An Afternoon Atop Untersberg in Salzburg, Austria

Travelling to salzburg wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the summit of Mount Untersberg

Allow me to start by saying that Untersberg is the highlight of my trip to Salzburg. An absolute MUST if ever you’re headed to those parts. There’s always the off chance I feel this way because it was my first time seeing snow. Side note: I’ve been on numerous winter holidays but always either just miss the snowfall or travel at the end or beginning of winter when it’s too warm. But I’d like to believe Untersberg is special in the way that its summit’s fluffy blanket of snow and breathtaking views come together.

Don’t get me wrong, staying at the Schloss Leopoldskron where The Sound of Music was filmed is nothing short of nostalgic and fanciful, but there’s just something in the air up there. Mount Untersberg is, after all, 1,853 metres above the Salzburg basin.

For those unaware, Mount Untersberg is the hill that’s alive in The Sound of Music. It stands tall as the backdrop to the 1964 film’s famous gate at the Villa Von Trapp. Even if you’re not a fan of the movie, the trip up is worthwhile.

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Mount Untersberg from Schloss Leopoldskron

On the one hand, you’re surrounded by the regality of snowcapped mountaintops as far as the eye can see. Then on the other, you’re getting this mind-blowing panorama of the whole of Salzburg just below.

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Salzburg in a single frame – a view of the entire city from the very top of Untersberg (where the large cross is)

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Rolling hills to the other side. It’s not as cold as it looks – the sun is out and there’s no wind

If you’re wondering what there is to do up in the hills, well, there isn’t anything to be frank. Whether you’re the type that likes to frolic or even just take a slow walk around the mountaintop, don’t let that put you off spending the morning or afternoon there; the views are an experience in themselves. Totally worth the trip, though a few short hours will suffice.

Getting to Untersberg is easy. Just take the number 25 bus from town and it will take you right to the foot of the hills, where the cable car is. The ride only takes about half an hour and there are other sites along the way. Consider visiting the zoo or Schloss Hellbrunn where you’ll find the glass pavilion in which Liesl and Rolf in The Sound of Music sing I am 16 going on 17 once you’re done with your walk.

I digress.

It also helps to have a Salzburg Card when you’re touring the city. You can hold on to your Euros by purchasing one at your hotel’s reception; just ask them for one. The savings kick in as long as you visit more than two tourist sites in a day (easily achievable since Salzburg’s not very big). And yes, the number 25 bus ride and cable car to and from Untersberg are free as long as you have an active Salzburg Card.

When comes the time one needs to search for sustenance, there is, of course, a cafe up in Untersberg. Though I would strongly suggest grabbing lunch early as things get rather busy (you’re not exactly spoiled for choice and human traffic is high). No complaints whatsoever about the fare. The potato dumplings were cheesy and the mulled wine nice and toasty.

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Kasknockerl. Think of it as an Austrian gnocchi

These hills really are alive. So I’ll let the photos (which don’t do the view any justice in my humble opinion) do the rest of the singing.

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