December 19, 2013

Salzburg Christmas Market

The month of December is such a festive time in Germany… Christmas markets abound, lights are strung, and trees are decorated. For the four weeks of Advent, you can't help but be infected with holiday spirit. After attending my first Christmas market in Germany, I branched out the following weekend and took another bus trip through ODR (Outdoor Rec) to Salzburg, Austria.

View from the Museum of Modern Art

Gorgeous, isn't it? A few minutes after arrival, I knew I'd be visiting again someday, this time with the Hubs. But for the moment, I was there with friends to attend Salzburg's Christmas market.

We started our day early, wandering the markets before they became too crowded (and believe me, they did!). Food vendors are everywhere, tempting you with their sights and smells, not to mention all the Christmas crafts which are for sale.

Let me be honest… I have to fight the urge to stop at every, single stall! Yeesh, talk about putting on some holiday weight. Luckily, those with me had more self-control, and we merely stopped to have cheese sausages for breakfast, yum. Lunch was an open-faced Raclette sandwich. This was so good, the Hubs and I re-created it at home earlier this week!

And yes, the simple recipe will be coming soon to a blog near you…

Various food vendors. Bottom-left: Raclette

Salzburg is known for many things, but some of the better known items are these:

1. Birthplace and home of Mozart
2. The filming of the Sound of Music (the original!)
3. "Old Town", an UNESCO World Heritage Site

Though our group didn't tour Mozart's home, I plan to check it out when I go back with the Hubs. But I did get a quick look at the outside, plus every street corner seems to house Mozart candy chocolate shops! I can't resist things that include chocolate, ha.

Left: Birthplace / Home of Mozart
Right: Chocolate shop selling Mozart candies

While history and chocolate are always at the top of my list, one of the very top reasons tourists visit Austria are the Sound of Music tours. Again, I was in Salzburg for the Christmas markets, so we didn't take a tour. But I'll be enjoying one soon! Sometime in the spring, I hope to test the tours with the Hubs, and I'll be sure to let you know how we like it.

As for Old Town, we did manage to see quite a bit of it as we wandered from market to market. The architecture is stunning, and just begs for photographs to be taken. You can find a printable map and free walking tour here if you're interested.

View of Old Town from above, with Fortress Hohensalzburg on the hill

Our group accidentally wound up at the top of the Museum of Modern Art, thinking we were riding to the top of the castle! Of course, once at the top, we quickly realized our mistake. The view was so fantastic, though, none of us regretted the detour.

We decided to tour the fortress next, then spend a few hours (after dark) shopping at the Christmas market. After taking the tram to the castle, we were happy to find a small market there.

From the castle top, we were able to tour the inside of the fortress, as well as explore the market. Plus, the views were out of this world, seriously.

Don't believe me? See for yourself:

I was right, huh? Out of this world. 

The market at the fortress was much less crowded than the others, but also much smaller. After a while, we headed back to the hustle and bustle in the city.

We shopped, we laughed, we ate, we drank. And then we did it all again! I personally prefer a more intimate market (translate: less crowded), but I found some amazing Christmas crafts and gifts here. And I definitely want to visit Salzburg again!

Have you ever visited this beautiful city? Feel free to share your own experiences in the comments, I love hearing from y'all. I'll be writing soon to tell you about some more of the local markets I've visited recently.

Until then, happy holidays and Merry Christmas!

Thanks for reading, everyone!
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  1. So beautiful! I can't wait to go someday!

  2. You're riht--out of this world! Beautiful shots, Allie :)

  3. We went to Salzburg I guess it was 4 or 5 years ago, on our way home from Edelweiss, we just spent the day there, it was raining (of course), we didn't budget for Salzburg, so we didn't go on any of the tours, but did go on a horse carriage ride and saw the city that way, played at the giant chess board, and just absorbed as much as possible. Sadly we never made it back, but I'm grateful we were able to go there at least once.