Home World TRAVEL 12 Best Things to Do in Salzkammergut: Top Attractions to Visit

12 Best Things to Do in Salzkammergut: Top Attractions to Visit

12 Best Things to Do in Salzkammergut: Top Attractions to Visit


Are you looking to visit Salzkammergut in the near future? Here are some of the most fun and unique things to do in Salzkammergut. These breathtaking sights, activities, and attractions are sure to make for a memorable vacation experience.

Welcome to Salzkammergut, a stunning region in the Austrian Alps that effortlessly captures the hearts of its visitors. Imagine a place where pristine lakes reflect the majestic alpine peaks, creating a spectacle that’s nothing short of breathtaking. Situated in the northern part of the country, Salzkammergut boasts a landscape that is a harmonious blend of serene lakes, lush valleys, and rugged mountains.

The allure of Salzkammergut lies not only in its natural beauty but also in its rich cultural tapestry. Here, traditional Austrian charm intertwines with a robust history, offering a plethora of experiences for every traveler. From exploring the historic town of Hallstatt, often dubbed the most beautiful lakeside town in the world, to embarking on exhilarating hikes through the Dachstein Alps, the region promises a versatile array of adventures.

In this article, we’ll navigate through the must-visit spots and hidden gems of Salzkammergut, ensuring your visit is nothing short of memorable. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or someone seeking tranquility, this Austrian jewel has something special in store for you. Let’s explore together! Here’s everything you need to know about these fun things to do in Salzkammergut.

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Best Places to Visit in Salzkammergut

Ready to jump into all the coolest things to do in Salzkammergut? As noted above, there’s something for everyone at this serene vacation spot Austria. So keep reading to discover all these unique Salzkammergut places to visit.

Are you looking for serene boat rides on pristine lakes and exhilarating hikes through lush alpine landscapes? Or would you prefer exploring historic villages and savoring local cuisine? Whatever you’re planning, these must-sees in Salzkammergut can accommodate your needs. Here’s all the best attractions in Salzkammergut that you should know about.

1. Hallstatt

Hallstatt is famed for its history and serene Hallstätter See, making it one of the best things to do in Salzkammergut. This UNESCO World Heritage site is more than a visual treat. Every corner speaks about its 7,000-year-old salt mining history. The Hallstatt Salt Mine, a notable attraction, allows visitors to explore ancient mining techniques and even slide down a miner’s slide.

The village displays classic Austrian architecture with houses perched on the mountainside. They overlook the tranquil lake below. The Market Square, with its historic structures, offers a variety of local shops and eateries to explore and enjoy. The local church, with its famed charnel house, provides a unique insight into the village’s historical approach to burial and remembrance.

Visitors can also explore the Dachstein Ice Caves, a natural wonder that showcases impressive ice formations. Hallstatt offers a multifaceted experience, whether delving into history or exploring natural wonders. It goes beyond its picturesque facade, inviting exploration. It’s a destination where history, culture, and natural beauty converge, offering visitors a genuine taste of Salzkammergut.

Hallstatt is a top attraction with a 7,000-year-old salt mining heritage and the Hallstatt Salt Mine.

2. Dachstein Glacier

The Dachstein Glacier, located in the heart of Austria, stands out as one of the most unique places in Salzkammergut, offering visitors a blend of natural beauty and adventurous activities. This glacier, situated in the Dachstein Mountains, provides a spectacular environment where visitors can engage in a variety of experiences throughout the year. In winter, it becomes a hub for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts, offering well-maintained slopes and stunning alpine views.

During the summer months, the glacier transforms into a haven for hikers and explorers, providing numerous trails that showcase the breathtaking landscapes of the region. The Dachstein Ice Palace is a notable attraction that invites visitors to explore its intricately designed ice sculptures and structures. It provides a unique and chilly adventure beneath the glacier’s surface.

The Dachstein suspension bridge and Skywalk are situated nearby and offer panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. They provide photo opportunities and moments of awe without the need for embellished descriptions. The Dachstein Glacier offers diverse activities, from adrenaline-pumping to serene explorations, and is not just a destination. It’s an experience that caters to various interests and adventures in the Salzkammergut region.

