Visit Hallstatt from Vienna as a day trip
Hallstatt is a small lakeside village in the Austrian Alps that is well-known for its picturesque scenery and charming architecture.
If you are spending some time in Vienna (by the way, I also wrote a Vienna itinerary that you can check out for inspiration) and would like to visit Hallstatt as a day trip, this blog post will provide you with all of the information you need to make the most of your visit!
So read on for tips on how to get there, as well as what to see and do.
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Best time to visit Hallstatt
Hallstatt is an all-around-the-year destination, with each season having something to offer to visitors.
Winter is magic here, you can experience the Christmas market and the coziness of the village, but it can get pretty cold. Spring is warmer allowing for more comfortable sightseeing. Summer is great in terms of weather and nature is also at its peak, while fall has the most beautiful colors.
Having said that some of the best months to visit are May-June and October when the crowds are slightly smaller, yet the weather is still pretty nice.
How to arrive in Hallstatt from Vienna
By public transportation: train + ferry/bus
You need to take an Austrian National OBB train from Vienna to Attnang-Puchheim (the journey takes a little more than 2 hours). There you’ll then transfer to the local REX train towards Hallstatt. There will be around a 10-minute layover between trains, while the final leg of the journey takes about an hour and 10 minutes.
You need to be aware that the train actually drops you off across the lake from Hallstatt and you will need to either take a short ferry ride or a bus to arrive at the village. All in all, expect the travel time to be around three and a half hours.
Arriving by car at Hallstatt is by far more comfortable, though the journey time is almost the same as when traveling by train. The road distance between Vienna and Hallstatt is around 290 km.
You can rent a car directly from the Vienna airport when you arrive or you can pick one in the city for just a day, which is probably the better choice as you don’t really need a vehicle to explore Vienna. Check out Discover cars for prices.
There are 3 big parking lots in Hallstatt (P1, P2, P3). However, they get full pretty fast, so make sure you arrive as early as possible.
We got there at past 9 AM and the first lot was almost full, 2nd was half full, while the last one was mainly empty. By the time we left (around 2 PM) there were only a few free spots at the 3rd parking lot.
Besides, if you start your visit early in the morning, you’ll have enough time to also squeeze in a short visit to Salzburg, as we did.
If you don’t want the hassle of taking the train, but you also don’t want to rent a car, then you have the option of visiting Hallstatt by tour. Here are a few options (leaving from Vienna) that you can choose from:
- Hallstatt and Alpine Peaks with Skywalk Lift: With this guided tour you’ll get about 5.5 hours in Hallstatt and it includes pickup from centrally located hotels in Vienna, and the lift fee to the Skywalk.
- Panoramic Austrian Alps Tour to Hallstatt: This tour includes optional hotel pickup (from central Vienna only), a guided Hallstatt walking tour, and the entrance fee to Admont Abbey, one of the oldest monasteries in Austria.
- Full Day Trip to Hallstatt and Salzkammergut: This tour includes pickup on request, a guide and a boat trip on the lake (but only during summer). You will also get some free time in Hallstatt to do some sightseeing on your own, something I always look for when doing tours.
Top things to do in Hallstatt
Explore the village
The best thing to do in Hallstatt is to explore the Old Town. While it may not look like it, Hallstatt is considered to be one of the oldest still inhabited settlements in Europe. Its gingerbread-like houses that overlook the lake make you think you’re in a fairytale place.
There are two good photo spots from where you can get spectacular views of the picturesque village and the surrounding mountains. You can find the first one as Hallstättersee Schifffahrt on Google Maps, while the other one is the classic postcard view of the village and it is marked Aussichtspunkt Hallstatt on Maps.
View Hallstatt from above
There is a viewing platform (called Hallstatt Skywalk – The “World Heritage View”) that sits 350 meters above the UNESCO World Heritage village of Hallstatt, offering panoramic views of the entire Dachstein Salzkammergut region. To get there you can take the funicular or hike (it’s about 1 hour of walking).
Visit the salt mine
Hallstatt is home to the oldest salt mine in the world, which can be visited only on a tour. Visits last for about 70 minutes and start near the Skywalk. The salt mine tour as well as the round-trip ride on the funicular will take you about 2.5 hours of time.
View Hallstatt from the lake
You can rent paddleboats or small motorboats that will allow you to view the beautiful village as well as its surroundings from the water.
I hope that the information I shared in this blog post helped you plan your trip to Hallstatt. But if you have any more questions, just leave them in a comment below and I will try to answer them to the best of my knowledge.