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Hallstatt, Amazing Austria’s lakeside town

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Hallstatt, Amazing Austria’s  lakeside town





Hallstatt, Austria, a dreamy lakeside town in the heart of the Salzkammergut district. Hallstatt lying snugly between the imposing mountains and the serene lake.

A calm blue lake mirroring the sky, mountain ranges setting a picture-perfect background, and pastel lakeside houses lending the historic town a storybook vibe - that’s what to expect in Hallstatt, Austria! Here’s a travel guide to Austria’s most photogenic town.




Hallstatt’s Long History As a Salt Mining Region


Hallstatt, Austria is more than just a pretty town. It’s actually considered the oldest still-inhabited village in Europe. Hallstatt – which means “place of salt” – is home to the world’s first salt mine. Thanks to the salt industry, the town quickly progressed and became wealthy. Salt has always been a valuable commodity, more so in the pre-historic times when it was primarily used to preserve meat.

Hallstatt’s fame derives mostly from its natural beauty, as located between a lake and mountains (you could even say that it cuddles the lake), this perfect little town easily became a favourite tourist destination as well as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Hallstatt, Austria, maybe a small city – you can walk from end to end in under half an hour – but there’s much to see within the town and in the surrounding area. Spend one day to really see all of Hallstatt’s pretty corners.





Why are tourists so keen to visit Hallstatt?



Every season has a special charm in Hallstatt, Austria

Hallstatt, Austria in winter
Hallstatt, Austria in winter


Each season in Hallstatt, Austria has its own charm. Winter has a wonderful sight of radiant white snow covering the small village and the majestic peaks of the Austrian Alps, while spring brings a season of blossoms, from the beautiful flowers to the greenery that grows around this small village.


Hallstatt, Austria in Summer
Hallstatt, Austria in Summer


While summer brings to the village a fun atmosphere and great outdoor activities, with swimming or a boat tour of the lake, autumn is marked by a season of beautifully changing leaves from green to yellow to red and orange. So you can go to Hallstatt in each of these seasons and see a different magical side.

Even with the increase in the number of tourists in this small village, it is still relatively undiscovered compared to other travel destinations, there are not many tourist crowds even in the high season, compared to those you may find in other European towns at the same time of the year.





Best things to do in Hallstatt, Austria



Hallstatt, Austria is one of the ideal places for a stunning nature vacation. This small town has distinctive tourist attractions, such as ancient houses, alleys dating back to the sixteenth century, ancient salt mines, and beautiful churches. In addition to local and international restaurants, hotels and resorts that provide the best services, viewing platforms that provide the most beautiful panoramic views, and suspension bridges that are the focus of attention for many tourists around the world. In addition to the various museums and galleries, markets and stores full of wonderful goods and products. 

As well as its charming nature, which varies between towering mountains, spacious green spaces, picturesque lake bank, unique glacier gardens and amazing waterfalls. There are many hidden historical and natural treasures, which are waiting for tourists, coming from different parts of the world, to explore and learn about them.

Best things to do in Hallstatt, Austria
Hallstatt, Austria


  • Take a perfect photo of Hallstatt, walk to the north, past the ferry station. When the road bends, look back and you’ll see this breathtaking view of Hallstatt.


Best things to do in Hallstatt, Austria
Hallstatt, Austria


  • Walk around the market square and visit the little shops along the lake and peeking into the souvenir shops are a great way to spend the day.

Best things to do in Hallstatt, Austria
Hallstatt, Austria


  • Take photos of the lake’s ducks and swans, as if the calm blue lake and mountain ranges reflecting on it are not enough, Lake Hallstatt has to be inhabited by these gorgeous, photogenic creatures. 

  • Stop for an early lunch at one of the lakeside restaurants, along Hallstatt’s boardwalk, you’ll find several restaurants serving delicious meals that come with an amazing view. 

Some restaurants to try: Seewirt Zauner, Im Kainz and Couisine.

  • Continue your stroll along Lake Hallstatt, almost every flower-decked house along the lake is photogenic. 


Best things to do in Hallstatt, Austria
Hallstatt, Austria

  • Take another perfect photo from the south end, Just a few steps past the Tourist Information Center, another bend on the road leads to another gorgeous view of the town. You’ll once again see the beautiful pastel houses you just passed by, and if you’re lucky, a swan or two will join your shot.

