This year ÖBB Railtours of Austria offers a combination ticket for a day trip to Hallstatt. It covers all transportation costs, a tour of the salt mines, and more. The combi-ticket looks like a great deal – no more buying separate tickets for all the different conveyances and tours – one ticket covers it all. But is it a good deal?
Here is what’s included:
- a 2nd class, round-trip train ticket to Hallstatt from just about any train station in Austria;
- a round-trip on the ferry from the Hallstatt train station to the landing in Hallstatt Markt across the lake ;
- a roundtrip ride on the funicular railway to the top of the Salzberg
- a guided tour of the Salt Mines of Hallstatt
- a visit to Hallstatt’s Skywalk, a platform near the top of the mountain station of the funicular, where you can step out over the abyss and get the “Welterbeblick” – World Heritage View in English – of Hallstatt and the surrounding landscape.
The price of the combination ticket depends on your point of departure. A day-trip from Salzburg for a single adult costs €75; from Vienna it costs €104. (When you click on the link you’ll see a starting price of €43. That’s the cost of a ticket if you depart from Stainach-Irdning, a town close to Hallstatt)
The combination ticket comes with a few conditions.
- Its a day trip. You’ll have to return to Salzburg, for example, and complete all of your tours the same day .
- You have to buy your ticket at a railroad counter, or any other, physical place that sells train tickets.
- It’s currently not available for online booking.
You can examine it all for yourself at this website. But the question is: is it a good deal?
Here is what all of these rides and tours will cost you if you arrange them on your own and buy all tickets individually: €64.80. I break it down as follows, for a departure from Salzburg.
- Round trip train ticket from Hallstatt to Salzburg – €29.80;
- Round trip on the ferry €5.00;
- A tour of the salt mines with all of the extras (see below) €30.00.
The salt mine tour includes, according to their website:
- Roundtrip ticket on the Hallstatt Funicular Railway;
- Admission and guided tour of the Hallstatt Saltmine;
- A visit to Hallstatt’s Skywalk, the platform I described above;
- Two exhibitions in the Rudolfsturm and Knappenhaus. The Rudolfsturm is a former Watchtower near the top-side funicular station. It now houses a restaurant and an exhibition. The Knappenhaus is where salt miners once lived.
- A walk through a show grave;
- A walk on the theme trail in the Hochtal (high valley) with an audio guide. The walk is called a journey through time. The Hochtal is the site of thousands of graves from the Hallstatt Period – a necropolis of the bronze age miners.
Again, the total for all of the above, including transportation and the salt mine attractions comes to €64.80
From the looks of it, a single adult can save about €11 (from Salzburg) if they buy all tickets on their own, and they get more for their money. You also have the flexibility to design your own tour or day trip, you could even stay for a night or two in Hallstatt or nearby towns. Bad Aussee, for example, is wonderful town not far from Hallstatt and it also has a better salt mine tour, in my opinion.
€11, by the way, will almost buy you lunch at the Rudolfsturm. The restaurant inside is very good, and on a nice day the view from the terrace is, as they say – a World Heritage View.
So, you decide. The combination ticket is probably more convenient, but is it worth it?