Ice Caves in Werfen
The world's biggest ice cave is the site of fascinating ice sculptures and is one of the most popular sightseeing attractions in Salzburg!
Werfen's "Eisriesenwelt" [world of ice giants] is actually the world's biggest ice cave: The cave system extends more than 42 km deep into the mountain. The first section, about a kilometer in length, features imposing ice formations and is open to the public. Since it is a protected natural monument, development of the cave has been painstakingly cautious in order to preserve its unique natural beauty and ecosystem.
Stepping through the imposing cave entrance, 20 meters wide and 18 high, you enter a mysterious world of ice. Aside from its enormous dimensions, the cave impresses with its ice palaces of crystalline beauty. Monumental formations glisten to amazing effect in the light of the traditional mine lamps which are issued to visitors. Winding passageways and galleries with evocative names such "Diamond Realm" lead you deeper and deeper into the mountain.
The Ice Caves can only be visited as part of guided tours offered from May to October. These 75-minute tours include scientific information and historical facts about the cave. Especially on hot summer days, you will find yourself immerged in what is essentially a parallel world of ice. Incidentally, on clear days you will be able stand at the cave entrance and look out at a magnificent mountain panorama in front of you.
You can in fact hike from the visitor center in the valley all the way up to the ice caves in the Tennengebirge mountains. Or, cut out the steep section altogether and let the steepest gondola lift in Austria carry you up to the cave entrance. Even in summer, the temperatures in the ice cave are around 0° C. Appropriate clothing and shoes are a must - and you need to be in fairly good physical condition: In the cave itself, you will have to cope with a total vertical gain of around 234 meters, which includes a countless number of stairs. That said, the silent beauty of the ice caves rewards every single ounce of effort!
The prices can be found on the official website .
This might also interest you:
Book your ticket in advance online and to ensure you can visit at the best time for you!
Mozart & Mahler in the Great Festival Hall
Masterpieces in the Great Festival Hall: Mahler's 5th Symphony and Mozart's Piano Concerto.
Plan your visit
Here you will find your ideal accommodations, sightseeing tours of Salzburg, special events and tickets, along with all the benefits of the Salzburg Card.
Book guided city tours and excursions in and around Salzburg online:
The many-and-varied cultural events represent the heart & soul of Salzburg. Book your tickets right here:
- Advent/Christmas/New Year's
- Congresses / Fairs / Workshops
- Culture / customs / markets / festivals
- Guided tours
- Religious events
- Theatre / shows / dancing / films
The Salzburg Card provides you with free or discounted admission to numerous sightseeing attractions, along with free use of public transportation.
How to get here Start your ice cave adventure
An overview of tickets An experience for everybody
Live webcam weather conditions in real time.
National Geographic visits the Eisriesenwelt
#EISRIESENWELT Impressions from our visitors
What our visitors say about us.
„Fascinating and spectacular! Note: This experience is not recommended for those who have difficulty walking. The lighting from the torches is particular impressive. But for those who can, this is a unique experience.“
„A wonderful experience, close to nature and simple, just as it should be in the mountains. The walk was refreshing, everywhere was secured, and there was a spectacular view of the cave itself and the steep walls.“
„Highly recommended for everyone who wants to experience something special. However, there are a few things you should be aware of and know. The note about good shoes and warm clothes is really meant seriously.“
Offers & tours
An experience for the whole family, combi ticket.
Cave tour incl. cable car
If you are booking the cave tour and cable car online, you save money. In comparison with buying tickets on-site (at the cash desk), you get the online tickets at a reduced price.
Book a ticket Ticket Overview
% discount when buying tickets online
You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser .
WERFEN ICE CAVES or HOHENWERFEN FORTRESS TOUR
Werfen Ice Caves Sculptures
Werfen Ice Caves Mountain
Werfen Ice Caves Cable Car Station
Werfen Ice Caves Inside
Hiking Path to Werfen Ice Caves
Top of Werfen
Werfen Ice Caves Shop
Werfen Mountains Range
Werfen Village View
In olden days Hohenwerfen Fortress had the status of a strategic bulwark. The historic Falconry Center and the falcons add now a very special air to the imposing complex which is often used as a movie location. Inside the mountain is the largest system of ice caves in the world, the Eisriesenwelt. The tour is a unique experience in all respects. A STRATEGIC BULWARK – FALCONS IN THE AIR AND THE LARGEST SYSTEM OF ICE CAVES IN THE WORLD
Please notice that within the ice caves you will have to go up and down 134 m. The temperature is below freezing so proper shoes, including warm clothes and gloves are necessary. Persons with walking difficulties or heart-circulation-problems are asked not to enter the caves. It is also not suitable for children under approx. 4 years. Entrance fee not included.
- Free Salzburg city hotel pick-up
- Drop off near Mirabell garden
- Knowledgeable chauffeur guides
- Tour flexibility upon request
- Food and drinks
- Entrance fees where applicable
- Tips for guide (up to you)
Tour schedule & availability
Important Info a) Additional hours if possible upon request. Extra hours Euro 95,00/h b) Some of the tours cross the border Austria/Germany. Please take the passport with you, it could be checked. c) Please inform us in case you want to take a baby with you (necessary for the proper child seat).
