So you’ve spent a few days enjoying all the things to do in Salzburg, Austria and now you’re craving a bit of time in the mountains. Why not enjoy a day trip to Gaisberg?
Gaisberg is a local mountain in Salzburg that stands 1,287 meters above sea level in the Salzkammergut Mountains, which is a mountain range that forms part of the Northern Limestone Alps.
Public transport makes it super easy to get there and all the hiking trails start at bus stops, so you can just ride the bus and start hiking.
Its ease of access makes it a popular day hiking destination with locals and visitors alike.
Plus, you have the draw of delicious Austrian cuisine that you can enjoy once you reach the mountaintop!
So if a day hiking in the mountains, enjoying alpine views, and feasting on hearty dishes is your idea of a good time, read on to find out how you too can do this day trip to Gaisberg.
How to get to Gaisberg
Getting to Gaisberg from Salzburg’s old town is very easy and only takes 30 minutes using public transportation.
That’s right! You can hop on a bus in the old town and in less than half an hour you can be enjoying the Alps!
We took bus #151 from Mirabellplatz. If you want to ride the bus right to the peak then get off at Gaisberg Gaisbergspitze. However, if you plan to hike you’ll want to get off earlier.
We got off at Gaisberg Zistelalm and joined the trailhead there.
Hiking Trails in Gaisberg
The nice thing about hiking in Gaisberg is that there are trails of all lengths and levels of difficulty. Hiking trails can range from 15 minutes to 3 hours, and are between 1 and 11 kilometres in length, so there’s something for everyone.
There are 3 circular trails in Gaisberg:
- Route 13a – Gaisberg Circular Trail – easy – 1-1½ h – 5.9 km – Line 151 to Zistelalm
- Route 13b – Zistel Trail – easy – 30 min – 2.6 km – Line 151 to Zistelalm
- Route 13c – Gaisberg Peak Circular Trail – easy – 15 min – 1 km – Line 151 to Gaisbergspitze
There are also several one-way hiking trails in Gaisberg. You can do them round trip, or hike up and then take the bus down:
- Route 12 – easy – 2¾ h – 6 km – Line 151 to Bildungscampus Gnigl, Line 2 or 23 to Obergnigl
- Route 13 – moderate – 2½ h – 6 km – Line 6 to Ludwig-Schmederer-Platz
- Route 14 – easy, but rocky – 2½ h – 8 km – Line 6 to Ludwig-Schmederer-Platz
- Route 15 – Dr. Herbert Walterskirchen Trail – easy – 2¾ h – 11 km – Line 7 to Aigen S-Bahn
- Route 16 – easy – 3 h – 11 km – Line 7 to Josef-Kaut-Strasse or Valkenauerstrasse
- Route 17 – moderate (long, steep and slippery in parts above Zistelalm) – 3 h – 11 km – Line 7 to Josef-Kaut-Strasse (17a) or Valkenauerstrasse (17)
We hiked up from Zistelalm and alternated between a trail that started off a bit steep, and later another that was easier and zigzagged the rest of the way up the mountain.
There were plenty of markers along the way, so we felt quite confident even though there weren’t very many hikers on our trail.
You can find the Gaisberg hiking trails map here complete with bus lines, bus schedules, and descriptions of each trail.
Eating Austrian food in Gaisberg
Once we reached the summit of Gaisberg, there were a couple of restaurants to choose from. We ate at Goasn Wirsthaus.
We were lucky enough to snag a table outdoors after waiting around a few minutes (it was packed!) and proceeded to order some typical Austrian dishes.
We got Marend, which is a snacking board featuring an assortment of mountain cheeses, cured meats, sausages, spreads, breads, grapes, eggs, olives, and more. It felt like the perfect alpine snack and paired wonderfully with two pints of Stiegl beer.
And because we were pretty hungry from the hike up, we also got the Kasnocken, a noodle dish that’s fried in a pan with cheese and topped with crispy onions.
This was actually one of our favourite meals in Salzburg, so we’d highly recommend it if you’re able to get a table!
There are a few other restaurants sprinkled around Gaisberg, so depending on which trail you hike, you’ll have different dining options along the way.
Is a day trip to Gaisberg worth it?
After enjoying a leisurely lunch and soaking in the views from the mountaintop, we then hopped on local bus 151 and rode back into Salzburg. The trip was as easy as can be and it offered a nice taste of nature without having to travel very far.
It’s easy to see why Gaisberg is such a popular destination with locals and visitors alike – the ease of getting there makes it the hiking destination of choice.
I also think a day trip to Gaisberg is a nice way to get a taste of the Alps, especially if your travels aren’t taking you as far as Tyrol (though I would recommend adding the Alpbachtal Valley and attending the Almabtrieb to your list for a future visit!)
If this day trip to Gaisberg is of interest, then you might also enjoy a day trip to Werfen. This is another super easy day trip from Salzburg (only 45 minutes by train) and you can spend the day hiking The Sound of Music trail, visiting Hohenwerfen Castle, rafting on the Salzach River, touring the largest ice caves in the world, or enjoying more Austrian cuisine.