Salzburg Salt Worlds with Celtic Village & Museum

On the trail of salt & Celts in Salzburg's Tennengau region

by Barbara / 26. Januar 2023 / Excursions

Stollen in den Salzwelten Salzburg © TVB Puch

Experience 2,600 years of salt history with all your senses.

You want to experience something here in the Tennengau and are also interested in the history of the Celts and salt mining? Then a visit to nearby Hallein - Bad Dürrnberg is just right for you! There you will find the SALZWELTEN SALZBURG, the oldest visitor mine in the world, and the KELTENDORF SALINA, an impressive open-air exhibition of the Iron Age settlers. In addition, original objects of Celtic history and the prehistory of Salzburg as well as the history of the city of Hallein are presented to you in the KELTENMUSEUM in Hallein.

Last month, I visited all three adventure worlds with my children (ages 5 and 8), and I"m happy to summarize all the important information for your first or next trip to the world of the Celts and salt here in PUCH MAGAZINE. One thing right away: The sights offer something for every age and the good thing is that it is a safe all-weather program for the whole family!

Kelten.Erlebnis.Berg - visit to the Salzwelten Salzburg

Up the Dürrnberg and into the adventure. The Salt Worlds, redesigned in 2021, welcome guests after the large parking lot with a modern, bright reception area for ticket purchases.

Eingangsbereich Salzwelten Salzburg © tVB Puch

Here you can decide whether you want to book the 90-minute guided tour through the salt mine, or whether you want to get a one-way ticket for the Celtic village. Read on and find out why you should definitely visit BOTH.

Good to know - when visiting the Salzwelten Salzburg!

🔸 The entrance to the Keltendorf is included in the Salzwelten ticket. However, you can also buy the Keltendorf ticket separately at the Salzwelten ticket office (adults € 6 & children € 3).
🔸 Guests in our vacation region receive reduced admission to the salt mine with the TennengauPLUS Card and travel free of charge by bus & train through the Tennengau to the city of Salzburg!rg!
🔸 Online-Tickets can unfortunately not take into account any discounts! You can only get these tickets at the ticket office on site!
🔸 With the Salzwelten ticket, the entrance to the Celtic Museum is discounted.
🔸 Meet at the ticket office 15 minutes before the start of the tour.
🔸 The tour lasts about 90 minutes and you cover about 1 kilometer on foot
🔸 The tour is conducted in German and English. For other languages there is the free APP "Salzwelten Destination Guide" or the audio guide to borrow for 3 euros.
🔸 It is not possible to bring animals or to participate in the tour with a wheelchair!
🔸 In the mine it is 10 degrees all year round. Dress appropriately and sturdy shoes!
🔸 Backpacks and large bags may not be taken into the mine.
🔸 Children can visit the Salt Worlds accompanied from 4 years!
🔸 In the store you are sure to find a suitable souvenir or memento made of salt! Click here to go to the Online store!

SALZWELTEN Salzburg - Discover the history of salt & Celts!

The guided tour to the salt mine at Dürrnberg in Hallein begins with the friendly greeting of the Salzwelten guide at the tour start. With your ticket you enter the first large room, where the first impressive pictures are shown on a big screen.

Tip: Keep your ticket safe, you will need it for the Celtic Village and the Celtic Museum!

After that it"s time for EVERYONE to get into the miners" protective suit (white pants and shirt) and let"s go! Out into the open, over the stairs in the direction of the galleries. The photographer quickly takes a photo and then it"s up to the "pit dog", where you take a seat behind each other, like on a gymnastic bench.

Grubenbahn Salzwelten Salzburg © TVB Puch

The train moves swiftly into the interior of the mountain, where it also flashes once for a photo! After that, the journey continues underground on foot and you go from station to station, on the trail of the white gold, where visitors are taught the importance of salt as "the essence of life". 

Four eras of salt mining & many highlights.

The tour starts with modern mining and shows the salt production of the present. The trail then continues into the Dark Ages, to the Celtic miners in the Iron Age. During a raft trip across the mystical salt lake, you dive into the baroque world of Salzburg. The state border between Austria and Germany is crossed on foot.

Salzsee Salwelten Hallein © Ostermann

In addition to the mine train and the dark ride across the salt lake, the two miners" slides provide special variety and fun during the tour with the Salzwelten guide, who gives precise instructions before the first slide. Attention, please smile: a photo will be taken at the first slide!

