Salzburg – Christmas Personified

Salzburg in winter

Salzburg is the perfect city break for anybody interested in culture, amazing food, beautiful architecture and music.

However, I would recommend visiting Salzburg in the week running up to Christmas, I personally have never experienced such an overwhelming amount of Christmas cheer. Every courtyard has a market which sells hand made food, liquor and gifts. The entire city is decorated with stunning christmas trees and ornaments.

The ancient castle sits nestled onto of its mountain over-looking the city offering amazing panoramic views, along with a very interesting guided tour, which is well worth while. It also contains several lovely restaurants serving traditional Austrian dishes and world-famous apple strudel.

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View from Castle

Things to do:

  • Strudel: The best Strudel in the city is located in Cafe Tomaselli, it feels as if you are stepping back in time with original furnishing and century old recipes that can only be described as perfection. 

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  • Christmas Markets: In the week running up to Christmas Salzburg buzzes with Christmas energy, every inch of every street and building is decorated shamelessly and beautifully. There are four large Christmas Markets located around the city, however the largest is the Advent Market St. Leonhard, all packed full of food, mulled wine and gifts. A must visit in salzburg.

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  • The Sound of Music Tour: If like me, you are a big fan of the famous film ‘The Sound of Music’ than it will have played a large part in your decision to visit Salzburg, as this is where the film was set and filmed. Several Tours run daily visiting all the different sites and filming locations. It is a very enjoyable way to spend your day, especially if it is sunny.

    Famous conservatory from scene '16 going on 17'
    Famous conservatory from scene ’16 going on 17′

Where to stay:

Although there are many fine hotels in Salzburg, I have to make mention of one special one called ‘Hotel Goldgasse’.

It perfectly located in the small ancient streets seconds from the largest Christmas market and main landmarks.

It is run by two friends who have perfected customer service, the rooms are luxurious and unique, this is one of the best boutique hotels I have stayed in. I would highly recommend it.  

Paris – The Best Macarons in the world!

Paris 1

Paris is a fabulous city, filled with culture, history, amazing food and incomparable shopping. I will take you through a few places you really must visit and are worth seeing.

The Sights

The Eiffel Tower, Arc De Triomphe, the Louvre! Some of the cities most famous attractions and all worth visiting, however a word of warning, the Eiffel Tower is always constantly busy, you stand no chance of traveling up it without pre-booked tickets. I would recommend booking tickets to coincide with the sunset its one of the most beautiful views in the world.

Paris is a rare city in that it is just small enough to make all the sites walking distances apart. If you are able, this is the best way to see Paris, you can fall across beautiful small cafes and stalls and really emerse yourself in the culture. However the walks can be long and they are not for the faint hearted, so an alternative are the Tour Buses, they are just like the London open air buses and are a great way to travel around the city.

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The Food

There are two many great restaurants in Paris to mention, it is really worth experiencing as many as possible in your time there. I will recommend you my personal favourite, Le Cinq is located in the Four Seasons Hotel, and is in my opinion one of Paris’ best restaurants. Its Michelin starred and every dish you are served here is like a work of art. As you can see in the image above the atmosphere is decedent and inviting. Although this restaurant is very expensive, its well worth it, but be sure to book far in advance!

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The Shopping

Paris is the birth place of many of the worlds biggest fashion houses and their stores are out of this world, there are two you must visit. Louis Vuitton has its flagship store in Paris and it is a sigh to behold, over four floors or fabulous shopping. You are more than welcome to go inside for a little look, but be warned there are always long queues at the door.

Christian Louboutin has their original shop in Paris and its lovely to go have a look at, also for any men out there who are interesting in purchasing these iconic red soles, a mens shop has been opened right next door. However I warn you they are not as welcoming to people entering the stores if they have no intention to buy, so if you are just looking my advice is to keep outside the window, it is horrible receiving the glare from the store employees.

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The Macarons 

France is where these fabulous delicatessens were created and I must admit to having a soft spot for them. If you are in Paris there is only one place worth going to get them from. Laduree is a famous macaroon store and they are honestly the best in the world. Every store has Queues out of the door, however they are well worth the wait, they are expensive at just over £1.20 per macaron, however I promise you will not have tasted anything else like these before. They are a staple of Paris and it would be sinful to go without!