5 Fingers Viewing Platform: All you need to know.
Among the things to do in Obertraun, one of the best choices is the day trip to the 5 Fingers Viewing Platform in Dachstein Mountains. Let me say that while visiting the Hallstatt Lake (Hallstätter See) area, it is one of those experiences that everyone should consider adding to their travel experience.
In this post I will give you information and insider tips about the 5 Fingers Viewing Platform, like where it is located, how to get there and how much the cable car costs, when is the best time of the year to visit, where to eat and so forth.
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What is the 5 Fingers Viewing Platform in Obertraun?
5 Fingers is a “free” viewing platform in the Dachstein Mountains in Austria. It is built over a precipice of about 400 m (1,300 ft.) depth and it is named “5 Fingers” because of its hand-like shaped metal structure. Each finger is approximately 4 m (13 ft.) long.
One of the 5 fingers “floor” is made of glass (it’s not very transparent and there’s no “hanging over the abyss” effect like the one I had at the CN tower in Canada) and on another ”finger” there is a picture frame where you can have your photo taken with the mountains and the Lake Hallstatt in the background.
On the other “finger” there is a binocular to help you see into the distance.
The other two are just for a walk.
When is the best time to visit 5 Fingers Viewing Platform in Obertraun?
The best time to visit the 5 Fingers Viewing Platform is during the end of spring when there’s still some snow on the mountains but the skies are clear and fresh. This creates a shade between the gloomy winter and the freshness of the spring.
At the same time, during this time the pathway which leads to the 5 Fingers is quite clean without snow so you won’t have too much trouble while walking.
Summer days are also good for clear skies when you can see miles away.
But it could happen that both in the summer and the spring, there is no stunning view due to the low clouds. Even though you don’t see that much of the wonderful landscape, the view is still fascinating.
Moreover, sometimes it can be very windy, and in this case it could turn out that you don’t appreciate this visit to the fullest.
The day we went to the 5 Fingers Viewing Platform in Dachstein Mountains, it was a bit windy. Nothing too strong in any case. However, it was a bit annoying, especially the fact that I couldn’t use my drone, which irritated me slightly.
How to get from Obertraun to 5 Fingers Viewing Platform?
The only way to reach the 5 Fingers Viewing Platform is the “Dachstein cableway route.” You need to take two cable cars to reach it: the first one at the Valley Station in Obertraun and the second one at the Middle Station (Section 1). It will finally take you to the Mountain Station Krippenstein (Section 2) where the 5 Fingers are installed.
At the Valley Station in Obertraun there is a huge free parking lot where you can leave your vehicle safely.
The first ride at the Valley Station in Obertraun starts at 8:40 am and the cable car runs continuously every 15 minutes. The cabin of the cable car is very large; it can carry around 25/30 people. . The Cable Car ride from the Valle station to the Mountain station takes about 20 minutes.
Once you reach the mountain station Krippenstein you have to walk uphill for 20 minutes to the 5 fingers.
5 Fingers Viewing Planform in Obertraun: Price.
As I mentioned already in my first paragraph, the access to the 5 Fingers in Austria is totally free, but the run of the cable car from Obertraun valley station to the 5 Fingers doesn’t come cheap. The Dachstein Salzkammergut ticket cost 48.20 per person both ways for the all-inclusive ticket. (Includes section 1 and section 2 and Section 3). And since we had the Salzkammergut card, a small discount was applied.
In retrospect I wouldn’t have bought this ticket because there is no time to see everything that it included. Read on, and I’ll explain what I mean and give you the best advice for what to do.
If you are visiting the 5 Fingers Viewing Platform with your dog, the extra charge is € 8.00.
This is the only downside of the 5 fingers experience, but the money spent is definitely worth it. Especially if you are lucky enough to find an optimal weather condition.
Things to see around 5 Fingers.
In addition to the 5 Fingers experience, at Section 2 you can also visit the small chapel and another viewing platform with 360 panoramic views to the Dachstein in the Salzkammergut. It is called Welterbespirale or World Heritage Spiral.
There are some glaciers along the trail on which you can go up and take some beautiful photos.
I also loved the wooden relax loungers scattered here and there where you can lay for a while and relax immersed in the most unspoiled nature.
Remember that you are in a World Heritage location, so even a little extra walk around to savour the fantastic surroundings is not a bad idea at all.
Tips for visiting the 5 Fingers viewing Platform.
1. I recommend wearing good footwear like hiking boots. Sometimes you can find snow or water puddles along the pathway.
2. Keep a sweater or wind breaker jacket with you. At 2100 m altitude there’s a high chance of low temperatures.
3. Take some water and snacks with you.
4. Don’t buy the all-inclusive ticket because you will never be able to see everything (Section 1, Section 2 and Section 3) in a day. I suggest you get the “Dachstein Salzkammergut Ticket”.
5. If you buy the “Dachstein Salzkammergut Ticket,” in addition to the 5 Fingers Viewing Platform you have to choose between visiting the Ice Cave and the Mammut Cave at the Middle Station (Section 1). I suggest that you choose the first one.
6. Ask for the Salzkammergut card upon arrival to your hotel. It is given to everyone who is staying 3 nights or longer in Salzkammergut.
7. For reasons mentioned in my second paragraph, pay attention to the weather forecast before planning your trip to the 5 Fingers.
8. 5 Fingers Viewing Platform could be closed during the winter due to the bad weather conditions, so always make sure by writing to their official email address before planning your trip.
9. On your way back to the Valle station you can visit the Ice cave and the Mammoth cave at the middle station (Section 1).
10. The cable car runs approximately until 5:00 p.m. Therefore, check the timetable in advance in order to be able to go down.
11. It is better to start your visit to the 5 Fingers in the morning.
12. The 5 Fingers are illuminated until midnight and can be seen from far away even at night. (If you have good eyesight, I would add).
13. Internet works well at the Section 2 area. There is also a good Wi-Fi connection.
Where to eat at 5 Fingers?
There are two food places at the mountain station: Bergrestaurant Krippenstein and The Lodge at Krippenstein. It would have been amazing sitting there and eating looking at the high peaks, but by the time we were there both the restaurants at the Mountain Station were closed. So, we had our lunch at the Schönbergailm Restaurant at the Middle Station. They offer a variety of regional meals and the food is very good. Alessandro loved his apple strudel.
The only thing that seemed strange to me is the fact that they only accepted cash payments. We almost didn’t get to eat!
Where to sleep at 5 Fingers?
The Lodge at Krippenstein is the only one place to sleep at the Mountain Station. We didn’t try it but I’m sure that staying at the lodge is a The Lodge at Krippenstein is the only place to sleep at the Mountain Station. We didn’t try it but I’m sure that staying at the lodge is a great way to complete your 5 Fingers experience in Austria. They even have a panorama suite for four people with a private pine sauna. It sounds amazing
Covid 19 Restriction for 5 Fingers.
At the ticket office in Valley Station you are asked for your Vaccination papers. They will check the date of your vaccination before selling the ticket.
By the time we were there (second week of July) the European Green Pass was not enough.
Once you are given the ticket, you are then let free to go around. Masks are mandatory only in the cable car and the station area.
They were not compulsory even inside the caves at the Middle Station.
Why you should visit 5 Fingers?
5 Fingers Viewing Platform is known as the “World Heritage View Point” and it is said to be the most spectacular viewing platform in Austria. I could not agree more. In fact, 5 Fingers and the entire Krippenstein area are amazing and will give you some of the most beautiful views you can get in Austria.
And, it is also one of the most instagrammable places in the Hallstatt lake area.