If you are wondering if it worth it to visit Hallstatt in winter, the answer is: Yes! Hallstatt is absolutely worth visiting in the winter. It’s a magical wonderland where you can see frozen streams, snow-topped mountains, and charming Christmas markets!
Hallstatt in winter is a fairy tale destination, and you’ll be greeted by amazing snow-coated mountain vistas and parcel-colored traditional architecture perched by the lakeside, this puts Hallstatt on the top list of the dream destinations to visit once in a lifetime.
If you’re planning a vacation trip to Austria, a stop at Hallstatt should certainly be on your itinerary don’t worry about logistics and all because I’ve put together a complete guide for your Hallstatt winter tour. I also recommend checking Salzburg in winter, since both towns are very close, and magic at this time of the year. And of course, plan to visit the magical Christmas Markets in Austria during your winter trip.
This article is packed with very helpful information. Here you will find the top things to do in Hallstatt in winter, plus the best places to stay, my recommendations for restaurants, and all tips to make your trip as memorable as it was for me. So without any further ado, let’s discover the best of Hallstatt in winter!
You may also love these articles ❤️:
- Ultimate Guide to Winter in Salzburg
- How to visit Innsbruck in 2-Days
- Most Magical Christmas Markets in Austria
- Hallstatt in Winter | Quick Guide
- 13 Best Things to do in Hallstatt in Winter
- Best Places to Stay in Hallstatt in Winter
- How Long Should I visit Hallstatt in Winter?
- Weather in Hallstatt in Winter
- How to Get to Get Around Hallstatt in Winter
- How to Get to Hallstatt from the Major Cities
- What to wear in Hallstatt in Winter
- Hallstatt in Winter FAQs
- Hallstatt in Winter Conclusion
Hallstatt in Winter | Quick Guide
🏆 OVERALL Best Tour | Private Hallstatt Full-day tour (⭐️ 4.3/5)
🌟 Best Tour from Salzburg | Half Day Tour to Hallstatt (⭐️ 4.5/5)
🌟 Best Tour from Vienna | Hallstatt & Alpine Peaks Day Trip (⭐️ 4.6/5)
📸 Best Guided Tour with a photographer | Hallstatt 2-hour Tour with Photographer (⭐️ 5/5)
13 Best Things to do in Hallstatt in Winter
1. Explore the scenic streets of Hallstatt
The first impressive thing about this little town is its beautiful lakeside view. A stroll through the scenic streets is a perfect way to start your Hallstatt winter exploration. The streets are flanked by traditional pastel houses, with beautiful balconies. Continue your stroll to the amazing Lake street for a picturesque view of the lake and the beautiful snow-covered mountains.
If you prefer a more structured itinerary then taking a private Hallstatt tour might be a great option for your Hallstatt winter visit.
2. Visit the Central Square Marktplatz
Hallstatt is a small town, and you can’t miss Central Market Square while exploring the streets. The historic market square was once a medieval center of trade and commerce and is still quite full of activity. At the very center of the Square is the beautiful statue of the Holy Trinity, which is surrounded by very colorful 18th-century buildings with steep roofs and balconies decorated with flowers.
During Hallstatt winter, the buildings may be covered with a layer of snow, but Market Square remains just as lively, it actually becomes a bustling Christmas market with stunning decorations, festive music, and cheery events. Don’t forget to take as many pictures as you can, and browse the surrounding cafés and souvenir shops.
3. Experience the World Heritage Museum of Hallstatt
As part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Heritage Museum of Hallstatt is one of the most visited places, and for good reasons. This museum houses historic treasures from 7 millennia; from the Stone Age to recent history.
You will find interesting collections from local salt mines, cemeteries, archeological excavations, swords, weapons, Roman remains, etc. And the best part is that they use 3D displays and video animations to keep your experience as exciting as possible. No dusty shelves and boring lectures, it’s certainly one of the most amazing winter experiences in Hallstatt.
4. Marvel at the Historic Churches
Hallstatt is a town rooted in religious beliefs, and there are a number of magnificent church buildings to admire. One is the 15th-century Catholic Church of Hallstatt, with a gorgeous Gothic-style altar, Gothic frescoes, invaluable paintings, and artworks.
Also, marvel at the spectacular vistas of the town and lake from the church balcony. Another incredible church to visit is the towering, picture-perfect 18th-century Evangelical church. The magnificent Evangelical Church sits just at the city center, by the lakeside, you can stroll down to it from Market Square.
