Hallstat In Winter| Austria

Hallstat was the perfect place to visit after covering the miles we walked in Vienna.

Being a small village in the Salzkammergut region of Austria it was easy to navigate, and we rarely took the pram out with us because everything was within walking distance.

It meant we could enjoy mornings out, come back for nap time and chill out at our hotel room before heading back out after nap time to explore some more.

Everything we did there was done at a leisurely pace with Little London in mind and it was just nice and relaxing.

The three and a half hour train journey to Hallstat was worth it for the views you get as you come in to the train station.  The view of Hallstat across the water is breath-taking.

You have to take a boat across the lake if you do arrive by train, but there’s no better way to appreciate the whole of Hallstatt than watching it from the water get closer and closer.

If you’re looking for quaint and picturesque, Hallstat is your place.

Accommodation

This was the only bit of our entire trip where we splurged on accommodation.  Because the village is so small, there’s not a huge amount of choice when it comes to places to stay, especially if you want to guarantee a lakeside view.

So we made a booking through booking.com to stay at Seehotel Gruener Baum.

The reason I mention booking.com, is because a few days before arriving, we were offered the chance to upgrade our room choice via email to a junior suite for a small extra fee.  So obviously we snapped it up.

Our room was huge and beautiful.  It’s one of the reasons we decided to come back to the room daily for nap time, because the view was something else.

We had our own balcony and outdoor area to enjoy and every amenity had been thought of.  While Little London snoozed, we drunk coffee using our Nespresso machine, ate lunch, wrapped ourselves up and sat on the terrace chair swing while reading our books or just taking in the scenery.  Perfection.

Things to do

It’s hard to say what you should do in Hallstat, because really you just need to walk and discover things yourself.

It’s part of the charm and beauty of the place.  Here are a few pictures of our time in Hallstat.

Because of the fact we went in winter there were a few things we weren’t able to do, so I thought I would mention them in case it influences when you decide to visit Hallstat if it’s on your agenda.

The salt mine wasn’t a possibility because it closes over the winter months due to heavy snow fall, which also means the funicular going up the mountain is also closed- however even if the mine had been open we wouldn’t have be able to have visited because children have to be over the age of 4.  There’s a ride on a 60m slide to get to the salt mines- which certainly appeals to me but the timing and child age just wasn’t going to work at all in our favour.

We also weren’t able to get up to the Hallstat viewing platform.  The walk would have been too much for Little London, and it really wasn’t pram appropriate- the funicular will take you up there in the warmer months however.  The path going up to the viewing platform was snow-covered and icy, so although we could have walked up there we decided against it on safety grounds as well.  It wouldn’t have been safe for us to attempt the hour journey by foot with our child (without him we definitely would have walked it).  Not to worry though, there were other walks we went on that took in the village of Hallstat at a height and gave us great views.  We didn’t feel like we were missing out, because there’s not really any part of Hallstat that isn’t beautiful.

Finally the only other “attraction” we missed was the Bone House, again because it closes during the winter months.

It sounds really macabre, but it’s an important way of life for those living in Hallstat.  The cemeteries they have are very well maintained, but small.  This means they have problems with finding space to bury their dead.  To resolve this issue they remove the bodies of those that have been buried after so many years, or who no longer have family members able to take care of the graves to free up the burial plot.  Only the skulls of those exhumed are kept, and local artists or family members often paint flowers or pretty images onto the skulls along with the name of the deceased and their date of death.  Like I said it is macabre but it’s a clever way to deal with lack of space and it tells the story of life and death in Hallstat.  We stumbled upon the church and graveyard on one of our walks, and I don’t think there is a place more beautiful in this world as a final resting place.

Hallstat is doable in a few days.  It’s a beautiful place to walk around, take in some magical scenery and feel calmed and relaxed.  They have some brilliant places to eat as well including the restaurant at the hotel.  I’d recommend Hallstat as a stop off point when visiting some of the other big cities or towns nearby or for a relaxing weekend break.


Booking.com

thelondonmum

75 Comments

  1. Wow what a beautiful place! Hallstatt looks amazing and the picturesque scenes are just stunning! That’s fascinating about the skulls, what an unique idea. I’d love to visit Hallstatt one day. Your photos are beautiful.

    • It’s a clever way to deal with space, but I didn’t know about them either until we stumbled across the church itself even though the bone house was closed.

