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Salzburg – the city of gardens and music

Salzburg is the second most famous Austrian city after Vienna, full of monuments and charming places. The city where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born is also an excellent starting point for lovers of mountain trips, as there are several alpine glaciers within a radius of several dozen kilometers from the city. 

How to get there? 

The best way to get to Salzburg is by car from PANEK Rent a Car, heading south through the Czech Republic and then through Austria, passing Vienna and Linz. The city is 960 kilometers away from Warsaw, but the well-developed road network in the Czech Republic and Austria allows you to reach it in about 10 hours without too much rush. We have already mentioned on the occasion of the text about Prague that from January 2021 in the Czech Republic, traditional, stick-on glass vignettes have been replaced by electronic ones. It is worth remembering about this when planning a trip to avoid any surprise. For passenger cars up to 3.5 tonnes, a 10-day vignette costs CZK 310, and a 30-day vignette costs CZK 440. Interestingly, electric cars, Plug-in hybrids and hydrogen-powered cars are exempt from the fee, but you should remember to complete the application at www.edalnice.cz. Austrians, on the other hand, have for years adhered to traditional vignettes, which can be purchased at all gas stations, but it is best to do it right after crossing the border or in Poland at one of the intermediaries, because the new A5 motorway begins literally behind the Mikulov-Drasenhofen border crossing. A 10-day vignette costs EUR 9.40.

It is worth adding that on July 1, 2021, Austria abolished the quarantine obligation for tourists from safe countries (including Poland), but a Covid Certificate confirming vaccination, recovery or a PCR test (not older than 72 hours) or Antigen test (not older than 48 hours). The test must be performed in a laboratory and its negative result translated into English or German. A self-made test will not be accepted by the Austrian services.

We also would like to point out that Austria is not a country for lovers of fast driving on motorways. The country has speed limits: 50 km / h in built-up areas (there are limits to 30 km / h), 100 km / h outside built-up areas and 130 km / h on motorways. However, we recommend increased vigilance, especially on the section of the A1 motorway after the Linz junction, because there are temporary restrictions related to environmental protection, the so-called IG-L (Immissionsschutzgesetz-Luft). The speed is then limited to 100 km / h and no one should think to disregard these restrictions, because the Austrian police very severely punish offenses against local residents.

City of gardens 

Salzburg itself is located at an altitude of 424 m above sea level. and extends on both banks of the Salzach River. The city was inscribed on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List, and its unique atmosphere takes tourists to the second half of the 18th century, when the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was running through the streets of the old town. The famous yellow house in which the composer was born, located on Getreidegasse 9, is one of the most important tourist attractions here. The canons of travel also include Mirabell Palace with its wonderful gardens and a magnificent view of the 11th-century HohenSalzburg Castle. The gardens were founded by Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau for the daughter of the Salzburg merchant Salome Alt. Today, the palace houses the Registry Office, and breathtaking landscapes serve the newlyweds during their wedding sessions.

Being in the atmosphere of the gardens, one cannot forget about the park surrounding the Hellbrun Palace, which was the former seat of Salzburg archbishops. The property, built in the style of northern Italian alpine mansions, hides many fountains and water surprises. There is a mechanical theater, a water organ, and streams gush out of deer horns. Its creator was the famous Santino Solari, who is also the architect and builder of the local cathedral.

For fans of roof tours, in addition to the Mozart House, we especially recommend DomQuartier, a complex of buildings with a total area of ​​over 15,000 m2, in which over 2,000 exhibits have been collected. Salzburg, in which secular power was exercised by clergy for many years, “acquired” a large collection of works of art that are now available to visitors, and the Salzburg Cathedral, the Archbishops’ Residence and St. Peter were merged in 2014 into one unique museum.

Salzburg is a very family-friendly city and is especially comfortable to explore with bikes and with small children. There are practically no architectural barriers here, and the route for the youngest has been designed so that you can visit the most important points in less than an hour and a half.

The capital of the Salzburger Land is also a convenient starting point for lovers of high mountains, and snow-capped peaks become an unusual background for majestic, baroque urban buildings. Salzburg is only one hour away from the famous ski resorts of Zell am See, Schladming, Dachstein or Bischofshofen. Particularly worth visiting is the town of Berchtesgaden on the German side, which is also the capital of a picturesque Alpine landscape. After a mountain hike, take a dip in the thermal pools, try grilled trout or cool off in the salt mine. It was near Berchtesgaden, on the slope of Obersalzberg, that Hitler built his Berghof headquarters and the Eagle’s Nest fortress on Mount Kehlstein.

Salzburg specialties 

You cannot leave Salzburg without tasting the most famous Mozartkugeln – exquisite pralines made by hand in the Cafe Furst manufactory by the great-great-grandson of their inventor. Lovers of sweets will also like the Salzburger Nockerl – a soufflé symbolizing the 3 city mountains, served with a sour raspberry sauce. On your culinary tour, you will surely come across one of the four iconic cafes. You already know about one of them (Cafe Furst), but if you have more time, it is worth visiting Cafe Tomaselli, which is also the oldest cafe in Austria (1703) or Cafe Niemetz, where they serve the insane Apfelstrudel and Cafe Bazar, where she used to visit herself Marlene Dietrich. This time we will let you look for the dinner dishes yourself, but we are sure that you will quickly find nice schnitzels and other Austrian specialties in Salzburg.