September 19th
written by Alonna

Salzburg, Austria by day and night…

It ended up that Ben and I spent 6 nights in Salzburg. More than we would have planned, but it’s not a bad place to spend some extra time. We had already booked 3 nights in a hostel when we heard back from a “couchsurfing” request in Salzburg.  So we added an additional 3 nights to stay with a local host, Rose, who offered us a free room in her apartment.  We’ve heard great things about couchsurfing (a world-wide network of travelers and people offering a free bed), and it’s been fun to see how it works.   Rose has been a great host, letting us use her kitchen and washing machine, and even cooking us dinner the first night (she’s a great cook!!).

It’s been nice to stay in one place for a while.  I feel like I know the city a little better than if we just stayed a couple nights and saw the main sights.  Also we’ve been able to spread out our sightseeing, and get out into the countryside too.

I like Salzburg; it’s a nice average-sized city and has a good mix of tourism and normal every-day life.  The old town and fortress are definitely impressive, and the scenery is really pretty with green hills and distant Alps. Salzburg is best known as the home of Mozart and the Sound of Music, but we mostly ignored this.

Hohensalzburg Fortress

The huge Hohensalzburg fortress perched up on a steep hill can be seen from almost anywhere in Salzburg. We spent a couple hours exploring it and enjoying the views. People lived on this hill for thousands of years, and parts of the current castle were built in the 12th century. It was greatly expanded over the years, mostly by the Archbishops of Salzburg, who lived there and profited from nearby salt mines.

Salzburg Old Town

The old town in Salzburg is packed with churches, squares, and fountains. I especially loved the interior of the Salzburg Cathedral, so pretty!

Here’s a panoramic of Salzburg… the merging didn’t turn out great, but you get the idea.


  1. Sandra Capri

    How cool! Beautiful area – and couch-surfing – I love it!
    What’s the gold sphere thing?

  2. 09/19/2009

    Good question, we weren’t sure either. I tried looking it up but couldn’t find much. It’s a 2007 art project called Sphaera. There’s a (fake) man on top of the sphere, every time we went by there I had to look twice because I thought he was real!

  3. Mom Albertus

    A speech therapist I work with (I have a smaller room inside her bigger room) backpacked in Europe for 6 weeks. Anyway she said her favorite place was Salzburg, Austria. It does look like the air is so…clear and the city is picture perfect!!

  4. Robin Scott

    Totally awesome. The couch-surfing is such a GREAT idea!!! It was probably really great to stay put for a few days and get to enjoy a culture and people.

    We visited Salzburg when we lived in Germany and it was one of my favorite places as well. Not too commercialized and very beautiful.

    Enjoy GERMANY!!! The October Fest is coming soon!!

    Love ya,
    Mom Scott

  5. Kelli Mather

    I’m so glad you guys are couchsurfing. That’s some of the most memorable times Tony and I had, best experiences being with people and you’ll look back on it being glad you stayed with locals.