How To Visit The Hallstatt Salt Mine
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How To Visit The Hallstatt Salt Mine: Here’s my guide on how to visit Hallstatt’s Salt Mine. The Hallstatt Salt Mine‘s claim to fame is that it is the oldest Salt Mine in the world, with the history tracing back to more than 7000 years ago. As you go through the salt mine you get to learn about how the salt was formed and how ancient miners (and their families) worked to extract the salt.
The Hallstatt Salt Mine tour is a mix of education and fun, with knowledge imparted through your guide and various short videos, and an adrenaline rush with the slides located in different parts of the mine. In the same park as the Salt Mine there is also the amazing Sky Walk platform which gives you an epic view over the surrounding area.
Read on to my guide to visiting the Hallstatt Salt Mines including what to see and how to get there.
| How To Visit The Hallstatt Salt Mine |
Quick Information: Hallstatt, Austria
- Currency: Euro
- Electricity: Plug type F (two rounded prongs)
- Language: German
- Visa: 90 days visa free for most western nationalities (but check)
- Safety: Normal
- Seasons: Most places get some snow in winter, in summer it gets up to around 25 degrees Celsius.
- Transport: To get the Hallstatt, boat or bus can be used, depending which nearby town you arrive in.
- Recommended gear: Camera lens that works well in low light (1.8 / 2.8), preferably a wide angle. Out of my gear, for the salt mine I’d bring the sony a6500 and 19mm f/2.8 lens.
- Rough budget
- Accommodation: A little more expensive from the rest of Austria as Hallstatt is a world heritage town (read: stunningly beautiful).
- Food:6-10+ euros a meal.
- What to pack:
- In winter make sure you bring enclosed shoes and a jacket as it gets cold.
How To Get To The Hallstatt Salt Mine
To get to the Hallstatt Salt Mine you will walk into the main part of town near the bus station and head away from the lake. You should see a sign pointing you in the right direction and its a short walk from there to the ticket booth.
We’d highly recommend staying in Hallstatt for to visit the Salt Mine (Click here for the latest Hallstatt accommodation prices), or if you’re visiting on a day trip, neighboring Salzburg is the next best option (Click here for Salzburg hotel prices).
The Hallstatt Sky Walk
When you reach the top turn to the elevator on the left and take it up to the look out point appropriately named the “Sky Walk of Hallstatt”. The Sky Walk gives you an amazing view over the lake and the surrounding villages in the area. The view was so beautiful we almost didn’t notice that we could see Hallstatt from above, which was on the left side directly down.
The platform is shaped in like a triangle so you can get a cute picture of yourself standing at the very end with the wide view in the background.
Inside The Hallstatt Salt Mine
Once you get to the ticket booth it’s an easy funicular ride to the top where you can access both attractions. Once you’ve disembarked it’s a short walk to the entrance of the Salt Mine. That walk ranges between flat and a slight incline, to steep at the last couple of minutes.
After entering the tour section we were given some protective clothing to wear over your own which was a pair of baggy pants and a shirt. You can leave your jackets and backpacks behind the clothing counter which seemed safe as you were given a number to make sure nobody else would be given your items on the way out.
Inside the cave there is a mix of fun and education. There are two slides for you to scoot down which were fun and you actually move quite fast down them. Naturally, you can opt out of these and walk down instead but it is a fun way to break up the walking and the informative videos.
Speaking of videos – throughout the tour we would stop every so often to learn about the history of the cave through a projected video. I think these are great if you are interested in the history behind the cave or are a good way to keep your children learning on holiday (especially if you have primary school aged children). I thought it was interesting to learn about the massive history behind the Salt Mines instead of just wandering around and taking pictures (but you can still of course take pictures).
The last part of the tour is to jump on the miners train which will take you back to the entrance. This was a great way to end the tour as the roofless train moved quite fast and you were travelling in and out of darkness and light through one of the tunnels.
Advice On Taking Pictures At The Hallstatt Salt Mine
Since they recommend leaving your bags at the luggage area you won’t be able to carry too much camera gear. Take one camera and lens and wear it around your neck. When going down the slides I’d tuck it under the shirt we were given so it didn’t bounce around and hit me. You won’t have too long of a stop for photo breaks as the tour is more about finding out the history behind the site.
You’ll need to prepare for low light when taking photos, and I’m not sure if flash photography is allowed. I’m assuming it isn’t as no one else used a flash and we didn’t either. Also don’t bother with your tripod for the Salt Mine tour – if you’ve brought it with you, check it in with the rest of your luggage.
For the Sky Walk you will have enough or as little time as you want to take photos so do what you please there.
Where to Stay in Hallstatt
As I mentioned in the quick information section, Hallstatt can be a bit more expensive to stay in than other Austrian cities. However it’s totally worth it to wake up there and look around before it gets filled up with tourists.
My recommendations are:
- Budget: Dorm bed prices in Hallstatt would literally make me cry myself to sleep. Prices are ridiculous. If you’re on a budget you’re best of staying in one of the neighbouring towns or in Salzburg and make it a day trip. Your closest towns are Obertaun (catch a short ferry across to Hallstatt) or Dachstein (bus to Hallstatt). See what’s available in Obertraun here, and Dachstein here. Make sure to check the map to see
- Midrange: Take a look for yourself (see the latest prices here), keeping in mind that you’ll pay a little bit more in Hallstatt than you will elsewhere in Austria. Check out Hallstatt hotels here.
- Luxury: If you’ve got the cash to splurge Seehotel Gruner Baum is a nice option in the midst of the main tourist area. You can find more details here.
- If you absolutely can’t stay in Hallstatt or the neighbouring towns, check out accommodation in Salzburg (see hotels in Salzburg).
Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is something you should never leave home without. If something goes wrong while you’re on your trip, you’ll be grateful you have it. I personally use World Nomads, which I recommend because:
- It’s easy to see exactly what’s covered by checking the terms, which are explained in a way that is easy to understand.
- They’re my go-to travel insurance company and I’m happy with the service.
- I’ve claimed twice previously and found the claim process easy and the staff willing to help
You can get a free, instant quote by popping your plans in here: see the estimator to see how much travel insurance will cost.
How To Visit The Hallstatt Salt Mine
I was hosted by Dachstein Salkammergut in exchange for an honest review on an old blog of mine.