Hallstatt

Photo © R and K

Travel Guide Europe Austria Upper Austria Hallstatt

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Introduction

Hallstatt is a small town overlooking the Hallstätter See (Lake Hallstatt) in the Salzkammergut, in the federal province of Upper Austria of Austria.
It is a wonderfull location at the lake on the foot of high and steep mountains. Due to the eternal lack of lands at the lakeshore, the houses in the town were built directly onto the rock face. It looks marvelous indeed. You will wonder how skillful the people have been to build their houses so close to the rock in such a way.
In addition, the town is also famous for the rich archaeological discoveries that took place in and around Hallstatt. The so-called salt culture was excavated at the Field of Graves and many findings dating back to the early Iron Age were made. The city gave its name to the early Iron Age after the important archaeological discoveries had been made. Nowadays the early Iron Age is known as "Hallstatt Age" (800-400 B.C.). Therefore, the early Iron Age was called after the town where the discoveries had been made. UNESCO elevated this archaeological discovery site, boasting numerous traces of a salt culture, into the status of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage in 1997. The world's oldest salt mine is located in this town. The salt mine dates back to 1400 B.C.

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Sights and Activities

  • Parish Church of the Assumption finished in 1505, with the church tower from 1320 and the altar from 1515.
  • Beinhaus (Charnel House) in the courtyard of the Catholic parish church is very special and famous. It is full of painted and signed skulls and human bones. Those are the ashes of the people that died in the 18th and 19th centuries. The ashes had to be excavated and put in that house for want of land for the cemetery. The town had and still has very little land area, that is why there was such a strange custom.
  • Salzwelten - Salt Caves.
  • The Dachstein Ice Cave and 5 Fingers, get there by Postbus 543, 6 kilometres and Krippenstein cable car.
  • The ancient salt mine;
  • The Salt Tunnel (Stollen). When you visit the Salt Tunnel, you will also see another miracle: the unique underground lake with a lakeside stage.
  • The mineral chamber, the place where the Nazis hid unique works of art that were found in 1945;
  • Cultural Heritage Museum.

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Getting There

By Plane

The closest airport is Salzburg, otherwise Munich or Vienna.

By Train

By train from Vienna or Salzburg you have to chang in Attnang-Puchheim. Hallstatt station is on the other side of the lake. There is a boat connecting with every train.

By Bus

From Salzburg the best way is by Postbus. Change in Bad Ischl.

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Getting Around

By Public Transport

The Postbus goes to the interesting villages and sites like Altausee Gosausee, Obertraun, Bad Ischl or Bad Goisern.

By Foot

In the centre walking is the best, as there is no parking and very narrow streets.

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Eat

Fish from lake Hallstatt.

The restaurant in Gasthof Zauner has very good local fish on the menu.

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Drink

The local Fassbier (tap beer) is from Salzburg: Stiegl. This is available throughout Austria, however. A more interesting regional beer to try is "König Ludwig Dunkel Brau" (King Ludwig Dark Brew) which is not as widely available, although you will find it also in Tirol, to the west. Stop by the local grocery store "Konsum" (technically located in Lahn) to check out the local selection of beers and wines without paying restaurant prices.

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Sleep

Make a reservation. Off season many hotels are closed, and sometimes large groups of Chinese are there.

It seems that almost every family runs a Bed & Breakfast. Find one high on the hill with a good view of the lake and valley. The sight of the lake at dawn is not to be forgotten. Also try Obertraun, directly opposite Hallstatt on the lake, it is easily reached by ferry or train. The village offers good quality accommodation at cheaper rates, try the Obertrauner Hof in the centre with good access to shop, bank, tourist office etc.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes are common in bigger cities. Hotels in cities do normally have internet terminals, more expensive hotels provide internet access directly in the rooms. There are many free WiFi Hotspots and quite a few restaurants, cafes and other places offers free wifie. McDonald's has free Wifi, as does Starbucks. Note that some places might charge a fee or includes just limited amounts of time. Be sure that your smartphone is not roaming data, as this will mean a huge bill, especially if you are from outside the EU.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency number is 112.The country calling code to Austria is: 43. To make an international call from Austria, the code is: 00.

Austria has a perfect GSM and 3G (UMTS) network coverage of nearly 100%. If you bring your own cell phone with you assure yourself that it operates on 900 MHz / 1800 MHz (GSM) or 2100Mhz (3G WCDMA). There are cell phones that operate at 1900 MHz (e.g. networks in the United States) which are not supported in Austria. If you plan a longer visit in Austria it might be useful to buy a new mobile with a prepaid card from a local cell phone network provider. Be aware that some remote areas (especially mountainous areas) do not have network coverage yet, though this rather the exception than the rule.Austria has a large number of cell network providers including A1, T-Mobile, Drei, Telering, Bob, Hot and Yesss. Bob, and Yesss have the lowest prices.

Post

For more information, it is best to check the Austrian Postal Service. They have more information about posting letters, postcards and packages to places both in Austria and to other countries in Europe and intercontinental destinations. The standard price for sending domestic letters/postcards is €0.55. Within Europe the price is €0.65, other places in the world are €0.90 to €1.40 for standard letters and postcards. Post offices typically are open between 8:00am and 6:00pm Monday to Friday, though the main ones are sometimes open a few hours longer and on Saturdays (sometimes only mornings) as well. If you want to send parcels internationally, you might consider using an international company like DHL, TNT, UPS or FedEx, as they offer fast and reliable services at relatively affordable rates.

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This is version 16. Last edited at 8:24 on Jan 10, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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