How to get to Hallstatt: by Bus, Train and Ferry

Editor’s Note: I’ve updated this post to reflect conditions in 2017.  I’ve also compiled the most common questions from the comments below, answered them as best as I could,  and published them in a post called How to Travel to Hallstatt – Most FAQs. Just click on this link to take you there. If you have a question on details of the journey – cost, connections, time needed, etc., chances are you’ll find them answered there.

Traveling to Hallstatt using public transportation is easy and enjoyable. I’ll start with two points of departure: Salzburg and Vienna. There are others of course, but unless you really try to avoid the ferry, called Stefanie, you’ll end up making the trip across the lake, anyhow. That in my opinion is the best part of the journey.

By Bus from Salzburg

Salzburg – Bad Ischl – Hallstatt (Train) Station – Hallstatt Markt

Your best bet is to travel to Hallstatt by way of Bad Ischl. In Bad Ischl you’ll have to transfer to a train. You then get off the train at Hallstatt Station and take a ferry across the lake. Your route will take you past some of the most scenic lakes of the Salzkammergut.

In Salzburg, the bus terminal is just outside of the doors of the main train station. The train station has been completely rebuilt in the last few years, but you’ll still find the bus to Bad Ischl near the far left corner of the square in front of the train station.

The square, if you care to know, is called Südtiroler Platz. Find Bus #150 to Bad Ischl. There is a bus about once every two hours, and there are also occasional Express Buses which don’t stop everywhere. You can also board the same bus, including the Express Bus, at the Mirabell Platz in Salzburg, but if you have a lot of luggage, it’s best to get on at the Südtiroler Platz. Buy your tickets from the bus driver. I believe he only takes cash.

It’s also now possible to buy tickets for almost the whole trip online. You still have to buy tickets for the ferry across the lake as you board the boat.

In Bad Ischl board a train to Hallstatt. The bus station is right in front of the train station. Don’t worry about finding the right platform – it’s all right in front of you and impossible to miss.  But if you have time, you could spend a few interesting hours  in Bad Ischl until you continue to Hallstatt.

Bad Ischl is a wonderful place. Its my idea of a perfectly walkable town.  It’s easy to get around on foot, but difficult to negotiate with a car.  Until the end of WWI Bad Ischl was the summer residence of the Emperor of Austria and his entourage.  The Kaiser Villa and its estates are open to tourists, but visiting them and the town will take longer than a few hours. So if you can’t spend the time now, plan to come back another day.  It’s well worth it.

Get off at the Hallstatt train station.  The train station is actually not in Hallstatt, you’ll still have to make a trip across the lake on a ferry named Stefanie before you can set your foot in the old town.  But crossing the lake on the Stefanie, especially on a morning when the sun hits Hallstatt, is perhaps the best part of the journey. Also, for most of  its existence, just about the only way to get to Hallstatt was by water: you are following an old tradition.

Buy your tickets as you board the ferry. As I said earlier, they are not included in the price of the train tickets.

Returning to Salzburg is the reverse process.

By Train from Salzburg

Salzburg – Attnang-Puchheim – Hallstatt Station – Hallstatt Markt

This route is not nearly as wonderful as going by bus, but you do travel past the Traunsee in the Salzkammergut, and that lake and the landscape it sits in are marvels and worth a trip for their own sake.

Buy your ticket at Salzburg’s main train station, the Hauptbahnhof, and find your way to the right platform (the OEBB travel portal shows platform 6, but be sure to double check).  The person at the ticket counter has all the information you need to find the right track and the right train. Typically the train to Attnang-Puchheim, the Railjet, leaves from track #6, but be careful, sudden changes do occur. Listen to announcements, and especially, watch the boards.  The Railjet usually goes at least as far as Vienna, but don’t stay on, be sure to change trains in Attnang-Puchheim.

If you somehow miss that stop, as it happened to me once when I fell asleep one early morning, not all is lost: just a little time, and a little money. It’s easy to take a train back to Attnang from just about anywhere on the line.

In Attnang-Puchheim get on the train to Hallstatt, and get off at the Hallstatt train station. As I described above, you still have to take the ferry to Hallstatt, but that is one of the added attractions of traveling by public transportation.

Buy your ferry tickets on the ferry.

By Train From Vienna:

There are two possible routes to take, from two different train stations in Vienna. Regardless, you’ll still have to take the ferry across the lake from the Hallstatt train station.  In all cases, buy your tickets in Vienna. Buy round trip tickets if you know you are coming back that way. Make sure you get current platform information from the reader board, the person at the ticket counter, or some other knowledgeable personal. Trains frequently arrive or depart on different platforms than published in train schedules.

a) Vienna Main-Train-Station (Wien-Hauptbahnhof) – Attnang-Puchheim – Hallstatt Station – Hallstatt Markt

b) Vienna-West-Train-Station (Wien-Westbahnhof)- Attnang Puchheim – Hallstatt Station – Hallstatt Markt

The Hauptbahnhof is Vienna’s main train station. The Westbahnhof is Vienna’s largest train station and it is the principal station for trains on the East-West rail lines.

Both stations have frequent departures for trains to Hallstatt. Make sure, however, that you catch a train that takes not much more than 3.5 hours to get to your destination, if time is one of your concerns. It seems to me the Westbahnhof has more departures of slow trains to Hallstatt with more transfers, so watch out.

You can also get to Hallstatt from Vienna by way of one other major route, via Stainach-Irdning. The Stainach-Irdning route takes you through the Ennstal, a lovely river valley in Austria. It takes longer and you may have more transfers on the way, but if you like train travel, this is a good way to go.

But if time is a factor in your travels, pick a connection via Attnang-Puchheim (see above).

