Hallstatt - The Pretty Lady of Austria
December 22, 2019
When creating an itinerary for a trip, the first thing I always do is to check whether the country/city has specific areas that are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List (link). So when I plan to visit Austria during my Europe trip, Hallstatt easily became my number one priority. Hallstatt’s origin dates way back into the early Iron Age around 800 BC, which is known as the Hallstatt Era.
Therefore, it is considered as the oldest inhabited village in Europe. However, the main reason why tourists flock in Hallstatt is the view of picturesque village on a rocky banks of the lake, along with lines of mountains behind it.
1. How to get there
Getting to Hallstatt is not a difficult thing to do, as long as you do your research, and perhaps consider booking your tickets ahead of time. Booking a bus to Hallstatt might be a little tricky, so I personally recommend you to book a train ticket. Whether you’re coming from Vienna or Salzburg, take a train towards Attnang-Puchheim and transfer to another train going towards Bad Ischl. After getting off at Hallstatt station, take a short walk down to the banks and hop on the regular ferry ride (6 euro). This ferry ride is also why I recommend you to take the train; the village view looks even more beautiful from the lake. The only downside during my trip is that this train line is relatively small, so delays often occur. I had to wait at Attnang-Puchheim for 1 hour, biting my nails, afraid I was gonna miss the next train I have booked departing from Salzburg.
2. How to plan your way around
Once you’ve set foot in Hallstatt, make your way up to the viewing point as early as possible to avoid wasting time, as it only gets more crowded with time. After you have took the famous “postcard” photo of Hallstatt, it’s then time to actually explore the village. Picturesque lake will accompany your way throughout the village, and some interesting landmarks and buildings will surely make you stop every now and then. Two hours will do it. If you have extra time and energy, explore the nearby village called Lahn – you will pass by it anyway.
Every corner of Hallstatt is a place worth discovering. Get lost inside the village; it’s so small that it’s actually almost impossible to lose your way. Finally, when your feet start to surrender, grab a seat near the lake and soak in the taste, smell and sight of nature. Some food will be nice. And they got plenty.
3. How to find food
You won’t find it hard to grab some food, all roads are literally packed with restaurants! However, it might be somewhat confusing to choose one that suits your interest (and budget), so I’m just gonna share with you the restaurant I had lunch in: Marktbeizl Zur Ruth. They have different “Special Menu” everyday and beers are relatively cheap! I had the Curry Rice and a glass of home-brewed beer, which were fairly great. The staffs here were super friendly, just like everyone in Austria.
Marktbeizl Zur Ruth (front) along with other restaurants
The power of internet nowadays has made it way easier for travellers to find a great and unusual travel destination. The hidden gems became not-so-hidden anymore. But uniquely for Hallstatt, it is a good thing. The beauty of the village is too remarkable, that it needs to be visible and celebrated by people from all across the globe. Hope this article has succeed to lure you to Hallstaat. For more in-depth tips and guidance, feel free to drop me a message and I will try my best to answer.