I know our planet is a tiny speck in the vast universe, but I believe its the most beautiful speck. It is full of surprises and above all full of beautiful places that have the power to touch your soul and one such place is definitely Hallstatt, with its amazing mountain scenery, lush alpine meadows, and picturesque village indeed it is the most beautiful lake town in the world. To know more keep reading.
Our Hallstatt Experience
Day 1 – Lessons learned
Hallstatt was part of our Austria’s trip itinerary and the date we arrived at the place was 24th December, which happened to be the holiday for the entire town. Yes, most of the shops in town center were closed including the supermarket. So we found ourselves marching across the town center multiple times hoping to find food. There were only two restaurants open and were fully packed. As a result, we had to empty our entire trip snacks stock for lunch. Luckily our hotel owner did arrange for good vegetarian dinner and next day’s breakfast. (Bless them!)
To make matter worse the weather was also not in our favor as we had arrived in the afternoon and the whole place was covered in fog. The scenic view of the alpine mountains of Hallstatt was nowhere visible.
So what do we suggest-
- If traveling during the festival period, ensure you do some proper research about the place. For Hallstatt, the shops and sights are half-functioning from 24th to 26th December.
- Try to reach the place early morning, as Hallstatt is at its best in the morning.
- Most important carry extra food with you, keep refilling your stock frequently.
Day 2 – Our Christmas Gift
The next day which was 25th December was the time to check out. We had half a day to spend in Hallstatt but we were not expecting much to do, based on our previous day experience.
But as we finished our breakfast and got out for one last visit to the town center, we were surprised by the magnificent alpine mountain range just outside our hotel (Which were not visible at all the previous day). As we reached the town center, the marketplace was bustling with the crowd as most of the cafes, restaurants, and stores were open. The aroma of fresh hot wine and coffee lingered in the air. The crystal clear lake, the snow-covered mountains and the radiant sunlight falling on the alpine houses had transformed the place into a true winter wonderland.
Things To Do
The best part of Hallstatt is that all the top sights are all within walking distance. The below list is based on our short stay in Hallstatt, things you can do if your stay is 24 hrs or less. There are many other activities you can do and the reference list can be found at the end of the blog.
- Skywalk: Hallstatt is one of the oldest villages of Austria and also home to the oldest salt mines. But as we had already experienced the Hallein Salt mine (Read more here), our focus was more on the Skywalk of Hallstatt experience. There is a walking trail to reach the skywalk or as we did, take the funicular railway that directly stops near the skywalk platform. The skywalk platform floats freely in almost 360 meters above sea level and offers a unique view of the mountains and the town below. We will highly recommend visiting this spot.
- Hallstatt church: After the skywalk, we made our way down to the town center, where located directly in the center of Hallstatt is the Evangelical Church, it was built in 1785 following the order of the Emperor Franz Joseph. The church is one of the most photographed spot in Hallstatt and it is definitely a beautiful church from inside as it is from outside.
- World Heritage Museum: is one of the most visited places in Hallstatt, it is located in the marketplace and gives you detail information on the history and origin of Hallstatt. Using the modern technology the history is presented in an interesting and informative manner.
- Marketplace: The market square is definitely one of the nicest places in Hallstatt. Its 16th-century alpine houses and alleyways are home to cafes and shops. Here you will find cozy cafes to relax in, restaurants, hotels and of course souvenir shops with a beautiful view of the lake Hallstatt.
Arriving In Hallstatt and Our Stay
There are a few options for arriving in the spectacular alpine village of Hallstatt, and during our journey, we experienced two of them.
Route 1- The Google way: When you are new to a place and Google maps are what you rely on, the route suggested by the app is, of course, the shortest route but also not the most common one. So when we marked our destination as our hotel, Google took us through the below route, which included multiple changes (But it had its own fun)
Route 2 – The scenic way (Recommended): The recommended route which we discovered later while returning, was quite straightforward and also included one of the best sights of Hallstatt. The ferry runs every one hour and the timings are in sync with the train timings. So please plan accordingly.
Imp Note: Ferry route is not considered by google maps
Being a famous tourist spot accommodation in Hallstatt can be bit tricky because the first time we searched for an accommodation on booking.com, we found no accommodation near the town center. As a result, we had to book a hotel about few miles away from Hallstatt.
But just a few days before our trip, we checked again and got a very good accommodation in the Hallstatt town center at a very reasonable price. We had to pay cancellation fees for the previous booking, but the new hotel was at the best location possible.
So the lesson learned, have patience and always book your hotel that provides free cancellation option.
Our Hotel details: Best service and amazing rooms
Address: Gasthof Bergfried, Echerntalweg 3, 4830 Hallstatt, Austria
Phone Number: +43 6134 8248
Vlog of our experience
We tried to compress our experience in a few minutes video, I hope you will enjoy it:
Please leave your suggestions, comments, and queries below.