One of the greatest things about where we live in Bavaria is the fact that we are so central to many amazing cities and countries! It’s so easy for us to plan day trips and see many diverse places which result in various, unique experiences. After we planned our group trip to Amsterdam, we were determined to plan more overnight group trips throughout the year. Since Salzburg is only an hour away, we decided this would be our next adventure. Following their game one weekend, the 7 of us left for a night out in a new city. After getting a couple of drinks at what turned out to be a trashy euro bar, recommended by our hotel concierge, we decided to leave quickly and head to the ravishing Casino Salzburg! Since casinos aren’t as popular in Germany as they are back home, we were really excited to finally check this one out! I have never seen any casino like it! It’s a baroque palace called Schloss Klessheim that is now turned into a glamorous, boutique casino, filled with colorful LED lighting, highlighting the original architectural details throughout. The casino is divided in separate rooms that holds various slot rooms, poker rooms, a small open area for black jack and roulette and another small room that holds an intimate bar and lounge area. We had an amazing time especially since everyone went home as winners!
The next morning, we started our day at the legendary Hotel Stein and enjoyed breakfast on their rooftop restaurant, Steinterrasse (highly recommended). The unique view overlooks the old-town of Salzburg, on the other side of the river. You can also see a clear, gorgeous view of the Fortress Hohensalzburg that stands above the entire city, sitting on the peak of the Festungsberg Mountain. Salzburg is a city that is so easy to fall in love with! From the Mirabell Gardens to getting lost in the narrow cobblestone alleyways throughout the old-town, every corner you take continues to get more and more interesting! The town feels really romantic as the Baroque city generates a fairy-tale charm. Walking through Getreidegasse, a windy, narrow shopping lane, filled with high buildings, tightly squeezed together was fun to explore! There are old passageways that take you away from the touristy alleyways called Durchhäuser which are walking tunnels that take you through the buildings, while still being outside. We would find cute little cafes and unique stores that sat within these charming tunnels and small courtyards that would suddenly appear. Most of the stores throughout the city are filled with wrought iron guild signs, hanging off the buildings and even though there are many mainstream stores, they still all have a boutique feel.
After exploring the city, we were all intrigued to walk up the steep windy road that lead up the mountain to the Fortress. It is considered to be one of Europe’s finest preserved medieval castles as well as one of the largest. The walk ended up being more of a hike but the views at the top made it all worth it as it overlooked the enchanting city on one side and the edge of the Alps on the other side. We took a short self-guided tour of the chambers which took us through a haunting torture room. It was interesting seeing the timeline on the lengthy construction of the massive Fortress which began in 1077 and finally was completed in the 17th century, continuing to advance their security to ensure they would never be invaded. Because of its impregnable location being on the top of a steep cliff, as well as being ahead of its time with its construction, the fortress was never invaded throughout all of those years.
We ended our day by going to a restaurant we found on our new favorite blog: 36 Hours, which suggested a hidden gem, filled with locals. The restaurant was located on Steingasse, which is a cobblestone alleyway. It’s filled with old tall houses, built into the side of a steep rocky cliff, with adorable store fronts and occasional boutique wine bars scattered along the alley. The restaurant was called The Andreas Hofer Weinstube and has been around since 1920, filled with furniture and décor that dates back to that era. The intimate ambiance had small separated dining rooms with arched ceilings, filled with tall candle sticks on every table. Not only was the home cooked meals tasty and unique, but the record player juke box, playing only vintage songs was the icing on the cake! The blog post lead us to a restaurant we never would have found otherwise and allowed us to learn about this alley we quickly fell in love with. It has become a new favorite place of ours and is always a perfect way to end our day, anytime we are Salzburg.