    • Definitely, it would have been a shame to have not had the spectacular view and huge terrace.

  2. I don’t whether to be frightened or fascinated but I think Hallstat is definitely a mixture of both especially since the context behind freeing up space is fascinating but I hope they do not do that here.

    • I know it’s strange isn’t it. Something we would find hard to comprehend, but also weirdly it’s very clever.

    • It really is, probably one of the most picture perfect places I’ve ever been to.

  3. Those photos are amazing! I’ve been thinking about going to Austria a lot recently and this has definitely just sold it for me!

    • It a wonderful country with so many great places to visit. I definitely recommend travelling around it.

  4. This is just so beautiful. I’ve never been anywhere quite like that! I’d definitely have to spend lot of time taking the sights in.

  5. It looks like a beautiful place, the pictures you’ve taken are absolutely stunning, almost breath taking. Sounds like you really enjoyed your time there, although it’s a shame about a few places being closed. Glad you had a great holiday

    • I would love to go back and do the salt mines when my son is older- the slides sound amazing haha x

  6. I have never been to Austria, but would love to go. The photo’s you have shared are beautiful and it looks like you had a wonderful time x

    • It’s a great country with so much to do and see, Hallstat is just one of the great places. x

  7. Oh what an absolutely stunning place! Can’t get over how beautiful that scenery is!

    • IT’s a lot quieter in the winter which is another plus point for going during that season, apparently it gets quite busy in the summer.

  8. The lake looks absolutely gorgeous! This is exactly the sort of place I’d love to go to for a getaway with my boyfriend. Noted this place down for the future!

  9. Halstatt is always on those lists of picture perfect places to visit and I just love towns that you just wander and explore on your own and at your own pace. We currently live in Germany and Halstatt has been on my list for awhile now. Thanks for the inspiration!

  10. Halstatt is always on those lists of picture perfect places to visit and I just love towns that you just wander and explore on your own and at your own pace. We currently live in Germany and Halstatt has been on my list for awhile now. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • It’s just one of those places you just have to book and do. It’s beautiful.

  11. I would’ve splurged on the accommodation too, knowing that’s the view! WOW, Hallstatt looks like such a tranquil, beautiful retreat, perfect for families.

    • It’s beautiful- and yes the upgrade was worth the guaranteed view for sure!

  12. I avoid winter sports which means most often that I also avoid travelling in winter. However, I guess, I need to take some winter trips burst fort photography.

    • We booked our holiday really late last year and everywhere that was hot was so over priced, so we decided to stick to Europe. We were really pleasantly surprised. Yes it was cold but we were prepared with our clothing, but most of the tourist areas were quieter than they would be in the summer and looked stunning covered in snowfall!

  13. I keep seeing these great pics of Hallstat and put it on my list. Will go there in summer (hopefully) and hope, I will be able to do a few more things (salt mine e.g.)

    • Yep everything will be open in the summer. The salt mines sound great, but with a young toddler we wouldn’t have had the chance to visit anyway- when’s older though 😉

    • I imagine a lot of people avoid it in the Winter, but it’s a stunning country even more so when it’s covered in snow! x

  14. wow! looks stunning. We’ve been to Austria but didn’t make it to hallstat. It looks so beautiful-especially when covered with snow!

  15. Oh my word Hallstat is beautiful - from the lake to the mountains and the quaint peaceful town - it’s just perfection! And you are right about the graveyard - I don’t think there could be a more perfect place for someone to be laid to rest.

    • My OH told me that’s where he expects to end up… told him he’s gonna have to put some effort in if that’s the case. Moving to Hallstat and becoming a catholic might increase his chances somewhat! lol.

  16. With such scenery I can see why you had an amazing time in Hallstatt. I have only ventured to Vienna so next time I am back there I need to check this out.

  17. It looks perfect for a relaxing getaway, the scenery is stunning. I can almost feel the serenity through your photos 🙂

  18. I love the scenery, looks so peaceful and serene especially when you guys sat on your balcony enjoying each other’s company. So romantic!

  19. What a beautiful family in such a picturesque setting! The place looks really romantic too! Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to visit and see this side of Austria while I was in Europe. I would very much like to go back. I have been drawn to lake side destinations lately. Any suggestions on where to eat?

    • The hotel we stayed in has an amazing restaurant as well, they grill fish caught fresh from the lake- definitely the place to eat at one point if you visit! The views over the lake are stunning too of course x

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