The town of
Zell am See

From Zelle im Pinzgau to Zell am See.


The little town of Zell am See has around 9900 inhabitants and was a market town up until 1928. It is not even 100 years that it has been known as a city. Originally known as Zelle im Pinzgau, the city has been known as Zell am See since 1810. In 1875 Zell’s railway line opened up and this was when tourism began. In economic terms to Zell quickly gained in importance thanks to its location on the Grossglockner road.


Fresh air and crystal-clear water


"Your holiday in Zell am See will be relaxing and will also enhance your health.

Since 1961 this little town in Salzburger Land has been a climatic spa town. As well as the air, the water in Lake Zeller is particularly pure. In fact it is of drinking quality standard and it is these two aspects which makes Zell am See stand out as a holiday destination

The history of Zell am See

Evidence proves that Zell am See has been a settlement since the time of the Romans. Around 740 A.D. the monks with Salzburg’s Archbishop Johannes founded the town Cella in Bisontio. Today Zell am See is one of the oldest Bavarian settlements in the Pinzgau region. Its central location in medieval times on the significant Saumroute above the Hochtour (today’s Grossglockner road) had a significant effect upon the great upsurge in the settlement. In 1357 Zell am See was elevated to a market town. The people of Zell worked as hauliers, taking salt south and returning with wine from the Friulians.

The most significant turning point in recent history and the beginning of the upsurge of Zell am See to become a tourist centre was the opening of the Giselabahn on 3rd July 1875.

The construction of the rail route marked the birth of tourism in Zell am See – the first big hotels were then built. On 24th January 1928, the market town of Zell am See was finally elevated to city status and at the same time the cable car to the Schmittenhoehe was ceremonially opened. The construction of the Grossglockner High Alpine Road had another hugely positive effect on the city. In 1950 there were around 180,000 overnight stays each year, and in the interim Zell am See has exceeded millions, when it comes to overnight stays.

The cross-regional connection between the towns of Zell am See and Kaprun to become a European sports region, ensures visitors get to enjoy an outstanding infrastructure, offering a wide range of leisure options and activities.