Culture & Travel

13 February 2024

A charming Austrian village on the shores of Lake Hallstatt, Hallstatt has become a popular tourist destination for its scenery and rich cultural heritage. This UNESCO World Heritage site is known for its Alpine architecture and rugged landscapes, making it the perfect Austrian getaway. While the village has been known to draw large crowds during peak season, travelers visiting in the fall or spring can experience Hallstatt without the tourist crowds. Exploring the area after the day-trippers have left allows visitors to enjoy the quiet atmosphere and immerse themselves in the local culture. Whether you're looking for stunning scenery or a chance to experience Austrian culture, a visit to Hallstatt should be a must-do on your bucket list.

hallstatt

There are so many attractions in and around the town that arriving in Hallstatt and spending time just taking photos is hardly a good vacation. Here are some things to do and places to visit in Hallstatt.

Hallstatt Center

Hallstatt merkez

The first place every visitor should visit is of course Hallstatt itself. You'll finally get the chance to see the place you've often seen photos of on social media. The village's narrow streets, traditional Alpine-style houses, shops selling local products and souvenir shops are great places to wander. As you pass through the historic town, you'll encounter awe-inspiring landscapes of majestic snow-capped mountains and lush forests. The central Markplatz square is the heart of Hallstatt, offering views of the lake and the surrounding area. For a taste of the tranquillity for which Hallstatt is famous, take a walk by the lake. But even though the town is small, there are hidden gems to uncover. One of Hallstadt's most famous photo spots, the Römisches area, is well worth a photo. Apart from that, you can also visit the Hallstatt Church if you want to learn about the local culture and lifestyle. Dating back to the 19th century, this historic building is not only an architectural masterpiece but also a symbol of the town's tradition.

Hallstatt Lake

hallstatt-2

Overlooking Hallstatt, the lake is more than 120 meters deep and is surrounded by lush forests and high mountains, opening onto a spectacular landscape reminiscent of a Norwegian fjord. 8.5 kilometers long and two kilometers wide, the lake is surrounded by many charming villages, including Obertraun and Steeg, where visitors can soak up the sun and relax on one of the many beautiful beaches. Swimming and boating are also available for those who want to brave the cooler temperatures. There are also numerous hiking trails and boat rentals for tourists who want to enjoy the great outdoors.

Hallstatt and Salzwelten Salt Mines

Here you'll find the Salzwelten, also known as the "salt world", an incredible tourist destination showcasing the beauty and history of the region. The first stop on your journey is the Skywalk, a breathtaking viewing platform 350 meters above Hallstatt that offers views of the city and the surrounding area. From here, you can head towards the Rudolfsturm, an old fortification built to defend the mines, now converted into an elegant restaurant with views of the area. A guided tour of the mine will also inform you about the fascinating history of salt mining in the region. Salzwelten is also the home of the "Hallstatt Salt Man", a mummified corpse found in 1734 that has become one of the area's best-known exhibits. Be sure to make time to visit the underground salt lake, a must-see attraction unique to Salzwelten.

Dachstein Caves

Dachstein Cave

In addition to the stunning natural beauty of Hallstatt, Mount Dachstein is also home to the Dachstein Caves, also known as the Dachsteinhöhlen, a network of caves stretching up to 1200 meters deep. This underground world is filled with incredible ice sculptures, huge icicles and frozen waterfalls, offering a truly unique and unforgettable experience. If you want to dive even deeper, the Mammuthöhle, also known as the "giant cave", is a series of tunnels formed by an ancient river that once flowed underground. The 90-minute guided tour of the Dachstein Caves offers many opportunities to learn about the effects of climate change as well as interesting geological sights. 

Dachstein Salzkammergut

Hoher Dachstein

The Dachstein Salzkammergut, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to a number of Alpine peaks ranging in height from 2000 to almost 3000 meters, including the majestic Hoher Dachstein at 2995 meters. In the snowy winter months it is a skier's paradise and in summer tourists flock here for trekking and hiking. Glaciers, including the Grosse-Gosau and Hallstätter, add to the beauty of the landscapes here, and cable cars provide easy access to some of the region's spectacular views. On clear days, visitors can also see the famous "Five Fingers", a set of five small viewing platforms 100 meters above the ground from which you can look out over the surroundings from different vantage points.

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