Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sleepless in Salzburg

I was up quite late in Salzburg, and I decided I wanted to go out and explore the nightlife in Salzburg. Our pension had a very flexible 24-hour entrance, so we decided to take advantage of it. The postcards of the snow-clad city make it look idyllic, and the reality was even better as a friend and I sought out the local hotspots.

We started by heading out to the old town, the Altstadt, to get something to eat. We passed numerous bakeries, which were unfortunately closed at this time of the evening, but the displays we saw made us very hungry. We decided on traditional Austrian food, so we went to the Herzl Tavern. The cheap but filling food, good beer, and great staff put us in a great mood.

We then set off to explore the local nightlife. There are a lot of provincial-style pubs in Salzburg that really replicate the feel of Austria. While we weren’t drinking much, wherever we were, we were welcomed, and that’s what we liked about it. No pressure, not much loud music, and good conversation. We bumped into several people who were traveling like us, so we had a great time meeting and greeting. We chatted and found our way to a few more bars. A few places stood out to us: Gastlokal Fridrich for the art on the walls and the great music, Monkeys Bar for its fantastic views over the river, and the Jazzit Musik Club for the awesome jazz being played. If you’re after a vibrant and energetic clubbing scene, Salzburg is not the best place to be, but if you’re after a beautiful city with a friendly atmosphere in its bars, I would recommend it.

We staggered back to our pension a little poorer but very happy, thanks to the nightlife in Salzburg.

The next day, we thought back to some of the places that were recommended to us. The idea of monks brewing beer appealed to us, so we went for a glass at the Bräustübl Tavern, which is in an Augustine monastery. It brews Augustine beer, which is similar to a sort of stout. If you’ve never heard of stout, it’s similar to Guinness, but this is much better. We sat outside in the courtyard, but it was a little cold, so we hurried back in. The courtyard is very pretty and relaxed, and it would be fantastic in the spring and summer. Having been in Austria for a while, we felt it would be good to speak English for a bit, so we ended up heading to O’Malley’s, an Irish pub along the river. The bar staff speak perfect English, and some of them are native English speakers, and you generally get a taste of home when you’re there, whether it’s watching rugby, football, or other sporting events.

Having spent a while in there, we ended up heading back to our pension as we were going to go hiking the next day. We met a bunch of awesome people, though, and that made our Salzburg trip very memorable.

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