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Salzburg to Hallstatt

We will be in Salzburg in late June for three days and would like to take a day trip to Hallstatt. Does anyone have information on how to get there using either train or bus from Salzburg? Is one mode of transport preferable to the other? I will travel with my wife and two children. (16 and 17) I didn't see much information in the Rick Steves Salzburg guidebook about the bus option.

Thank you in advance for any response.

Steve Scott

Posted by
1790 posts

I liked the YouTube video. However, I found the train just as scenic, less transfers and more comfortable. The emphasis in the video about being on the other side of the lake is true, but not a detriment because the ferry is in sync with the train schedule and the trip over is extremely scenic and doesn't take very long. You don't need a bus to see the salt mines, etc. I vote for the train, but it is a personal choice. Hallstatt is a beautiful village regardless of the crowds.

Posted by
2012 posts

Going from Salzburg to Hallstatt using public transport requires one change, either bus/train or train/train. Travel time is about the same.

Bus/train: bus #150 to Bad Ischl, then train to Hallstatt.
Train/train: express train to Attnang-Puchheim, then regional train to Hallstatt.

If you go to Hallstatt using one method, and go back using the other, then you have seen all the landscape on your way.

Posted by
180 posts

I'd have to check the schedules, but maybe the bus leaves earlier, and that's why the video I posted recommended it for the trip there?

Posted by
11 posts

We just did this last week! We opted for the train. You go to the main train station in Salzburg.
Take the OBB train to Attnang-Puchheim.
Get off at Attnang-Puchheim.
Switch trains, get on the OBB train to Hallstatt.
Have cash for the ferry at Hallstatt (I believe it's 3-4 euro's per person?)
Ride the ferry over to Hallstatt

I highly recommend the website "" They go over how to get to Hallstatt via bus or train in great detail and even have videos showing you step by step how to do it. If you elect to go via train, you should buy your return OBB ticket from Hallstatt to Attnang-Puchheim ahead of time just in case the ticket office is down at the small station in Hallstatt.

If you are just going for the day though it looks like the better strategy is to be up early and go by bus because it sets you up to go straight to the Five Fingers Overlook and beat the crowds.

We elected to do a one night stay there and we are glad we did. The place is overrun by tourists. They flood off the boat every hour and just pack the town. We were able to be up early the next morning and be on the first run up the funicular out to the viewing platform at the salt mine before the views just got completely packed and you had to wait in line to get a good picture at the tip of the platform. Let me know if you have more questions, I'm happy to help.

Posted by
25 posts

Your post was extremely helpful. This gives me a solid idea of how to proceed. Thak you.

Steve Scott

Posted by
5697 posts

Seconding spend-the-night -- we just took a Bob's Tours trip to Hallstatt today and even in December there were crowds. Looks like a great place for two nights -- gorgeous !!!

Posted by
180 posts

based on the info in this thread, I cancelled my car rental reservation for May and instead booked one of the Sparschiene fares on OBB. I was shocked it was so cheap, and I could book 5 months ahead of time.