Located in northern Austria, the small village lies gracefully in the heart of the valley, surrounded on four sides by mountains like a small cat curled up on a smooth mattress. Now, let’s discover the beautiful village through this Hallstatt travel blog. The charming landscape mesmerizes visitors from the very first moments when they have come to this area. Mountains embrace the village while Hallstätter Lake boasts her glassy water and “lazy” waves. Let’s check it out our Hallstatt travel blog (Hallstall blog) — Visiting a sleepy village on the smoky Alps from how to get there, where to stay, top things to do with Living Nomads below.
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The fairy village
Hallstatt frontally overlooks the beautiful lake and gently backs against the captivating mountains, creating amazing scenery. Small, winding pathways around the village and roads on the mountainside make Hallstatt more charming and picturesque than ever. It takes about one hour to reach the mountain peak behind the village where you can admire the best panoramic view of Hallstatt complete with snow-covered mountains and small houses which are viewed as shimmering reflections onto the glassy waters of the lake in the green valley. Perhaps, simple words cannot describe completely the beauty of this area, which has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage site.
Close your eyes and think about what you have read in Grimm’s Fairy Tales. There is a lovely and peaceful village with white roofs covered by snow, some white chimneys and forests wearing a white coat of snow. People enjoy their rustic, simple lives there. Sparkling yellow lights make the place feel warmer. Some houses are adorned with Christmas’ colours. The aroma of traditional waffles from the bakery spreads over the village. Stop looking elsewhere, Hallstatt is the village you’re looking for.
Situated in the region of Salzkammergut (which means lots of salt in German), Hallstatt will tell you stories of salt mines and its own history. When you stay in this area, don’t forget to visit a salt mine and listen to its history. There are many salt mines with depths varying from hundreds to thousands of meters. Unlike sea salt on beaches, salt is filtered from giant stones found in the mines. Salt from mountain is quite different from sea salt because of its lower saltiness.
Nowadays, locals have stopped using mines and other traditional methods to produce salt from some salt mines. They turn these salt mines into natural museums showcasing the salt mining process in both ancient and modern ways. For me, the most impressive thing is the role of salt mines during the World War II. Because of the devastating ravage of war and to prevent their valued cultural property from being looted in Hitler’s period, inhabitants hid paintings, sculptures, documents and other valuable works inside the mines. When the war ended, these masterpieces were displayed for visitors. Due to disadvantages during the war, they were hidden in different places by different army corps. It’s even believed that thousands of precious works have still not been discovered.
Warm in Winter
Hallstatt and its neighbours are ideal places for bikers. The open green space brings you the most peaceful feelings ever and mesmerizes with its beauty. It’s not easy to ride on the hilly terrain, but believe me, you will have more exciting experiences than you expect when exploring this area.
With a small population of less than 1 million people, the village welcomes visitors with their warm attitude. It is, perhaps, the friendliest place I have been to in Europe. Locals do not promote tourism for commercial purposes, they just want to welcome nature-lovers and display their pride to the world. I arrived here quite late at 9pm since the winter weather was not good. On my arrival, the receptionist greeted us with his warm hospitability and gave us the key without asking any personal information from our names to credit card like in other places. Just the key and his smile, nothing could be better than this on a cold night.
You will find neither gorgeous hotels nor luxurious restaurants here. With simple dishes, Hallstatt offers you a distinct culinary experience. Even if I woke up late, food was always ready. All dishes, from bacon to sausages, are homemade. If you desire, soup will be reheated for you. What could be greater than starting your journey with these special treats?
From Hallstatt, you can hire a car or travel by train to big cities such as Salzburg. To the north, over the border, you can visit Germany and the Czech Republic or you can also go to Switzerland in the West.
After staying here for 3 days, I was really impressed by this village with its tininess, its serene beauty, the natural surroundings and the strangely warm atmosphere in the middle of winter. If you have a chance to visit Austria, apart from Vienna and Salzburg, Hallstatt must be the my recommended place.
How to get to Hallstatt (getting to Hallstatt)
An air ticket from Vietnam to Austria costs about 16-20 million dong/round trip. The price depends on the time of year you choose to travel. The high season lasts from April to October. There is no straight route from Vietnam to Austria, so you need to stop in Thailand or Germany.
You can also travel to Hallstatt by tram:
- How to get to Hallstatt from Vienna: Vienna-West-Train-Station (Wien-Westbahnhof) – Attnang Puchheim – Hallstatt Station – Hallstatt Markt or Vienna Main-Train-Station (Wien-Hauptbahnhof) – Leoben – Stainach Irdning – Hallstatt Station – Hallstatt Markt.
- How to get to Hallstatt from Salzburg: Attnang – Puchheim – Hallstatt Station – Hallstatt Markt.
Visa: Austria is in the Schengen area; therefore if you get a visa to Austria, you can also travel freely to other countries such as Germany, France, Switzerland and Spain.
Language: German is the official language of Austria. However, locals can speak English fluently so you don’t need to know German when travelling here.
Getting around: Hallstatt is quite small, you can walk around the village. The tourist information desk is located in the center of the village. You can also ask anyone or in any place to get the most useful information about the most exciting destinations.
Hallstatt travel blog: Where to stay?
Below are some best cheap, budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
Gruner Anger (Address: Lahn 10, 4830 Hallstatt, Austria / Phone: +43 6134 8397), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $94/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Heritage Hotel Hallstatt (Address: Landungspl. 101, 4830 Hallstatt, Austria / Phone: +43 6134 200360), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $226/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Bergfried Gasthof (Address: Echerntalweg 3, 4830 Hallstatt, Austria / Phone: +43 6134 8248), a top apartment with room rates from $108/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Braugasthof Lobisser Gasthof (Address: Seestraße 120, 4830 Hallstatt, Austria / Phone: +43 6134 20673), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $108/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Gasthof Hirlatz (Address: Malerweg 125, 4830 Hallstatt, Austria / Phone: +43 6134 8443), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $150/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Hallstatt Hideaway (Address: Dr.-Friedrich-Morton-Weg 24, 4830 Hallstatt, Austria / Phone: +43 677 61710518), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $400/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Landhaus Hotel Koller (Address: Pass-Gschütt-Strasse 23, 4824 Gosau, Austria / Phone: +43 6136 8841), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $183/night. (You can check rates and reviews on Booking.com).
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