3 Days in Salzburg

Salzburg, Austria is a direct four-hour train ride from Stuttgart, a perfect city to visit for our 3-day weekend. Taking a train is a very relaxing way to travel. We watched the villages and countryside roll by, ate sandwiches, read, and slept our way to our destination.

Hohensalzburg Fortress

Salzburg is in a beautiful setting in the Alps. Hohensalzburg Fortress is one of the largest medieval castles in all of Europe. It sits on top of a hill and is easy to see from different viewpoints around the city. The walk up and down to see the fortress is not overly strenuous, but it is steep. The funicular railway option is fun and easy to take both up and down. The fortress is fun to explore, and the views from there are stunning.

Continuing to explore, we strolled through the medieval St Peter’s cemetery and wandered in the cathedral. It is always amazing to see the art and architecture of these grand churches. Salzburg is Mozart’s birthplace, and music and theater performances from casual to black tie events are everywhere. Eventually we found Murphy’s Law Irish Pub for a proper pint and a break from the heat and the walking.

Eagle’s Nest

Saturday morning brought cloudy skies, but no rain and the cooler temperatures were a relief. We were off to visit Eagles Nest, built on the top of the Kehlstein mountain peak. Eagles Nest, completed in 1938, was used by the Nazi party for meetings, and now is set up for tourists to visit. A 30-minute bus ride across the German border into Bavaria flew by, especially with our tour guide, Walter, telling corny jokes and sharing great information.

Next was a harrowing ride on a shuttle bus up the one lane mountain road to a viewing platform. We walked through a 400+ foot long, dark, cold, and damp tunnel to the original brass elevator. The elevator holds 46 people and takes 14 seconds to reach the summit. Finally, the doors open directly into the Eagles Nest restaurant and conference room. The best part of the tour are the spectacular views from outside. We enjoyed these for 15 minutes, then the clouds moved in, giving the feeling that the world had fallen away, and you were literally at the top of the world.

Eagles Nest building at the edge of the summit with big white and grey clouds, green trees in the foreground, and everything dropping away like this is the edge of the world
Eagle’s Nest


Back in Salzburg, we walked through the Mirabell Palace Gardens filled with beautifully manicured lawns and flowers. Throughout the garden are statues of Greek figures, lions, unicorns, winged horses, and additionally, an entire garden gnome section. The gardens are certainly a highlight, worth a visit.

Mirabell Gardens with Fortress in Background, bright red and yellow flowers, statues in garden, white-grey fortress on the hill
Mirabell Palace Gardens

Afterwards, a doughnut pretzel (think Krispy Kreme doughnut in the shape of a pretzel) and a coffee made for a great quick pick-me-up snack. On the hunt for a souvenir, we wandered narrow streets and found a local artist selling his watercolors of Salzburg. He had a painting that was exactly what we were looking for, he was very personable, and we knew we had the perfect remembrance of our trip.

After tapas for dinner, we stopped in at The Dubliner Irish Pub to have a pint or two, and plan for an early wake-up the next day to take photos. Travel photographers love that early lighting and fewer tourists out and about. Sunday, we woke at 04.45. Armed with tripod, camera, and remote trigger, we roamed this scenic city for almost two hours before it was time to get ready for the day.

Apple Strudel Class

Happy and full of Apple Strudel, we headed finally to the train station, ready for our ride back to Stuttgart.


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