Finally this is the moment where I get to share with you guys HALLSTATT. My favourite city of all time right now. The reason that I say right now is because, come on, there are still so many cities that I had not step foot on and explored. But right now my heart stays in Hallstatt. There come a point where you simply spend all your time aimlessly staring into blank space while sited on the bench. Yup, that is basically my go to activity while I am in Hallstatt. It is simply that amazing and the kinda simple life that I wish I could spend every afternoon doing. I believe that one day I will definitely find another place that will be better than this, but right now, this is where I wanna return to. I can still recall that little excitement that I had when I first lay my eyes on the town. The very first moment when I alighted the train and hop on to the ferry. The 5 mins ride across Lake Hallstatt. I am sure Hallstatt isn’t something new to all the wanderluster and travellers around the world. It sure isn’t something hidden after the internet and all the sharing from other travellers. But trust me, it is sure different when I finally saw it in person for the first time. The cute little wooden huts and houses, the alps, the greens the lake. The environment is so amazing with the cool alps following pass you, the colors of all the flora around. Peaceful! That’s the adjective for Hallstatt. I still remember the moments where I used to not be able to sleep when I am taking a plane for the first time, when I am going on a holiday, when my parents promise to bring me somewhere new. I felt exactly like a kid and that happy when I reached Hallstatt. Now! Let’s take a journey back this gorgeous memory lane of mine!
Holding my excitement and all the screams inside me to prevent myself from the embarrassment, I hopped on to the ferry, there were only a couple of us from the trains. As mentioned on the previous post where I shared on how did I managed to get to Hallstatt, the ferry timings meet each arriving trains. I locked myself at the open decked of the ferry and got the best view of the whole Hallstatt. Surprisingly I am the only one who chose to head up and the couple rest just choose to stay inside. Even better! I am sure I went on a little crazy moment on insta and what’s app calling my bestie to show them how amazing the whole place is. Trust me, if you ever arrived in hallstatt using the ferry and train method, this is the place to be. You get one of the best view! As the ferry get closer to Hallstatt the view gets better and your view is more close up, you come to realise that you have finally made it. SEEING THE WORLD IN STEPS HAVE FINALLY MADE IT TO HALLSTATT!
Previously I have describe the basic layout of the town where the town is located across the lake and can be separated into the upper and lower parts. The upper part is where the ferry to the town arrived and it is also the place where you can find the church. The upper town is also mainly for only pedestrians. Only Hallstatt residents are allowed to drive in. The lower town is where you can find the tourist office and bus stop. Here is also the main place where you will meet most tourists bus and where day trips depart from. The lower town is also where I stayed at. You can walk between the two towns in 10mins but honestly you will take longer than that cause you will definitely frequently stop for pictures. HAHA! There are one supermarkets each in both town, the Spar is located in the upper town and it is more expensive. Although at the Spar it is like a little cafe where you can sit and have a drink.
3 MAIN THINGS TO DO IN HALLSTATT
- Visit the Salt Mine
- Visit the 5 Fingers Platform at Dashstein Krippenstein
First up, Hiking, seemingly just the whole town of Hallstatt. It is a small place, perfect for little walks after a heavy brunch, strolling around the little places, walks by the lake, with your partner and the gorgeous scenic scenery to accompany you. Just kidding, it is kinda sad that I did this all by myself! HAHA! I believe that I will make it a point to be back here for another trip with my wife! Currently, the toughest thing right now is to think of adjectives to describe this place, because it is simply……Let me just stick with jaw dropping. Hallstatt will leave you jaw dropping! If you are a travel fanatic like me, it would make you drool as well! From the ferry to the narrow road linking the upper and lower town, there are many nice views that you can find and seemingly nice backdrops for photoshoot. If you say the 21st century people are chic with all the ceiling to floor glass windows and white finish like Apple of NYC, the 12th, 13th century Austrians must be designers. If only I could put all those charms, charismatic, fairytale like huts and cabins in words. But I guess my education just can’t seem to put a word to it.
