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More Salzburg or Hallstatt

My wife and I will be spending 3 nights in Salzburg - giving us a half day and then two full days in the city. We are not big on museums, however we will do the RS Town Walk, visit Mozart's Birthplace and the fortress, take at least one bike ride (to Hellbrunn Palace and time permitting - along the river), enjoy an evening music concert and perhaps even a hop on hop off bus ride just to get our bearings on the day we arrive. Question: Does that leave us enough time for a day trip to Hallstatt? And if so, is Hallstatt worth the time, effort and money - or should we just stay in Salzburg? Thank you.

Posted by
179 posts

Plenty of great things to do in Salzburg-buy the Salzburg card for two
day price-it can be a great value. We used it last year and saw so many
things for the one price inc Hellbrunn Palace & transportation and small
zoo next door to Palace, boat ride, cable car etc. Highly recommend the
Crowne Plaza Hotel Pitter for a great room & price & location-10 min walk
to trains and 15 min to old town
Hallstatt a whole day affair for sure with train, bus & boat both ways.

Posted by
18380 posts

In my opinion, I think Hallstatt is definitely worth it. In fact, I would rather go to Hallstatt than to Salzburg (I've been to both)..

But as a day trip, spending over 4 hours to get there for just a day's visit is selling it short. Hallstatt deserves an overnight trip.

train, bus & boat both ways.

You can get to Hallstatt Bahnhof by train alone from Salzburg. Then the boat takes you right across the lake to the town. Or, you can stay on the train another stop to Obertraun, then take the bus around the south end of the lake to Hallstatt Lahn. No need to do both bus and boat. Or you can go entirely by bus, which is what I did, and see more of the Salzkammergut (I stopped in Mondsee to see the SOM wedding church, and the bus to Bad Ischl went along the Wolfgangsee).

Posted by
225 posts

I second what Lee said. I would spend more time on Hallstatt. I like it better then Salzburg. We did a 1/2 day in Salzburg on each end of Hallstatt while driving through. I was so glad we didn't spend the night there. I thought one full day there was enough.

Posted by
259 posts

If you plan to see Hallstatt, I recommend you spend a night there. I was there in late May on a Rick Steves' Munich/Salzburg/Vienna tour. We arrived in Hallstatt around 11 a.m.. It was very, very crowded with day trippers. (For some reason, Chinese tourists developed such a love for Hallstatt that the Chinese build a replica village in China, which has led to even more Chinese tourists.)

By late afternoon, the day trippers had left; what a huge difference. Hallstatt in the late afternoon/early evening/morning is a magical place to which I would like to return.

Posted by
2 posts

Based on reading this, I will look at spending a Saturday night in Hallstatt. I would also like to go to Bad Ischl and wondering if there is an easy way to do that with no car. Our trip starts in Weimar, Germany where we have friends. Then we will take the train to Salzburg for a couple of days, go to Hallstatt/Bad Ischl. (I had thought I would like to see a salt mine and perhaps the ice caves). Then we are off to Vienna with a day train trip to Melk and then finishing up in Budapest. I had not planned to get a car this trip because we are dealing with city centers and not smaller towns. But I really do want to do the one swing into Hallstatt and Bad Ischl. I had put Werfen on the list but perhaps that's not possible.... Open to any suggestions.

Posted by
1523 posts

I would also like to go to Bad Ischl and wondering if there is an easy way to do that with no car.

Take bus #150 from Salzburg to Bad Ischl (a one and a half hour's scenic ride). After visiting Bad Ischl take a train to Hallstatt (about 25 minutes ride). Both bus and train run about twelve times a day.

In Bad Ischl you should go to "Zauner" cafeteria and buy a "Zauner Stollen". This is a famous special "cake" only available here. It is sold in different sizes as a takeaway, sealed such that the USDA dogs won't find it when sniffing at your bags at the airport.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks so much. So, after reading all of this I went online to see if I might get a hotel room in Hallstatt so we could spend the night. Renting a car in Salzburg, driving to Hallstatt, stopping at Bad Ischl and then going onto Melk the next day and ending up in Vienna. It seems like it might be less confusing and more expedient with time for us to rent a car and drive since there are 3 of us. Do you have a recommendation of hotel?

Posted by
46 posts

Spent 2 memorable days at Hotel Grüner Baum. Get a lake view room. You will remember the rest of your life the incredible views.

Posted by
259 posts

Hallstatt hotel - I, too, highly recommend Gruner Baum. I had a 3rd floor room facing the village's center - a lovely view.

Posted by
1240 posts

I very much like Hallsatt but consider it too far for a day trip from Salzburg for my liking. St Gilgen and Wolfgangsee are pretty, much closer, as are Werfen castle and ice caves.

Posted by
46 posts

How about taking a S.O.M Tour?

I was very skeptical of a “Hollywood - pseudo Austrian culture” tour, but it’s an any easy way to check out the beautiful Lake District. After touring the film-locations within the town of Salzburg, the tour drove us to the Lake District, passing Lake Fuschl and Lake Wolfgang, where panorama shots and scenes of the picnic were filmed. We enjoyed the wonderful view down on to St. Gilgen and Lake Wolfgang at the photo stop! We then finished at the site of the Wedding scene - Mondsee.

Posted by
138 posts

I would definitely pick Hallstatt over Salzburg, if I had to choose. However, you can cut one day from Salzburg and go to Hallstatt. I would also recommend spending at least one night there. We stayed at the Grauner Baum and had a view of the Hallstattersee from the 4th floor. A very large room, nicely furnished. We took the bus to Bad Ischl and caught the train there (about 1&1/2 hours). From there we went to the Hallstatt stop which is across the lake. There is something special about using the boat (Stefanie) to cross the lake. The boat was bigger than I thought, having seen it from Hallstatt 3-4 times before, but never having been on it. While in Hallstatt you can take the funicular up the mountain and take the salt mine tour. I have done it a couple of times and it is fun. You can also enjoy the World Heritage view of Hallstatt and the Lake. We ate lunch in the small restaurant up there. Hallstatt is one of my favorite places in Europe, and my favorite in Austria. Have been to Vienna a few times, and Salzburg about 5, and they are fine, but I love Hallstatt.

Posted by
445 posts

I agree with Joy. Definitely an overnight is needed. We spent a week there last year and loved it.