The Salt Mines tour opened with an interesting short movie about the history of the mines. The lady guide toured us around the mine. We took the voyage across the subterranean lake and even went to Germany (and after a few minutes, was back in Austria again). The giant slide was really awesome! The tour was approx 70 minutes.
The Salt Mines of Hallein are one of the most popular out of town attractions when visiting Salzburg. Hallein also known as "Little Istanbul" is the second city of Salzburg with a population of arround 20,000. The mine is situated in the Duerrnberg Mountain not far from Hallein. The tour is fun-filled complete with costumes and a miner's train ride which takes the visitors to an undrground salt lake. There follows a light and sound show depicting the history of the mine which is believed to have been mined by the Ancient Celts since 400BC.
The tour is designed to provide fun and entertainment as well as the fascinating history of the mine. A good tour no matter the weather.
The entry fee includes free entry into a number of nearby museums and comes with a good discount if purchased with a Salzburg Card.
Tourism at its best - descent through the mines is abetted by two long wooden slides on which one sits with legs out holding on the person in front ( for dear life ). Fast, steep, and smoothly surfaced, one flies in seconds through the descent. The longer slide is over 40 meters ( the Taiwanese went nuts, wanted to climb up and do it again ). This is a fabulous gimmick, great fun.
A second highlight was the boat ride across an old lake originally used to mine the salt (water extraction method ). The boat glided along in complete darkness to the booming sound of Mozart music as multi-colored neon lights on the walls of the cavern pulsated. Another great touch on this tour.
Along the way small statues, collections of tools, the remains of a miner encased and preserved in salt, and assorted shrines lined the way. And in the last film presentation, Wolf finally died as a prisoner on the Hohensalzburg still professing his love for Salome and still abusing his hapless servant. After shucking the white uniforms, the escalator returns the visitor unsurprisingly to the souvenir store.
The salt mine tour is a worthwhile half day outing. One can hire a private driver for 135Eu or take a Panorama or other tour bus here for 48Eu. However, there is a 22.5 Eu combination ticket sold by OBB at the train station which covers the train to Hallein, the bus from the station to the entrance of the mine exhibit, and the entire mine tour and Celtic museum. Hallein receives local milk run service with nine stops in 13km and also a local express with no stops saving about 15 minutes. The whole trip is so short that it doesn't really pay to wait for the fast train.
The bus runs once an hour from directly in front of the train station. It drives through a scenic island in the middle of the Salzach and winds its way up the mountain through real scenery depositing one across from a chalet straight out of the Sound of Music. For a good way to occupy the time before or after the tour depending on the bus schedule ( the return bus arrives at 15 minutes after the hour ), see the next tip on the Celtic Village, a most interesting exhibit next to the salt mine.
The most remarkable attraction in Salzburg is the ancient salt mine in the village of Hallein some 13km south, one of the oldest preserved for tourism. As early as 400BC, Celts mined the "white gold" at this site and their legacy is preserved in an on-site Celtic Museum. The seemingly endless wealth of the prince archbishops accrued from the salt trade for which they had a vertiable monopoly and the taxes placed on boats transporting the salt downriver through Salzburg. Wolf Dietrich was the most aggressive in expanding the salt trade to his benefit, the proceeds financing his reconstruction of much of the central Salzburg we see today.
The tour begins in a modern building housing a luncheonette, the obligatory souvenir shop, and clean spacious rest rooms. After an escalator descent, white uniforms are provided to cover clothing ostensibly to keep them clean, although there is no likelihood on this tour of becoming soiled. Supposedly patterned after the clothes worn by the miners, these uniforms are just part of the tourist game although quite funny looking.
The tour begins by boarding an old open miner's train for descent deep into the mountain. Much of the tour is through long narrow tunnels with periodic stops at cavernous spaces featuring large screens describing the history and methods of salt mining. At one point in a long passageway, a marker denotes the Austrian German border as much of the mining actually took place under German soil. The screens also carry one through the life of Wolf Dietrich characterized as a pompous boor humiliating his servant, an intellectually challenged resident of the Hallein area. Brutally tacky, this supposedly humorous interplay detracted somewhat from the presentation, but the important details of Wolf's career as it impacted the mining of salt and the wealth it produced do come through.
