A Hallstatt Day Trip from Salzburg or Vienna, Austria [Full Guide]
April 22, 2020
Planning a Hallstatt Day Trip when in Austria is a must for many travellers. Hallstatt is a village on Lake Hallstatt’s shore in Austria’s mountainous Salzkammergut region. It’s in everyones bucket-list to visit the beautiful landscape of Hallstatt in Austria. After being bombarded by gorgeous photos of it online, I knew it was a destination I had to list down too. However, if you think that Hallstatt is famous just for it’s landscape, its was orginally first known for its salt mines during pre-historic times.
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Our Hallstatt Day Trip
My friends and I visited Hallstatt during Summer in July. The weather was a pleasant 23 degrees celsius and we drove there from Salzburg during our one-week road trip in Austria. Hospitality businesses have been booming all over as the town it is attracting an exponential number of visitors each day. You can easily find a place to stay at the heart of the town for a night but do remember to book early if you’re planning to go during the peak summer holiday period.
The town was bustling with tourists, cafes, shops and street vendors. It was a energetic atmosphere and we could hear people cheering to drinks at a mini beer-fest that was set up by the lake. Hallstatt is a very small town and you can easily get from one end to another by foot in 15 minutes. We spent an entire day there just getting to know more about the history of the salt mines and having a drink by one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.
A Hallstatt Day Trip from Vienna or Salzburg | Methods of Transportation
Option #1: By Driving Renting your own vehicle is probably the most flexible way to get to Hallstatt. It’s a 3-hour drive from Vienna and a 1-hour drive from Salzburg.
For us, we rented a car in Salzburg and travelled towards the east, passing by Hallstatt along the way during our one-week road trip in Austria.
Option #3: Public Transportation From Salzburg Take Bus 150 (at main train station, Salzburg-Hauptbanhof) to Bad Isch > Transfer to train from Bad Ischl to Hallstatt Railway Station > Ferry across the lake to the village
From Vienna Train from Wien-Hauptbahnhof > Attnang-Puchheim > Hallstatt Railway Station > Ferry across the lake to the village
It is possible for you to buy the train tickets via the official website here. Prices do not include the ferry ticket, you will have to pay separately onboard for this.
Best Things to do for your Hallstatt Day Trip
1. Wander the Old Town
The quaint 7,000 old Alpine village is home to to a number of cafes and stores in the Old Town. You can start at either the south or north end depending on which side you stay on. The north end is where the postcard-worthy scenery you see all over the internet can be found. If you do not want your photos to be filled by other tourists, start at the north end before 9am.
The name Hallstatt also means “place of salt”. This is because Hallstatt is the heart of the world’s first salt mine, Salzwelten, and much of its economy’s growth is attributed the salt industry especially during pre-history times. There is a funicular railway that connects Salzwelten with a subterranean salt lake, and to the Hallstatt Skywalk viewing platform.
You will have to book a guided tour to visit the salt mine. With about 20 pax per group, learn about the 7,000 years history while exploring the underground levels of the mine. Wooden miners’ slides and a single-file miners’ train will also aid you in getting to the different levels and out of the mine. These activities extremely enjoyable throughout the tour. Beginning the tour, you will also be provided with miners’ clothes that covers your entire body before walking into the mine.
Duration of Tour: 2 hours Salt Mine Tour Hours: 9.30am – 2.30pm* (Daily, January – March & October – December); 9.30am – 4.30pm* (Daily, April – September); Closed from 24 – 31 December *This timing is when the last tour of the day begins Entrance Fee (Salt Mine & Funicular Round Trip): Adults: € 34 Children (4-15 years old): €17
More information of the prices & opening hours can be found on their official website here.
3. The World Heritage Skywalk
After coming out of the salt mines, you’ll be greeted with a stunning view of Hallstatt from 360 meters above. You will reach the Skywalk on your way back to the Funicular, so take some time to explore the platform before heading back down.
You can have your lunch by the view at one of their restaurants on the skywalk. The weather in summer was so pleasant for us to have an outdoor meal by the side while we gazed out to the untamed natural beauty of the mountains.
4. Rent a Boat on the Lake
Complete your day by renting a boat to drift along the clam waters of Lake Hallstatt. Renting your own boat will give you the most flexibility with your time on the lake and you’d be able to get a more private experience as well.
You can rent a boat from any shops in Hallstatt town. One recommendation is the shop named Krumbock Bootsverleih, where they have tons of electric boats, row boats and big swan paddle boats to choose from. It was a fantastic way to view Hallstatt from a distinguished view point and to get away from the crowds of tourists in the town. The price of renting a boat for 30 minutes was €10 when we were there in 2017. However, do take note that they are closed during colder seasons between October to March.
5. Visit Dachstein Krippenstein
If you have the time, make a trip to the top of Dachstein Krippenstein for more breathtaking views. Simply take a bus from Hallstatt Lahn to the lower cable car station at Obertraun Dachsteinseilbahn and take the cable car up to the mountain peak. The price for a round-trip cable car ride will cost you €48 for an adult ticket. More information on the prices can be found on their official website here.
Things to do in Dachstein Krippenstein 1. Take pictures of the stunning views 2. Walk onto 5fingers viewing platform 3. Go paragliding 4. Visit an Ice Cave
Hallstatt Day Trip Tips for your Itinerary
It is suggested that you stay 1-night in Hallstatt to have a chance to be there before 9am to avoid the crowds. This will also give you more time to visit all 5 attractions fully on this list without having to rush for your train/bus back to the cities.
If you are driving there on the your own, you can always start your journey from Salzburg before 8am. This will give you ample time to ensure you’re able to finish up all the attractions before leaving in the evening.
Where to Stay in Hallstatt?
The Town of Hallstatt isn’t very big. Hence, the best place to stay is actually as near to the Town as possible – in terms of distance to the attractions.
Recommended accommodations would be to stay at Ferienwohnung Cijan – a roomy apartment with a 8-minute walking distance from the centre of the UNESCO World Heritage town of Hallstatt. They are often fully booked.
Another option that you can try you luck to see if there’s availability is at Fenix Hall Boutique Hotel. Fenix Hall is just 200 m from Lake Hallstatt, it is another popular accommodation in Hallstatt.
When is the best time to visit Hallstatt?
Similar to most parts of Europe, Spring (March-May) and Autumn (September – November) are probably the best months to visit Hallstatt. This is when the weather is cool and the crowds are thinner as compared to the Summer season.
The summer season from June to August is when Hallstatt gets the most crowded due to the school holidays. It also gets busy during the Winter (December – February) as many tourists flock to the town to view the beautiful snow-capped roofs of the town. However, attractions such as the salt mines and funicular will be closed on some days during this period.