A few years ago, I visited Zillertal in Austria for the first time to attend an “Almabtrieb”, the descent of the cows from the mountains to the valley for winter. I spent less than 48 hours there and so I was thrilled when the Zillertal Tourism Board invited me back to come see the Krimml Waterfalls and try other summery activities in Zillertal.
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about visiting the Krimml falls in Austria.
Visiting the Krimml Waterfalls: Tips & Advice
Ever wondered what the highest waterfall in Europe is and where to find it?
The Krimml waterfalls lie on the Krimmler Ache river in the Hohe Tauern National Park, which spans 1,856 km² over the provinces of Carinthia, Salzburg, and Tyrol. The falls are 1,470 m above sea level.
The Krimml falls has its own paid car park, right outside the national park, but can also be reached from the village of Krimml where there's a free parking lot that is about a 20 minute walk away.
Most people access the Krimml waterfalls from the right, which is from the tourist side. On this side, there's a wide paved road accessible for wheelchairs and strollers leading to the waterfall. There's a €3 fee to enter, which is used for maintenance of the road as well as the walking path that goes up along the side of the falls and the viewing platforms.
The trail up to the top of the Krimml Waterfalls is 4 km long and runs from the lowest part of the waterfall (about a 10-minute walk from the bottom) to the highest part (about an hour's walk), giving you great views along the way. Or so I've been told, because unfortunately, I only had time to visit the lower Krimml waterfall. I do hope to go back to do the entire walk up to the Krimml falls!
Alternatively, there's also a waterfall path leading to the left side of the Krimml waterfall. This offers a bit of a less nice view of the Krimml waterfalls but is free and less-known. If you want to avoid the crowds, it's best to take this side. Or you can just do both, as they're just a few minutes walking from each other.
Good to know before visiting the Krimml waterfalls
The air on the left side of the Krimml waterfalls has special healing properties that make it perfect for treating asthma and allergy patients. Many people come to Krimml for two to three weeks to follow a health program and in the mornings, they're often at the left side of the waterfall to do breathing exercises. When this is the case, no other people are allowed in that area.
So if you want to visit the left side of the Krimml waterfalls, it's best to do so in the afternoon. Sometimes, there are breathing exercises held in the afternoon as well, but those are open to the public and so you can simply join and enjoy the effect of the waterfall's clean air on your lungs and airways.
It's a fully immersive nature experience which is well worth it.
Another fun fact to keep in mind before you visit the Krimml falls is that the spray at the lower part of the falls is strong enough to get you wet! So be prepared with your waterproof clothing.
Learn all about water at the Waterfall Center in Krimml
At the start of the paths to the Krimll Waterfall, you can also visit the Krimml Waterfall Center. It's an interactive museum that teaches you all about water and its role in nature and our lives. Particularly fun are the many water “toys” in the garden of the museum. They're meant for kids but hey, we all have an inner child, don't we? So enjoy and… prepare to get wet :-)
The museum has a cafetaria and a large terrace. The garden is well-maintained so parents can safely let their kids play while enjoying a drink. In the public area, there's also a free toilet you can use as well as free WiFi. They just ask for a non-obligatory donation if you do.
How to get to the Krimml Waterfalls
If you're going to Zillertal from outside of Austria, you need to either fly or drive. While there are some train stations in the area, there's no way to really travel to all the places you'll want to go by train. If you fly in, you'll either need to book a transfer from the airport and then take taxis to get around or – much easier – rent a car.
For a good overview of your flight options, check Skyscanner.
For the best car rental deal, have a look at check RentalCars.com which compares more than 900 rental car companies and has a best-price-guarantee.
Learn more about Austria
Want to know more fascinating facts about Austria? Check out this post.
Don't forget travel insurance
Plan for the best, prepare for the worst. Travel insurance has you covered in case (part of) your trip gets canceled, you get sick or hurt abroad, and sometimes even when your electronics break or get stolen. I always make sure I'm covered on every trip I go on.
Don't have travel insurance yet? Check out SafetyWing. They offer super flexible plans that you can even sign up for while you're already on your trip. On top of that, they were the first travel insurance to cover COVID, and when I got COVID, they reimbursed all of my expenses without making a fuss. Their customer support team is great and I can personally recommend them.
And that's it, hope you enjoyed learning about the Krimml Waterfalls. For more on what to do in the area of Zillertal, including the best cafe at Bochra See Stumm, check out this post.
I visited Zillertal in collaboration with the Zillertal Tourism Board. As always when I work together with destinations, what and how I wrote about the trip was entirely up to me. You'll only find my honest opinion on here.