History & World Heritage

The region around Lake Hallstatt – World Cultural Heritage

Located between the Wolfgangsee, Traunsee, Ebensee and Hallstättersee lakes, the Dachstein-Salzkammergut area (or: Inner Salzkammergut) comprises the villages of Bad Goisern, Hallstatt, Gosau and Obertraun. In 1997 most of the historic, cultural landscape was listed a UNESCO World Heritage Site – characterized by breathtaking views, mighty peaks and spectacular caves. The UNESCO World Heritage region of Hallstatt Dachstein Salzkammergut has always attracted both active and relaxation-minded travelers thanks to charming bathing lakes and unspoiled mountain scenery. With its bizarre ice caves, varied hiking routes and the Five Fingers viewing platform Dachstein Mountain is the most popular excursion site in the area. The Schönbergalm conservation area is not only home to the Cave Museum, but also the starting point for excursions to the Dachstein Ice Cave and the Mammut Cave, and therefore a highlight for families.

A visit to the ice cave will definitely change your perspective! The fascinating, subterranean world of ice and rock developed in the depths of Dachstein Mountain in the course of time. High above the Traun Valley qualified and experienced guides introduce adults and children to the highlights of the Dachstein Eishöhle ice cave, including ‘Eispalast’ and ‘König Artus Dom’. However, a holiday in the Dachstein-Salzkammergut region offers unparalleled nature experience above ground as well: Visit the Five Fingers platform for spectacular views of the mountains; explore the Schönbergalm nature reserve; or walk along the Heilbronner Rundwanderweg loop trail and leave dull everyday routine behind.

Your gateway to the mountains: One lift pass covers the Krippenstein Seilbahn in Obertraun and many other uphill facilities throughout the Salzkammergut. With the free Schladming-Dachstein Summer Card many local attractions are accessible for free or at discounted rates. Bad Goisern’s public beach at Lake Hallstatt lends itself to a refreshing soak on a hot summer’s day. Do not miss out on a visit to the picturesque village of Hallstatt an , but has also greatly increased their prosperity and brought with it certain priviliges. As a result, this little community has become world famous, and local people take pride in the fact that a whole period in history was named after them.

Excursion planner

There is so much to discover in the UNESCO World Heritage region of Hallstatt Dachstein Salzkammergut. Old mines, mighty cave worlds or spectacular glaciers at romantic lakes - a paradise for cultural- and nature lovers.

» Excursion planner through the World Heritage

© Kraft | Ausflugsplaner für die Ferienregion Dachstein Salzkammergut

Village tours through Hallstatt

UNESCO World Heritage region | Explore the village of Hallstatt, the oldest saltmine ofthe world, the fantastic ice cave or the great mammut cave. Besides the historical information there are numerous stories that cannot be found in any book or internet portal.

» Village tours through Hallstatt

The World Heritage museum of Hallstatt

How did the people of Hallstatt live in the past? How did they earn their crust? The answers to these and other questions will be provided on a journey through time of the extra class in the heart of Hallstatt. Open all year!

» World Heritage Museum Hallstatt

All 4 one

Since living memory it was the salt which provided the wealth for the Inner Salzkammergut. The salt is the basis for the typical ancient customs and interesting cultural peculiarities. Recently UNESCO determined a big part of this region as a World Heritage worth to be preserved.

» All 4 one

© Dachstein AG Hörmandinger | Wanderwelt Dachstein West Zwieselalm bei einem Ulraub in Gosau

The region around Lake Hallstatt

Nowhere else will you experience so much natural variety and breadth of experience. With numerous crystal clear lakes and breath-taking mountain scenery, this "Hallstatt - Dachstein/Salzkammergut" region of outstanding natural beauty welcomes visitors time and time again.

» All about the region around Lake Hallstatt

The World Heritage speaks many languages

Information about the World Heritage region around Lake Hallstatt in french, Italian, hungarian, czech. All World Heritage Sites are excellent choices for an excursion beyond the ordinary.

» The World Heritage speaks many languages

Welterberegion Hallstatt / Dachstein Salzkammergut  | © Kraft

School Project Week in the World Heritage region

Dachstein Salzkammergut | Welterbe-Aktiv: School trips usually require a lot of organisation: lengthy phone calls, complicated price tarifs... When you book with us, however, this is not the case. Everything is organised all in one go!

