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No Hallstadt

I like the idea of Hallstadt and want to see the Lakes District, but the town is just too cute and crowded.

So informed travelers, where is the NEXT Hallstadt? The one that isn't yet overrun with tourists? I thought maybe St. Wolfgang but that seems a bit much as well.

Posted by
996 posts

Spend the night in Hallstatt
Daytrippers will be gone from late afternoon to mid morning.

Posted by
563 posts

Amen……it is so worth it….get a nice room in the heart of the town, walk the streets, enjoy a great dinner and watch the swans on that gorgeous lake…have a good breakfast the next morning and take off…..our night there was delightful.

Posted by
904 posts

I didn't think it was that busy. We did the museum, salt mine tour, and walked the town both morning and evening. It was wonderful!

Posted by
5643 posts

We did a daytrip with Bob's Tours on the day after Christmas -- which made us want to return for an overnight when the daytrippers are gone. Bob's van drove us to/by a number of scenic lake locations.

Posted by
22 posts

Totally agree, go see it and spend the night. We had this same debate a few years ago, asking ourselves if it was worth a visit. It was early October so maybe less crowded than when you are planning to go, but still was easy to walk around and visit. We spent the night and took an early morning walk and it was so lovely. We still talk about it and hope to go back again one day, thinking for a Christmas market.

Posted by
1358 posts

Tourism in Hallstatt is way down from was it was prior to the Corona crisis. Especially the Asian short-term visitors (max. 2.5 hours including lunch) arriving by bus have not come back, yet. So now it is a good time to visit Hallstatt.

Posted by
4290 posts

There is no equivalent to Hallstatt. St. Wolfgang is not the same and gradually becoming overrun with trinket shops. We really like St. Gilgen, also on Wolfgangsee, as a base in the area. But it is no Hallstatt.

Posted by
2700 posts

We visited Hallstatt for a day in mid October years ago. It was sooooo quiet. That said, we have no desire to visit again. We didn’t see what all the “hype” was about. Oh well. Too many scenic, quiet places in the Austrian alpine areas. Although no Lake, we loved Finkenberg in the Zillertal.

Posted by
400 posts

Geographically, Hallstatt is unique. The views from the top are spectacular. Badgastein has fewer tourists, pretty town with a waterfall through it. I think Steyr is overlooked. Nice town but lacks the majesty of the Alps. In Süd Tirol, nearly all the towns that are winter ski resorts are far less crowded in the summer and offer great views and hiking opportunities. Cross into Italy for Glorenza/Glurns. Head across the most westerly border to Switzerland for Aescher Gasthaus am Berg. Simply stunning.

I'm not certain how "cute" would deter one from Hallstatt. If I had unlimited time in Austria I would certainly consider Hallstatt as a base for a few nights. I'd just not really hang around during the day when it is most crowded. Take the ferry to Obertraun and hike around the lake. There is a lift up the mountain on that side as well, though I have never taken it. One of my son's says Hallstatt is the most beautiful place on earth. It certainly is one of them.

Posted by
1752 posts

I must say, I'm really surprised at your answers. Didn't expect such an outpouring of support for Hallstatt. Will need to reconsider.

Posted by
509 posts

How much time does one need to see all of Hallstadt? I, too, like the photos I see in the internet, but am just too afraid of rude tourists from other corners of the world. They could certainly spoil my day.

Posted by
129 posts

Not the same exact sort of town, but people drive right past St. Gilgen, a wildly charming big village on the lake sort of place. It gets used all the time as a movie set. You might feel like you are missing out by not venturing deeper, but St. Gilgen is Salzkammergut to the core.

Or if you want your mind blown by big mountain alpine scenery and a big network of hiking trails, alpine hut with food and drink, and lifts, look toward nearby Gossausee (the lake, not the town of Gossau). It's not centralized, although if you stay in the reasonably priced hotel right on the Gossausee you won't care a lick. And to be fair to the smaller villages of the Gossau valley, they are pretty darned cute.

Lastly there are many interesting old-timey local places, commercial and otherwise, between the bigger cities. Gasthof zum Pfandl's restaurant for instance, just off the highway a couple of kilometers west Bad Ischl, has a very good locals-priced lunch buffet of traditional Austrian fare. There are no English language reviews of this place, and it's full of non-tourist industry locals. The sort of experience where at first you feel out of place but after a you get a few sips into your beer inevitable are invited to chat. The family owns the hotel, restaurant, gas station and repair shop all on the same property, so eating there is akin to scoring great BBQ at a gas station in the south.

All that said Hallstadt is unique, you won't duplicate it. We stayed, and it was nice after the tour busses left, but not necessarily worth it if you can look past the (other) tourists, or if you aren't so captivated by staring at a pretty town for a full day. Food is kind of hit and miss, and pricey compared to other towns nearby.

Posted by
151 posts

We considered visiting Hallstadt during our trip to Europe a couple of years ago. There wasn't enough time to make a typical day visit, but came to the conclusion that Switzerland offered some spectacular places where one could spend a couple of days without hordes of tourists visiting just to get their Instagram. In particular, check out Lungern, on the way from Luzern to Lauterbrunnen. https://www.trip.com/travel-guide/destination/lungern-49776/

Posted by
77 posts

We spent a week in the Salzkammergut in 2017. Two nights in Hallstatt at the Seehotel Gruner Baum with a room that included a balcony overlooking the lake. It was decadent and lovely.

BUT we spent five nights on the Wolfgangsee at the Gasthaus Furberg and I still think about it often. It was SO much more enjoyable than Hallstatt. The lake was not too crowded and the gasthaus had its own boat dock, so we could hop to other towns. It had one of the best breakfasts we've enjoyed in Europe and a quaint little biergarten with a high-end dinner menu. We particularly enjoyed visiting St. Gilgen to take the cog up to the summit and enjoy lunch (you can also stay up there at a gasthaus with advance booking). We visited St. Gilgen yet again another evening to watch the town marching band play (still one of our best memories - at the end of the show, everyone marched back up the street dancing with the band). We rode bikes through the Blinklingmoos nature preserve, went to an antique market in Strobl, and spent a day at the spa in Bad Ischl (where we got yelled at for wearing our clothing into the spa area).

For us, it was the highlight of a two-week trip that also included the Alsace and Salzburg.