Hallstatt, Austria is every bit as dreamy as it’s made out to be. Picture stunning mountain ranges, crisp blue skies, and a postcard-worthy European town with a chapel, all on the water. You can walk the whole town in less than 20 minutes, but every street and view is just as picturesque as the last. We opted for winter in Hallstatt hoping for less crowds and magical scenery, and it delivered.
In planning this trip with my close girlfriend we stumbled on a photo of a balcony overlooking the main square, and decided that we had to stay there. The hotel with the view is perhaps the most central in town: Seehotel Gruner Baum. Though their rooms overlooking the water are the most requested, we wanted to get a different perspective of the gingerbread houses in Hallstatt and opted for a view of the town.
Preset collection used in this post: Winter Collection
Since Hallstatt is often a day trip destination from Salzburg, it’s crowded throughout the day but quiets down in the evenings and early morning. Before 9am the town was deserted; I loved feeling like we had the place to ourselves if we woke up with the sun. On our first day we wandered along the streets, exploring nooks and crannies of the old building walkways and seeking out views over the rooftops. Since it was mid-February (low season in Europe), we often found ourselves with no one else around.
There are a number of viewpoints in town. Since Hallstatt is so small, we were able to find the most well-known views while walking around our first day. The view of the church here on Hallstatt lake is one you’ve likely seen before, and the view of houses perched over the water here is just as picturesque. We were lucky enough to have sun during the 2 days we spent here! It made for some beautiful sunsets and photos with the light peeking over the mountains.
My favorite highlights from our time in Hallstatt:
- Enjoying homemade glühwein at cafe Die Gemischtwarenhandlung to warm up after exploring.
- Watching the mist over the mountains and rooftops from our balcony in the morning. We loved staying at Seehotel Gruner Baum.
- Seeking out the viewpoints for fun on day one, stopping to take in the gingerbread-like homes along the way.
- The best dinner we had at Zum Salzbaron inside our hotel, which overlooks the lake.
- Sunset from the edge of town, watching the church and homes illuminate the water.
- Taking the gondola up to the skywalk, which has sweeping 360 degree views of the area. We sat and enjoyed hot chocolate at the top while overlooking the mountains.
A couple items we missed: we would’ve liked to try the restaurant at Braugasthof and seen the nearby Dachstein ice caves. I also would’ve loved to see Hallstatt from the water, as the boats only run in the warmer month. Returning for fall colors with Jacob is at the top of my list now! Hallstatt is romantic and also has a lot of hiking and outdoor activities to offer in spring and summer.
If Hallstatt, Austria is on your list, check out this post all about our Hallstatt hotel stay.