Things to Do in Zell am See

Top Things to Do in Zell am See

things to do in zell am see

Looking for fun things to do in Zell am See? Austria's Salzburgerland region is perfect for outdoor fun. You can stroll through meadows, walk mountain trails, enjoy boat rides, and take refreshing dips in the clear waters.

With its colourful buildings and cosy cafés, Zell am See is the perfect base for exploring the surrounding region. Take the cable car up to Schmittenhöhe mountain for breathtaking views and hiking trails for all levels or visit the nearby Kitzsteinhorn glacier.

When you're ready to take a break from outdoor adventures, Zell am See offers plenty of ways to delve into the region's history and natural beauty.

Explore the Kaprun Museum, admire vintage cars at Vötter's Vehicle Museum, or discover the wonders of the National Park Gallery.

Our Favourite Things to Do in Zell am See

Walking | Lake Zell | Boat Trips | Schmittenhöhe Mountain | Hohe Tauern National Park | Tobogganing | Sigmund Thun Gorge | High Mountain Reservoirs | Museums | Kaprun Castle | Dining | Fountain & Light Show | Cycling | Lake Beaches | Sightseeing in Salzburg | Explore


Walking in Zell am See

walking zell am see

Lace up your boots for some jaw-dropping views. Zell am See is a walker’s dream, with trails weaving through picturesque landscapes just waiting to be explored.

Whether you stroll along the lakeside promenade or conquer mountain peaks, Zell am See delivers stunning views.

With convenient lift access on the Schmittenhöhe, panoramic walks are easily accessible.

For the more adventurous, nearby Kaprun boasts lifts into the mountains and two breathtaking high mountain reservoirs.

Looking for a gentle, scenic stroll with stunning views? The Sisi Trail on the Schmittenhöhe is the perfect choice. This easy walk starts at the Elisabeth Chapel, then it's just a short loop with minimal elevation gain.

Enjoy the breathtaking scenery before refuelling with lunch at the Schmitten Café or Franzl restaurant.

Bonus: It's a kid-friendly route, as are many others on the Schmittenhöhe, including the adventurous Schmidolin's Baptism of Fire trail – lots of fun for little explorers.

Don’t Miss Our Included Guided Walks

On holiday with us? Make the most of your holiday with our two included guided walks each week.

Led by local experts, you'll discover hidden gems and gain insider knowledge on our favourite trails.

It's a great way to meet fellow travellers and explore the area's natural beauty.

Be sure to pre-book your spot in advance, as these walks fill up quickly.

View Guided Walks


Visit Lake Zell

lake zell things to do in zell am see

Lake Zell is at the heart of Zell am See, offering a wide range of activities. You can rent electric boats, pedaloes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards at several spots around the lake.

Feeling adventurous? Why not sign up for some waterskiing?

Swimming in Lake Zell is also a popular activity. There are five public lidos around the lake, and the grassed areas along the shoreline are perfect for a dip or sunbathing.

Prefer indoor swimming? Head to the Hallenbad indoor pool, which features a unique Cryo Sauna with a temperature of -110°C.

The trails around the lake are great for a peaceful stroll, complete with refreshment and toilet stops along the way. You can even hop on a ferry to shorten your walk, with several points to get on and off.


Boat Trips on Lake Zell

things to do in zell am see

Hop on a boat for stunning views of Lake Zell and the surrounding mountains. The MS Schmittenhöhe gives you a front-row seat to all the alpine beauty.

From the sunny top deck, you'll take in the impressive Steinernes Meer and Hohe Tauern Mountain ranges, along with the famous Schmittenhöhe mountain and the picturesque town of Zell am See.

For a touch of history, hop on the historic Libelle, built in 1947, for a charming glimpse into the past. Or why not jump aboard the elegant Kaiserin Elisabeth, named after Empress Sisi. It provides beautiful panoramic views of the alpine landscape through its grand windows.

On these boats, you'll get the most stunning views of Zell am See, the historic old town, and the alpine landscape with its peaks and green meadows.

You can also sail to six different villages on the passenger ferries that circle the lake, including the charming hamlets of Thumersbach and Erlberg, and hop off to explore whichever ones catch your eye.


Schmittenhöhe Mountain

Schmittenhohe Mountain

The Schmittenhöhe is a must-visit for anyone travelling to Zell am See. This mountain is perfect for leisurely walks, challenging summit hikes, and everything in between.

The cable car ride up offers jaw-dropping views of up to 30 three-thousand-metre peaks, making it a trip you won't forget.

