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Best things to do in Hallstatt

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Where in the world: Europe  /  Austria  /  Upper Austria  /  Hallstatt

Top 15 things to do in Hallstatt

1. Old Town

Built among the mountains, Old Town serves as a huge archaeological site for very old salt mines, some of which are active to this day. Descend underground to see the salt lake and pay a visit to the prehistoric mummy of a miner frozen in salt. The village glows with baroque ornaments on colorful buildings--it sits alongside the lake and is ripe with cafes and restaurants.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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2. Hallstatt Skywalk "Welterbeblick"

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 m (1,181 ft) above the ground, protruding 12 m (39 ft) 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.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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3. Salzwelten Hallstatt

Learn about the history and the importance of the world's oldest seasoning at Salzwelten Hallstatt. Take a guided tour through the largest active salt mine in Austria. Embark on a mysterious journey through earth's history. Walk through endless tunnels along the shimmering walls of colored rock salt. Stop at the Chamber of Inner Light and the Chapel of St. Barbara. You can slide down into the heart of the mountain on two miners' slides directly to the underground salt lake. Experience the widely used mineral with all your senses. Remember to wear sturdy shoes and dress warmly.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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4. Hallstatter See

Hallstätter See or Lake Hallstatt is a lake in the Salzkammergut, Austria. It is named after Hallstatt, a small market town famous for its salt mining since prehistoric times and for being the starting point of the world's oldest still-working industrial pipeline, used to transport brine to Bad Ischl (since 1596) and further to Ebensee.

Since about 1970/1980 the only ship-mail-line of Austria crossed the lake from the railway on the east shore to the town in the west. In winters the road on the west shore tended to be blocked by high snow or the risk of avalanches. When the ice on the lake was thick enough, a sled pulled by men or horses, later a motorized track vehicle was used to transport mail and persons.

Later a tunneled road was built through Hallstatt and the mail switched to transport by bus and truck.

Its surface is approximately 8.55 km2 (3.30 sq mi) and its maximum depth is 125 metres. It is a popular destination for tourists, especially scuba divers.

The fixed exit weir, a 500-year old protected monument, has no bypass and therefore caused the flooding of several houses in Hallstatt on 18 June 2013.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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5. Central Square Marktplatz

Once a bustling medieval center of trade and commerce, Central Square Marktplatz today is an iconic example of Austrian architecture and a nexus of the town of Hallstatt. Visit the square, nestled within the city named to the World Heritage List, and wander among a host of old buildings marked by balconies and steep roofs. You'll find that a great deal of activity takes place on the plaza--you can watch the bustle from one of the many surrounding cafes. Try some traditional Austrian fare at one of the restaurants nearby, or browse the stores for crafts and Austrian souvenirs. Be sure to grab your camera to get a shot of the statue of the Holy Trinity in the center of the square against the backdrop of 18th-century buildings and a steep, forested mountain slope.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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6. Beinhaus, Karner, Ossuary

Prepare to be both spooked and awe-inspired with a trip to Beinhaus, Karner, Ossuary, the famous bone house on the ground floor of a 12th-century chapel. The site holds over 1,200 human skulls, 610 of which have been hand-painted in floral designs. In the 18th century the chapel's cemetery became too crowded, and thus the practice emerged of digging up graves 10 to 15 years after death in order to free up a lot. The unearthed skulls were kept, cleaned, and bleached. Following the custom of decorating a grave with flowers, it became a tradition to paint the skulls with flowers. The skulls are grouped by family, with the dates of death written on them. Respectful silence is expected.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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7. Hallstatt Lutheran Church

Nestled on a lakeshore, Hallstatt Lutheran Church is one of the town's landmarks. Old but well preserved, it boasts a tall steeple clock tower visible from almost any vantage point in the area, and a simple but welcoming and warm interior. To learn more about the history of the church, join the audio guided tour of the town or read the information from the signboard at the entrance available in German and English. In the summer months, you can easily catch a concert at this church.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
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8. Parish of the Assumption

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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9. Badestrand Hallstatt

Delight in the dreamy landscape of Badestrand Hallstatt, boasting a backdrop of multiple mountains. A fairytale photo opportunity, this tiny town is a popular destination during all seasons, looking just as magical snow-capped as it does with radiant skies reflecting in its clear and calm lake. Use the wooden benches to relax, or paddle on the lake to combine relaxation with recreation.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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10. Museum Hallstatt

The Hallstatt Museum (German: Museum Hallstatt) is a museum in Hallstatt, Upper Austria, that has an unrivalled collection of discoveries from the local salt mines and from the cemeteries of Iron Age date near to the mines, which have made Hallstatt the type site for the important Hallstatt culture. The museum is close to the Hallstättersee, below the salt mines on the mountainside. The museum, the salt mines, and the Dachstein Ice Cave are designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Since 2002 the museum has occupied the former Hallstatt parsonage, and the previous holdings of the museum have been reunited with many of the objects which had previously been on display at the Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna.

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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11. Waldbachstrub Waterfall

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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12. Hallstatt-Dachstein - Salzkammergut Cultural Landscape, Obertraun

Enjoy the views of massive mountains rising from narrow valleys surrounding the lake at Hallstatt-Dachstein - Salzkammergut Cultural Landscape. Explore the nearby villages, sail around the lake, hike up to an ice cave, and ride the cable cars to the top of the mountain, from where you can hike a number of paths or ski down a range of trails in winter. Tour the world's first known salt mine on the top of the mountain and explore the town's origins in salt production. It's best to visit when the weather is clear, so check the live webcams of the area and the weather forecast before your visit.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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