Europe off the Beaten Path!!

The replica of Hallstatt in Guangdong, China  Courtesy: Sydney Morning Herald

A visit to the Salzwelten (Salt Mines) is an enriching experience

The slider to different levels of the Salzwelten is exciting for adults and children alike. Salt Miners used these sliders extensively

Hallstatt The viewing platform after going up the Funicular provides panoramic views of the village below, the Hallstattersee and the Dachstein mountains   Courtesy: Tourismusverband Inneres Salzkammergut

Ferry Stephanie carrying tourists from the Train station to the Hallstatt Schifffart (Hallstatt boat station)  

Another view of Hallstatt     Courtesy: Tourismusverband Inneres Salzkammergut

A view of Hallstatt     Courtesy: Tourismusverband Inneres Salzkammergut

europeunexplored's travel tips to hallstatt

1. if coming from salzburg, after bad ischl, sit on the left    side of the bus or if by train, on the right side of the           train for fantastic landscapes and amazing scenery

2. if you are with family, one may choose to buy the                einfach raus ticket, the austrian version of the bayern      takt (bavaria pass). using the einfach raus ticket upto 5    people can travel on regional trains across austria on      any day for euro 32. Tickets are easily available from        any train station. 

3. hallstatt station has no luggage lockers. even bad             ischl has limited luggage lockers. keep your luggage at     hallstatt tourist office for euro 2 per piece. the office     closes at 5 pm

4. most of hallstatt remains closed between november to       march. even the excursions to the salt mines and the         funicular are closed. 

5. present your tickets on "the stephanie" ferry and get a      discount of euro 1 on cake and coffee at heritage cafe        and restaurant 

DAY 1 IN HALLSTATT
Activity
Cost (In euro)
FUNICULAR TO THE VIEWING PLATFORM FOR PANORAMIC VIEWS OF THE HALLSTATTERSEE AND THE DACHSTEIN MOUNTAINS
24.00 (funicular plus salt mine tour)
salzwelten (SALT MINE TOUR)
12.00
dinner at the brauhaus beside the lake or candlelit dinner on the boat cruise
13.50


Unless you take the 7 am train out of Salzburg, in most likelihood, you would have arrived in Hallstatt late morning. Check into your hotel / apartment, have a meal and take some rest. In Hallstatt you want to be at leisure!


Post-afternoon take the Funicular up to the Hallstatt Salt Mine (Salzwelten). It takes less than 5 minutes for the 800 metres ride. Take a conducted tour of the Salzwelten, which takes you through the history of salt mining in Hallstatt and life in the pre-historic age. This is a fun tour for all as it also involves wearing costumes, sliding down the layers of the cave, many speaking statues and train ride out of the cave. Particularly interesting is the "Man in Salt" - the dead body of a miner preserved completely for years by the salt he was covered in. The last tours are at 4 30 pm so ensure that you are well within time. Not to be missed! On the last slide, a photographer would take your picture sliding down and charge ~Euro 5 for the picture. While it is optional, we believe it is worth purchasing the picture for a memory of a lifetime!! For more information please check http://www.salzwelten.at/en/hallstatt/saltmine/


Once out of the Saltwelten, step onto the Viewing Platform for panoramic views of the Hallstattersee and the Dachstein mountains and the town of Hallstatt right below. Spend time here to just appreciate nature at its best!


Later in the evening, either spend time at the Brauhaus beside the lake having a rather large glass of beer watching the boats pass by as the sun sets or get onto a Boat cruise yourself for a Candlelit dinner in the lake in the midst of nature.  

history of hallstatt


Hallstatt literally means "Salt Settlement". Hallstatt first found mention as  the European capital of salt mining in the Dachstein mountains surrounding Hallstatt. Mining flourished for more than 7000 years  right till the middle of the 19th century, when Hallstatt's immense tourism potential was realised. The Austria King Franz Josef found tranquility in Hallstatt and came here frequently in the summers.


While much of the salt mining has lessened, Hallstatt continues to produce upward of 750,000 tonnes of salt each year. Today, some of the salt mines are accessible for tourists and make excellent excurions, completely off the Beaten Path! The Hallstatt of today embodies the the very Austrian concept of "Gemütlichkeit" - a situation which creates a cheerful mood, peace of mind, and unhurried behaviour.

