Heavenly Hallstatt

Hallstatt, Austria, is a picturesque village surrounded by towering mountains and a pristine lake. The wooden houses, painted in pastel colours and adorned with flower boxes, give the village a fairytale-like appearance, reminiscent of Snow White. Hallstatt is so picturesque that it has been replicated in China, to serve as a tourist attraction.

Swan boats on the lake

Visiting Hallstatt

Visiting Hallstatt is an experience you won’t forget. To get there, if you’re a student you can book a trip with Studifahrten, a tour bus company that operates in West Germany. During my journey, I met travel buddies from India, Malaysia, Nepal, and Indonesia. We spent 15 hours on the bus, and by the end of the trip, we had our own mini-tour group.

Once we arrived in Hallstatt, we were all blown away by the village’s beauty. A light mist added to its fairytale-like appearance. I took a walk along the lake, which is just a short distance away. The main square and shops were still closed, so I took photos of the villagers’ houses while they slept. I must admit that bit felt weird. The houses were just so cute though. The bus had arrived early, and our tour group was the only one there.

The ladies I met on the bus. This is our lakeside selfie.

Things to Do in Hallstatt

There are many things to do in Hallstatt. I hiked up to the Catholic Church, St. Michael, which offered a breathtaking view of the crystal-clear lake below. Inside the church’s basement is the bone house, which contains human skulls that are painted. I skipped viewing the bones, as it didn’t interest me.

I hiked up to the Catholic church, St. Micheal. The view from the church’s graveyard magnifies the beauty of the crystal clear lake which lies below. The church is pretty inside and its basement houses the bone house (bienhaus). The bone house or ossuary contains human skulls which are painted. I skipped viewing the bones. Since looking at human bones didn’t interest me.

St. Micheal’s Church behind the houses

Afterward, we hiked back down to find coffee. We found Cafe Bakeries Maislinger, which sells a selection of cakes, rolls, coffee, and tea. Austrian and German cakes are very similar, and I found many of the things I could find in Germany. Hallstatt restaurants serve fresh fish caught from the lake daily.

Shopping in Hallstatt is also a must-do. I bought a postcard from a wooden outdoor kiosk and visited Salzkontor, which sells bath salts and soap that look like candy. I also browsed around a shop that sells handcrafted wooden furniture and smaller wooden souvenirs. The intricate items were wonderful, but out of my price range as a student traveler. I also saw a few boats for hire signs in the shopping quarter, and Dirndl To Go, where you can hire a traditional dress worn in Austria, Germany, and some parts of Italy.

Even the kiosk is pretty

Other sights to see in Hallstatt include the Lutheran Church, the museum, and the interesting steps. You can also take a boat trip on Hallstatt Lake or hire a dirndl dress from Dirndl To Go.

Hallstatt, Austria, is a must-see destination for anyone looking for a fairytale-like experience. From the picturesque houses to the crystal-clear lake and the towering mountains, there’s something for everyone in Hallstatt. If you’re planning a visit, be sure to check out the 20 things to do in Hallstatt to make the most of your trip.

For more information see:

Tourist Office Hallstatt
Tourismusverband Inneres Salzkammergut
Seestraße 99
4830 Hallstatt
Phone: +43 (0) 5 95095 30
Fax: +43-6134-8352
E-Mail: hallstatt@dachstein-salzkammergut.at

Opening hours
Tourist Office Hallstatt
November to April: Mon – Fri 8.30 – 17:00 hrs.
Sat./Sun./Holiday 9.00 – 15.00 hrs.
May to October: Mon. – Fri. 8.30 – 18.00 hrs.
Sat, Sun & Holidays 9.00 – 15.00 hrs.

A free audio guide for Hallstatt is available at http://www.hallstatt.net/about-hallstatt/weltkulturerbe-en-US/themed-trails-and-audio-guide-tour/audio-guide-tour-hallstatt/

Thank you for reading and please let me know what you think. Have you been to Hallstatt?