Day trip to Hallstat | Things to do | Complete Guide


Hallstatt is a fairy tale like town near Salzburg in Austria. Set aside a picturesque lake and surrounded by majestic mountains, the beauty of this place is just breathtaking. And not just the beauty, this place has so much to do. From roaming around the pretty streets filled with colorful buildings, to salt mines, to amazing view points to even an ice cave. Hands down, this is one of the best places i have been to. Keep reading to know everything about a day trip to Hallstatt.

Best Time to visit

  • Peak season is the summer months of June, July and August. Sometimes this busy season spills over into September. During these months, expect large crowds and higher prices.
  • The winter months of December through February can also be busy, particularly around Christmas. Hallstatt is gorgeous in a fresh blanket of snow. Just note that the salt mines and the funicular are closed during the winter months.
  • The months of March, April, May, October and November are the best time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds (although I have been told that October is getting quite busy).


If you want to visit Hallstatt as a day trip, Salzburg is your best option. Salzburg is the closest city to Hallstatt and there are several options if you are travelling by public transportation.

By Car

This is the easiest and most convenient option, assuming you get to Hallstatt early enough to find parking. It takes about an hour and a half to drive from Salzburg to Hallstatt.

By Bus

It takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes to travel by bus to Hallstatt. Use bus 150, 542, or 543. Round trip will cost around € 35 per person.

By Train

It takes roughly 2 to 2.5 hours, plus time for the ferry across the lake (the train station is located on the other side of the lake). Start at Salzburg Bahnhof, change trains in Attnang-Puchheim to Hallstatt station. It will cost you around €60 per person.

Tour Operators

There are multiple tour operators providing tours to Hallstatt, book the best tour that suits you. The only con of having a tour is that you can’t do the bone church and the salt mine in one day.



1. The Lake Hallstatt Stroll

Austria is known as the country of lakes, and Lake Hallstatt is definitely among the the most pretty in that list. The town of Hallstatt is built around this lake. You can stroll around the 1 KM shoreline around this lake from the north to the south of this town, soak in the amazing views and sit in a quaint cafe along the way and sip your drink with a view. You can also go boating in this lake and have the iconic view of Hallstatt from the lake.


2. Hallstatt Salt Mine and Sky walk (Salzwelten)

  • The most interesting attraction in Hallstatt according to me was the Hallstatt Salt mine(known as Hallein Salt Mine). This salt mine is over 7000 yeas old and is considered one of the main reasons of making the Salzburg region wealthier.
  • The of the most iconic things about this Salt mine is that they have slides to get from one level to the other. The staircase option is also there of course, but how much fun is sliding in a salt mine!
  • To get here, you have to take a convenient cable car from the Hallstat town and then walk around 15 mins to reach the entrance of the cave.
  • Before you start walking to the mine, there is beautiful viewing platform offering 365 breathtaking panoramic views of the Hallstatt lake and the surrounding mountains that you absolutely cannot miss.

3. The Bone House & Cemetery (Charnel House):

  • This is  little creepy but very fascinating once you understand the history behind it. It is located in the lower level of the Saint Michael’s Chapel. This bone house contains 600 skulls which are painted artistically.
  • Here’s the history: This bone house dates back to the 12th century. At that time Hallstatt was very compact and didn’t that much space for numerous cemetery’s.  Also cremation was not allowed at the time by the Catholic church. Thus they buried the dead in the existing graveyard. After 10-12 years, the bodies were exhumed and bones were cleaned and kept in this bone church with labels.  This created space for new bodies in that cemetery. Fascinating, isn’t it?

4. Dachstein Giant Ice Cave

  • This ice cave is located on the Dachstein mountain near Hallsat. You can take a convenient cable car up the mountain. The cable car gives you breathtaking panoramas of the mountains and the lake below. The cable car station is 15 mins away from Hallstatt city center.
  • You can do the 1 hour cave tour and discover stunning ice formations, forzen waterfalls and much more. We recommend taking a guided tour to under stand the history of the cave and many fascinating details of the ice formations. Tip The Ice Caves are closed for Winter each November until May, but the mountaintop still provides great views and snow sports in the off-season.

5. 5 Fingers Lookout Point

This is a viewpoint on the Dachstein Mountain. So you can club it with ice cave tour. The view point offers one of the most amazing views of the Alps. It also offers a glass floor so that you even have the view of the below and fell the adrenaline rush.

6. Food

You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for restaurants in Hallstatt. Here’s a rundown of the best places to eat.
  • Restaurant Im Seehotel Gruner Baum: This restaurant is by the lake and it serves you classic Central European and Austrian dishes. So you can wonderful lunch or dinner
  • Gasthof Zauner: This restaurant is located in the city center and has very classic vibe and great food.
  • Maislinger: This is the most famous bakery in the area. The the most famous delicacies here are the Apple Strudel as well as the cakes. It’s got a small room hidden away in the back if you want to have a quiet cup of coffee!


Option 1

Summer is the peak season in Hallstatt. Crowds will be at their highest from 11 am to 4 pm. If you can, avoid these hours and explore Hallstatt in the morning and evening hours. For the best experience, arrive in Hallstatt by 9 am. By getting here early, you’ll avoid issues parking (if you are traveling by car) and you can explore Hallstatt for an hour or two before it really gets busy. In the morning, explore the old town, tour the salt mine, and enjoy the view from the Skywalk. Have lunch in Hallstatt. If you like the idea of visiting Dachstein, do this in the middle of the day, when Hallstatt is the most crowded. Return to Hallstatt in the late afternoon. Rent a boat and drift on the lake for an hour or two and then end with dinner in town. Return to your starting city.


Consider using public transportation to get to the Dachstein cable car station in Obertraun so you do not have to give up your parking space. You can hire a taxi or take bus 542 or 543 from Hallstatt.

Option 2

Visit Dachstein in the morning and Hallstatt in the afternoon. This works well during the off-season months when Hallstatt is less crowded. Doing it in this order saves you from having to travel back and forth between Hallstatt and Dachstein. Just note that if you do this in the summertime, finding a parking spot in the afternoon in Hallstatt may be a challenge.

Is it worth?

Yes, Hallstatt can be a wonderful experience. Try to spend one night in town so you can wander the streets before and after the day trippers leave. And on a clear day, the side trip to Dachstein is awesome, especially if this is your first time seeing alpine scenery.

If you are planning a trip to Hallstatt and have questions, let us know in the comment section below. And if you have already been here and would like to share your experience, we would love to hear about it!

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