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Zell am See

Photo of Zell am See

About Zell am See

Zell am See is a tiny, but perfectly formed Austrian city, right by its own perfect alpine lake and nestled in amongst snow capped, and glacier studded, mountains. Since the 60s it’s been an alpine health resort, the kind of place where the air and water feel like they’re probably doing you good. Even the Zeller See lake is known for being healthily drinkable, not just ripe for bathing and boating. As well as drinking the water, people come to hike, ski, cycle, drive around the amazing high mountain roads in expensive, preferably opened-topped, cars and watch other people doing the same. It’s probably no surprise that some of the best places to stay in Zell am See are glamorous alpine chalet-cum-health-resorts, but our Guru’s list also includes several very family friendly hotels and a very reasonable family-run B&B or two.

If you’re here to ski then you might appreciate that this is quite a developed ski resort, unlike most of Austria’s more rustic village resorts. The fact that there’s an impressive glacier just down the road at Kaprun and a gondola link to Vienhofen near Saalbach makes it perfect. The skiing is pretty varied but doesn’t come that close to the town itself.

If you’re here in the summer, or just to experience Zell, then you’ll probably be more interested in the pretty, medieval old town, its Romanesque church and castle. There are also numerous walking routes and plenty of outdoor activities like paragliding, cannoning, sledding etc.. During summer there’s a light show on over the lake most evenings, plus a nightly festival with great food, art and music.

What not to miss

  • The skiing up the mountain, while also being in a more developed ski resort down the mountain
  • The town itself is well worth an explore, with a beautiful medieval old town with a church and castle originating from the Roman times.
  • In the summer there are many festivals to explore, with lights over the lake and also great food, art, and music to immerse yourself in.

The Best Places to Stay in Zell am See

for Skiers

  • If you’re looking for a great value ski hotel, the Hotel Berner is for you. It’s right by Zell am See’s main ski slope and has 34 modern rooms - some with beautiful views - a spa, heated pool, Finnish Sauna and its own restaurant. There are just 34 rooms starting from around £100 per night.

  • Schloss Prielau is a charming alpine property situated idyllically on the lakeside, while also having great access to the main Zell am See ski area and having a fantastic reputation for its cuisine as well!

For Romance

  • A classic example of Zell am See’s charms, the Hotel Salzburgerhof offers wonderful views of both the lake and the mountains along with 68 opulently furnished rooms with a country house hotel feel. The restaurant has won awards and is known for its extensive wine list and there’s a wonderful spa, a beautiful pool and lovely landscaped gardens.

  • The Romantik Hotel Zell am See is a traditional hotel right on the shores of beautiful Lake Zell. The 39 rooms are spacious and comfortable and there’s an extensive spa - perfect for recovering from long days hiking or on the slopes. There’s an excellent Austrian restaurant known for its local food and wine.

For Families

  • Steinerwirt 1493 is a 28 room hotel with stunning valley views and a fun, easy-going atmosphere. There’s a spa and modern art gallery, plus an award-winning restaurant and an indoor play area. It’s also well set up for skiers.

For value

  • The Pension Hubertus is a family run B&B with 21 traditional rooms and a cosy atmosphere. There are amazing views of the lake from the best rooms and from the balconies and they serve a hearty breakfast. Rooms start from around £45 per night.

For an apartment or chalet

  • If you've decided that a self catering property would be more suitable for your holiday, then we recommend you visit our online booking partner Booking.com where they have a wide selection for all tastes and budgets.

Travel Information

  • Salzburg is 90 minutes away from Zel am See, while Innsbruck is just over 2 hours away
  • For skiing the best time to visit is during the winter season, while to enjoy the lights festival, good and art around the city the summer would be a better time, when temperatures range from 19 to 24 degrees.
  • If you plan to hire a car, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars for the best prices.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Zell am See

  • Romantik Hotel Zell am See 39 rooms from $181

    Zell am See

    A classic hotel geared up for outdoor pursuit on the shores of Lake Zell. With spacious and comfortable rooms and an extensive spa, it's the perfect place to relax after a day's skiing or hiking. Enjoy delicious Austrian food and wine at its Metzgerwirt restaurant. An excellent value option.

