The Best Day Trip from Salzburg: Konigsee and the Salzburg Salt Mines
While there’s plenty to do in the picturesque town of Salzburg, Austria, the best day out from Salzburg is to the Konigsee and Salzburg Salt Mines. It’s easy to create an independent day trip across the border to Germany, visit the salt mines that gave the city its name, and cruise on the beautiful lake Konigsee, and do it at your own pace. We also look at the best tours for Salzburg to Konigsee day trips.
The Best Tours of the Salzburg Salt Mines and Konigsee
If you’d like everything taken care of, take a tour for a day trip of the Salzburg Salt Mines and Konigsee. Some tours also include a trip up to Eagles Nest. We’ve highlighted three of the best tour options below:
|Tour||Travel Time||Best For||Pricing|
|Salzburg Super Saver: Bavarian Mountains including Eagle’s Nest and Salt Mines||9 hours||Budget and family travellers – Great price which comes at the cost of a coach bus tour.||Check availability and pricing|
|Private Eagles Nest and Salt Mines Tour from Salzburg||6 hours||Couples who like to skip the crowds and have personal attention on a tour||Check availability and pricing|
|With a local: Private Tour to Königssee and Salt Mine Berchtesgaden with Lunch. NOTE: Day trip from Munich to the Salt Mines and Konigssee||10 hours||Up to three people, traveling from Munich, who like to skip the crowds and have personal attention on a tour||Check availability and pricing|
Day Trip Itinerary to visit the Salzburg Salt Mines and Konigsee independently
It’s easy to plan and enjoy a day trip to the Salt Mines and Kongissee yourself: you’ll catch a public bus, tour the salt mines, grab lunch in the Berchtesgaden or along the walk to the Konigsee, cruise on the lake, and head home via Hellbrunn Palace gardens if you have time.
Catch the bus to the salt mines
Bus 840 leaves from the Salzburg Hauptbahnhof at 8.15, 9.15, 10.15, and other .15s throughout the day. If you want to get the most out of your day, though, try for an early one. You can also catch this bus three minutes later from the Mirabellplatz, which might be better depending on where you’re staying.
Buy a day pass (Tageskarte) from the driver; it’ll cost you about €11.60 for zones 1-5; if you want to go to Konigsee, ask for a zone 1-6 ticket for €13.80. You could get a single ticket, but a day pass costs about as much as a return, and you get a lot more flexibility with it.
You’ll be on the bus for about 40 minutes; it’s a pleasant trip that takes you out of Salzburg city, through the countryside, and alongside a river. You want to disembark at the Salzbergwerk stop — stops are announced in advance so keep an ear out.
If you miss your stop it’s no big deal, just disembark at the terminus and walk back — it’s about half an hour along the river, or a bit longer if you take the route through the town of Berchtesgaden.
Go to the salt mine – Best Salt Mine Tour Options
If you managed to get off at the correct stop, you’re at the Salzbergwerk mine. Before you do anything else, go inside and get your ticket, which will put you on the next available tour.
Tickets cost €17 for adults, and €9.50 for kids, but you get a 20% discount if you have the Salzburg Card. Depending on demand, you might have to wait a little while for your tour to start; spend this time on the rooftop balcony or have a coffee beside the river.
There are other mines to choose from, both on the Austrian side of the Salzberg mountain and the German one, but Salzbergwerk provides an entertaining option that includes a train ride into the mountain, two slides, a raft trip across a mirror-clear lake, and a funicular ride back up towards the surface. And it’s all done in miners’ overalls, which adds a slightly surreal element to it all.
The trip takes about 90 minutes and is conducted by a German-speaking guide; visitors who speak other languages are given an audioguide so they can hear the commentary in their own language. Bring your headphones if you don’t want to spend the whole time raising and lowering your arm.
Have Lunch out at Berchtesgaden
After your tour, head through the car park and under the road; follow the signs to Berchtesgaden. Here, stop into the tourist office for a walking-tour brochure, or just admire the main sights: the pink Parish Church, the grey Abbey Church, the arches in the Schlossplatz painted with war scenes as a memorial to soldiers who died in the World Wars.
The Marktplatz square is also very pleasant; stop in one of the bars in the pedestrian area for a drink or Tagesmenu lunch, or continue on through the town, past the station, and on to the Konigsee walk.
Walk to the Konigsee (optional picnic lunch)
You can catch a bus to the Konigsee, which will only take ten minutes, but they also only run at a quarter past the hour. This walk is a truly pleasant stroll, and about five minutes into it, you’ll see picnic tables by the river — a great place to stop for lunch. An added bonus is that two supermarkets are conveniently located at the start of the walk, so it’s easy to stock up on supplies.
After lunch, the easy, well-marked trail leads you all the way to Konigsee, and it’ll take you about an hour and a quarter. Although you mostly follow a river, there are several pubs along the way where you can stop for a beer if you need one; otherwise, just keep walking.
Take a short boat trip
A boat trip on the Konigsee is beautiful! A 35-minute journey to St Bartolemä costs €15 return, while a 55-minute trip to Salet costs €18.50. Both have pubs and walking trails, so it’s easy to fill up a bit of time — just check the return ferry times before you set off, as the last one goes at around 4.30pm outside of the peak summer season.
Getting Home and optional extras
Bus 841 from Konigsee back to Berchtesgaden leaves at half-past the hour, and you’ll have a half-hour wait at Berchtesgaden station for your trip back to Salzburg. Depending on time, you can either head straight back into the city, or stop in at Hellbrunn to look around the gardens, check out the trick fountains, and tour the palace.
<br />The zoo is also right nearby, as is a folk art museum; all three of these attractions are covered by a Salzburg Card, so it might be worth investing in one. This card also gives you the use of public transport within the city, which will be useful as bus 25 runs every 20 minutes back to the centre of town.
There are plenty of ways to customise this trip: add a stop at the Eagle’s Nest (Hitler’s summer palace) while you’re in the Berchtesgaden area, or go up the cable car at Grödig on your way out or back (this is best done with a Salzburg Card). It’s your day, do what you want with it!
Read more about travel in Austria
- Austria travel
- Top 10 things to do in Austria
- Salzburg travel guide: what to do in Salzburg, Austria
- Best cities in Austria podcast
- Day trip from Salzburg: salt mines and Konigsee
- One day in Vienna
- Vienna travel guide podcast
- How to spend half a day in Graz, Austria