Key Visual Salzwelten Salzburg

Several stations with films and interesting objects await you along the way. At the end of the tour you get a small souvenir to take home, then you take the escalator back to the top, where the mine train is already waiting for the visitors to get back to daylight.

Back up the stairs, where you get a great view of the Barmsteine to the city of Salzburg, you come to the laundry return and at the photographer are printed pictures ready, which you can buy there. Further up you come to the exit via the Salzwelten store. The store is very well stocked and is sure to have the right souvenir for you or souvenirs for loved ones at home. From salt rocks of any size and various salts for the kitchen, there is also clothing and many souvenirs for children.

Ausblick Salzwelten © TVB Puch

But what about the story of the salt on the Dürrnberg? Of course, I could not remember everything from the tour. Here for you a short summary from the Salzwelten blog of the...

... Milestones of salt mining at the Dürrnberg!

  🔸 3.8 billion years ago, the earth"s crust had cooled and the salty primordial oceans were formed, which gradually evaporated, causing the crystallized salts to sink to the bottom.
🔸 Even 200 to 250 million years ago, Austria and Germany were covered by a huge salt lake.
🔸 About 100 million years ago, the continents shifted and the Alps folded up, mixing salt and rock layers.
🔸 In the Neolithic period around 4,000 BC, people discovered that salt preserves meat.
🔸 In the Bronze Age, salt as a preservative became increasingly important and people began digging for it in the 6th century BC. The beginning of prehistoric salt mining at Dürrnberg.
🔸 About 2,600 years ago - in the so-called Iron Age - the Celts settled the Dürrnberg and thus secured work and prosperity.
🔸 With the arrival of the Romans, salt production on the Dürrnberg came to a standstill, and it was not until 1191 that the Salzburg prince archbishops rediscovered the "white gold" as a source of wealth.
🔸 The first guests visited the Hallein salt mine as early as 160, which is why it ranks as the oldest show mine in the world.
🔸 After 800 years, active salt mining ended in 1989.
🔸 2019: Resumption of a small gourmet salt production in the salt manufactory on the Kelten.Erlebnis.Berg.

Celtic Village SALINA - history at your fingertips!

Directly next to the action-packed show mine, after the Salzwelten store, you go up to the Salina Celtic Village on the Kelten.Erlebnis.Berg, which has a lot to offer for children and adults.

Keltendorf Saline am Dürrnberg © TVB Puch

In the faithfully reproduced village you feel like a real Celt. Next to the themed playground with miniature mine train and a great view in the direction of Puch and the city of Salzburg is the information center, which provides exciting insights into the history of the settlement of the Dürrnberg and the work of the archaeologists. Afterwards you walk along a circular path from hut to hut and follow in the footsteps of the Celts. How did they live, what did they do? You"ll get answers to just such questions there.

Tip: With the cool Salzwelten app, the working world of the Celts can be experienced in a playful way for everyone. This explorer app is integrated into a modern destination guide complete with audio guides in 14 languages.

Salt manufacture on the Dürrnberg - from natural brine to fine gourmet salt

In the Keltendorf, the ancient craft of salt boiling is combined with today"s wealth of experience and natural brine is refined into the finest Austrian gourmet salt. The natural brine flows directly from the tunnel from the Dürrnberg into the modern "NaCl house". There, the Pfannmeister heats the brine, creating tiny salt crystals that form pyramid-shaped flakes. These special flakes of the "BAD ISCHLER Salzart" are carefully scooped by hand, slowly dried in the oven at about 150 degrees Celsius for several hours and finally packed by hand.

Schausaline Salzwelten Salzburg © Monika Löff

With the salt manufactory in the Keltendorf, the long mining and salting tradition has been revived at Dürrnberg since 2020, after the Hallein salt works were closed in 1989. Visit the unique manufactory and meet the Pfannmeister, who will gladly explain the process of salt boiling to you.

Celtic Museum Hallein - experience history!

Get off the Dürrnberg and in just 5 minutes drive to the historic Pernerinsel at the gates of the old town of Hallein, where you can park your car. Over a bridge the way leads you directly to the Celtic Museum, next to the Salzach river. The entrance area with cash desk and small store is located in the long glass enclosure. Don"t forget to show your Salzwelten ticket! Past the checkroom, the way leads into the large staircase and directly into the first rooms of the museum. On the first floor is the exhibition "Prehistory of Salzburg", on the 1st floor the "Celts of the Dürrnberg" and on the 2nd floor the "History of salt mining in the time of the archbishops".

