We are on RS Tour of Munich, Salzburg, Vienna in April, and several reviews mentioned that touring salt mine was a highlight in Salzburg. However I noticed it’s not included in the tour, I’m assuming people did it optionally. Was it really worth it to tour the salt mines?
We visited the salt mine in the hill up above Halstatt during a visit last May, and enjoyed it.
Halstatt is a small, extremely picturesque, town. Taking the little boat into and out of the town, strolling the town, and visiting the salt mine, all of which are interesting and well worth doing, are apparently what you do if you are spending a day and two nights in Halstatt, as we did.
Curiously, Halstatt was also chock full of Chinese tourists. As in we were the only non-Chinese people staying at our hotel. Apparently, the Chinese have a thing for Halstatt.
After visiting Halstatt, we also spent some time in Salzburg as well, and also enjoyed it, but I am not sure what you are referring to as the Salzburg salt mine.
The Salt Mine is in Hallstatt and was so much fun! We went to the small museum beforehand and it was great for such a tiny museum! Then, sliding down those miners slides!
...it’s not included in the tour, I’m assuming people did it optionally...
That was the case when we did the GAS tour several years ago. Well worth it just to see it and be a kid again and do the big slide.
I just returned from the Munich Salzburg Vienna tour in December. Even with the cold temperatures, a small, hardy group of tour mates went on the slide and enjoyed it! It is not part of the tour.
For those of you that toured the Hallstatt salt mines, did you preorder tickets or buy them on the day.
The closest salt mine to Salzburg is at HALLEIN. You can purchase a combo ticket at the tourist office in the Salzburg train station that includes round trip train and bus and salt mine entrance.
It’s worth it. I’ve done it 3 times and have also done the one in Hallstatt once. It has changed over the years - the 1970 version was the best.
I got the tickets ahead of time, and because we were able to get through the gate fast with already having the tickets we hopped right on a tour and didn't have to wait at all. It was so fun watching my 68 year old MIL go down those slides!
I enjoy ancient history as well as geology. I had a grand time. I went to the salt mine in Hallstatt.
I went up the mountain on the RS tour half day free time. I just did a walk up. This was in October of 2009 so YMMV.
I walked from town to the ticket office. From there I rode a tram up the mountain. I then walked up the trail to the main office. There were some great sights and interpretive displays along the trail (and beautiful views).
I wished that I had rented the language specific audio recording for the trail walk. (It costs extra)
The actual tour at the main office was multilingual and nice. They provide coveralls so you don’t get too dirty.
Just watch out for The Mother Of All Splinters as you start the fun. Something I still have bad dreams about, 20 years after going...
I independently went on the salt mine tour. To me it was not worth it however my travel partner loved it. IMO it was childish and not worth the time or $.
IMO it was childish and not worth the time or $.
To be fair, I think I enjoyed it because I already had a background in geology and mining. The interpretive displays on the trail walk up also added to my knowledge base.
I had also done the Salzburg castle tour and knew the importance of salt to the region. It started in the pre-Roman era and continued in importance.
This meant that I added my own interpretation to the tour in my mind, increasing its enjoyability.
FWIW, the rest of my RS tour group went down to a cafe by the lake and had beer. Borrrring.
A good book to read would be Salt: A World History
I haven't done that RS tour, but I have been to a salt mine tour in Hallstatt. I truly enjoyed it, but I had never seen anything quite like it before. I've done cave tours in the US, yes, but this was a little different from what I've done here, obviously. There's a lot of history and local stories to be heard.
If you are there and have the time, I'd recommend it. On our tour, the slide was optional. I thought I'd be terrified of it as I hate slides (REALLY bad childhood experience), and I hate heights. I forced myself to do it anyway and wound up going back down about three or four more times.
It looks like the Hallstatt salt mine now offers off route “expedition” tours.
It’s not cheap but is equivalent in price to many “spelunking” tours offered in the US.
They are also offering personalized guided tours (for a price).