Austria will always have a near and dear place in my heart. It was my first weekend trip during my study abroad semester. I even invited a girl to come with me for the weekend that I just met a week before at a hike with my study abroad program! We had a great time on the hike, and going to Austria together was so fun. We booked a hostel in Vienna, and then took a day trip to Salzburg for the Sound of Music Tour. Here are my recommendations for doing a day trip to Salzburg from Vienna, and my review of the Sound of Music Tour:
vienna airport transfer
When my friend and I landed in Vienna, we followed the signs for the metro within the airport and paid about 2 euros apiece for a ticket to the stop next to our hostel. It took about an hour and a half to get there, but the scenery and comfy seats made it a nice ride. You can get metro tickets at the kiosks in the airport station.
accommodations // do step inn
We chose this hostel from HostelWorld a couple of days before our flight, and it was adorable. We paid for the hostel, but they upgraded us to their hotel for free. The staff is so kind and helpful, and they were the first people that told me about free walking tours. The first one I did was in Vienna, and it certainly set the stage for any future ones I took! Our room was cozy with two twin beds, extra blankets that were nice and thick, and our own little bathroom. Those blankets were extra nice considering we were two Southern girls in Austrian February weather! I cannot recommend this place enough.
getting to salzburg from vienna
A few days before we left Barcelona, we bought roundtrip tickets from Vienna to Salzburg on Flixbus. When we arrived to the departure location written on our tickets, it was a train station. As it turns out, Flixbus will use their train partners for routes. We got a nice train ride at the (quite a bit lower) bus price! The trip took about three hours, and we left pretty early in the morning. We got to Salzburg in time for lunch, for which we chose a cute vegan restaurant I found on HappyCow that wasn’t far from the train station. Our tour was scheduled for 1pm, which brings me to my next point…
sound of music tour review
I had seen The Sound of Music with Julie Andrews a couple of times, but I wouldn’t consider myself a huge fan of the film or musical. When I found out that the movie was filmed in Salzburg and you could tour the sights from the movie, I was sold. I loved every second of this tour. The guides were so knowledgeable, fun, and talented!
It takes a good four hours, but part of what you pay for is the bus to take you around all the sights. The snow-capped mountains were gorgeous, and there was plenty of time to stop for photos. We got to see the famous gazebo from “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” the church where the wedding scene was filmed, and learn so many behind-the-scenes facts about the movie. This tour was so interesting, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. If you’re a Sound of Music fan, this is an absolute must-do. If you’re not, then I can say you will enjoy it just from the scenery and different stops in the Austrian countryside. This tour gets all my love!
getting back to vienna from salzburg
This part was pretty easy. Once our tour ended and we bade our farewell to our guides, we just went back to the train station we arrived to. Salzburg is so small and quaint that there’s only one train station, but the station is nice. There’s a grocery store inside, so I headed to the vegan section and bought some dinner to heat up at the hostel. The trains to Vienna were so frequent that we had our pick, and we left around 6pm. A few hours later, we were back in our hotel room, exhausted and going through photos from our unreal day.
vienna free walking tour
As I mentioned above, the Vienna Free Walking Tour was my first ever. Our guide was from the Czech Republic originally, and she moved to Vienna because her husband was Austrian. She originally met him while giving free walking tours in the Czech Republic! She knew so many interesting facts, and took us to many places in the city. I had my camera out the whole time, because there were just so many beautiful buildings and opportunities to capture another sculpture or statue. As always, this free walking tour did not disappoint!
There are so many reasons that I’m glad Vienna and Salzburg was my first weekend trip in Europe. My only regret is not having the time to stay longer. I am definitely going back to both of these destinations one day, and plan to stay overnight in Salzburg to see more of the town and what it has to offer. I absolutely loved the parts of Austria I got to see, and cannot wait to visit more of this beautiful country!