Keltenmusuem Hallein

Meet the Celts, experience prehistory & feel the town"s history

The Hallein Celtic Museum is one of the largest museums of Celtic history and art in Europe. Unique here is the combination of Iron Age burial grounds, settlement areas and salt mining on the Dürrnberg. Walk-through galleries, insights into burial chambers, ornate gold jewelry - the art and culture of the Celts can be experienced in the Hallein Celtic Museum. The absolute highlight: the 2,500-year-old Celtic beaked jug from Dürrnberg with its mythical beasts and demons. In addition, three archiepiscopal princely rooms from 1756/57 and objects relating to Hallein"s history and the historical salt industry are on display. Here, the oldest and most extensive picture cycle on salt mining also conveys the wealth of the Salzburg prince archbishops. Today, the former salt works administration building from 1654 is a modern museum for the whole family.

New since 2022: the bone lab - research, understand, learn yourself!

As an interactive science room, the bone laboratory is intended to make and promote an understanding of archaeological and anthropological research more accessible. Skeletons, after extensive scientific examination, provide a great deal of information about the everyday life of the Celts, their diseases, early infant mortality, poor nutrition, and much more. Data sheets help to classify the observations and gain insights. After examining the original finds, visitors lend a hand themselves and conduct research on plastic models or medical teaching materials.

How children discover the Hallein Celtic Museum!

In addition to the exhibition and the guided tours for adults, the Hallein Celtic Museum offers a particularly wide range of activities for families and children. Events and mediation offers for all age groups make a visit to the Celtic Museum Hallein an experience for every age group. At a workshop for school and kindergarten children or at a children"s birthday party, valuable knowledge is imparted to the youngest ones in a playful way. If you visit the Celtic Museum without a guided tour, it is best to follow the prehistoric worm through the museum, who will give you interactive incentives to discover again and again.

Tip: The new „Keltenmuseum Hallein“-App complements the exhibition and the hands-on stations. The app can also be used independently of location to prepare for or follow up on a visit to the museum.

Permanent exhibition: Celts for children - experience archaeology!

On the ground floor there is a large room where children can experience the life of the Celts. Shoes off and off you go! The children can make excavations in the sand, try out different sounds with pipes, slip into the role of a Celt, climb up a rope and much more. Seats invite to rest or to read one of the many books about the Celts.

Keltenmuseum für Kinder © TVB Puch

Special exhibition in the Celtic Museum Hallein

In the Celtic Museum there are also numerous special exhibitions that change regularly. Until February 2nd you can visit the exhibition "Krippen in Salzburg". This exhibition focuses on the people behind selected Salzburg nativity scenes. Insights into the variety of staging, design forms, materials, techniques and ideas are possible.

Krippenausstellung Keltenmuseum © TVB Puch


Take advantage of your visit to Hallein and walk through the beautiful old town up to the parish church and also visit the Stille Nacht Museum!
There you can visit the exhibition "Froschkönig, Gruber & Zeiserl" (Frog King, Gruber & Zeiserl) in addition to the "Life and work of composer Franz Xaver Gruber" until June 7. The figures of the Hallein puppet theater are real rarities and were created in the middle of the 20th century.

Sonderausstellungen Keltenmuseum

Salt Worlds, Celtic Village or Celtic Museum?

Well, do you now feel like a journey through time to the Celts, through the history of salt mining, prince bishops and primeval oceans at the Dürrnberg or in Hallein? Then get your ticket for the Salzwelten Salzburg and the Kelten.Erlebnis.Berg and visit the unique salt mine at the Dürrnberg with the Celtic village. Use the ticket and visit the Celtic Museum in Hallein with a 20% discount!

Tip: only a few minutes from the salt mine is the Zinkenlift, where you can ski and snowboard in winter and from May to October the summer toboggan run!

Whether alone, with children or with a group of adults - all 3 adventure worlds are very interesting for all age groups and great staged. If you start right in the morning with a tour of the Salt Worlds, then take a leisurely walk through the Celtic Village, you"ll have enough time in the afternoon to visit the Celtic Museum and even take a walk to the Silent Night Museum!

Tip: the museums are all among the more than 30 top excursion destinations here in the Tennengau. Here you can get an overview of the great sights in our area.

Have fun with your excursion into the world of the Celts and the salt mining at the Dürrnberg! Videos of my excursions can be found at @visitpuch! Here`s to my video reel of the Salzwelten Salzburg excursion!

Hier gehts auf den Dürrnberg in Hallein:

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