Fodor's Expert Review Salzwelten
Salt has been mined in this area for at least 4,500 years, and the Hallstatt mines of the Salzberg Mountain are the oldest in the world. These "show mines" are in the Salzbergtal valley, accessed either by paths from the village cemetery or, much more conveniently, via a funicular railway that leaves from the southern end of the village. From the railway a 10-minute walk takes you to a small-scale miner's train (tall people, beware), which heads deep into the mountain. Inside, you can famously slide down the wooden chutes once used by the miners all the way down to an artificial subterranean lake, once used to dissolve the rock salt. At the entrance to the mines you'll find an Iron Age cemetery and a restaurant. Buy a "Salzerlebnis" (Salt Adventure) combination ticket from the ÖBB (Austrian Railway) that offers an all-inclusive value fare for travel to and from Hallstatt as well as the salt mine tour.