In the south of Salzburg , high above the valley of the Salzach River, the majestic fortress Hohenwerfen (dating back to the 11th century) will provide you the great view far into the valley which in olden days gave it the status of a strategic bulwark. Because of its beauty and the extraordinary location this fortress was used as a set for many movies (f.e. Where Eagles Dare ). Used as a prison for many centuries with famous captives, it also harboured a training camp for the Austrian Police (until 1987). Today it houses weapons, various special exhibitions, the first Austrian Falconry Museum (a historic Falconry Center with daily flight demonstrations), and, of course, a tavern.
Officially discovered in 1879 (the first two hundred meters) the main explorations from 1920 on revealed a cave system over 40 km in length, which soon attracted the first tourists. At present the grandeur of Eisriesenwelt is one of the top destinations for sightseeing in Salzburg country. With its huge halls, narrow accesses, icy sculptures of gigantic size, small ice curtains, corridors, crevices and light effects; the ice caves are unique in all respects.
As the temperature almost the whole year is below freezing, proper shoes, including warm clothes and gloves are necessary. Please also notice that within the ice caves you have to go up and down 134 m. Of course, the tour guides are considerate of tour members and reasonable pace. The experience of this miracle of nature will reward the effort; however, persons with serious walking difficulties or heart-circulation-problems are asked not to enter the caves. It is also not suitable for children under approx. 4 years.
If you want to experience a miracle of nature, breathe the air of adventure or immerse yourself in history – this tour will provide it.
On this tour clients can decide which of the 2 sights they would like to visit.
- Booking -
- + - 80 €
- + - 70 €
- + - 60 €
- Select English (Preferred) German (Preferred) 0 €
- Select Max Reinhardt Platz (University Church) Train Station (Exit Schalmoos/Lastenstrasse) Hotel Pickup (on request) €
- Select 08:30 am 0 €
- Category: Salzburg City Tours
There are no reviews yet.
Be the first to review “WERFEN ICE CAVES or HOHENWERFEN FORTRESS TOUR” Cancel reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.
DÜRRNBERG SALT MINES and the BAVARIAN ALPS + “EAGLE’S NEST”
DÜRRNBERG SALT MINES TOUR and the BAVARIAN ALPS
Werfen Giant Ice Caves
Open daily from April 29 to October 31.
TICKET WINDOW (Visitor Center): 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
GONDOLA (last ride up to the cave): 8:45 a.m. - 3:20 p.m.
CAVE (last guided tour): 9:30 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Prices per person. All statements without guarantee.
A warm welcome Awaiting you at the Werfen Giant Ice Caves
The cave system, created many millions of years ago by underground watercourses and later conquered by ice, is unique in every respect. In order for such a natural spectacle to occur, very special weather conditions are required, which occur only very rarely on our planet. Discover the largest ice cave in the world and experience the fascinating forces of nature up close!
Fascinating world of ice
Huge chambers alternate with narrow passages, small ice figures with mighty sculptures of enormous dimensions. The guided tour through the gigantic cave system covers a distance of about one kilometer and takes about 1 hour 15 minutes. For the entire visit to these giant ice caves, including the rides up and down the mountain, you should plan a total of about 3 hours.
The journey is its own reward
From the parking lot, you can reach the cave entrance via a footpath and then by gondola lift. A visit to the cave is especially worthwhile in good weather because then, apart from a fascinating visit to the cave itself, you can also enjoy a wonderful panorama extending across the Salzach valley and the peaks of the Hohe Tauern.
Discovery tour in the ice
A visit to the ice cave, which was discovered back in 1897, is a unique experience. Around 1,400 steps have to be climbed during the guided tour and the temperatures in the cave are constantly around freezing point. Therefore, please make sure to wear warm clothes and good shoes during your visit.
Info & Facts
3:20 p.m. last ride up by gondola
3:45 pm last tour of the cave
Warm clothing & sturdy shoes
~ allow 3 hrs. time for the visit
You will have to climb many steps
The cave temperature is always around 0°C
No filming or photography
Online ticket purchase possible
Salzburg is not only a land of mountains, but also of caves - for example, the largest ice cave on earth. If you dare to take a look, you will see rock formations that are millions of years old, enormous ice sculptures in a wide variety of shapes, and glittering crystal worlds. Welcome to the adventure.
Eisriesenwelt GmbH Eishöhlenstraße 30, A-5450 Werfen phone +43 662 84 26 90-14 fax +43 662 84 26 90-8 [email protected] www.eisriesenwelt.at Facebook | Instagram
From Werfen, about 40 kilometers south of Salzburg, a 5-kilometer mountain road leads to the parking lot with visitor center at roughly 1,000 meters above sea level. Access road is easily passable for coaches up to 14 meters in length.
daily 9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. May - Sep 8:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
January - November: daily except Tuesday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. July, August: daily 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Advent / Christmas period (until 6.1.): daily 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (closed 24 Dec.) Last admission 1 hour before closing time.
Hellbrunn Palace & Trick Fountains
daily from 9:30 a.m. (March 31 - Nov. 1, 2023)
Salzburg Open Air Museum
March - October: Tue - Sun: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. July, August: daily: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. November: Tue - Su: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Adventroas 2023: Dec. 02-03, 2023 and Dec. 09-10, 2023
04.02. - 31.03.2023: 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. 01.04. - 5.11.2023: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 06.11.2023 - 07.01.2024: 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
April, October, November: Tue - Sun: 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. May - September: daily: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. July 17 - August 18: daily: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Bird of Prey Show Jul 17 - Aug 18: 11:15 a.m., 2:15 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
open daily from 29 April to 31 October 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Krimml Worlds of Water
May 1 - October 27: daily 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Last admission at 4:30 p.m.
