We visited Salzburg, Austria in late February this year and came away thinking this was certainly a city worthy of a repeat trip. Salzburg oozes old-world charm, is not too touristy at this time of year and has something for people of varied interests – city-lovers, nature-enthusiasts and history buffs. I posted about our first two days in the city and in the neighbouring Berchtesgaden area in Germany (read Part 1 here).
Day 3: A visit to Hangar 7
On our third day, we took our cars-and-trucks obsessed preschooler to the museum of all things on wheels (and wings) – Hangar 7. This is a multi-utility futuristically designed building, housing the private collection of the billionaire founder of Red Bull.
Hangar-7, as its name suggests has access to an air-strip and is very close to the Salzburg airport is very close. Getting to Hangar -7 is easy, although it is out of the city limits. You could either take a bus from the city or the airport, and walk for around 10 minutes from the nearest bus stop or drive or hire a taxi.
On its ground floor, the building houses a fleet of aircraft and a collection of Formula-1 cars. There is a cafe on the ground floor and the upper floor houses the Michelin-starred restaurant, Ikarus. The restaurant has a guest chef every month, and when we were there, the guest chef for the month was Manish Mehrotra, whose trend-setting restaurant Indian Accent in New Delhi is where my husband and I have had one of the best fine dining experiences of our lives. I was hoping the chef was there to meet him, but the restaurant was closed that day.
Back at the automobile and flight display area, I loved that the entry was free for all, and that the displays themselves were fascinating enough to keep us occupied for a good 1 hour. The collection includes historic and contemporary planes, helicopters and several vehicles such as Red Bull racing cars.
After our visit, we managed a visit to the Europark mall for some shopping. Shopping while on vacation has become something of habit when we travel now, thanks to prohibitively exorbitant Swiss prices back home. We wrapped up our day with a meal at the Altstadt, and called it a night.
Day 4: Exploring Salzburg Castle
I was looking forward to this part of our trip. We had half a day at our disposal to explore the Festung Hohensalzburg or the Salzburg Castle, which overlooks the city from its vantage point atop Mönchsberg Mountain. A short walk in the Altstadt, and you reach the pathway that leads up the castle. If you choose to walk to the castle, bear in mind that it is a somewhat steep, 20-minute walk.
There is also a funicular that gets you to the top, for a fee of € 6.80 for a one-way trip or € 8.40 for a return trip per adult and children (6-14 years) at € 3.70 for a one-way trip and € 4.6 for a return trip. But I would recommend the walk up the slope. The views are simply spectacular and just get better as you walk up. On our way up we noticed the most beautiful doorways, which made the backdrop for some ‘dramatic’ photo-op moments such as this.
Once at the castle entry, you pay the entry charge before you enter through the massive arched gateway. Adults pay €11.30 and children between 6-14 pay € 6,50. Once you cross the turnstile and enter the castle grounds, it does feel like time stands still. Our first impression was that this was an excellently preserved castle, for one that is said to be 900 years old. It is around 250 meters in length and the internal courtyards of the castle make for a nice wander. There is even a medieval-themed restaurant inside the courtyard.Inside the castle, there are a few areas that can be explored with an audioguide. There is also the Salzburg Marionette Museum and the Salzburg Castle Museum which can be visited for an extra fee. Perhaps the most spectacular bit is when you emerge out of the high walled and arrive at the viewing platform which is a terraced area that offers a fantastic panoramic view of the city below. This is what makes the visit truly worth all the walking.
We headed back to the Altstadt and came across this statue in the Kapitelplatz, a large square right below the castle. The man on the ball is a little perplexing, clearly a modern piece of art, it seemed to be somewhat out of place after viewing one of Europe’s oldest castles and walking through the birthplace of Mozart.
I later found out that this was a rather controversial project by the city of Salzburg and a private consortium of art benefactors, in which a well-known contemporary artist would produce a piece of art over a period of 10 years. The artist who constructed this piece clearly knew the right people in the consortium because this artwork, out of the many that were part of this project, sits on prime real estate. Whether it is a piece of art or an eyesore in the middle of the historic old town, is for the beholder to decide!Later that day, we headed back to Zurich, by the Railjet, thoughts of Salzburg still on our minds. We particularly missed the beautiful apartment, the quiet charm of the Altstadt and the food! Which brings me to the next part of this series, our food experiences in Salzburg.
Stay tuned for part 3!