5. Visit the Bone House
Your visit to the Catholic Church of Hallstatt isn’t complete without stopping by at the incredible Bone House at St Michael’s Chapel. As the name implies, this 12th-century chapel is akin to a bone museum with a spooky collection of over 1200 human skulls, of which 600 have hand-painted artistic inscriptions of the name of the deceased, year of death, and floral markings.
According to the locals, the bone house was built to act as an extension of the graveyard. To create spaces in the cemetery, bones were removed from graves, cleaned up, painted with special inscriptions, and stored in the bone house. This way, graves can be reused. The Charnel house is both a fascinating and eerie place.
6. Discover the World’s Oldest Salt Mine
Dating back to the 12th century, the Altaussee Salt Mine is the oldest and biggest active salt mine in Austria. The salt mine was established in 1147 and has been producing 10,000 tons of ‘white gold’ annually since 1906.
A guided tour of the salt mine will take you on a 2.5 km walk through underground tunnels, guided by lamps, with walls of pure orange-red rock salt that glisten in the dark. Deep into the mountain is the Barbara Chapel, which was built only from rock salt in 1935 by miners. Plus all the exciting stories connected to the mine.
💡 INSIDER TIP: Be aware that Hallstatt Salt Mine tours do not run for four weeks between mid-January and mid-February.
7. See Hallstatt from Above
The only thing better than exploring Hallstatt on your feet is seeing the enchanting little town from above. To see Hallstatt from above, take the zigzag hike that travels through waterfalls and beautiful vistas up to the top. Note that the trail can be slippery during winter, especially when there’s ice on the path. Be extra careful, and don’t go with kids.
Once at the top, you can walk to the Hallstatt Skywalk viewing point; a free-floating observation deck that’s suspended 350 meters (1,148 feet) above the city. From up there, you will enjoy a bird’s eye view of the town below, soak in the panoramic views of the lake, and take in the impressive mountain vistas and breathtaking Alpine peaks.
8. Experience the Small Island
A 15-minute walk from Central Market Square takes you to the small island via two small bridges. The small island is a World heritage landscape uniquely developed for recreational fun, it’s an ideal place to spend some refreshing time in the water.
This artificial bathing island was built in the 60s with rocks from the Hallstatt tunnel, and it’s still an amazing place to visit. It’s family-friendly, with shallow water sections suitable for kids to use during summertime.
Read More: Most Magical Christmas Markets in Austria
10. Get Some Picture Perfect Photos
No Hallstatt winter itinerary would be complete without grabbing your camera and taking some truly magical photos. And if you’re wondering where to go to get that quintessential shot of Hallstatt that you see plastered all over social media then just type “Classic Village Viewpoint” into Google Maps and let Google do the rest.
After all, this iconic photo makes for a great Hallstatt souvenir and can be changed up a bit if you take the photo from Badeinsel Hallstatt instead. This spot sits right across the town and provides you with a photo from a totally unique perspective.
Alternatively, you could hike to the Skywalk and get a truly awe-inspiring aerial view of the entire town as you enjoy all of the best things to do in Hallstatt in the winter.
11. Enjoy some Cool Winter Sports in Hallstatt
The snow-coated mountains of Hallstatt are perfect for a variety of winter sports, and you can try out a few during your visit; skiing, sleigh rides, snowboarding, etc.
Just 5km from Hallstatt lies Obertraun, and the very popular Free Ride Arena – Krippenstein. This is one of the longest free ski spots in Austria and it is a great option for adventure seekers, whether on skis or boards. The various slopes on offer are sure to get your blood racing.
11. Enjoy Some Winter Hiking
If you’re visiting Hallstatt in winter then one thing you should add to your Hallstatt bucket list is hiking. After all, the natural area surrounding this charming town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in and of itself.
So, rent a pair of snowshoes, get outside, and enjoy some of the best hikes in Hallstatt in winter. Area highlights include the Echerntal Trail with its snow-covered pine trees. Just be sure to stop at various informational signs along the way to learn more about the natural history of the area.
Additionally, the Experiences Trail is a great winter hike in Hallstatt since it is short and offers visitors sweeping views as you make your way from the Dachstein Krippenstein cable car to the 5 fingers overlook.
12. Relax in a Heated Pool
If you visit Hallstatt in winter then one thing you’ll quickly realize is that outdoor temperatures can get quite cold. So, be sure to take a break from the cold with a soothing dip inside a heated pool at one of the town’s many high-end spas.
