My mum is a huge fan of The Sound Of Music so I grew up watching the film and memorising the songs. When I booked a last minute trip to Salzburg, visiting filming locations from The Sound Of Music was at the top of my list of things to do.
Before flying to Salzburg I booked a place on the Gray Line Sound of Music Tour. There are multiple tour operators who seem to run similar itineraries but the Gray Line tour is the original and their bus company (Albus) was involved in the making of the movie back in 1964.
The starting point of the tour is Mirabell Gardens, shown in the scene where Maria and the children sing ‘Do-Re-Mi’. You don’t get to spend any time in the gardens as part of the tour, but the tour bus departs and returns just outside the gardens, so I came back here after the tour to explore at my own leisure.
Once everyone had boarded the bus we began with a driving tour around Salzburg where our guide pointed out locations that were used in the film, including Nonnberg Abbey and Mozart Bridge. Like with Mirabell Gardens, the bus doesn’t stop at these places. The tour focuses on taking you to locations outside the city of Salzburg which are more difficult to get to on your own. Most of the locations within Salzburg are easily accessible so you’re able to see them in your own time.
Our first stop was Hellbrunn Palace. The famous Gazebo where Rolf and Liesl sang “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” and Maria and the Baron sang “Something Good” is now situated within the gardens of the palace. You also see Hellbrunn Alley, which is Maria danced on her way to meeting the Von Trapps for the first time. The building used for the front facade of the Von Trapp house is a private residence so you aren’t able to get up close to it.
Once everyone had taken their photos we were back on the bus and off to Leopoldskron Palace, which was used for the rear facade of the Von Trapp house. It’s a beautiful spot, with the lake and mountains in the background.
The next stop was probably my favourite of the whole tour, even though its only seen for the briefest of moments in the movie. The village of St. Gilgen was featured in the opening sequence of the film and it’s absolutely breathtaking.
Our final stop on the tour before heading back to Salzburg was the town of Mondsee. Here you will find the church were Maria and the captain get married in the film. This was a much longer stop than the previous ones, with plenty of time to enter the church, take photos and get a bite to eat (I indulged in a traditional apple strudel).
I had a great time on this tour! Our guide was very knowledgable about the film, happy to help out people taking photos at each stop and even encouraged everyone on the bus to get involved in a sing-a-long. If you’re a fan of the movie, or even if you just want to see some beautiful Austrian scenery, I recommend doing this tour at the beginning of your trip to Salzburg. It’s great to help you get your bearings on the city and will leave you time to go and explore any locations that were only seen briefly from the bus.