The Dachstein Glacier offers year-round winter skiing and snowboarding with alpine views.

3. Altaussee Salt Mine

Delve into the hidden wonders of Altaussee Salt Mine, where history, art, and salt mining converge beneath Salzkammergut’s serene landscapes. Exploring this salt mine is among the unique things to do in Salzkammergut.

The Altaussee Salt Mine, often referred to as the “Treasure Chamber of the Alps,” once served as a secret hiding place for numerous art treasures during WWII. Concealed masterpieces, including works by Michelangelo, Van Dyck, and Vermeer, were stored in the mine’s shadowy chambers. They were shielded from the chaos above. Today, the mine takes you into a hidden chapter of history where art and war met in salt-strewn caverns.

While navigating dim tunnels, discover echoes of wartime secrets and ancient salt mining traditions spanning 7,000 years. Explore the Altaussee Salt Mine, where you’ll dive into stories that span across various eras, all hidden beneath the peaceful and scenic Salzkammergut region.

Young explorers will delight in adventures with Sally, the clever mine duck, guiding them through every nook and cranny. Make sure to participate in special tours like “Bombing Michelangelo” to dive deeper into specific historical events related to the mine.

Remember to visit the salt shop to purchase various salt products, bringing a piece of Altaussee back home with you. Wear sturdy shoes and a jacket; the mine has a cool temperature year-round for comfortable exploration of its depths.

Altaussee Salt Mine, where history, art, and salt mining converge beneath Salzkammergut’s serene landscapes.

4. 5fingers Viewing Platform

Situated atop the Dachstein Mountains, the 5fingers Viewing Platform boldly invites you to step out over a 400-meter vertical abyss. This destination provides more than just a view, offering an exhilarating interaction with the stunning landscapes of Salzkammergut. For those wondering where to visit in Salzkammergut, this platform is the answer. It presents a breathtaking interaction with the sky, clouds, and expansive vistas.

Its hand-like structure gives the 5fingers Viewing Platform its name. This extends five platforms over the precipice. Each platform provides a unique experience of the alpine scenery below. One platform features a glass floor, while another hosts a frame, and all these make a memorable snapshot. The platform is easily accessible to visitors with a pleasant 15-minute walk from the Dachstein Krippenstein cable car mountain station. Here, adrenaline and aesthetics converge beautifully, making it one of the best places to go in Salzkammergut.

Some additional activities and aspects you might explore include the World Heritage View Point. This is built 500 meters above ground, and provides stunning panoramic views of the World Heritage region. Early morning visits are recommended to capture the sunrise views and avoid afternoon crowds, ensuring a serene and unhindered experience.

The 5fingers Viewing Platform offers an exhilarating interaction with stunning landscapes and expansive vistas.

5. Wolfgangsee

Wolfgangsee, a prominent lake in the Salzkammergut region, offers a mix of engaging activities and scenic views, ranking it among the coolest things to do in Salzkammergut. This lake, surrounded by majestic alpine peaks, offers a variety of activities for every traveler. From leisurely boat rides across its tranquil waters to adventurous hikes along its scenic trails, Wolfgangsee caters to all.

The local towns around the lake, such as St. Wolfgang and St. Gilgen, provide a glimpse into the charming Austrian culture and lifestyle. St. Wolfgang is known for its iconic pilgrimage church. The nostalgic Schafbergbahn, a cogwheel train, offers stunning viewpoints. On the other hand, St. Gilgen, a picturesque village, is renowned for its historic sites and the cable car ride to the Zwölferhorn mountain, offering spectacular lake views.

Wolfgangsee ensures your visit is memorable, whether you’re exploring bustling markets or indulging in Austrian cuisine. Enjoy soaking in the serene landscapes, too. It’s a hub where nature, adventure, and local culture converge, providing a genuine and diverse Austrian experience. Let Wolfgangsee be your gateway to explore, unwind, and make timeless memories in Salzkammergut.

Wolfgangsee in the Salzkammergut region offers a mix of engaging activities and scenic views.

