Hallstatt the country’s oldest — and prettiest — village.
Take out your passports — if you haven’t ventured over to the Continent recently, you’ll want to visit the most picturesque town in Europe. The village of Hallstatt, nestled between between towering mountains and a peaceful lake, is Austria’s oldest and possibly most photographed destination. And with views like this, it’s easy to see why:
The alpine town is home to the world’s first salt mine, dating back to the Iron Age in 800 B.C., and it’s now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Since the village is tightly packed on a steep slope, the first road to Halsett wasn’t built until 1890. Travelers came and went on narrow trails or via boat.
The secluded spot is now home to less than a thousand residents, although it welcomes hundreds of visitors every year.
The historic Old Town is perfect for a casual stroll, with stairs crisscrossing the mountainside.
Located on Hallstätter See, boat tours and ferry rides offer a better vantage point of the breathtaking vistas.
The Central Square Marktplatz, complete with an elaborate fountain, looks straight out of Beauty and the Beast.
If the scenery doesn’t pique your interest, the unusual graveyard certainly will. Since the town is so tight on space, the local cemetery is exhumed every 10 years.
And the bones are moved to the ossuary, where the colorfully-decorated skulls are on display.
But judging by the photos, Hallstatt is certainly more serene than s.p.o.o.k.y.