Hallein, the beauty of a town by the Salzach River, is a place of many faces and facets, a historic salt and Celtic town well worth a visit any time of the year! Explore the unspoilt old town, stroll through its narrow alleyways and around its spacious squares, or take a rest beside its picturesque fountains. Just relax and enjoy!
Busy cafés, Italian ice-cream parlours, bistros and inns all with cosy outdoor seating add to the very special flair of the town. Small shops and boutiques with personalized customer service are veritable treasure troves of beautiful and unique items, hard to find elsewhere.
Past and present, tradition and innovation, colourful markets and modern shops: in Hallein seemingly contrasting elements blend into a harmonious whole, lending the town its distinctive charm. The historic centre is brimming with life and culture – browse through quaint markets, relax in cosy outdoor cafés and pubs and immerse yourself in its vibrant cultural scene! Welcome to our small town rich in history but modern at heart. Welcome to Hallein!
The Town and Its History
As you stroll through Hallein, around every turn you’ll discover historical treasures bearing witness to the town’s saline past, recalling the busy and strenuous times when the mining and processing of the white gold dominated life in Hallein.
Over centuries, the Salzburg archbishops owed their wealth to the salt from Hallein, which financed the construction of the magnificent buildings that still characterize the townscape of the residential city of Salzburg. The people who mined, produced and transported the salt lived however in rather precarious conditions. Some of the old saline buildings have since been demolished, in their place beautiful squares now spread out. Yet many historic saline buildings and old burgher houses have been preserved and still characterize Hallein’s old town.
The splendour of times past is reflected not only in Hallein’s picturesque old town. The Hallein Celtic Museum is another place where you can set out on an exciting journey into the past. It is one of the most important archaeological museums of the European Celts in the Iron Age. In addition to the unique findings from graves, settlements and salt mines on the nearby Dürnnberg Mountain, the museum fascinates by also delving deep into the past of the Salzburg Province. Several paintings in the archiepiscopal rooms vividly depict the historic salt mining process, wood transport, salt works and salt transport as well as the use of many of the original artefacts exhibited in the museum.
Hallein Harbours an Exceptional Treasure
The town on the bank of the Salzach River boasts one of Austria’s most unspoilt old towns. Strolling through its narrow, winding alleyways and across its spacious squares, you’ll feel the magic of a town whose historic centre dates back to medieval times. Its geographic location – with the natural boundaries of the Salzach River on one side and the Dürrnberg Mountain on the other –limited the town’s growth. By the 15th century, the town’s development was already complete.
White Gold and Silent Night
Walking through Hallein, you’ll discover traces of its salt-producing past in every nook and cranny. The colourful burgher houses with their magnificent window and gable decorations impressively reflect the wealth gained through salt trade. However, Hallein has become famous not only because of its salt, one Hallein citizen has also gained international renown: Franz Xaver Gruber who composed the music to “Silent Night, Holy Night” lived for many years in Hallein. In his honour, his former home has been turned into a museum. His final resting place is right in front of the house in Hallein’s old town.
Mountain and Valley
Right behind Hallein, the local Dürrnberg Mountain rises up 400 metres – popular both in the summer and winter it offers numerous hiking trails and destinations with magnificent views of the town and its environs: the Tennengebirge Mountains to the south, the Berchtesgadener Alps to the west, the Osterhorngruppe Mountains to the east and to the north the Salzach River as it winds its way through the Salzachtal Valley.
Art and Culture
The town also boasts a vibrant cultural life with a great variety of events. In the summer, the Salzburg Festival stages plays in the Alte Saline building on the Pernerinsel.
Whether you prefer classical, folk or modern events: Hallein offers a varied programme throughout the year including concerts, cabaret, theatre plays and much more. Several galleries regularly host exhibitions featuring international and local artists.