  • Hallstatt offers a fun and interesting tour of the historic salt mine - which they claim is the oldest in the world. Most visitors take the steep funicular to the top of the mountain, just above Hallstatt. There is also a steep hiking trail that takes around 40 minutes for those who feel the strong need for a strenuous hill workout. 

Best things to do in Hallstatt, Austria
The Funicular - Hallstatt, Austria




At the top is the beautiful Hallstatt High Valley, which offers great views of the city and the lake below. From the funicular station, it takes about 10 minutes to walk along a boardwalk that leads to the historic miner's home (Knappenhaus). These homes also contain a gift shop and a museum that detail the difficult lives of the miners in the 19th century.





Slipping and Sliding Miner Style

Best things to do in Hallstatt, Austria
Salt Mine - Hallstatt, Austria




After dressing up as miners, you can enter the Salt Mine and walkthrough a long tunnel dug in 1719, then slide onto the miners ’original slides to the next lowest level for a multimedia presentation on the history of the mine, before watching a laser light show on an underground salt lake. You can also watch a show of the Bronze Age Cinema, located 400 meters underground.



Best things to do in Hallstatt, Austria
Skywalk - Hallstatt, Austria


  • See the view from the Skywalk, once you’re up on Salzberg, check out the “World heritage” views from the Skywalk. It runs within walking distance directly from the Old Town of Hallstatt below. If you fancy a cup of tea with a view, stop by the Rudolfsturm restaurant.

  • Learn about Hallstatt’s “salty” past, now we come to Hallstatt’s star attraction, which I saved for the end. This 7000 years old salt mine tells the story of Hallstatt, with fascinating audio-visual presentations that will take you through the pre-historic era to the present. You’ll also get to wear overalls and slide down wooden slides like a legit miner, so it’s a pretty exciting experience.

  • End the day at one of the lakeside restaurants. If you have one more day in Hallstatt, explore the surrounding areas.





Going around Salzkammergut, Austria


If you’re passing by Hallstatt on the way from Vienna to Salzburg, check out these other great stopovers to add to your road trip.



Dachstein, Austria

Going around Salzkammergut, Austria
Dachstein, The 5 fingers


Hallstatt shares its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Dachstein.  You’ll find more breathtaking views in Dachstein, including the glass-bottom 5 Fingers viewing deck and the Dachstein Ice Cave. It’s also ideal for skiing in the winter and hiking in summer as the mountains are famous for their large glaciers. You’ll also find a network of caverns and frozen waterfalls – a natural theme park of all amazing landscapes. 





Where to eat and drink – best restaurants in and around Hallstatt


Eating in Hallstatt is so much more special as the meals come with a view. Eat outside when the weather is good.

Don’t forget to eat fish, as this is the town’s speciality. For the best fish dishes, eat at Seewirt Zauner – try their grilled whitefish, which they catch fresh from Lake Hallstatt.

For yummy Austrian desserts like apple strudels and other pastries, visit Cafe Bäckerei Konditorei Maislinger. For ice cream visit Gelateria Giovanni.

If you don’t mind going for a short 10-minute drive out of Hallstatt, Gasthaus Koppenrast is an amazing restaurant away from the tourist crowds.





Planning your trip to Hallstatt, Austria


By driving

highly recommend driving to Hallstatt, Austria. You can get a rental car from Vienna and drive 3 hours to Hallstatt, or get your car from Salzburg, and it’s just a one-hour drive from there. 



By public transportation 


From Vienna 

you can catch a train that goes to Hallstatt via Attnang-Puchheim. Get your train tickets from the main train station (Wien-Hauptbanhof) or the west train station (Wien-Westbahnhof). The fastest train would take about 3.5 hours.

Once at Hallstatt station (which is actually in Obertraun, across the lake from Hallstatt), you have to ride a ferry (Stefanie) into Hallstatt’s old town. You can get your tickets from the ferry station that’s just beside the train station.


Planning your trip to Hallstatt, Austria
Hallstatt, Austria


From Salzburg, there are two ways to get to Hallstatt, Austria.


