Eat at Europe’s Oldest Restaurant
St. Peter Stiftskeller
A must-stop is Europe’s oldest restaurant, St. Peter Stiftskeller. Traditional Austrian dishes are presented alongside grilled meat and fish.
I tried the whole grilled fish with seasonal chanterelle mushrooms, and finished with a Ferris wheel (literally) of desserts including the typical Salzburg fluffy meringue and jam dessert, Salzburger Nockerl, crème brulee, chocolate mousse, and mint sorbet with fruit.
On another night I took in the Mozart concert – a richly decorated all white baroque room creates the perfect backdrop for the operatic concert with live string quartet accompanied by a candlelit multi-course dinner.
Check out the Tricked Out Fountains
16th century Archbishop and Prince Markus Sittikus commissioned Italian architect Solari to build his summer palace, Hellbrunn. Embedded and hidden throughout are the trick fountains that tease, intrigue and wet guests without warning. (Also home to a zoo).
Walk the famous Getreidegasse
Salzburg Old Town
Sophisticated. Traditional. Musical. Typically Austrian. Any trip to Austria would not be complete without experiencing this alpine city.
The birthplace of Mozart and backdrop to The Sound of Music, the city’s old town holds UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
As we walk along the Getreidegasse Salzburg’s most famous street, my guide tells me that, “there would be no Austria without salt and Salzburg got its name from salt.” Salzburg is at a crossroads in middle Europe and for almost 7000 years gained wealth through its Hallein salt mine.
Today the city has an upscale vibe and remains “a stage for all the world.” Be sure to take in the newly opened Domquartier (cathedral-museum complex), Hohensalzburg Castle (the imposing fortress seen from all angles throughout the city), and the weekly market near Mirabell Palace and Gardens.
See landmarks from The Sound of Music
Grey Lines Sound of Music Tour
I chose Grey Lines Sound of Music tour to experience the magic and learn tidbits about this classic movie, I didn’t know (like the film is relatively unknown to Austrians).
The calm waters surrounding Leopoldskron Palace (the Von Trapp Family home) will make you feel as though you ought to be sipping pink lemonade on the terrace with the Von Trapp children. Be warned from the city to the surrounding lake district there is breathtaking scenery at every turn.
Eat to give you wings
Red Bull Hangar 7 Restaurant Ikarus and Carpe Diem Finest Fingerfood
Red Bull Hangar 7: Imagine a revolving grand prix of international heavy weight chefs, featured each month at an airplane hangar in Austria. Sound like a plot of a Michael Bay film? It’s not. Red Bull pioneered the concept and when I visited Restaurant Ikarus British Michelin two star guest chef Sat Bains was in house with a tasting menu that reflected his classical training and modern techniques. (Think foie gras muesli: a contrast of sweet crunchy oats combined with small shards of nitro chilled foie gras; and Chocolate: a take on the aero candy bar with mandarin gel to cleanse).
Carpe Diem Finest Fingerfood: A winding staircase leads guests up to the Michelin star restaurant furnished with art deco minimalist wood chairs. Inside the 100 seat restaurant, head chef Franz Fuiko offers a mix of specially designed cones filled with gourmet fillings (my favourite was the Moroccan style lamb), and gourmet plates including a poached char with creamy risotto. Don’t forget to try the signature sparkly Carpe Diem kombucha tea, a healthy and refreshing non alcoholic drink.