» School Project Week

Videos from the World Heritage

Videos of the UNESCO World Heritage region of Hallstatt Dachstein Salzkammergut. A journey through all the seasons in moving pictures. Ideal to get you into the mood for your holiday on Lake Hallstatt.

» Videos from the World Heritage

UNESCO Convention

The "World Heritage Convention" was decided upon at the 1972 UNESCO General Conference, to select "natural and cultural heritages" and to record them in a "List of World Heritages", which is of exceptional interest and value for all of humanity.

» UNESCO Convention

Themed trails & Audio Guide Tour

By means of display boards and interactive elements, visitors learn a lot of interesting and useful information about this unique natural and cultural landscape within the UNESCO World Heritage region. Most themed trails can be enjoyed whatever the weather.

» Themed trails

Customs and traditions

Would you like to know more about tradition and customs? Here you can find out more about individual events and authentic folk culture. Interesting trivialities not found in any travel guide.

» Customs and traditions

© Menschhorn @ Bräuche und Traditionen im Salzkammergut

Wi-Fi hotspots within the World Heritage

Hallstatt & Co.| W-Lan-Hotspots: Twitter, Facebook posts, Emails during a holiday on Lake Hallstatt or in the Gosau Valley - not a problem. Free hotspots make it possible.

» Wi-Fi hotspots around Lake Hallstatt

The Glacier Garden of Hallstatt

Tour of discovery tour to a stony relic from the last ice age. An excursion tip for the whole family of about 2 to 3 hours. A natural experience in almost any weather

» The Glacier Garden of Hallstatt

Book tip: Hallstatt original!

A native of Hallstatt and a resident of Vienna, photographer Josef M. Fallnhauser knows Hallstatt like the back of his hand.

» Book tip: Hallstatt original!

MOM - Memory of Mankind in Hallstatt

The knowledge of our time, our everyday life and our culture in a unique archive. Do you just want to leave your tombstone? If you do not take part, will never have existed!

» MOM - Memory of Mankind

© Mag.art. Martin Kunze-Kitzler MOM Memory of Mankind Salzfertigergasse 3, 4810 Gmunden

Always well-informed

When is the next cable car to the Dachstein Plateau in Obertraun? When does the next sightseeing ship depart from Hallstatt? With the four tourism platforms of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hallstatt Dachstein Salzkammergut // www.hallstatt.net // www.bad-goisern.net // www.obertraun.net // www.gosautal.net // you will always stay up-to-date on current hours of operation, itineraries and more. If you’d like to use this information for during your stay in the holiday region of Dachstein Salzkammergut, then we would suggest that you save the appropriate website of your holiday destination in your favourites list on your smartphone or tablet. Then, you will always be informed during your holiday in the Salzkammergut. We hope to see you in Hallstatt, Gosau, Bad Goisern and Obertraun!


Date: Fri, Aug. 24, 2018
Ort:  Bad Goisern, 4822 Bad Goisern
A combination of local tradition and folk music, great fun and entertainment with friends!


Date: Sat, Dec. 1, 2018 , 13:00 — 18:00
Ort:  Heimatmuseum Gosau, 4824 Gosau
Simple, lively, colourful and traditional: Gosau "Bergweihnacht" - A Christmas Market Experience an incomparable Christmas trip to Gosau!


Date: Wed, Dec. 5, 2018 , 18:00 — 23:00
Ort:  Hallstätter Marktplatz und in den idyllischen Gassen, Marktplatz 4830 Hallstatt


© Kraft | Traditioneller Krampuslauf Hallstatt

Date: Fri, Dec. 7, 2018 , 17:00
Ort:  Marktplatz Bad Goisern, Marktplatz 4822 Bad Goisern
700 "Krampusses" and demons, St Nicholasses and good angels will assemble once again in the market square in Bad Goisern for this annual event.


Date: Sat, Dec. 8, 2018
Ort:  Hallstätter Marktplatz, Marktplatz 4830 Hallstatt
Authentic customs, living traditions and a touch of romance in December. Experience an incomparable Christmas trip to Hallstatt!


