Monday, January 17, 2011

Salzburg, Austria

Location: Salzburg, Austria

Time Frame: April, 2 nights, 2 days


Type. We booked a 2-room family suite at the Hotel Wolf-Dietrich in Salzburg.  The booking was made through

Cost. We paid $442.94 for the two nights.

Amenities.  The room had two floors. A top floor loft with a queen bed, television, en-suite bathroom, and desk.  The lower floor had a sofa bed (double size), a roll away twin bed, full bathroom, television, coat closet, and chair and tables.  We also had a DVD player, which we could use to play DVD's which the hotel checked out to guests (free of charge).  The hotel provided fresh apples everyday in our suite.  All linens, maid service, and towels were included.

Other. This hotel had two buildings, one which held the suites, and one which housed the main hotel rooms and reception.  The hotel had a pool, kids play room, reception lobby, and restaurant.  The hotel offered a full breakfast every morning, and tea/coffee and snacks in the afternoon.  We also had access to free Wi-fi internet in the hotel. 

Our location was right in the pedestrianized zone of downtown Salzburg.  The hotel also rented us a parking space in a nearby underground garage for 15 euro a day.  The big downside to our suite was that it was on the 4th floor, and there was no elevator (so a lot of stairs with suitcases, small children, and a pregnant Mom = not fun), but the suite, the location, and the amenities were worth it.

Kid Friendly Rating: This was a very family friendly hotel.  I would give it 5 stars.


Driving.  We drove to Salzburg from our home in Germany (via, Munich).  We were lucky to get a parking space through our hotel (about 15 euro a day), though there were very limited number of on street parking spaces in the general area. Driving in Salzburg was a little complicated, with a lot of one way streets and heavy traffic.

Public Transportation.  There were buses available throughout Salzburg.

Walking. We were able to walk to most locations we wanted to see.  It was a lot of walking, but doable.

Parking. Parking was arranged through our hotel, at a local underground garage for 15 euro a night.  Most on-street parking was permitted parking, but there was some pay and display parking several blocks away.


The hotel provided a very nice full breakfast (cooked and cold foods), every morning.  We were able to eat well and pack a snack to go (usually a piece of fruit or a croissant).

We bought lunch from street vendors (kebabs one day, and giant pretzels another), and usually ate dinner at local sit down restaurants.  We found a great Italian restaurant down the street from our hotel that offered a great meal deal for our family.

Fast Food. There were several fast food options available, ranging from McDonalds to local cheap eateries.

Sit Down. In the quarter where our hotel was located, there were plenty of sit down restaurants ranging in cuisines and prices.  There were some fancy more expensive type restaurants and quite a few cafe style restaurants.


Salzburg offers a tourist card, called the Salzburg Card, which can be a way to combine access to all the sights in Salzburg. 

Salzburg Cathedral
January, February, November:
Monday-Saturday 8am - 5pm, Sunday & holiday 1pm - 5pm
March, April, October, December:
Monday-Saturday 8am - 6pm, Sunday & holiday 1pm - 6pm
May, June, July, September:
Monday-Saturday 8am - 7pm, Sunday & holiday 1pm - 7pm
Monday-Saturday 8am - 8pm, Sunday & holiday 1pm - 8pm
Guided tours free of charge:
July+August: Monday-Friday 2pm (rest of the year: on request)
No visit during masses.

Costs: Admission is free, donation suggested.

Comments:  This is a magnificent cathedral which is home to the place where Mozart was baptized.  Enjoy the stunning stained glass windows, light a prayer candle, or simply tour the grand architecture of the church.

Mirabell Palace and Gardens
Palace: Mon, Wed, Thu: 8 am - 4 pm, Tues + Fri: 1 - 4 pm. No visit in case of special occasions. Free entrance.
Angel Staircase (staircase in baroque style): open daily approx. 8 am-6 pm.
Mirabell Gardens: open all year round, daily approx. 6 am until dusk. Dwarves garden and Hedge Theatre closed during winter months.
Orangerie: open all year round, daily 9 am-4 pm.

Costs: Free Admission.

Comments: This is a wonderful place to enjoy the sun, the trees, and the flowers.  Take time to enjoy a picnic in the beautiful gardens, feed the ducks in the magnificent fountain, or tour the incredible baroque features of the palace.  If you kids are tired of touring, this is a fun place to take some time off.  There is plenty of space to run, enjoy nature, and have a spot of refreshment.

Salzburg Castle: Festung Hohensalzburg

January to April and October to December
9.30 - 17.00*
May to September
9.00 - 19.00*
Advent weekends and Easter 9.00 - 18.00
* Final admissions 30 minutes earlier.



