Hallstatt – the #1 most iconic town in Austria

Hallstatt is an iconic, small Alpine town surrounded by the peaks of the Dachstein mountains. Its charm is also added by the presence of the Hallstatt lake. It’s a picture straight from the fairytale. The entire area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  


Head here in the off-season. Hallstatt’s population counts no more than thousand inhabitants, but it’s around 10 000 tourists daily that the town community has to deal with. The season starts late spring and ends mid October, so if possibly try to avoid it.  


The town’s gone viral some time ago, so obviously everyone wants to post “the perfect” view on their social media. But Hallstatt is also the inspiration for Arendelle, the fictional setting of Disney’s “Frozen” movies. And it’s also very popular among Asian tourists, because there’s a Chinese replica of the village, built in 2011. 


By car: Make sure to be there early in the morning, because you may not find a parking spot. The town is small and available space is limited. The historical centre is car free. The exact details and number of parkings can be double-checked before your visit here.

By train: Take the “Salkammergutbahn”, the towns of Bad Goisern, Hallstatt and Obertraun are directly connected to the “Salzkammergutbahn” railway and have their own stations. In Hallstatt it is located on the opposite side of the lake. A ferry commutes almost every hour and takes you to the town centre. 

By bus: the Postbus network of the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) goes to Hallstatt, Bad Goisern on Lake Hallstatt, Gosau and Obertraun. The most popular line is the one from Salzburg to Lake Hallstatt. The post bus line starts at the main station in Salzburg, takes you through the Lake Fuschl and Lake Wolfgang to Bad Ischl, where you will have to transfer either to train or another bus.  


In 1997, Hallstatt was listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. This culturally historic region is known as the Dachstein Salzkammergut-region.  


Besides the photo of the town’s skyline, you can also find here the World Cultural Heritage Museum, the archeological excavations, the catholic church with its mountain grave yard and “Charnel House”. 

If you have time you can visit the Hallstatt Salt Mine. It’s located on the hill above the town, and in order to get there either climb or take a funicular. The city’s history is connected with salt mining, that’s why you can buy salt in every souvenir shop. It’s not a cheap trip. The funicular+ entrance cost 40 EUR for an adult. The whole price list is here.

Opening hours: 

1.4.2023 – 1.11.2023 9.30 a.m. – 4.00 p.m. 
2.11.2023 – 7.1.2024 9.30 a.m. – 2.30 p.m. 

Another fun thing to do in Hallstatt is to take a cruise on the lake. It takes around 50 minutes for a cruise. The 8.5 km long and 2 km wide lake is surrounded by steep forested mountains that give it a fjord-like look. 


Despite being such a small place, as you can see Hallstatt has quite a few attractions. Few hours here is enough to leave you satisfied. Stroll along the streets, buy yourself herbal salt and sit by the lake, what more do you need? 

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