Kaprun Alpine Reservoirs
End of May until mid-October daily 08:10 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. Last ascent: 3:30 p.m.
Grossglockner High Alpine Road
Beginning of May to beginning of November Seasonally different daily opening hours
Winter: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. January (Tue & Thu) February (Mon - Fri) March (Tue & Thu) April until Easter (daily) Summer (daily): May, June, September, October: 9:30 am - 5:00 pm July & August: 9:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
How to Reach the Werfen Ice Caves from Salzburg by Public Transport?
Explorer’s note: Some links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a booking through them, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps us keep providing tours and top-notch travel advice.
The largest Ice Caves in the World, the Werfen Ice Caves, are only 38 kilometers from Salzburg, and everything is set up for you to reach the Werfen Ice Caves from Salzburg. They are the main attraction in the town of Werfen and easy to reach on your own by public transport. Let me tell you in this article how to get from Salzburg to the Ice Caves.
Beware that the Ice Caves are not open in winter. Before considering a visit, check their website to find out if they are open while you are visiting Salzburg! Beware also that you need to be more or less fit for a visit to the Ice caves.
To reach the Ice Caves from Salzburg, you take a train from the Salzburg train station to Werfen. From the station in Werfen, you take a shuttle bus to the visitor’s center and buy your ticket for the caves. You then hike for 20 minutes, take a cable car and walk for another 20 minutes to the entrance of the caves, where your guide will wait for you.
Sounds complicated, right? In this article, I will guide you step by step, and you see that it’s much easier than it sounds and that you will be fine to go on your own.
The Train from Salzburg to Werfen
The train to Werfen leaves from the central train station in Salzburg. Departures are frequent. The S3 leaves every half an hour, and the regional train REX also almost every half an hour. You get your ticket for the train from the machine at the train station. The process is straightforward, and you can change the language on the ticket machine to English, but it may take a few minutes to figure out how it works, so don’t arrive just on time.
Get to the Salzburg train station ten minutes before your desired departure to find out how the ticket machine works and to buy your ticket. You need a ticket before you get on the train.
The Shuttle Bus from Werfen to the visitors center
The shuttle bus to the Ice Caves leaves from the shuttle bus parking every 25 minutes. At 8:18 am, 10:18 am, 12:18 pm, and 2.18 pm the same shuttle bus, on its way to the caves, also passes the train station. The bus parking, however, is only 5 minutes or fewer walking from the train station. There is no need to stress about getting to Werfen on train station pick up time. Let me explain how to find the shuttle bus parking.
Leave the train station! You will face the bridge over the Salzach river. Cross that bridge! On the other side, turn right and walk along the river. In no time you will see the bus parking. There is a container that sometimes serves as a ticket office, and maybe there is even the bus waiting for you. Otherwise, you have to wait for a moment. The bus leaves every 25 minutes.
The return ticket for the shuttle bus is €7,-. You will get a red coupon with two edges to tear off. One for each way. The shuttle bus is required, and the price is reasonable. Walking would take 1,5 hours uphill on a concrete road. The shuttle bus drops you in front of the visitors center where you go on and buy your ticket to the Ice Caves.
The shuttle bus driver is friendly and helpful. During our visit in October 2019, we were the last guests on the way down from the caves. We asked the shuttle bus driver how to get to the Hohenwerfen fortress from the bus parking. Because there were no other guests on the bus, he offered to take us there for free.
The Visitors Center – How much is the Ticket to the Ice Caves?
First, a little tip. We talked to the staff at the visitors center of the Ice Caves, and they told us it would be best to visit the Ice Caves as early in the day as possible if you want to avoid the crowds.
At the visitor’s center, you buy your ticket to the caves and for the cable car. The cable car with the entrance fee to the Ice Caves and the required guided tour is €24,- for an adult. If you are a student, there is a €2,- discount. There are many combinations of discounted family tickets, and there are discounts for youth under the age of 18. The Ice Caves, including the cable car with €24,- or €22,- for students offer a fair price value compared to other tourist destinations and day trips around Salzburg.
To only take the cable car, a regular ticket is €14,- but the cable car without the caves wouldn’t make much sense. A hike from the visitors center to the caves would only be recommended, if you are an experienced alpinist, not afraid of heights, up for a serious effort, and equipped with proper hiking gear. In that case, you would only pay €12,- for a visit to the Ice Caves. But again, only if you meet the requirements above!
The hike from the Visitor Center to the Cable Car
Once you got your ticket, the adventure begins. You hike for an easy 15 – 20 minutes. Depending on the weather, it can be a gorgeous hike. Look at this picture from our last visit.
You see, the fortress of Werfen from the train, the train station or the bus. However, the last time we visited, we saw nothing in the beginning. Only when we were on the way to the cable car, the fog lifted and the fortress appeared.
There is part of the way where you could walk inside a tunnel. Don’t do that! I don’t know why anyone would do that. The sign says “Beware of falling rocks”, but rocks could fall anywhere on the way up, and in many years in tourism in Austria, I have never heard of anyone who got hurt by a falling rock while visiting the Ice caves.
