Hallstatt from Vienna day trip: Top things to do

Hallstatt Day Trip from Vienna: Top Things to Do

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.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Check my full disclaimer here.

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.

hallstatt - day trip from vienna

By car

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.

By tour

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 from the village or if you are feeling adventurous, hike up the mountain. However, be warned that the climb is steep and it will take quite a bit of time. (around 1 hour).

If you want to do the trail as well, I’d recommend you to go up by funicular and go down on foot.

Hallstatt postcard view
Hallstatt postcard view

Visit the salt mine

Hallstatt is home to the oldest salt mine in the world and you can visit it by joining a guided tour, which lasts for about 90 minutes and starts near the Skywalk.

Since they’re located close to each other, the options to get to the salt mine are the same as for the Hallstatt Skywalk viewing platform: funicular or a strenuous climb up the mountain.

The salt mine tour as well as the round-trip ride on the funicular will take you about 2.5 hours of time in total.

You can leave any luggage in the baggage storage boxes located inside the visitor’s center and once you get to the entrance of the salt mine itself, you’ll be offered protective clothing. This is required for safety reasons on the slides and also to protect your own clothing during your visit.

Riding the two wooden slides is one of the highlights of the mine tour, but do know that the second one goes quite fast and there’s also the option to go down the stairs.

You should also know that the mine is not accessible to wheelchairs and strollers and only children over 4 years old can visit it.

For up to date prices and the current schedule you can check the mine’s website here.

Hallstatt salt mine schedule and prices
Salt mine and funicular: schedule + prices (December 2022)

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.

5 Fingers Viewing Platform

If you are not interested into visiting the Hallstatt salt mine, I’d suggest going to the 5 Fingers Viewing Platform instead (though with careful planning and an early start you might also be able to do both in a single day).

Its name comes from the fact that it’s shaped as a human hand: one finger has a picture frame at the end (you’ve probably seen photos of it on Instagram), one has a binocular and one has a glass floor (though it’s not very transparent). The other two fingers are just for viewing.

view from 5 Fingers platform, Austria
View from 5 Fingers

You should know that the platform is not actually in Hallstatt, but in Obertraun, so you’ll need to take bus 543 to Winkl b.Obertraun Dachsteinseilbahn bus stop.

If you have a rental with you, it takes around 10 minutes to drive there from Hallstatt and there’s a big parking lot where you can leave the car.

To get to the viewing platform you need to take 2 cable cars (section 1 and 2), followed by an easy hike for about 20 minutes. While the platform itself is free, the cable cars will cost you quite a bit of money. You can check this website for the cable cars’ current prices and schedule.

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.

Happy travels~


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