Hallstatt is definitely one of those heaven-like destination you accidentally found on Instagram or Pinterest while you are scrolling. I myself knew about Hallstatt from the Internet. Hallstatt is a village by the lake of Lake Hallstatt. There used to be an ancient salt mine in Hallstatt. These days, the salt mine is more for tourist attractions. Also another reason to visit Hallstatt is because Hallstatt is listed as one of the World Heritage Site.
This is a small guide to Hallstatt. I really like this place a bit more than Salzburg and Vienna. What I perceive about Hallstatt is that they have their very own characteristics of beauty. The indescribable one, the one that instantly make you drawn to them. Hallstatt is all about nature by the way. If you want a perfect place to get away or just for the weekend, I promise you that Hallstatt is the place.
How to Get to Hallstatt
Getting to Hallstatt is quite challenging for those you have to rely on public transport (train). Most of the people coming to Hallstatt use private vehicle or bus. Some of the bus going to Hallstatt needs to change one or two times. Probably the reason why Hallstatt is still holding the title hidden gem because it’s quite hard to get there. From Salzburg, it took me around 1,5 hours with car. By bus, it will take you around 2 hours to Hallstatt from Salzburg. Hallstatt is literally surrounded by mountains that’s why it seems hidden. If you are from departing from Vienna, it takes around 3 hours to Hallstatt by car. You can check the Map Itinerary of Hallstatt at the end of this blog post.
Where to Stay in Hallstatt
If you want to find somewhere cheaper nearby Hallstatt, I recommend to stay in Gosau. It’s only 20 minutes from Gosau to Hallstatt by car. There are several hotels and guest house in Hallstatt as well. If you choose rather not to stay in Hallstatt, you can stay in Salzburg and take a day trip to Hallstatt. There are some tours in Salzburg that offer a day tour to Hallstatt. You can check my post about my Sound of Music Tour in Salzburg and they also have the Hallstatt day tour too. The first picture below is in Gosau, view from my hotel room.
What to Do in Hallstatt
For me, Hallstatt is a retreat to purify your mind and soul. The fact that you cannot get this kind of view, feeling and atmosphere simply anywhere says it all. Sightseeing is also something you can do for free here. Walk around Hallstatt village and maybe rent the boat to get another perspective of Hallstatt. Since I mentioned about Salt Mine as tourist attraction, you can definitely go there too. The salt mine in Hallstatt is not nearby the lake and you have to take a funicular to go up there. Some restaurants are located exactly on the banks of the lake, it certainly will be memorable meal. Hallstatt Lake is quite big and there are some villages across the lake. You can go there by land or sea (in this case, lake).
I majorly did sightseeing only because I arrived there too late for the salt mine. From the salt mine, you can see the a great view of Hallstatt from the mountain above. Also, I’m not sure if you can visit this, but do you see the very first picture of this blog? There’s a little castle or mansion called Castle Grub. I can’t find more information about it on Google (prob. you can in German language). It might be a private property but I can’t help and stare that castle (or mansion) for a long time. That Castle Grub has the best location in Hallstatt.