Just 40 minutes outside of Salzburg lies one of the most scenic waterfalls in ALL of Austria:
We discovered this little piece of heaven as we were planning our 4th of July weekend in Austria. Since we’re Americans who live abroad to Salzburg, we always aim to keep our holiday traditions from the USA alive. It adds a little touch of home to our daily lives here!
The goal was to plan a day trip somewhere outdoors that involves water, delicious food with a bit of discovery for our first 4th of July abroad. And Golling Waterfall satisfied all of the above…
A True Wonder of Nature
The scenery at Golling Waterfall is hard to match. Rolling hills, fierce & powerful water, natural pools, misty bridges, paths through the pristine Austrian forest.
There is so much to see. So much nature to admire. Every moss-covered rock is a whole new world. Wildflowers galore, mountains in the distance. I could go on and on, but you get the point –
Golling Waterfall is a magical place.
A View from the Top
Every bit of this waterfall deserves to be admired, so do yourself a favor and follow the path up to the top of the falls. There are steps, bridges, walking paths and signs, which make the journey easy to navigate and accessible for most.
And once you get to the top, you’re heart will skip a beat. This is Austria at its finest.
You’ll watch the incredible power of the waterfall from where it begins, see its path down the mountain until it becomes just a stream. In the distance, there’s a quilt of Austrian villages and farms covering the hills. Different shades of green that only end as they hit towering mountains in the distance.
This is the landscape we’ve fallen so quickly in love with after a year of living here. There is simply nothing like it (anywhere we’ve seen at least!)
Hiking at Golling Waterfall
The hiking trails surrounding the falls seem endless. There are tons of hikes to choose from in all different directions and to all different destinations. Hike to a Gasthaus (for an Austrian meal or Spritzer) or continue on for hours if you want, discovering more nature along the way.
The yellow trail markers will always tell you the trail’s destination and how many hours it will take to hike there. It couldn’t be more organized or easy to follow.
Blue Hiking Trail: Easy
Red Hiking Trail: Moderate
Exploring the village of Golling
After you’ve finished your hike, you can also head into the the town of Golling, which (we discovered) is a true destination in itself.
Golling is the epitome of Austrian charm.
Great restaurants, cafes, stores, guest houses and hotels lining the most charming street of all time. We honestly had no idea Golling was so action-packed until we decided to stop by after our hike through the falls. We could have spent an entire day there!
…Oh yeah, and there’s a castle too!
Right in the center of the town, you’ll find Burg Golling, a castle from the 13th century.
The grand red carpet entrance to the castle will instantly take you back in time. And if you feel like learning a little history of the area, for 5 euros, you can enjoy the museum that’s located right in the castle – Museum Burg Golling. The museum takes you on a journey through the history of the Salzach, but in German only (so bring your Google Translate if you actually want to understand things!)
The castle courtyard, a popular events space is also a cool place to check out while you’re there. During the summer, they host concerts in the castle courtyard, so you might get lucky with your timing and be able to see one during your visit.
But before you head out, be sure to walk around the castle to admire the mountain scenery surrounding Golling. There’s even a perfect picnic bench right at the castle wall for the most scenic picnic of ALL time! Bring some fresh pastries from the local bakery, sit back and enjoy.
The Logistics for YOUR visit to the falls
Entrance Fee: 2.50 euro/person entrance fee
For the path they continue to maintain and for the beauty you’re about to experience, 2.50 euros is more than worth it.
Recommended time: 2 hours
…of course this depends on how relaxing you want your visit to be.
We stayed at the waterfall for about 2 ½ hours. It seemed like the perfect amount of time to get some incredible pictures and to actually appreciate what we were seeing.
Getting to Golling Waterfall: Train OR car – both will do!
Of course driving is quickest way to get anywhere, but the train from Salzburg HBF can easily get you to the falls as well. It’ll just take double the time – 1 hour vs. ½ hour.
Train from Salzburg HBF to Golling-Abtenau (30-minute walk to the falls)
Waterfall Address: Gollinger Wasserfall, Wasserfallstraße 23, 5440 Golling an der Salzach
Where to park: Right at the entrance
There is a parking lot right near the ticket entrance to get into Golling waterfalls. And a second lot just down the road (you’ll actually pass the 2nd lot before you get to the official lot). Both are easy to find!
Quick Tips For Hiking the Falls
1) Bring waterproof gear
You will get wet from all the mist from the waterfall.
2) Wear proper shoes.
Parts of the path will be wet and others will be rocky. Wear hiking shoes!
3) Know your limits!
While the path is easy, for some, all the stairs might be too much for others. But if you find you can’t continue – no big deal! There are great views in every direction and lots of benches to stop, relax and enjoy the falls.
Other Activities in/around Golling
Forest Path to Bluntau Valley
2-3 hour hike from the Hotel Torrenerhof in Golling.
Egelsee Nature Reserve
5 minutes from the centre of Golling right, behind the market street.
Just a 10 minute drive from Golling with parking on site.
A day trip to Golling Waterfall or Gollinger Wasserfall (as the locals know it) is one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to admire Austria’s pristine nature. We always recommend seeing what exists outside of major destination, and this waterfall is the perfect example why.
Breathe in fresh mountain air. Get some exercise. See a powerful waterfall from above. And appreciate Austria’s unimaginable landscape that makes this country so special.
If you’re looking for MORE day trips from Salzburg, check out our article on Salzburg’s Lake District (mountains, villages and turquoise lakes GALORE) or our most popular piece about the village of Hallstatt. A place unlike any other!