The picturesque Austrian village Hallstatt is on the UNESCO World Heritage list and a pleasant day trip by car from Salzburg or a stop en route when driving to Vienna.
Hallstatt is a small, picturesque village with a beautiful location between the Dachstein Mountains and the Hallstätter See Lake in the Salzburger Land region of Austria. It is a very popular day-trip tour destination from Salzburg and Vienna. Historically, Hallstatt is famous for the prehistoric Hallstatt civilization as well as the exploitation of salt mines in the region. Hallstatt is inscribed on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list but many visitors come to see the beautiful location rather than the cultural-historic sights.
Although Hallstatt is around 50 km from the nearest autobahn, the country roads leading to this lovely Austrian village are well maintained and generally pass through beautiful areas. Hallstatt is a pleasant day trip for drivers from Salzburg or a good stop en route to Vienna. Hotels in the numerous villages in the region are generally much cheaper than accommodations in either Salzburg or Vienna — see Tripadvisor recommendations.
Driving and Parking in Hallstatt, Austria
Hallstatt is a small village but very popular with tourists. As a result, much of the village is close to non-local vehicles from May to October from 10 am to 5 pm.
Drivers with hotel reservations in Hallstatt may enter the village by car even during this period – a coded card is available from the hotel or bed-and-breakfast. Other visitors can park in the large lots at the edge of the village.
If approaching Hallstatt from the north, as is most common, first try the Parkterrasse parking lot inside the tunnel, and use the staircases to the villages and lake.
Even if not parking here, it is worth stopping here first for the views of the lake as well as a close-up look at the Mühlbach waterfalls.
Driving to Hallstatt from Salzburg
Hallstatt is within easy reach of Salzburg to make it a pleasant day trip from the Mozart city. Two logical routes from Salzburg to Hallstatt are each around 75 km (47 miles) long and take just over an hour in light traffic. The two routes can be combined to make a circular excursion from Salzburg.
- The fastest route is to take the Autobahn A10 south from Salzburg and turn off at exit 28 onto the B162 road towards Golling. At the T-junction with the B166, turn left towards Hallstatt and Bad Ischl. (Using an autobahn in Austria requires a vignette – an alternative to the A10 is to take the much slower B150 from Salzburg and eventually the B159 to Golling.)
- The slightly slower but more picturesque route is the B158 from Salzburg to Hof, the Wolfgangsee Lake, and Bad Ischl. In Bad Ischl, turn right onto the B145 towards Bad Goisen, and again right onto the B166 that leads to the Hallstätter See Lake.
Driving to Hallstatt from Vienna (Wien)
Hallstatt is also a pleasant stop when driving from Vienna (Wien) to Salzburg. The distance is around 300 km with the fastest route taking three hours. For this route, take Autobahn A2 towards Graz, turn off onto the S6 at Seebenstein, and onto the A9 towards Linz at St Michael. From Seltzthal (exit 69) follow country lanes via Liezen and Bad Aussee to Hallstatt.
A slightly slower but more pleasant alternative is to take the Autobahn A1 and approach Hallstatt along one of the connecting roads from the north. Driving along the Traunsee is particularly picturesque and will take around three and a half hours from Vienna to Hallstatt. This route also allows for a stop at Kloster Melk en route from Vienna.
Although driving is the easiest and usually fastest way to Hallstatt, public transportation (train and bus services) are also available from Salzburg, Vienna, and other parts of Austria. The closest airport is Salzburg’s Mozart Airport (SZG).
Hallstatt is also a very popular day-trip destination for guided tours from Salzburg and Vienna.
Apart from the UNESCO-listed sites and the natural beauty of the area, Hallstatt is also famous for its ossuary (bone house) with over 600 painted human skulls.