After our lovely time in Salzburg we headed off to Hallstatt for a couple days. While we were researching for our trip we had heard Hallstatt mentioned in a couple blogs and Rick Steve’s books. We did some googling and researching ourselves and it made it to our MUST SEE list. It did not disappoint.
Hallstatt is an ancient Alps town (the first inhabitants are dated back as far as 800BC!) that sits on a beautiful blue lake. It is a real life storybook town in central Austria. It sits on the banks of a pristine lake and lush mountains that rise dramatically from the water’s edges. The town has a salt mine that dates back several thousand years which gives the town a history of prosperity.
We left Salzburg in the morning and caught a bus from the train station to Bad Ischl (10.1€ ea.) it was about an hour and a half and was a gorgeous drive up in and through the Alps. We passed quaint and lovely little mountain towns situated directly on bright blue mountain lakes. Once we reached Bad Ishl we took a thirty minute train to Hallstatt station (4€ ea.) which was also and over the top gorgeous ride. Once you reach the train station you can only the get to the town via ferry boat which cost us another 5€ for the two of us.
Just the ferry ride across the lake into the town was magical, fog sits on top of the mountains while the sun peaks through the clouds. You can see traditional Austrian homes & shops as well as a few hotels all along the banks of the lake, while two beautiful churches stand out making the scene the definition of picturesque. It really stands out like something from a fairytale.
There isn’t a lot of “touristy” type activities in Hallstatt, which was another detail to make it a place I loved. We walked the lakes edges and took in the gorgeous scenery and definitely ate our fair share of apple strudel!! We sat by the lake and read, hiked around, sat by the lake some more and just soaked it all in. Hallstatt was absolutely my favorite place we went in Austria. Just walking the town and looking in all the little shops was a delightful experience. There were mostly cafes, ice cream parlors, and some lovely antique shops we ventured into.
One highlight you can go see while you are there is a tour of the salt mines, we didn’t go see them but we heard it is a cool experience.
We stayed at the Seehotel Gruner Baum. The hotel in itself was MAGICAL. Look forward to a full blog post on our review of this superb hotel.
All in all, I highly recommend this quaint Austrian village, it was the highlight of Austria for me, a town I will never forget, and certainly hope to return to.