The guides are knowledgeable and multilingual. Our group was comprised of a young German couple and about 50 Taiwanese on a bus tour with their own translator. Therefore, with the acquiescence of the Germans, our tour was given in excellent English with immediate translation to Chinese. In large mixed groups, audioguides are provided. The Taiwanese made the trip - laughing, cheerful, one young man helping an old man like me get off the little train, taking pictures from unlikely angles - these guys were having a infectious great time.
We had a visit of this salt mine which is now being used as a museum.
It was very intersting. we learned a lot of information about salt. Salt which we use it in our daily life time is a very imoportant material.
By the way, I got to know that the name Salzburg also comes from Salt mines
My grandmother wrote my mom, Tomorrow BB is going on the Salt Mine-Berchtesgarten tour by herself with a group - it's just 2 slides - they no longer have the one in Hallein like they used to The Hallein tour was one that she went on with my grandfather before he died. The picture is from that tour. My grandfather is the fourth from the right, and my grandmother is in front of him.
At the time, I wrote:
Mon Sep 27 - Salzburg
Today we got up and got dressed. Then we went downstairs for breakfast. I walked down to get a ticket to the salt mine. I went alone. Grandmummy stayed here and went shopping. I went to the salt mine. First we had to change into white pants that looked like bloomers, a black jacket, a black hat with a blue stripe and a leather belt with a leather seat. We got on a train and they took a picture. They are sending two pictures home to you. I am the 3rd person. We took that train to the slide and we slid down the slide. We saw a movie and got on a boat and went across a pond (inside the salt mine). We went down another slide and left the mines.
Price per adult: 91.13 USD
Price per child: 74.93 USD (Less than 10 years old)
Departs daily at 09.00 am, 02.00 pm
Thanks to Virtual Tourist we visited these mines. They were fantastic and good value for money. It is possible to go down the stairs and slopes rather than the slides. They are situated in some stunning scenerey
We got picked up at the hotel and then taken to the Eagle`s Nest. Guided commentary all the way. After a photo stop we went down the salt mine which was great fun. Bought a salt light which we use each week. Then into a little town for a beer. It was a fantastic afternoon tour which took us out of the city and showed us the countryside.
The salt mines are a little hokey. It is interessting and provides a wonderful view from the entrance. As for the mines, there isn't much to see. Even after taking the cable car up you have a long hike to the mines. Elderly and the Handicap will have difficulty reaching the mines. Much of the path is up hill and gravel. The town of Hallstaat is gorgeous and worth visiting merely for the scenery. The salt mines aren't overly expensive and a nice thing to see while in this ancient village. Hall is celtic for Salt, so again Salt-town, Salt-city.
YOU SIMPLY MUST VISIT THIS PLACE WHILE IN SALZBURG.....YOU'LL BE GLAD YOU DID!
The Celts used to live in this area 2500 years ago, and little Celtic villages can be explored behind the main building for the Salt Mines. Unfortunately the ticket stubbs for the Salt Mines do not show the price, but from memory, entrance fees were very reasonable. Once the tickets were paid for, you go downstairs and change into white (who knows who chose this colour) miners clothes. The photo shows Imogen in her mining gear sitting on the train awaiting our embarkement!
Please feel free to have a look at the travelogue on the Salt Mines for more photos and information...
Adult: EUR 15.90
Juniors (7-15 years), students (with Student ID card): EUR 9.55
Children (4-6 years): EUR 7.95
Family Ticket (2 adults, 1 child): EUR 33.40
Single + Child (1 adult, 1 child): EUR 22.25
Every additional child pays the child fee: EUR 7.95
Groups from 20 persons up: EUR 14.30 (every 21st person is free)
Children and Junior groups up to 19 years and from 20 persons up: EUR 9.55 (every 21st person is free)
l Guided tour through the mines
l Entry Celtic Village
Children are admitted to the mines from the age of four years up.
Open daily from 09.00 to 17.00 (start of last guided tour).
Guided tours at least every half hour, total duration appx. 2.5 hours including Celtic Village
Although the mine was already abunden, it's worthy to take a look and try to thrilling slide inside the mine.
Remember to get there as early as possible, as you will be assigned in a group of 20. The later you get there the later you get in.
It is really funny to dress up like a miner some many years ago, by the way, bring along with you some thick clothes as the temperature is rather low inside the mine.
The tour into the salt mines starts with a small train ride deep into the side of a mountain. As you move deeper into the mountain you slide down wooden slides to go deeper still. At the bottom you go on a boat ride in an underground salt lake. At the end you don't have to worry about stairs as you come up an escalator.