TRAVEL: 24 hours in Salzburg

September 26, 2012

Need a break from the daily commute into work? Bristol Business News Travel Editor ANNE GORRINGE swaps a drive on the M32 for the stunning location of….the M32, a restaurant with breath-taking views and a great Sunday morning breakfast. Tempted? Read on to discover why Salzburg is great for a city break.

Above: Looking out over the old part of the city of Salzburg from the Museum of Modern Art
Right: Anne waiting for croissants at the M32 Restaurant, Salzburg
CITY FACTS: In the guidebooks, Salzburg is synonymous with art, architecture and music. It’s where Mozart was born and offers a host of theatre and opera events. In October and early November it also claims to host the ‘finest jazz festival in Europe’ and, of course, it’s a fabulous ski destination in winter. A compact, beautiful city, it’s easy to get walk around and has a selection of bridges crossing the pretty Salzach river. This divides the northern (and newer) part of the city, where the Mozart family home can be found, from the old city around the south bank. If you’re interested in architecture, art, and, of course, the odd beer, it’s the perfect city break.
WHAT THE LOCALS WON’T TELL YOU: Salzburg is also home to the most famous musical on the planet, The Sound of Music. Strangely, the locals I asked claimed never to have seen it! They were much keener to point to their classical musical heritage and beautiful buildings. I can see why, the romantic, well-preserved old town is full of gorgeous architecture and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the other hand, walk around the beautiful streets and it’s hard not to feel excited when you spot real-life film locations. Start your day at the Mirabell Palace on the northern side of the river. You can take photos in the gardens in front of the statues, and the steps, where Maria and the Von Trapp children sang and danced.
Left: The statues at the entrance to Mirabell Gardens
DON’T MISS: The road out from Mirabell Gardens leads into Makartplatz, a lovely square housing Mozart’s family home which is now an interesting museum. If you’ve bought a 24-hour Salzburg Card (euros 25) for your visit, this is one of the many museums where entry is free. It’s well worth popping in to soak up the atmosphere and, if the weather’s good, the cafe in the garden is a great place for a coffee and a break. Across the square which is named after the 19th century painter, Hans Makart, sits the beautiful baroque Trinity Church with its impressive black dome and green-topped tower and another perfect photo opportunity. The square is also home to a fabulous, and relatively recent, piece of art by English sculpture Tony Cragg.
Right: Tony Cragg’s unusual bronze, Caldera, a sculpture designed to walk inside.
IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS: As part of the London 2012 cultural Olympiad, there are currently six Tony Cragg sculpture’s at locations around London’s South Kensington and the free exhibition runs until November 25.
In Salzburg, his stunning five-metre high bronze in the Makartplatz,  ‘Caldera’ (a geological term denoting volcanic crater) was commissioned in 2008 to mark the seventh  Salzburg Art Project. It’s beautiful and intriguing from the outside, but it’s also designed to walk through. Inside and look up and in the flow of the ‘lava’ see if you can spot the three couples, each locked in a kiss.
Left: Spot the couples kissing inside the sculpture
ENJOY A BEER: Salzburg has a along history of beer-making and It’s worth jumping in a taxi for the short ride out to a wonderful beer garden, the Augustiner Bräustübl in Mülln. Walk through the beer garden and pick up your stoneware stein. For Euros 6 you then queue up to watch it filled with a litre of Marzen from a wooden barrel. See
DINE IN STYLE: Most of the Brunnauers Magazin restaurant is built into the side of the Monchsberg Mountain, which makes it a rather special and unique location. On the second floor, the window of the stunning glass-encased gallery room looks out over the courtyard on one side and rock on the other. We ate in the downstairs cave, which I’m told was used as a bunker in World War II. The three-course dinner menu, at euros 42 plus euros 3.50 for a glass of wine, offered great value and first-class cuisine. My personal favourite was the dessert featuring a simply stunning rhubarb ice cream. Superb. See
Right: The water trough at the side of the Opera building, next to what was the stables
TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE OPERA SCENE… August and early September is when the city’s big annual festival is held, with 240 performances of opera, theatre and concerts, though events are staged throughout the year. Out of season I saw a fabulous one and a half hour ‘taster’ performance of ‘Cleopatre’. (tickets cost around euros 95).The fact that I knew the story, it was in French and I had a programme to follow made it easy and very enjoyable.
A Sunday morning performance at the Opera
GETTING THERE: Fly direct to Salzburg from London’s Stansted Airport with Ryanair all year round. In the ski season, Easyjet operate direct flights from Bristol from mid-December.
One tip for anyone who regularly has business meetings in the city of London is to tag on a break to Salzburg. There’s a regular and cheap service to Stansted Airport from Liverpool Street Station – trains leaving every 15 minutes for the 45-minute journey.
Alternatively, consider combining a trip to London and Salzburg. A return flight with Ryanair leaving late afternoon on Saturday October 6, and returning to London on Monday morning can currently be snapped up for less than £60 – providing you can manage with one Ryanair-sized hand luggage bag. See
Otherwise, flights go from Gatwick to Salzburg with British Airways.
MONEY SAVING TIP: Book ahead and it’s easy to pick up a train from Bristol Temple Meads Station right through to Stanstead Airport (including the tube fare across London) for £21.50 one-way. And, don’t forget to print out your own boarding pass for the Ryanair flight to Salzburg – or you’ll face big penalties at the airport.
ANYTHING ELSE? I haven’t even mentioned Salzburg’s famous landmark, the Hohensalzburg Fortress which also happens to be the largest preserved cidadel in Central Europe. The medieval state rooms are said to be especially worth seeing.
·         Anne stayed at the Mercure Hotel Salzburg City on Kapuzinerberg Sterneckstrasse, where a standard double room on a Saturday in October costs around £80 a night. The hotel is a short taxi ride away from the Mirabell Gardens, bus ride or 20-minute walk. See
·         To get to The Museum of Modern Art and the M32 restaurant, take the Funicular Railway from the old part of the city to the top of the hill at Mönchsberg. The fare (and entrance to the art gallery) is free with the Salzburg tourist Card. Breakfast at the M32 – see wwwm32 – is around 10 euros.
·         A taxi fare from Salzburg Airport into the city costs between euros 10-14. Or, the number 2 Trollybus leaves the city’s main train station every 10-20 minutes and takes 20 minutes. Tickets cost euros 2.10 from newsagents in the terminal or from the bus driver.
·         For more tourist information on Salzburg,(including details of the Salzburg Card) check out –


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