It’s difficult to imagine what the Salzburg-born composer would make of this phenomenon. They sound slightly crude, but, your friends back home will love you if you bring back a box of these traditional Austrian sweets. Wrapped up in foil featuring the famous composer’s face — red for milk chocolate, blue for dark — these smooth chocolate spheres containing a marzipan center are the quintessential Austrian treat. Invented by the chocolatier Fürst in the 19th century, you’ll find them in almost every good supermarket around Salzburg and in the Café Konditorei Fürst, located on Mirabellplatz.
Locals of Salzburg are likely to find the cheesy musical hit one of their least favourite things – as it is one of the tediously touristy clichés that is associated with the city. However, if a fan of the film, you won’t be disappointed by the ubiquitous Von Trapp merchandise that is on offer. From postcards and fridge magnets to puppets of Maria and her singing troupe, Salzburg is not short of souvenirs in this department.
This option isn’t the most transportable, however, if determined enough, it is well worth the hassle. If you’re worried about it turning your suitcase into a chocolatey mess, however, you can always get a picture of it on a tea towel to make you nostalgic over the rich Austrian goodness. The Sacher Hotel, where it is a status symbol, sells a variety of merchandise related to the torte.
Austria has a long tradition of creating home-made liqueurs, using fruit from local farms. A popular present to pick up at Christmas markets as a comforting winter warmer, bottles of homemade Schnapps of nearly every flavour can be found in gift shops in Salzburg. Sporer, located on Michael-Walz-Gasse, has been a manufacturer of spirits and liqueurs since 1903 and the family business still exists today; supplying the city with an amazing range of boozy treats, including Cacao Nut Liqueur, Beer Punch, and Apricot Shnapps.
The enchanting snow globe, now a staple in souvenir stores worldwide, was created in Austria by surgical instrument mechanic Mr Perzy I in 1900. He came up with the idea when attempting to improve the brightness of the newly invented electric lamp. There are a few Salzburg landmarks to choose as the setting inside your globe; the Cathedral, Mirabell Palace or the Fortress. The Mozarthaus shop on Makartplatz has one of the largest collections in the city.
During the colder months, Salzburg transforms into a winter wonderland, with Christmas markets around the city bringing much-needed seasonal cheer. Among the various handcrafted delights that you will find at the stalls, some of the most unique items you can pick up are the tree hangings – miniature Mozarts or tracht-clad animals, all delicately and lovingly handcrafted or intricately painted glass baubles.
Poor Mozart has had his famous face etched on almost every inanimate object imaginable – chocolate balls, fridge magnets, and now rubber ducks, complete with a rubber violin and ready to perform Sonata in Quack Major. Many visit the city to discover more about the coveted composer’s life and may want to take home a little emblem; this is one of the stranger items of Mozart memorabilia, but also one of the most popular.
You will find a variety of animals around Salzburg sporting the traditional attire but the bear is probably the most popular. These outfits, known as Tracht, comprising leather breeches for men and frilly corset dresses for the women, are originally from the Alpine regions of Austria. If you want to go full-throttle Austrian, then pick up an outfit for yourself — they are available in both children and adult sizes.
Like Christmas time, the period surrounding Easter and spring sees much celebration around Austria. The Open Air Museum annually hosts a large market from April 8th, with stalls selling a range of seasonal fodder and souvenirs. As well as homemade bread, cheese, honey, and candles, you will find that one of the most ubiquitous items are beautifully hand-painted eggs. Try your hand at creating one yourself at the decorating stall – an activity particularly favoured by young ones.
If unsatisfied with the aforementioned cuddly toy wearing the traditional Austrian attire, and you wish to go the whole-hog and try it for yourself then there are many shops where you can purchase fancy dress Tracht. The women’s version, a decorative, overtly feminine dress, sported by Maria Von Trapp in The Sound Of Music, is a status symbol of old-school Austria. Made up of a fitted bodice sewn onto a long, flowing skirt, and embellished with lace and frills, it is an incredibly old-fashioned and antiquated piece of attire. It was originally worn by women farm workers during the 19th century in the Alps and was later adopted by women of the upper classes, settling as a high-fashion must-have. The male version, Lederhosen is generally now synonymous with bearded men drinking from large tankards of beer; this traditional attire was originally sported by peasants during the 19th century and intended to be worn by those working in the fields embarking on hard manual labour.