A calm blue lake mirroring the sky, mountain ranges setting a picture-perfect background, and pastel lakeside houses decked with flower boxes lending the historic town a storybook vibe. It’s easy to superimpose a vision of yourself enjoying a little holiday in this charming town. Hallstatt is a tiny town bullied onto a ledge between a selfish mountain and a swan-ruled lake, with a waterfall ripping furiously through its middle. The big draws of Hallstatt are its village and its lakeside setting. Come here to relax, nibble, wander, and paddle. Beyond lies the Salzkammergut region, a gentle land of lakes, forested mountains, and storybook villages. Put on your comfy shoes and a photo-op-worthy outfit – we’re going to explore Hallstatt! Even if you’re not a morning person, you’ll want to get up early for this town. Besides, you can just head to bed early as there’s nothing much happening at night. The mornings, though, are absolutely magnificent. Start at either end of the town. If your hotel is near the market square, the north end is nearer. If you’re staying outside town along Malerweg, you can start at the south end.

Take a postcard-perfect photo of Hallatatt and stroll along Lake Hallstatt
Walk all the way to the north, past the ferry station. When the road bends, look back and you’ll see this absolutely breathtaking view of Hallstatt. The Lake Hallstatt connects three small towns in the Salzkammergut: Obertraun, Bad Goisern and Hallstatt. It is about 125 meters deep and was the most important and only way to transport the mined salt. Today, visitors come to admire the lake from the top of the close mountains, swim in its clear water, or take a boat trip to discover more about the history of Hallsatt and its surroundings, the Salzkammergut.

Walk around the market square and visit the little shops along the lake

Just walking along the boardwalk, looking up at the pastel houses with their charming flowerboxes, and peeking into the souvenir shops is a great way to spend the day.

Even better if you get to do this while the rest of the town is still asleep – so aim to be up and about by 7 AM at least. Make your way to the market square and weave in and out of the streets. Remember that Hallstatt is really small. The Market Square is located in the city center of Hallstatt and is the major attraction there. The Market Square has a statue of the Holy Trinity and is surrounded by beautiful buildings. Visitors will find restaurants, cafes, hotels, a bar and a range of souvenir shops.Throughout the year there are different events, like the traditional Corpus Christi procession in spring, various concerts, and the Christmas market in winter.

CLOCK WISE FROM TOP: View of famous Hallstatt mountain village with Hallstaetter Lake in the Austrian Alps: A building of traditional house in Hallstatt alpine village. The modern train towards the salt mines climbing up the mountains: Pasta with shrimp sauce at market square.

See the view from the Skywalk

Once up on Salzberg, check out the “World heritage” views from the Skywalk. It extends over a sheer drop with the Hallstatt old town directly below. Hallstatt Skywalk “Welterbeblick” offers a bird’s-eye view over an alpine valley that was home to prehistoric miners during the early Iron Age. The platform hovers 360 metres above the ground, protruding 12 metres from the mountainside into the abyss. Try to go on a clear day, but not in the middle of the day when the sun is almost blinding.The walk to the top is quite challenging,so it’s best to take the cable car up to the viewing platform and then walk back down. Prepare for the crowds. Put Hallstatt Skywalk “Welterbeblick” on your schedule,and learn what else deserves a visit by using our Hallstatt trip itinerary builder.

The world-famous charnel house in St. Michael’s Chapel

Alongside the world’s oldest salt mine and the idyllic,world-famous postcard view, the charnel house or ‘Bone House’ in St. Michael’s Chapel is one of the most interesting tourist sites in Hallstatt. The chapel dates back to the 12th century and is located next to the catholic parish church. Each year, visitors from throughout the world come to admire the unusual collection of over 600 artistically painted skulls. Many of the skulls were decorated at the end of the 18th century, but a few are from even the 20th century.

Kalvarienberg Church

This church was built in the year 1711 and was donated to the town by a childless married couple of court secretaries. It is located on the Kalvarienberg, which is a nearby mountain with an impressive view over Hallstatt, its lake and surroundings.This church was built in order to offer a place for the inhabitants of the town to pray, and as the final resting place of the married couple. This church is a true masterpiece of baroque architecture.