My dear travellers, how are you today? I sincerely hope that you are doing great and you are safe and healthy according to this situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Have you ever thought that traveling is a form of non-formal education? Did you notice that you learned something new after every trip? Every visit to a museum or some other sights helps us to connect with other cultures. Today I have decided to write a new post in which I will try to compare three different European capitals of culture that are completely different and which I consider to be real gems in Europe. When you mention Austria, Latvia and Germany, what do you think do people think at first about these three countries having something in common?

Livonia, the original name of one of the areas of present-day Latvia, was influenced by the German Livonian Sword Brotherhood (Schwertbrüder) from the 13th century until the 16th century when the Livonia Institute was abolished by local aristocrats. After that period, Latvia had a tumultuous history and until its final independence in 1991 was influenced by many European emperors.

Getreidegasse Street makes the heart of Salzburg’s Old Town so special and recognizable by its large metal sign shop …

On the other hand, we have two neighbors, Germany and Austria, who share a common language. It is more difficult for foreigners to recognise different pronunciation and dialects, which may be why Austrians and Germans sound exactly the same and foreigners are often confused. Neither Germans nor Austrians like to talk about it. When it comes to the most common stereotypes, many people think that what is true of Germans is that the same applies automatically to Austrians. However, this is not exactly the case and you will often hear Austrians talk about what Germans are like in the same way we do with our neighbors in the region. You never have to say which one is better in sports or which one has a better sense of humor, it is better for you to skip this topic…

In any case, these are all general impressions, believe me you will only get the right picture if you have the opportunity to meet the Germans and Austrians, especially if you have the opportunity to work with them or otherwise spend more time in their countries. Today I will try to bring you closer to their cultures and ways of life – lifestyle.

A building in the heart of Salzburg where the musical prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA

Salzburg or Solnograd as even older people in Europe call it the fourth largest city in Austria. It is a city that proudly boasts the most famous musical genius at every turn, a composer who has left behind a great artistic heritage – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Mozart Café, Mozart Hotel, Mozart Bakery, Mozartkugel, Mozart Ice Cream… Everything you can imagine in Salzburg in its name can proudly carry the Mozart attribute, but you must have a special license for this legal work, because Mozart is a trademark today. How did this town on the Salzach River get its name?

In the immediate area of Salzburg are the famous salt mines, which were exploited until 1989, when the mines were completely closed. Today they are the biggest tourist attractions of the city. The German word “salz” means salt, which is why the name of the city literally means “castle or fortress of salt.”

When I received an invitation from the Salzburg Tourism Board to visit their city and to find out more about their history and way of life, there is little to say that I was thrilled. I had the opportunity to get to know the city in a completely different way. I was able to visit the family candy factory where Mozartkugel are made according to the original recipe, I met craftsmen who still today make unusual products and souvenirs that this city is known for.

Of course I visited various museums, outdoor monuments and the most famous lookout point in the city. Also interesting was a visit to the tomb of Marianne Anna “Nannerl” Mozart, the birth sister of the composer Mozart who assisted her brother and performed with him. She had an unusually turbulent and sad life and because of her life story I decided to single out and visit her grave in Salzburg.

Salzburg is a small town with an interesting history where you will always have plenty to see and explore. In my blog posts I shared with you in 2018 on the blog, I did my best to share with you some of my stories about this lovely city in Austria.

Posts which I wrote about Salzburg:

  1. Salzburg: The eternal classic in the heart of Austria
  2. I love Salzburg, because…
  3. Salzburg: Fashionable Fairy Tale Come True (fashion outfit post)

I will take this opportunity to quote myself as I still thank the same and stand behind this statement of mine:

“Salzburg is perhaps a small town, but believe me nothing is behind the bigger capitals in Europe. In the main street you will find all the most famous world fashion brands. Nice restaurant, wonderful view it will be enough to enjoy in the beauties of the city like Salzburg. You can buy one pack of original Mozart chocolates and you will be very happy, it’s much better than buying of expensive shoes but you will feel much better! I will write you in the next post about famous Austrian Folkwear, I’m sure you will love it! ”

RIGA, LATVIA

Riga is a city that I have always wanted to visit but never had enough funding for that trip and after I started working I did not have the free time to visit the capital of Latvia, which is considered to be the heart of the Baltic. When we say the Baltic, we immediately think of the cold, but I always think of three fairytale countries: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

My first visit to the Baltic was in 2018 when I visited their “brother” city of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, as part of a project with the Helsinki City Tourism Board and the Finnish Tourism Board. Even then, I promised myself that I would visit other Baltic capitals, today I can say that I partially fulfilled that promise because I visited Riga, but I have not reached Vilnius yet.

I am sure that I will succeed if God gives health to what our people say and that Mr.M will soon embark on a journey to Lithuania and complete my Baltic adventure.

The invitation to visit the capital of Latvia came during my trip to Azerbaijan where one day I received an email from my PR agency do I want to visit Riga? The schedule was very tight since I was visiting Santa Claus at the North Pole, and at that moment I was in Azerbaijan, we did not know at all how to carry out the possibility that at that time Marko would clone and manage to visit the jewel of the Baltic – Riga.

