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Hallstatt is a UNESCO World Heritage site and attracts thousands of tourists to Austria every year. The once idyllic village on Lake Hallstatt has become famous for its fantastic location with the many mountains in the background. But what many visitors don’t know: Long before tourism, Hallstatt was known for its salt chambers. Hallstatt still has the world’s oldest salt mine, which you can visit.

Tips and sights in Hallstatt – a day at Lake Hallstatt

Hallstatt Old Town on Lake Hallstatt, Austria

There is no doubt: Hallstatt is really beautiful and offers countless fantastic photo opportunities. The old half-timbered houses, the beautiful views, the Dachstein-Salzkammergut mountains right on the doorstep – Hallstatt has that certain something. No wonder it attracts a lot of visitors.

How to get to Hallstatt

Accommodation in Hallstatt – our hotel tip

The Heritage Hotel in Hallstatt, Austria

Hallstatt: Tours and tickets

1. The famous photo of Hallstatt

This is Hallstatt’s most famous photo and one of the most popular viewpoints, whether in summer or winter. If you are lucky, not many people are on site at the time you’re visiting and you can enjoy the view calmly. Hallstatt, the church tower, Lake Hallstatt and the mountains behind – it just looks so idyllic.

The famous photo motif from Hallstatt

The viewpoint for the famous photo of Hallstatt is located directly on Gosaumühlstraße and is also a popular place for the photo tours. To get there, you have to walk about 5 minutes from the market square in the Old Town, in a kind of northern direction along Lake Hallstatt. It cannot be missed and is simply a must.

2. The town square

The historic market square is one of the other highlights of Hallstatt after the viewpoint. Every visitor ends up here sooner or later, be it just for a stopover or to visit the restaurants, cafes and bars on the market square. There’s always something going on around the Trinity Column on the market square.

The central market square of Hallstatt in Austria

Events are also occasionally held on the market square in Hallstatt. There is e.g. a procession to Corpus Christi, a children’s day or the popular Christmas market, which takes place from December 8th.

3. A walk around Hallstatt

You can explore Hallstatt by foot on your own. But if you want to learn more about the history of the village, you can take a city tour. Every Monday and Saturday at 4.30 P.M. this tour starts at the Hallstatt tourist information. In about 75 minutes you will be told a lot about the city, price is € 8.

The Old Town of Hallstatt in summer

By the way: If you stay in Hallstatt, you will receive a guest card from the hotel. With this you can take part in the city tour for free and also get other discounts.

Old half-timbered houses in Hallstatt, Austria

If you want to discover Hallstatt yourself, you can follow the path along Lake Hallstatt and pass the viewpoint, market square, the Salzkontor and some souvenir shops. There are many photo opportunities along the way and it’s easy to spend a few hours in Hallstatt.

Salzkontor in Hallstatt, Austria

4. Eating out in Hallstatt

In the Old Town of Hallstatt you will of course also find a lot of restaurants, some of which have a beautiful view of the lake. At least in summer they are very well-attended and offer great Austrian cuisine with Strudel, Schnitzel and much more.

Restaurant at the Lake Hallstatt

Sure, the prices in Hallstatt are a bit more expensive due to the large number of tourists. But if you visit a good restaurant right on the lake (like the Maislinger or the Gasthof Simony), you shouldn’t be disappointed with the food.

5. Lake Hallstatt

Hallstatt is located on the western shore of Lake Hallstatt, which also borders on the communities of Obertraun and Bad Goisern. If you take a walk through Hallstatt, you will inevitably walk along the lake all the time.

View from Hallstatt of Lake Hallstatt

But also outside of Hallstatt, e.g. you can often stop at the lake on the way to the Dachstein Krippenstein cable car. There is a little more peace and tranquility with also fantastic views of the mountain panorama and Hallstatt itself. You can also swim here in the lake if it is not too cold for you.

Tobi at Lake Hallstatt

Lake Hallstatt is used by the surrounding communities for many things. Boating, swimming, diving or ice skating when the lake freezes over in winter. If there is too much going on in Hallstatt for yourself, look for a quiet spot along the lake and enjoy the tranquility within nature.

6. Taking a boat on Lake Hallstatt

Not only a walk along Lake Hallstatt is nice, but also a boat trip. There are several ways to do this. You can either take an organized boat tour or even rent your own boat. Prices start from € 8 for a rowboat or € 10 for a pedal and electric boat.

Boat rental in Hallstatt on Lake Hallstatt, Austria

There are plenty of boat rentals along the lake, you don’t have to look far. A guided tour for approx. 30 minutes costs € 10 per person.

7. Hallstatt Skywalk

Another attraction if you can’t make it to the Dachstein Mountains (see last point) would be a trip to the Skywalk in Hallstatt. The Welterbeblick viewing platform is 360 meters above the village of Hallstatt.

To get to the Skywalk, you can either use the Salzbergbahn, which takes you to the mountain in a few minutes at a price of € 18, or go up in about 1 ½ hours on foot. The train runs daily from 9.00 A.M. to 4.30 P.M. The Skywalk does not cost any additional admission.

8. Salzwelten

With the same Salzbergbahn you can also get to the salt mines, which you can easily visit together with the Skywalk. The Salzwelten belongs to the oldest salt mine in the world and is fun for the whole family. Huge slides, guided tours, a ride on the mine train or the underground salt lake are just a few highlights.

Hiking trail to the salt mountain in Hallstatt

If you want to save some money, you can also buy a combination ticket for the Salzbergbahn including the Salzwelten. You can find more information on the Salzkammergut website.

9. Excursion to the Dachstein Mountains

About 5 minutes by car from Hallstatt is the Dachstein Krippenstein cable car located, which takes you to the mountains of the Salzkammergut. For me this was definitely one of the highlights of Hallstatt, because here is also the 5 Fingers Viewpoint, from which you have a fantastic view of Lake Hallstatt, Hallstatt and the surrounding mountains.

View from the 5 fingers viewpoint of the mountains and Hallstatt, Dachstein mountains
The 5 Fingers Viewpoint

You can find the summer and winter operating times on the Dachstein Salzkammergut website. The cable car goes up every three minutes on a total of three sections at a dizzying height. Tickets start from € 30 and are not cheap, but it is definitely worth it.

In addition to the hiking trails on the Dachstein Mountains, you can also discover the ice cave, mammoth cave or the Koppenbrüller Cave. For a short visit, it’s best to walk 15 minutes to the viewpoint. If you have more time, spend it here, because the beauty of the mountains is fantastic.

Plan your trip to Hallstatt now

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Have you ever been to Hallstatt or is it on your list? How do you like the little village? We look forward to your comment.