For anyone looking to discover some of the most beautiful spots in Hallstatt, Austria, we’ve got your covered. Learn (and look at) some salty Austrian history, explore exciting slopes and hikes, or just wander around beautiful little village streets – you’ll fall in love with this one.
Hallstatt has earned its place on the UNESCO World Heritage list because of the beautiful scenery. The Austrian Alps and lake surrounding this tiny village make it look like a scene from a fairy-tale.
This sleepy town is guilty of stealing many hearts – most notably in China, where an exact replica stands.
If you plan on visiting Hallstatt and its Austrian attractions in the near future – or even just creating your very own bucket list – then this summary of the top things to do in Hallstatt in summer and winter is for you!
Lake Gosau Austria
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Picturesque views are definitely what draws visitors to the lakeside town of Hallstatt. Once you’re standing at the famed photo-point of this magical little village, it’s the backdrop of the Dachstein Glacier, rising behind the mountain lake. This helps cement Lake Gosau in as one of the top travel destinations in the Salzkammergut.
Throughout the year – yes even in winter (if you are brave) – special boat tours of the Hallstatt lake region will feed your curiosity and give you some insight into the power of water that this lake holds.
Things to Do in Hallstatt in Summer
Hallstatt summer is warm, with temperatures around 25℃ and the lake looks rather inviting.
But with limited time in Hallstatt, where should you start. What’s on your list of must-see sights and must-do activities? It doesn’t really matter if you are planning a day trip or staying over – here are a few things to do in Hallstatt that are sure to keep you entertained during your vacation:
Hallstatt Salt Mine
With a total of 60 percent salt content, 21 tiers (levels), and 65 km of tunnels (22.5 km of which can be used to venture deep down into the core of the mine). The technical details of Hallstatt Salt Mine are impressive all on their own.
A trip to the mine is not easily forgotten and starts with a guided tour (you can also use their free WiFi to download your own mobile guide – for all languages!)
Take a customised tour of Hallstatt and ensure that the salt mine is on the list. Magical light shows are projected before your eyes in order to share the rich history of the salt mine in a truly unique way – you’ll be constantly captivated.
Besides the hilariously fashionable overalls you wear to protect your clothes from the salt in the mine – one of my favourite experiences inside the mine was definitely the slides (yes, as in playground-style!). You will literally slide down into the deeper levels of the mine.
Another one of the great Hallstatt Austria attractions? The mine is also home to one of the oldest staircases in Europe. This is one of the best things to do in Hallstatt in summer.
Before heading back down the cable car, don’t forget to check out the Hallstatt Skywalk. 360 metres above the rooftops of Hallstatt and a 12-metre walk out to the point, this is a fantastic photo opportunity.
Market Square is right in the heart of Old Town, located in the centre of Hallstatt. It’s hard not to fall in love with the colourful buildings that surround the square, which once acted as the main marketplace of Hallstatt.
Grab a coffee from one of the local restaurants and take a seat on a bench. Absorb the atmosphere as locals go about their daily lives or watch the beauty of the Holy Trinity Mountain in the middle of the Square.
Hallstatt Austria Hiking: (Glacier Garden and Panorama Trail)
Hallstatt is home to many hiking trails – most of them are fairly easy to find as there are signs that point you in the right direction. There are, however, some hikes which are off the beaten track. These trails, usually overlooked by travellers, are definitely worth discovering.
Although these trails are much more pleasant in summer, they’re suited to Hallstatt hiking in winter too.
A perfect example of such a trail is the unique Glacier Garden at the end of Echern Valley in Hallstatt. This amazing and fairly gradual hike will take you through romantic forests and along soft streams. This could easily be considered one of the most beautiful Hallstatt hikes. Set aside about 2-3 hours for this one.
Another fantastic hike is the Panorama trail. This hike starts just behind the cemetery at the Catholic church, and continues a few steps up onto a forest road. From here, you will have a wonderful view of the captivating village and the Evangelical church’s very famous tower.
Happiness is everywhere in the magical region of Hallstatt, especially in and around the spectacular Waldbachstrub Waterfall.
Masses of water plunge over the edge of a 90m high gorge, roaring thunderously to the Glücksplatz, which means place of happiness. Locals and tourists alike refer to this spot as one of the most energizing and unique spots to be explored by foot.
