03/11/2016

How to spend 24 hours in Hallstatt

falling in love with Hallstatt

As part of my interrail trip I spent a day in the beautiful town of Hallstatt. Initially it wasn't in our route because we did not know it existed! I stumbled upon a picture of Hallstatt on Instagram one day and after a quick google to see if it was viable to visit it was added to our route.

GETTING THERE AND WHERE TO STAY 

To get to Hallstatt there are various options. If you're travelling straight to Hallstatt then you'll most likely be driving or going by train. From Salzburg it takes around an hour and 15 minutes by car and two hours and 15 minutes by train. We travelled from Salzburg to Obertraun. The train involved one change and took around two hours. We travelled here rather than Hallstatt as we were staying here for our visit to Hallstatt. Obertraun is on the other side of the lake to Hallstatt and is around a ten minute drive. The reason for staying in Obertraun was price. It was a lot cheaper than Hallstatt; for the same apartment it was over half the price to stay in Obertraun! It was still rather pricey compared to other accommodation we'd been staying in but this was to be expected as nearly all the others were hostels.  I don't regret staying in Obertraun as it meant we were not surrounded by tourists the whole time. Instead we were able to escape to our cute apartment. The apartment looked out onto the mountains. The pictures below show the view from the apartment balcony. Even though it was a little chilly I made the most of the balcony and had my breakfast out there both mornings! 

If you're like us and decide to stay outside of Hallstatt there are various ways to reach it. Firstly, there's a bus running between Hallstatt and Obertraun (as well as various other places). The bus times can be found here. You can also get a leaflet with the times from the tourist information office in Hallstatt. But be careful to check which buses go to your stop as we nearly got caught out and stranded in Hallstatt. Although the last bus from Hallstatt wasn't until around 6pm the last one for our stop was at 4.41 meaning we had to do a mad dash to the supermarket to buy supplies for dinner and then a mad dash to the bus stop!



WHAT TO DO

1. Get that Instagram pic! 


I always try and get a good balance between taking pictures and appreciating the view. Hallstatt is beautiful and while I enjoyed taking in the view I also enjoyed taking pictures of it! I may have enjoyed the photo taking a bit too much and ended up with about fifty pictures of the same view (that may be a slight exaggeration). 


enjoying the Hallstatter See

2. Go for a wander 

I found going for a wander one of the best ways to see a new place. You may not have a direct route to follow or know where your walking but you'll discover places along the way. We were dropped off near the bus station and walked all the way through to the main square area and then up to the church and cemetery. We did get slightly lost as a lot of the small side streets look similar but that's all part of the fun when you're exploring!





3. Visit the church and cemetery 

The church and cemetery are just past the main square. You have to walk up through the houses to get there. There are various stairs leading up allowing you to go up one way and down another. The views from outside the church are great so even if you don't want to go into the church (we didn't) it's worth walking up there for different viewpoint of the town (and some more pictures to Instagram). 


4. Visit the Bone House 

The Bone house (or Beinhaus) is located right next to the church cemetery in St Michael's Chapel. The bone house, as the name suggests, is home to bones, specifically skulls. Yep, real skulls! Hallstatt is home to the largest collection of skulls in the world. There is a reason for the collection of skulls but I'll let you research that or find out when you visit. You are given an information sheet when you go in which tells you all of the information. The entrance fee is only €1.50 and while it is very small it is well worth the money. Unfortunately the Bone House is only open until October 30th but reopens in May. This was one of my favourite things I did in Hallstatt because it was so different to anything I'd ever seen before! 


5. Get a bite to eat 

We were quite extravagant and had lunch at the See hotel so we could enjoy the view of the lake and eat nice food (but mostly for that view). In all honesty while the food was yummy I didn't think it was worth the price. I paid €18 for my main which is probably the most I spent on any dish the whole trip. If you don't want to pay that much for food you can still enjoy the view and just get a drink. I'd recommend this option as your not spending half your budget on food but still get to take in the view. There's plenty of choices for places to eat that are cheaper and offer more traditional food. We were a bit sick of this though so wanted something less traditional. I have to say I found most of the food in Hallstatt quite overpriced, including the cheaper options but I guess that's what you get in a very touristy area. 



6. Hire a boat


This was something I personally didn't do. It was on our to do list until we spent too long wandering around and had to skip it out (this was a reoccurring problem on the trip). There are various boats you can hire including rowing boats, electric boats and even swan pedal boats! Prices start at €8 for half an hour in a rowing boat and go up to €18 for an hour in an electric one. Like the Bone House this activity is shut in the winter but reopens on the 1st of April. 


There are various other things you can do whilst in Hallstatt such as go for a hike and go up the cable cart. I didn't add the either of these to the list because I didn't do them myself. We were told the cable cart was a bit pricey for what it was so I guess it depends whether you want to see Hallstatt from a birds eye view. We decided, because we only had a day, that we would rather see Hallstatt from the ground and save a bit of money.





HOW LONG TO STAY


Although Hallstatt is a small town (you can see from the list above) there is plenty to do. We only spent a day there so were limited with how much we could do.  I don't feel like I missed out on seeing too much, however, if I were to go back in time and redo the trip I'd give myself two full days so I could fit in a hike. If you have the time spend two days here but if you're tight on time a day or even a day trip from a city will be enough for the main attractions. 

Hopefully this post is useful for those who are either going or thinking about visiting Hallstatt. Have you been to Hallstatt? What did you get up to on your trip?


Sophie

3 comments

  1. It looks so beautiful, not somewhere I have ever thought of visiting but now I really want to go.

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    Replies
    1. You should definitely visit if you get the chance! x

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  2. Wow. Absolutely beautiful place to visit! Thanks for sharing :)
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