An Amazing Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg, Austria
I grew up watching the Von Trapp family singing wonderful tunes so it became a goal of mine to take the Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg, Austria. I know Austria has a lot more to offer than just the tour around the place where the movie was shot but the great landscapes of Salzburg intrigued me more than anything. Of course, I didn’t want to travel all alone so I asked a few of my friends who I thought were also fond of the movie and was lucky enough to get two of them on board. I was happy and excited to finally see the setting of the famous classic, Sound of Music!
First order of business is to secure the correct Schengen visa. Well, since I don’t travel that much, I wasn’t aware that there were different kinds of Schengen visa so we had to inquire through this great travel site and their staff helped us along the way. If you are wondering how we secured approved Schengen visas, here are what you need to have:
- A filled out Schengen visa application form
- Valid passport and copies of the front and back pages
- A couple of recent passport photos with white background
- Travel Insurance – It is best to get it from Visitor’s Coverage, a more affordable and reliable insurance company.
- Proof of Travel – flight booking, hotel booking, and travel itinerary. You may get a Flight Booking, Hotel Booking, and Travel Itinerary just to get a Schengen Visa without having to pay for the ticket, reservation, or tour packages.
- Personal Coverage Letter
- No Objection Letter – This may come in handy when applying for a Schengen Visa.
- Bank documents
Here’s what excited us – we found out that an approved Schengen visa will allow us to enter more than 20 different countries that are part of the Schengen area. So what we planned as just a long weekend in Salzburg ended up as a weeklong trip in Austria and Germany. By the way, if you plan to travel to more than one Schengen area, make sure you know where to apply for a Schengen visa. I will write about our other adventures but for this article, I just want to focus on the Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg.
An Amazing Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg, Austria – The Group Tour
The hills are truly alive in Salzburg. Wow, the view of the mountains and meadows are fantastic. The feeling is quite surreal. I felt like I was in a postcard. I couldn’t wait to start the Sound of Music Tour.
The Sound of Music Tour is exclusively organized by Panorama Tours. This tour company hold the rights to bring tourists to and fro the locations where the movie was shot. Since we were at Salzburg for this tour, we decided to stay in a hotel near the office of Panorama Tours. We stayed at Hotel Am Mirabellplatz. It is a 4-star hotel built in a 17th century structure. It is not a grand hotel but the location is convenient – being close to public transportation, other landmarks, and Panaroma Tours.
The following day, we had a breakfast early and walked our way to the Panorama Tour Bus Terminal. There we were greeted by our friendly guide, Natalia (I hope I got her name right). You will not miss the bus because it had a huge Sound of Music decal on the sides of the bus. At exactly 9:15am, the tour official began.
The tour guide started to talk about the history of Salzburg. She told us that Salzburg was once a part of the Roman Empire and then became a German territory. She also informed us that Salzburg is the birthplace of the famous composer, Mozart. Of course we didn’t read about that information so my friends and I agreed to include the Mozart’s museum to our itinerary in Salzburg. Finally, the guide pointed us the enormous Hohensalzburg Castle.
The Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg officially commenced when we got to the famous Mirabell Gardens. This is the site where the Von Trapp children sang Do-Re-Mi with Froilan Maria.
We then proceeded to Leopoldskron Palace where the kids road a dingy with Maria. Here we took a quick stop for some photos and then the guide pointed us the garden of Captain Von Trapp. When I walked to get a better view of the palace, I was astounded by its size and grandeur. It is indeed the residence of Captain Von Trapp – at least in the movie. Well, the guide told us that this palace stood as the residence of Von Trapp in the movie but only at its exterior part. The inside part of the house was shot in another location.
We got back in the bus and there the guide asked us if any of us wondered why we didn’t see the famous gazebo outside the Leopoldskron Palace. She added that the gazebo was transferred to a safer location to protect it from vandals. As if on cue, someone starting singing “I Am Sixteen.” Most of the passengers on the bus, yes including myself, sang in chorus and this made the guide cheer out loud.
We finally arrived at Hellbrunn Palace where the famous gazebo is safely located. I thought it was a large gazebo but was surprised by how small it appeared. I wondered how Liesl and her boyfriend danced inside the gazebo if it was this small. Maybe the guide saw the puzzled look on our faces so she went on to explain that this gazebo was used in the movie but the interiors was shot in a studio in Hollywood. So that explains it!
After a few snapshots, the guide instructed us to go back to the bus. Our next stop is the Nonnberg Abbey, the convent where Maria stayed before she moved in with the Von Trapps. Unfortunately, the convent doesn’t allow any outside visitors so we only walk up to the front gate to see the façade of the Gothic Church. The guide told us that this is where the real Maria and Captain got married but in the movie it was shot in another church, which will be the last stop of the tour.
The fifth stop of the tour is at St Gilgen. This is the Lake District where the family’s picnic was shot. This is such a great location because of the nice view of Lake Wolfgang and St. Gilgen. You must see it for yourself!
The last stop of the tour is the Mondsee Chapel, where the wedding rites of Maria and Captain was shot. The reason why the director chose this church instead of the original church where the real characters married is he wanted to end the film in a much grander location and this chapel is just the right setting.
Amazing Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg, Austria
The entire bus tour took about 4 hours but it actually felt short because the guide entertained her guests well. The locations are such a beaut and every euro we spent for this tour was worth it. This is one of my favourite destinations of all time! I will never forget my amazing Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg.