Before going to Salzburg Austria, and before traveling anywhere in the world, it is truly important to find out the basic facts about that foreign place. The customs and traditions will be different, as well as the foods and beverages. Things may offend other countries that you are not aware of, so to be safest it is important to be aware of these differences and respect them.
There are a few key things that I would ALWAYS research before emerging yourself into a new culture. You have to be aware of the fact that many times, the daily ways of life are very different than what you are used to.
I usually travel with my travel club, which always provides a host for my trips (we feel like royalty). They handle anything I need, set up our itineraries, cabs, and much more.
Language: The official language of Austria is German, but do not fret. English is taught in the school system, so many people can speak English as well. I always learn basic phrases in a new country to help me get by.
This pocket-sized little travel guide is brilliant. If you don’t know any German but you plan on traveling to any German-speaking country, you should consider picking it up and keeping it close. I ordered it from amazon about a week before my trip & I’ll forever keep it around for when I go back to Germany and Austria.
Driving: Austrians drive on the right side of the road. This is important because I know that I can rent a car if I choose to drive while I am there. Personally, I am not comfortable driving on the left side of the road. Knowing this, I factor in other forms of transportation when I am in a country where you drive on the opposite side of the road
Austrians are NOT Germans (or Australians)
Although there may be many similarities between Austrians and Germans, it is important to know that they are not the same. Just like Canadians and Americans share some similar traits and the same continent, but it would be incorrect to say they are the same. The Austrians have their own customs and traditions that they are very proud of. They will not like it very much if you call them German.
The Sound of Music
After talking to many locals in Austria, as well as Austrians that I have met in America, I have learned that most of them have never seen The Sound of Music. I would have assumed that this musical was seen and celebrated by everyone in Austria but I could not be more wrong. The Sound of Music is only talked about or admired by tourists (mostly from America) that loved the Hollywood film, which does not accurately depict the Austrian native Von Trapp family. Personally, I love the sound of music and I couldn’t wait to see where this beautiful film was created! I just learned to not share my excitement with the locals. They don’t care as much as the tourists do.
Personally, The Sound Of Music is my favorite musical. I would highly recommend checking it out, if you have no idea what I am talking about. I would especially recommend watching it if you are planning a trip to Austria. You may find it cool to tour the place that this beautiful film was shot, and also where the real Trapp family lived!
No 20% Tip Necessary
One of the first things I always make sure to be aware of when traveling is how to tip the staff that makes my trip memorable. As someone who specializes in the service industry, I am very aware of how to properly treat my waiters, bartenders, cab drivers, etc. I love tipping people, but I also love saving money. In Austria (and Germany) people in the service, industry gets paid better wages than they do here in America… They do not rely on tips, so most people just round up to the nearest Euro for a tip.
It felt weird at first but being the outspoken person that I am, I confirmed this with the first bartender that we encountered at a local pub. He was very helpful and loved that we wanted to learn the proper way to do things. Of course, we couldn’t help but leave him an extra tip for his advice and awesome service.
Sunday is For Resting
Many businesses are closed on Sunday, so if you have limited time to explore, I would advise planning your trip around Sunday. Austrians use Sundays to rest and enjoy family, so it may be a bit harder to find things to do. I also like to encourage resting on Sunday so I like to plan that around or into my trips.
I always find out the drinking laws when traveling to other countries, although I am old enough to drink anywhere. This is obviously still important when traveling with other people or recommending places to go for all ages. In Austria, soft liquor (beer and wine) is legal at 16. Hard liquor can be purchased and consumed legally at 18 years old.
Places To Visit In Salzburg
Now that we got all of the rules and tips to follow out of the way, let’s check out some of the most exciting places in Salzburg, Austria! Salzburg is my personal favorite place in Austria because there is so much to do, the people are always so kind, and the views are absolutely stunning!
The absolute first recommendation I have is to check out the “Salzburg Card“. You can purchase this card at the reception desk of any hotel in Salzburg, and it truly is the bet deal you can find. The Salzburg card can be purchased for a duration of 24 hours, 48 hours, or 72 hours. This cool little card gives you all the perks you need to explore the city on a budget. Free public transportation within the city is included, as well as free admission to all of the city’s main attractions! You really can’t beat that for the price. Click here for more infortmation on the benefits of the Salzburg Card.
Stiegl Brewery: First of all, I love beer. Going to breweries and restaurants are some of my favorite things to do when I travel or even in my home town. I have worked in restaurants for a long time, and fell in love with the process of creating beer, and the science behind the different recipes.
If you are anything like me, you HAVE to check out Stiegl Brewery, founded in 1492. Let that sink in for a second. That is the same year that Columbus discovered America! How cool is that? It is a beautiful exhibition with great beer that I’ve had on my bucket list since I’ve learned about this awesome place.
Home of Mozart: Did you know that Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria? You can actually visit the home he lived in when born. It is located in the cutest little romantic alley filled with lights and many vendors. The walk to the building is breathtaking and very fun to see a bunch of vendors with the coolest (usually handmade) crafts and decorations. There are also a bunch of pubs and restaurants right there to check out before or after your romantic walk through a piece of Mozart’s history.
Salzburg Dom: There’s no way you should travel to Salzburg and not check out the city’s most famous attraction, the Dom zu Salzburg, also known as the Salzburg Cathedral.
It is made up of a miraculous dome, with two towers on each side that shape the skyline of the beautiful city. Not only is the cathedral a huge attraction for its beauty, but this is also the cathedral in which Mozart was baptized.
After visiting the cathedral, I also learned that this is where Joseph Mohr was baptized. You don’t know who that is? I didn’t either. He wrote the lyrics to the iconic song, “Silent Night”. I thought that was another cool Austrian fact.
Castles & Fortresses: Salzburg is known for its incredible history which is embedded into the mountains. Some of the oldest & most beautiful fortresses can be found in Salzburg. You certainly will not be disappointed when visiting any or all of the castles here. Take a trip back to the Middle Ages, and learn about the vast history of Fortress Hohensalzburg, Hohenwerfen Castle, and the Mauterndorf Castle.
The Sound of Music Tours: Although the locals may not be impressed, The Sound of Music is definitely my favorite Musical of all time! I actually have it on VHS. Whether you are a fan or not, I highly recommend this beautiful and factual tour. I love learning and I love beautiful hills. Salzburg is where the real Trapp family lived. It is awesome to literally walk in their footsteps with the guided tours. The hilllllls are aliiiive with the soouund of muuuuusiiic!
You will find many tour options including bus tours, bicycle tours, and walking tours. Look through the different options before going to Salzburg Austria on the Salzburg.info website before booking a tour, so you can choose which is most interesting and convenient for your trip!
Have you ever been to Salzburg? Tell us about your experiences!