Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Yet another beautiful Salzburg video!

All You Need to Know About the Salzburg Card

Salzburg Card
Save money with the Salzburg Card

Salzburg is a picturesque city just to the north of the Alps. The Salzburg city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and as you look across the city, you can easily see why. Decorated with castles, palaces, and beautiful churches, the landscape truly lives up to its reputation for being the inspirational birthplace of musical prodigy Mozart. Being the fourth largest city in Austria, there’s plenty to do and see for travellers of any kind. Whether you want to stand guard at the famous fortress or enjoy a romantic meal at a Mozart dinner concert.

If you’re visiting Salzburg for the first time, getting the card is a no-brainer. Be admitted free to the museums of Salzburg, dozens of top attractions, and even travel for free on public transport. Not only do you get all of this for nothing, but you can get discounts at theatres, day-trips, and concerts in the city.

If you’re staying at a large hotel you are likely to be able to pick up a Salzburg card there, but if not all of the city’s tourist information offices stock them. The card scheme is excellent value for money, especially if you plan your visit to Salzburg well to make the most of your discounts. The card includes a whole raft of experiences, from river cruises to a trip to the zoo. Enjoy any of 190 Salzburg hotspots and save while you visit. 

If you’re planning a trip to Salzburg, make sure you take a look at the list of events and locations that you can save on. You only have to pay for the period of time you need the Salzburg card for, so have an action packed day whizzing between the city’s attractions; take a long weekend to meander through the galleries and exhibitions; or take a day trip to one of the nearby towns and the beautiful Austrian countryside.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

All You Need to Know About Naschmarkt

The Naschmarkt
The Naschmarkt

The Naschmarkt has been around for hundreds of years, and remains Vienna’s most central, and most popular market. Tourists flock here from all across Europe and beyond, but even the regulars are known to visit from neighbouring countries to experience the delights of the market. 

The market has grown over the years to span over 1.5 kilometres, and sells food from all four corners of the globe, from exotic herbs to fresh seafood, and local cheeses and meats. You can also find clothes, furniture, and accessories within the Naschmarkt’s bustling outdoor corridors. The market is full of new tastes, smells and colours, and it won’t be long before you come across one of the many talented street performers and musicians. 

Conveniently located within walking distance of Karlplatz, and open from Monday to Saturday, this is a very lively spot indeed. Many of the market vendors at Naschmarkt are Turkish or hail from the Former Yugoslavia, and the place has a real international flare about it. A romantic place to stroll at night, as the stalls glow with light and the sounds and smells echo from the kitchens of the world.

If you plan to visit Naschsmarkt, come along with an empty stomach. The stalls are absolutely littered with small eateries and market restaurants, which offer everything from Japanese to French cuisine, and of course include Viennese specialities such as Schnitzel and Kaiserschmarrn, which translates directly as ‘Emperor Fluff’, but tastes much better than it sounds! 

Since 1977, the market has extended to include a flea market at the weekends which holds weird and wonderful artefacts, as well as great clothing and antiques. Here, you can find everything your heart desires at a reasonable price, and it’s likely to be of high quality, too.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

5 Fun Facts about the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna

Shonbrunn Palace in Vienna
Schönbrunn Palace near Vienna

Schönbrunn is a national treasure and a European tourist hotspot, located in the city of Vienna, the palace’s history stretches back for centuries. Its walls have seen more than their fair share of action, and the gardens are just as interesting. Schönbrunn Palace is certainly worth a visit, but before you go, take a look at some interesting palace facts.
1.    Schönbrunn means ‘Beautiful Spring’ 

The name has its roots in an artesian well from which water was consumed by the court. Once a floodplain, it became a designated hunting area before turning into a full time residence.

2.    The grounds have a maze, AND a labyrinth!

The great maze in Schönbrunn took over 40 years to complete and has 4 parts to it. If you make it to the centre, you can watch people get lost from an elevated platform. The labyrinth is a separate space, reconstructed according to the original designs, it covers a huge area and contains a plethora of games, challenges, and even riddles!

