Admont Abbey | The Library Straight out of Fairytales

1 room, 242 years, and 200,000 books. This is Admont Abbey, the world's largest Monastery library. 

How to Get Here

By Car: This is by far the easiest way to get to Admont. It is a 1.5hr drive from Hallstatt, 2hr drive from Salzburg, or a 2.5hr drive from Vienna. I actually first spent Christmas in Hallstatt and then drove to Admont from Hallstatt so the drive would be shorter. 

By Public Transport: from what I can see on Google Maps, it takes 3.5hrs and 4 transfers from Vienna, 3hrs with 2 transfers if you catch the express train, and 2hrs with 4 transfers from Hallstatt. This is hardly a viable option if you take a look at the next section where it talks about the limited opening hours. 

Opening Times
Winter season: opened daily from 10am - 2pm, except for Fridays 10am - 12pm 
↠ Closed from 24 - 26 Dec, 1 Jan, 17-25 Feb, and 1-24 March
↠ From 25 Mar - 4 Nov: opened daily 10am - 5pm 

For most updated and accurate information, please check their official website at

The Hidden Staircase
So, how do you get books up to the second floor? I couldn't see any in plain sight so I thought I'd ask one of the staff members. Behind some of the "no video/photo" signs (you need to purchase a separate ticket for photography) is usually where the hidden staircase is at. Look for gaps of light coming through the cracks of the bookcase, and that's where the stairs are at.  First you flip up the the horizontal flat board, then you unlock the bottom flap, after that on the second book case down, the second book from the right is a panel you can open up where the keyhole is. In the photo below, you can see the second row down, the second book on the right is opened. This is like straight out of a video game, or just wizardry. 

How to Get a Good Photo?
↠ Arrive before opening time so you can get in first. The library is one floor up, near the end of the hall if you turn right from the stairs. The door will be closed, with a sign that says to softly open the door. 
↠ Wait patiently: sometimes you just have to wait patiently for the people to clear out of the room to take a photo. I arrived just after 10am and there were about 10 people in the library at that time. 
Use Lightroom: the library itself isn't lit, so you are relying on natural lighting. If you don't have fancy camera gear, brightening it up (both brightness and color saturation) in Lightroom really helps. This is available on a computer or as a free mobile app. 

I absolutely love books, always have since I was a kid. Even though I move countries a lot, I own at least 100 hard copies of books I love. But when I buy a house, I hope I can fill up an entire wall. 

Next, we're heading over to Prague, Czech Republic. 

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