I’m going to start by saying this is predominantly a picture filled post. Mainly because I couldn’t whittle it down anymore. I’ve always wanted to do a mini break and when a friend suggested going to a Christmas market a couple of months ago, I was in. Salzburg is famous for 3 main reasons. The first being the amazing Advent markets they have on throughout November and December. Secondly, this is the place The Sound of Music was filmed. There are buses and tours you can go on if you don’t want to miss anything. But most places are quite close to each other, so it’s not much of an issue if you don’t. Lastly, this is the birthplace of the one and only Mozart.
We flew out on the Saturday morning and arrived at our hotel at around 11:30am. We stayed in the hotel Momentum in Anif which was around 30 mins from the centre of town.
The views from the rooms we were staying in were just spectacular. They have just had a refit and a brand new sauna centre installed. There is a normal sauna, a bio sauna and a couple of other fan dangled things you can have a go at. Just in case no-one has told you, there is what they call ‘sauna etiquette’. What this means, is everybody walks round absolutely starkers without a care in the world. If your like me, then you stand out like a sore thumb in your one piece. Obviously, you don’t have to go all out, but if your brave enough it can be something to tell the grandkids. Unfortunately we weren’t there long enough to enjoy the full benefits and were only able to use the wellness centre once.
If you have children, this hotel also houses one of the biggest indoor soft play areas in the area. Hoppolino is free to hotel guests and is open till around 6pm every night. It’s a great way to burn off some energy (even the grown ups had a go).
After a cat nap, we all headed out to explore the Town Centre. A 25 minute bus journey away and some dodgy translating lead us to our first market. The one we stumbled on first is the main one, but I think I counted 4 or 5 in total. At least 3 were in walking distance from each other. We spent the rest of the day wondering around the markets and taking in the beautiful lights and architecture. The ice rink in the centre really screams Christmas and being in a place where it snows a lot, the locals were pretty good at it.
We got back to the hotel around 20:00 and honestly, I was out like a light. The next morning was a struggle to get out of bed. The weather was wet and horrible, but only spending a short amount of time somewhere means you have to make the most of it. We left the hotel around 10:00 and made our way into town.
We had a peek inside Mozart’s house and stumbled across a small market where they were selling more Christmas related things. I really wanted to try a hot chocolate whilst I was there, so we stopped and had one. I had a normal one with cream and the others enjoyed theirs with rum. If you haven’t tried it with the addition of rum, you should. It tastes completely different from what I expected and it really warms you up. As the for hot chocolate, it wasn’t anything special. I’ve had better in England. I was expecting a really thick chocolate – heads up – it wasn’t.
For me, the thing I loved most about Salzburg is how Christmassy it is. The markets are so beautiful and are exactly what you expect the run up to Christmas to be. Nothing about the decorations are tacky, it’s minimalist and white twinkly lights everywhere. The second thing I really enjoyed was the Glühwein (Mulled wine to you and me). It’s like nothing I’ve ever tasted before. So if you ever go to Germany or Austria this time of year, it’s a definite must.
This is my first experience of a Advent market in Europe and I hope it won’t be my last. One thing I will say is – it’s so busy. Both in time management and the amount of people around. The market tended to get busier towards the evening. But it seems that the locals come out and enjoy the Glühwein amongst the lights. Just as we were leaving, it started to snow. I half wished it snowed whilst we were there. It would have made for some awesome Instagram pics. However, realistically it’s much nicer to walk around when it’s cold and sunny than in slush and ice.
I hope you enjoyed my pictures and just in case you wondered, these were taken using my new Olympus Pen E-PL8. If you enjoyed this post, please leave me a comment and I will make sure I do more whenever I travel.