Hallstatt, Austria: A Photographer's Dream Come True
Summary. Hallstatt is a tiny lake-side town in the mountains of Austria. Easily accessible by train from Salzburg, this day trip ended up being our favorite day of our 15-day Central Europe vacation. Endless amazing views at every turn, makes Hallstatt a photographer's dream come true. Upon arrival by train, you will be ferried across the lake to the town itself, where cliff-side homes defy gravity and display traditional Austrian charm throughout. The entire town is a UNESCO World Heritage site for good reason, and while this may contribute to it's large number of daily visitors, the town never really felt overwhelmed by people. In addition to the scenery, Hallstatt is also known for its ancient salt mines which are available for tours. Nothing in this town in inexpensive but it is well-worth the expense. It truly is one of the most beautiful places we have ever visited.
Early Morning Departure. From Salzburg, we board a 2.5 hour train to Hallstatt. We recommend taking the earliest train of the day to avoid crowds in Hallstatt. As we wanted to visit the popular salt mines of Hallstatt (see other blog post on this), the early start was especially helpful. Upon arrival at the Hallstatt train station, which is consists of just a sign and benches, we stepped onto a ferry that carted us across Lake Hallstatt to the town of Hallstatt. Below: Photo 1 is from the train, Photo 2 is the station/stop, and Photo 3 is the view of the glassy water as we crossed the lake on the ferry.
Photography: Hallstatt is a photographer's dream. This Austrian mountain mountain village sits on a gorgeous clear blue lake. Even for those that just want really great vacation photos, there's more beautiful shots than you could possibly take in a day or that your memory card will hold. Photos here, while many, are just a select few that we took while visiting this picturesque place.
Exploring by Foot. Hallstatt is small. When we arrived in town, after taking a few hundred photos, we headed to the funicular to make our way to the salt mines. See our separate post on the salt mines. Afterwards, we spent a good portion of the day exploring this beautiful town by foot. There are shops for tourists and locals, alike. Restaurants tucked in corners. A church with an ancient cemetery. As this town is also nestled between mountains and on a lake, every turn also revealed another beautiful view. We recommend walking down from the salt mines back into town so you don't miss any of these gorgeous views. It will take you about an hour, depending on your fitness. The trail starts in a wooded area and is well-marked. From there, it winds through neighborhoods, before reaching lodging, restaurant and the marina.
Boat Ride on Lake Hallstatt: We spent the last hour of the day renting a single-family electric boat. Out on the lake, you'll be rewarded with views of this mountain village and the surrounding lake. In fact, it's so amazingly beautiful, you may find yourself asking, "is this for real?" As an end-of-day activity, it was perfect. Relaxing, peaceful, and quiet. Afterwards, we took the ferry back across the lake to the train station and returned back to Salzburg and arrived in evening, in time for a late dinner, which we enjoyed on our walk back to our Air BnB.
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