Schönbrunn Gardens
Schönbrunn Gardens at Summer

3.    You Can Find the Palace on a Coin

That’s right, the Austrian 10-euro coin, minted in 2003. The obverse shows the central part of the palace façade, behind one of the great fountains. These coins sell for prices upwards of €40 (£30) today!

4.    The Palace Was Once Headquarters for a British Military Garrison

Between the years of 1945–1955, Schönbrunn Palace, which had been lying empty, became the Headquarters for the British Military Garrison in Vienna. It was later to host the historical meeting between President Kennedy and Khrushchev in 1961.

5.    The Palace Had 2.82 million Visitors in 2012

The palatial complex is considered to be a European jewel, in 1996 it was declared a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO, and the palace and grounds are the most visited attractions in Austria. Schönbrunn is closely followed by Hallstatt village, Grossglockner Alpine Road, St Anton am Arlberg Ski Resort, Hofburg Imperial Palace, Vienna State Opera, and Melk Abby.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The History of the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music

Innsbruck Festival of Early Music
Innsbruck Festival of Early Music

The Innsbruck Festival, although a relatively modern event, has music that dates all the way back to early classical, Renaissance, and Baroque Europe. Since it was founded in 1963 it has been an annually occurring centre for early music excellence, experiment, and discovery. The oldest, most distinguished festival of its kind, it continues to bring brilliant musicians together every August. From well-known faces to early music pioneers, the festival entertains, inspires, and illuminates year upon year. In 2013 the festival was met with extraordinary reviews from fans of early music, but also delightful surprise from those not so familiar with this genre of music.

The music is certainly what pulls people from across the continent to the Austrian city; but there’s plenty on top of that to keep them coming back for more. A great atmosphere washed down with excellent wine and great dining experiences, including lunchtime concerts and the restaurants that line the city’s lively squares. 

Artists with big international reputations mingle with brand new voices, and you can even take a peek backstage and meet some of the performers keeping the Renaissance alive in Austria. For all of these reasons it’s a good idea to book your hotel well in advance, so you can be right in the middle of all the action and retreat to a wonderful Austrian guesthouse nestled among the mountains.

No matter what time of year you find yourself in Innsbruck’s idyllic Alps setting, there will be plenty to do. You can use the city’s tram service to see all the other delights it has to offer. The Festival of Early Music certainly isn’t the only one, and there are cultural events all summer long. Even during winter there are countless seasonal celebrations and competitions, including of course, excellent winter sports.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Reach Bratislava in Just 75 Minutes on the Twin City Liner

river Danube cruise
River Danube cruise

Taking the Twin City Liner along the Danube between Bratislava and Vienna is a perfectly gorgeous and super fun way to travel between the two cities; especially during the summer. As you float down the river you will have the chance to watch locals bring the riverside to life, check out historical ruins, and even watch the busy water way commerce happening right before your eyes. Barges will be passing left right and centre, so make sure you give them a friendly wave.

Once the boat has left its moorings the deck is open for you to wander on. Let the world pass you by as you cruise down the Danube, and be sure to enjoy the on-board café, grab a beer, or glass of wine to accompany this perfect experience. 

twin city liner
Inside the Twin City Liner

The mooring in Vienna is only a hop, skip, and a jump from Schwedenplatz U-Bahn station so it’s easy to find, and speedy to board, while the stop-off in Bratislava is just a few minutes’ walk from the centre of the capital. The Slovakian capital is a city rich in history; wander the beautiful and charming old town or look down over it all from Bratislava Castle. If you’ve had enough history, it’s a great town for shopping, too.

The trip costs a bit more than the train, but it’s a very different experience, preferred by many. The journey takes little over an hour as the boat can be pretty speedy along its course down the river, but you can travel in complete comfort, and take in all the views from the seating in the liner’s rooftop. Discounted tickets are easy to pick up online and you can collect them at the dockside. This trip is great for families, couples, or even commuters who are tired of relying on the train!