Top Things to do in Hallstatt, Austria
Visiting Hallstatt, Austria, is discovering a charming little village nestled on Lake Hallstättersee.
Regarded as one of the most beautiful villages in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hallstatt and its surroundings are very popular in one day.
Do not miss out on any of the places of interest in the village, follow our guide to things to do and see in Hallstatt. Also find our list of the best accommodations and tips to go to Hallstatt.
Visit Hallstatt: the must-sees
1. Discover the village of Hallstatt
Arriving at Hallstatt, I advise you to start by walking around the village. I assure you, you can not get lost!
Walk the pretty little streets, go through the market square, admire the old houses with wooden balconies, enter the small shops and relax in this village of another time. Feel free to venture into the many stairs to get a little height and discover new points of view.
I also advise you to go see the Catholic Church overlooking the city and its cemetery. Contrary to popular belief, the place is not at all lugubrious. The tombs are well decorated and flowery and it offers a nice view of the lake.
On the cemetery side, in a chapel, is also one of the most visited places of interest in Hallstatt, its ossuary.You will find hundreds of skulls painted and decorated with different patterns, each having its meaning. The name and date of death are also indicated on the skull.
The deceased rest about ten years in their grave, then the skull is taken to be exposed in the ossuary. Nowadays, for those who wish it, the tradition is still perpetuated in the village. A rather impressive and atypical place whose entry costs just 1.5 €.
2. The Hallstatt Skywalk / Welterbeblick
To enjoy one of the most beautiful panoramas on Hallstatt, you will have to take a little height and go to Hallstatt Skywalk (Welterbeblick).
For that, you have two solutions :
- Take the funicular, it’s fast and convenient but a little expensive (16 € per person).
- To serve you with your feet! It is sure that it is the most economical solution :). Several paths lead to the platform and even if it is uphill, they are not too difficult. Count about 1 hour walk.
Arriving at the top, you will have access to the panoramic platform dominating the whole village of Hallstatt and the lake. The view is great!
Next to the Hallstatt Skywalk you will also find a good restaurant / cafe if you are hungry.
3. Visit the salt mines of Hallstatt
Just off the Welterbeblick is one of the main tourist attractions of Hallstatt, its salt mines.
The picturesque village is home to the oldest salt mine in the world. At the time, salt was transported from Hallstatt to the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
Today guided tours are organized. After wearing your beautiful miners outfit, you can enter the mines and discover their history and that of the region thanks to films. A sound and light show on an underground lake , two toboggan runs in the mine’s casings and a small-train tour complete the visit.
The guide speaks only German and English but you can take an audio guide in French.
Count around 2 hours of visit. The fare is around € 25 per person and includes roundtrip funicular.
4. Enjoy Lake Hallstatt
It would be a shame to visit Hallstatt and not enjoy its lake!
The shores of the lake are well laid out and you can make a nice walk all along. It is also the ideal place for cycling.
I also recommend taking a boat trip on the lake. You can rent small electric boats or opt for a mini-cruise. The opportunity to discover Hallstatt from a new angle.
5. The ice grottoes of the Dachstein Massif
About ten minutes by car from Hallstatt, I then propose you to go to Obertaun. The village is the starting point for visiting the ice caves of Dachstein, another must-see tourist spot in the area.
From Obertraun, take the cable car (stop at the first landing) which will take you to the entrance of the caves. The “Rieseneishöhle” (giant ice cave) is really very impressive. During the 50-minute tour, you can admire the “King Arthur’s Cathedral” or the “Ice Palace”, huge ice halls. See also a cone of ice more than 9 meters high and the ice bell and its play of lights.
Right next to the ice grotto, you can also visit the mammoth cave (Mammuthöhle). I advise you to buy a combined ticket to visit the 2 caves, it’s cheaper. It is one of the largest in Europe. The visit lasts about 1 hour during which you walk through the corridors and the different rooms.
Access information and rates can be found on the official website.
6. The 5 Fingers
After your visit of the caves, take the cable car to go to the second level, you will find The 5 Fingers.
The 5 Fingers is a panoramic platform with the shape of a hand (hence the name!) And offering spectacular views of the mountains and Lake Hallstattersee below. The platform is hung on a cliff 400 meters high. You will take full view but better not to be dizzy! One of the “fingers” even has a transparent glass floor.
The 5 Fingers is one of the most impressive platforms in the Alps. To reach it from the cable car, take about 20 minutes on foot.
