10 Must-See Attractions at Salzwelten Salzburg
Listing ten things you absolutely must see at Salzwelten Salzburg is almost an impossible task… Not because it's difficult to find ten highlights, quite the contrary. Because there are so many cool, exciting, and interesting things, places, and people that you simply don't even know where to begin. And as always, when that's the case, the beginning is a very good place to start:
Take in the view of the Salzach River Valley from the panorama platform.
While you are waiting for your tour to start, take some time to explore the outdoor area of the bistro "Salzblick" – where, incidentally, you can also grab some tasty snacks for your mine visit – and climb the metal stairs to the upper platform. From here, you'll have a sensational view of the Salzach Valley and the city of Hallein at the foot of the Dürrnberg – on clear days, stretching all the way to Salzburg! Down there in the valley, the Salzach River snakes past the two distinctive peaks on the left, the Barmstein mountains. No wonder the Celts loved it up here so much! Though that was probably more due to the salt deposits in the mountain than the beautiful view.
Experience a cinematic journey through the history of salt.
Have you ever traveled through time? Salzwelten Salzburg makes it possible! Not exactly like in "Back to the Future" maybe... but at least with the help of a film that takes visitors on a brief journey through the history of salt before entering the mine: Starting with modern mining and present-day salt production, going back to the dark Middle Ages, then even farther back into the distant past. All the way to the Iron Age and the Celtic miners. What's fascinating is that you'll learn such a lot about the “Essence of Life” in such a short time. Did you know that salt helped us fly to the moon? By the way, with the help of the audio guide, you can also embark on this adventurous journey in 15 different languages… to the "essenza della vita," deep into the "montagna"…
Slip into a miner's outfit for the occasion.
Yes, you read it right... you, in miner's getup! And yes, we admit, wearing this two-piece, voluminous, white outfit might make you look a bit funny – kind of like the Michelin Man. But not to worry: everyone looks pretty much the same! Each visitor, adult or child, gets their own miner's gear. The outfit consists of wide, white pants with a drawstring and a jacket with snap buttons. Just put it on over your regular clothes, and you’ll be ready to go as a miner! The pants and jackets are designed to easily fit over winter coats and pants. Always remember: dress warm! Inside the mountain, there's a constant temperature of eight degrees Celsius (46°F), both summer and winter. And even if it looks odd, thanks to the suit, your clothes will stay clean and dry – and the reinforced seat of your pants will ensure you'll pick up some speed on the slides.
Experience 40 meters of deluxe sliding enjoyment hundreds of meters underground.
Wondering what on Earth a slide is doing inside a mine? In the past, when salt was still being mined in these tunnels, miners used wooden slides to travel quickly between the different mine tiers. In other words, they slid from higher to lower tunnels. That's why a so-called "butt leather" was part of the miner's outfit since the 16th century. That is to say: sliding protection for your rear end. Which is precisely why guests wear the miner's outfit we described above. During a tour of Salzwelten Salzburg, you'll actually tackle two slides: the first one is 24 meters long – just to warm up. The second is a whopping 42 meters in length! It's a ton of fun involving a decent amount of speed. And don't forget to smile while you’re sliding. Not only is your speed automatically measured, your photo will also be taken. Psst… the speed record is 40 km/h (24 mph). Think you can you beat it?
Marvel at a tree branch completely covered in salt crystals.
Looking like it came straight out of Disney's “Frozen” – a delicate treasure sparkles and glimmers, protected by a glass dome, on exhibit deep within the mountain. At first glance, it appears to be a valuable piece of jewelry, but upon closer inspection it reveals itself as a branch covered in salt crystals. A magical and fascinating sight. Gernot, one of the guides at Salzwelten Salzburg, shares with us that, in the past, such branches were available for purchase as souvenirs to take home. It's hard to imagine how such a fragile piece of salt art could be transported without breaking. That said, it's far better to admire the branch right where it is, then pick out a sturdier salty souvenir in the shop later on…
Glide on a raft across the subterranean salt lake.
During the underground tour of Salzwelten Salzburg, you'll encounter many unique things: fascinating artifacts, exciting stories, and an array of magical moments. But one of the most magical moments is undoubtedly the journey across the subterranean salt lake. As the raft glides silently over the lake as if by magic, you feel like you're floating through infinity itself. When the music starts and the light installations tell the story of the glory and wealth created by "white gold," you feel transported to another world. Spoiler alert: you are, indeed, in another world…
Arrive at the deepest point of the tour, 210 meters (689 feet) below the surface.
If you read how Jules Verne describes adventurers venturing deeper and deeper into the Earth in his book "Journey to the Center of the Earth," you might get a slight inkling of what you feel when you reach the deepest point of the Salzwelten Salzburg tour. You are now a whopping 210 meters (689 feet) below the Earth's surface. It's impressive to think about how much rock and stone is above your head at that precise moment. But don't worry: this massive mountain is considered extremely stable and safe.
Immortalize yourself in the underground guestbook alongside celebrities & personalities.
At the end of the underground tour, opposite the place where you board the mine train that will take you back into the daylight, you'll find Austria's only underground guestbook. More specifically, it's a wall-mounted board extending for several meters where visitors can leave their very own lasting mark. Of which there are quite a few: since 1607, when the first guests explored the tunnels, around five million visitors have ventured into this subterranean world. Making the Salzburg mine the oldest show mine in the world! As a visitor, you're actually in great company, alongside the likes of Mozart's sister Nannerl, "Silent Night" composer Franz Xaver Gruber, and famous actor Curd Jürgens.
Immerse yourself in the world of the Celts with the "Salzwelten Destination Guide" app.
Would you like to meet Tam and Salia, the Celtic children from the Dürrnberg? Or have you ever received “likes” and “loves” for a selfie taken with a genuine Celt? Not yet? Then you shouldn’t hesitate to download the "Salzwelten Destination Guide" app. It's available for free in the Google Play Store or the App Store. With the app, you can immerse yourself digitally in the world of the Celts, travel through the various epochs of salt mining, enjoy augmented reality experiences, and embark on quests together with Tam and Salia. By the way, you can also use the Salzwelten app as an informative audio guide, both underground and in the Celtic Village. So, have a marvelous time and, as the miner’s good-luck salutation says, "Glück auf!" – and also, of course, "Click away!"
Watching the salt crystals grow.
They say, there are some plants you can actually see growing! But when it comes to watching things grow, there’s nothing better than the salt crystals at the BAD ISCHLER Salz Manufactory. Located right behind Salzwelten Salzburg on Celtic Mountain, you'll find Austria's only demonstration saltworks. Where the gourmet salt known as Salzzart is produced. From the gallery on the first floor or right next to the salt pans, you can watch the pyramid-shaped salt crystals form and grow: the first delicate salt flakes gradually emerging in the cloudy brine. See them evolve and drift gently back and forth in the basin, moving up and down, and gradually assembling into fragile pyramids. Actually, watching the process is a very meditative experience… one you most definitely need to see for yourself! And of course, the gently grown, hand-scooped gourmet salt tastes absolutely delicious.
What are your top 10 Salzwelten highlights?
So, what are your top 10 highlights at Salzwelten Salzburg? Not sure yet? In that case, now’s the perfect time to pick up your online ticket for a trip to Salzwelten Salzburg and the Celtic Mountain! Then experience it all for yourself – who knows, you might very well add an eleventh or twelfth highlight of your own!
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