Hallstatt is the most beautiful lake town in the world and well worth a trip! With a rich history, breathtaking Alpine mountains and deep blue lakes – it is Austria’s most photographed village.
caption: a stunning Austrian village on the lake
Salt has been mined here since 2000 BC, no wonder Hallstatt literally translates to “salt settlement”. Today, tourists love it for some of the most beautiful lakeside views.
If you are travelling to Austria, this is one place you can’t miss. Here’s my guide to Hallstatt for a Day-Trip!
Hallstatt has the advantage of being well connected to every major Austrian city. Trains and buses run to and from Hallstatt all day from different cities. I’d recommend travelling by train, as it is the faster way to reach and leaves more time for sightseeing. A bus journey will definitely be cheaper, but will also take more time.
🚂👍 You can take a train from Salzburg like I did. As there is no direct train, you will have to switch in the middle. I reached Hallstatt station in just 2.5 hours. To search for train timings and fares to Hallstatt click here.
⛴️😍 From the station you have to take a ferry to cross the lake. Remember to buy a round-trip ticket for €5 when you board. The timings of the ferry are in sync with train timings, you can check the timetable here.
📸 The ferry ride is unbelievably pretty, so keep your camera handy for some photography en-route.
caption: fantastic opportunity to admire Hallstatt from afar and capture some incredible shots of the village including surrounding landscape!
As you reach the other side, you’ll arrive at your final destination – Hallstatt.
What to Expect
As soon as you arrive at Hallstatt, you will realise how popular this place is! With every ferry loads of tourists come in and crowd this little town. So try and get to Hallstatt early, in order to beat the crowd and get maximum time for sightseeing.
Generally touristy things put me off, but this place is totally worth it. You really can’t blame people for crowding in when the spot is this gorgeous!
Also when in Hallstatt, slow down and live like the locals. Keep your itinerary aside and take your time exploring – just walk around, discover hidden streets, sit beside the lake, take in the scenery and watch the swans swim by. Unwind in the truest sense of the word. 😇
#1 Walk Around Hallstatt
Walking around Hallstatt is in itself an attraction, and should number #1 on your list when here. Admire the charming wooden houses with pretty flowers on windowsills, as you explore this tiny village. The beautiful surroundings certainly deserve your undivided attention. If you feel like it you can even hike up to the top for some amazing views.
For some peace and quiet: If you walk ahead of the Hallstatt tourist office, cross the parking lot and keep walking for about 10 minutes, you will discover the most peaceful place in the world. (Check picture above) This is completely crowd free and looks straight out of a fairy-tale.
The photo opportunities are endless, especially if you are lucky enough to find some swan close to the water’s edge.
#2 Views from the Skywalk
Enjoy a birds-eye view of Hallstatt village, from the Skywalk – a viewing platform built at a height of 300 meters. You can buy a return ticket on the funicular for €16 or hike till the top for free. I could not visit it, as I chose to spend my time walking around a lot. If I go again, I would do this first.
#3 Visit the Salt Mine
Explore the world’s oldest salt mine by taking the funicular. If you are a history buff do take the guided tour of Hallstatt’s Salt Mine. The tour includes mine slides, an underground railway and usually takes about 70 minutes. So include it in your itinerary, only if you have the time. To book tickets for the same, click here.
#4 Have Fresh Fish for Lunch
I choose to eat at Bräugasthof Inn – it’s a hard to miss place owing its location right next to the lake. This place also has an interesting history dating back to 1472 when it was a salt manufacturing house.
You have to try the freshwater fish caught directly from the lake, cooked to perfection and then served to you! The fish is so delicious because the lakes of Austria have drinking quality water, hence the awesome taste.
caption: you dont want to leave
#5 Go Boating
caption: a swan-shaped pedal boat.
Hallstatt was built on the shores of Hallstatt Lake and is surrounded by the Dachstein Salzkammergut Mountains. Rent a boat to admire this beautiful location from all angles, uninterrupted and at your own pace. Don’t forget to carry some snacks along to have a little picnic.
If you are like me, you’ll most likely want to spend your time wandering around Hallstatt. But if want to do more, you can visit the Catholic Church, go hiking or explore the Ice caves and waterfalls when here.
Whatever way you choose to explore Hallstatt, I can assure you that your trip will be Instagram-worthy from beginning to end!