In the middle of winter, there is a place in Salzburg to escape the cloud. A funicular breaks through the misty barrier every ten minutes and takes frozen revellers to a place where the sun shines, snowy mountains gleam in glorious light, and scarves and gloves can be shed, the only adornment required is the glint of awe in the beholder’s eye. From Hohensalzburg you can see the world. Even those below in the frosty streets can be glimpsed, painted with mystical fog – what seemed sodden and miserable below is somehow more perfect when viewed through the fairy floss cloud-cover.
Hohensalzburg can be seen in a few hours, and the best time to go is in winter, when the cloud lies low over the city. If it’s one of those mornings when the cloud rolls in like a blanket over the river, but is still fine enough to see the mountains through it. There’s plenty to see in the fortress itself. It’s gothic and angular, with creepy chambers, canons and friezes. There’s a marionette museum, restaurants, and in December, there’s even a Christmas market. But the most important reason to go is that it is dramatically high, yet so close to the old city of Salzburg, you’ll see more of the action from there than if you’re walking in the thick of it. Oh, and there’s some spectacular alps to look at too.
HohenSalzburg is walking distance from the old town. Just ride the funicular up from behind St Peters. More information: website