The best things to do in Hallstatt.
One of the prettiest little towns in Austria is for sure Hallstatt. This town looks like and makes you feel like you’re walking through a fairytale! There are many awesome things to do in Hallstatt, that you really don’t want to miss. So read this post through to the end, to have the best time in Hallstatt!
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Hallstatt is a charming and picturesque village located in the Salzkammergut region of Austria. Situated on the shores of the Hallstätter See (Lake Hallstatt), the village is surrounded by the Dachstein Alps and is renowned for its stunning scenery, rich history, and cultural significance.
Hallstatt is known for its salt production, dating back to prehistoric times! The village is named after the Hallstatt period, which was a significant part of the early Iron Age in Europe.
Nowadays, Hallstatt is world famous for its scenic views, and the entire town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Overall, Hallstatt is a unique and picturesque destination that offers a blend of history, culture, and stunning natural beauty. Its iconic landscapes have made it a popular spot for photographers and travelers seeking a tranquil escape in the Austrian Alps.
Is Hallstatt worth visiting?
Wait, let me rephrase that.
Hallstatt is very much worth visiting, why would you even question it?
Don’t be mistaken by this towns humble size, Hallstatt is worth visiting and let me tell you why.
First of all, this town has the most charming little houses and cultural attractions. The size of the town makes it much easier to explore everything on foot and find some secret places.
Second of all, the scenery around Hallstatt is out-of-this-world beautiful! Hallstatt Is a town located deep in the Alps, so you can expect mountains all around! Oh, and there’s a pristine lake!
Third of all, there are so many unique things you can only do in Hallstatt, like visiting salt mines, ice caves, and… Oh no, too many spoilers. Just keep reading and find out about these unique opportunities 😉
Now if this isn’t reason enough for you to visit Hallstatt, I can’t trust you… Nope, just kidding, if this isn’t enough reasons to go there, I don’t know what is.
When is the best time to visit Hallstatt?
Okay, it’s a bit more complicated than that.
However beautiful Hallstatt may be in winter, most attractions will sadly be closed. So let me tell you when is the best time to visit Hallstatt.
The months of March, April, May, October, and November are the best time to visit Hallstatt. In these months, the town won’t be overcrowded with tourists, you’ll get some mild weather, and the attractions should be open.
I would skip Hallstatt in the summer months, as there will be buses upon buses, spitting out tourists in the morning and picking them up in the late afternoon. In other words, it just gets really crowded, and it takes away the towns charm.
Best things to do in Hallstatt
I know I’ve already given you a lot of information, and the list is just now starting. But please bear with me, because all these activities are so worth it!
Wander through the old town (and find amazing postcard views!!!)
The old town of Hallstatt is a an entire attraction itself. You’ll feel like walking straight into the Frozen movie, (the real life Arendelle would look exactly like Hallstatt).
Besides many super cute streets, there are also some amazing squares, churches, and much more to explore in the old town.
However if you like to escape the crowds for a little while, there are many streets and pathways a little more uphill. You can’t stray away far from a town so little, but you can escape the crowds and find some hidden spots. You’ll also get some of the best views.
All in all, the old town of Hallstatt is a lot of fun to just walk through, explore places and alleys, and making a lot of pictures!
Go out on the Hallstätter See
What if I told you that you could be a swan for a little while? Just floating around on the lake, taking in the sun, dipping your feet into the water…
At Bootsverleih Hallstatt, you can rent a swan boat, to paddle yourself out onto the lake. For €15 euros per hour you can rent this paddle boat or a paddle board for the same price.
They also rent out electric boats for €30 euros per hour.
In summer, a dip into the lake can also be very refreshing. Make sure to make everything out of your trip to Hallstätter See!
Visit Salzwelten (salt mine)
Something that’s very unique to this town is the Salt mine. Did you know that Hallstatt is home for the oldest salt mine in the world? Pretty cool, right?
You can follow a tour that will take you to the most amazing places!
And the fun begins before even entering the mines. Because in order to get to the 1030 m high mines, you have to take a funicular!
When up the mountain, you will need to put on a nice miner’s outfit, to enter the tour. A tour takes about 2 hours.
The price is €40,- per adult, and a ticket includes:
- A round trip with the funicular
- A light show on an underground lake
- Entrance to 2 underground wooden slides, of which one is the longest of Europe, at 64 meters!
- A little trainride
- And you get to see pretty cool artefacts, like a salt mummy
I know it may be a little expensive to visit the salt mine, but it’s very worth it!
Be creeped out by the Hallstatt Ossuary
One very unique and slightly creepy thing to see in Hallstatt, is the Ossuary (aka Beinhaus or bone house). Hidden behind the Catholic parish church of Hallstatt, in the 12th century Chapel of St. Michael, you will find this charnel house.
A charnel house is a place where skeletal remains are held, like skulls and bones. And the one in Hallstatt happens to be home to the largest collection of painted human skulls in Europe!
These skulls are intricately decorated with floral and geometric patterns, along with the names and dates of the deceased.
The skulls were usually those of individuals whose graves were exhumed to make space for new burials. The bones were then stored in the ossuary, and the skulls were often placed on shelves. The practice of painting and decorating skulls was a way to honor the deceased and personalize their remains.
For some more interesting than for others, the Ossuary is a place you just have to see!