In summer, Schmittenhöhe turns into an adventure playground for both kids and adults. Little ones will love Schmidolin’s Adventure Park, where they can join the friendly dragon on his Baptism of Fire, solving tricky puzzles and daring challenges.

Older kids and teens can get their adrenaline fix at Schmidolin's Wheels of Fire, Austria’s highest e-motocross park.


Hohe Tauern National Park

Hohe Tauern National Park

Spanning three federal states (Salzburg, Tyrol, and Carinthia) and covering a whopping 1,856 square kilometres, this park is a must-see for nature lovers.

It's like nature's VIP lounge, home to half of Austria's native animals and a third of its plant species, with an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 animal species calling it home.

Here you’ll also find Austria’s highest peak, the Grossglockner, as well as the country’s largest glacier, the Pasterze.

Whether you’re a nature lover, view seeker or trail blazer, you’ll find your adventure here.

waterfalls zell am see

And it’s not just about the mountains. The park has 26 waterfalls, including the show-stopping Krimml Waterfalls, where water dramatically plunges 380 metres.

A scenic 4-kilometre hiking trail gets you up close and personal with these impressive falls.


Maisi Flitzer Toboggan Run

The Maisi Flitzer Alpine Coaster in Kaprun is the ultimate year-round thrill ride for all ages. Located conveniently in the centre of Kaprun, the Maisi Flitzer is easily accessible via the MK Maiskogel cable car.

Safety is a top priority, with automatic distance control ensuring a safe distance between toboggans.

During the summer months, the Maisi Flitzer is perfect for family fun, with a leisure park featuring a slide paradise, bouncy castles, and other fun activities.

Plus, the Maisi Alm is nearby to refuel with snacks, drinks, and ice cream.


Sigmund Thun Gorge

things to do in zell am see

The Kapruner Ache has carved a stunning path over 30 meters deep and 320 meters long through the Kaprun Valley.

Originating from glaciers and mountains high above, the water plunges down, shaping the Sigmund Thun Gorge into a beautiful, must-see natural wonder.

Stroll along the boardwalks and bridges, taking in the stunning scenery at your own pace (no need to rush, the gorge has been around for centuries).

At the end of the trail, you'll discover the peaceful Klammsee Reservoir, a perfect spot for a picnic. There's even a playground for kids and refreshments, because even nature lovers need a snack break.

Please note: Although great for kids, this gorge isn't stroller or wheelchair-friendly due to the wooden steps.


High Mountain Reservoirs and Dams

things to do in zell am see

Hop on a bus and take the lift from the Kesselfall stop to reach this stunning destination. The bus ride itself is an adventure, offering views of the impressive Mooserboden dam wall.

Once you arrive, you can join a guided tour to learn more about the dam's history and construction, or visit the fascinating museum dedicated to this engineering feat.

Feeling adventurous? Take a thrilling ride on the 'Flying Fox' zipline, which zooms over the dams and offers unbeatable views (available on the first weekend of every month from July to October).

If ziplining isn't your style, simply enjoy a peaceful walk between the two reservoirs before heading back down to the valley. No matter how you choose to explore, the Kaprun High Mountain Reservoirs are sure to leave you in awe.



Ready for a break from the great outdoors? Trade your walking boots for a history lesson at the Zell am See’s fascinating museums. Here are a few must-visit museums to add to your itinerary…

Kaprun Museum of Local History

Uncover the secrets of Kaprun's past, from its humble beginnings as a settlement to its transformation into a tourist hotspot.

Vötter's Vehicle Museum

Calling all gearheads, Helmut Vötter's passion project showcases over 200 vintage vehicles, from tractors to motorcycles to the world's largest convertible.

Museum Vogtturm

Journey through time within the walls of this medieval tower in Zell am See. Discover the town's history, art, and culture, and check out the special exhibition on Porsche Design, the studio behind everything from sleek gondolas to stylish wristwatches.

National Park Centre & National Park Gallery

Learn about the natural wonders of the Hohe Tauern National Park. At the Mittersill National Park Centre, you'll learn about the region's flora and fauna. And at the National Park Gallery on the Kitzsteinhorn, park rangers offer a unique glimpse into the world of glaciers.

These museums offer a fascinating glimpse into the region's rich history and natural beauty, making your trip to Zell am See even more memorable.


Journey to Medieval Times at Kaprun Castle

activities to do in zell am see

Kaprun Castle stands tall and impressive above the region. Built in the 12th century, it served as a fortress and home for noble families. Located just outside the village, the castle has watched over the valley for centuries.

