Hallstatt, Austria was our third stop of Eurotrip2014, and Hallstatt was quite possibly my favorite place on the trip! Hallstatt is a tiny village in the Salzkammergut lake district in the middle of Austria, historically known for salt production, and recently known for tourism (and for the knock-off replica in China). I added Hallstatt to our iteniary based on a picture that I saw two years ago on CNN’s travel photo of the day – seriously. Random, but Hallstatt totally lived up to my expectations.
Our trip was quite short – only 24 hours – and it took some effort to get here. Specifically, we left Munich around 1 p.m. and took the train to Salzburg (about 2 hours). From Salzburg, we took a different train to Attnang-Puchheim (about 50 minutes), where we changed again to a local (read: slow) train to Hallstatt. Once at the Hallstatt train station, we took a boat, the Stefanie, across the lake to the town of Hallstatt. This took a grand total of about six hours. Hallstatt was worth it, but the trip can be difficult.
We arrived just as it was getting dark. The boat ride across the lake was beautiful, and I think we all fell in love with Hallstatt on that boat ride. We found our hotel, Gasthof Bergfried, pretty easily, checked in and set off for one of the best dinners of the trip! Note – if you arrive late (like after 6:30) call your hotel and let them know. Hallstatt is very much a morning/day town and most everything except restaurants close at night. We called ahead and our hotel left directions and keys to the room for us.
Now, on to my favorite dinner of the trip! We dined at Gasthof Zauner based on TripAdvisor recommendations. It was delicious. The meal started with complementary bread with two butteresque spreads – a potato-based one and a pimento cheesy one! For mains, I ordered my favorite, the schwineschnitzel, which is pork schnitzel. The schnitzel was so, so declicious here. YUM!! Everyone else got pork medallions in gorgonzala sauce, which was also decision, but everyone agreed that mine was the best! For dessert, we split the famous (and HUGE) Salzburg dessert, the Salzburger Nockerl.
Before dinner, we stopped by the local Spar (a European grocery chain), which must be the best small grocery store in the world! The Spar had a great selection of souvenirs, Austrian candy (including Mozart balls for less than in Salzburg), bacon-wrapped hotdogs and a wine bar with Austrian wine (who knew?!). Yes, a wine bar! I lost Dan for a few minutes, and I found him at the wine bar! The owners were really nice, too!
For our only day in Hallstatt, we woke up early to head up to Rudolfsturm – where my CNN picture was taken! Note, Rudolfsturm is the only lookout point in Hallstatt, but there are several more a short bus ride away. Make sure you know what you are looking for before getting on a bus!
Rudolfsturm is directly above Hallstatt, very close to the entrance of the salt mine (which we skipped). To get to Rudolfsturm, you take a funicular to the top of the mountain.
The entrance is right behind our hotel, Gasthof Berfried, and you can follow the “salt mine guy” (above) to the funicular. To go to the salt mine, continue following the “salt mine guy,” other wise head right up to the Rudolfsturm. Rudolfstrum has an awesome lookout point with great views! For an awesome picture, wait for the tourists to clear out (it will happen!) and take a picture of just yourself at the tip of the lookout!
Rudlofsturm also has a restaurant and outdoor beer garden/tables. When we went the outdoor dining area/beer garden was closed for food due to bad weather, so we just had drinks outside. Prices were pretty reasonable! My attempts at recreating my CNN photo are below! The middle one isn’t bad!
After visiting Rudolfsturm, we walked around town, tried the local Hallstatt Bier, shopped and had a great day!
4830 Hallstatt • Austria
Phone: +43 (0)6136/8811-0