The Cable Car to the Ice Caves
On your way to the cable car, you can’t go wrong. There is only one way up, no intersections except for the tunnel which leads you on the same path again. Once you reach the cable car, you scan your ticket and get on. There are two cars. They have renewed the cable car in 2015. A ride up only takes 3 minutes and when it’s busy, the cable car goes up and down all the time. It can, however, still get crowded and there could be a cue in high season.
About 200.000 people visit the Ice Caves every year. In summer there can be queues at the cable car. As mentioned above, it’s recommended to go as early in the morning as possible.
The Hike from the Cable Car to the entrance of the Ice Caves
Once you reached the top by cable car, you begin your second easy 20-minute hike up to the entrance of the caves. You walk past the Oedl Schutzhaus restaurant and keep going for about another 15 minutes. Again, you can’t go wrong. There is only one way up to the entrance which you will see in the distance while you walk.
I was not expecting to find a public restroom at 1700 meters of altitude. This came in handy for me because I forgot to use the toilet on all the other stops. There are restrooms all along the way. At the visitors center, at the lower and the top station of the cable car and even here on top of the mountain.
Meet your guide for a tour of the Ice Caves!
Once you reach the entrance to the caves, your guide will wait for you. The guided tour is the only way to visit the inside of the Ice Caves. It’s included in your €24,- ticket for the Caves and the cable car. That’s the reason I wouldn’t recommend taking a tour from Salzburg to the Ice Caves. Inside the Caves, you will have a guide, anyway. Tours take 70 minutes and start about every half an hour.
Once the tour starts, every 4th person gets an oil lamp. The guide will divided groups into English and German speakers, and off we go into the darkness and cold of the largest Ice Cave in the world.
Want to know more about the Ice Caves?
To find out what the Ice Caves are like and for more useful tips, read this article on what to expect from a visit to the Ice Caves in Werfen .
This is the official website of the Ice Caves in Werfen. Check it to find out if the Ice Caves are open!
What else to do in Werfen?
While you are in Werfen, you might also consider a visit to the Hohenwerfen fortress. In my honest opinion, it is not a must. From the outside, it looks more interesting than from the inside. Read this to find out about the Hohenwerfen fortress and to find out if a visit is worth it for you!
My name is Gerhard, Founder of Free Walking Tour Salzburg. I am an intrepid traveler myself and understand the passion for adventure that independent travelers feel. I love to interact with travelers, share stories, answer questions, recommend places to eat, and offer ideas of things to see and do.
Things to Do in St Gilgen: From Mountain Tops to Lakeside Spots
Are you planning a trip to Salzburg and are looking for day trips? The Salzkammergut, Lake District, is one of three main areas to visit on day trips from Salzburg, and this article will tell you everything you need to know about the town of St Gilgen in the Lake District. If you were looking…
What to Expect from a Visit to the Werfen Ice Caves?
The Ice Caves in Werfen, Austria are the largest Ice Caves in the world. They are convenient to reach from Salzburg, and besides the Lake district and Berchtesgaden, the Werfen Ice Caves in summer are the most popular day trip to take while staying in Salzburg. What I liked about my last visit to the…
7 Best Day Trips from Salzburg: A Local’s Guide to Top Spots
You can explore the essentials of Salzburg in a day or two. If you are a curious traveler, you could keep going and won’t run out of new discoveries in the old town. However. If you have more than a day or two, I strongly advise you to take a day trip from Salzburg. May…
Salzburg’s Salt Mines: A Day Trip Worth Taking
There are three salt mines scattered around Salzburg, Hallein, Hallstatt, and Berchtesgaden, that you might want to visit. All three salt mines offer the same experience. What’s that experience? When it’s time to delve deep into the mine, you’ll be provided with traditional miners’ clothes before you ride the mine train – just like a…
Dachstein Krippenstein: Five Fingers, Two Buses, a Train and the Cable Cars
Let me tell you about my experience visiting Dachstein Krippenstein. The Dachstein mountain range in the Austrian Alps is breathtaking, with Dachstein Krippenstein in the Salzkammergut Lake District as the crown jewel. It’s located near the town of Hallstatt, and in my opinion, it’s one of the best things to do in Hallstatt, even if…
Day Trip to Bavaria: How to Visit Lake Königssee from Salzburg?
My German guests told me that Berchtesgaden and Lake Königssee are not only known in the area but are widely considered the most beautiful nature destination in all of Germany. Thinking about it, I can imagine. It’s at least up there with Neuschwanstein castle and other popular destinations. But why are we talking about Tourist…
FREE WALKING TOURS IN SALZBURG — click here!
How to get to the Werfen Ice Caves from Salzburg in 7 easy Steps
It is hard to believe, but the Ice Caves in Werfen, one hour south of Salzburg, are the largest Ice Caves in the world . The first kilometer of the 42-kilometer deep cave can be explored on a guided tour. Even though the caves are only an hour away from Salzburg, there are several steps you need to take to get to the entrance but don’t worry.
I will guide you each step of the way to the cave entrance, where your tour guide will meet you. Let’s find out how to get to the Werfen Ice Caves from Salzburg!
To get to the Werfen Ice Caves from Salzburg by public transport, you have to take the train from the Salzburg train station to Werfen from where you take a shuttle bus to the visitors center. At the visitors center, you buy your ticket to the Ice caves, hike for 10-20 minutes, then take a cable car and hike for another 10-20 minutes before you meet your tour guide at the entrance of the Ice Caves.