ABOUT hallstatt


WhereThe Salzkammergut, Austria
WhyTo experience the Austrian way of life
For whomWalkers, boaters, nature lovers
How long
Stretched day trip, ideal 2 day trip
Best seasonApril - October
Likely cost per personEuro 175-200 (Rs 12,000 - 16,000)


hallstatt ON A BUDGET


Approximate cost per person (2 days)In EuroIn INR
Accommodation1008,000
Food504,000
Internal TravelNilNil
Sightseeing504,000
  Contents
  1. About hallstatt
  2. history of hallstatt
  3. quick facts about hallstatt
  4. Must do in hallstatt
  5. hallstatt on a budget
  6. how to get to hallstatt
  7. orientation to hallstatt
  8. Best way to see hallstatt
  9. Where to stay in hallstatt
  10. Where to eat in hallstatt
  11. day 1 in hallstatt
  12. day 2 in hallstatt
  13. europeunexplored's travel tips to hallstatt


hallstatt, austria


just south of salzburg, austria is "Salzkammergut" - an area characterized with fine Alpine landscape, snow clad mountains, lush green meadows with cattle grazing, music, great food and a strong focus on quality of life.  

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Hallstatt is the jewel of Salzkammergut. Situated on the bank of the pristine HallstatterSee (Lake Hallstatt), Hallstatt is a tiny village with no more than a 1000 locals, no traffic, only a couple of hotels and plenty of home stay options.Even at a leisurely place one end of Hallstatt to the other is a 15 minute walk.

Spending time in Hallstatt is no challenge. If you are looking for museums, fun activities, strong cultural experience, HALLSTATT offers THAT. ​ but most people come to hallstatt to experience the finer aspects of life and the gemutlichkeit (austrian way of living) -  music, relaxation amidst nature, stroll, boat, gaze at the scenery and the timbered houses and lose the sense of time! So impactful is this village that the Chinese have made an exact replica of the village in the province of Guangdong with the same name - "Hallstatt". 

Inputs taken from Bikash Agarwal for this article. He can be contacted at bikashbit@gmail.com

where to eat in hallstatt


Being a small place, there are not a lot of restaurants in Hallstatt. However most hotels / guesthouses offer relatively reasonable three course set meals open for all. 


However, we had excellent Italian cuisine at  Cafe Derbl (http://www.derbl.atand Pizzeria Bella Milano (http://www.bella-milano.at/pizzen.phpand would be happy to recommend them. Try the pizzas and salads at Pizzeria Bella Milano. Both these places are relatively inexpensive and expect to pay between Euro 10-15 per person for a meal not including alcoholic beverages. 

where to stay in hallstatt

Hallstatt has only a few hotels but almost every household seems to have rooms to spare for the tourists. However, in Hallstatt stay as the Hallstatters do. There are plenty of ivy-covered Gästezimmer (guest houses) which one could choose from. We would in particular wish to recommend the following accommodation options. 


AccommodationHotel Heritage HallstattGasthof Weisses LammGasthof Gruner Anger
Hotel / ApartmentHotel (http://www.hotel-hallstatt.com/)Ferienwohnung (Apartment) (

Ferienwohnung (Apartment) 


Tariff (For 2)Upward of Euro 150 pn Euro 80-100 p nEuro 80-90 p n
LocationOutstanding200 metres from the Town Centre400 metres from Town Centre 
Value for moneyVery good. For the luxury seekerExcellent Very good. Very friendly hosts. Decent rooms. 
orientation to hallstatt

Hallstatt is a very tiny village. On one side of the town is the Hallstatter See (Lake Hallstatt) and with a small plateau, the mountains rise almost abruptly, without warning. Almost impossibly, the village is located on this small piece of land. ​

​The village's pint sized centre is just beside the Schiffart (Docking port for the boats). In this largely traffic free village, your legs are your best friends.
quick facts about hallstatt
 1. HALLSTATT LITERALLY MEANS "SALT SETTLEMENT"
 2. TILL THE 19TH CENTURY, REGARDED AS THE SALT MINING             CAPITAL OF EUROPE
 3. REGARDED AS THE "JEWEL OF THE SALZKAMMERGUT"
 4. AN EXACT REPLICA OF HALLSTATT BUILT BY THE CHINESE IN          THE  GUANGDONG PROVINCE ALSO NAMED HALLSTATT
not to be missed in hallstatt

