It was raining that day in Hallstatt and since we had already visited the Dachstein Giant Ice cave, the only feasible activity close to us seemed to be the Hallstatt Salt Mine (Salzwelten Hallstatt) since it was an indoor attraction.
So honestly, Salzwelten Hallstatt was not in our Austrian travel plan. Even when we reached Hallstatt, we continued not to consider it because all the board signs and brochures we saw around gave the impression that it was something for children.
But that day, because it was raining, we decided to visit it.
What is Hallstatt Salt Mine (Salzwelten Hallstatt)?
Hallstatt Salt Mine is the world’s oldest salt mine since it comes with 7000 years of history.
Its salt once provided a livelihood for local people, brought riches to the archbishops, and built the magnificent city of Salzburg. Hallstatt Salt Mine is not active today so don’t expect to see the miners at work. Nowadays it is a kind of museum and a tour of around 80 minutes with a guide will take you along the small and narrow tunnels, during which the history is explained.
Where is Salzwelten Hallstatt?
Salzwelten Hallstatt is located 350 meters above the famous Hallstatt town in the region of Salzkammergut, Austria.
It is 300 KM from Wien (Vienna) and 75 KM from Salzburg.
How to get to Hallstatt Salt Mines
Once in Hallstatt town, there are two ways to reach the Hallstatt Salt Mine: You can take a glass walled funicular, which takes only 3 minutes, or you can walk uphill along the pathway. It is said to be the path that the old miners used once to reach the mines.
The walk can last about an hour and a half. With clear skies I would certainly have walked, but since it was raining that day in Hallstatt, the only alternative was taking a funicular.
Hallstatt Salt Mine Price
The ticket to the Hallstatt Salt Mine doesn’t come cheap. The all-inclusive ticket which includes funicular ascent and descent and the Salzwelten Hallstatt tour with a guide costs € 36.00 per head for adults and € 18.00 for children from 4 to 15. I think it is a bit too much.
Children are allowed in the salt mines from the age of 4. Other ticket options and special discounts can be found here.
Tips for Hallstatt Salt Mine.
- Good shoes are mandatory. The floor is wet, and it might be slippery.
- A discount is applied for Salzkammergut card holders. Ask for it at your hotel upon arrival.
- The cave is really dark, therefore don’t expect to take good photos.
- Tours are in German and English and are about an hour long.
- The temperature in the salt mine in Hallstatt is very low so take some winter clothes with you.
- Even if you are not visiting the Salzwelten Hallstatt, consider going uphill for the view.
Some curiosities about the Hallstatt Salt Mine.
- Salzwelten Hallstatt is famous for being the oldest salt mine in the world.
- The oldest wooden staircase in Europe was discovered in the mines. Dating back to 1100 BC it is perfectly preserved by the salt. It is now at Vienna’s Natural History Museum. At the salt mine in Hallstatt a brief 3D video is shown to the visitors to explain its use in the early years.
- Also, remains of millions of wooden torches were found in the salt mine in Hallstatt.
- In tunnels more than 100 metres below the surface, archaeologists discovered “unique evidence” of mining activity at an “industrial” scale during the Bronze Age.
- In the year 2017 around 200,000 people visited the Hallstatt mine and the number is always on the rise.
What to expect from the visit?
It is always curious learning something new especially if it had historical significance. So, visiting the Salt Mine in Hallstatt is certainly an opportunity of cultural enrichment, but I must say that the visit to the Salt Mine in Hallstatt did not meet my expectations.
Yes the guide was good, but still something was missing. Mainly, there really isn’t much to see of the mine and this was a bit disappointing.
Wearing the proper dress for the occasion, all this underground tunnel, the wooden slides to slide down the tunnel, the 3D videos, and the train to get back to the start point are all fun activities for children. I’m sure they will enjoy the salt mines in Hallstatt. But adults?
Adults look for something more, especially when there is an important history behind something. Sadly, is not transmitted. If I had the choice to go again, I wouldn’t go and would not recommend it to anyone unless they were travelling with children. Considering also the high price that they charge you, I would tell you to evaluate well.
On the other hand, the view outside of the Salt mine in Hallstatt, is one of the most beautiful you can have in Austria. So reaching the area by walking or by funicular is well worth it, especially when there are excellent weather conditions.
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