I'm leaning towards Werfen ice caves/Hallein salt mines since those seem kind of unique to where I'm from. Is there any other day trip I should be considering? I sadly only have time for one full day trip.
If you're interested in WW-II history, you could easily take a day trip to Berchtesgaden and visit the famous Eagle's Nest and the Dokumentation Centre and Bunkers. There's also a Salt Mine there as I recall. If you decide to visit the Eagle's Nest, you might consider taking the excellent tours offered by this firm, as you'll learn far more about the history - https://www.eagles-nest-tours.com/ .
As I recall, you can take the DB Bus from Salzburg to Berchtesgaden. The trip is 49 minutes and you can see the schedules on the DB website - https://www.bahn.com/en/view/index.shtml .
Another option would be to take an organized day tour with a firm such as this one - https://www.bobstours.com/main.php . If you're interested in seeing incredible scenery, a trip to Hallstatt would provide that.
Most people would vote for the Salzkammergut lake district, including Hallstatt, the salt mine, the Five Fingers, etc., if the weather is good.
Iwas really between Werfen ice cave/Hallein salt mine or berchtesagden/eagles nest which was my number 2 option. I'm thinking Werfen since they both have a salt mine and a view and I'd prefer the ice cave over the world war II site (eagle's nest). I was also considering Hallstatt but it's further and I'm less intrigued by a quiet lake town even though it's beautiful. I also read that the Werfen ice cave is much better than the HalstattDachstein one. Anything in my reasoning seem off?
Also from my research, Werfen ice cave and the salt mine can be done together using public transportation. Am I right in that it's not especially difficult?
i guess Halstatt/Dachstein/salt mine is a possibility? sounds like a really long day but I'm fine with that. I guess it comes down to Halstatt and Dachstein vs Werfen ice cave.
I also plan on leaving for Vienna the next day so whatever I do, I'm wondering if I should just take a train to Vienna at the end rather than Salzburg (if such a train is available). Otherwise I'll just take a Salzburg-Vienna train the next morning.
We did the salt mine tour last April as a half day trip from Salzburg. I bought all of the tickets as a package deal from the tourist office in the Salzburg train station right before we left. That included RT train, bus from train station to mine, and mine tour. We still had to trade our mine ticket vouchers in for actual timed tickets at the box office once we got to the mine. The ice cave was near Hohenwerfen castle, which we also did as a partial day trip, but the cave was closed for the season. Both the mine and the castle were easy to do with public transport, but since it was off season we had to walk from the train station to the castle and the signage was terrible--and it was a longish walk uphill. I would recommend both mine and castle.
i'm guessing Hallein/Werfen salt mine/castle/ice cave is impossible in a day :( i wish i had just one more day (well more, but at least one). Right now, I'm leaning towards the following schedule since, while not the right way to experience anything, might let me maximize my day given the time constraints so that i can get a rushed taste of lake district, salt mine and ice cave.
- Early morning train from Salzburg to Hallstatt Sazlburg Hbf to Hallstatt Bahnhof 5:12-7:31 , 2 hour 19 min with change at Attnang-Puchheim Bahnhof Put bag in Attnang-Puchheim Bahnhof train station storage
- find a way to get on 8:40 Am first cable car to dachstein ice cave – do cave (Dachstien Giant Ice Cave or one of others?) and five fingers (depending on weather)
- from dachstein ice cave, figure out how to get to salt mine
- from salt time figure out how to get back to halstatt village
- stay in village until leave for following train to Vienna Hallstatt Bahnhof to Wien Hbf 18:32 to 22:05, 3 hour 33 min, one change at Attnang-Puchheim Bahnhof pick up bag at Attnang-Puchheim Bahnhof train station storage
While this is not a way to enjoy a vacation, it might be a good way to maximize my one day before I have to go to Vienna for work reasons
outside of being long and tiring, does that one day itinerary seem doable?
How about going somewhere different? Bad Ischl? It was the summer residence of the Emperor Franz Joseph if you're into the history. Get there by bus from Salzburg Hbf.
The exact place in Bad Ischl is the Kaiservilla, ca 25 min walk from the train station, I've been there a couple of times, the premises is only by guided tour given only in German, no audio phones.
The salt mine takes three hours.
if the hallstatt itinerary is too ambitious, should i just stick to werfen ice caves/hallein salt mines? ice cave/salt mine seems more interesting to me than beautiful scenery