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Hallstatt in NY Times

Anyone see this article about Hallstatt being overrun with tourists? Thoughts?

Posted by
4690 posts

Yes, I’ve seen the article. Tourists, please go somewhere else.

Posted by
3304 posts

Why the criticism toward Ed? He seems to be a new member of this forum.

The article about Hallstatt is indeed in today’s New York Times.

Whether it’s the New York Times or CNN, both enjoy publishing articles about how tourists “ruin” popular tourist cities like Amsterdam in Venice and more rural areas like Hallstatt & the Cinque Terre region of Italy. This is one reason I don’t pay attention to either news organization because frankly I am sick of reading about “over tourism” but If these articles are in the news today, it is certainly fair to bring them up in conversation whether I or anyone is sick of how often they are published.

So let’s welcome new members instead of criticizing them for bringing up something that is in the news today.

Welcome Ed. 👍

Posted by
6487 posts

Well, the OP asked for 'thoughts' so that's what he got. My thoughts are that the more articles that are printed about a place regarding how over-touristed it is, the more people become aware of the place and think "hmm, so many people like this place, I think I should see it". Which just goes to increase the tourism and adds to the problem.

Posted by
2097 posts

Yes, thanks Ed and Continental! I read the article myself. And, I visited Hallstatt and spent the night on my RS Munich Salzburg Vienna tour in December 2019. Fantastically charming place. Not terribly crowded. It was Dec. 5, Krampulauf!

We wandered into shops, and, I did buy a lovely souvenir for which I paid a pretty penny.

You will enjoy Hallstatt, it’s just necessary to manage when you go to avoid the crowds.

Posted by
5 posts

Yes, I am new to the forum and I did not see the search feature. I will use it in the future. I’ve been watching Rick on public television for years. I think I’ve seen most of the episodes but today is the first time I’ve visited the website. My daughter has been singing Sound of Music since she was three years old and played Maria in her high school musical two years ago. She’s now studying musical theater in college and her life’s dream has been to visit Salzburg, hence the interest in Hallstatt as a side trip. We have not decided when or if we might be going, possibly a graduation present. Thanks, everyone, for your responses.

Posted by
847 posts

I have had Hallstatt on my radar for many years but it was never convenient to fit into a trip until two years ago. By then I had read the articles about how crowded it was but felt I wanted to see it anyway. We planned an overnight as that is the best way usually to cut down on crowds since most people visit places mid day (and usually on group tours). Unfortunately we had pretty rainy weather the whole time we were there (about 24 hours) but I didn't find the crowds all that horrible, and that may be due to the weather. If you have the time it's probably worth a one night side trip from Saltzburg but I would do the overnight and not try to do it mid day. I've been to far more charming small villages, but it is picturesque and you'll be pretty close in Saltzburg.

Posted by
250 posts

I visited Hallstatt in June 2018 on a Rick Steves Munich/Salzburg/Vienna tour. I found a huge difference between Hallstatt mid-day (when it was clogged with tourists) and 4:00 p.m. on (when "day trippers" had left). It was enjoyable (but over touristed) until 4:00...and absolutely delightful from 4:00 p.m. on.

If there's a way you can spend even 1 night in Hallstatt, you will enjoy it more.

If you can only see it as a day trip, you will likely be glad you went, but just know to expect crowds.

Posted by
3271 posts

Ed, if you do get to Salzburg, since your daughter is such a SOM fan, consider taking Bob's SOM tour. They use vans, not buses, so shall groups. Very well worth your time to see some of the filming locales ( and at least one sing a long will likely break out).

Posted by
5 posts

Great tip, thank you. I did see that some of those sites are located on the way to Fuschlsee and in Mondsee, so that would definitely be a trip for us.

Posted by
3336 posts

I agree with the article. The last time I was in Hallstatt it was more overrun than Disneyland at Christmas. Horrible. I feel sorry for the people who have to live there.

Posted by
1492 posts

Central Hallstatt has a population of about 300 people, having had peaks of 20000 tourists per day, crammed into the historic center on an area of about 5 acres (2 hectares) only.

Therefore access by busses had been limited now by issuing entry tickets for specific time slots, reducing the number of busses to 60 per day.

The full size copy of Hallstatt built in China had increased the number of visitors from there, wanting to compare the original with the copy.

Not long ago it was noticed that Arendelle, the central location of Disney's Frozen film series, somewhat resembles Hallstatt. That message went through social media and newspapers, most likely boosting tourist influx even more.

Posted by
75 posts

There is nothing new in the article. There are hundreds of similar villages in Austria but due to one postcard picture or movie, everyone has to have it on their bucket list. That escalated to such a degree that you actually don't see people or way of life in a tiny alpine village but actually you see just other tourists and their cameras or mobiles. You just see the oposite of what you intended to see. But it is not only Hallstadt, the same goes to Amalfi coast, Neuschvanstein, Rome. Visit to any of familiar places or names will bring you a huge dissappointment. There is nothing but turist traps there. The solution is easy avoid all well known and "recommended" places and visit other Austrian villages, other Ludwig's castles, other places in Italy where you do not have to find your way through enormous crowds or stand in lines to see something. Be an explorer not a number.

Posted by
11 posts

Ed, welcome.

Please temper your daughter's expectations about Salzburg. We did a Bob's tour for Sound of Music. We had a great guide and I really liked him. But he was honest: Austrian's do not like the musical/movie, they feel it glorifies the Nazi party and most have never watched the movie. It was a bit of a damper for us but honestly I'm glad we did it. The tour was well done and detailed and we liked it a lot.

Posted by
613 posts

Hallstatt is a cute small village with great mountain scenery. Experiencing cute small villages is quickly quickly ruined by crowds, as the NYT noted. Ironically, the best view of the scenery-- from the snack bar near the top of the mountain opposite Hallstatt-- is no longer available because of too few visitors.

Alternative side trips, best by last minute rental car because you can avoid the risk of bad weather ruining your trip:
Cute villages, lakes, and low mountains: Salzkammergut Lake District
Spectacular Alpine Lake: Gosausee
Cute village, big mountains: Lofer.

I haven't been to Lofer lately, but years ago, it was the best place to shop in the EU. Example: Geiger loden jacket in USA, $365, in Lofer, $65 at a shop on the town square

Posted by
613 posts

I think Emily was warning you that there is better use of your time than to visit an overpriced EU Disneyland.