At Hallstatt Station, get off the train, descend a short flight of stairs to the ferry and buy your tickets from the ferry man.

Traveling to Hallstatt is part the experience. That venerable old town draws its importance from all sorts of contexts, and the landscapes which surround it are one of them.

Enjoy!

Editor’s Note:  As I mentioned at the beginning, I’ve updated this post to reflect conditions in 2017.  If after reading this post you still have questions, chances are I have already answered them in the comments, below.  I’ve also compiled the most common questions and their answers, and published them in a post called How to Travel to Hallstatt – Most FAQs. Just click on this link to take you there.

I’m also opening these posts for questions, again, but with a simple captcha to keep robots and hackers on a leash.

Please Share and Follow

101 Replies

Trackback  •  Comments RSS

  1. NC says:

    Hi Ronald,

    I will travelling to Hallstatt for 2 days and 1 night in May by taking flight from Prague to Salzburg, and heading to Hallstatt upon arrival. My flight will arrive at 14.15 in Salzburg Airport. I would like to know whether is it enough time to go in to Hallstatt at the same day as I read from comments that the last ferry heading to Hallstatt would be 18.50? And what is the way from Salzburg Airport to Hallstatt train station? By bus or By train will be the best way and may I know how long for my journey to Hallstatt from Airport?

    • Roland says:

      I think you have enough time to get to Hallstatt, provided you get to the bus terminal at the train station by 16:25. The best way to get there from the airport is with Bus Line #2, which departs from the airport every 10 minutes. Then you take the bus to Bad Ischl at 16:25, and the train from Bad Ischl at 18:20. The train will get you to the last ferry to Hallstatt at 18:50. The ferry waits for the train, should it be late.

      There is also a bus from Salzburg to Bad Ischl at 15:20. The connections from there are the same, although about an hour earlier.

      Have fun.

      • NC says:

        Thank you Ronald. May I know what is the different between Hallstatt Train Station and Hallstatt Markt? I search from OBB website, the timetable heading to Hallstatt Train Station is more flexi than the train to Hallstatt Markt. Is these two are different? Which station should I arrive to get the ferry? Should I need to buy a bus / train ticket now thru OBB? The ticket shown that only 6 minutes for the transfer time. Is that enough to catch to the next train?

        • Roland says:

          The Hallstatt Train Station is where the train lets you off and you board the ferry. Hallstatt Markt is across the lake from the train station, in the town of Hallstatt where you disembark from the ferry. Don’t worry about the short transfer time. Six minutes is enough, and anyhow, the ferry won’t leave until everyone is on board. It waits for the train. If you wish, buy your train ticket now, but it’s not necessary. Buy the bus ticket when you board the bus, buy the ferry ticket when you buy the ferry.

  2. Naudy says:

    Hi Roland,
    I plan to goto hallstatt from vienna and then to salzburg.
    I plan to take early morning westbahn from vienna and get down in Attnang-Puchheim ,want to keep my luggage there, by eve back from hallstatt and then proceed to salzburg with the same ticket.
    Is it doable and do Attnang-Puchheim has decent lockers as i may have 3-4 big bags.
    Kindly advice.

    Naudy

    • Roland says:

      It’s doable,if you just want to have a brief look around Hallstatt. If you leave early enough, you’ll get to Hallstatt around noon, and you’ll have to be on the ferry back across the lake no later than 6:15pm.

      I can’t advise you on lockers at Attnang-Puchheim. I know they have a limited number of lockers, and at least one for large pieces, but it all depends how many lockers are already in use when you get there.

  3. CY says:

    Hi Roland, what time is the last ferry across the lake?

    • Roland says:

      If you are traveling to Hallstatt, the last ferry leaves from the train station at 18:50 (6:50 pm).
      If you are leaving Hallstatt, the last ferry leaves at 18:15 (6:15pm), in time to catch train to catch the train on the other side of the lake at 18:32 (6:32pm).
      If you miss that ferry, it becomes more difficult to make your way back to other parts of the world on the same day.

      • CY says:

        thanks for your help!

      • CY says:

        sorry another question, I will be staying at Gruner Anger, Lahn 10, 4830 Hallstatt, it seems closer to the bus station than the ferry dock, should I take the bus all the way from Salzburg instead of changing to train at Bad Ischl?

        • Roland says:

          No, you shouldn’t. There is no direct bus from Salzburg to Hallstatt. You could ride a bus all the way, if you want, but it would involve a change in Bad Ischl and then another one a few miles from Hallstatt. It’s easier to go by bus, train and then ferry, as I recommend.

  4. Vlad Alexandru says:

    Hello Rolland!

    I would like to come in Hallstatt on august 11 (6 days). Do you know the price (+return) for two foreign students from Vienna to Hallstatt? I have found some prices on the main website of austrian railways but there are too expensive.

    Thanks.

    • Roland says:

      I can’t find a better price than the one you found on the Austrian Railways site. Keep looking, though, and apply some of the research skills you’ve acquired as students. Better fares are frequently available on the same route at different times of the day or on different days. Sometimes you can find weekend or other specials.
      There are other possibilities, too, such as sharing a ride with someone who drives in the general direction of your destination.

      Good luck

  5. Heidy says:

    Very informative! Thanks for your effort!

    May I know how long does it take if I am taking below route?
    b) Vienna Main-Train-Station (Wien-Hauptbahnhof) – Leoben – Stainach Irdning – Hallstatt Station – Hallstatt Markt

    Also, may I know is the train operated by OBB as well? can I use Eurail pass for this route?

    Thanks for your advise!

    Have a good day!