And while there are many heated pools to choose from, try going for a swim in the Gosau indoor pool. And the real highlight of a swim here is marveling at the stunning mountains all around you through glass walls.
Alternatively, head to GAldiana Club Salzkammergut und GrimmingTherme in Bad Mitterndorf since this sauna features stellar views, thermal baths, and an amazing playground that children will adore.
9. Warm up in a Café
Some restaurants in Hallstatt close during wintertime, but you still can find some open restaurants and cafes that are open. Some of the top cafes in Hallstatt are listed below. These local charming cafes offer not just a taste of local flavors but an experience woven with the village’s rich history and stunning natural beauty.
- Café Derbl: Begin your day with a slice of heaven as you overlook the Lake Hallstatt. Sip your morning coffee while while you admire the landscape outside. It’s the perfect spot to start your Hallstatt adventure.
- Café-Konditorei Bramböck: A cozy place where the aroma of homemade pastries mingles with the warmth of Austrian hospitality. Here, tradition meets innovation as you indulge in time-honored recipes passed down through generations.
- Kaffeewerk: For those who seek the artistry of coffee, Kaffeewerk is the ultimate destination. This is where every cup is brewed to perfection, a masterpiece of flavor and aroma. But it’s not just about coffee; it’s about the entire experience. Pair your artisanal coffee with an array of freshly baked treats, and you’ll understand why Kaffeewerk is a Hallstatt gem.
Some restaurants that I tried and recommend are:
- Zum Salzbaron Restaurant: Located inside Seehotel Grüner Baum, with the lake view.
- Seewirt Zauner Hotel Restaurant: Situated very conveniently in the square, a great option for dinner
13. Celebrate Christmas in Hallstatt
Another amazing reason to visit Hallstatt in winter is to visit the incredible collection of Christmas traditions that you’ll explore during this time. You also have the option to join this Christmas tour. where you can see the traditional Christmas market in the town square and absorb the festive atmosphere in the historic center.
After all, Market Square comes alive with vibrant Christmas decor while a fun Christmas market pops up in the town. Everyone in the area loves this market since you can shop for arts and crafts from wooden chalets while listening to amazing musical performances from local groups.
Now, while at the market, be sure to try zirbenschnaps. It’s an interesting seasonal beverage that is translated to pine cone schnapps in English and that can be savored while munching on Christmas-inspired pastries.
Afterward, make your way to Bad Goisern and enjoy the Salzkammergut Krampus parade. You’ll see an unusual combination of angels, Santas, and creepy devils. See, in Austria, Krampus is a half-goat, half-man who punishes children who have been naughty throughout the year.
Therefore, you’ll see a fascinating combination of scary and sweet figures during this fun parade if you take the time to enjoy a Hallstatt Christmas.
Best Places to Stay in Hallstatt in Winter
The place I choose to stay in is the Seehotel Grüner Baum as it is located in the best spot in town – right in the center of everything. The traditional interior of the hotel is unique, and the rooms are sure to satisfy all the needs for comfort and warmth.
There is also a restaurant with stunning lake views where I loved to just have some steamy hot chocolate or coffee with the best view of Hallstatt. If you are staying overnight, I have selected the best accommodation options in Hallstatt:
📍 Overall Pick: Seehotel Grüner Baum
⭐️ Rating: 9 /10 Wonderful (1,237 Reviews)
Located in the car-free center, the 4-star superior Seehotel Grüner Baum offers spacious rooms with panoramic views of Lake Hallstatt, the restaurant also offers an amazing steam room and sauna.
📍 Budget-Friendly: Fenix Hall Boutique Hotel Hallstatt
⭐️ Rating: 9 /10 Wonderful (1,375 Reviews)
This is the best option if you are looking for great accommodation with great value. Rated as a SUPERB by the guests, with excellent location. The rooms are furnished in a modern country style and feature mountain views, wooden floors, a flat-screen satellite TV, a coffee machine, and a spacious bathroom.
📍 Best-rated: Boutiquehotel Strand Hallstatt – Adults only
⭐️ Rating: 9.6 /10 Exceptional (477 Reviews)
If you are looking for the best in a house (aka Hallstatt lake and mountains) this hotel is for you! The accommodation is very comfortable, with free private parking, a private beach area, and a terrace. The accommodation offers room service and free Wi-Fi throughout the property.
How Long Should I visit Hallstatt in Winter?