What you need to know before you go:
- Bring some warm clothes. Even in summer, the temperature is around 0 degrees celsius.
- You must be reasonably fit. There are two hikes that must be taken in order to reach the caves, as well as 1400 steps that add up to 234 meters of altitude inside the cave.
- There is no photography allowed inside the cave. On the one hand, it’s to maintain nature, and on the other, it’s because the group is like a snake of people going up and down wet steps at a 45-degree angle, in the dark. Allowing them to take selfies would be dangerous.
1. How to get from Salzburg to Werfen by Train
The first step in traveling to the Werfen Ice Caves from Salzburg is to take the train to Werfen. Trains from Salzburg to Werfen depart from Salzburg Hauptbahnhof, the main station in Salzburg. If you purchase your ticket at the station rather than online, arrive at least ten minutes before your desired departure time so you can figure out the ticket machine and set its language if necessary.
S3, EC, REX, and IC frequently service the train route between Salzburg and Werfen. As a result, there is a train every half an hour, usually more frequently. When buying the ticket you have to choose a time but which connection you take doesn’t matter. All direct connections are the same price and all of them take between 40 minutes to an hour to reach Werfen from Salzburg.
You can also purchase the ticket online at the ÖBB website but the price at the station is the same. Train tickets in Austria don’t sell out and these particular trains, connecting Salzburg to Werfen, usually don’t fill up. It also doesn’t matter if you buy a return ticket right away. It wouldn’t decrease the overall price.
How to save money as a group by using an Einfach-Raus Ticket
If you are traveling as a group of 3-5 people, you can reduce the price of the trip from Salzburg to Werfen by buying an Einfach-Raus Ticket instead. The Einfach-Raus Ticket is a ticket for 2-5 people that allows you to take all regional trains in all of Austria for the entire day, similar to the Bayern Ticket in Germany .
The Einfach-Raus ticket can also be bought at the ticket machine or online on this page dedicated to the Einfach-Raus ticket .
In the table below, you can see that the Einfach-Raus Ticket is worth it, as soon as there are 3 travelers in your group. The only downside to the Einfach-Raus Ticket is that it’s only valid from 9 am. In addition, you can only use S3 and REX trains, but that’s not really a big problem since you still find frequent connections.
2. Where to find the Shuttle Bus to the Ice Caves Visitors Center?
Once you get off the train in Werfen, you need to find the shuttle bus to the Ice Caves visitors center. When you leave the train station you will see a bridge in front of you. After crossing the bridge, turn right, and walk for about 2 minutes until you reach the shuttle bus stop. Shuttle buses depart from the shuttle bus parking every 25 minutes to the Ice Caves visitors center.
Every 8:18 a.m., 10:18 a.m., 12:18 p.m., and 2.18 p.m., the shuttle bus passes the train station on its way to the caves. The bus parking, however, is only five minutes or fewer walking distance from the train station. Therefore, I wouldn’t bother worrying about the pick-up time from the train station.
Return tickets for the shuttle bus cost €7,-. When paying for a return ticket on the bus, you will receive a red coupon with two corners to tear off, one for each direction.
Can you skip the shuttle bus on your trip to the Werfen Ice Caves from Salzburg? The short answer is no. It would take you 1,5 hours to walk uphill on a concrete road. Shuttle buses are necessary, but they are reasonably priced.
3. Buying the Ticket to the Werfen Ice Caves
The shuttle bus drops you in front of the visitors center. At the visitor’s center, you buy your ticket to the caves and for the cable car. It is unfortunate that the price of the Ice Caves tickets has increased sharply in 2022 with a price of €35,- at the visitors center, and a new online shop ticket of €32,- .
There used to be a €2,- discount for students and there are discounted tickets for the youth.
In the table, you can see, that there are also tickets for only the cave or just the cable car, but these aren’t very practical for most people. Cave-only tickets are not very useful since you would have to be an experienced alpinist to skip the cable car otherwise the hike is very dangerous. Cable car tickets alone wouldn’t be much use either since there isn’t much to do up there other than visiting the Ice Caves.
4. Hiking from the Visitors Center to the Cable Car
After buying your ticket you hike for an easy 10 – 20 minutes. That’s when your adventure actually begins. In the right weather conditions, the hike to the Cable Car alone can make the trip worthwhile. On the other hand, in the wrong weather conditions, it can be uncomfortable.
As the visitor center lady told me, people mistake the Ice Caves for a bad weather activity because they are inside, but they really aren’t. The day trip to the salt mines for example would be much better suited for bad weather.
There is only one way up from the visitors center to the cable car so you can’t go wrong. With the Hohenwerfen fortress in the distance and the Sound of Music meadow in the distance, the path is easy and the elevation low, but the scenery is pleasant.
5. Taking the Steepest Cable Car in Austria
After reaching the cable car, you scan your ticket and board. The cable car takes about 3 minutes to go up, and when it’s busy, it goes up and down constantly. In high season, there may still be a queue due to crowding. The Ice Caves attract about 200.000 visitors each year. We were told by the Ice Cave staff, that it’s recommended to go as early in the morning as possible in order to avoid the crowds.
