Home | Austria | What to Do in Hallstatt: 5 Places to See (Including Itinerary, Maps, and Prices)

What to Do in Hallstatt: 5 Places to See (Including Itinerary, Maps, and Prices)

What to visit in Hallstatt, Austria
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Often called “the prettiest village in Austria”, Hallstatt is a must see when traveling around Austria. The picturesque town between the lake and the mountains draws millions of tourists from all over the world every year. Why? Let’s take a look at the top 5 places to visit in Hallstatt.  

5. Hallstatt Museum & Excavations 

This small town gained its glory mainly for salt mining. The ancient tribes were working in these mines 7 000 years ago, which means the mines are older than the Egyptian pyramids! About the mines later, now let’s talk about the people and the culture. In the World Heritage Museum Hallstatt, you can explore the artefacts from those times to more recent history. The interactive exhibition leads you through the ancient way of living to geological facts about that area.  Don’t expect a modern science miracle, however, it’s a decent option for rainy days.  

Tip: Don’t even think of booking the ticket in advance. The official websites of the museum are approximately the same age as the mines and all in German only. At least I translated the öffnungszeiten and eintrittspreise for you. Call me a fairy godmother. 

Opening times: 

  • May to September: 10 am to 6 pm daily (in April and October to 4 pm) 
  • November to March: 11 am to 15 pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays) 

Prices: 

  • Adults: 10 EUR (8.50 GBP / 11.60 USD) 
  • Children and Students (valid ID with a photograph required): 8 EUR (6.8 GBP / 9.20 USD) 
  • Family ticket: 20 EUR (17 GBP / 23 USD) 
  • Seniors over 60: 9 EUR (7.60 GBP / 10.40 USD) 

Hallstatt museum, World Heritage Museum
Image Source: Hallstatt official websites

Hidden gem: Archeological Excavations 

Another cool tip for rainy days. Just a few steps from the museum, across the little square, there is a sport equipment store. And no, I’m not telling you to promote the shop. There’s an excavation site under the store which is freely accessible. It was discovered by accident, when the owner of the house wanted to build a boiler room under the store. The archeologists and student from the University of Vienna were summoned to explore the site and today you can see a number of excavation pieces and ancient walls from different parts of Hallstatt rich history.  

Practical Info: 

  • Open daily from 9 am to 6 pm, free entrance. 

4. Hallstatt Charnel House (Ossuary)

Speaking of the rainy days, time for an ultimate creepy tour. On the hill over the city, a catholic Ascension of Our Lady church guard the ancient cemetery. As you can see immediately, the cemetery is rather small. So, the residents decided to make an ossuary in the small chapel of St. Michael to store the remains of their ancestors. In fact, in Europe it’s not unusual as there’s usually a limited space to store the dead and as we know, people will always be dying.  

You may have seen the Catacombs of Paris or the Ossuary in Kutná Hora in Czech Republic. The Hallstatt ossuary is quite small compared to those, but they took it to another level by painting the skulls. In the Beinhaus (as the locals call it), there are more than 1 200 skulls and around 600 of these are hand-painted with names and ornaments on it.  Because all the residents are familiar with this necessary custom, they can as well express their wishes regarding the paintings and its style, once they’re to be moved from the grave to the ossuary.  

Practical info: 

  • Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. 
  • There is 1.50 EUR (1.30 GBP / 1.70 USD) entrance fee as maintenance contribution. 

Hallstatt ossuary, Beinhaus

 

3. Dachstein Caves & 5 fingers 

Not exactly in Hallstatt, but close enough. The entire region Hallstatt-Dachstein/Salzkammergut is in the UNESCO list as a cultural landscape, so there’s a lot to explore. As you may already know, if you read some of my other articles, I hate crowds and I prefer nature to big cities. Although we were in Hallstatt under Covid-19 restrictions when it was comfortably empty, it’s an insane tourist Mekka most of the time. Therefore, I suggest running to the hills to avoid the mass crowds. 

Map, route, Hallstatt Dachstein
  Route from Hallstatt to Krippenstein Ski Resort parking 

 

Dachstein Caves 

On the other side of the lake lies the Obertraun village and over the village, there is a large cave complex inside the Krippenstein mountains (a popular ski resort in winter). There is a huge Mammut cave, one of the largest karst caves in the world, the Koppenbrüller cave wit underground lake and Giant Ice cave (I already covered this one in the article about 11 Top Tourist Attractions in Austria). Roam the caves and sink in the mysterious atmosphere of the underground kingdom.

Practical Info: 

  • The opening times of the caves are tied to the operation of the cable car, which rides every 15 minutes. 

5fingers 

Continue up from the caves by cable car (or by foot) to reach the 5fingers viewing platform. Located over 400 m (1,312 ft) drop, it offers spectacular overview on Hallstatt, the Hallstättersee and the mighty mountain range. There are 5 different viewing platforms (hence 5 fingers) followed by World Heritage spiral on the peak. From the Welterbespirale platform in 2,100 m (6 890 ft), you get a 360° view of the Dachstain and Salzkammergut region. And if it’s still not enough for you, you can choose one of the official Dachstein hiking trails. As you can see, the view was magical even in a bad weather. 