You can visit Hallstatt in winter as a day trip from Viena or Salzburg, but it may be hard to hit all the main attractions in a single day. I recommend an overnight stay if you want to experience all the very best things to do in Hallstatt in winter before you leave.
Hallstatt in winter is magic at night, and you may want to enjoy the night if you love photography, you can take amazing pictures of the lights of the city casting a beautiful glow on the streets. Plus, the town normally has empty streets, and walking around can give you the feeling you have Hallstatt for yourself.
Waking up in the morning with the Hallstatt views from the balcony of your hotel is another thing to add to your bucket list. If you decide to stay overnight, I recommend staying in the city center, as Hallstatt is very compact and easy to explore on foot.
Weather in Hallstatt in Winter
If you are wondering if Hallstatt in winter is cold, my honest answer for you is: heck yeah! Hallstatt is very cold in winter! The days are usually snowy, rainy, and cold, with very little sunlight.
The average high temperature in Hallstatt winter is 3°C (37.4 °F) and the average lowest temperature is -3 °C (26.6 °F). Despite being very cold, Hallstatt in winter is surprisingly busy with tourists and winter-lovers swarming the city.
But the good news is that Hallstatt in winter transforms into a magical fairy land. Hallstatt is a beautiful white city, with plenty of fun activities, although some attractions may be closed. Also, make sure you pack the right kind of clothing. No matter what the Hallstatt, Austria weather – dress accordingly and enjoy this fairytale.
How to Get to Get Around Hallstatt in Winter
Hallstatt is a very small town, and it’s easy to explore on foot, and the city center is actually a car-free zone. Also, all the major attractions can be easily accessed by foot, you can hike up the mountains or take the funicular and there are ferry rides to take you across the lake.
If you wish to visit the Ice Caves, there are taxis and local bus services that can take you there.
✈️ FLYING TO HALLSTATT:
You can choose to fly directly to Salzburg W.A. Mozart Airport (SZG), which is only 4 km from the city center. Then either hire a private driver or go on a private tour to Hallstatt.
🚎 PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION TO HALLSTATT:
You don’t need public transportation to explore Hallstatt, as the city is very compact and you can explore on foot. But if your hotel is outside the town center, there is a trolley and bus system that serves the city.
📸 PRIVATE TOUR TO HALLSTATT:
🚗 RENTAL CAR:
Driving is easy and the best way to explore the area, here is the location of the major cities – check more in the section below. But keep in mind that you don’t need a car to explore Hallstatt, as the city is very compact and you can explore on foot. Parking in Hallstatt is easy, as the town has parking garages located just outside the old town. I personally use and recommend Discover Car, as they meticulously search through local and international companies to get you the best deal every time.
How to Get to Hallstatt from the Major Cities
If you’re a first-time visitor to Austria, there are a couple of ways to get to Hallstatt. The easiest, fastest, and most convenient way to locate Hallstatt is from Salzburg.
You can take a very convenient tour from Salzburg to Hallstatt – Salzburg to Hallstatt is a 2.5-hour ride by bus or train, and only 1.5 hours if you choose to drive. This is exactly what I did, and the driving is short and even better, scenic as you will have many opportunities to stop on the side of the road for pictures.
Alternatively, you can make your first stop at Vienna, and connect to Hallstatt from there. Vienna to Hallstatt is a 4-hour train ride, approx. 3 hours by bus, and
From Salzburg to Hallstatt
The road distance between Salzburg and Hallstatt is 72.9 km, and on average, it takes about 2 hours to complete the trip. If you choose to visit Hallstatt from Salzburg, there are a number of options available; you can either make the trip by bus, train, or rental car. You can also find organized day trip tours to Hallstatt from Salzburg.
🚍 BY BUS | A bus ride from Salzburg to Hallstatt is about 2 hrs 40 mins, and buses leave Salzburg to Hallstatt daily, but there are usually no direct rides. You will take the first bus (Bus 150) from Salzburg Hofwirt which terminates at Bad Ischl Bahnhof, from where you get the second bus (Bus 542) to Hallstatt.
🚊 BY TRAIN | A train ride from Salzburg to Hallstatt takes about 2:50 hours, and it’s also not a direct journey. A train from Salzburg Hbf will take you all the way to Attnang-Puchheim, and from there another train will take you to Hallstatt Bahnhof. Finally, a ferry boat will take you across the lake.
🚗 BY CAR | Driving from Salzburg to Hallstatt takes just about 1:20 hour
From Vienna to Hallstatt
From Vienna, you can reach Hallstatt either by bus, train or by driving. On average, the trip takes about 3 hours and covers a distance of 304 km.
