Hallstatt - a detailed travel guide including guide to taking that postcard-perfect photo
Updated: Dec 29, 2019
Hallstatt is one of the very few places in Europe that I would come back for the second time. And I actually did come back in spite of the very long journey to get there from where I lived. The very first moment I saw Hallstatt from the boat, my heart was stolen away by the charm of this traditional and quaint village. Located on the shore of Hallstatt lake, the town is spectacularly picturesque with sheer mountains behind its back. No wonder why the Chinese have made a replica of it in China.
When to visit?
Each season has its own unique beauty. I was there in spring and summer and found Hallstatt in both seasons gorgeous. Spring weather is pleasant, not too hot, can be wet but less touristy. Plus, it's when the flowers bloom, adding vibrant colours to the town and making it even more lively. Summer is very hot as you could've guessed, and of course, the town is full of tourists during this time of the year so you may consider going during the shoulder months (April, May, September and October) although the chance of precipitation in shoulder months is higher. Hallstatt is also very well known for its winter when everything is covered in white snow, giving the town a magical look.
How to get to Hallstatt?
You can either get to Hallstatt from Salzburg (the closest city) or Vienna. Check out my blog post on how to get there by car, by train or bus.
Transport in Hallstatt
You can travel in Hallstatt easily by foot in a few hours. There are one or two taxi companies but you don't need to take a taxi there as the town is very small and streets are narrow.
What to do in Hallstatt?
1. Take that postcard perfect photo
I'm sure many of you have seen that postcard photo before as it's been featured in so many Instagram photos, bloggers' posts and travel magazines. All you need to do is to walk all the way to the north of the village and look back where the road bends to see the gorgeous view. I honestly don't think that it's possible to take a bad photo as the view is that stunning. I had to stop there for a little while to take in the mesmerising view of this lakeside village.
2. Visit the market square
Now make your way back toward the market square where you will find a lot of little souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants. Meander through the narrow lanes and take in the views of the pastel colour houses, most of which are nicely styled with flowers, unique ornaments and decorations. Check out some shops there as they have so many things to offer. My sister and I found one or two shops to our liking and bought some lovely souvenirs from there.
3. Stroll along the Hallstatt Lake
Take a stroll along the lake, where you will see a lot of swans and birds. If you come in during spring or summer, you will find a lot of flowers along the lake. We stopped by a café by the lake for lunch and we absolutely enjoyed the view.
4. Take another postcard photo at the sound end of Hallstatt
Carry on walking along the lake toward the south. You will find another spot for your photos where the road bends.
5. Go to the Skywalk to take a paranoma view of hallstatt
The Skywalk hike is the most popular trail in Hallstatt and from Hallstatt Skywalk you will see the magnificent view of the town, which is a UNESCO world heritage. The trail starts from the funicular station and very well-marked. As you hike, you will walk past many educational boards showing the history of salt mining (yes, Hallstatt is well known for its salt mine so get ready for some education !). The hike takes about 1 hours to ascend and 45 minutes to descend on gravel road. Difficulty level is easy to moderate. The road is nice and clear without any obstruction however be prepared to get sweaty because it's a steep walk up the mountain.
If you don't fancy hiking up, you can take the funicular up there and descend by foot. In my opinion, hiking is a lot more fun. The fresh air and stunning view from the Skywalk is worth it. The view of the lakeside village that is surrounded by Alps is simply breathtakingly beautiful.
See funicular cost and its opening times in here
6. Learn about Hallstatt Salt Mine
As mentioned, Hallstatt is famous for salt mining which has been going on for 7000 years. If you are interested in learning about the history of the salt mine, here are a few things you should do:
Go to the Salt Mine Visitor centre to learn about salt mining and the Hallstatt Salt Mine tours. Here you can get all the information and decide if you want to take the Salt Mine tour.
If you decide to take the tour, you can either take the funicular up the hillside or hike up there (see number 5). While I think that hiking is more fun and you get a lot of information about the salt mine from the educational boards along the way,if you are short on time, take the funicular because it takes only a few minutes. See funicular cost and its opening times in here
How would you like to spend your time in Hallstatt? Is there anything else that you would like to know? Leave me a message