What to do in Hallstatt, Austria?
To visit Hallstatt, in Austria, is to discover a charming, typical little village nestled on the shores of Lake Hallstättersee.
Considered one of the most beautiful villages in Europe and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hallstatt and its surroundings can be visited very well in one day.
To make sure you don’t miss any of the places of interest in the village, follow our 1 day Hallstatt itinerary for best things to do. Also find our list of the best accommodations and our advice for going to Hallstatt.
1 Day Hallstatt itinerary:
1. Discover the Village of Hallstatt
When you arrive in Hallstatt, I advise you to start by walking around the village. I assure you, you will not be able to get lost!
Wander 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 from another time.
Do not hesitate to venture down the many stairs to take 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 gloomy. The tombs are well decorated and flowered and it offers a nice view of the lake.
On the side of the cemetery, 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 designs, each with its own meaning. The name and date of death are also indicated on the skull.
The dead people rest for about ten years in their tomb, then the skull is removed to be exposed in the ossuary.
Nowadays, for those who wish, the tradition is still perpetuated in the village. A rather impressive and atypical place whose entrance costs barely 1.5€.
To give a more fun and less traditional side to your visit to Hallstatt, you can also go in search of clues and solve puzzles to unlock the quest. All information is available by clicking here!
Tips for your Hallstatt itinerary:
Many Chinese people visit Hallstatt every year. They also found it so cute that they built a replica in southern China, in Guangdong province.
2. Hallstatt Skywalk / Welterbeblick
To benefit from one of the most beautiful panoramas over Hallstatt, you will have to take a little height and go to the Hallstatt Skywalk (Welterbeblick).
For this, you have two solutions :
- Take the funicular, it’s fast and convenient but a bit expensive (16€ per person).
- Use your feet! It is sure that it is the most economical solution :). Several paths lead to the platform and although it is uphill they are not too difficult. Count about 1 hour of walking.
Arrived at the top, you will have access to the panoramic platform dominating the whole village of Hallstatt and the lake. The view is grand!
Next to the Hallstatt Skywalk, you will also find a good restaurant/café if you are peckish.
Tips for your Hallstatt itinerary:
Find out before going up to the Skywalk, if the weather is overcast, it’s a shame to spend €16 to see nothing! To be done only when the sky is clear.
3. Visit the Hallstatt Salt Mines
Right next to the Welterbeblick is one of Hallstatt’s main tourist attractions, 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 having put on your beautiful miners’ outfit, you can enter the mines and discover their history and that of the region thanks in particular to films.
A sound and light show on an underground lake, two toboggan descents in the mine shafts and a ride in a small train complete the visit.
The guide speaks only German and English but you can take an audio guide in French.
Count about 2 hours of visit. The price is around €25 per person and includes the round trip by funicular.
4. Enjoy Lake Hallstatt
It would still be a shame to visit Hallstatt and not enjoy its lake!
The edges of the lake are well laid out and you can take a nice walk all along. It is also the ideal place for cycling.
I also advise you to take 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 Caves of the Dachstein Massif
About ten minutes by car from Hallstatt, I then suggest you go to Obertaun.
The village is the starting point for visiting the Dachstein Ice Caves, another must-see tourist spot in the region.
From Obertraun, take the cable car (stop at the first landing) which will take you to the entrance to the caves.
The “Rieseneishöhle” (giant ice cave) is really impressive. During the 50-minute visit, you can admire the “King Arthur’s Cathedral” or the “Palace of Mirrors”, huge halls of ice.
Also worth seeing is an ice cream cone more than 9 meters high and the ice bell and its play of lights.
Right next to the ice cave, you can also visit the Mammoth Cave (Mammuthöhle). I also 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 and price information can be found on the official website.
Tips for your Hallstatt itinerary:
In some places of the ice cave, the ground reaches 25 meters of ice thickness!
6. The 5 Fingers
After your visit to the caves, take the cable car back to the second level, where you will find The 5 Fingers.
