Planning a trip to Salzburg and Hallstatt

After patiently waiting like everyone else, for the pandemic to slow down, I dared to buy tickets for first fun Europe travel. Two places in Austria were on my wishlist – Salzburg and Hallstatt. These were the destinations I had in my mind for few years now. I was glad that this Easter break seemed right time to pursue this. We had been to Vienna, Innsbruck and Graz in the past and one can find detailed blogs about them here.

We started our trip to Salzburg from Sweden via Frankfurt with Lufthansa airlines. We arrived in Salzburg quite late at night and were exhausted. If you are leaving from Frankfurt and have a flight leaving from Gate B, keep on mind it is a super long walk until you reach B- gates.

Salzburg

Salzburg Airport is small and we walked from the flight till the airport building. Since we did not have any checked in baggages, we literally walked immediately towards the exit which is very easy to find.

We had planned to book a taxi on the spot. There is a stand outside the arrival gate, where metered taxi rides keep arriving every few minutes. Took the taxi ride till our guest house. Luckily late night check-in arrangement was made at the guest house. We slept off immediately.

Next day we spent exploring Salzburg. I will write a separate blog about

Reaching Hallstatt

A day after that we took three bus rides to reach Hallstatt from Salzburg. First bus leaves from bus depot in front of Salzburg Hauptbanhof. Its a 90 minute ride from there till Bad Ischl bus station with Bus nr. 150. We bought the tickets to Hallstatt Lahn on this bus itself. Driver accepts cash and not card. 15euro per adult for the entire route from Salzburg to Hallstatt. Ticket is for all the bus rides until you reach Hallstatt. We bought our small luggage bags inside the bus.

After reaching Bad Ischl station, it is easy to find the stop for your next bus ride. It is almost adjacent station to where bus stops. Next bus number is 542 heading to Gosausee. It takes 20 minutes for this bus to reach Gosaumühle.

At this stop we changed over to our final bus ride. Bus no. 543 is standing and waiting right next to bus no 542. It takes only 10 minutes for bus no 543 to reach Hallstatt Lahn.

Hallstatt

Even though Hallstatt had a very rainy evening and night when we reached, we enjoyed the weather as much as we can. More about it in an upcoming blog.

One can also take a train directly from Salzburg to Hallstatt. We preferred this route as its scenic, faster and our accommodation was on the Hallstatt Lahn side. Train stops on the other side of the lake and then we would have had to take another ferry ride to reach our accommodation.

View from Hallstatt Lahn of the Hallstatt village and the lake

Hallstatt is a small village which can be easily seen in one day. We enjoyed some typcal touristy activities and skipped many as well. Hallstatt was not our final stop. We took a ferry from Marktplatz in Hallstatt till Hallstatt train station which is on the other side of the Hallstatt Lake.

Picture from the ferry ride while departing from Marktplatz

It is a beautiful 15-20 minutes ferry ride which cost 3.50euros per person- one way. Toddlers ride for free.

Hallstatt to Graz

Train journey from Hallstatt to Graz was not pre booked. Though I highly recommend to pre-book, if you are sure about your itinerary. We decided to book it on the spot as we knew that the weather in Hallstatt on the day we land will be rainy and would be glorious the next day. So we avoided pre-booked train tickets, so we could enjoy good weather in Hallstatt without worrying about reaching the train station. Tickets can be booked on OBB Website which is the official train company website for transport in Austria.

It is possible to book tickets on the station using card at a ticket machine counter. Hallstatt station has only one platform with trains halting from both directions.

Train journey from Hallstatt to Graz was exceptionally beautiful. The views of the nearby mountains was simply breathtaking. Open green fields, forests, mountain ranges and cute villages to accompany along the journey. What else would you need.

Graz

Graz was our last and final stop. We flew back to Sweden again with Lufthansa via Frankfurt. Layover was of more than 3 hours.. And now I feel almost equipped to write something about Frankfurt layover stories.

Final words

I hope this blog is motivation for you to plan your Austria trip. Beautiful Alpine village like Hallstatt is extremely popular with tourists and crowded yet you will not regret it.

If you are living in Europe with a car near to Austria or in Austria, I hope you have already seen Hallstatt or plan to do so very soon in future. There are many notable places to visit around Hallstatt which are better and easily accessible by car than public transport.

  • Day 1 evening/night : Land in Salzburg late night
  • Day 2 : Explore Salzburg
  • Day 3: Leave for Hallstatt after breakfast around 12pm and reach by 3.30pm. Explore Hallstatt in evening.
  • Day 4: Explore Hallstatt half a day. Catch a train to Graz, reach Graz.
  • Day 5: Leave for Stockholm in afternoon

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