  6. michelle says:

    Boa tarde, estou fazendo um mochilão para leste Europeu e sairei de Budapeste dia 23/10 em direção a Viena, estou na dívida se vou direto para Hallsat, durmo lá e no outro dia retorno para Viena, ou se já desço em Viena e faço um bate volta. Nesse caso qual melhor opção?
    att
    Michelle

    • Roland says:

      If I understand you correctly, I would say that going directly to Hallstatt, staying there a night (at least) and then returning to Vienna is the better option.

  7. Sandra says:

    Hi, I am looking to do one day in Vienna, one day in Salzburg, and one day in Hallstaat. How long is the traveling time from Salzburg to Hallstaat and what is the pricing? Thank you 🙂

    • Roland says:

      It takes about 2.5 hrs, one way, and the total cost is around 13.00 Euro, also one way.

  8. Tony says:

    Hi Roland,

    Thank you so much for the information. I am planning to spend a night in Hallstatt in my 4-day trip in Salzburg. Are there any kind of passes or tickets that I can buy in Salzburg so that I dont need to buy separate tickets for Bus150, train and ferry?

    Thank you very much for your help.

    • Roland says:

      The only ticket that covers the entire route I can think of is a train ticket from Salzburg to Hallstatt by way of Attnang-Puchheim. That ticket cuts out the bus from Salzburg to Bad Ischl. That route takes a little longer. You’ll also have to change trains in Attnang-Puchheim, but that’s no more of a problem than changing from bus to train in Bad Ischl. The ferry is part of the train system and its included in the ticket price.

      Buying bus tickets is no big deal in Austria. Typically, you purchase one from the bus driver as you enter the bus. The driver also has the ability to give you back change if you pay with a larger bill.

  9. Paul says:

    Hi Roland,
    Very helpful post. The more I read about Salzburg and Hallstatt, the more time I want to spend in each. I’ll be staying in Vienna– is it possibile (even if it’s very tight) to do a day trip to Salzburg AND Hallstatt? ie. Take the train the Hallstatt for the morning, spend the afternoon in Salzburg, and take an evening train back to Vienna? Is this too ambitious?

    Thanks in advance for your advice! Much appreciated.
    Paul

    • Roland says:

      It can be done, as far as logistics are concerned, but I do think it’s too ambitious, especially if you’ve never been in Salzburg or Hallstatt. It would be kind of like running through the Louvre in an hour – you can get a glimpse of a lot of art, but you won’t really see much of anything, and you won’t appreciate what you see. The trip itself can be fun and even memorable, but don’t do it for any specific sight seeing value.

  10. Aziz says:

    Hello. We are a family of 4 and wud like to travel from Vienna to Salsburg and then to Innsbruck and move into Germany. Since this will be my first visit in the area, I would like to know how to go about visiting these places,how much time we need to spend and where to take stopovers during the nights. We could rent a car for more flexibility and now that we are hearing a lot of Hallstatt, we would surely like to visit this place as well. We can leave vienna on a morning and have 2 nights to spend in Austria and start for Germany the third day. This will be soemtime in the 2nd week of August.

    • Roland says:

      These are more questions than I’m prepared to answer. You may try to post them in a forum like Rick Steves’ travel forum on Austria or Germany. Here is the link: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/. You probably will attract more advise than I could offer in a 100 posts. If you browse through the forum you might also find some of your questions have already been answered, at least you’ll gain quite a few insights.

      Rick Steves’ site https://www.ricksteves.com/europe/austria is also full of information.

      Good luck

  11. Sam says:

    Thank you for such detailed information. I am planning a trip with my family to visit Hallstatt for 1 day from Salzburg. We are planning to use the Einfach Rauw Ticket (ERT) offered from OBB. Do you know if we have to purchase separate ferry tickets? or is it part of the train system?

    Thank you.

    • Roland says:

      It’s part of the train system. A train ticket to Hallstatt buys you a trip on the ferry across the lake. Also FYI – “Einfach ‘Raus” means “Simply Out”

      • Darrell says:

        Thanks for the great information about how to get to Hallstatt from Salzburg. We will be traveling there this June. After spending a few days in Hallstatt, we will travel on to Prague to visit our son. Do you happen to know what train (or other) options are available to get to Prague?

        • Roland says:

          Trains are probably your best option. There are any number of departure times from Hallstatt that will get you to Prague, some with more transfers than others.

          You can look up schedules and options here: http://www.oebb.at/en/index.jsp.

          I suggest you ask someone at a train station when you are in Austria, any train station, to book a ticket for you at the time and date of your choice.

          There is no need to make reservations considerably ahead of time, unless there is a run on train tickets to Prague in June. Also, you might find the ticketing on the Austrian Travel Portal confusing. It jumps from English to German at odd moments.

      • Rose says:

        I’ve read almost all your replies to many queries and find them informative.
        Sir I have many questions to ask since this will be our first time to , I would to know the best itinerary to travel Vienna (first destination), Salzburg, Hallstatt and the final destination will be going to the Philippines.
        As mentioned, first destination will be in a Hillinger Hotel( Erzherzog-Karl-Strabe 105, 1200 Vienna) for four days to attend seminar and that would be up to 5 PM in the afternoon. Daily after 5 PM we are planning to go Vienna downtown by train and go back to the hotel again maybe at 9PM. Is it practical to buy tickets daily (back and forth travel) for strolling purposes? Or can we buy a single ticket for our whole travel duration from Vienna (four days) to Hallstatt and to Salzburg?
        Also, I would like to know if the ferry ticket (Hallstatt) that is included in the train ticket that can be bought from OBB has an specified date/schedule to use. Lastly, doest it matter if we (good for 2 persons)will buy train tickets seperately or there will a discount if bought once?
        Sorry for many questions asked because this will be our first time to go and visit Austria.
        Thank you very much

        • Roland says:

          I can only answer question in relation to the ferry: the price of the ferry is included in the train ticket. In general, there are no discounts for buying tickets for two or more tickets.

