I recommend it as a ‘must do activity’ when you visit Zell am See. We really enjoyed it. The views are amazing at every point on the top but be sure to go to the various mini peaks/hiking routes to have the best experience. This is free with Kaprun cards , however, Kaprun cards are free if you stay in participating accommodations( for more information, you may see their website)
We stayed in a non participating Hotel besides the lake and did not have the Kaprun card. We purchased tickets at the ticket conuter at Schmitten cable car station. Various types of tickets are available. The best option is to buy a combo ticket which includes 2000m ascent/descent to Schmitten and panaroma cruise on Lake Zell, which is 29.5 euro per adult in September 2012. Only 2000m ascent/descent ticket was 22.5 euro in September 2012.
Rates differ in winter when skiing is in full swing.
We went in September 2012. It took 5 mins to reach the Bus stand from our hotel near Zell am See rail station where we took bus 71 to reach Schmittenhohe. It was only 2 kms away and bus took 5-7 min to reach cable car station. We took cable car to reach the summit at 2000m and got an amazing 360 degree view of snow peaks.
At the top there was a Hotel with "cafe" and lots of opportunities to walk around and enjoy 360 degree views of the Alps. You could also take various hiking routes too.
One thing must be remembered that you need to have very clear weather in order to see the peaks so look out for the weather forecast and select the best part of the day. You need at least 3-4 hrs. to complete this trip.
Also to remember that Postbus no 71 is at 30min interval, so it's better to see the bus timing before descenting down to avoid wasting time.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.