🚍 BY BUS | You can get a direct Flixbus from Wien Westbahnhof to Hallstatt Lahn. The driving distance is 215 km and takes a little above 4 hrs to complete.
🚊 BY TRAIN | The first train departs from Vienna Wien Westbahnhof Station and terminates at Attnang-Puchheim. Another train from Attnang-Puchheim to Hallstatt Bahnhof, and finally a Stefanie ferry takes you across the lake. And the total journey time is about 3 hr 55 mins.
🚗 BY CAR | Driving from Vienna to Hallstatt takes approximately 3.5 hours
From Munich to Hallstatt
Munich to Hallstatt is about 224 km long and the average journey time is 3.5 hours, and it’s usually not a direct trip.
🚍 BY BUS | It takes about 5 hours to reach Hallstatt from Munich by bus. The first bus departs from Munich Hbf and terminates at Salzburg Hbf. From there, another bus takes you to Bad Ischl Bahnhof, where you get a final bus to Hallstatt.
🚊 BY TRAIN | A train ride from Munich to Hallstatt takes about 4.5 hours. The first train takes you from Munich Hbf to Salzburg Hbf. From there you switch to a different train and continue your journey to Attnang-Puchheim. Another change is made here, the final train takes you to the Hallstatt Station and you ride a ferry to cross the lake.
🚗 BY CAR | Munich to Hallstatt is about 2.5 hours
READ NEXT: Top 10 Things to do in Innsbruck
What to wear in Hallstatt in Winter
Hallstatt in winter is cold, so make sure to pack accordingly and keep warm, so you can enjoy walking around while the temperatures are below freezing conditions for hours on end, especially with a wind chill. I visited Hallstatt in December and it was so cold that even with gloves, my hands got so cold that they hurt – so make sure you pack the warmest gear you have if you are planning to visit Hallstatt in winter.
You can click on any of the following item pictures to be taken to their pages and see prices and details.
- Heavy coat
- Down jacket: Check here for the Best Travel Jackets
- Merino base layer
- Long sleeve tops
- Fleece jacket
- Fleece-lined leggings: Check here for the Best Travel Leggings
- Denim jeans
- Beanies, scarves, and gloves
- Merino socks
- Winter/ snow boots
- Bikini – if you are doing sauna
Hallstatt in Winter FAQs
Is Hallstatt worth visiting in winter?
Yes! Hallstatt is absolutely worth visiting in the winter. It’s a magical wonderland where you can see frozen streams, snow-topped mountains, and charming Christmas markets,
The only thing you won’t be able to do in winter in Hallstatt is visit the Dachstein Ice Caves or paddle a boat around the lake.
How many days in Hallstatt in winter?
You’ll need at least two days to enjoy all of the best things to do in Hallstatt in winter. Afterward, take some to hit the slopes and relax in the thermal spas that this incredible region has to offer.
Is January a good time to visit Hallstatt?
Yes, January is a great time to visit Hallstatt. Sure, the weather will be a bit cold. But, if you don’t mind frigid temperatures then you’ll enjoy lower prices, fewer crowds, and lots of fun winter activities.
Is the Hallstatt Skywalk open in winter?
Yes, the Hallstatt Skywalk and Funicular are open every day, all year long. However, Hallstatt Salt Mine tours do not run for four weeks between mid-January and mid-February.
Is Hallstatt Expensive?
Yes, Hallstatt is more expensive when compared with other top cities in Austria. Additionally, Hallstatt is a smaller town with a limited number of hotels and restaurants.
Therefore, winter is the best time to visit Hallstatt since crowds are smaller, creating a much more enjoyable experience.
Hallstatt in Winter Conclusion
With landscapes that look like they popped right out of a fairytale, the Hallstatt Austria winter is magical. It’s a great place to visit at any time of the year, however, the blanket of snow that envelops the town in winter makes it even more charming. This alpine village is truly an Austrian treasure waiting to be discovered.
Whether for a day’s trip or more, let yourself marvel at the historic treasures and natural beauty of Hallstatt. And if you want extra excitement, ski resorts offer a series of thrilling winter sports that keep you warmer.
I think you would also love to check out other amazing destinations in Austria:
- Salzburg in Winter Guide and top things to do
- Innsbruck Guide and top things to do
- Best Christmas Markets in Austria
- How to visit Brussels on a Day Trip
- 17 Reasons to Visit Lapland in Winter
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