  12. Fong says:

    Hi roland

    thanks for your info.
    I shall take train from vienna and join my fds at Hallstatt. And they shall pick me up at station. I may buy train tickets online. But when i chose the Destination. I found there were multiple Hallstatt stations , eg. Hallstatt- Markt, Hallstatt Lahn, Bahnhst…etc.. what are the differenes ? Which one should I choose ? I am nervous that me and my fds may mix up the stations .

    Also, the last stop will be at Zell Am See. Are there any trains from there to Vienna ? What are the station names ?

    Thanks a lot !
    Emily

    • Roland says:

      Choose Hallstatt-Markt as your destination. Actually, as I said in the previous comment, it makes no difference which destination you choose, you end up in the same place. There is only one place to get off the ferry. Have your friends meet you there.

      Hallstatt-Markt is the central part of town. It includes the Protestant Church and it is closest to the ferry landing. Also, Hallstatt is a small town, it would be difficult not to meet up with your friends if they are expecting you.

      Hallstatt-Lahn is a part of town just a little south of Hallstatt-Markt. I think it shows up as a stop on train schedules because it is also a stop on a bus route. You could take a bus from Hallstatt-Markt to Hallstatt Lahn, if you really have to, but in just about every instance it would be faster to walk. At any rate, it’s not a train stop and its not a ferry stop.

      I took a brief look at a train schedule http://www.oebb.at/en/ and saw a direct connection to Vienna. Buy a ticket to Wien-Westbahnhof and you’ll be happy.

      Enjoy

  13. Joie says:

    Hi Roland. I am planning on visiting Hallstatt in March and I will be coming from Salzburg. Your instructions were very helpful. I am planning on going via train. However, I was wondering how to go from Hallstatt to Vienna via train. Would I need to take a local Hallstatt train to Attnang-Puchheim and then take a train to Vienna from there? Does the local train to Attnang-Puchheim run frequently? Is there a website you can direct me to with a timetable? I’m so sorry for all my questions. I’ve been planning this trip for a long time and I just want it to go smoothly. Once again, thank you.

    • Roland says:

      All your assumptions are correct. You take the train from Hallstatt to Attnang-Puchheim, change trains there, and continue to Vienna. Here is a link to time tables http://www.oebb.at/en/. It’s in English, but place names are in German. So Vienna eventually becomes Wien, the German name for Austria’s capital. Your point of departure can be Hallstatt-Lahn or Hallstatt-Markt, it won’t make much difference. Then select your destination at first as Vienna, but when you are presented with choices in a later drop-down menu, pick Wien-Westbahnhof.

      Enjoy your travels.

  14. Mary says:

    Hello Roland. Your site provides some wonderful information. I am wondering if it is possible to travel from Salzburg to St Gilgen then to Halstatt. How long would you suggest staying in St Gilgen?
    In May any idea of the temperatures in the Alpine villages? Would it be a shorter distance to return to Vienna from St Gilgen or Halstatt?
    Thank you.

    • Roland says:

      St. Gilgen is on the way to Bad Ischl, where you would get on the train to Hallstatt. So you can take the bus to St. Gilgen, stop as long as you like, and continue to Bad Ischl/Hallstatt from there.

      I think St. Gilgen is an excellent place for a base camp when you are visiting the area. It’s a gateway of sorts to the Salzkammergut and only a short distance to Salzburg. All sorts of excursions are possible from there. I would stay in St. Gilgen as long as I could afford it.

      On the other hand, it’s better to return to Vienna from Hallstatt rather than St. Gilgen. It’s more direct.

      I don’t like to comment on weather, because I’m usually wrong and the weather has been wild in Austria last year, and even in previous years. May can be beautiful, with mean temperatures in the high 60s (20 Celsius), but as always, come prepared for rain, and lots of it.

  15. Monica says:

    Hello, i would like to go to hallstatt from vienna this saturday or sunday. What day is better? Is bus or train faster please? Last question: i dont have apropriate shoes for snow:Will That be a problem? Thank you

    • Roland says:

      I don’t think it matters if you go on a Saturday or Sunday. Pick the travel day that works best for you. On the other hand, why would you even consider going to an alpine village like Hallstatt in the middle of winter without shoes for snow? Don’t do it.

      On the other hand, your shoes don’t have to be especially made for hiking in snow. All-weather walking shoes, the kind that keeps rain, mud, slush and water from seeping down your ankles and pooling around your toes, should suffice for ordinary walking around Hallstatt.

  16. Peer says:

    Hi Roland,
    There is no direct bus from Salzburg to Hallstatt, correct? Have to be Bus – > Train? Or Train directly? And what is temporature during April month in general, please?

    • Roland says:

      You are correct, there is no direct bus from Salzburg to Hallstatt. The best way is to take the bus to Bad Ischl and then travel by train and ferry to Hallstatt. The ferry is part of the train system. You could also take a bus from Bad Ischl to Hallstatt, but its more cumbersome, I believe.

      Weather in April is normally on the cool side with lots of precipitation. The average temperature is probably in the low 50s F (perhaps 10 – 12 Celsius), but you can get anything from freezing to hot. Expect precipitation on at least 2 out 3 days, mostly rain or drizzle, but snow is also possible.

      Come prepared with 3 layer clothing and good rain gear.

  17. TAWFIK AZRT says:

    Roland, you’re very helpful. Thank you. Could you please estimate the cost of transport from either Vienna or Salzburg to Hallstatt for a group of 5?

    • Roland says:

      I don’t provide that kind of service. There are plenty of ways you can figure out costs on your own.

