Hallstatt (map) is a small town overlooking the Hallstätter See (Lake Hallstatt) in the Salzkammergut, on the national road linking Salzburg and Graz. Federal states Upper Austria of Austria.
Hallstatt is at the core of the Hallstatt-Dachstein / Salzkammergut Cultural Landscape declared as one of the World Heritage Sites in Austria. In 2020 the town had a population of 780, and estimates of 10,000 to nearly 30,000 tourists per day, primarily via bus tours which bring tourists briefly into the town for photo opportunities, then quickly move on.
In addition to its ancient history, Hallstatt is spectacularly picturesque, due to its location on a narrow rocky west bank of the Hallstätter See with the sheer rising mountains behind it. Considered by some to be one of the most beautiful places on earth, Hallstatt is sometimes called “the pearl of Austria”.
Hallstatt Museum (map). A small but interesting museum displaying 7000 years of Hallstatt history.
During the “off season”, few shops and restaurants are open, and in some periods it might even be difficult to find a place to stay. Advance reservations would help ensure acceptable accommodations and avoid a worrisome search for an open hotel.
One of the best views of Hallstatt is from this ferry ride across the lake, especially in the morning when the sun is turning the town orange and yellow. Beware the weather: in winter the lake may freeze, hence no boat. In this case, ask at the station or the train conductor.
Ossuary (Beinhaus, map). “Bone House” in English. Due to the extremely limited space in the cemetery, burials are only temporary. After 10-15 years the grave is opened and the bones are removed and bleached in the sun. Then they are stacked in the Beinhaus. It’s not as gruesome as it sounds. Skulls are often decorated with painted flowers and the family name.
Salt caves. Hallstatt Salt Worlds will take you into the more than 250-year-old salt mines to explore its underground beauty.