Located in upper Austria, there is a hidden place that will make you fall in love with nature all over again. Hallstatt is small town and UNESCO World Heritage Site, conveniently lying on the western shore of the Halstätter See. It offers views that only the eyes can truly appreciate and makes you feel as if you’ve been sucked into a Disney movie.
Take a Break from the City
If you’re a keen photographer, you will have a field day in Hallstatt. Each turn provides something beautiful. If you’re an Instagrammer, it would be an insult to use a filter! Whether it’s the sparkling blue lake, the backdrop of snow-topped mountains or the quirky buildings reflecting onto the water, your eyes will be in awe. Hallstatt also provides a wonderful retreat for those who require a break from the reality of everyday life. Being surrounded by so many colours and pure nature leaves you at with a peaceful mind-set, something a city break just cannot provide. You will feel like this cat:
Fun fact: Hallstatt is in fact so beautiful, that the Chinese built a full-scale replica of the town in Huizhou, crazy right?
World Heritage Views and Austrian Specialties
Although fairly small, there is still a great deal to do in Hallstatt. There is of course a funicular railway offering breath-taking views, or the “World Heritage View” from a viewing platform. You can also visit a real salt cave and relax afterwards with a coffee by the lake. There is also the option to hire a boat, go on a walk, or even just take a stroll through the Old Town. For those who enjoy running, there is an annual half marathon around the lake, just make sure you’re prepared for some very fit Kenyan runners to complete it in half your time.
The food in Hallstatt is also not to be missed. Many Austrian specialities are on the menus and you should have no reservations about trying new food, as it’s tasty! When looking to try a new drink, try a Holunder Spritz (or anything with the name Holunder in it), this translates to elderflower and tastes great! Weather depending, be sure to sit outside and watch the world go by as you enjoy a great meal.
How to plan your Getaway: Tips for a trip to Hallstatt
- If you are flying, your best bet is to fly to Salzburg and take a 2-hour train to Hallstatt. From here you have to take a mini ferry across the lake if you are actually staying in Hallstatt. This sounds long and strenuous, but both the train journey and boat provide views to keep you occupied.
- If staying in Hallstatt seems a bit pricey, stay in a nearby town/village and commute into Hallstatt. I stayed in the nearby charming village of Obertraun and would recommend. Make sure you stay somewhere near to a train station to make the commute less time consuming.
- As it is fairly small, you can visit Hallstatt for just a weekend and see everything. However, I would recommend staying for longer if you want to take a real break.
- People can understand English so don’t worry too much about not speaking German very well. Most of the menus include English translations due to a vast amount of Asian and American tourists.
- Unlike I did, stay off the internet for the ultimate break.
- If you have a swanky camera, bring it!
- The weather is very temperamental, I arrived in a snow blizzard and left with sunburn. Be prepared for all circumstances!
- Book early, as there is limited accommodation and it gets booked up quickly.
- Put it on your bucket list, NOW!