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3.5 days in Austria - which area should we concentrate


My husband and I will be visiting Austria on Easter break from 31 March to 3rd April. We will be arriving and leaving from Salzburg, so we have 3.5 days to explore. We plan to rent a car for the entire trip.

We wanted to now which area should we concentrate on? We like nature, mountains, outdoors, hikes, scenic views and this time we are not looking at a city break.

Which area would be good considering the time and interests? We are currently inclined towards Hallstatt - stay in Hallstatt or Obertaun for all 3 nights and explore the surroundings - salt mine, lake, hike, maybe the cable car / ski lift up or something.

We are also open to looking at some other areas all together - so any expert advice would be welcome.

Thanking you in advance.

Posted by
3551 posts

It depends on your interests. hallstatt is beautiful and tranquil. But if u wish history, museums, music and grandeur then Vienna and Salzburg would be an option.

Posted by
482 posts

You might want to consider a more central spot than Hallstatt in the Salzkammergut for lodging. Hallstatt is a bit remote, but easily reached for a day-trip from Bad Ischl, St. Gilgen, St. Wolfgang, etc. Either of the latter two would offer convenient options to use the ferries for transport to/from hikes around the Lake. The TIs will have maps, schedules, etc. (There's a very nice hike a short drive NE of St. Wolfgang around the Schwarzensee. More of a "walk" than a hike; an hour or so, with 2 restaurants a few minutes from the parking lot.) We based for a week last fall in Mondsee (primarily because we found an AirBB that suited our needs and budget), but would look hard at St. Gilgen or St. Wolfgang if we were to return. Let the Forum know your decision and you're sure to get more specific tips on lodging, restaurants, etc. Details aside, you can't make a mistake in this area; it's loaded with "nature, mountains, outdoors, hikes, scenic views...." Bon Voyage!

Posted by
49 posts

@Js - thank you for the response. This time around we are looking for hikes and alpine stay rather than city breaks. Salzburg and Vienna definitely look beautiful and we have visited Salzburg once.

@rca - thank you for such a detailed response. Really appreciate it. We are now looking at St. Wolfgang and it looks beautiful.

Should we only concentrate on the Salzkammergut area or a day trip to Zell am See or somewhere nearby also be worth it? Any scenic drives worth taking in the area? The Grossglockner route, unfortunately, will be closed so looking for some suggestions on other good driving routes?

We were really interested in visiting one of the Ice caves, but they all seem to open end of April/May.

Posted by
482 posts


Just sent you a PM; didn't want to clutter up the Forum with minutia about our time in the region.


Posted by
2145 posts

We stayed S of Salzburg near the town of Altmarkt in a ski chalet/agrotourismo place in 2011. It is close to the Eisreisenweldt (ice caves) and to a castle (Burg Hohenwerfen). The castle has falcon demonstrations. Our accommodation was very nice, and our kids loved the chickens and goats. We had thought that we would go to Salzburg, but the area was nice and we never got there.

Posted by
15 posts

A yes for Hallstatt, it's always been my favourite place! However I'm not sure if the weather is good during Easter. I was there in summer and it's just extremely beautiful.

Posted by
1155 posts

St Gilgen or Hallstatt. Either one is fine, you can't go wrong. Paul has a couple of good recommendations.

Posted by
4400 posts

The weather will be winter-like. Plan on skiing.

Posted by
49 posts

Thanks all for the reply. Really appreciate all the responses i got here.

We had a great time at Salzkammergut region this Easter.

We ended up staying in Obertraun since we could only find an affordable place to stay there and since we had a car we took the risk. We enjoyed our stay in this town, but what you all suggest about St Giligen is completely true. The food scene for dinners was restricted to one restaurant in Obertraun (which was really nice actually - but for longer stays i am sure one would want more variety)

The Hallstatt village was really scenic and a great one day trip, and evenings were quieter and nicer after the crowds had left. We visited the Salt mine in the area which was just about ok, although the view was really nice from the Skywalk.

As rightly pointed the weather was winter like, so we ended up taking our first ever ski lesson at Gosau and driving around that area a little bit, which was the best part of the trip. Highly recommended.

We also took a trip to the other towns - St Giligen (great town, had a very nice lunch at the Italian restaurant and walking around the town was fun), Bad Ischl (in love with this town) and Bad Goisern (sleepy town but beautiful).

On our way back to Salzburg, we drove through other lakes - Attersee and Mondsee and the drive was enjoyable! Did not have much time to stop in these villages.