Updated: Mar 6
If you are a photographer or a instagrammer you probably have already seen a image or two of Hallstatt, one of the most beautiful and quaint villages in Europe. Although Hallstatt is a really small village, there are plenty of things to see and do nearby !
In this post, we will look at all the important sights and places that you should definitely visit if you are traveling to Hallstatt!
Note: This post covers a two day itinerary in Hallstatt, but if you are in a hurry you can still cover most of these places in a day (which is what most tourists do), however if you have the time I would advice that you spend at least two days here and enjoy the beauty that Austria has to offer!
HOW TO GET HERE?
Hallstatt is a small village in Austria and is about 70kms from Salzburg (another popular tourist destination). The drive from Salzburg to Hallstatt is about 1 hour and 15 mintues. You can also get to Hallstatt by bus or train from Salzburg, however please check the schedule well in advance and plan your travel accordingly.
If you are flying in from a different country (say US), then the nearest major international airport would be Munich, which is about a 2 hour and 30 mins drive from Hallstatt.
GETTING AROUND HALLSTATT
As noted earlier, Hallstatt is a really small village and you could cover the entire area just on foot , so ideally you don't require any vehicle. However if you are driving into Hallstatt, you would be having a Car, which means you need to look for parking spots.
If your hotel/Airbnb/Ferienwohnung has a parking spot then lucky you, else you will need to use one of the three available parking lots, aptly named P1, P2 and P3 for your parking needs. These lots are clearly marked as you enter the town.
If you are driving your car in Hallstatt, you need to mandatorly purhcase a vignette for tax purpose and display it on the dashboard of your car. Remember you incur a heavy fine if you are caught driving without one , so please make sure you purchase one. You can purchase these stickers from any one of the gas stations on the highway or in the country. More info here.
WHEN TO VISIT HALLSTATT?
As with any other destination, Summer is peak season for visiting Hallstatt, however that does not mean one should rule out a Winter visit altogether. Infact if you are a photographer you should definitely consider visiting Hallstatt during both seasons, because Hallstatt is a winter wonderland with jawdropping snow capped mountains
Peak summer months are June, July and August (sometimes September too!) , so expect huge crowds and higher prices. Hallstat is also a famous destination during Christmas and New years, so expect huge crowds during those months as well. Ideal months to visit for avoding crowds and higher prices would be October, November, March and April.
WHERE TO STAY IN HALLSTATT?
You have a couple of different options when it comes to accomodations in Hallstatt, although none of them are going to be budget stays. There are a few good hotels in the city and you can check them out on Booking.com, or you can rent a Guesthouse/Apartment. If you are a group of people then I would highly recommend getting a house/apartment like this one here. It is a bit on the expensive side , but if you are a group then the expenses can be shared and the location is also very close to the old town so you don't have to worry about finding any parking space (the house has two!)
PLACES TO VISIT & THINGS TO DO
1. POSTCARD VIEWPOINT OF HALLSTATT VILLAGE
This is probably the first place that will be on everyone's list when you are planning a trip to Hallstatt, the world famous postcard view of the village, the lake, the church and the mountains in the background. The best part is that this spot can be reached by just a few minutes walk from the old town square.
Location : https://goo.gl/maps/LywTNQXiRdEzHRGu5
This is obviously one of the most visited spots in the village so expect a lot of crowds. My suggestion would be to get here as early in the morning as possible to avoid the crowds coming in big tourist buses!
2. VISIT THE OLD TOWN OF HALLSTATT
This is something you would already be doing if you are going to visit the postcard view, however do take sometime out to explore the old town, and the various shops, bakeries and cafe's it has to offer. You will definitely love be left spellbounded by the charm this village has to offer!
Also, this will be your golden opportunity to taste the various flavors Hallstatt has to offer, especially their Ice creams, Cakes and Croissants!
