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Mönchsberg: Salzburg’s old town city mountain with beautiful views

The Mönchsberg is the purest playground because it has modest hills for tobogganing in the winter, several secret routes in the summer, and many daring lookouts. You may walk through a sea of fiery, vibrant leaves in autumn, and in springtime, the fragile leaves of beech, sycamore, linden, and oak trees create a fresh green glow over the entire Mönchsberg.

There are numerous ways to reach the Mönchsberg. One path begins at Imbergstraße level on the right bank of the Salzach. In the distance, the Salzburg Cathedral, Hohensalzburg Fortress, and Salzburg’s colorful town homes form a famous silhouette. You should almost schedule your Mönchsberg as early as possible so that you may hear the bells at precisely noon while standing on one of the lookout spots.

The cathedral bells’ history is quite exciting, and the sound they make is among the most beautiful in all of Austria. It is time to take a deep breath and climb the Clemens-Holzmeister-considerable Stiege’s number of steps; to the left of it is the Toscaninihof. This is exhausting for a short while, but I soon arrive in the Mönchsberg region. My first break allows me to see the ancient town from the height of a church tower.

The emerald domes of the cathedral, St. Peter’s Church, the slender Gothic tower of the Franciscan Church, and the college church, which seems like it belongs in a Baroque children’s book, are there in the smallest of spaces, tucked away in large squares and tight streets. A gorgeous, architectural mix of periods that nevertheless works perfectly as a whole. Every time I see it, my heart somehow swells.

Peace between city and nature walks

Only a few locals, occasionally residents, or a small number of tourists use this walk, thus I spend the majority of my time here almost alone. To reach to the top, the majority of them choose the Mönchsberg elevator. From this point on, the silent phase begins. Hands are clasped behind as you take each step on the incline plain while passing homes hidden behind walls or wooden fences, bushes, and trees. It is very quiet and beautiful within the tight streets. 

When I precisely reach the point where the fortress and the Mönchsberg meet, the first step is finished. The trail leads to the stronghold on the left and the lengthy Mönchsberg ridge on the right. Where the pathways converge, there is already greater activity; particularly in the summer, a large number of travelers from near and far cheerfully occupy the stronghold. I suggest being a little daring and veering off the beaten route. But take care. There are dangerous cliffs on the Mönchsberg that aren’t usually gated off.

One of my favorite loop diverges from the main path and climbs upward. I continue walking along the mountain’s edge from there, giving myself repeated views down to the miniature city. Birdsong combines with the ringing of bells, the honking of cars, or the screaming sirens of rescue and police in this area, where the urban and natural worlds seamlessly overlap. I normally take a different route home, which brings me back to the Stiege and Toscaninihof. The good thing about Mönchsberg is that I never get bored with it. But with magical favorite places, that’s undoubtedly the case. 

Another of my favorite routs is the one starting at Müllner Hauptstraße going right up to the Mönchsberg. I prefer that loop because I recently started a bike addiction. And it is lovely especially during summer time cycling up the Mönchsberg. Additionally, my go to is as the sun sets because you get incredible views and once you reach at M32 restaurant you have very nice views of the old city.

Moreover, since sunset, almost everything is in the shade except for the beautiful fortress, which gets most of the sun’s rays until the end. However make sure to use bright lights if you are using your bike to get up, because there are also cars and taxis passing by and driving up to the Schloss Mönchstein. 

In the end I would like to introduce some interesting facts about Mönchsberg: 

350 years ago, more than 200 people died in a rock fall. That is why today many “mountain cleaners” are always at the Mönchsberg and look at the rock of the cliffs.

Beer has been brewed at the foot of the Mönchsberg in the Augustiner Bräu since 1621. Today, the Bräustübl is the largest beer restaurant in Austria.

The Mönchsberg elevator is the most convenient way to stand in the middle of the mountain in just a few minutes. The first lift was on the outside of the rock face, while the current one goes through the inside of the mountain.

Culture at the Mönchsberg – Museum of Modern Art

Two locations – one on the Mönchsberg, one in the Rupertinum. Here there are exhibitions on classical modernism.

M32 offers a beautiful large terrace, phenomenal views and fine cuisine. The Mönchstein Castle offers sophisticated dishes and rooms that are very exclusive. It is awarded with one Michelin star and four toques.

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