The 5 Fingers is a viewing platform in the shape of a hand (hence the name!) and offers spectacular views of the mountains and Lake Hallstattersee below.
The platform is attached to a 400 meter high cliff. You will be amazed but it is 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, count about 20 minutes on foot.
It really is an unmissable experience to do around Hallstatt.
1 Day in Hallstatt
- Stroll through the village and discovery of the ossuary in the chapel
- Ascent to the Hallstatt Skywalk
- Lunch break
- Visit to the salt mines
- Quiet late afternoon by the lake or on the lake
And if you prefer a slightly more dynamic afternoon, I advise you to visit the ice cave from Obertaun and The 5 Fingers to finish.
If you are lucky enough to be able to devote 2 days to Hallstatt (or at least 1 day and a half!) You can also do these 2 activities the next day.
Accommodation in Hallstatt
Hallstatt being a very small village and what is more, ultra touristic, you can imagine that there is not that much accommodation and that the prices are quite high. I therefore advise you to 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 at € 17 . The pluses: the location just opposite the landing stage for the boats (practical if you have suitcases), the calm, the size of the rooms.
- Fenix Hall: Double room combining rustic and modern decor from €200 per night, breakfast included. Most: the comfort of the place, the very friendly welcome and the good advice of the owner, the location. It is our favorite for its performance / price ratio!
- Wallner apartments: Large modern apartments, very clean and fully equipped! One of them even offers a great view of the lake. From 210€ per night. The pluses: the location, the free private parking (very practical in Hallstatt!), the availability of the host.
- Seehotel Grüner Baum : Hotel located in the historic car-free center of Hallstatt. Warm, comfortable and spacious double room from €300 per night, breakfast included. The pluses: the location, the rooms with a view of the lake, the terrace by the lake, the magnificent setting, the excellent breakfast, the quality of the welcome. This is simply the best hotel for an upscale stay in Hallstatt.
Accommodation in Obertraun
If you don’t have that much budget to devote to a hotel night or if all the hotels in Hallstatt are already taken, I recommend that you stay in Obertraun, a pretty village also located on the edge of the lake and only 10 minutes by car from Hallstatt.
What is super practical is that in addition, from Obertraun, you can also take the river shuttle that joins Hallstatt. It’s fast, cheap, and you’ll enjoy a boat ride on the lake!
- Haus Marie: Suites and apartments with a view of the Dachstein massif from €90 per night. Most: the view, 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, kitchenette and 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 favorite for their price / performance ratio. I highly recommend it to sleep in Obertraun and visit Hallstatt easily!
- Seeblick Krippenstein: Hotel offering recently renovated and therefore modern and comfortable double rooms from €100 per night, breakfast included. Most: the mountain view, the location near the cable car to the ice caves, the good breakfast, very friendly owners.
- Dormio Resort Obertraun : Modern and fully equipped chalets from €130 per night (price for 4 people!). Each of them has a balcony and a terrace. The Dormio also has a wellness center with an indoor swimming pool, sauna, hammam and a large garden with a playground for children. It is the ideal place for a family holiday in Austria.
Where to eat in Hallstatt
I am repeating myself a bit but Hallstatt being a highly touristic place, you will only find restaurants there…. Tourists! Not really the best place to try good typical Austrian food.
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 to opt for a sandwich instead!
How to get to Hallstatt
- By car : 1h15 journey, it’s the fastest, the most practical and the landscapes are superb for photos!
- By bus: 2h30 journey. You will then have to take the ferry to reach Hallstatt.
- By train: approximately 2h30 journey. Please note that 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: 4 hours journey. Do Vienna – Attnang Puchheim then another train to Hallstatt.
From Vienna you can also visit Hallstatt with an organized excursion including transport, guide and even a boat trip on the lake:
- For a visit on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday, reservations are made here!
- For Wednesday and Friday, you have to book by clicking here!
And you, have you planned to visit Hallstatt during your stay in Austria?
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