3. TREPPE INS NICHTS / DACHSTEIN SKYWALK/SUSPENSION BRIDGE
This location is a bit of a drive from Hallstatt, but it is definitely worth a visit for the various points of interest it offers. Dachstein-Gletscher is a ski resort that is located about 1.5 hrs from Hallstatt and is the gateway to the famous Dachstein skywalk, suspension bridge and the Stairway to nothingness. Despite being a Ski resort it is still worth visiting during the Summer months as you get to face your fear of heights by walking on the Suspension bridge or standing on the Stairway to nothingness! There is also a Ice Palace, which is a seductive and mystical world of ice and snow deep inside the Dachstein glacier if you are interested in visiting.
You basically take a Gondola upto the highest peak in Styria, from where you can simply walk to all the various points of interests.
1. Ascent & Descent (just Gondola) - 39.00 EURO
2. Ascent & Descent with Suspension Bridge and Ice Palace - 47.50 EURO
If you just want to do the Suspension bridge and Stairway to nothingness(no Ice Palace) it's just an addition 3 EURO, so that would come up to 42 EUROS.
I would definitely recommend the Suspension bridge and Stairway, unfortunately I did not go to the Ice Palace so I would leave that decision upto you.
You can find more details on their website here
Note: Parking is free
4. 5 FINGERS/ DACHSTEIN KRIPPENSTEIN
The 5 Fingers , as you most probably already guessed by now, is a observation deck that is in the shape of a hand. This viewpoint offers incredible vistas and golden oppurtunties to photograph the Hallstätter See . This is also another ski resort that offers panoramic gondola rides (infact there are three cable cars) to the top from where you have the option to do various hikes depending upon your point of interest.
The most famous among them are
- 5 Fingers
- Ice/Mammut Cave
- World Heritage view
- Dachstein Shark
Prices vary based on what places you want to visit , but the basic ticket should be good enough to cover the two cable cars to the top from where you need to hike about 30 to 40 mins to reach the 5 fingers. The basic ticket cost is 32 EURO
Please check their official website here for more ticketing options and to explore the different things to do at the the top.
Note: Parking is free
5. HALLSTATT SKYWALK & SALT MINE
The Hallstatt skywalk is a viewing platform located at around 1,148 feet overlooking a panoramic alpine UNESCO World Heritage site. It gives you a breathtaking view of the Hallstätter See and the surrounding mountains.
If you read till here you are probably confused by all the skywalks and observation decks that are in and nearby Hallstatt! Don't worry you are not alone. It took me sometime to memorize these places too!
This observation deck is also home to the famous Salt mines of Hallstatt which offer a unique look into the oldest mine in the world! A Funicular takes you up inside the mines and to the top where the observation deck is located.
You can find more information about the Skywalk, Salt mine and opening hours/times on their official website.
The entrance to the funicular is located very close to the town, so if you are staying in the town, you could just simply walk to it, or else you can park your car at one of the three Parking lots located inside the town (no visitor parking available at location!).
Location : https://g.page/salzwelten-hallstatt?share
5. HOP ON A BOAT
This was one of the random things which I did on this trip and boy was it worth it! Riding the boat on the Hallstätter See was definitely one of the best moments of my Europe trip. You get to see the beautiful village of Hallstatt up close and also the surrounding vistas. I would highly recommend doing this if you have the time.
Location : https://goo.gl/maps/dyJjtDrHtjxSZQkD8
HOW TO MANAGE YOUR ITINERARY
If you have two days , then you have ample time to cover all the items on this list. Depending on when you arrive into Hallstatt, I would suggest the below itinerary
- Postcard viewpoint
- Explore old town
- Checkout Hallstatt Skywalk
- Take a boat ride
- Drive to 5 fingers/Dachstein Krippenstein (this is closest to Hallstatt)
- Drive onwards to TREPPE INS NICHTS ( this is about a 1.5 hr drive from 5 fingers so plan your day accordingly)
Now, if you have only one full day in Hallstatt, then I would highly recommend getting up early and driving to 5 fingers first and once you are done there, drive back to the village and check out the Old town, Postcard viewpoint and finish off the day with Hallstatt Skywalk. During summer days you might still have time to take the boat ride before enjoying a sunset from the lake!