5fingers viewpoint, Dachstein Krippenstein

 

2. Hallstatt Skywalk (Welterbeblick) 

One of the best things to do in Hallstatt is climb up to the Hallstatt Skywalk. Well, if you’re coming back from Krippenstein mountains and you’re done with hiking for the day, there’s a of course a lift—Salzbergbahn funicular, that will help you conquer the 838 m (2 750 ft) elevation in no time. Once you get out of the train, cross the suspension bridge leading to the Rudolf’s tower (looks more like a villa than tower, but ok) and right under the tower, you will see the viewpoint platform.  

Austrians seems to be quite obsessed when it comes to viewing platforms hanging over the valley in the thin air. On the other hand, I must admit, the scenery is always breathtaking. In case you’re afraid of heights just forget about the vast space under your feet and admire the view of the lake clutched in between the majestic mountains. Ironically, it’s maybe even more impressive in foggy and rainy weather. It gives this UNESCO view a mysterious and mythical touch. 

From there, you can follow the “Path through time”, the theme path leading across the burial grounds, with information panels on the way. 

Hallstättersee, Hallstatt Dachstein Salzkammergut region 

Tip: Restaurant with the best view in Hallstatt 

In case you are looking for a wholesome dining experience in Hallstatt, the Rudolfsturm Restaurant will be the right option. The food is alright, the service might be slower sometimes, but the captivating view all over the valley will make this top experience. It’s like dining in the eagle nest… just more hygienic and comfortable. 

1. Hallstatt Salt mine (Salzwelten) 

My absolute number one thing to visit in Hallstatt is the Salzwelten, in other words the salt mine. It’s the oldest salt mine in the world with 7,000-year history. The “white gold” was so essential for the development in this region they named it after it. Salz means salt in German, therefore the Salzkammergut region, the city of Salzburg, or the Salzberg mountain (don’t confuse the berg meaning hill or mountain with burg, a castle). Back to the mine. 

The tour begins with a train ride inside the caves, which is an exciting experience by itself. We got the helmets and raincoats and rode through enormously narrow spaces about a kilometer (0.60 mi) down to the heart of the mine. There we came across the oldest wooden staircase, used by miners almost 3 000 years ago. Then the tour continued with a 2 km (1.3 mi) long exhibition and archeological excavations. 

Salt mine, Salzwelten, Hallstatt 

 

The most bizarre thing is, there are several long wooden slides down from the individual floors. It’s super fun, if you don’t have to continue working there all day. We felt a bit like in the dwarf mine in Lord of the Rings, but it was thrilling and educative. From my point of view, one of the best places to visit in Austria.  

Tip: Wear warm clothes and sturdy shoes for the visit. The temperature inside the mine is around 8 °C (46 °F) and the tour takes 90 minutes. 

Opening times:  

  • 9.30 am to 4.30 pm daily (from May 19 to September 26)  
  • 9.30 am to 2.30 pm daily (from September 27 to January 1)  
  • Closed on December 24 and 31, and from January 10 to May 18.  
  • The funicular operates from 9 am to 6 pm daily (in winter to 4.30 pm).  

Prices:  

Salt mine admission:  

  • Adults: 25 EUR (21.10 GBP / 29 USD)  
  • Children 4–15: 12.50 EUR (10.55 GBP / 14.50 USD)  
  • Family ticket for 2 adults and 1 child: 52 EUR (44 GBP / 60.30 USD)  
  • Children under 4 years are not allowed inside the mine.  

Combined ticket (salt mine + funicular):  

  • Adults: 36 EUR (31 GBP / 42 USD)  
  • Children 4–15: 18 EUR (15.20 GBP / 21 USD)  
  • Family ticket for 2 adults and 1 child: 73 EUR (62 GBP / 84.60 USD)  
  • Children under 4 years are not allowed. 

Slide, Salzwelten, Hallstatt
Image Source: Official Facebook page of Salzwelten 

Hallstatt Itinerary: 

We spend one day there and honestly, I think it’s enough. Under normal conditions (not a Covid-19 hassle), the town is literally bursting with tourists, so you want to get out of there ASAP.  

1 day itinerary 

Morning: 

  • Get up early and manage to stroll the town as empty as possible 
  • Catch the first funicular up to the mines at 9 am 
  • Salzwelten and Skywalk (max. 2 hours) 
  • Lunch at the Rudolfsturm Restaurant and Charnel house (optional) 

Tip: Book the tickets to Salt mine online to avoid the queue. 

Afternoon:  

  • Trip to Krippenstein (15 minutes by car) 
  • Tour through caves (it depends on how many you want to visit) 
  • Hike to 5fingers (around 30 minutes) 

2 days itinerary 

Day one: 

  • Catch the first funicular up to the mines at 9 am 
  • Salzwelten and Skywalk (max. 2 hours) 
  • Lunch at the Rudolfsturm Restaurant  
  • Visit the Ascension of Our Lady church and the Charnel house (1 hour) 
  • World Heritage Museum and Excavations 
  • Rent a boat and explore the lake 

Day two: 

  • Trip to Krippenstein (15 minutes by car) 
  • Tour through caves (it depends on how many you want to visit) 
  • Hike to 5fingers (around 30 minutes) 
  • World Heritage Spiral (another 30 minutes) 
  • Optional: choose one of the longer trails around the Krippenstein Mountains

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