I believe that this destination is no longer new to you all. Either way you must have heard of Hallstatt or see a gorgeous picture of it on your instagram or some travel resources. God, even the China tourists like it so much that they build a replica it in their own country that is also named “Hallstatt” in Luoyang, Boluo County, China. Stay tuned for this coming up as I had a pretty funny thing about it to share with you guys! Back to the main point of this post before I start to go crazy on Hallstatt and salivate! Pronounced as “Hall-Starch” is it one of an alpine village in the heart of Austria. Known for its nature and picturesque sight, it is a popular tourists destination! It used to be famed for the production of salt. With the sight of nearby alps and directed situated on the similarly stunning Hallstatter See, now this is where we are going today!
Mainly for the tourists, the few waypoint to get in will be either from Salzburg or Vienna. Hallstatt is pretty much in the middle but closer to Salzburg! For a rough guide, it is around 2 hours from Salzburg and then 4 hours from Vienna! To be frank, Austria is a very beautiful place, almost everywhere is postcard like but Hallstatt is out of this world! There are 3 main ways that you can get to Hallstatt, Driving, Bus or Train.
Driving is also the fastest way to get to Hallstatt, I am not to sure from Vienna but from Salzburg you can reach the place in an hour and 15 mins. Roads in Austria are well maintained and the speed is high. Traffic usually will be smooth. However car rentals and petrol cost are higher when compared to nearby countries like Germany. Motorways are also well built and connected with nearby countries. Austria is right in the middle of Europe so that is good. The really bad side to driving would be the lack of parking places in Hallstatt and the cost of parking if it is available. Hallstatt is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a will protected place, the whole town of it is a no drive zone unless you hold a resident permit or just dropping your baggage. Another point to take not is the Vignette or motor tax that you have to pay for driving in Austria. Unless you already plan to rent a car to drive around Europe and a travel in groups, driving is simply not the best way.
Next would be the bus. I am unsure of the possibility to take take the bus from Vienna but from Salzburg you can take the postbus 150 from the main bus station which is just outside the main train station to Bad Ischl then change to another bus to Hallstatt. This is also the cheapest option! From what I heard from many locals including the reception of the hotel that I stayed in both Salzburg and Hallstatt, this seems to be the preferred way to do so. I decided against since I found it pretty challenging, there aren’t much information that I could read up on the stops and stuff prior to my trip online. I was worried about the connecting bus schedule and also the stops to get off.
I believe that the preferred way and the best way would be the train for the tourists and especially which I mean the most people who do not speak or read the local language. People like me! The Austrian OBB train network is one of the best and highly developed in Europe and it is comfortable. From all my train travels I find theirs to be the best. It is also not crowded. Prices are affordable I would say. This is also the method that I choose to get to Hallstatt. Totally fussless. Price wise, I paid only 9 Euros from a second class ticket. Usually the cost would be around 9 to 20 Euros depending on how early you buy the ticket and also the class of travel.
It took me about 2 hours to get from Salzburg to Hallstatt. Although I have to change trains and then take a ferry, all of them were comfortable and easy. The main reason for choosing this method was the ease in finding information of it! Afterall I do not like to leave things last min and scramble. It starts with a comfortable second class Railjet train, which is the Austrian best high speed train. The journey also boost some of the best view you can see. Although it is only second class, the seats was good, there was wifi. The train is also not full which gave me almost 4 seats to myself and ample luggage space. You also get clear indication on the train screens when to get off.
Most of the time you have to connect through Attnang Puchheim. Even though it is not a huge station, it is one of the spots for train to Hallstatt. Here you will have to change to a local regional train. the bad sight of this train is the frequent stops and traffic. Although I still found empty seats and luggage store were still plenty. I would say that the seats design were pretty chic as well!
I also met a nice Austrian lady and spend the most time chatting and sharing about our lives in Austria and Singapore. It is really nice. Somehow I find that trains are one of the best way to engage in conversations! She also shared with me this place where we pass by. Simply check out the view. I was told that this is a place that the local loves to come! As the journey pass by you will find much more delight in the scenery and also the views get better as you gain in altitude!
You will then arrive at this tiny little station that is named Hallstatt as well. It is really simply, really only a shelter out of nowhere. This is the stop for Hallstatt. It is actually located opposite the main town across Hallstatter See. From here you embark on your last journey to finally reach Hallstatt. You got to take a ferry across the lake. Don’t worry about the availability of ferry since the ferry timings will always meets the train. After all this is they only reason the ferries are running. Anywhere here is also the ferry timings. The ferry cost 2.50 Euros.
P.s the ride across the lake boost some of the best view and photo spot that you can find. The moment Hallstatt come into visibility and I lay eyes on it, the happiness and excitements in me was way off the roof. I really cannot control my happiness. I felt so happy till the point of crying. In a cringe way, I am like a unicorn that shoots out rainbow. It was really a dream come true. It felt like when I was still a child and my parents brought me to the playground for the first time. Thankfully I had the whole boat aftdeck to me and I could do all the shouting, laughing without the embarrassment!
Hallstatt, a dream come true and a sight that I will never forget in my life!
Its remoteness and seclutivity is one of the main point that makes this place such an amazing one, but regardless, as simple as this post, it aren’t too difficult to get here even without a car and using public transport. I hope that you can have a rough guide of the ferry here, since while planning my trip, I really struggle in finding information on it. Simply how gorgeous and great this place is? You got to find out for yourself. To practically put this to point. Seeing The World In Steps have been to 23 countries and 58 Cities and Hallstatt is NUMBER 1!