6. Attersee Lake

The largest lake in the Salzkammergut region, Attersee Lake, offers a variety of activities. It serves as a haven for people seeking both adventure and peace. Due to its crystal-clear seas, you may go swimming, diving, and engage in water activities like sailing, windsurfing, and paddleboarding. Rent a kayak or rowboat for a leisurely paddle or take a boat tour to discover the lake’s splendor.

Surrounding the lake, you’ll find hiking and cycling trails perfect for nature enthusiasts. Try your hand at fishing for trout and other local fish species, or visit charming lakeside villages like Attersee am Attersee to explore local culture, architecture, and history.

Public beaches are scattered around the lake, ideal for sunbathing and picnics. The region is known for inspiring artists, so take the time to explore local art galleries and exhibitions. Discover nearby nature reserves like the Attersee-Traunsee Nature Park, perfect for birdwatching and wildlife observation.

Savor local cuisine in lakeside restaurants and don’t miss the opportunity to taste regional specialties. Finally, for a relaxing day, find a peaceful spot by the lake, read a book, or simply soak in the breathtaking scenery.

Attersee Lake offers a diverse range of activities, ensuring an enjoyable visit for all kinds of travelers. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, art lover, or simply seeking relaxation, this beautiful lake has something to offer.

Attersee Lake, the largest in Salzkammergut, offers diverse activities like swimming, diving, sailing, and kayaking.

7. Dachstein Salzkammergut

Dachstein Salzkammergut offers a multitude of exciting activities and sights, making it one of the best places in Salzkammergut.

You can venture into the mesmerizing Dachstein Ice Cave, where intricate ice formations and mystical underground chambers await exploration. The cave offers a journey into the depths of natural wonder. Additionally, you can experience breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys by walking on the Dachstein Skywalk‘s glass platform. Suspended over a 250-meter drop, the skywalk provides an exhilarating experience for both thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts.

Engage in water activities at nearby lakes like Hallstätter See and Wolfgangsee, such as swimming, boating, and paddleboarding. These lakes are set amidst stunning alpine landscapes. Explore a vast network of hiking and nature trails. They lead you through lush forests, pristine lakeshores, and rugged mountain terrain, offering endless opportunities for exploration.

If you’re a food enthusiast, you can savor regional cuisine at local restaurants and traditional alpine huts, enjoying delicious Austrian dishes and warm hospitality. Immerse yourself in Salzkammergut’s culture and history by visiting museums, historic sites, and attending local events and festivals.

Dachstein Salzkammergut promises natural beauty, adventure, and cultural immersion. It caters to outdoor enthusiasts and those seeking scenic tranquility. Explore the best of Salzkammergut’s things to do at Dachstein Salzkammergut, where every experience is memorable.

Dachstein Salzkammergut offers a multitude of exciting activities and sights.

8. Bad Ischl

Bad Ischl, in the scenic Salzkammergut region, entices travelers with its rich history, culture, and natural beauty. If you’re looking for a memorable thing to do in Salzkammergut, this is your dream come true.

Start your journey by exploring the historic Imperial Villa, once the summer residence of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth. Or you can stroll through Kaiservilla Park’s well-maintained gardens and savor scenic mountain views. For a day of relaxation, visit Kaiserthermen, a spa offering rejuvenating thermal baths.

Discover the Lehar Villa, home to the famous composer Franz Lehár, and explore exhibits dedicated to his life and work. If you visit during the summer, consider attending the Lehar Festival, a renowned operetta festival celebrating his music. Immerse yourself in the stunning natural surroundings and engage in outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, and horseback riding. The nearby mountains and lakes offer excellent opportunities for exploration.

Savor Austrian cuisine at local restaurants and traditional cafes, trying regional specialties like Wiener Schnitzel, Apfelstrudel, and local pastries. Explore the nearby salt mines in Hallstatt, easily accessible from Bad Ischl, and learn about the history of salt mining in the region. Visit the Trinkhalle, an elegant pavilion where you can taste local mineral waters believed to have therapeutic properties.

These highlights offer a taste of Bad Ischl’s rich tapestry of experiences, making it among cool destinations in Salzkammergut for relaxation and exploration.

Bad Ischl entices travelers with its rich history, culture, and natural beauty.