It really is an essential experience to do around Hallstatt.
1 Day in Hallstatt
Itinerary to visit Hallstatt in 1 day :
- Walk in the village and discover the ossuary in the chapel
- Ascent to Hallstatt Skywalk
- Lunch break
- Visit of the salt mines
- Quiet late afternoon by the lake or on the lake
And if you prefer a more dynamic afternoon, I recommend you visit the ice cave from Obertaun and The 5 Fingers to finish.
If you have the chance to spend 2 days in Hallstatt (or at least 1 day and a half!) You can also do these 2 activities the next day.
Where to sleep in Hallstatt
Hallstatt is a very small village and moreover, ultra tourist, you can well imagine that there is not so much accommodation and that the prices are quite high. So I suggest you book your accommodation in Hallstatt now!
- Heritage Hotel Hallstatt : Hotel located in the historic center of Hallstatt. Modern and bright double room from 190 € per night, breakfast 17 €. Most: the location just in front of the pier for boats (practice if you have luggage), the calm, the size of the rooms.
- Fenix Hall: Double room combining a rustic and modern decor from 200 € per night, including breakfast. The most: the comfort of the place, the very friendly welcome and the good advice of the owner, the location. It’s our heart stroke for its benefit / price ratio!
- Wallner Apartments: Large modern apartments, very clean and fully equipped! One of them even offers a superb view of the lake. From 210 € the night. Pros: location, free private parking (very convenient to Hallstatt!), Availability of the host.
- Seehotel Grüner Baum : Hotel located in the historic pedestrian center of Hallstatt. Double room warm, comfortable and spacious from 300 € per night, breakfast included. The most: the location, the lake view rooms, the lakeside terrace, the beautiful surroundings, the excellent breakfast, the quality of the welcome. It’s simply the best hotel for an upscale stay in Hallstatt.
Where to sleep in Obertraun
If you do not have as much money to spend on a hotel night or if all the hotels in Hallstatt are already booked, I recommend staying in Obertraun, a pretty village on the lake and only 10 minutes away. by carfrom Hallstatt.
In addition, from Obertraun you can also take the river shuttle to Hallstatt. It’s fast, cheap and you’ll enjoy a boat trip on the lake!
- Haus Marie: Suites and apartments with views of the Dachstein Massif from 90 € per night. The most: the view, the free private parking, large garden with barbecue and picnic area, spacious accommodation, welcoming guests.
- W & S Executive Apartments – Obertraun: Located 2km from the lake, in Obertraun. All apartments include a seating area, a kitchenette and a private balcony. They are very well equipped with even washing machine and dishwasher. They are very modern and design. From 95 € per night + 25 € cleaning fee per stay. It is a big heart stroke for their benefit / price ratio. I highly recommend you to sleep in Obertraun and visit Hallstatt easily!
- Seeblick Krippenstein: Hotel offering double rooms recently renovated and therefore modern and comfortable from 100 € per night, breakfast included. Most: the view of the mountain, the location near the cable car to ice caves, good breakfast, very friendly owners.
- Dormio Resort Obertraun : Modern and fully equipped chalets from 130 € per night (price for 4 people!). Each one has a balcony and a terrace. The Dormio also features a wellness center with indoor pool, sauna, steam room and a large garden with children’s playground. This is the ideal place for a family holiday in Austria.
Where to eat in Hallstatt
I repeat myself a little but Hallstatt is a highly touristy place, you will find only restaurants …. Tourist! Not really the best place to taste good typical Austrian cuisine.
The prices are quite high and the quality not necessarily at the rendezvous. In addition, you will most certainly have to wait a little while to be served. In short for your lunch, I advise you rather to opt for a sandwich!
How to get to Hallstatt
The largest Austrian city closest to Hallstatt is Salzburg. If you wish, it is also (relatively) easy to go to Hallstatt from Vienna .
- By car : 1h15 drive, it is the fastest, the most practical and the landscapes are superb for the photos!
- By bus: 2h30 journey. You will then have to take the ferry to Hallstatt.
- By train: approximately 2h30 of journey. Be careful the line is not direct, you will have to do Salzburg – Attnang Puchheim (Salzburg-Vienna line) and take another train to Hallstatt. Again, you will have to take the ferry.
- By car: 3h20 journey
- By train: 4h journey. Take Vienna – Attnang Puchheim then another train to Hallstatt.
And you, have you planned to visit Hallstatt during your stay in Austria?
Are you going to Austria? To read also
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