If you haven’t seen Hallstatt photos yet, you’ve probably been hiding under a rock. Or maybe you just don’t have an Instagram (which, tbh, is probably good for your health). Hallstatt is that classically beautiful alpine town that has completely taken over the world of social media in the past few years.

Hallstatt: Expectations vs. Reality

Of course, due to its popularity, Hallstatt has become completely overrun with tourists and Instagrammers all hoping to get that postcard-perfect shot. Because of this, I was hesitant about visiting, not wanting to contribute to over tourism and wondering if it would really live up to expectations. By visiting in the off-season, I was able to solve one of these problems, though there were still several busloads of tourists to share the town with. And as far as living up to expectations go? Hallstatt exceeded them.

Not only is the classic postcard view just as perfectly classic in real life as on Instagram, but every nook and cranny of Hallstatt is like something straight out of a fairytale. From the brightly colored town square to quaint wooden signs pointing up towards easy hiking paths, every bit of Hallstatt is so perfectly charming it should be illegal. I was solo for this trip and I was still audibly squeeing over the cuteness of the place.

During the one day that I spent in Hallstatt, I hardly ever set my camera down. I took almost 900 pictures, which I later paired down to 430 of the absolute best. And I thought I was crazy for taking 900 pictures over 3 days in Paris a few years ago… This post is essentially just an attempt to narrow down that photo selection even more: to 30 different Hallstatt photos that perfectly encapsulate this quaint yet stunning Austrian village.

So without further ado here are 30 Hallstatt photos that are going to get you searching for flights asap.

Hallstatt Photos: The Approach

The approach to Hallstatt is about as romantic as it can get. Arrive by train on the other side of the lake and stare wistfully across the water at your destination while you wait for the next ferry to arrive. Don’t worry, though–the ferry schedule is lined up with the train schedule, so you won’t have to wait for long.

Tickets for the ferry cost €3 each way. If it’s not cold and rainy, head to the back of the boat for the views.

Then, it’s a blissful 15 minute ride across the straight up GORG Lake Hallstatt, with mountains lining the edge and the fairytale town of Hallstatt growing ever nearer.

Hallstatt from the other side of the lake: a small expanse of buildings with huge mountains towering behind them.
Hallstatt as seen from the water

Hallstatt Photos: The Classic View

The first thing you’re going to want to do when you get to Hallstatt is find that picture perfect postcard view you’ve seen a million times on Instagram. Like, this view has been photographed so many times it’s literally marked on Google Maps.

Not that it’s hard to find or anything. All you have to do is turn right once you’re off the boat and keep following the main road until you see it.

The classic view of Hallstatt: village buildings piled on top of each other and the church at the far edge of the land curving out into the water

And yup, it’s just as beautiful in person as in the pictures (if not more so). There’s just something about the way the land curves out and that pretty church spire is right at the end. I’ll probably never get over it.

It’s also CRAZY crowded, even in the off-season, with every crowding around to get their perfect Hallstatt photos, so my suggestion is to snap your photos and keep goin, because Hallstatt is SO MUCH MORE than this view.

The postcard view of Hallstatt, Austria, with the town curving out into the lake

Hallstatt Photos: The Town

Even though you probably went to Hallstatt for that classic view (don’t be afraid to admit it, I already have), literally every corner of this village is freaking gorgeous and absolutely dripping in charm.

The main square is by far one of the most charming spots in all of Hallstatt, with its colorful houses and towering church spire. From the town square, follow the twisting side roads for maximum cuteness.

Hallstatt's main square with several colorful houses and a church spiring peeking out from behind them
Salzkontor shop window -- a yellow building with soap for sale outside

By far one of my favorite parts of wandering the town was ducking into various handicraft shops. The workmanship that goes into the wares they are selling is clearly evident. I so desperately wanted to buy one of these cute wooden toys, but my small backpack was already stuffed to the brim 😢

A pink house with a firewood store in Hallstatt, Austria

Literally every time you turn a corner in Hallstatt, you’re met with something even more adorable than the last street you were on–like this wooden police station perched on the side of the lake (though it seems like most of the operations take place across the street in, like, a real building. Not that Hallstatt has much crime).