6. Hiking from the Cable Car to the Ice Cave entrance
The second easy 10-20 minute hike begins after reaching the top of the cable car. You walk past the Oedl Schutzhaus restaurant continue on the path. It is a straightforward walk. There is only one way up to the entrance, which you will see on the right as you walk. The public restroom at 1700 meters above sea level was a welcome surprise for me since I forgot to use the toilet at all the other stops.
7. Joining the guided Tour inside the Cave
The Ice Caves can only be accessed by guided tour. A guide will meet you at the cave entrance. Guides are always waiting for visitors to arrive and gather them for the next tour. The tour takes 75 minutes. Before entering the Cave, every other person gets a petroleum lamp. Lamps dimly light the cave, so it’s dark except when the guide uses phosphor to point out sculptures and talk about the cave’s fascinating history and nature.
If you are interested in learning even more about the Werfen Ice Caves, you should also read this article .
The 3 Best Day Trips from Salzburg: to Hallstatt or not to Hallstatt
How to get to Berchtesgaden from Salzburg by Public Transport
Berchtesgaden is one of the best day trips from Salzburg and my personal favorite. Lake Königssee, Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest,…
How to get to Hallstatt from Salzburg by Public Transport?
Are you planning a trip from Salzburg to Hallstatt? Hallstatt is the most popular day-trip destination from Salzburg, if…
Alpine Foothills: How do you get to the Mountains from Salzburg?
Salzburg is often associated with a romantic idea of mountains. In the Sound of Music film, for example, it…
Bayern Ticket to Salzburg: How to use a Bavarian Ticket in Austria?
Salzburg is often visited as part of a longer journey. Many trips also include a stop in Munich. Or…
How to get to Salzburg by Plane, Train, or Bus
Do you plan to visit Salzburg? Then you may be wondering how to get to Salzburg. You may be…
Getting from Munich to Salzburg (including from Munich Airport)
The distance between Munich and Salzburg is 145 kilometers (90 miles) which is shorter than the distance between Salzburg…
Werfen Ice Caves Tour from Salzburg
- Air-conditioned vehicle
- All Fees and Taxes
- Entrance Fees
- Entry/Admission - Eisriesenwelt
- Guaranteed to skip the lines
- Food & Drinks
- Salzburg Mirabellplatz (Schloss Mirabell), 5020 Salzburg, Austria Our meeting point is located at Mirabellplatz - 10 meters right of the main entrance to the Mirabell Palace. We are right opposite the big Saint Andrews Church/ Andräkirche. Just look out for the Ice Caves Tour sign.
- Returns to original departure point
- Not wheelchair accessible
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Not recommended for travelers with back problems
- Not recommended for pregnant travelers
- No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
- Physical exertion: About 134 altitude meters have to be traversed during a tour of the ice cave. This roughly corresponds to hiking up the stairway of a large high-rise. Each visitor is responsible for determining whether he or she is capable of this exertion. There is no doubt that the beauty of the ice sculptures and impressive dimension of the cave will compensate for any strain! The pace of the tour will be adjusted to the visitor group. However, we recommend that people with severe walking impairments or cardiovascular diseases refrain from visiting the ice cave. Access to the cable car and the path from the cable car to the cave already require about 20 minutes of walking.
- Equipment: Solid shoes and warm clothing are required to visit the Eisriesenwelt, since the temperature is usually below freezing - even in the summer! Cave lamps are handed to the visitors at the entrance. Your cave guide will also use magnesium lamps to spotlight the impressive ice sculptures. The ice cave is under a preservation order and may only be entered with authorized guides.
- Not recommended for children under 5 years
- Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
- This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
- This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
- This tour/activity will have a maximum of 48 travelers
- All sales are final and incur 100% cancellation penalties.
- You'll start at Salzburg Mirabellplatz (Schloss Mirabell) 5020 Salzburg, Austria Our meeting point is located at Mirabellplatz - 10 meters right of the main entrance to the Mirabell Palace. We are right opposite the big Saint Andrews Church/ Andräkirche. Just look out for the Ice Caves Tour sign. See address & details
- 1 Mirabell Palace and Gardens Stop: 15 minutes See details Pass by Salzach River Burg Hohenwerfen
- 2 Eisriesenwelt Stop: 3 hours - Admission included See details
- You'll return to the starting point
More to explore in Salzburg
Werfen Ice Caves Tour from Salzburg provided by Salzburg Private Tours
Private Full-day Tour to Giant Ice Caves at Werfen from Salzburg
Book your private full day tour now to explore Giant Ice Caves at Werfen, taking off from Salzburg.
Covid-19 Precautions During Your Travel
We apply the special health and safety measures to provide a healthy and safe holiday for our guests. During the travelling;
- Travellers are required to wear face masks in public areas.
- Travellers are required to keep the social distance in public areas.
- The staff wear mask during the service.
- Hand sanitisers are provided for travellers and staff.
- Regular temperature checks for travellers and staff.
- All the areas that are likely to be touched are regularly cleaned and sanitized.
Language:English, Italian, French, Spanish, German
Duration: Up to 6 hours
- Explore the must-see Giant Ice Caves at Werfen.
- Ride the cable car up to the caves.
- Enter the labyrinth of oddly shaped cones.
