Why You Should Visit Hallstatt
Do you like charming mountain villages? Are you in Austria? Do you need a break from the busy city stops?
You should go to Hallstatt, Austria.
My sister and her husband, after watching a Rick Steves episode, decided to add Hallstatt on to their itinerary one summer, and after they returned and showed me pictures...I decided I must add it on to my trip while I was in Austria that fall.
I had already planned on being in Salzburg with a group of friends, so it was an easy add-on. Hallstatt is about a 2 hour train ride from Salzburg, and the station is across the lake from the actual town. So...we hopped on a boat!
The setting for this little village was gorgeous, tucked in between some mountains, right at the edge of a lake dotted with swans. So idyllic. We checked into Gasthof Simony (http://gasthof-simony.at/en/home/) a lovely hotel in the center of town.
Without further ado, if the swans, mountain village, and lakeside property hasn't won you over yet...here are some reasons you should visit Hallstatt:
Surprising Village Band on Parade
After a delicious dinner our first night, we just strolled through the streets and stopped in the town square to take some pictures, when a marching band joined us, and proceeded to provide a concert. It was a fun and entertaining way to end our evening. Now, I can't promise that this will happen to you...but good things tend to happen in small towns.
Frolic in the Alps
There's some good hiking from Hallstatt, if you'd like to take on the Austrian Alps. We decided to take the easy hike to the waterfalls from the Southern end of the town, (watch for the signs). It was a beautiful hike in the mountains, the waterfalls were not extremely impressive...but very pretty, and I did a little Maria Von Trapp twirling for good measure.
Take a Look at Painted Skulls
The cemetery in Hallstatt was very interesting. Naturally, the location was stunning, but besides typical gravesites, there was a chapel full of painted skulls. Take a look at the dates...some of these are very old.
Comfort Food with Lakefront Seating
Stroll along the lakefront main drag that is spotted with a few restaurants. We chose to sit on the patio of Braugastrof am Hallstattersee. It was a stunning location (again with the swans!), delicious Austrian cooking, and a cozy atmosphere.
Naturally, there's more to Hallstatt. Water activities, salt mines, other hiking. But I thoroughly enjoyed our couple days in this little village, and would gladly visit again.