One day in Hallstatt

Yes, I am one of those lucky people who had the chance to visit Hallstatt.

It is believed to be the oldest still-inhabited village in Europe and it’s a hidden gem between the mountains and a beautiful lake. I remember first seeing a photograph of it a few years ago and it stole my heart.

When the day finally came and we drove through the stunning mountains, I was speechless. Stopping everytime we saw a lake and me shouting “we must be close, surely we are nearly there..!!” I couldn’t handle the excitement.

The thing is, I didn’t realise Austria as a whole is such an incredibly beautiful piece of our world. So you can only imagine how absolutely stunned I was when we arrived and I got out of the car, started spinning around slowly and looking at the beautiful little village.

After running around not knowing if I should go crazy with my camera or my phone to take as many pictures as possible, I finally decided I should calm down a little and take it all in. Now, that was nice!

IMG_6114dI have listed some great things that you can do while visiting this incredible village but to do all of them you would definitely need more than just one day. Unfortunately that’s all I had and I didn’t get the chance to do it all, so you guys do it for both of us!

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Interesting facts about Hallstatt:

  • Hallstatt is located in the upper Austria, on the Lake of Hallstatt in the Salzkammergut region.
  • It is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage region.
  • Hallstatt is believed to be the oldest still-inhabited village in Europe.
  • Up to the 19th Century, the only possible way to reach Hallstatt was either by boat or via very narrow trails.
  • It is known for its production of salt that goes back 7,000 years.
  • The village only has one small cemetery which means the burial area is very limited. Because of this, a person can only get up to 10 years of staying underground, after that the bones are transferred to the Beinhaus (The bone house).

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Getting there:

  • Drive it – Hallstatt is located just over an hour drive from Salzburg. The route is pretty straght forward but most people would just use the sat nav anyway so I won’t go into too much detail: Take the 158 road east out of Salzburg towards Bad Ischl (amazing scenery). 145 to Bad Goisern then switch to the 166 and L547 and voila you are now in wonderland!
  • Train it – Get a train from Salzburg to Attnang Puchheim, from Attnang Puchheim take another train to Hallstatt. You then need to hop on a ferry across the lake to the village. The cost for one way should be around 30 Euros including ferry.
  • Bus it (and train) – You can also take the bus 150 from Salzbury to Bad Ischl, then a bus to Hallstatt railway station and the ferry across the lake. This should cost you under 20 Euros one way.

IMG_6081c[Scenery at one of our stops when driving.]

What to do:

”Skywalk” World Heritage View  – If you want to experience a panoramic view of Hallstatt then this is a must. You can either use the cable car during the warmer months or if you’re feeling adventurous (or want to save a few pennies) hike up to the top which takes approx. 1 hour.
Spectacular view looking down from 350 meters above the roofs of Hallstatt. The lake and mountain scenery is incredible.

Salz Welten – Another must. Oldest mines in Europe, wearing salt miners uniform, a view higher than the Skywalk, and Europe’s longest wooden slides – 64 meters which you CAN go on. What more could you want?

Beinhaus (Bone House) – I have to admit that at the time I wasn’t brave enough to visit, which I definitely regret now. It is located in a very scenic and peaceful graveyard, which apparently isn’t at all creepy. It surely is a very unique experience and place where you can cherish the memory of the people who passed away. The entry is just under 2 Euros.

Boat Ride – Two options here, you can either rent a small boat and explore yourself or go on a ferry where you can even get a delicious hot chocolate or coffee!

Wandering – Even when there are so many great things to do, I still find that simply just wandering around the hidden little streets is the best way to explore a beautiful town. The atmosphere is great and the scenery breathtaking.

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If you are planning to stay overnight, which I would honestly recommend – try to find the accommodation in advance as it can get extremely busy during the high season! It can also get really hectic with a lot of people and cars getting in your way, hence why I would recommend visiting just before or after the popular months.

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Have fun!
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