Today, the castle hosts events, celebrations, and concerts all year round and is a popular wedding spot.

The highlight is the annual Medieval Festival in summer, where participants wear elaborate costumes, enjoy delicious food, listen to appropriate music, and watch knights' games, taking you back to medieval times.

For many centuries, the castle was the home of the local nobles. In the 20th century, it began to decay until the Burgverein Kaprun group restored it.

Now, it’s a lively place with a medieval feel, remaining a proud landmark of the village.

If you want to visit Kaprun Castle, you can do so three times a week in the summer, from July to the end of September.



things to do in zell am see town

Whether you’re seeing a quick refuel at a mountain hut or indulging in a meal with a view, the food scene in Zell am See has something for everyone.

In town, you’ll discover a wide range of restaurants serving everything from classic Austrian cuisine to international dishes like steak, Italian, and more.

However, no trip to Austria is complete without indulging in the classics. Wiener Schnitzel (think crispy, breaded veal), Tiroler Gröstl (a hearty combo of fried potatoes, bacon, and egg), and Kaiserchmarm (a fluffy pancake with a fruity twist) are must-tries, and you’ll find them on menus all over Zell am See.

Traditional austrian food is hearty, rich, and often made with fresh, local ingredients. The portion sizes are also generous, so come hungry.

Coffee and Cake: An Austrian Tradition

traditional austrian food

Satisfy your sweet tooth and embrace a beloved Austrian tradition: coffee and cake.

You’ll find charming cafes and Konditoreis (pastry shops) serving up tempting treats alongside your afternoon caffeine fix.


Fountain and Light Show

fountain and light show zell am see

Enjoy the amazing Magic Lake Show at Elisabeth Park. This spectacular display of fountains, lasers, lights, and music takes place on the lake in front of Elisabeth Park near Lake Zell.

Shows start at 9:30 PM (9:00 PM from September) every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

During the day, you can catch water shows every hour on the hour from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM. It's the perfect way to spend an evening out.

Watch the water dance to the music, with lasers and lights lighting up the night sky.

Best of all, entrance is free.



Some hotels offer free bike rentals, but you can also grab a bike from Intersport Scholz near the train station, Sport Achleitner by the Post Office, or Sport 2000 at the bus station (note: these shops are closed on Sundays).

Sport 2000 is the go-to spot for E-bikes, and they also offer bike servicing if you bring your own ride.

E-bikes are all the rage and come in both Mountain and City varieties. They make cycling a breeze, letting you tackle longer and steeper trails with ease - a perfect way to explore the area. Helmets are recommended and can be rented at all the shops.

For a leisurely ride, head north towards Maishofen or south to Bruck. If you want to get the local scoop, book a guided tour with Bike School Kaprun.


Lake Beach: Take a Break at Strandbad

How about a beach day to break up all that exploring? Strandbad is one of Europe’s best lake beaches with plenty to do.

Spread out your towel on the bathing lawn and get into a good book or take a refreshing swim - there's even a diving platform.

If you are up for some adventure, try stand-up paddling or waterskiing to test your balance and skills.

Bringing the family? Kids will love the pool and waterslide, and you can challenge them to a game of mini-golf to see who gets a hole-in-one.

It’s the perfect spot to relax and have fun.


Explore City Sights in Salzburg

things to do zell am see

A trip to the Salzburgerland region isn’t complete without visiting Salzburg. Our excursion uncovers its symphony of history, culture, and breath-taking sights.

Explore Mozart’s birthplace, admire the views from Hohensalzburg Fortress, wander through the iconic Getreidegasse, and get lost in the Old Town’s medieval charm.

And for the truly curious, an optional guided tour will make you a Salzburg expert in no time.

Don’t forget to channel your inner Von Trapp at the Pegasus fountain, where you can re-create those iconic Sound of Music moments. It’s the very spot where the family sings 'Do Re Mi,' dancing, running, and skipping around Mirabell Gardens.


Explore More Using Trains and Buses

Zell am See's excellent transport network makes it easy to visit nearby towns like Kitzbühel and Kaprun.

Trains run once or twice an hour to Salzburg and Kitzbühel.

Regular buses can take you to Saalbach, where the Golden Gate Bridge is a must-visit, and to Kaprun, which has a medieval fortress and stunning dam views - some of the best in Europe's lakes and mountains.



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traditional austrian food

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