This private full-day trip of the Giant Ice Caves at Werfen begins in Salzburg and takes you to the heart of the Salzburg Alps. A cable car trip takes you high above Werfen to the breathtaking ice world. You'll enter the World's Largest Ice Caves, a stunning underground world of natural ice sculptures and formations. You will enter a labyrinth of about 42 kilometers of individually constructed cones with your guide. Because the average temperature is 0 degrees all year, please dress warmly and wear excellent shoes.
- Guided tour
- Personal transfer
- Fuel surcharge
- Parking fees
- Admission fees
- Food and beverages
- Gratuities (optional)
Hubert-Sattler-Gasse 1, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Meet your guide at the Panorama Tours bus terminal. If you prefer to be picked up at your hotel, please contact the tour operator after making your booking. You will find their contact in your voucher.
What to Remember
- Please wear warm clothes and good, sturdy shoes.
- The price calculated during booking is a flat rate valid for groups ranging from 1 - 8 people.
This tour operates daily starting at 8.30am.
Good news! No extra fees are applied to this booking.
Receive a 100% refund if you cancel up to 24 hours before the journey begins.
Write a Review
All information you enter into our system security is protected by SHA-256 SSL certificate.
Big World Short Stories
How to Visit Werfen Ice Caves from Salzburg
Did you know that the largest ice caves in the world are located in a town called Werfen in Austria, less than an hour’s drive from Salzburg? The official name of the caves is Eisriesenwelt which means “the world of ice giants” in German, but many people simply call them Werfen ice caves. Eisriesenwelt is a cave labyrinth with a total length of over 40 kilometres making it the largest ice cave system in the world. There are three ways to get to Werfen ice caves from Salzburg: by car, by train, or by taking a tour. Let’s explore each of the options and their pros and cons in more detail.
Getting to Werfen Ice Cave from Salzburg by Train
There are several trains per day going from Salzburg to Wefen train station. You can take the S3 or REX train line. the journey will take about 40-50 minutes. One way ticket costs 9,30 euros. If you are traveling in a group of 3 or more, you can save some money by buying an “Einfach Raus” ticket. This ticket is valid for one day in entire Austria. You can take an unlimited amount of regional trains with this ticket. You can purchase your ticket either on OBB vending machines in Salzburg train station or online on OBB App.
Werfen to Ice Caves Visitor Center Shuttle Bus
The distance between Werfen train station and Ice Caves Visitor Center is 5 kilometers. If you are traveling by train you can either walk all the way up or wait for the regular shuttle bus to take you there. I do not recommend hiking all the way up to the Visitor Center. First of all, you will lose a lot of time (1-2 hours one way). It’s better to use the extra time to visit Hohenwerfen Castle. Secondly, there is no nice hiking path to the Eisriesenwelt visitor center from Werfen, only a concrete road for cars and buses. The good news is that the shuttle bus to the caves leaves several times a day. The bus leaves directly from the Werfen train station once an hour and takes about 15 minutes to reach the visitor center. The last bus leaves at 14:18 so you should plan accordingly. The bus ticket one way costs 4,5 euros and 8,5 euros for a return ticket. You can buy it directly from the driver.
If you miss the shuttle bus leaving from the train station, you shouldn’t panic. The same bus also stops at the bus park just a 5 5-minute walk from the train station (Gries Parkplatz). From this stop it leaves more frequently to the ice caves, approximately every 25 minutes. To get there go out the train station and cross the bridge over the Salzach River. After that turn right and walk along the river until you find the bus park.
You should take the same bus when going back to Werfen train station after visiting the ice caves. The bus goes down every 25 minutes. Remember the last bus to Werfen departs at 17:35 o’clock so you don’t want to miss this one. It departs directly from the car park in front of the visitor center.
Insider Tip: Please always keep small coins when traveling by bus in Germany and Austria. Drivers here don’t like big notes and don’t always have the change.
Getting to Werfen Ice Caves from Salzburg by Car
It is about 60 kilometers from Salzburg to the Werfen Ice Caves visitor center. The ride will take about 50 minutes depending on the traffic situation on the roads. The route from Salzburg to Werfen has tolls so you need to have a valid vignette. There is a free parking slot in front of the Eisriesenwelt visitor center but it gets filled up pretty fast. So you might have to park at Werfen train station and take a shuttle bus.
Getting to Werfen Ice Caves from Salzburg by Tour
Visiting the ice caves from inside without a tour is prohibited for safety reasons. Luckily there is a tour starting every 30 minutes and you can book your tour either online in advance or at the ticket office.
You have two options for choosing your tour:
The first option is to book a tour to Werfen ice caves from Salzburg where transportation will be included in the tour plus the entrance to the caves. Most of the tours from Salzburg also include visiting Hohenwerfen Castle.
The second option is to get to Werfen on your own either by renting a car or taking a train, and then buying your entrance tickets at the visitor center or online. The tour will be included in the entrance tickets, so you don’t have to buy it separately.
Even if you book your tour with transportation from Salzburg, your tour guide inside the caves will be the same in both cases. Only official tour guides employed by Eisriesenwelt are allowed to guide you inside. The duration of the tour inside the ice caves is 75 minutes. The first guided tours in the ice caves of Werfen took place in the 1920s, since then it has been one of the most popular day trips from Salzburg.
How to Buy Tickets to Eisriesenwelt
Due to limited capacity tickets to ice caves get sold out fairly quickly, that’s why you should book your tickets online in advance. Your ticket will be valid only for a specified time i.e. 10-10.30. If you miss the reservation time or buy a ticket on-site, you will only be able to enter if there are still some free slots available.