  18. Nick says:

    Hi Roland:
    I would like to have a one day trip in Hallstatt maybe on 23th or 24th December directly from Budapest. I am wondering it is good to spend almost whole day in train directly to Hallstatt, or maybe take couple of hours rest in Vienna westbahnhof, then head to Hallstatt? Can I find any good offer for train ticket from Vienna to Hallstatt, then to Salzburg and Munich? Hope shops will be opened during 24th-27th when I stay in Hallstatt, Salzburg and Munich. Hope to hear you soon. Thanks in advance.

    • Roland says:

      I’m not prepared to answer most of these questions. You can use the internet or a travel agent to find good travel deals, and only you know how if you want to spend your day on a train or interrupt it with a short stop over. There is no right answer.

      The 25th and 26th of December are holidays in Austria, and most shops will be closed. The 24th is still a shopping day, but don’t plan on much after 8pm.

      That’s all I know.

      Enjoy

  19. ken tawse says:

    How much does it cost to go to Hallstatt by the bus,train, boat option? I am really excited to visit!!!!

  20. Deanna says:

    Hi Roland,
    I’ve been reading your posts and see that you offer really valuable advise. I wonder if you can help me to sort out my future vacation plan for next summer. I’m flying into Vienna for a couple of days and I have to go to Prague at the end of my trip. In between I would like to visit both Salzburg and Hallstatt. What I can’t figure out is this:

    Should I stay in Hallstatt and visit Salzburg for the day trip or would I be better off staying in Salzburg and visit Hallstatt instead? Any thoughts on this?

    • Deanna says:

      I’d really appreciate your recommendation, because honestly I’m torn between these two places (Salzburg and Hallstatt). Thanks in advance Roland, hope this isn’t too much to ask…

      • Roland says:

        Deanna, sorry for the late answer. I think you’d be better off if you stayed in Salzburg, visited Hallstatt for a day or two, and then returned to Salzburg. There’s more to do and see in Salzburg and the area around it, and it’s a straight forward connection from Salzburg to Prague.

  21. Eldo Chandra says:

    Hi Roland,

    First of all I would like to say that your website is really informative and helpful so thank you very much !

    I am planning to travel to Austria on the 25th of December with my parents. We’ll reach Vienna from Amsterdam on 25 and leave in the morning to Hallstatt on 27. We are going to spend one night in Hallstatt and then spend a few days in Salzburg before going to Munich/ other cities in Germany.

    I would just like to ask if it is a good time to travel around this time to Hallstatt ? Would public transport or other facilities(like the Funicular) remain open on the 27th ?

    Also since we have limited time(we have to reach Dusseldorf on the 3rd), should I just forget Vienna and just go to Salzburg straight from Amsterdam ?

    Your reply is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Cheers,
    Eldo

    • Roland says:

      Those are difficult questions, and for the most part I don’t have good answers. I can’t tell you, for instance, if you should skip Vienna or if Hallstatt is worth visiting this time of year. All of that depends on your interests, your disposition, if this is your only chance to visit, and also in good part on the weather. But here is what I would consider, perhaps it’ll guide your decisions.

      Regardless of where you go, the 25th and 26th of December are both official holidays in Austria and you’ll find many places closed, although trains and buses will still operate, although on holiday schedules.

      If you arrive in Vienna jet lagged, you won’t be good for much on the 25th, and you’ll still have difficulty adjusting on the 26th.

      Hallstatt, in my opinion, is beautiful any time of year, and on the 27th you are likely to have the whole town to yourself. You’ll find open restaurants, and all the ordinary places in town should be open, too. But the salt mines are already closed, as are all the other places serviced by the funicular. The funicular has already stopped running and won’t resume until Spring 2014.

      If you want to see salt mines you are better off going to Bad Aussee across the valley and over the mountain from Hallstatt (it’s really not far, and Bad Aussee is lovely), or the Hallein salt mines just south of Salzburg.

      Hallstatt is also the cold hole of the area. All the cold air from the surrounding mountains drains into the valley, and by Christmas the town will have been in the shade for weeks, and the sun won’t shine on any part of the town again until Spring.

      Salzburg is fine after Christmas, but keep in mind some of the major outside attractions will be closed. Hellbrunn with its water theater and trick fountains is shut down, the flowers and plants of the Mirabell Gardens have already been put to bed. You can still tour the fortress, but it appears the funicular to the fortress is shut down for maintenance. You should walk up to the castle, anyhow, the experience beats the funicular anytime.

      On the good side, you can enjoy the old parts of town better than at any other time of year. The throngs of tourists are gone and even locals venture into Old Town for visits. There are also museums you can visit, as well as churches, theaters, restaurants, cafes and good places to drink beer and wine.

      Finally, don’t miss New Year’s Eve celebrations, known in Austria and Germany as Sylvester, regardless of where you are. Sylvester is also the first day of carnival, a season of balls and masquerades that lasts until Ash Wednesday, and Austrians know how to inaugurate it properly. You’ll find festivities, parties and fireworks in every town or city. If I had my choice, I’d attend one of the balls in Vienna, but Salzburg has good ones, too, and Munich, or any other town in Germany won’t take a back seat to Austrian places.

      Enjoy

  22. kim says:

    Another Question:
    I will be arriving at Linz Airport. How can i travel to Salzburg city from there? I’ve checked online and it says i can take a bus from Horsching to Salzburg Hbf? is that correct?

    • Roland says:

      First a couple of pieces of advice: check at the Linz Airport for the best connections and routes from Hörsching to Salzburg, and again in Salzburg for the best connections from Hallstatt to Bled. They know a lot more than I do about train schedules.

      As far as I know, you can take a Regional train from Hörsching to Salzburg without having to transfer. It takes a few minutes longer than the other options, but it may be more comfortable for you. I would take it.