While Hallstatt is full of hiking spots and trails where I am sure they will give you are even better view and sight of the town and they are surely more amazing than these that I am planning to introduce to you. Let this be Dennison Novice Guide to The Best View in Hallstatt. I found this two places while exploring and would like to share them with you. If you have been checking out pictures of Hallstatt on Instagram or on other travel website, you can take a similar angle one here as well. Just to have a disclaimer, this two places are perfectly accessible if you can walk. I am fat, unfit and lazy but it is definitely easy enough to reach them, the hardest would be the steep steps, that’s all!
Follow the signs for the Scenic Walkway along the road between the upper and lower town where cars are travelling then head up the stairs. It is a little hidden, but try them when you see the stairs, they are not locked or anything. The stairs is located adjacent to one of the wooden houses or shops. It might look like you are heading nowhere but try it. After climbing up you will reach some little carpark area and you can also see the tunnel where the cars use to drive pass Hallstatt, here it is a mini carpark area, but the real gem would be the view from the carpark where it boost a sweeping view of the town, with the church and facing the peaceful lake, Yum!
Aren’t this view something that you will kill for! It feels like the cottage and huts are all below you and you get the unblocked view of the church tower and the reflective lake. Peace! I WILL REALLY RECOMMEND YOU TO GIVE UP 2 HOURS OF YOUR SLEEP FOR THIS PRECIOUS VIEW! Only by being a step of others and the day trippers will you be able to enjoy and experience the authentic quaint little vibes that Hallstatt offers.
Aren’t this the perfect location for a little date with your girlfriend, be it day or night, drive her out here, stay in the car and get cosy since the weather is chilly, a glass of champagne and stare at the view out of your windscreen with each other eyes. Damn!
The next location that I would like to share with you all would be the view point near the cemetery. Ok I have to say that I am not trying to be offending or something. If you guys are not comfortable don’t do it. I did not plan to do this at all but just stumble upon it when walking around and trying to find my way down to the town. The views here are magnificent though, although I was trying to be respectful and didn’t take pictures inside the cemetery itself. Just took a snap or so outside it. Instead of going down the same way as you come up, walk to the other side of the carpark as shown just now and you will slowly make your way and follow the road. You will be heading towards the direction of the upper town. Here you can get a different view of the city. After that from here you can get down to the town and you will be at the ferry area. Again, I am not encouraging anyone to come to the cemetery and take photos are be rude. Please do be respectful when you are passing by the area as well.
Wake up early for the walk and the hike, be away from the crowd and buzz that day trippers bring. I tried to catch the sunrise with me leaving the hotel at 6am to no avail. However I am pretty pleased with my sight as well! The other main activities to do in the town would be visiting the Salt Mine and head for the nearby alps where one of the highlights would be the 5 fingers Outlook. For my visit to the Dachstein Krippenstein check out my separate post where I have written about the day trip in detail. While I didn’t have a chance to head to the salt mine, which is a huge regret of mine, it is located right behind my hotel and the supermarket in the lower town. I have heard it to be extremely interesting. Seemingly, the roots of Hallstatt had the city being heavily involved in the production of salt in the past. I will definitely be back! I did had a good view of the Salt Mine right out of my balcony though!
Food wise, with it being a small town, there are a handful of choices and mostly they are being run by the locals who usually open a bed and breakfast as well. The quality are usually very good and taste local, simple family cooking is the key here. Prices might be slightly higher than what you find outside, in fact, same as the supplies that you need, things bought here are more expensive. For one of my recommendation, check out Braugasthof Hallstatt which I had a couple of my meals. Trust Dennison, the Foodie, i had my best Austrian meals here. Here is one of my favourite picture.
Do note that being a small town, on the sunday and public holidays many of the shops are not open, do remember to get your stuff before hand. In fact I could not even get breakfast anywhere on a sunday before leaving. Thankfully, the hotel breakfast was good and cheap.
I really can’t express how much love I have for this place, I am literally missing it so much. Some of you might not like it, especially if bustling and shopping is your thing, but it is really just such a peaceful place to be at. A place for the mind and heart. That’s it. On both days that I was there, when I am done for the day, I will just find a bench, by the lake, sit down there and just stare into the lake, enjoying the scenery. It is such a thing that it so simple and yet something that precious in life. I’m that easily satisfied in life. Let me know if you are ever in Hallstatt. I will really love to hear your thoughts on this amazing place. Next up, Cesky Krumlov!