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7 Things to Do in Zell am See

Hometown Series Guest Post by Lisi of Escaping Worlds

Zell am See is an Alpine town in the state of Salzburg in Austria. It is a popular ski resort in winter and a regular summer destination for Arabs.

With the lake and the backdrop of the Hohe Tauren, mountains of an altitude of 3000 masl (9842.52 ft), it is truly magical at any time of the year. The region is known for its high alpine activities. But don’t worry, you don’t have to be super sporty to enjoy the activities in Zell am See.

lake surrounded by green trees and snow covered mountains in the background
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Zell am See in Summer. Photo Credit: Escaping Worlds.

7 of the Best Things to Do in Zell am See

Kitzsteinhorn – the top of Salzburg

One of the best things to do in Zell am See is to visit the top of Kitzsteinhorn. From Kaprun you can take the cable car to the top of the Kitzsteinhorn. Enjoy the view from the cable car as you go higher and higher. It doesn’t matter what time of year you go, because the cable car operates all year round. You can’t go all the way to the top, but very close. There is a restaurant and a tunnel that takes you to the other side of the mountain, where (weather permitting) you can see the Grossglockner and other three-thousand-meter peaks of the Hohe Tauern. It is best to choose a day with good weather to enjoy a magnificent view.

snow covered mountains of Kitzsteinhorn
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Kitzsteinhorn. Photo Credit: Escaping Worlds.

Best Things to Do in Zell am See: Sigmund Thum Gorge

The Sigmund Thum gorge is also located in Kaprun. This activity is perfect for hot summer days. You walk through the 320 meter (1049.87 ft.) long gorge on wooden walkways, with water raging below you. At the end you reach a beautiful gorge lake, which you can walk around or take a short hike to the Bürgkogel. The Klammsee also invites you to have a picnic or to linger. There is also a small bistro at the lake. Please note that the Sigmund Thum Klamm is not open during the winter.

lake with the reflection of trees and a small building in the background
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Sigmund Thum Lake. Photo Credit: Escaping Worlds.

Treetop Trail in Saalbach

An ideal venture for those who want to discover nature with a simple but unique activity, the Treetop Trail is one of the best things to do in Zell am See. It is the highest treetop trail in Europe. The path takes you into nature and is about 1 km long (0.62 mile) From viewing platforms, you have a breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains.

At Lindlingalm, a typical Austrian mountain hut, you can enjoy traditional dishes. Or if you need more adventure, try Flying Fox or the high ropes course. This place is also an optimal starting point for hikes.

A pedestrian bridge with snow covered mountains in the background
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Treetop Trail. Photo Credit: Escaping Worlds.

Round trip on the Zellersee

Get a different perspective on the mountains and the city by taking a boat tour on Zellersee. There are several options. You can either take the big tourist boat “MS Schmittenhöhe” or rent a motorboat, a paddleboat, a stand-up paddling board or a kayak. Rental stations are around Zell am See, near the outdoor pool or on the north and south shores.

lake with leaves hanging in the foreground and snow covered mountains in the background
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Zellersee Lake. Photo Credit: Escaping Worlds.

Best Things to Do in Zell am See: Hike to the Plettsaukopf reservoir

The hike is marked as easy, however you shouldn’t underestimate the elevation, especially if you aren’t used to mountains. The hike starts in Zell am See and takes around 2 hours to reach the Plettsaukopf reservoir. From there you have a great view of the Zeller Lake and the surrounding mountains. You can continue the hike to the next lake, the Brunnermais reservoir, and from there you can hike to the peak of the Schmitten, which takes another 2 hours.

greenery in the foreground with a lake sitting in the background
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Plettsaukopf Reservoir. Photo Credit: Escaping Worlds.


Tobogganing is one of the best things to do in Zell am See and is absolute fun in the mountains, both in summer and winter. In summer you will find summer toboggan runs in Kaprun, on the Maiskogel or in Saalfelden on the Biberg.

In winter (if there is enough snow) the Kohlschnaitbahn in Bruck and the Jufen in Maria Alm are highly recommended. The special thing about the Jufen is that you can go up the mountain by tractor, either sitting in the front on the shovel or in the back on the sled. A truly unique winter experience!

Best Things to Do in Zell am See: Krimml Waterfall

Although it can get pretty busy at these waterfalls in summer, it is still one of the best things to do in Zell am See. With a height of 385 meters (1263.12 feet), it is the highest waterfall of Europe. What also makes it special is the healing power of the waterfall. The fine water mist is said to help to relieve respiratory diseases. The waterfall path leads you up on a broad hiking trail, with countless viewpoints to marvel at the power of water. Definitely an activity that you shouldn’t miss!

waterfall crashing over a cliff surrounded by greenery
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Krimml Waterfall. Photo Credit: Escaping Worlds.

Where to Eat in Zell am See

In between these adventures you need to make sure you stay nourished. The famous Kupferkessel in Zell am See, is a rustical inn where you find a huge menu with traditional dishes, as well as Italian cuisine.

Café Karin a rather unimposing restaurant in Maishofen at the valley entrance to Saalbach-Hinterglemm also has very delicious dishes, from snacks to traditional meals to pizza.

Where to Stay in Zell am See

The Zell am See region can be (depending on the season) on the higher price scale. If you are on a budget it is recommended to stay outside of Zell am See, Saalbach-Hinterglemm and Kaprun (are very expensive during winter season). Good options are Saalfelden, Bruck, Taxenbach, Piesendorf. If you are traveling during summer to the Zell am See region it is easier to find accommodation. There are a lot of different options from hotel, inn, apartment to camping ground and youth hostel.

About the Author

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Lisi is an adventurous, mostly solo traveler from Austria. She likes to travel slowly, discover underrated countries/regions, and of course, learn about cultures. She has been traveling the world and creating travel content since 2016.With a degree in tourism management and a passion for travel and cultures, she wants to tell stories that inspire people and help them travel more consciously.

Follow Her Journey at Escaping Worlds

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Discover some of the best things to do in Zell am See as recommended by a local-from outdoor natural wonder to adrenaline filled activities!  #zellamsee #austria #hometownseries
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