is nice through, it goes through a little forest at one point, as well as some neighborhoods. We even came across a couple of friendly (hungry) cows.
When we arrived at the mansion, we tried to sneak through the gates as a guy on a bicycle was coming through, but some other tourists told us that we had to be a guest to go in. Obviously, we knew this, but we were ready to live on the edge if it meant wandering the grounds for a little while.
Thwarted, we walked down the side path that lead to the magnificent park that the mansion overlooked. The park has benches and a bike path (many tours for The Sound of Music filming locations are done by bike). We sat a while to rest and take in the view of the lake (that the kids and Maria all fall into), the Von Trapp house, and the Fortress and a mountain as it’s backdrop. I could have sat there all day and been content. It also helped that a bike tour rode by and they were playing the soundtrack to the movie.
After we rested, we walked back towards Salzburg Alstadt (The Old Town) and visited the movie famous Monchsberg Hill and the Horse Bath. It’s a gorgeous statue right on the side of a mountain.
We ended our day trip by grabbing a quick dinner and heading back to the train station.
Have you been to Salzburg? What were your favorite moments? Tell me in the comments!
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