Sound of Music Tour, Salzburg

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Sound of Music Tour, Salzburg

Guided Tour

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Review of "Sound of Music Tour, Salzburg"

published 16/07/2017 | fizzytom
Member since : 21/07/2003
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About me :
Just had our 2 year anniversary of coming to Slovenia. How time flies!
Super
Pro Convenient, fascinating, fun
Cons Quite expensive
exceptional
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Is it worth visiting?
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"Not the Von Tourist Trapp you might expect"

View of the Wolfgangsee at a quick photostop

View of the Wolfgangsee at a quick photostop

Salzburg in June is hot and crowded and with this in mind, my ageing mother was more than happy to take up my suggestion of a bus tour. Mother agreed quite happily to go on the Sound of Music tour: it wasn't until a quarter of an hour into the tour that she admitted she didn't remember much from the film and had always preferred South Pacific in any case. This was water off a duck's back to me: The Sound of Music is absolutely one of my favourite movies and I was really keen to visit some of the locations that feature in the film that I hadn't managed to get to on a previous visit to Salzburg.

Let's Start at the Very Beginning

The Sound of Music Tour can be booked from the Salzburg Panoramic Tours's kiosk at the Mirabellplatz, or from the tourist information centre on the Mozartplatz. We reserved our tickets about ninety minutes before it was due to leave and my advice is to book as early as possible to avoid disappointment as there are only two tours a day with this particular company (however, there are other tour companies offering Sound of Music tours and lots of different options such as cycling tours, whole day tours with a lunch and so on).

All the company's tours leave from just across the road from the Mirabell Platz. You can go directly to the departure point, or get a pick up from your hotel and have a shuttle bus drop you at the departure point, or you can have a shuttle bus pick you up from the Mozartplatz.

Seats aren't allocated but you do stick to them once the tour gets underway and the coach is very long (more like an airplane than a bus) so if you want to get a seat close to the doors, get there early, preferably under your own steam as the shuttle was late picking us up from the Mozartplatz.

There are two toilet stop opportunities on the course of the tour and the stop at the Mondsee, which is the longest of all the stops, allows enough time to stop for a drink or an ice cream overlooking the lake. A couple of stops in, the driver and guide also sell drinks from the bus. Our bus was air-conditioned and very comfortable.

The Itinerary

This tour takes you to the key outside locations that were used in the filming of The Sound of Music in 1965. Our guide explained where we would be going, how the various locations featured in the movie and had plenty of stories about the making of the movie, including some that even I, an aficionado hadn't heard before.

The first stop is Schloss Leopoldskron, a rococo palace just outside the city. Only the back of the palace was used for filming - this is the terrace overlooking the lake where the children fall out of the rowing boat, and Captain Von Trapp and Maria argue about the children's play clothes. It had been intended to film the ball scene at this palace but when the owners found out how many cameras and lights and technicians would have to be installed in the ballroom before any of the cast and the many extras were there, it was decided to be too much of a risk and a replica was made for filming in the studios in Los Angeles.

Another anomaly is that the gazebo where Liesel, the oldest of the Von Trapp children secretly meets her sweetheart Rolf which was here when the movie was filmed, has now been moved to the location of the next stop Heilbrunn Palace. According to our guide, middle-aged delinquents had been turning up half-cut and trying to re-enact the scene where Liesel jumps from seat to seat, causing not only injury to the participants but also much inconvenience to the new owners of the palace, an American private university. So, if you do want to try to replicate the famous scene, you need to wait until you get to Helibrunn.

Heilbrunn is also the location of the tree lined avenue that serves as the driveway to Captain Von Trapp's mansion when, singing "I Have Confidence", Maria arrives to take up her post as governess to the Von Trapp children.

The next location was the Nonnberg Abbey, to where Maria returns having decided she can no longer work for the Captain. The real life Maria was actually a postulant at Nonnberg. As Nonnberg is a working abbey, we weren't able to go in.

Next, we headed into the mountains, stopping first for a photo op at the Wolfgangsee and finally at the Mondsee. My only disappointment was that we didn't get to do a 'meadow stop' where we could belt out "The Hills Are Alive" as Julie Andrews does as the movie opens. The Mondsee Abbey, the location for the filming of the magnificent wedding scene, is situated at one end of the lake, about a ten-minute walk from the coach stop. You can walk to the Abbey or take the land train there, or you can just stroll over to the lake and enjoy the view and some refreshment.

The final stop comes at the end of the tour as the coach stops in front of the entrance to the Mirabell Palace Gardens. On the day we took the tour it was raining at this point so our guide just led us into the gardens, reminded us that this is place where Maria and the children sing "Do-Re-Mi" and dance around the flowerbeds, fountains and statues.

The Commentary

Our guide was Erich, the driver Ferdy. Both were resplendent in lederhosen and both were utterly charming. Erich was extremely knowledgeable (and should be given that this tour takes place every day of the year, even Christmas Day!), witty and a real character (this was not to everyone's taste, however: I did overhear an American tourist behind us telling his wife that he was "beginning to find the guide tediously effete"). What I would say about Erich was that he achieved the perfect balance between being informative and a little irreverent about the movie. At the end of the tour, Erich gives each passenger a small gift (and it is a really small gift) and he made quite a thing of giving them out with exaggerated largesse.

After the first couple of stops, Erich played a CD of songs from the show as we travelled to the next location and encouraged us to sing along if we wished. Most of us did which helped create a fun and friendly atmosphere.

One thing I like about this tour was that there was no hard sell: apart from the drinks, nothing was offered for sale - I had imagined that we'd be offered CDs or DVDs or some other kind of movie-related merchandise.

It's expensive; is it worth it?

Tickets for this tour cost €42 which is not cheap but a) this is Salzburg and very little here can be described as cheap and b) the tour lasts 4 hours and takes you to locations it would be difficult to get round without transport if you hadn't a car available.

Salzburg Panoramic Tours offers a selection of full-day, half-day and evening tours including the Lakes and Mountains Tour, the Eagle's Nest Tour (into the Alps to Hitler's mountain retreat), and the Salt Mine tour as well as excursions to Hallstatt (one of my favourite places in Austria) and numerous walking tours in the city itself. It's possible to save some money when buying more than one tour.

From a personal point of view, dragging an elderly lady who has never been hugely into walking anyway around the city, it was worth the cost for the convenience and comfort.

If you aren't very much into the film then this probably isn't the tour for you but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend considering Salzburg Panoramic Tours in general based on the experience we had with The Sound of Music Tour.


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Comments on this review

  • danielclark691 published 17/10/2017
    very well covered
  • justarube published 19/07/2017
    Great
  • mummytobe78 published 17/07/2017
    Excellent
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Product Information : Sound of Music Tour, Salzburg

Manufacturer's product description

Guided Tour

Product Details

City: Salzburg

Type: Guided Tour

Country: Austria

Continent: Europe

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Listed on Ciao since: 07/05/2006