Last year we spent the long Thanksgiving weekend in Innsbruck, and fell in love with Tirol. This year we chose the Salzkammergut for our getaway, hoping to be equally as enchanted by the Bavarian-style villages and their Advent markets. (Spoiler: we were enchanted!)

At the last minute we decided to have a family Thanksgiving on the night before, which worked beautifully because it meant we had leftovers to enjoy in Salzburg!  After settling Clayton Theodore on Thursday at the rental apartment, we set out for the markets. The forecast snow had not quite arrived and the skies were gray and gloomy, but the hot chocolates from the first market perked our spirits.

“Fleischkrapfen” (literal translation, Meat Doughnut) can understandably seem unappealing. This Salzburger specialty is more related to a handpie or similar, though, and is altogether delicious.

An entrance to Mirabell Gardens, shimmering somehow in spite of the gray skies.

Hohensalzburg. Of course.

Our favorite market of those within Salzburg’s AltStadt was the enchanting SternAdvent at the Stern Brau. Everything from the setting to the decorations to the wares made it feel like Christmas.


Remember the “Tobi Reiser Quintet” from the Sound of Music?  Now it’s the Tobi Reiser Ensemble performing classic Austrian folk music.

Soon enough the snow began to fall, and Salzburg began to twinkle.




On our final morning we headed to Oberndorf bei Salzburg, the village where “Silent Night” was sung for the first time on Christmas Eve, 1818. All was certainly bright, but all was not entirely calm. A tour bus had disgorged moments before we arrived, and rather quickly a queue formed to visit the tiny chapel.

Schloss Hellbrunn, the former villa of the Archbishop of Salzburg was hosting its Adventmarket, and was our final stop before heading home.  By this time light snow had begun to fall.

Lush. Romantic. Enchanting. Take your pick.  Holiday music was playing along the palace grounds and Clayton Theodore decided to sing along, to the amusement of those around us. Funny puppy, he is.


On the palace grounds resides the gazebo from The Sound of Music.  It was moved here for protection, perhaps from overzealous fans of the movie? Regardless, the setting is perfect a photo.

This was not our first visit to all things Sound of Music. We took a family spring break holiday to Bavaria and Salzburg in 2009.
The Salzburg markets, especially the market at Schloss Hellbrunn, were a seasonally perfect opener for the Wolfgangseer Adventmarkt…