Hallstatt town curving out around the lake

Perhaps one of my favorite parts in all of Hallstatt, though, was this church graveyard. Located up a small, hidden staircase, there was no one else there and the views were to die for (get it???). I definitely wouldn’t mind spending my afterlife in this place.

Hallstatt Photos: Views from Above

Although Hallstatt is definitely overcrowded, it seems like most people don’t wander much farther than the lakeside. But in fact, there’s much more to Hallstatt than that. As you follow the quiet roads, they’ll eventually change into staircases, which you should absolutely follow. Because the views of Hallstatt from above are not only beautiful but new. Like, despite all the pictures of that classic postcard view, I don’t think I’d ever seen Hallstatt from this angle until I went there myself. I was flabbergasted that this was so easy in a town that has basically become synonymous with Instagram.

The view of Hallstatt from above
The church and houses of Hallstatt from above in front of a mountain backdrop

If you follow the signs up to the Gaiswanderweg (you’ll find them on the road just before the classic postcard view), you’ll soon discover a walking path up above the village, complete with tiny waterfalls and gorgeous forest. If you want some peace and quiet, this is the way to go.

Hallstatt Travel Tips

Now that you know that Hallstatt is more than just that classic postcard view, you’re probably dying to get going. Here are a few quick tips I learned from my own trip that I thought might be helpful.

How to Get to Hallstatt

Hallstatt isn’t the easiest place in the world to get to, but the best way is by train. From Vienna, take the train towards Salzburg and get off at Attnang-Puchheim. You can then take a train heading towards Obertraun to Hallstatt Station. From Salzburg, take the train heading towards Vienna and get off at Attnang-Puchheim. Then take the train to Hallstatt Station.

You can book train tickets on ÖBB’s website or at the train station.

Hallstatt Station is atcually located across the lake from Hallstatt proper. You’ll need to take a ferry from the train station to the town. The ferry schedule is lined up with train arrival and departure times and tickets cost €3 each way.

Where to Stay in Hallstatt

Hallstatt is not a cheap place to stay. I ended up staying in a hotel in nearby Bad Goisern to save money, which was actually pretty fun because I got to see a more local part of the area in addition to Hallstatt. I did this because, according to the internet, there are no hostels in Hallstatt. Once I actually got there, though, I saw a sign for a Jugendherberge (the German word for youth hostel) and hated myself for not thinking to Google in German, considering I speak the language. So it is actually possible to find a hostel in Hallstatt–you just need to know where to look. In this case, it’s Gasthaus Mühle. The website is completely in German, and you’ll need to email or call to make a reservation, but it’s by far the cheapest place to stay in Hallstatt–dorm beds are €23/night.

If you have a bit more money in the bank, there are a few hotels in Hallstatt that would be great options:

  • Seehotel Grüner Baum – $$$ – Located on the main square with balconies overlooking the lake. You can’t get more perfect than this.
  • Bräu-Gasthof – $$ – A proper traditional Austrian hotel with lake views. My friend Lia stayed here when she visited Hallstatt and has a rave review!
  • Heritage Hotel Hallstatt – $$ – A proper nice hotel in three different historic buildings

Hallstatt in the Low Season

Due to Hallstatt’s popularity, I highly recommend visiting in the low season (October-May) if you can. While the weather might not be as nice as it would be in the summer, missing out on hordes of tourists is definitely worth it! I visited on a weekend in November and, aside from a few bus tours that headed straight for that perfect shot and moved on, I had the place entirely to myself.

That being said, not much is open in Hallstatt in the low season–especially when it comes to restaurants. I may just not have been looking hard enough, but I ended up paying €15 for a pizza that I’m pretty sure was frozen. I’d recommend bringing some food along or doing a bit of prior research as to where you’re going to eat if you’re visiting in the low season. Here are a few restaurants that look like they are open year-round:

  • Gasthof Weisses Lamm
  • Maislinger – I visited their location in Bad Goisern and it was cheap and delicious, so I’d definitely recommend this place! I wish I had known they were in Hallstatt as well.
  • Bräu-Gasthof – According to their website open from May-October and “in winter from December”, whatever that means.
  • Seehotel Grüner Baum

Read more posts about Austria:

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