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Habsburg café culture and castles in the sky … tips for your free time in Salzburg

Our day trip to Salzburg in Austria, departing every morning at 9.15am, is a perennial favourite for Radius customers. The tour combines the structure of a guided tour with additional free time to explore the small historic old town for yourself. After giving you an orientation walk for 90 minutes, your guide will supply you with a map and be on hand to give you advice on what to do for the three hours you have to explore the city for yourself. Here are some personal tips …

Sacher Torte by the river

The terrace café in the famous Hotel Sacher by the riverside offers wonderful view of historic Salzburg. If you prefer the restaurant inside, the view is no less special, with its elegant interiors recalling the gilded era of the Habsburg monarchy, and the walls lined with pictures of famous guests such as the Dalai Lama, Placido Domingo, Tom Hanks – and, of course, Julie Andrews! This is one of only four cafes in Austria in which the original Sacher Torte cake can be found on the menu (the others are in Vienna, Innsbruck and Graz). First made for the private table of the renowned Austrian statesman Prince Metternich in 1832, the famous confection of dark chocolate and apricot jam served with whipped cream is as much a symbol of Austrian culture as the surrounding churches and gardens of Salzburg. Enjoy it with a cup of Melange, the local variation of a cappuccino.

A gentle stroll on top of the Mönchsberg

The Mönchsberg, or “monk’s mountain”, is the imposing flat-topped hill that dominates the city of Salzburg. Take an elevator to the top to arrive at the entrance to the Museum of Modern Art, and find yourself surrounded by beautiful parkland, tree-lined walkways, terrace cafes, old castle walls, and stunning views.  Spread out in front of you is Salzburg seen at its most glorious, and all around, an alpine panorama straight from a postcard.

Whether it’s a slice of chocolate cake that takes your fancy, or the awe-inspiring mountains all around, no other city in Europe offers such a unique combination of small pleasures and epic surroundings. That is Salzburg.

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