As of right now, it looks like travel to Europe is going to be put on hold for Americans, so consider this story as a way to plan for future trips.
If “The Sound of Music” is one of your favorite movies, Salzburg has likely secured a spot on your travel bucket list. The birthplace of Mozart, this beautiful European city is worthy of a trip in its own right, or at least worth a stop if you’re doing a larger trip to Austria (Vienna is three hours away by train) or Germany (Munich is a 90-minute train ride away). Here are seven places every fan of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic should see in Salzburg.
Luckily for visiting fans, most places featured in the film are located in and around the city center. Stop by Mirabellgarten (Mirabell Garden), where Maria and the children sang “Do-Re-Mi” in several iconic spots: in the green arbor, up the steps and around Pegasus Fountain. Best of all, entry is free.
Schloss Hellbrunn is where you’ll find the gazebo—the place where Liesel and Rolf sang “16 Going On 17” and where Captain von Trapp and Maria performed their romantic duet, “Something Good.” You’ll also recognize the property’s yellow walls from Maria’s “I Have Confidence” tune, which features several popular sites around Salzburg, including the Residenzplatz, Residenz Fountain, and the “Horse Pond” in Karajanplatz. Tickets are $15 and include audio tours.
The Felsenreitschule (Summer Riding School)
This magnificent building, built into the Mönchsberg in Salzburg’s Old City, is the setting for the Von Trapp Family Singers’ final performance before their harrowing escape to Switzerland. Today it serves as a theatre and concert hall.
Though the interior shots of Nonnberg Abbey were shot elsewhere, the building’s exterior was used in the film and it’s where the real Maria once lived as a Benedictine postulant.
St. Peter’s Monastery, Cemetery and Catacombs
Toward the end of the movie, the family seeks refuge in a cemetery to escape the Nazis during their escape to Switzerland. In reality, these scenes were filmed at St. Peter’s Monastery, Cemetery and Catacombs, which you can visit today and experience a Mozart Dinner Concert in its Baroque Hall.
About a 20-minute drive from the city center is Schloss Leopoldskron, which served as the lakefront façade of the Von Trapp family home. Today, it’s a hotel you can stay in, with rates from $215 a night. If the lake looks familiar, there’s a reason—the scene where Maria and the children fall out of the rowboat when they see Captain von Trapp waiting on the shore was filmed here.
Take A Day Trip To Mondsee
Located about an hour’s drive from Salzburg in the town of Mondsee is Basilika St. Michael, the lovely church where Maria and Captain von Trapp were married in the movie. The drive to Mondsee also takes you through the Lakes District past Lake Wolfgang and Lake Fuschl, which were both highlighted in panoramic shots at the beginning of the film. Don’t get too excited about the hills here being alive with the sound of music—the opening scene was actually shot in a scenic meadow near Mehlweg, Germany, a 30-minute drive from Salzburg.
Geek Out With Other Fans On A Guided Tour
If you’d like to hear more information about the Von Trapp family’s history or behind-the-scenes stories about how the movie was made, Panorama Tours offers a four-hour tour, where for about $56 per person, you can sing your heart out to all your favorite “Sound of Music” songs and visit several locations that were featured in the film. Just look for the big bus with Julie Andrews painted on the side—you can’t miss it!
For about $40 per person, Fräulein Maria’s Bicycle Tour is a great option if you’d prefer to see the sights on two wheels, offering many of the same stops on a 3.5-hour tour of the city. “Sound of Music” diehards can also take a 15-minute bus ride from the city center and visit Villa Trapp, the real home of the Von Trapp family, which you can tour or stay in, with rates from $190 a night.