Beyond the seven hills and seven mountains, beyond the seven rivers and seven seas…there was once a town named Hallstatt.
Hallstatt is an idyllic and fairy-tale looking village tucked into the Alpine wreaths of Austria. Until the 19th century, the town was accessible only by boat or mountain trail. However, today it’s considered for a popular tourist destination with almost 800 residents. The town of Hallstatt gets an indescribable charm in winter. Wooden cubes look like a crystalline sugar was rolled over the roof, while the light from the early morning hours wanders through the clouds and snow.
The whole Hallstatt’s scenery reflects on the surface of the lake that actually provides an almost unreal and magical impression. For a complete experience, I recommend you to visit this lovely town at Christmas time when the locals additionally decorate each corner of the yard, every window frame, and every tree. I have not yet seen the buildings so strangely located as in Hallstatt. Its houses look like they’re sitting on each other’s roof, and are built on the lake’s shore.
The things to do in Hallstatt
Exploring the old village is certainly one the best things to do. The streets simply look like they’re lined with colorful gingerbread houses.
The World Heritage Skywalk will provide you the best experience ever. The platform sits 350 m over the tops of the Hallstatt houses, offering panoramic views of the entire Dachstein Salzkammergut region.
I must admit that the Charnel House or the Bone House appears to be pretty scary. However, it’s the most unusual place to see in Hallstatt. The Hallstatt Ossuary is a small cave-like room with more than 2100 skulls and other human bones. Since the town has a small burial ground, there was nothing else left then to exhume bodies in order to make room for the other residents. All the skulls are painted with flowers and there’s also a name on each skull it belongs to.
Rent a boat- For a complete experience, I highly advise you to rent a boat and make your own tour on the water. You can rent a small motorboat, swan paddleboat and even go stand up paddle boarding.