As we explored in a recent blog, visitors to Austria can experience Austrian culture in and around the city of Salzburg and in the small villages in this old-world country.
If you've ever imagined a quintessential European village, you've probably pictured something like Hallstatt. Just a quick day trip from Salzburg, this picturesque town is believed to be the oldest still-inhabited village in Europe. Situated along the lake and tucked between the mountains, Hallstatt provides visitors with a chance to get away from bustling city life for the day. Make your way up to the Skywalk for spectacular views of the old town and the scenery.
In and around Salzburg, there are several not to be missed places for food, culture, and beer that will give you a taste of Austrian life.
Sachertorte & Coffee
Germans are known for their amazingly thick, decadent chocolate cakes. So make your way to Sachertorte & Coffee for a piece of the most exquisite dessert around, the Sachertorte.
If you happen to visit Austria anytime in November or December, you must make it to the Christmas Market. This age-old event is one that will create memories that last a lifetime. The smell of roasted chestnuts and mulled wine fills the air as you walk through the three squares, Domplatz, Kapitelplatz, and Residenzplatz, taking in the true essence of the wonderful holiday.
If you make it to the Christmas Market, you must also make it up to the Christmas Museum. Luckily, the Salzburg's Christmas Museum is a year-round attraction. This museum will teach you all that there is to know regarding the spirit of Christmas and its history.
Salzburg Open-Air Museum
There is so much to experience at the Open-Air Museum. With structures and artifacts that date back to the 16th-century, you will get an intimate view of how the natives lived centuries ago. There are well over 100 historic structures, so get ready for a long, exciting day.
For all the beer enthusiasts! This brewery will teach you all about the history of beer through its enjoyable beer tasting and exhibits. You don't want to miss this multi-sensory experience.
Whether you brought the kids along or left them at home, you should make a stop at the Toy Museum. This museum holds the most extensive assortment of toys from around Europe. Nearly the entire museum is hands-on and interactive, so there's no doubt you'll feel like a kid again.
While in Town, Get a Horse and Carriage Ride
Horse and carriage rides are popular forms of transportation when you're trying to get around town. The tourists especially love them and for a good reason! Taking a carriage ride is one of the best ways to learn about the city as you see it from a unique perspective.
Last but Not Least, Try Austrian Food
This one may be kind of obvious, but you can't possibly leave Austria without trying some of its authentic cuisine and traditional foods. Austrians love their red meats, bread, and potatoes. Pair a mulled wine or freshly brewed beer with a hearty meal at least once before you head home. Some of the classic dishes you should consider include strudel, wiener schnitzel, tafelspitz, and speckknödel.
If you're looking to shop while in Salzburg, you need to head to Getreudegasse, which is the most famous shopping street in the city, lined with well-known fashion stores and local artisan shops. This street's charm is not only in the narrow houses tightly nestled together or the enticing shops and the wrought-iron guild signs but also in the romantic passageways and courtyards. At No. 3, Getreudegasse cut through the Konditorei Schatz, and you'll find yourself in a delicious bakery as you make your way to University Square. Be sure to stop for a coffee and enjoy a delightful pastry after a long day of shopping!
Austria can be a vacation all unto itself for a small country while visiting the fantastic cultural capital cities to the small quaint villages, to the Alpine mountains. You can experience so much within these borders.
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