Hallstatt is a small town in Austria, it has around 900 inhabitants. It became famous for of its pretty baroque houses and the picturesque view of the Hallstatter See (lake) and the mountains. The town is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, together with the Dachstein mountain range and Salzkammergut (salt chamber).
If you are searching for an authentic Austrian location, this is the perfect place to visit!
How to get to Hallstatt?
You can reach Hallstatt by train and ferry or by car. We chose the public transport: we took the earliest train from Vienna. Try to get your train tickets 2 months in advance, as the train tickets at the Austrian train company ÖBB can be very expensive. You can get discount tickets called “Sparschiene” if you book them in advance. There are limited numbers of “Sparschiene” tickets for every train, the cheapest one from Vienna to Hallstatt costs 19,50 euros one way per person.
You can reach Hallstatt from Vienna, from Salzburg and from Graz by train, the second city is a bit closer. We took approximately 3,5 hours from Vienna by train, we arrived at 10 am to the town. From the train station everybody is heading to the ferry station, so you can’t miss it. Tourists are coming to Hallstatt with every train and the road leads to the ferry station. The go and back ticket costs 6 euro for the ferry per person, you have to pay by cash. It’s not possible and it’s unnecessary to book the tickets in advance.
The last ship from Hallstatt to the train station departs at 18.15, because the last trains are also departing about 18.30.
What to do in Hallstatt in one day?
Once you arrive to Hallstatt by the little ferry, you will already be amazed by the cute little buildings. If you turn right and you go up on the hill, you reach your first destination:
The Postcard viewpoint
This is where all the Hallstatt postcard photos are taken. You get a magnificent view to the Lutheran church and the lake. Then you can go back on the road and you will arrive to the center of the town:
The Market Square
The square has a statue of the Holy Trinity in the center. Here you can find a lot of restaurants, cafés, bars and souvenir shops as well.
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Church of Christ - Christuskirche
The famous Evangelical church is also next to the Market Square, so you can enter there as well. The church was built in 1863 in Neo-Gothic style. There were a lot of protestants in the town since the 19th century, and they actually built a pray house before on the place of this - today very photogenic - church.
Museum Hallstatt - or Quaint museum with prehistoric artifacts
Here you can learn about the history of the town. You can also find some discoveries from the local salt mines, the Iron Age burial grounds and the cemeteries.
The Charnel House in Michael’s Chapel
The natural salt have been mined here for thousands of years, which made town rich. There is so little space for cemeteries that every ten years bones used to be exhumed and removed into an ossuary, to make room for new burials. 🙄 More than 600 decorated skulls are on display in the local church in the Bone House in the Michael’s Chapel, which is the biggest collection of decorated skulls in the world.
Walk through the beautiful town and enjoy the view of the mountains and the reflection of the mountains on the lake! We got definitely amazed by this unique view!
The Lake Hallstatt connects three small towns: Obertraun, Bad Goisern and Hallstatt. The lake was the most important way of transport the mined salt. You can also take a boat trip on the lake from Hallstatt, if the weather is good enough.
If you walk through the main road next to the lake, you will find a lot of small souvenir shops where the locals sell artisans. We also stopped here in a café to eat and drink, of course in the winter you can get some hot wine at every corner.
At the end of the road you will find another viewpoint for taking a perfect photo with the picturesque landscape. If you have some more time in the city, go and explore the hidden streets! Every corner and every little house is unique, colourful and beautiful.
Interesting facts about Hallstatt
There is an exact replica of Hallstatt in Huizhou city in China. The construction cost 940 million USD.
Hallstatt could only be reached by a boat or by a mountain trek on foot until 1890, when they finally built a road.
Other things to do in Hallstatt if you have more than one day
This is a skywalk at an altitude about 2700 meters. You can get a magnificent view over Austria, Czech Republic and Slovenia.
Hallstatt Salt Mine
This is the oldest salt mine in the world with the oldest wooden staircase. You have to pay for getting there by a funicular, and there is also an entrance fee. Tours are also offered, if you want to learn more about the place. Check out the opening times and prices here.