I managed to somehow reschedule the travel dates and made myself almost 4 days of “space” and together with my photographer who was crazy about the sound of the engine of the plane and my mom who joined us decided to take a break and learn something new about this part of Europe.

airBaltic was wonderful so we all had the opportunity to feel the comfort of traveling in Business class with them on the Berlin – Riga route and this time I thank them for the kindly invitation and for being wonderful hosts and really doing our best to experience Riga as their second home. Mom and I were fascinated by the shops and the stunning number of outlets located in the heart of the city, while the photographer was fascinated by the architecture.

Riga is an ideal city for rest, leisure and adventure. You want to try their cuisine, believe me you will have a lot of restaurants in the Old Town, which makes the city centre warm & rich with many restaurants of Latvian and international cuisines so that all gourmets lovers can enjoy.

Riga is a European city of culture and has numerous museums and monuments. In addition, the city always strives to preserve its culture and organizes numerous cultural and artistic events every year.

The old part of Riga (Vecrīga) makes only the heart of the capital, located on the right bank of the Daugava River. In this part of the city there are many sights, of which the most famous is the Church of St. Peter, the saint who is also the patron saint of Riga. The Old Town is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in Europe as it has the largest number of secessionist (jugendstyle) buildings in all of Europe.

Posts I wrote about Riga:

  1. Letters from Latvia: Explore Riga with airBaltic!
  2. Letters from Latvia: One Artistic Day in Riga

Riga is truly an exceptional city to remember, I’m sure this city left no one indifferent. Honestly, I would love to return there soon, especially for the sights I didn’t get to see. I hope to have some new stories for you about this interesting city soon.

DRESDEN, GERMANY

In Germany, in the heart of Saxony, somewhere on the bank of the river Elbe is Dresden. An unusual city with rich Baroque architecture that managed to rise from the ashes after World War II. Dresden was a city that was razed to the ground during World War II. After the end of the war, the city belonged to East Germany and was not heavily invested. This was the case until the 1980s when the city began to rebuild.

If you decide to visit Dresden, trust me you will not go wrong because you will be able to enjoy the beauty of royal treasures left in museums. Unfortunately, much of the jewelry from the Green Vault Museum was stolen in the middle of last year.

It was my last time in March 2018 and I was able to visit the Green Treasury Museum which houses royal priceless jewelry. Today, some of the treasures are in other museums in Dresden and I believe that this beauty would be felt by all of us at least once in our lives.

Of course, in addition to outdoor jewelry, you can see the largest crown in the world… I think this is also one of the most visited places in Germany and anyone visiting Germany will go to Dresden to see this attraction.

For many tourists, Dresden is marked out as a special shopping destination. Shopping is special in Dresden because right in the center there are interesting sights and cultural monuments in the middle of the shops of famous international brands.

The most famous Baroque style building in Germany is located in the heart of Dresden. The Zwinger Palace was built at the behest of Saxon Prince Augustus II of Jakob in the late 16th century and was intended to commemorate the ceremony and ceremony. I think you should visit the Zwinger Palace, even if you have a couple of hours to visit Dresden, trust me you will remember, and you will have the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Crown.

Posts I shared with you about Dresden:

  1. Dresden: The City of Kings
  2. Fall on the Crown of Dresden

How did you like this second post about interesting destinations that I visited during 2018 and 2019? This is just the beginning of this special series of posts where I will do my best to briefly write down some of my basic observations that I missed sharing with you while writing posts, and of course you will have the opportunity to remind yourself of some of my previous posts and to “renew” knowledge all together.

Have you ever had the opportunity to visit some of these cultural capitals in Europe so far? I would love to hear some of your experiences and would be glad to read your impressions in the comments.

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.

Best,
Mr.M

This post is not sponsored.

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Martin
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Martin

I love Salzburg so much! It is very interesting city with elegant note. Your photos are incredible. Have you ever been in Innsbruck? It’s very interesting and beautiful city which you should visit this year after COVID-19 situation.

Elisabet R.
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Elisabet R.

Salzburg will be always in my heart! Salzburg is maybe small city, but it really has a big heart! I was born there, but financial situation moved me to Sweden. Can’t wait to back home! ❤️

Angela
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Angela

I vote for Riga, there are few reasons why you should love Riga, but for me it always will be the city which I visited with my husband for our honeymoon.

Franzi
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Franzi

Dresden ist meine Lieblingsstadt! Ich wurde hier geboren und lebe hier und werde hier bleiben. Vielen Dank für diese wunderbaren Worte für meine Stadt!

Carter
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Carter

Dear Marko, I hope that you are safe and healthy! Your post are always interesting and educational. Why? Every time I learn something new, now I found out how Salzburg got its name, I really didn’t know that. Riga looks really interesting, so I would like to visit Latvia till the end of this year or next year because right now we need to stay home if we want to travel soon!