      As for the train from Hallstatt to Bled: the Hallstatt train station is across the lake from Hallstatt, so you have to take the ferry across the lake and then get on the train. Also you have to change trains at least twice as far as I can see, first in Stainach-Irdning and then in Bischofshofen. There is no better route that I know of than the one you mention, except I don’t think you have to change trains again at Jesenice. It’s a direct shot from Bischofshofen to Lesce-Bled, but confirm all of that at an information desk, either at the airport or in Salzburg. You’ll find the people there knowledgeable and helpful.

      Good luck.

  23. kim says:

    Hi Roland,

    All your information has been of great help to me. I’m travelling to Salzburg on the 30/10 and will be staying at Hallstatt for two nights after two nights in Salzburg. We then will be heading to Bled. Would you know the best way to travel to Bled? Do i have to go back to Salzburg and then only to Bled? I’ve checked online that there are train from Hallstatt to Lesce Bled with numerous changes (journey time is 6 hours and 25 mins). From Hallsatt Markt – Hallstatt – Stainach-Irdning – Bischofshofen – Jesenice – lesce Bled. Is there a train station at Hallstatt Market? or do I have to take the ferry across the lake and then board at the Hallstatt train station? Please advise.

    Thank you so much in advance!
    Kim.

  24. Pauline Ng says:

    Thank you Mr Roland for your advice about going to ice cave at Hallstatt. Can you kindly direct us there from Salzburg by bus and train, which is a better option? Thank you.

    • Roland says:

      Take the bus from Salzburg to Bad Ischl as I described, then take the train from Bad Ischl to Obertraun (its the same train you’d take to Hallstatt; Obertraun is just one stop after the train stop for the Hallstatt ferry). It’s just a short walk from the train station at Obertraun to the cable car station. Its best to ask someone at the train station for directions, but Obertraun is small and you can easily find the cable car station (Dachstein Seilbahn) on your own. You can also look it up on Google maps in advance. You’ll have to ride the cable car up one stop to the Dachsteinhöhlen (Dachstein caves – the ice caves are a part of them).

      Enjoy

      I’d recommend leaving your luggage at your hotel. Even if you’re too early for check-in, chances are they’ll hold your suitcases for you until they have your room ready for you, and they can also give you directions.

      • Pauline Ng says:

        Thank you Mr Roland for your direction and advice, really appreciate your patience and good information provided on this platform
        to all of us here. Bless you.

  25. Heidi says:

    I have read all yr advice to everyone and you are very thorough . Thank you for yr information. I am staying in Salzburg next June for 5 days. I want to visit Hallstatt and bad ischl by bus. I was thinking on going straight to Hallstatt for most of the day and then stopping at Bad ischl for a few hrs on the way back to salzburg. How late at night do the buses leave bad ischl

    • Roland says:

      I was reluctant at first to look up a bus schedule, but it proved to be interesting.

      First, if you want to travel by bus only, the last bus for Salzburg leaves Bad Ischl at 20:24. You have to change buses in St Gilgen to continue your journey and you’ll arrive in Salzburg just before 11 pm.

      You can also travel to Salzburg by using a combination of bus and train. That bus leaves Bad Ischl at 21:50. You have to change to a train to Salzburg at Vöcklabruck and you arrive in Salzburg just before midnight.

      Here is why I find it interesting. It looks as though this is also the summer schedule, and if so, these buses leave way to early to enjoy what Bad Ischl has to offer. Bad Ischl is famous for its summer series of Operettas, mostly Lehar or Strauss, and it attracts some of the best performers in the world. It regularly offers other musical events, too. So even if you don’t want to stay in Bad Ischl, you should be able to attend its festivals and return to where ever you came from late at night using public transport. That’s what I would have thought, but it’s just my opinion.

      Here is the link to the bus/train schedules. http://fahrplan.oebb.at/bin/query.exe/en? Maybe you’ll find a different summer schedule next year.

  26. Pauline Ng says:

    Hi Roland,
    I am sorry for this late reply and thank you very much for your direction to the ice cave.
    i should have made myself clearer by stating that i was referring to the ice cave and 5 fingers in hallstatt itself and not werfen. We only have 2 days in hallstatt and I think we could only cover these two sights ie. salt mine and ice cave and wonder which one we should go directly from Salzburg before we check in at Obertraun. Sorry for the miscomminication.

  27. Pauline Ng says:

    Hi Roland,
    We are going to hallstatt for 2 nights on 22 oct. As we want to go to the salt mine and the ice cave, we wonder which one should we go first from Salzburg directly and how best do we get to both places. We are staying at obertruan.
    Thank you,
    Pauline

    • Roland says:

      Are you going by car or public transportation?

      • Pauline Ng says:

        we can take bus or train depending on which is the best way to go either place first in terms of timing of the tour and convenient before we check in at 3pm. Thank you.

      • Roland says:

        I asked about your mode of transportation because it is a lot easier to do what you’re planning by car and you have a greater amount of sight seeing choices. See my posts about the Lammerklamm and the Gosau Lakes.

        For public transportation I recommend you visit the ice caves first and then travel to Obertraun.

        Take the train from Salzburg to the train station at Werfen. There are daily buses from the Werfen train station to the visitor center at the Ice Caves every couple of hours, i.e. at 08:20, 10:20, 12:20 und 14:20.

        If you don’t want to wait that long, you can walk 5 minutes from the train station at Werfen to the Gries Bus Station where buses depart every 25 minutes to the ice caves. Ask someone at the train station for directions. Werfen is a small town and it’s easy to find your way around.

        Return schedules are similar. You have two choices of transportation to get from Werfen to Obertraun. The simplest one takes you back by train to Salzburg, from Salzburg to Bad Ischl by bus, and from Bad Ischl to Obertraun by train.