Date: Sat, Dec. 15, 2018 , 10:00
Ort:  Hand.Werk.Haus, Rudolf-von-Alt-Weg 6 4822 Bad Goisern
Over 20 of our most talented artists proudly present their products both inside and in the courtyard at the Neuwildenstein stately home.


Date: Sat, Jan. 5, 2019 , 16:45
Ort:  Gemeindeplatz Obertraun, Obertraun 180 4831 Obertraun


Date: Sat, Jan. 5, 2019 , 20:00
Ort:  Marktplatz Bad Goisern, Marktplatz 4822 Bad Goisern


Date: Thu, Jun. 20, 2019 , 09:00
Ort:  Hallstatt, 4830 Hallstatt
World famous procession on the lake in Hallstatt. Unique cultural experience


History of the World Heritage region around Hallstatt

A historical cultural landscape since thousands of years: The region around Lake Hallstatt appealed very early to humans looking for the vital salt. There are traces of salt mining on the Hallstatt Salzberg going back as early as 2000 B.C. Great prosperity was gained through the salt trade, the burial objects document extensive and wide spread trade relations. The climax of ancient mining was definitely from 800 until 400 B.C (older Iron Age), which is also referred as the Hallstatt-Period due to the numerous findings in Hallstatt.

The mine was affected by a part collapse later on. Around the time of Christ’s birth the area was ruled by the Romans who started to settle in the valley, while the local people continued their trade. During the 5th century with the end of the Roman dominance a cultural collapse took place. There is no sure evidence if there was any salt mining during the medieval times, except a few traces of possible salt production on the west side of the Sandling.

Around the turn of the 14th century we have reliable sources since the Habsburgs took over this area as their private property. Hallstatt regained its status as an important production site. The alliance between Austria and Bohemia in the 16th century resulted in a real boom era, and at the same time the region became dominated by Lutherans. Soon the mining capacity of Hallstatt became exhausted; the forests looked like karst formations, therefore the production had to be increased in Ischl and later on in Ebensee.

The Catholic counter-reformation was a disastrous era for the Inner Salzkammergut, resulting in the displacement of more than 700 Lutherans to Transylvania at its peak. Only in 1781 the long awaited religious toleration became a reality. Around 1800 tourism slowly developed in this region, and the first travellers wrote in their guidebooks about travelling through the “Austrian Switzerland”. Tourism really took off with the construction of the railway, making the area more accessible. Since then the Inner Salzkammergut is a most popular tourist destination, which also was internationally appreciated with the World Cultural Heritage nomination by the UNESCO. © Dr. Michael Kurz, Dez. 2002

Colourful light shows

Tranquillity, as you have never experienced it before. Get up early in the morning, before sunrise and stand in front of the hut and be immediately surrounded by the unspoilt nature of the UNESCO World Heritage region of Hallstatt Dachstein Salzkammergut. Birds sing the first song of the day. Cowbells ringing in the distance, enjoy your morning coffee on the hut bench while tasting the fresh air - that's what people from all over the world find fascinating about a magical overnight stay in a hut in the holiday region of Dachstein Salzkammergut. Relax your eyes and gaze into the distance, forget everyday life, soak up the rays of the sun, feel the wind on your skin and just unwind. So have we filled you with desire? What are your criteria for a hut night?

Unforgettable moments in this World Heritage region

Book online now!

Quickly and securely to the most beautiful apartments, the best hotels, the most cozy guest houses (B & B's) and the most spacious holiday homes around Lake Hallstatt and the Gosau Valley. Don't look around - book now! Just a click away!

» Book online now!

Active Vacations around Lake Hallstatt

With its world of breathtaking mountains around Lake Hallstatt, the area around also offers everything for a unique and unforgettable active vacation in the UNESCO World Heritage region of Hallstatt Dachstein Salzkammergut. Whether families, children or young adults, singles, groups or active vacationers – here everyone finds just what they've been looking for. The breadth of opportunities for your sports holiday in Hallstatt in Austria, combined with famous spas in Bad Aussee and Bad Ischl, makes designing an active and regenerating vacation child's play.