Salzburg: a traveller’s (very brief) first impressions

Okay, so I’ve moved here. But if I was just a passing traveller or short-term visitor, here’s what I’d have to say.

Widely-regarded as a cultural hotspot thanks to Mozart and Julie Andrews (The Sound Of Music), Salzburg lies at the heart of Europe, directly on the Austrian/German border.

On first impressions, the city’s a blend between Ljubljana and Heidelberg; all three have that postcard hilltop-castle-overlooking-the-river setup and Salzburg reflects the former’s cute cafe-culture and the latter’s Altstadt-meets-university juxtaposition. All three, also, will have you battling large tourist groups on padlock bridges. Very similar, see.

The city really is quite compact, but there’s a lot on offer; a beautiful alpine backdrop, plenty of highly-recommended museums to fill rainy days, several attractive old squares, and the well-preserved Getriedegasse, the city’s main shopping street.

The locals seem friendly (get used to hearing the typically Austrian ‘Grüß Gott’ greeting and ‘Wiederschaun’ farewell), and there’s a strong bar/cafe/Kino scene that I can’t wait to explore. If you don’t mind busses (you don’t have a choice, it’s your only option), the public transport system is efficient and reliable, though thanks (no thanks) to the city’s mountainous location, rain levels are comparatively high. But the city’s location is still a huge bonus; numerous countries are just a car journey away, Bavaria can be reached in a matter of minutes (less than 10!), and the choice of ski resorts, I’m told, is never-ending.

Zum Schluss, I’m a big fan of the city. And this is saying a lot, given that I’ve seen some real beauties this year and have learnt to be super-critical! Don’t trust me though, come find out for yourself. And buy me a coffee.

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