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‘The Sound of (Christmas) Music’ in Salzburg


“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” on the edge of the Alps. Hidden under a great clifftop fortress, you’ll find one of Europe’s most picturesque cities. Salzburg, one of Austria’s largest cities, is a dream destination this time of year. It’s something of a whimsical winter wonderland, really coming into its own during the holiday season.

Famous for its Baroque architecture, Salzburg has one of the best-preserved city centres you will find north of the Alps. It also happens to be, in case you didn’t know, the setting of the greatest Julie Andrews film of all time (clue: it’s not ‘Mary Poppins.’)

Ok, it’s not exactly a Christmas film, but ‘The Sound of Music’ that fills the streets of Salzburg during the festive period sure won’t let you down. From traditional carols to your favourite cheesy Christmas tunes, music gives Salzburg the edge other festive markets wish they could claim.

If you “wish it could be Christmas everyday” so you could blast out Mariah Carey on repeat, then I think a trip to pretty Salzburg is the way forward for you.

The hometown of ‘The Sound of Music’ and Mozart comes into its snow-sprinkled own during the festive season. Carols heavily fill the air, making evenings here anything but a ‘Silent Night’ (the carol was written and first performed nearby). But is there anything more lovely and cheery than celebrating the festive season with some music? It seems only fitting here in Salzburg!

The market stalls look much as they did when they were first set up way back in the 15th century. Yep, we’re throwing it way back when we talk about Salzburg’s Christmas Market, known as the Salzburger Christkindlmarkt. It takes place directly in front of the cathedral, offering optimum Christmas cheer for all you carollers out there. Free daily concerts take place at 5 pm in front of the cathedral; be sure to time your visit and pop along to enjoy in the musical celebrations, as well as wandering amongst the wooden stalls.

The Market is kind of like an old-fashioned jewellery box. It’s wooden and musical and what’s inside – like any good jewellery box – are little gems ready to be discovered. With this in mind, it’s quality over quantity when it comes to the Salzburger Christkindlmarkt. Handmade crafts and homemade gifts can be found. I’m talking absolutely everything! From scented candles, to bars of organic soaps to woolly, knitted socks (perfect for the harsh winter weather. If you weren’t prepared, you certainly will be now!), everything can be found here. Consider picking up a couple of gifts as stocking fillers. If you’re anything like me and are always behind on your Christmas shopping, a thoughtful, quirky gift from the Salzburg Christmas Market is bound to go a long way.

The Salzburger Christkindlmarkt is something of a winter wonderland. It’s certainly picture-perfect, as any festive market should be. However, at the same time, there is a unique charm to this place that just can’t be captured in a photograph. It’s more about the experience of visiting Salzburg, being in the heart of its festive fun, over anything else. The quirkiness of Salzburg comes from its musical heritage. Whether you’re into Mozart or want to meander the hills which are “alive with the sounds of music,” music is something to be celebrated in Salzburg – particularly during the festive season. The carols linger as heavy in the air as the scent of gingerbread and mulled wine. This gives the Salzburg Christmas Markets a unique character that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else in the entire world. If you’re all about the Christmas music, then a visit here is a must!

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