Fortress card* incl. funicular) 


€ 10,50

€   9,60
Children (6 – 14 years)

€   6,00
Groups – children/youths

€   5,50

€ 24,30
Special prices for events

Festungscard*  incl. foothpath

€  7,40
€  6,60
Children (6 – 14 years)
€  4,20
Groups – children/youths
€  3,90
€ 16,90

Comments: It may be a long way up, but it is an impressive way to see Salzburg.  The fortress has a short tour (audio guide included), which shows you the major interior points and gives you a great view from an outside platform.  You can walk along the inside streets, peer down at the city, and get a feel for what life must have been like centuries ago.  Take the funicular down for a fun experience.  We enjoyed the walk up, which also allowed us to visit the Nonnberg Nunnery. It is a long steep walk up, but is a great view of the city.  We even had a fun time stopping to have an ice cream in the fortress.  The kids had fun running around and look out at all the viewpoints.

Getreidgasse Lane
Times: Street open daily, see individual shops for business hours.

Costs: Free Admission to the street.

Comments:  If you want to see how the other half lives, this street will give you a taste. Home to one fancy uppercrust store after another, you can window shop for hours.

Motzartplatz Square
Times: Open Daily.

Costs: Free Admission.

Comments: A wide open space to tour in Salzburg, it is also home to a memorial to the compozer Mozart. 

Residenz Palace Salzburg
Every day from January to December 
10.00 – 17.00*
* Final admissions 30 minutes earlier.
Residenz gallery: Closed on Mondays. Open every day during the Salzburg Festival.
It is not possible to tour the stately rooms when events are being held in the Residenz palace.

Prices: Combi-ticket – stately rooms & gallery:


€ 8,50

€   6,50
Children ( 6 – 14 years)

€   2,70

€ 24,30

Comments: This was once the home of Salzburg's prince bishops.  Oppulently decorated and outfitted, it can give you a taste of what wealth once bought you. Take a peek at the chandiliers, Bohemian glass, tiled oven, and Venetian mirrors.

Hellbrunn Palace
April, October, November      9:00-16:30
May, June, September            9:00-17:30
July, August                            9:00-21:00
*Season opens on 1 April and closes 1 November

Adults:   9.50 euro
Groups (20+):  7.50 euro p.p
Students (16-26):  6.50 euro
Children (4-18): 4.50 euro
Family (2a+2c): 24.00 euro
-additional child: 2.00 euro

Comments: The summer palace and pleasure grounds, the Hellbrunn Palace is home to Baroque style and the fun "trick fountains".  Referred to as a "Baroque Disneyland", Hellbrunn's pleasure grounds house the fountains, ponds, grottos, and plenty of sculptures.  Why not take some time out to enjoy the water?

Nonnberg Nunnery
Fall-spring: daily 7-5; summer: daily 7-7

Costs: Free Admission.

Comments: If you are making the trek up to the Festung, why not stop off at the Nunnery?  Famed for it's relationship with the Von Trapp family, the Nunnery holds a commanding view of Salzburg and the surrounding countryside.  Take a quiet moment in the chapel, and listen the sisters sing.  Have a quiet walk among the gravestones and grounds.
Sound of Music Tour

Salzburg is perhaps most famous as home of the Von Trapp family, depicted in the hit musical "The Sound of Music".  While in Salzburg why not take a tour of the major sights of this amazing story.  You have a few options for tours.  Each tour operator will have slightly different itineraries and prices.  If you fancy a ride around in a tour bus, why not try it?

Panorama Tours
Salzburg Sightseeing Tours - Gray Line


When you travel with little ones, bathrooms are an important thing to be able to find. Europeans are generally not big on public restrooms.

Availability: Public restrooms can be found, but are scattered and not always easy to find. Your best bet is to make sure to make use of restrooms offered in the restaurants, museums, and other attractions that you visit. Most of the major attractions have restrooms.

Public/Private: Most available restrooms are actually going to be in some type of business, whether it is a restaurant or attraction.

Cost: Costs for restrooms can run from free to around 1 euro per person. Occassionally bathroom attendants will allow an adult to take a child into the restroom and only charge for one person (I did this with my kids, and even when I took both potty trained children, I usually only had to pay for me).

Nearby Amenities

Laundry: The hotel offered a laundry service, but there were no machines available to guests.  We did not see any facilities near the hotel, but be sure to ask your hotel reception or a tourist info centre.

Groceries: There were many small shops throughout the town.


Salzburg was a pleasant surprise.  The town was very walkable and offered a great deal of things to see, and places to take a break.  Food was plentiful and easy to find (even to meet the picky tastes of our little ones).  We got plenty of exercise, between the hotel stairs and the walk to the Festung.  If you are looking for a beautiful quiet place to spend a few days, I would recommend Salzburg.

Trip Highlights
-Salzburg Fortress
-Mirabell Palace and Gardens
-Salzburg Cathedral

Overall Rating

Salzburg was a quaint and lovely city, I'd give it 5 stars.

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