9. St. Wolfgang

St. Wolfgang, a charming town nestled beside the Wolfgangsee lake in Austria, is renowned for its picturesque landscapes and rich cultural heritage. The town, with its cobblestone streets and traditional Austrian architecture, offers a warm and inviting atmosphere to all its visitors. Here, travelers can explore a variety of shops, cafes, and historical buildings. Each provides a glimpse into the local lifestyle and traditions.

When wondering where to go in Salzkammergut, St. Wolfgang emerges as a top contender, offering a blend of relaxation and exploration. The town is home to the iconic Pilgrimage Church of St. Wolfgang, which attracts visitors with its stunning gothic architecture and historical significance. A leisurely stroll through the town reveals beautifully preserved buildings and vibrant marketplaces where local crafts and cuisines can be explored.

The Schafberg Railway is another highlight, providing a nostalgic journey up the Schafberg Mountain. Once at the summit, visitors are greeted with panoramic views of the surrounding lakes and alpine peaks, offering a visual treat..

Considering the best things to do in Salzkammergut, a visit to St. Wolfgang offers a rich, authentic experience. It combines natural beauty with cultural exploration, ensuring lasting memories.

St. Wolfgang is renowned for its picturesque landscapes and rich cultural heritage.

10. Gosauseen

The Gosauseen, or Gosau Lakes, are a natural wonder that captivates adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike. If you’re looking for what to do in Salzkammergut, a visit to the Gosauseen should be at the top of your list.

These pristine alpine lakes in the Dachstein Alps provide a serene escape from everyday life. The main lake, Vorderer Gosausee, with its crystal-clear waters, reflects the stunning mountain backdrop, making it a photographer’s paradise. Take a leisurely stroll along the lake’s shores or simply relax and soak in the awe-inspiring scenery.

One of the Salzkammergut attractions that draw visitors to the Gosauseen is the opportunity for outdoor activities. Hiking trails wind through surrounding forests, leading to elevated viewpoints with panoramic vistas of the lakes and rugged peaks. It’s a hiker’s dream come true, with trails suitable for various skill levels.

During the winter months, the Gosauseen transforms into a snowy wonderland, making it a unique destination for winter sports enthusiasts. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are popular activities here. They let you experience the tranquil beauty of the lakes and surroundings in a whole new way.

These alpine lakes have something for every traveler seeking unique things to do in Salzkammergut. Whether you’re a nature lover, hiker, photographer, or winter sports enthusiast, these lakes are your perfect go-to destination.

The Gosauseen, or Gosau Lakes, are a natural wonder that captivates adventurers and nature enthusiasts.

11. Traunkirchen

Traunkirchen is a picturesque village situated along the tranquil shores of Lake Traunsee. This village offers a blend of natural beauty and historical charm. It provides visitors with a peaceful retreat as well as a variety of activities to indulge in. For those exploring the coolest activities in Salzkammergut, Traunkirchen offers options like boating, hiking, and exploring historical sites.

The iconic Fischerkanzel is what the village is renowned for. It is an eye-catching pulpit shaped like a boat in the parish church. This is a testament to the village’s fishing heritage. Visitors can also explore the nearby Johannesberg Chapel, providing both spiritual and historical insights. The serene lake offers opportunities for various water activities, including sailing and swimming, ensuring that visitors can engage with the natural surroundings actively.

Traunkirchen is not just a destination for relaxation but also a hub for cultural exploration in the region. With its scenic landscapes, historical sites, and engaging activities, it encapsulates a unique Austrian experience. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, nature lover, or an adventure seeker, Traunkirchen caters to a diverse range of interests. This village is undeniably a must-see in Salzkammergut.

Traunkirchen, a picturesque village along Lake Traunsee, combines natural beauty with historical charm.

12. Altaussee

St. Gilgen, in the Salzkammergut region, offers various activities and attractions, becoming a focal point for Salzkammergut things to do. The village is known for its Mozart connections. A visit to the Mozarthaus provides insight into the composer’s family history.

