Ancient salt mines, labyrinthine alleyways and pastel-painted houses in this pretty lakeside village in the Salzkammergut region
Known for its salt mines that date back to prehistoric times, Hallstatt offers a convenient base for exploring the Salzkammergut region of Austria. We suggest you take your time to explore the labyrinthine alleyways and cobblestone streets, lined with 16th-century Alpine buildings painted pastel pink, yellow and blue whose flower boxes decorate the balconies.
The town is perched on the shores of Lake Hallstatt and we can arrange for you to explore the lake on a boat tour. Or you can head up to the salt mines for a tour by way of the glass-sided funicular, watching the town shrink below you as you rise up.
With plenty of sites and shops of its own to offer, Hallstatt also provides easy access to the rest of the lake district, with Saint Wolfgang and Salzburg close by. It’s also not far from Munich, Innsbruck and Vienna. The town itself is walkable, and easily accessible by buses and boats.
Hallstatt and the surrounding region rose to prominence through its salt deposits, which were being mined as far back as the Neolithic era. Wearing protective gear, you can explore the arched tunnels of the mines as the salt glimmers in the light.
There are numerous rooms inside filled with relics, videos and other visual aides to tell the story of the mines and their place in the town’s history. Travel from level to level on wooden slides, or you can opt to take the stairs. You’ll exit the mines on a traditional mining train, and from there you’re free to explore the top of the mountain or take the funicular back down to town.
For traditional Austrian food with a view, you can walk to Rudolph’s Tower restaurant, which was originally built as a tower to protect the miners. After that it was the mine manager’s residence for more than six centuries, and since 1960 it’s been operating as a restaurant. It boasts a large patio that hangs over the cliff to provide open-air Alpine views.
We can also arrange for you to take a boat tour of Lake Hallstatt, where you’ll get the chance to admire the view of the town against the mountainous backdrop from the glimmering blue-green water and learn about the area with your private skipper. Take in the towering peaks of the Alps as you jet around the lake, and watch people sail, waterski, swim and parasail.
In the middle of town, you’ll find the World Heritage Museum of Hallstatt. Here, you can learn a bit more about Hallstatt’s history through video exhibits, hologram displays and 3D presentations that span more than 7,000 years of Hallstatt history, and include relics from the Illyrians and Celts to the Romans. It’s located near the market square, which is lined with cafés, restaurants, hotels and shops, as well as the Holy Trinity statue, which managed to survive the Great Fire of 1750.
Best time to visit Hallstatt
Hallstatt has a fairly temperate climate and we recommend visiting from May through September to make the most of the hiking and water activities. However, it’s possible to visit year-round and during the winter, the market square comes alive with a Christmas market.
Map of Hallstatt
Places & hotels on the map
Photos of Hallstatt
Accommodation choices for Hallstatt
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Hallstatt. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
Ideas for experiencing Hallstatt
Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Hallstatt, and which use the best local guides.
Hallstatt salt mines
Hallstatt salt mines
Hallstatt salt mines
This salt mine tour gives you a glimpse into the industry that helped shape Hallstatt and the surrounding region, while also providing panoramic Alpine views. Catch the funicular up the mountain, slide through the mines and enjoy a mountaintop meal.View details