When I started planning our Garmsich & Salzburg trip I knew we wanted to visit the Salt Mines. After lots of research (more about below) we ended up choosing to visit the Hallein Salt Mines, and it was a fantastic visit and we all really enjoyed it. I highly recommend a trip to the salt mines if your in the area!
The biggest issue I had was which mines to chose. We were coming from the Eagles Nest (LINK) and there is one fairly close to there BUT your not allowed to take ANY photos or videos there. My thoughts are if we’re going to spend a good amount of money then I want to be able to take photos! I even emailed the other mine and they would not make any exceptions. However if you choose to visit any of the 3 mines ran by this group you can take photos and videos at all! I choose Hallein because it was on the way to where we were staying for the night.
Now if you have little kids your options will vary. One of the reason some families choose to visit the Salt Mines in Berchtesgaden, Germany even though NO photos are allowed is because it allows kids as young as 2 years old. The Salt Mines that are run by the group above and the one we visited at Hallein don’t allow kids unless they are 4 years old. Since that was not an issue for us (youngest in our group was 11) we happily chose to go to the one where I could photograph as my heart desired 😉
Also note this mine is NOT in Hallein, we got lost trying to find it and so did another family because we seen them at the wrong location and again at the correct one, LOL! I’ve included the GPS address below so you can avoid that mistake! There is lots of parking available and it’s free.
This was one of the more expensive attractions we did on our trip, it was €82 for our family of 7. That included 4 adults and 3 kids. Also included in the cost is entrance into Celtic museums (2) and the Silent Night Museum, however if you want to do them all you need to go much earlier in the day as they all close at 5 pm. More info about what is included here. We only did the mines and even so felt that it was money well spent.
The guided tour last around 70-90 minutes, there are several English tours. We arrived at 4:15 pm and the last tour was at 5 pm and thankfully it was in English. We had some non-English speaking people in the group and they had to carry around little audio guides. Our tour was 85 mins included changing into the miners outfits and back out of them at the end.
While the website says to dress warm we were wearing shorts and short sleeved shirts and were not cold. They provide you with miner’s suits to put on over your clothes. So maybe if your going in the colder season you may need to dress warm but in the heat of the summer it felt amazing down there! It does require good footwear so bring your walking shoes.
Another perk to this mine is that you get a train ride (in and out of mine), boat ride across the water in the mine, and to go down 2 slides in the mine!
As your time for the tour is approaching head towards the entrance area with your tickets. After they let you through you’ll be given miner’s suits to put on over your clothes, basically a 2 sizes fits all kinda thing. There is also a storage area if you need to store any bags, etc.
Then you’ll be loaded onto the pit railway train where you sit single file style and are taken into the mine. It’s a few mins and it’s neat to feel the change in the temperature as you go down. The walking is around 1.5 km in length.
View from the ride
After that you take a short walk where the guide explains some stuff and your taken to the first area to watch a video. We learned about Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau and his pursuit of the ‘white gold’ as he called it. While the video was a bit corny at times it did give is some great background on Wolf Dietrich which was neat as we were walking around Salzburg and the castle there the following day.
You’ll be given a short demo of how to slide down the slides and then your off! In groups of 2-3 you zip down the slide! There are 2 slides side by side so the process goes fairly quickly for the whole group. Smile as it’ll snap your photo as well! Photos are available for purchase at the end for €7 each.
A short boat ride across the salt late from where the salt is harvest is neat as well.
Also note if you touch the ceiling it may crumble and leave salty residue in your eyes as Bea unfortunately found out when Boo knocked a tiny bit of the ceiling off into her eye!
You can see one of the old tunnels that has now shrunk, see the collapsed beams?!
Old mining equipment
As your getting ready to get on the escalator make sure to grab your ‘goodie’ from the basket the guide is holding, it’s a miniature salt shaker with salt. Too cute and handy!
Overall everyone in our group from ages 11 to 50+ had a great time at the Salt Mines! It was also great for the hot temperatures because it was nice and cool in the mines, a great treat when traveling in a country with no air conditioning. It was a combo of fun and educational info, one of the top experiences of our trip.
Know Before You Go
What: Hallein Salt Mines in Bad Dürrnberg, Germany.
How To Get There: It’s about 6 hours 45 mins from the Spangdahlem, 5 hours 45 mins from Ramstein, 2 hours 23 mins from Garmisch, and 1 hour 45 mins from Munich. GPS Addy: Ramsaustraße 3, 5422 Bad Dürrnberg Österreich
Parking: There was a good amount of of parking and it is free.
Cost: Adults €19, €9,50 kids 4-15. Family pass is €48,50 for 2 adults & 2 kids, and also €25 for 1 adult and 1 kid. We purchased the 2 family passes.
Traveling with little kids: Kids need to be at least 4 years old to visit these mines. There is a cafe area for snacks.
How long: Plan on at least 1.5-2 hours for the tour and gift shop. Longer if you plan on eating, and seeing the other sites included with the ticket purchase.