 1. JUST WALK AROUND THE VILLAGE

 2. FUNICULAR TO THE VIEWING PLATFORM GIVING PANORAMIC        VIEW OF THE HALLSTATTER SEE

 3. TOUR OF THE SALT MINES

 4. LEISURELY BOAT RIDE IN THE HALLSTATTER SEE


Another view of the beauty of Hallstatt. Check the clouds and the church clock tower in the background Courtesy: Tourismusverband Inneres Salzkammergut

The Dachstein Ice Caves Courtesy: Dachstein Ice Caves website

Right beside the lake with excellent views, one must have a meal / drinks at Brauhaus Lobisser in Hallstatt  Courtesy: Brauhaus Lobisser, Hallstatt

The Heritage Hotel is a luxury experience! In particular have a meal at the terrace of the hotel overlooking the Hallstattersee   Courtesy: Hotel Heritage, Hallstatt

The pizzeria Bella Milano serves relatively inexpensive and excellent Italian food.  Courtesy: Pizzeria Bella Milano, Hallstatt

The pintsized town centre of Hallstatt   

We are happy to recommend Gasthof Weissez Lamm  with excellent apartments and great location   Courtesy: Weissez Lamm, Hallstatt

Hallstatt with the Hallstattersee (Lake Hallstatt) and the Dachstein mountains in the background     Courtesy: Tourismusverband Inneres Salzkammergut

DAY 2 IN HALLSTATT
Activity
Cost (in euro)
the dachstein ice caves
32
the hallstatt museum
7.50
the beinhouse en michaelschapel (michael's chapel and the bone house)
1.50


Consider a tour to the Dachstein Ice Caves. From Hallstatt, make way to Obertraun where you can follow the clear instructions for the Cable Car - "Dachsteinbahn". The cable car would take you about 15 minutes to get to the top. Once up, experience the vast ice caverns, many of which are hundreds of years old and aglitter with ice stalactites and stalagmites, illuminated by an eerie light, a must do in our opinion. For more information please check out http://www.dachstein-salzkammergut.com/


For a museum enthusiast, get a chance to discover the history of Hallstatt covering more than 7000 years in the Hallstatt Museum. 


​For something crazy, eerie and completely off the Beaten Path, head to the Michael's Chapel and the Bone House. Legend goes that, as people died and were buried, somewhere in the 12th century AD, locals realised that for a tiny town with very little plateau, there is not enough space to expand the cemetry to bury the dead. Hence started a new tradition to excavate the skeletons of those buried for over 20 years to create space for the new. The skulls of the skeletons thus excavated were then decorated. The names of the dead, date of birth and death are also written. These skulls have then been preserved in a separate enclosure called the 'Beinhaus' (Bone House)

how to reach hallstatt


In most probability your gateway to Hallstatt would either be Salzburg or Vienna. The journey from Salzburg takes a little over 2 hours while that from Vienna takes 3.5 hours. Keep your eyes open throughout your journey. The scenery is unparalleled and nature is at its best! 


FromHowCost
SalzburgTrains generally leave from Gleis 2 (Platform 2) in direction of Vienna. Transfer at Attnang - Punchheim for train to Hallstatt Bahnhof (Hallstatt Station). From Hallstatt Bahnhof, you would need to take a ferry - "Stephanie" across the Hallstattersee to reach Hallstatt Village. The ferry schedule is set to meet the incoming as well as the outgoing trains.  Entire journey takes a little over two hoursEuro 24.60 for the train journey and Euro 2.40 for the ferry ride to Hallstatt Village. 

By bus - take Bus no. 150 to Bad Ischl from where take train to Hallstatt followed by the ferry ride. Takes a little over two hoursEuro 15 plus ferry ride  - Euro 2.40
Vienna (Wien)Trains leave from Wien Westbahnhof (Vienna West station) to Attnang - Punchheim and transfer to Hallstatt and the ferry ride follows. Takes almost 3.5 hoursEuro 19 plus ferry ride  - Euro 2.40


The boat trip across the Hallstatter See is outstanding. Just the view of this quaint town getting bigger and bigger would fill you with goosebumps and make you look forward to your trip to Hallstatt !! For further details check www.oebb.at