• magic of salzburg fortress

Magic of Salzburg’s Fortress

There are more reasons to go to Salzburg than for the Hohensalzburg fortress. It felt like a crime to go to Salzburg having never seen the Sound of Music. Just 3 hours by train from Vienna, this little town in Austria was like a fairytale. Horses outside a castle or more accurately; a fortress, couples taking carriage rides around town, and perfect cobblestone streets.

salzburg, hohensalzburg fortress

salzburg, hohensalzburg fortress

salzburg, hohensalzburg fortress

Don’t worry they don’t use a crimper on the horses, they braid their hair :)

salzburg, hohensalzburg fortress

The whole picturesque town was engulfed by massive mountains, a pristine turquoise river, baby blue sky, and open areas of luscious green lawns.  Little houses looked like dotted lines from up above the town.

salzburg, hohensalzburg fortress

green, lawn, austria, salzburg, salzburg hohensalzburg fortress

Views from Hohensalzburg Fortress, how perfect is that?

The Sound Of Music

Although a tourist hot spot partially because of its quaint beauty, but also because of The Sound of Music being filmed here, it didn’t feel as touristy as the places I’d been to in Western Europe.  It felt like an escape. It wasn’t a planned stop. Someone told us in Vienna we shouldn’t miss this town, so we went without doing any research. It was a welcome surprise.

Being so small a town, all our options on hostelworld (within our price range) were booked. But, absolutely nothing could ruin the magic of Salzburg. Suddenly we felt like little kids again. It was peaceful and everyone were so welcoming, we didn’t care we had nowhere to stay. Something about Salzburg makes you believe everything will work out.

salzburg, hohensalzburg fortress

salzburg, hohensalzburg fortress

salzburg, hohensalzburg fortress

We paid the 8 Euro and wondered around the Hohensalzburg fortress for over 4 hours. I usually never spend this long in a museum. You can get up to the top by trolley or walking. To help keep our budget and our asses tight we chose walking. The museum inside is full of weapons, armor, torture equipment, marionettes, and loads of history. Audio tours are available, and I actually liked this one! Typically I don’t take the audio option.

museum, salzburg, weapons, marionettes, salzburg hohensalzburg fortress

(creepy) marionettes, armour and weapons

Exhausted from all the learning, and because all the shops (aka Louis Vuitton, as if I could shop there…) close up around 7 PM, we surveyed the street food and got what seemed like the only option: bratwurst with sauerkraut. Seriously, thank you Austria. So much better than the Doner Kebab I ate everywhere else- although those aren’t too bad either. We went to a gorgeous beer garden, and sipped on strong dark beer with some people we met there.

salzburg, hohensalzburg fortressEventually, it started pouring with rain. It was time to leave and we realized our pseudo plan of sleeping in the park was ruined by the storm. Luckily, the new friends offered us a room at their Aunt’s house. She lived in the cutest little place at the base of the mountain, with adorable goats in her backyard. Unreal, and so much better than a hostel!


I really think some of the best times happen when you just get off track, don’t worry about money or where you’re sleeping, and have no plans. It’s the best to travel with zero expectations. We didn’t know a thing about Salzburg, therefore didn’t know what we should see and do. Because we let go of our worries, the universe rewarded us with an amazing day and nice safe place to sleep. Had we shown up, realized we had nowhere to stay, and fretted about that for hours… we would have never got the experience we did. It’s also nice to not worry about “wasting time”, so the longer your trip the more at ease you will feel when things go differently than planned. I hope everyone backpacking Europe adds Salzburg to his or her list!

Thanks for reading, and as always, remember to subscribe!

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About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Hippie in Heels, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.

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