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Winter magic of Salzburg 

Dive into the winter magic of Salzburg, Austria!

By Anna Purpurpurpur

For some time I’ve been posting only about the UK but I think that festive time is a good excuse to post something from my travels in pre-COVID era! And what can be better than to dive into the winter magic of Austria in Salzburg?

To be honest, Austria is one of my favorite countries to be a tourist in (check my blogs about Vienna and Innsbruck!), and it’s definitely even more attractive as a Christmas destination!

So no surprise that Salzburg is one of the most popular places for winter holidays – we’ve been there around Christmas! Christmas markets were up until Christmas Eve or Christmas day, so if you’re planning your visit for the next winter around the New Year, the chances are high that sadly they’ll be already closed.

Tips: don’t forget to stay warm! Salzburg can be pretty chilly in winter, so warm and comfy clothes are a must even if you’re planning to rely on kugels and glühwein to keep you snug 🙂
See below my top things in the magical city of Salzburg in winter!

Christmas markets

First of all, you most probably know that there are some countries that just do it better for Christmas, and no doubt Austria is one of them. The Christmas markets of Salzburg are the epitome of Christmas! 

The tradition of Christmas markets in Salzburg dates back to the 15th century. First the biggest one was known as Tandlmarkt changing name to the Nikolaimarkt in the 17th century. It gained its modern look half a century ago – and it was really famous then  and it still attracts crowds today.

There are a few markets right in the city centre.

Christkindlmarkt located on the Dom Square and Residenz Square’s Market are the most well known ones – and it’s a distilled  fairytale!  There’s a big shiny Christmas tree in the  centre of Christkindlmarkt and a few dozens of small shops around.

Take funicular FestungsBahn to get to the Christmas Advent Market at the Hohensalzburg Fortress – by the way, Hohensalzburg fortress is an attraction not to miss because it’s one of the main landmarks of Salzburg with a breathtaking panorama outside!

Another famous markets are Alten Markt Market and Christmas Market on Mirabell Square.

Food and other festivities

You can buy everything christmassy in Salzburg – and food is an attraction on its own! Think about Strudels with different fillings (like traditional apples with raisins,cottage cheese, cherries, and so many more), gingerbread, mulled wine, goulash, all sorts of sausages and  cheeses, pretzels, caramelised nuts, various local pastries, both savoury and sweet.

And kugels, of course – there is a variety of these world-famous sweets made out of chocolate, marzipan, nougat and pistachios invented by Paul Fürst in 1890.

My personal highlight of the local cuisine was Salzburger Nockerl, a traditional souffle dessert with raspberry sauce served piping hot. We tried ours in the Hohensalzburg Fortress – I cannot recommend it enough!  

And of course there are many souvenirs as well such as all sorts of Christmas tree decorations, including tiny Mozarts (we are in Salzburg after all, don’t you forget!) and local arts and crafts.

Silent Night, Holy Night… 

And talking about music – with Mozart family and ‘Sound of Music’ as the most straightforward references – did you know that the text of the famous Christmas carol called Silent Night (Stille Nacht in German) was created by priest Joseph Moh who lived in a village nearby called Oberndorf bei Salzburg? In 1818, he asked his friend Franz Xaver Gruber to compose the music for it. And now it’s one of the most famous carols of all times! 

Merry Christmas – and I hope you enjoyed my new blog!

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