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The Hallein Salt Mines are one of the oldest salt mines in the world. Located near Salzburg, they are also known as Salzbergwerk Dürrnberg. To be more specific, they are located in an Austrian village in the alps, Bad Dürrnberg

The Salt from the mines has been mined for over 7000 years and has provided livelihood to the people. Popularly known as “white gold”, the Hallein Salt Mines have contributed to the building of the beautiful Austrian city of Salzburg. 

History of the Hallein Salt Mines

History of hallein salt mine in salzburg

Just to give you an idea of how old these salt mines are, they’ve been mined since 400 B.C., which was during the neolithic age. Since the first world war, these mines have also served as a museum for mining. With almost every step you take at these mines, you’ll see something that has a long history associated with it. 

The title “white gold” came from the ancient monarchs of Salzburg. Even then, they knew just how important salt was for livelihood and thus, the title of “white gold”  was born.

The history of the formation of the salt mines is also really fascinating. Around 250 million years ago, this area, Salzkammergut was on a turbulent land body. Over these years, the dry seas that contained salt were moved around through volcanic eruptions and various formations. 

Thus, they were pushed upward and then covered with a limestone layer. These salt mines lay here for years and years until they were discovered by humans. 

Visiting the Hallein Salt Mines

Slide in salt mine
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The Hallein Salt Mines are locally known as Salzwellten Hallein. Today, they are a popular tourist attraction for those looking for adventure. The Hallein Salt Mines are perfect for a day trip with your friends and family. Everybody above the age of four is welcome to explore these historic mines and get a taste of the treasure. 

The tunnels in the mines go on for several kilometres and the natural architecture of the mines has fascinated historians for years. With every step that you take, you’re getting closer to a world of immense former wealth. 

Daily tours that are on from April to November will guide you through the mystery and adventure of the Hallein Salt Mines. A salt lake, a miner’s slide and a ride on the miner railroad will give you some amazing experiences. 

You almost feel like you’re doing a treasure hunt, as you explore the many paths of the mines. The Salt Mines are inside a mountain, and the tunnel system here is essentially to stop the sinking of the mountain. 

If you’re in luck, you might also get to talk to some archaeologists. Excavations are almost always on here, so you could actually get personal accounts from the workers. 

There are about 65 kilometres of mining tunnels, and they are spread out over 21 levels. These levels are called “horizons” and 9 of these can be accessed even today. Think of 21 levels, inside a mountain. Isn’t that so cool?

What to do at the Hallein Salt Mines

Lake in hallein salt mine
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The best thing you can do to get a complete experience of the Hallein Salt Mines is to book a tour. Here, the guide will actually wear the gear that a miner wears and take you through the salt mines. 

Initially, to get into the mountain, you’ll be able to sit through a train ride. Here, the miners will talk to you and tell you about the mining process.

Train ride in hallein salt mine
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In addition to your guide wearing the gear, you’ll have to wear it too. A white shirt and some overalls, or the miner gear are mainly for your safety and protection. This will make it easy for you to be spotted in a dark tunnel. 

Once you’re off the train, the true adventure begins. You can walk around and explore the mysterious tunnels that run through the mines. Here, the guide will also help you understand how salt actually got inside a mountain. 

As you walk through the tunnels at Hallein Salt Mines, your guide will make frequent stops. This will be to tell you about the history of the place or to learn some facts about the Hallein Salt Mines. 

It is like listening to a story, as you hear how the salt mines were created and how valued they were, and still are. 

Now, there’s some more adventure waiting for you at the mines. The miner slides, which are actually used by them are also open to you. You can go down these slides, and feel like a kid again. Don’t worry, though, sliding down these is completely safe!

Ultimate Guide to Hallein Salt Mines in Salzburg
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Your next stop is a salt lake. A boat, that carries about 50 people glides through the lake gently. As you go along this journey, the tour also has a multimedia experience for you, that only adds to the wonder. 

Another cool feature about this walk is that it actually leads you through the Austrian border and into Germany. Imagine going from one country to another, while you’re inside a mountain. That is one unique experience!

The Man in the Salt

Man in the salt at hallein salt mine

During your tour, your guide will also tell you about the “Man in the salt” at the Hallein Salt Mines. The story goes that the miners found a man buried in the mines, several years ago. When they removed him, he was pale but his body hadn’t decomposed. When tested, it was found that this man has died years ago.

Turns out, the salt from the mines and the cold climate had actually preserved his body for all these years. 

Naturally, an incident like this provoked rumours about “dead men” and ghosts walking around inside the mines. Don’t fret, though, they’re just rumours! 

There is a replica of the “Man in the salt” present at the Hallein Salt Mines today, and it is placed exactly how the man was found years ago. 

Timings and Tickets at the Hallein Salt Mines 

During the Summer, the Hallein Salt Mines are open from 9 in the morning to 5 in the evening. During the Winter, the timings are a little altered because of the weather. The mines are open from 10 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon. 

As I mentioned earlier, the mines are open from the month of April to the month of November. 

The ticket prices for adults are 23 euros. The ticket prices for children above the age of 4 are 11.50 euros. However, if you’re travelling with family, there will be discounts available. 

How to get to the Hallein Salt Mines 

There are different ways of getting to the Hallein Salt Mines. The most convenient routes are from the town of Hallein to the salt mines. The cheapest way is by using the line 41 bus from Hallein. This will take about 10 minutes, and thus, is also one of the fastest ways to get there. 

However, there are other ways too. Austria is a country with some great public transport. 

If you want a more comfortable ride, you can use a taxi, which will take you young 5 to 10 minutes for a distance ion 4.4 kilometres. 

If the walk during the tour isn’t enough for you, you can also walk from Hallein to the salt mines themselves. On average, this should take you about half an hour. 

Frequently asked questions

How long is the Hallein Salt Mines tour?

The Hallein Salt Mines Tour is around an hour long. 

Do you have to wear special gear inside the mine?

Yes, you will have to wear special gear that will be provided to you at the location during your tour of the Hallein Salt Mines. 

How do you get to the Hallein Salt Mines?

There are many ways of getting to the Hallein Salt Mines, including buses, trains, taxis and walking. 

Are the Hallein Salt Mines extremely old?

The Hallein Salt Mines have been worked on for over 7000 years. They are one of the oldest salt mines in the world. 

Is the Hallein Salt Mine worth visiting?

The Hallein Salt Mines are a great mix of adventure, education and fun. You should definitely visit them. 

While you’re in Salzburg, there’s a plethora of things to do here. If you want to find some of the best attractions in Salzburg, here is a guide to help you do just that. 

Ultimate Guide to Hallein Salt Mines in Salzburg


The Hallein Salt Mines are truly a fascinating place to visit. They are the perfect blend of adventure, education and fun. Whether it’s a trip with your family or a school trip, there will always be something to learn here. The vast history of this place is highlighted as the tour guide talks about it. With many attractions and things to do, it’s an experience to remember. One can really tell just how valuable the Hallein Salt Mines are.

Have you guys been to the Hallein Salt Mines? What was your experience like? I’d love to talk about this in the comments below. 

Until then, I’ll see you guys next time! Have a nice day!

Ultimate Guide to Hallein Salt Mines in Salzburg

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