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Zell am See is one of the bigger towns in the Austrian Alps. Together with the town of Kaprun, which lies 2 kilometres to the south on the otherside of the Salzach valley, it makes up one of the most important ski resorts in Austria. Zell am See is also the starting point of one of the most scenic routes in Austria the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse. This is a pass that leads you over the main ridge of the alps, passing the highest mountain of Austria, and ending up in Heiligenblut.
In the mountains above Kaprun lies one of the greatest engineering projects in Austria. The Tauernkrafwerke is a powerplant that uses two giant lakes and it's water to produce electricity. From Kaprun busses and a giant platform that's crawling up the mountain (and again busses) take you to the dams. The ride alone is a scenic one.
The best way to see a lot of the mountains is to go hiking. Be prepared for the possible change in the weather, that can occur in the mountains. A large part of the Hohe Tauern mountain range, is national park, which means that it is closed for traffic.
The ski region of Zell am See/Kaprun is a popular one. It has around 77 kilometres of slopes. The two main areas are at the Schmittenhöhe, for which you can take a lift in Zell am See, and the Glaciers at the Kitzsteinhorn at 3,000 metres. This is where you can even ski in the summer. This is also the place where the Austrian Alpine team trains in summer.
As Zell am See is located on the Zellersee (See means Lake in German) there is the possibility in summer to go swimming, and to do some other watersports, like surfing and water-skiing. For the people that want to sit back and relax, there are tours with a couple of boats over the lake. During the summer holidays, there is a weekly firework display on the lake, that can be watched from the shore.
Although Zell am See has a small airport, no commercial flights are landing in Zell am See. The nearest airport is Salzburg Airport named W.A. Mozart Airport.
Zell am See has connections to Salzburg and Krimml in the Salzach valley. There is also a connection to Saalfelden, just north of the town, and beyond to Kitzbühel and Innsbruck. Check the website of ÖBB (Österreiche Bundesbahn) for more information and timetables.
Zell am See lies on a crossroad in the alps. The B168 that comes from Krimml and Mittersill, ends up in Zell am See. The B311 that comes from Saalfelden, continues it way in the Salzach Valley, until it changes name, and becomes a motorway (the A10, that lead to Salzburg. To the south lies the starting point of the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse, that leads to Heiligenblut and Lienz.
|Haus Ashling||Nikolaus Gassner Promenade 4a||Guesthouse||92|
|Pension Klothilde||Skiliftstrasse 2-4||Hotel||86|
|Youth Hostel Zell am See||Seespitzstrasse 13 Zell am See||Hostel||95|
|Chalet Hotel Senger||Hof 23 Heikigenblut, Austria||Apartment||-|
Internet cafes are common in bigger cities. Hotels in cities do normally have internet terminals, more expensive hotels provide internet access directly in the rooms. There are many free WiFi Hotspots and quite a few restaurants, cafes and other places offers free wifie. McDonald's has free Wifi, as does Starbucks. Note that some places might charge a fee or includes just limited amounts of time. Be sure that your smartphone is not roaming data, as this will mean a huge bill, especially if you are from outside the EU.
See also International Telephone Calls
The general emergency number is 112.The country calling code to Austria is: 43. To make an international call from Austria, the code is: 00.
Austria has a perfect GSM and 3G (UMTS) network coverage of nearly 100%. If you bring your own cell phone with you assure yourself that it operates on 900 MHz / 1800 MHz (GSM) or 2100Mhz (3G WCDMA). There are cell phones that operate at 1900 MHz (e.g. networks in the United States) which are not supported in Austria. If you plan a longer visit in Austria it might be useful to buy a new mobile with a prepaid card from a local cell phone network provider. Be aware that some remote areas (especially mountainous areas) do not have network coverage yet, though this rather the exception than the rule.Austria has a large number of cell network providers including A1, T-Mobile, Orange (former called One), Drei (3G), Telering, Tele2, Bob and Yesss. Bob and Yesss have the lowest prices. Prepaid card costs €15 including 100 minutes talking time.
For more information, it is best to check the Austrian Postal Service. They have more information about posting letters, postcards and packages to places both in Austria and to other countries in Europe and intercontinental destinations. The standard price for sending domestic letters/postcards is €0.55. Within Europe the price is €0.65, other places in the world are €0.90 to €1.40 for standard letters and postcards. Post offices typically are open between 8:00am and 6:00pm Monday to Friday, though the main ones are sometimes open a few hours longer and on Saturdays (sometimes only mornings) as well. If you want to send parcels internationally, you might consider using an international company like DHL, TNT, UPS or FedEx, as they offer fast and reliable services at relatively affordable rates.
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