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City feeling

A relaxed escape to the city of Mozart with my furry friend

Salzburg is a green city – which also makes it ideal for a short trip with a dog. The city mountains are perfect for a stroll and, thanks to the fortress, the trick fountains and the open-air museum, there are also plenty of great opportunities to add some culture highlights to your program as well. Needless to say, I’m curious to experience Salzburg for myself. So, my puppy and I throw a few things in a suitcase and set off for a three-day visit to the city of Mozart.

Mönchsberg – above the rooftops

The Mönchsberg is the perfect sightseeing destination to get things started. High above Salzburg, we will be treated to amazing views and a really good first impression of the city. The Mönchsberg elevator carries us up to a scenic terrace in a matter of seconds. And there it lies before us, Salzburg, the magnificent city of churches! Countless towers, poking up from between picture-book houses and the local mountains. Off in the distance, we can even see the first outlying Alpine peaks; a river flowing elegantly right through the middle of this idyllic postcard motif. Bella tugs on her leash, so we move on. Our path leads us through forest and meadows to other lookout points as well as remnants of the old defensive walls. When we’re done, it’s time to drop straight back down to the streets below, every bit as fast as the original ride up, where our adventure continues – through the countless Baroque squares and medieval lanes of the historic district.

Hellbrunn – prince-archbishops, trick fountains and greenery in abundance

On the next day, Bella and I decide to conquer Hellbrunn. Roughly 5 km from the city center, our path leads us mainly through the refreshingly verdant suburbs of Salzburg. Bella has a lot to sniff at as we saunter down the 400-year-old Hellbrunner Allee, the exclusive domain of pedestrians and cyclists. A true paradise you might not necessarily have expected in a cosmopolitan city like Salzburg. Extending out to the left and right of the majestic trees flanking the path are meadows, fields and stately homes. Bella treats herself to a short, refreshing dip in the Hellbrunner Bach and then, before we know it, we have reached the grounds of the palace itself. A “splash” of fun awaits me there as well: the centuries-old trick fountains. Grottoes, mechanical water features and figures that spit out water are every bit as captivating as they were in the days of the prince-archbishops. Plus, it’s truly fascinating to see how all of the movements are powered by water alone, with no electricity required whatsoever. The grounds of Hellbrunn are a true playground for the both of us: including a visit to the zoo, a gigantic area where dogs can run off-leash and a path taking us over a small mountain to the Stone Theater.  

Salzburger Open-Air Museum – the country comes to the city

We dedicate our third day to the Salzburg Open-Air Museum, which is located just a little outside the heart of the city per se. On its beautifully landscaped grounds at the foot of the Untersberg, visitors are able to explore historical buildings that have been brought here from five different regions of Salzburg province. In the Flachgau section of the park, for example, we see original farmhouses including stables, chapels and even a small grocery store. From Wirtshaus Salettl, we take a walk along forest pathways past shingle-roofed hay sheds, granaries and barns. Each of the buildings is worth entering and exploring. And it isn’t just Bella’ nose that is raised slightly, picking up the intriguing scents in the air. Even my amateurish nose is beguiled by the smells of those old wooden buildings! In the middle of the museum grounds, we happen upon a stream. Bella is thrilled to splish-splash around in the cool, wet water, while I marvel at the mill standing right next to it. And as if all that weren’t bucolic enough for us, we also come across – this time, in the Pinzgau – an area of alpine pastures, including a rustic hut that entices us to sit down and enjoy hearty regional snacks served to us on what looks like a kitchen cutting board. In conclusion, we hop aboard the museum train for a leisurely tour of the park, before beginning our stroll back to Salzburg itself.