The hills are alive…

…With The Sound of Music!

I’m sure you’ve heard of the classic movie, The Sound of Music, released in the 60’s about the Von Trapp family singers. If not then I urge you to give it a watch if you like musicals!

Well I watched this movie when I was just a child and ever since, i’ve had a major urge to visit Austria to see the beauty of the place for myself. The movie was filmed in Salzburg which isn’t the easiest destination for a Brit to visit. There are definitely cheaper holidays to go on! But to make my visit possible at a reasonable price I did some planning and finally managed to get myself over there via a few different stops on the way.

So here I present to you, all the things you can do in Salzburg to relive the movie!

Of course you can take a tour. In my case, I did a Sound of Music specific tour lasting 4 hours operated by Panorama Tours. I believe this to be one of the most popular tours in Salzburg and Panorama have been around for a very long time.

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I’d highly recommend doing this tour because it’s a great way of seeing all the sights whilst being presented with facts about the history and the movie by a knowledgeable guide. Not only that but the bus will take you to places you can’t easily reach on foot so it’s really just an added bonus that you get these included. You’ll also get to listen to the songs of the movie whilst you travel through the beautiful mountains on your scenic journey!

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First stop will be Leopoldskron Palace. I’m sure you recognise it from the picture above already. This is where they filmed the famous boat scene as well as all the garden shots where the children are outside of the family home. You might notice that the home doesn’t look the same and this is because whilst the palace was used for the backyard of the villa, it wasn’t actually the building used for the family home. That brings us to our second stop..

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Schloss Hellbrunn is in fact the location used for the family home. This is a beautiful place to visit by foot or bike and it’s located just outside of the city centre of Salzburg. This is your second stop on the tour and you’ll get a short amount of time here to admire the gardens but more importantly visit the iconic gazebo. This is now where it is located after being moved already three times! You can’t go inside but if you want to you can sure sing I am 16 going on 17..

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If you want more time here you can easily cycle from the city centre of Salzburg. I did this on my final day here and it’s really worth the visit. It’s a beautiful cycle along the road that Maria sang I have confidence in me and you’ll even pass the entrance to the villa used in one of the last scenes in the movie where the family are pushing the car out quietly.

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If you’re doing the tour you’ll then make your way out of Salzburg and on to the lake district located in Upper Salzburg. This place is beautiful even on a not so clear day like we had. We stopped at a beautiful viewpoint of Lake Wolfgang.

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You’ll head over to Mondsee which is a very small lakeside town at the foot of the mountains. Here you’ll find Basilica St Michael which is the location used for the famous Von Trapp wedding. It’s not the church the real family got married in however it is the location used in the movie for filming. You can visit inside and walk the same aisle Maria walked down with the children during How do you solve a problem like Maria. A beautiful little gem to visit.

It was in Mondsee that I tried my first ‘crisp apple strudel’ as mentioned in My favourite things!

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Your final stop on the tour will be Schloss Mirabell & Mirabell Gardens you’re then free to roam around here for as long as you like. Aswell as admiring the pretty flowers you’ll find all sorts of the movie scenes here used for the song Do-Re-Me.

The iconic Pegasus fountain.

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The tree tunnel that the family run through whilst singing.

 

The creepy statues that the children mimic and of course you will too!

The classic Do-Re-Me finale steps

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Nonnberg Abbey

Besides the mountain scenes, this is where we start and end the movie. The abbey is the original abbey that Maria lived in before she was sent to care for the family so it’s interesting to wander up there to view a piece of history. You can venture in to the front of the abbey but a lot of it is closed off. You will get to see the gates from the movie where the children call on Maria and they are also featured in the hideout scene towards the end of the film. Not only that but because you have to climb a little way to get up here you’ll get views out on to the city too!

There are various other places in Salzburg you can visit relating to the movie but you can see these just by walking around the city. Of course the Hohensalzburg Fortress is featured in the background of many of the shots. Well worth a visit up here for some good views of Salzburg.

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You can also climb one of the many mountains surrounding Salzburg. I climbed Mountain Gaisberg and it was so incredibly rewarding. You can read about my experience here. You might have a bit of a job trying to ‘climb every mountain’ though!

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If you’re caught up in Salzburg on a rainy day and want something to do then you can always check out The Sound of Music Museum. Entry fee at the time of writing this (September 2018) is €8, which I think is a tad steep for such a small museum. It is filled with original artefacts and interesting facts about the movie and the original family. Worth a visit if you are a big fan of the history of the family and the story.

When booked through my hostel The Sound of Museum tour cost me €40 which I actually felt was really reasonable for a 4 hour tour. It included your transport to Mondsee and the guide too. I actually ended up meeting someone on the tour and spending the day with her so it was a good experience for me and I’d recommend the tour so you get to learn everything as you view the sights.

Salzburg is a beautiful place to visit whether you’re a fan of the movie or not there is something for everyone here. I’m already missing it!

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Sophie

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