        The other one is more complicated. I takes about the same amount of time and goes by a different scenic route by way of Gosau, but you need to change trains or buses several times before you reach Obertraun. I’d recommend it if you were traveling by car, but if you go by bus, I regret to say, you should skip it.

        You’ll find detailed bus/train schedules here: http://fahrplan.oebb.at/bin/query.exe/en?
        And here is the link to the website for the Ice Caves where you can find more information: http://www.eisriesenwelt.at/en/home.html

        Enjoy your trip. Obertraun is a good choice for a place to stay, by the way.

  28. I wanted to say thanks to you for this great read!! I’ve got you bookmarked to see new stuff you post.

  29. Kristina says:

    Hi, thanks for the info, it’s really useful! I looked through the comments, but didn’t see anything about accommodation.. should we book in advance or we’ll be able to find something when we arrive there (I plan to visit Hallstatt last week of Sept.)
    Thanks!

    • Roland says:

      I don’t know much about accommodations, so I can’t be definite. I don’t book rooms in Hallstatt all that often, I stay with relatives when I’m in the area. My sense is that September is relatively late in the season and that your chances of finding a place to stay when you get there are good. Also, if Hallstatt is full you can probably find a place in Obertraun across the lake, or perhaps in Bad Goisern a few km to the north of Hallstatt. However, unless you are really comfortable with uncertainty, or really flexible, make a reservation now.

  30. sanam says:

    Hi Roland,

    I’m planning a trip for my parents who are visiting Austria this month. I need to know of the best way to get them to Hallstatt from Vienna. Would be great if you could also tell me which sites I can use to book their tickets for the bus/train/ferry.

    Thank you very much,

    Sanam

    • Roland says:

      I think I covered the best way in my post. Board the train in Hallstatt, buy the ticket there or on the train, and travel to Vienna via Attnang-Puchheim. There is practically no chance of getting on the wrong train in Hallstatt, and your parents need to make sure they board the right train in Attnang-Puchheim. But there isn’t much chance for confusion there, either.

      In general, I find the best place to buy tickets in Austria is at the train station, or if you are riding by bus, on the bus. You can also buy them in advance from the ÖBB travel portal, here is the link. http://www.oebb.at/en/index.jsp.

      Enjoy

    • Judith says:

      Booking in advance is not abseoutlly necessary but in most cases you can save money by booking in advance even if it is only few days in advance you can do so online if you have a laptop or any other possibility to go online.I will join you a website where you can book which is used in Germany and Austria and neighbouring countries they also offer a best available rate guarantee.You can with most bigger hotels also check to book directly but most time HRS offers better rates.In Wien ( Vienna) I would book previously otherwise you really risk to waste time searching for a hotel which does not mean you will not find any but you will have to ask at several hotels for sure.

  31. Hein Gerber says:

    Hallo Roland, the station I need to get to for my skiing trip is called Landeck. Hope that helps. Thank you

    • Roland says:

      Sorry, I’ve been away a while and didn’t check my email. My mistake, I simply assumed you misspelled Bad Ischl. There is also great skiing in that area although the best skiing is nearer to Hallstatt than Bad Ischl, so I gave you the wrong answer. Ischgl is entirely Tirolean, of course, with excellent skiing and in a completely different part of the country.

      I looked at the train schedule from Hallstatt to Landeck and saw that you would get on the train at Hallstatt (actually across the lake from Hallstatt), change trains at Attnang-Puchheim, and from there travel to Landeck without further change. However, I believe the train does go by way of Salzburg. I don’t see a shorter way from Hallstatt to Landeck, at least not time wise.

      So back to your original question: I think it would be a better use of your time to travel from Vienna to Hallstatt, via Attnang-Puchheim or Steinach-Irdning, without going to Salzburg first. Then travel from Hallstatt to Salzburg, visit Salzburg, and then proceed to Landeck. Overall, it’ll save you a few hours of travel, i.e the time it would take you to travel from Attnang-Puchheim to Salzburg one way.

      I hope that helps.

  32. Hein Gerber says:

    Hallo Roland, Thank you for the reply. I might be confused but we are going to ski in Ischgl not Bad Ischgl. I was under the impression that they are two different places. The place I want to get to is on the other side of Innsbruck. My question then would be: what is the easiest way to get to Innsbruck from Hallstatt? Do I have to pass through Salzburg? Thank you. Hein

  33. Janet Metzger says:

    How much time does it take to get from Salzburg to Hallstatt via the train? I am planning a trip for next June. Thank you.

  34. Hein Gerber says:

    We are visiting Austria in Dec / Jan. The plan is to stay in Vienna for 3 nights, then 2 in Salzburg (over new year) and then 2 in Hallstatt before going to Ischgl for a week of skiing. It seems that to get to the ski resort from Hallstatt we have to pass through Salzburg which means we will go back to the place that we have visited before coming to Hallstatt. It appears that we will then waste some time. My question is, would it make more sense and save time to rather visit Hallstatt from Vienna (over New Year) first and then go to Salzburg before we go to the ski resort. If we travel to Hallstatt from Vienna, do we have to pass through Salzburg. If that is the case we will not save any time. Your assistance is appreciated. Regards

    • Roland says:

      I’ll answer your questions as I understand them, let me know if I’ve got it wrong.

      1) To get from Hallstatt to Bad Ischl (where you go skiing), do I have to go through Salzburg?

      The answer is no, it would be a colossal waste of time. The simplest way to get from Hallstatt to Bad Ischl is by taking the ferry across the lake to the train station (the ferry is part of the train system), board the train and ride the 20 or so km to Bad Ischl.

