Zell am See, a Gem of Relaxation Between Mountain and Lake

South of Salzburg, the town of Zell am See, its skiing slopes and the pretty lake Zell provide year-round sports activities for all ages.  Together with Kaprun, Zell am See also hosted the Ironman 70.3 in 2012 and 2015.

Zell am See is not only a natural region but also stands for the urban atmosphere in the area. It provides sophisticated shopping and culinary experience. Strolling through the town, you will see traditional souvenir shops, modern shops, restaurants, and cafes line up along the narrow street. It is also a perfect day trip destination from Salzburg.

Winter street scene in Zell am See

I discovered this town during my skiing holiday in Saalbach-Hinterglemm and spent one day there. Here are some activities you could select if you have one day in Zell am See area:

  • Visit the romantic St. Hippolyte’s Church
  • Take a lakeside walk
  • Visit Tridor Kaffeerösterei
  • Join a boat tour on lake Zell
  • Spend a relaxing day in Tauern Spa in Kaprun
  • Visit the Kaprun Castle
  • Vötter’s Old Timers Museum

Visit the romantic St. Hippolyte’s Church

The church has a distinctive tower added in the 15th century. Sometimes there is also a small farmer market next to the church. Usually, people sell local specialties on the market. Take a look if you pop into such a local market, you might find some cheeses or hams products which are only from that region.

Dreifaltigkeitsgasse, Zell am See

The Romantic St. Hippolyte's Church

Take a lakeside walk

It takes three to four hours to walk around the lake, depending on personal condition. The lake promenade is well-maintained, and no special shoes are required. Walk to the east side of the lake you can see the beautiful Grand Hotel Zell am See located on the west side of the lake.

Visit Tridor Kaffeerösterei

The coffee shop roasts coffees for their customers daily. You are welcome to watch the traditional coffee roasting process during the weekdays. Tridor Kaffeerösterei sells not only coffees but also different types of Teas and seasoning products. It supplies more than 200 coffee houses, hotels and restaurants, etc.,  within Austria and Europe wide. Take a look and you will have many gift ideas.

Address: Areitstraße 5, Zell am See

Join a boat tour on lake Zell

From the lake Zell, you have the best views of the historic old town, the alpine landscape behind those beautiful buildings, the snow-covered mountains of the Hohe Tauern, and the green slopes of the Pinzgau Grass Hills. By joining a boat tour, you can enjoy extraordinary insights into the vistas of the region from Lake Zell.

However, boat tours don’t take place in winter.  You should check the operation times.

Local ham in the farmer's market, Zell am See

Spend a relaxing day in Tauern Spa in Kaprun

Kaprun is a town next to Zell am See. The Spa offers 360° fabulous panorama mountain and glacier views. The Tauern Spa’s website is only in the German language.  If you want to know the price and opening time, check this page. To get there, you can take bus 660 and get off at bus stop Tauern SPA. The bus stops right in front of the SPA.

Visit the Kaprun Castle

The Castle was built in 12th century. After intensive renovations, now it is a venue for various events such as festivals, concerts and company events, etc. It is also a popular wedding venue. Take bus 660 from Zell am See and get off at bus stop Schaufelberg. Then you cross the street, and there is a straight road lead you to the Castle.

Straight road leads to the Kaprun Castle

Kapron Castle in Austria

Vötter’s Old Timers Museum

There is also Vötter’s Old Timers Museum in Kaprun. It displays cars, Motorcycles, and tractors, etc., built between the 50s and 70s. Take the bus 660 and get off at bus stop Schaufelberg. From there it is around 10 minutes walk to the museum. The entrance of the museum is next to the Hotel Sportkristal. There is a parking area at the end of the street.

Address: Schloßstraße 32, Kaprun

Kapron Church

Visit the 3000 metre high Viewing Plattform (Gipfelwelt 3000) in Kaprun

Gipfelwelt 3000 is located right next to the national park and offers a spectacular view of Austria’s highest mountain all year round. You are at the top of the Kitzsteinhorn glacier and the highest mountain in Austria without having any climbing skills. There are a cinema and Ice-Arena, and you can spend some time up there. Take the bus 660 from Kaprun and get off at Kaprun Kitzstein Bergbahn, and  you reach the Talstation Gletscherbahn Kaprun.

If you only have limited time, you can join the High Mountain Reservoir Experience with Dam Tour to visit the dam, the beautiful Alpine regions, and Tauern mountains.

Travel tips

Plan your trip

While skiing is the main activity in winter, many water sports around the lake are the summer activities. There are also many hiking routes and tours available in the area. Whether you’re a mountain biker, serious hiker, or a casual stroller like me, you’ll find what you’re looking for here.

However, you should also be aware of the operating time of the facilities. So plan your trip by checking the details on this website.

In the mountain area, the WiFi signal is not always satisfying. You can buy unlimited 4G internet in the EU with pocket WiFi to make your travel more convenient.

Where to stay

  • HAIDVOGL MAVIDA Zell am See is only a short distance from the ski lift. All rooms have a balcony with beautiful mountain views.
  • Grand Hotel Zell am See is on its private peninsula at the bank of the Lake Zell. It has a  private beach and a modern rooftop spa with panoramic views.
Grans Hotel Zell am See
Grans Hotel Zell am See

How to get there

  • By car: It takes about 1.5 hours from Salzburg and about 2.5 hours from Munich to reach the Zell am See-Kaprun region. You need to purchase an Austrian motorway toll sticker if you drive via motorway.
  • By train: The train station of Zell am See is located directly in the town centre. Check oebb.at to get your train connection to Salzburg and Zell am See.
  • By Bus: To find a bus connection to and from Zell am See, please check postbus schedule.

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