Could this be Austria’s most beautiful town? …
Hallstatt is easily one of the most beautiful towns in Europe. You’ll find this gem nestled between mountains and lakes in the middle of Austria.
During my stay in Austria I based myself in Salzburg, so this post is tailored as such. The ease of transport throughout Europe is forever impressive, making it such a breeze to explore!
Bus, Train & Ferry
The best way to travel to Hallstatt is with a combination of train and bus transport.
Get the bus to Bad Ischl #150 from just outside Salzburg Hauptbahnhof (main station), which runs a service roughly every two hours. Tickets can be purchased online, from the train station or from the bus driver. The bus journey is incredibly scenic, with the drive winding around the Salzkammergut lakes. The bus will arrive at Bad Ischl (the final destination), just walk the few steps into the train station.
Jump onto the train heading to Obertraun Dachsteinhöhlen Bahnhof and after 20-25 minutes the train will arrive at Hallstatt station. You’re nearly there but not quite; just one last bit.
Walk down from the station towards the lake where you will find the ferry, Stefanie, waiting for you. This is an incredible way to finish your journey to the beautiful village of Hallstatt; plus, it is the traditional means of transport.
Note: The ferry ticket is not included in your ticket price from Salzburg.
Tip: For the return journey, make sure you have worked out the timings of your connections. The ferry does run well in sync with the train schedule but still be prepared as the bus schedule may not.
Train & Ferry
The alternative to the previous route is mainly train travel. Catch the Railjet train from Salzburg Hauptbahnhof to Attnang-Puchheim, on the Vienna route. Then change trains to the Obertraun Dachsteinhöhlen Bahnhof service, which stops at Hallstatt.
Once at Hallstatt, follow as above, the directions to the ferry service to the old village.
What to See & Do
Hallstatt is a small old village build along the shore of the Hallstätter See. Although small, there is still so many things for you do see and do during your visit. So, whether you visit for just the day or for a few days, you’ll easily have a great time exploring.
Wander through the town
The best way to explore is always, walking! Pop on some comfy shoes and wander through the beautiful streets of Hallstatt. Discover the stunning architecture and the infinite number of photo locations.
Disclaimer: You will literally not put your camera away, around every corner is another picture-perfect sight!
Why not take advantage of the UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Landscape location and get outdoors? There are plenty of trails for all levels of experience, so whether you’re a serious hiker or just looking for a light stroll, you’ll find the right fit for you. Visit the tourist centre for inspiration and assistance.
With Hallstatt being nestled at the base of the towering Dachstein Mountains, it would be a shame not to visit them. Catch the Postbus (#542 & #543) from Hallstatt to Dachstein Krippenstein Cable Car station.
Once at the station, take the two cable cars up to the summit. In the summer there is also a third cable car journey that you can take. From the cable car station (Krippenstein) follow the well signed path to the Five Fingers viewing platform for unrivalled views over the stunning landscape. Before heading back to the cable car, make sure to visit the Welterbespirale, a viewing platform over the stunning Dachstein mountain range.
Note: Even in May you’ll find quite a bit of snow along the trail, so be careful and wear sturdy shoes.
Note: There are a number of other experiences within the Dachstein experience including ice caves, just ask when purchasing your entrance ticket.
Visit the oldest salt mine in the world and learn about a key aspect in the history of Hallstatt. You can also visit the Hallstatt World Heritage View Skywalk, sitting 360 meters above the idyllic Hallstatt village.
So, don’t forget that there is so much more to Austria than just Salzburg and Vienna. If you’re willing to explore a little further, you might just stumble across some of the most breathtaking landscape you have ever seen. Why not start planning your trip to Hallstatt now?