By bus:

Go to the bus terminal outside Salzburg’s main train station (Salzburg-Hauptbanhof) and look for Bus #150 to Bad Ischl. Once in Bad Ischl, ride a train to Hallstatt, then the ferry to the old town.



By train: 

From the Salzburg-Hauptbanhof, ride a train to Attnang-Puchheim, then switch to a train to Hallstatt. Once in Hallstatt station, ride the ferry to the old town.



Join a day tour


If you’re short on time, join a day tour from Vienna or from Salzburg. You’ll still get to enjoy the town on a day trip.





Best areas to stay in Hallstatt, Austria


Hallstatt, Austria is a wildly popular tourist destination, so if you plan to stay at least a night, make sure to reserve your hotels in advance. If you’re booking closer to your stay and find that most Hallstatt hotels are already fully booked, you can also look at accommodations in Obertraun, which is directly opposite Hallstatt across the lake. It’s a much more relaxed destination with the same amazing views and ambience of the mountains and the lake.



Best Hallstatt hotels and holidays rentals





Heritage Hotel Hallstatt


The Heritage Hotel Hallstatt is among the historic hotels in Hallstatt and the hotel have three separate buildings.

The main hotel has an elevator, facilities for the disabled, a sauna and a free shuttle service to and from the car park, as well as a gorgeous view of Lake Hallstatt.

The hotel is 150 meters from the World Heritage Museum Hallstatt, which is equivalent to a 2-minute walk. The W Airport is located. Which. Mozart Salzburg is 75.6 km away.



Visitor reviews summary

The Heritage rating of one of the most distinguished hotels in Hallstatt Austria is very good in terms of facilities, location, staff, cleanliness and comfort.


Booking.com






Grüner Baum


Top Pick: For the best experience in Hallstatt, stay at a hotel right by the lake. The best hotel among the lakeside options is Seehotel Grüner Baum. It offers panoramic views of Lake Hallstatt, a historic ambience, as well as spacious rooms and wonderful staff. 



Other highly-rated hotels in Hallstatt include: Heritage Hotel Hallstatt, Gasthof Pension Hirlatz, and Gasthof Bergfried.



W & S Executive Apartments

For small groups (3-4 adults), check out W & S Executive Apartments. Note that both this and the Gasthof Pension Hirlatz are a few minutes’ scenic walks outside the old town.





Obertraun hotels and holidays rentals


Seehotel am Hallstätter See


Travelers’ Pick: Seehotel am Hallstätter See is the best lakeside hotel on the Obertraun side of Lake Hallstatt. You’ll be treated to the same gorgeous mountain and lake views at an excellent price.





W & S Executive Apartments


W & S Executive Apartments also has suites in Obertraun, so for big groups who are really into skiing or hiking, check this out.





FAQ


What is the best and most suitable place to live in Hallstatt for families?

The area is classified as a protected area under the UNESCO heritage and therefore most of its parts are considered suitable for habitation. The city also has many places worth visiting, such as Lake Hallstatt, the famous salt caves, and the World Heritage Museum. It is also surrounded by mountains with waterfalls flowing directly into the lake.



What is the average cost to stay in a Hallstatt hotel per night?

The cost to stay in a hotel in Hallstatt ranges between $ 125-635 per night. The price doubles during the tourist seasons, and varies according to the size of the room and the benefits it offers.



What is the cheapest and highest-rated hotel in Hallstatt Austria?

Both the Hotel Gasthof Grüner Unger and the Guesthouse Herlatz are some of the cheapest and best hotels in Hallstatt. It offers economical prices compared to its level of service, and it has received very good reviews from its guests.



What are the best hotels in Hallstatt Austria for a honeymoon?

The Seehotel Grün yer Baum, the Heritage Hotel Hallstatt and the Hotel Bruegasthof Hallstatt are among the best high-end hotels in Hallstatt Austria. It offers a distinguished level of service and various facilities and services, making it suitable for a honeymoon vacation.



What are the best hotels in Hallstatt Austria with a sea view?

The Hotel Brugasthof Hallstatt and the Heritage Hotel Hallstatt are located directly on Lake Hallstatt.



What is the best-recommended area to live in Hallstatt?

Most Hallstatt hotels are within a distance of Salzburg City Airport, which is the closest airport to the city, in most cases, up to 90 km away.






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