    Active Holiday  -  A great place for an active holiday, whether its skiing, hiking, biking or watersports- there is plenty on offer.
    Total relaxation  -  After an active day relax in the spa, sauna, steam bath or at the bar and organic restaurant.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit Kaprun Castle, only three miles from the hotel.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
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  • Pension Hubertus 21 rooms from $119

    Zell am See

    A family-run B&B in the pretty mountain town Zell am See. Traditionally styled rooms give a cosy feel with pretty fabrics and wood panelling. Stunning lake views can be enjoyed from the best rooms. Hearty breakfast are served. Steps from the nearest gondola. A perfect spot for families.

    Families  -  With a laid-back feel and special family discounts, all ages are well accommodated at this hotel.
    Skiing  -  77 pistes to suit all abilities and the Zell am See gondola is right by the hotel.
    Active Holiday  -  From hiking to skiing this is an ideal base for adventure enthusiasts.
    Value chic  -  Excellent value for a ski holiday
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  • Schloss Prielau 13 rooms from $217

    Zell am See

    A charming Alpine property boasting an enviable lakeside location. Stunning rooms are smart yet cosy with plenty of polished wood panelling and heavy antique furniture. With an emphasis placed on cuisine the food is undeniably good. Easy access to the slopes and surrounding mountains. Fabulous.

    Country Escape  -  A striking country house with an enviable lake side location. Ideal for completely unwinding.
    Skiing  -  Easy access to the excellent resort of Zell am See-Kaprun.
    Sailing  -  A sailing school and yacht club is situated by the castle’s private beach.
    Full of character
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  • Mavida Wellness Hotel 47 rooms from $160

    Zell am See

    The 4* Mavida Wellness Hotel, in picturesque Zell am See offers chic and contemporary accommodation with panoramic mountain views. The property boasts both an indoor and outdoor pool in their spa centre. Located just a short distance from the slopes. A top-notch rural escape!

    Total relaxation  -  Indulge in their extensive spa facilities or simply unwind on your balcony with a glass of wine and admire the rolling vistas
    Country Escape  -  Mavida Wellness Hotel's scenic location and gorgeous views will help you feel a million miles away from all your worries
    Active Holiday  -  There is something for all tastes- head off hiking, swimming, skiing or fishing!
    Fishing  -  Find a nice quiet location on the banks of Zeller See and enjoy a spot of fishing
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  • Steinerwirt 1493 28 rooms from $176

    Zell am See

    Excellent hotel with stunning views of the valley surrounding Zell am See. Steinerwirt is fun and easy-going with plenty to offer including a spa, a modern art gallery and an award winning restaurant. Perfectly suited to family holidays.

    Families  -  Catered towards young families with indoor play area, books, DVDs, music for children, board games/puzzles.
    Active Holiday  -  Perfect for an outdoor holiday, skiing, mountaineering and watersports are all on tap at Zell am See.
    Fishing  -  Anglers will be pleased to hear, there is excellent fishing on Lake Zell.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
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  • Hotel Berner 34 rooms from $274

    Zell am See

    Situated right next to the town's main ski slope, Hotel Berner features modern rooms with balconies offering great views. The hotel has on site spa facilities, its own restaurant serving both local and international cuisine and a heated outdoor pool open all year round. Quiet but central location.

    Spa breaks  -  The hotel boasts a Finnish sauna, heated outdoor pool, a steam bath and massages are available on request.
    Active Holiday  -  A great spot for an active break with ski to door access as well as local cycling, hiking and golfing.
    Great walks  -  Take a walk around the beautiful Lake Zell.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool open all year round
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  • Hotel Salzburgerhof, Zell am See 68 rooms from $373

    Zell am See (Auerspergstraße 11)

    A grand luxury hotel surrounded by mountains and lakes in Zell am see. Rooms are opulently furnished evoking a country-house style with carpeted floors, comfort sofas and fireplaces. An awarded restaurant, a superb wine list, a spa and gardens and pools. The perfect getaway.

    Foodies  -  An award winning restaurant on site - The Salzburgerstube
    Local markets  -  Close by to cultural areas and top quality gastronomy in town
    Swimming Pool  -  An outdoor and indoor pool
    Full of character
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