Insider Tip : The validity period only applies when you scan your ticket at the visitor center. Once you scan it, you don’t have to rush. You can enjoy your hike and if you miss the next available tour, you can chill out a the entrance to the cave for 30 minutes enjoying breathtaking views over the Salzach Valley and the Alps and simply join the next tour. Buying your ticket online is a few euros cheaper than at the visitor center. You can monitor the availability of tickets in real-time online if you don’t want to buy them too much in advance.
Getting from the Visitor Center to the Ice Caves
After the visitor center, you will walk approximately for 20 minutes until you reach the cable car station. On the way, you will have a few panoramic views over Salzach Valley and the Alps. There is a tunnel dug inside the rock for the shortcut. But honestly, when the weather is nice, it is much nicer to walk outside and enjoy the views. The path is well marked and there is no way to get lost.
Taking Eisriesenwelt Cable Car
Once you reach the cable car, it will take you all the way up to 1641 meters. From the distance, it looks very scary and steep but once you are inside the cable car you won’t feel it. It goes up very smoothly and slowly, so you will have enough time to enjoy the views. After leaving the cable car you will need to walk another 20 minutes until you finally reach the entrance to the ice caves. This part of the hike is my favorite because the views are just amazing. Plus you can already see the entrance to the ice caves from the distance. It’s basically a large hole in the cliffs like a big door inviting you to get inside. There is a bathroom somehow built inside the rock just in front of the entrance to the cave.
Inside the Ice Caves
Congratulations! You reached the entrance point to the largest ice caves in the world. What’s next? Wait for your guide dressed in red uniform to announce the beginning of the next tour. You can choose between English and German-speaking tours. Each tour lasts 75 minutes. Before entering the caves, every visitor gets a petroleum lamp because there is no artificial or natural illumination inside the caves.
During the tour, your guide will use phosphor to point out prominent ice sculptures to show their true beauty and explain how those ice giants have been formed over millions of years. You will walk 1400 stairs in total (not too steep except the last part), 700 steps up and 700 steps down. After 3-400 steps it gets very steep, like 60 degrees so you need to move here slowly. The tour and the hike to the ice caves are physically not very demanding. Most of the people can do it without any problem.
What to wear inside the Werfen Ice Caves?
The temperature inside the ice caves of Werfen is usually much lower than outside (except in winter months). Even in summer when outside is 30 degrees Celsius, it can be freezingly cold inside the caves. The temperature stays mostly at around 0 degrees. That’s why it’s very important to bring warm clothes, an extra jacket, gloves, and a hat. You can always take off the extra layers of clothing when you finish your tour and get outside the caves. Wearing sturdy shoes is also very important as it can be quite slippery inside.
Can you take your dog to Eisriesenwelt?
While officially it is not prohibited to take any pets inside the caves, I have to warn you that it is very dark and cold inside. You also have to walk 1400 steps in total, 700 up and 700 down. Your dog might get scared and get into a dangerous situation. Better to leave your pets outside the caves and get inside without them.
Are the Ice Caves Worth it?
Best Ski Resorts in Austria Visiting Lake Koenigsee from Salzburg and Munich
Dear reader, welcome to my blog! My name is Anna. For the last decade, I have been living in different European countries as an expat. In my blog, I am going to inspire you to travel more and share with you my travel tips including solo female travel, adventure travel, outdoor activities and much more.
Best Things To Do in Verona: One-day Itinerary
Verona, best known for Juliet’s balcony from a famous Shakespeare novel, is considered one of the most romantic destinations in the world. Although there are many things to see in Verona, I have created a comprehensive list of top things to do in Verona and attractions that you will manage to see within a day….
Best Things to do in Mahe, Seychelles
Mahé is the largest island and the administrative center of Seychelles archipelago on the Eastern part of the African Continent. Around 80% of the total population of Seychelles lives in Mahé. The country’s only international airport is located here, that’s why Mahé is considered the gateway to the tropical paradise of Seychelles. Compared to other…
How to Spend One Day in Amman
Amman is the largest city and the capital of Jordan. Many travelers start exploring Jordan and the Middle East from Amman because it is home to the largest international airport in Jordan after Aqaba. So did I. Before starting my road trip through Jordan, I spent one day in Amman and would like to share…
9 Most Beautiful Lakes Near Munich Recommended by Locals
Munich, the capital of the German state Bavaria, is surrounded by beautiful alpine lakes and rivers. Its proximity to the Alps and abundant job market makes it a popular destination to live in. Some popular lakes near Munich such as Starnbergersee and Ammersee are only 20 minutes to the south of Munich. In the city…
Local’s Guide to Visiting Partnach Gorge in Garmisch
Partnach Gorge or Partnachklamm in Garmisch-Partenkirchen is one of the most famous and most beautiful gorges in Bavaria and in the entire Germany. It is a starting point of some of the most beautiful hikes in the Bavarian Alps. The gorge is 702 meters (2,303 ft) long and over 80 meters (260 ft) deep. The…
Ultimate Seychelles Itinerary
Have you ever wondered which country is the safest in Africa? What if I told you that Africa is home to paradise islands with the most beautiful beaches in the world and super friendly locals? The name of these paradise islands is Seychelles. It is an archipelago island country in the Indian Ocean close to…
Leave a Reply Cancel reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .