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Hallstatt or Berchtesgaden?

My post on my Salzburg itinerary has created a debate! Which one of these towns would make a better day trip from Salzburg - Hallstatt or Berchtesgaden? Unfortunately I will only be in Salzburg for three days, and day trips to both towns will not be possible.

Posted by
216 posts

Can't see why you can't manage both. The major sites of Salzburg of interest to tourists can be done in one full day, esp. if you are staying in town. Both nearby attractions are worthwhile excursions. It all depends on how you are traveling - train, car or bus.
Bad Reichenhall, the Königssee, the salt mine, and the Kehlsteinhaus (holding such attraction to Americans) are quite close.
The Salzkammergut is a larger area, has numerous attractions beyond Hallstadt, its salt mine, and the ice caves at the Dachstein, plus it is a region of lakes and transitional montane topography. All this is easily navigated by car, somewhat less so - and more time-consuming - by bus or train. If you rely on the latter, you will have to back up on the Salzburg-Linz route to Attnang-Puchheim, then take the Salzkammergutbahn past Bad Ischl & Bad Goisern to the far side of Hallstadt Lake. Take the ferry into town. Funicular to the salt mines is within walking distance.

Posted by
1717 posts

I think Hallstatt is better : ride to it on a boat on a big lake that is surrounded by Alps muontains. You could go to both Hallstatt and Berchtesgarden. Day one : be a tourist in Salzburg. Day two : a day trip to Hallstatt (ride in trains). Day three : a day trip to Berchtesgarden.

Posted by
193 posts

I agree with Ron try to get both places in. They're both worth it in their own ways.

Have fun

Posted by
32104 posts

Caroline, I was just in all of those locations a few weeks ago, so might be able to offer some tips. it MIGHT be possible to see both places during the three days you'll be in Salzburg, however, that will depend on how much you want to see in Salzburg.

One possibility might be to use 1.5 days for Salzburg, half a day for the tour to Berchtesgaden (I used * Bob's Special Tours *, which is listed in Rick's book) and 1 day for the tour of Hallstatt (you could use Bob's Tours for that trip as well, but it's an 8-hour trip).

If I had to choose just one location, it would have to be Hallstatt - it's an incredibly beautiful location, especially when arriving by train and looking across the lake at the town! I doubt that the view would be nearly as spectacular if arriving by road.

Aside from the town of Hallstatt, the tour of the Salt Mines is very interesting, and of course the excellent food. If you like fish, you might try the Reinanke, which is a local trout which was reportedly specially developed for the Empress Elisabeth ("Sisi"). If you have time, have lunch on the patio at Rudolfsturm, which is a large Castle at the top of the Funicular - the view is incredible!

Hope this helps. Happy travels!

Posted by
68 posts

Ken, thanks for the reply! The 1.5 days just might work!

Day One: Rick's Salzburg's Old Town Walk / S.o.M Tour 2-6 / sites / shopping
Day Two: More sites & shopping / Berchtesgaden tour 2-6 / more sites / shopping
Day Three: Tour of Hallstatt / sites in the evening

Is Bob's Special Tours better than Panorama? I'm taking the S.o.M. with them (Panorama), and I know that they offer a Berchtesgaden and a Hallstatt tour as well.

Posted by
9363 posts

Bob's Special Tours use a small bus rather than the regular big touring bus, so it's a more intimate experience. Otherwise, they are probably pretty similar.