      2) Is it better go to Hallstatt directly by train from Vienna, go to Salzburg and then go to the ski resort in Bad Ischl?

      That’s difficult to answer. Hallstatt is a lot closer to Bad Ischl than Ischl is to Salzburg, both in distance and time. I would go to Salzburg first, then from Salzburg to Hallstatt, and from there to your ski resort in Bad Ischl. You’d be retracing part of your route but I don’t think you’ll lose more than a few hours, depending on connections.

      Or you could go to Hallstatt after your stay at the ski resort and proceed from there directly to Vienna.

      Enjoy

  35. rain says:

    and what time or which period i can see the mistscape there? thanks

    • Roland says:

      I’ll respond to all of your questions with this one reply. You could go from Salzburg to Vienna by way of Hallstatt. Get on the bus or train in Salzburg, stop at Hallstatt for the day and continue from there to Vienna. You can get the necessary info at the Salzburg main train station Hauptbahnhof), or better yet at the visitor information also at the Hauptbahnhof. If you go by bus from Salburg to Bad Ischl (my preferred route), you can also get that info at the Bad Ischl train station.

      As for weather and mist: September in Hallstatt is drier than other summer months, but even so you have at least a 60% chance of rain for any given day (taken over the whole month). You get mist rising from the woods after a rain, chances of fog over the lake are good, too.
      I’d say your best bet are morning hours, regardless, but given the frequency of cloudy weather and rain, conditions are pretty much unpredictable several months out.

      I’d go regardless of weather. The whole town is magical on any day of the year.

      • rain says:

        so, will i be too rush if i just stay there for half day and then leave to vienna?

        • Roland says:

          Yes, but a half day is better than no day. I’d skip it, though, if the weather is really bad, i.e. steady rain.

        • Roland says:

          I’ll elaborate a little on my last answer. If you only have 1/2 day of solid rain to spend in Hallstatt, you’re better off spending that time in Salzburg or in Vienna, in my opinion. Leave Hallstatt for another day. Both cities are much more culturally diverse than Hallstatt and you can find many more rewarding things to do indoors than in Hallstatt. Also, as you travel east in Austria, as from Salzburg to Vienna, the climate gets drier. So if it looks like endless rain around Salzburg – head east. On the other hand, if the prediction is for scattered showers, you might take a chance. This could provide you with the misty landscapes you are looking for.

          Enjoy, regardless.

          • rain says:

            thanks so much for your information! i have extended my journey so i will probably stay in hallstatt for one night. i hope i can get that 60% of chance to see the mist! =)
            vielen dank!

          • Roland says:

            You are welcome. You may have observed that Austria has been having unusual weather this year – from an unusually wet spring to an unusually hot and dry summer, so I wouldn’t even try to guess what the weather will be like when you get there. When you stay overnight, try to get up early enough for a stroll through town just after dawn, regardless of weather. Get an umbrella if you have to, it would be worth while. There will be few people afoot, you’ll love it. It’s a little hard to get something to eat that early, so prepare.

            Enjoy

  36. rain says:

    i will be staying in Austria for 5 days (9-13 Sep) in (1st) Salzburg and (2nd) Vienna and will be leaving in the morning 11:00 on 13 Sep. Is it still possible for me to get to Hallstatt in the 4-day trip? How should I allocate my trip? thanks!

    • rain says:

      sorry the trip should be 9-14 Sep, and i will be leaving on 14th in the morning, which is, if i exclude the day i leave, would be a 5-day trip.

  37. Jarred Miyamoto-Mills says:

    Hallstatt looks wonderful — several friends have said “don’t miss it”. Would it be worthwhile to do a day trip from Salzburg to Hallstatt? We will be in Salzburg from 6/28-late afternoon to 7/1-late morning…

    • Roland says:

      Of course, but 2 days would be better. Hallstatt can be easily toured in a day, but it requires much more time to take it all in. The region around it is gorgeous, there just isn’t another word for it. Take a boat out onto the lake for the best perspective, and if you can fit in a trip by cable car up to the top of the Dachstein, one of the highest mountains of the Alps, you won’t regret it (but only in good weather).

  38. mui lo says:

    Your info provided is very useful.
    Is there any discount offer for Salzburg card holder? Or is travelling via bus or train expensive?
    Thanks.

    • Roland says:

      The Salzburg Card is an excellent bargain , but in Hallstatt it will only get you a discounted admission to the salt mines. You might also consider the Salzkammergut Card. It costs 4.90 Euro and with it you’ll get up to 30% discounts to selected attractions in the Lake District. Click on this link to check it out.

      In Hallstatt it will reduce the cost of the museum, the cable car to the base of the Hochtal – high above Hallstatt with an excellent view, entrance to nearby salt mines, and possibly other venues as well. There are also plenty of other exciting things to do nearby, such as a ride to the top of the Dachstein mountain on a cable car. So look around, you might find something that interests you and get a discount on top.

      Unless you are traveling as a family of four or more, riding by bus or train is less expensive than buying gas and rental for a car.

  39. jungfrau says:

    How much time does it take to reach Hallstatt from Salzburg using the bus and ferry route? Thank you for the lovely post by the way!

    • Roland says:

      Depending on your connections in Bad Ischl, It takes between 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The ferry is timed to meet the train, but the train, although it runs frequently, is not timed to meet the bus. It’s time well spent, though, since you pass through some of the most gorgeous scenery I know. Try to get a front seat in the bus.

      Btw – I’m rebuilding the site with a new theme and I’ll have more articles to add when I’m done. Stay tuned and enjoy.

  40. Sorry for my bad english. Thank you so much for your good post. Your post helped me in my college assignment, If you can provide me more details please email me.

  41. This is the exact info i’m looking for, thanks! Arron

Top