A trip to Austria without a visit to Hallstatt is incomplete. If you don’t live under the rock, I am sure you have come across some mesmerizing pictures of Hallstatt on social media. It won’t be an exaggeration to call “Salzburg to Hallstatt day trip”, a dreamy trip to fairyland.
If you are looking for a perfect guide to help you plan the ultimate day trip to Hallstatt, this itinerary has got you covered.
One perfect day in Hallstatt, Austria
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How far is Hallstatt from Salzburg?
Hallstatt is a beautiful village situated on the shore of Lake Hallstatt in the Salzkammergut region of Austria.
The distance to Hallstatt from Salzburg is around 73 Km. By car, it takes approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes to reach the village, whereas, with the use of public transport, it takes anywhere between 2 to 3 hours to reach Hallstatt.
Apart from Salzburg, many people visit Hallstatt from Vienna. But in my opinion, a day trip from Vienna to Hallstatt would be very exhausting.
The distance from Vienna to Hallstatt is around 290 Km. By car, it takes approximately 3 hours and 40 minutes whereas with public transport it takes anywhere between 3 hours and 30 minutes to 4 hours and 30 minutes to reach Hallstatt.
How to get to Hallstatt from Salzburg?
Salzburg to Hallstatt by train
There is no direct train from Salzburg to Hallstatt and a change of trains is required. Please note that the train journey is 20 minutes longer than the bus journey.
Step one: Buy the tickets
Visit the ÖBB website or use the ÖBB App to buy your ticket. The cost of the ticket depends on the time of departure and the time of booking. As the date of departure gets closer, the prices go up. Therefore, it is advisable to book your tickets in advance.
Step two: Take the train to Attnang- Puchheim
The journey will take 50 minutes. This is the only place you have to change the train to reach Hallstatt.
Step three: Take the train to Hallstatt
After a 10 minute layover at Attnang- Puchheim, board the REX train to Hallstatt. After a ride of 85 minutes, you’ll reach Hallstatt.
Note: The Hallstatt train station lies on the other side of the lake, which means you need to take a ferry to reach Hallstatt. The ride across the lake takes approximately 10 minutes.
Salzburg to Hallstatt by bus
Travel by bus is the cheapest and the quickest way (public transport) to reach Hallstatt. Although there is no direct bus to Hallstatt, do not fret, as I’ll guide you through the entire process in detail.
Step one: Take bus 150 to Bad Ischl
Take the bus 150 from Stall F in front of the Salzburg’ main train station (Salzburg Hauptbahnhof) and arrive at Bad Ischl. The journey will take approximately 90 minutes.
The first bus of the day leaves at 5:55 in the morning from Monday to Saturday and at 7:15 on Sunday and Holidays. Find the bus 150 time table here.
If you plan to return to Salzburg on the same day, I encourage you to leave Salzburg as early as possible.
You can buy the ticket from the ticket vending machine at the stall or directly from the driver.
The ticket will cover your entire journey to Hallstatt and therefore there is no need to buy a ticket every time you change the bus.
Step two: Take bus 542 to Gosaumühle
Bus 150 will drop you at Bad Ischl train and bus station. From there take the bus 542 to Gosaumühle.
You will approximately have 20 minutes all by yourself, before the departure of bus 542 from Bad Ischl. You can use this time to grab a cup of coffee and some breakfast from a small café at the station.
Note: The final destination of the bus 542 is Gosausee and not Gosaumühle. You will reach at Gosaumühle from Bad Ischl after a 20-minute ride.
Get down at Gosaumühle. Don’t worry about missing your stop, as the majority of your fellow passengers will be getting down too for a transfer to Hallstatt. Trust me, you’ll know when you reach Gosaumühle.
Step three: Take bus 543 to Hallstatt Lahn
There is no layover between the two transfers. You’ll find bus 543 parked next to bus 542 and the transfer is super quick.
After a 10 minute beautiful lakeside ride, you will reach the Hallstatt main bus station known as Hallstatt Lahn.
Salzburg to Hallstatt by car
The drive from Salzburg to Hallstatt is scenic and the best way to save a couple of extra hours. The journey only takes 90 minutes, giving you plenty of time to explore the village.
There are three parking spots P1, P2 and P3 in Hallstatt. An electronic display continuously shows the number of available space in each parking lot.
Finding a space in a parking lot should never be a problem as the majority of the people use the train or the bus to reach the town.
Organised Hallstatt tours
A visit to a new country can be a lot overwhelming and to ease this stress, it is always better, to take a guided tour. Following are some of my favourite tours that can help you have an enjoyable experience in Hallstatt.
Best things to do on a Salzburg to Hallstatt day trip
The famous Hallstatt Skywalk also known as the world heritage view (Welterbeblick), is one of the most famous attractions in Hallstatt. The awe-inspiring Skywalk is situated 360 metres above the village.
From the top, you can have a bird’s eye view of the beautiful historic centre, Hallstatt lake and the lakeside villages.