Learn about Hallstatt’s rich history at the Welterbemuseum (Hallstatt Museum)
Another place you simply must visit is the Hallstatt Museum.
The Hallstatt Museum will take you on a journey into the region’s rich history and culture. Housed in a picturesque setting, the museum showcases artifacts, exhibits, and insights into Hallstatt’s prehistoric past.
The museum is opened every day in the high season, and only closed on Monday and Tuesday from November til March.
An adult tickets costs €10,-, which makes it a fun inexpensive activity!
Enjoy the views at Welterbeblick (skywalk)
If you like hiking for some good views, the Hallstatt Skywalk is the place for you! Situated on the mountain above Hallstatt, will you find this amazing viewpoint.
To get here there are 2 options. The first is riding the funicular. This is €22 euros per person, round trip. This is for sure a fun and fast way to get there.
However, the second option is hiking to the viewpoint. It’ll take you no more than an hour to get there, and the trail is steep, but shouldn’t be too challenging.
When you make it to the top, your jaw will drop at the spectacular view of the town, the lake, and of course the mountains in the backdrop.
There’s also a restaurant here to get a refreshing drink and a bite.
The Hallstatt skywalk is a place you simply need to visit!
Cool off in the Dachstein ice caves
The Dachstein Ice Caves near Hallstatt, Austria, are a mesmerizing natural wonder waiting to be explored. Nestled in the Dachstein Alps, these caves are a wonderful labyrinth of ice formations, sculpted by centuries of snowfall within the Dachstein Glacier.
To embark on this icy adventure, visitors typically take a scenic cable car ride to the Dachstein plateau before delving into the depths of the caves with a knowledgeable guide.
Guided tours through the caves unveil a captivating world of frozen beauty. The play of light on the ice formations adds to the enchantment, making it a visually stunning experience.
Even in summer, the caves maintain a chilly temperature, so dressing warmly is advised.
The caves are located in Obertraun; a small town just 10 minutes from Hallstatt. From Obertraun you need to take the cable car up the mountain and get out at the first landing. This is where the caves entrance is.
You cannot enter the cave on your own, you’ll need to follow a guided tour. Make sure to buy your tickets online on the original website.
Explore the greatest views at the Five Fingers
Perched on the edge of the rugged Dachstein Mountains near Hallstatt, the “Five Fingers” is a jaw-dropping viewing platform. Aptly named for its hand-like extensions, each “finger” provides a unique view of the Alpine landscape, including the pristine Hallstättersee below.
The Five Fingers is perfect for visiting right after the ice caves, because you can get there from the same cable car! You just need to hop in again, until you reach the 2nd level. From here it’s just a 20-minute walk to the viewing platform.
The Five Fingers is a must-see when in Hallstatt!
Take a trip to St. Wolfgang
Another super picturesque town in the area is St. Wolfgang. It’s only a 40-minute drive from Hallstatt, and the town is most famous for its Pfarrkirche St. Wolfgang, a church built in the 1400s with an intricately carved Gothic altar and many extravagant religious paintings and statues.
St. Wolfgang is a very nice trip to make from Hallstatt and very much worth it!
Where to stay in Hallstatt?
Hallstatt is home to many charming hotels, but of course you want the best deal, so let me tell you exactly where to stay in Hallstatt.
Seehotel Grüner Baum is one of the best hotels in Hallstatt. With prices around €300,- euros per night, you’ll get the best stay one could wish for. In this hotel you will have the luxury of a bath, balcony, and a delicious breakfast included in the morning.
Bräugasthof Hallstatt is a perfect choice if your budget isn’t sky high. For €175,- euros per night you will have an amazing stay in this 700-year-old former brewery. If you love old places and houses, this B&B is perfect for you!
Heritage Hotel Hallstatt is a very fair choice, with prices from €220 euros per night. This hotel offers everything from a tasty breakfast, to family rooms, to spectacular views. The Heritage Hotel would be a great choice for anyone!
How to get to Hallstatt?
Salzburg is the place most people are coming from when visiting Hallstatt.
Getting there by car
Driving to Hallstatt shouldn’t be a problem. You can drive there from any directions and the roads are very good and easy. Make sure to park your car at P1 or P2, to be close to the city center. If these are full, go to P4, here you’ll always have a spot and it’s only a 20-minute walk to town.
The drive from Salzburg to Hallstatt will take you about 1,5 hours.
Getting there by bus
Visiting Hallstatt by bus is quite doable. From Salzburg you first need to take bus 150 to Bad Ischl, then take bus 542 to Hallstatt Gosaumühle, and finally hop on bus 543 to Hallstatt Lahn.
The trip will be about 2 hours and 15 minutes, and it will cost you around €15 euro single way.
Getting there by train
To take the train to Hallstatt will take at least 2,5 hours, it includes a ferry, and will cost you way more than when taking buses.
Guided tour to Hallstatt
There are also tons of guided tours that will take you to Hallstatt from Salzburg OR Vienna. If you don’t feel like figuring out the buses or renting a car, a guided tour is perfect for you!
Just make sure to book your trusted tour on GetYourGuide, for the best AND cheapest deals!
Final thoughts on things to do in Hallstatt
Now that was a lot of information for you. Did it help you plan your trip to Hallstatt? Let me know in the comments below!
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