Hallstatt – one of the most beautiful villages in Austria

The summer in Europe is unbearably hot. The temperature sometime could reach to 40°C or even over. The heat could kill me not physically but mentally as I don’t feel any desire to do anything, to go anywhere, just to stay in the hotel room but…unluckily my hotel room in the old quarter of Salzburg is equipped with a small electric fan…So better go somewhere nearby. Hallstatt is my first choice, Vienna – the second but actually I didn’t go to Vienna next day, due to the extremely hot weather!

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Hallstatt is a small town in Upper Austria, used to be the popular salt mines, dating back to the prehistoric times, thousands years ago. No surprise why many souvenir shops selling beautiful pouch or small bottle of salt in the village and even the tour to salt mines! But people coming to Hallstatt probably not for the salt mines but for the beauty of the old town by the lake of the same name.

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Most houses in the village are hostels with beautiful lake view

If staying in Salzburg, it will take two hours to get to Hallstatt by express train, with one change at the station Attnang Puchheim. You have only 6 minutes to transfer, but you won’t miss it as the platform – nearby and it’s the regional train, you can quickly catch the other one.

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Hallstatt in 1899 (source: Internet)
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and the old town after more than hundred years later…almost unchanged!

Hallstatt is definitely one of the most beautiful villages in Europe, it’s a beautiful UNESCO- recognized world heritage site for its stunning architecture and well-maintained landscape since 1997. Hallstatt – a very small town with several hundreds residents but always crowded with visitors. To avoid the tourist crowd, I take very early train from Salzburg and arrive before noon, so I can enjoy some peaceful moment in the old town.

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From the ferry station I can see Hallstatt town over the lake.

I travel by train from Salzburg, arrived to station Attnang Puchheim after 40 minutes, and from there I transfer the train all the way to Hallstatt station, more than one hour.  At Hallstatt station I still need a ferry to get to the old town. The ferry ticket costs 5 Euros for a super short distance, within 5 minutes! The ferry is located next to station, it’s very convenient!

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The view to Hallstatt from the ferry

Right after I arrive to the old town, I take the right direction from the church which is still under renovation, I walk uphill. It’s very quiet in the early noon, most houses closed, I guess, these houses are mostly hostels, guest houses, very quiet. I wonder how Hallstatt in the evening or especially in the night time, the scenery could be partly mysterious, partly romantic especially for couples. I love the lake view and wish to see it either in the sunset or sunrise!

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If stay overnight, it’s surely enjoyable to see the sunset or sunrise on the lake
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The main road with lake view in the old village on the right from the ferry station
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another road uphill…
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I did enjoy my walk along the quiet road…
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Most houses are still closed…
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Impressively old stoned house
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The old town center – the market place – most crowded part in the village
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A souvenir shop in Hallstatt
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An ideal place to chill out with some ice cream in the summer heat!
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The tree like a part of the house, totally attached to the wall, quite interesting!
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Riding a boat or swan boat is another distraction in Hallstatt but quite expensive

To be honest, I didn’t end up renting any boats as they’re quite expensive but I can get a lovely view from one of the many cafes along the lake. I’m wondering how deep is the lake and to my surprise, it’s quite deep – 125 meters!

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I didn’t rent the boat but still got a lovely view from the terrace along the water.
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I’m sitting on the terrace to admire the striking scenery, the atmosphere and the fresh breeze from the lake…
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The new part of the village in the glorious summer
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Leaving Hallstatt…

Hallstatt is a small town but can offer a lot of activities from boat riding, cycling or even scuba diving in the lake…Hallstatt is recognized by UNESCO due to its salt mines, the oldest in the world, dating back over 7,000 years, so visiting the salt mines could be very interesting but it requires the proper dress and footwear as it’s cold in the cave and I didn’t have enough time. My regret.

Please check the video about the history of salt mines in Hallstatt.

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Time to say good bye to the old town!  At the train station while waiting for the train back to Salzburg.

Another attraction is the skywalk above Hallstatt. It offers stunning view over the mountains.  I missed both activities, I’m not sure I will come back to Hallstatt, but if I do, I definitely will stay overnight to witness the beauty of the village by the lake in the nightfall.

 

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