The Skywalk lies at the top of the Salzberg (Salt Mountain) and in front of Rudolfsturm (Rudolf’s Tower). It famous for being home to the oldest salt mine in the world.
Rudolfturm used to be the residence of the mining manager but today it serves as a panoramic restaurant located at the entrance to the Salzberg (Salt Mountain).
There are two ways to reach the Skywalk – walking or taking the cable car.
The hike to the top takes around an hour and is of moderate difficulty. It can be easily done if you are fit and sporty. The only downside is the lack of time on a day trip.
The cable car can be taken from the cable car station at the southern side of the village. The cable car will drop you at the funicular station, from where you take a panoramic lift to reach the top.
Walk around the Southern Village
After visiting the Skywalk and getting back at the cable car station, walk around the southern village.
Majority of the tourists rush towards the historical centre, completely forgetting about the other side of the village.
Explore the southern village and you won’t regret it. You’ll find some of the most gorgeous mountain views here, free from the hustle-bustle.
Note: Do not enter any private gardens or premises without the permission of the owner of the house.
Take a stroll along the waterfront
This is one compulsory stroll that every Hallstatt visitor loves to take. Follow the signs to the tourist information centre or the Hallstatt Lahn and enjoy the scenic waterfronts.
The cute timber houses on the edges and swans enjoying a sunny day along the lake makes the waterfront even more interesting.
Market square and the Evangelical Church
Market square known as the Marktplatz is the heart of this little village. There is always something or the other happening here.
No doubt this is the busiest place in Hallstatt with thousands of tourists. You can find people enjoying a stroll through the narrow streets or sipping a cup of coffee in the cosy cafes.
In the centre of the Market square, stands the statue of Holy Trinity since the mid-eighteenth century.
A few steps from the Market centre, you can find the famous Evangelical church, whose tower adorn every typical Hallstatt picture on the internet.
Hallstatt Catholic Church and the Bone House
The famous Hallstatt Catholic Church along with the cemetery and the Charnel House is tucked at top of a mountain.
You can easily reach the church from the Market square, as the path is well marked.
The Charnel house a.k.a the Bone House (Beinhaus) a.k.a the Ossuary and the cemetery are hauntingly beautiful and attracts thousands of people daily.
In the Charnel house, you can find 1200 skulls, out of which 610 are painted and arranged according to family names.
Due to lack of space, the graves in the Cemetery were opened after 10-20 years and skulls and larger bones were taken out.
After proper cleaning and bleaching, the skulls were placed in the Charnel House. Removal of the bones from the graves is no more in practice.
Hallstatt viewing point
After visiting the church and cemetery, descend to the village and walk further towards the northern side of the village.
Now let’s go and get that perfect click which inspired your visit to Hallstatt.
The typical Hallstatt postcard photo with a towering church steeple, the marvellous Hallstatt Lake and the gigantic mountains in the backdrop.
Who doesn’t want to click the viral Hallstatt photograph! Right? These pictures are clicked from a viewing platform in the Gosaumühlstrasse, towards the northern end of the village.
Always expect a large crowd at the viewing point, if you are visiting Hallstatt on a day trip.
Walk around the Northern Village
Now as you have come this far, walk a little further and enjoy the tourist-free beauty of the village. Majority of the people don’t step their foot beyond the viewing point and head back to the centre.
In my opinion, you can find here some of the not so famous but best views of the lake and Hallstatt.
Is one day in Hallstatt enough?
There is no fixed answer to this age-old question.
It depends on how you want to see Hallstatt.
The village is very small and therefore a day is enough to roam around, and visit all the major attractions. But if you want to roam empty streets and want the village all by yourself, then consider staying in Hallstatt for a night.
No doubt, Hallstatt is way too famous and the crowd is overwhelming. If you are OK with bustling streets and fellow tourists, a day trip is perfect for you.
Another way to enjoy Hallstatt with less crowd is to catch the first bus from Salzburg and reach here in early hours.
Best time to visit Hallstatt
Hallstatt will not disappoint you, no matter when you visit. It is beautiful all year round. But, before planning your trip keep the following details in mind.
The month of October – November and March – April are off-season months of the year and therefore less crowded. But due to increasing popularity of Hallstatt, do not be surprised to see over crowded streets even during these months.
I visited Hallstatt in August. The weather was warm and comfortable but the place was intensely crowded. August is the summer vacation month in Europe and thus the busiest.
A blanket of snow covers Hallstatt in winters and it looks dreamy. I haven’t visited Hallstatt in winters yet, but the photographs have compelled me to put it back on my bucket list.
Practical tips for Salzburg to Hallstatt day trip
- Bring cash with you as most of the restaurants, cafes and ticket counters do not accept cards.
- Even if you are coming by car to Hallstatt, you cannot drive to the centre. You have to park your car in one of the three parking spots.
- The Hallstatt train station is very small and does not have a locker facility. Do not come to Hallstatt with luggage on a day trip.
- The train station is on the other side of the lake and the only way to reach Hallstatt is by a ferry.
- If you come to Hallstatt by bus, there is no need to take a ferry.
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