For those interested in outdoor activities, the Zwölferhorn Mountain Cable Car is a must-try, offering panoramic views of Wolfgangsee and the surrounding mountainous landscape. Once at the top, visitors can engage in hiking, paragliding, or simply enjoy the scenic views. The village also provides opportunities for cycling tours around the lake, exploring the beautiful landscapes and connecting with nearby villages.

In terms of Salzkammergut places to visit, St. Gilgen holds its charm with a blend of cultural and natural attractions. The village center, with its traditional Austrian architecture, shops, and cafes, offers a pleasant environment for leisurely strolls and shopping. The Pilgrimage Church of St. Giles, with its baroque architecture, is admired by visitors and locals alike as a notable site.

Boat tours on the Wolfgangsee provide a scenic journey to other beautiful locations, such as St. Wolfgang and Strobl. Additionally, St. Gilgen hosts events throughout the year, offering visitors a glimpse into the local culture and traditions through festivals and concerts. With its varied offerings, St. Gilgen stands out as a versatile destination in the Salzkammergut region.

St. Gilgen is a focal point for various activities and attractions, including a visit to the Mozarthaus.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in Salzkammergut

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Salzkammergut? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Salzkammergut:

What is the best time to visit Salzkammergut?

The optimal time to visit Salzkammergut spans from June to September, where the summer months bring forth warm, pleasant weather and the landscapes burst into vibrant life. This period allows visitors to fully indulge in various outdoor activities, explore the lush surroundings, and experience the lively local festivals that often take place during these months.

Is Salzkammergut suitable for a family vacation?

Absolutely! Salzkammergut is a splendid destination for family vacations, offering a wide array of activities and experiences suitable for all ages. From engaging outdoor adventures, educational historical sites, to tranquil spots for relaxation, the region ensures that every family member, from the youngest to the oldest, finds something enchanting to explore and enjoy.

Scenic Traunkirchen in winter, a charming Austrian village nestled by Lake Traunsee

How do I get around in Salzkammergut?

Navigating through Salzkammergut is convenient thanks to the various transportation options available. Buses, trains, and boat services are accessible, connecting major attractions and locales within the region. Additionally, renting a car or a bike can provide more flexibility and the joy of exploring the picturesque landscapes at your own pace, creating a personalized journey.

Are there any guided tours available in Salzkammergut?

Yes, Salzkammergut offers a multitude of guided tours, designed to enrich your visit with expert insights into the region’s rich history, culture, and natural wonders. From exploring historical sites, engaging in local traditions, to venturing through the stunning natural landscapes, guided tours provide a structured and informative way to delve deeper into the heart of Salzkammergut.

Can I enjoy Salzkammergut on a budget?

Certainly, Salzkammergut caters to travelers on various budget scales, offering a spectrum of affordable options in accommodations, dining, and activities. From cozy, budget-friendly stays, appetizing meals that won’t break the bank, to a wealth of free natural sights and low-cost activities, Salzkammergut ensures a memorable and wallet-friendly adventure for all.

What is the best base in the Salzkammergut?

Hallstatt often serves as a popular base for exploring Salzkammergut due to its iconic beauty and proximity to various attractions. However, St. Wolfgang and Bad Ischl are also excellent choices, offering their own charm, amenities, and easy access to the region’s lakes, mountains, and other picturesque locales.

Why is Salzkammergut famous?

Salzkammergut is renowned for its stunning natural landscapes, encompassing pristine lakes, lush alpine meadows, and dramatic mountain ranges. Additionally, it’s celebrated for the charming Hallstatt village, historic salt mines, and a rich cultural heritage, offering a blend of outdoor activities and historical exploration for visitors.

Closing Thoughts on Exploring Salzkammergut

Salzkammergut is a region where every visit leads to new discoveries, offering a combination of natural and cultural experiences. The area features calm lakes that showcase the surrounding Alps and traditional villages that are rich in local customs.

Salzkammergut is more than just a travel destination. It’s a place ready to be explored, offering various experiences. Visitors can seek adventure, enjoy the tranquility of nature, or explore historical narratives. Salzkammergut provides a welcoming environment, encouraging exploration and discovery with its numerous offerings.

In this peaceful yet lively region, visitors can enjoy the gentle lake waves, impressive mountain peaks, and the friendly demeanor of the local residents.

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