Five Fingers Lookout Point
While this activity in Hallstatt can be done during winter or summer, there’s something particularly magical about visiting when the flowers are in bloom and the sparkle of the sun’s rays on the lake is alluring.
Five Finger Lookout Point juts out from the mountain giving you spectacular views of the lake, the Alps mountain range, and the village of Hallstatt below. It’s an impressive 1300-foot drop to the ground below, so you’ll be at quite an altitude.
To get to the lookout point you’ll need to take a 15-minute bus ride from Hallstatt to the Dachstein Visitor Center. You’ll then take a cable car ride up the mountain, providing you with more incredible views. Then there’s a 1-kilometre, easy hiking trail that takes you directly to the lookout point.
Rent a boat for the summer
Renting a boat in Hallstatt is a must-do for anybody visiting in the summertime – what an amazing way to admire the city from the water. Most places along the Hallstatt lake will allow you to take your own drinks with you too, making it a great way to float back and relax.
Most places will allow you to pay when you return (price varies depending on the boat you choose to rent), allowing you to just take everything in and relax.
Swan paddle boats are also an exciting and fun way to explore the lake. Paddling around in a giant floating swan makes for yet another uniquely Hallstatt photo spot.
Naturally, you do miss out on some things by visiting during Hallstatt winter. That shouldn’t make you cold though – there are so many beauties to be seen in this magical winter wonderland that only Hallstatt in winter can bring about!
The pure white snow perfectly covers the wooden roofs of the little houses. The mountains surround the crisp, glassy lake and the icicles that hang from literally anything (and everything).
Hallstatt, Austria in winter is definitely still worth it – and there is no shortage of things to do.
Here’s the complete breakdown of what to do in Hallstatt in winter.
Altaussee Salt Mine
Altaussee Salt Mine is an absolute must-see during winter and is the oldest salt mine in the world. Unlike the salt mine in Hallstatt, which is closed during most of the winter, Altaussee is about 20 minutes out of the city.
The Bone House
Hallstatt has a very confined cemetery and cremation was banned by the catholic church during the middle ages. Because of this, locals have been exhuming the bones of the deceased after 10-12 years and placing them in the bone house.
They have been doing this for thousands of years. You can now visit the Bone House, located underneath Saint Michael’s Chapel. You’ll find an incredible collection of painted human skulls, making this an experience like no other.
Three Happiness Alpine (Seehotel Grüner Baum Hotel)
Giving travellers three main reasons to smile, Seehotel Grüner Baum is a trifecta of happiness. The hotel is located in the best spot in town – right in the centre of everything. The traditional interior of the hotel is unique, and the rooms are sure to satisfy a traveller’s need for comfort and warmth.
There is also a restaurant with stunning lake views where you can enjoy some steamy hot chocolate or coffee – whatever your heart fancies.
Then why not head down to the hotel’s steam room and sauna – winter has never been this cosy. There’s no better way to spend a winter vacation in Austria.
Take a Photo Tour
It’s no secret that Hallstatt is one of the most photogenic villages in the world. Take the opportunity to go on a photo tour while you’re there. Winter is the perfect time to do it as the entire town is covered in a layer of fresh snow.
Get ready for some magical shots of the scenery, and make some special memories with your travel partners. Austrian winter doesn’t get more magical than this.
Just 5km from Hallstatt lies Obertraun, and the very popular Free Ride Arena – Krippenstein. This is one of the longest free ski spots in Austria.
The FreeSports Arena Krippenstein at the Lake Hallstatt, Austria is something for the thrill-seekers – whether on skis or boards. The various slopes on offer are sure to get your blood racing.
Take a Magical Christmas Tour
Always dreamed of a white Christmas? Don’t wait any longer! Hallstatt has an incredible collection of Christmas traditions that you’ll explore during this Christmas tour.
You’ll visit the traditional Christmas market in the town square and absorb the festive atmosphere in the historic centre of the town.
You’ll also be led to some of the town’s most decorated sites to see how the twinkling lights. After which you can taste some of Hallstatt’s most famed Christmas delicacies.
Be it the summer or the winter – Hallstatt is beautiful and exciting all year round, no matter the season.
Snowy, white winters may limit you in terms of activities, but it makes up for it with beautiful white backdrops, cosy hideaways and fewer crowds. Summer can become extremely busy.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what time of the year you are planning to visit this beautiful village of Hallstatt. As an all-year-round destination, we guarantee it will be a trip to remember.