Austria, Day 5 – Salzburg to Hallstatt
Left our hotel by pre booked taxi to Salzburg Hbf for our 11:12 a.m. InterCity (IC) train to Hallstatt requiring a change to a Regional Express (REX) train at Attnang Puchheim. Advanced tickets were purchased through OBB at €50.20 for 2 persons. For a further €6, we booked 2 seats on the IC train. Again, there was no option for seat selection. There is only one stop at Vocklabruck from Salzburg to Attnang Puchheim. This segment takes 46 minutes. You only purchase 1 ticket from Salzburg to Hallstatt not 2 separate segment tickets.
At Attnang Puchheim, the REX train will be waiting for your connection to Hallstatt. You do need to hurry as you have about 11 minutes to do so. A change of platform is required and this is done through the underground bypass. If you originated from Salzburg, the train to Hallstatt will be heading to what seems back to the direction where you came from. Don’t worry, you’re on a different track and you’re on the right direction. On REX trains, it’s free seating and toilet facilities are available.
Unlike Railjet, seats in OBB IC & REX trains are 6 seats to a cabin basis.
From Attnag Puchheim, there will be about 10 stops to Hallstatt. So observe the stop/station signboard. It will take 1 hour 24 minutes to reach Hallstat train stop (Hallstatt Bahnhst). The train stop is just that, a stop with a stretch of platform without shelter.
There’s a small ‘office’ at the end of the platform but looks deserted. There seems to be no ticket machine or counter. Those requiring return or onwards ticket, better buy them at your originating station.
Walk pass the office turn right and walk down 50m to the nearby jetty where a waiting boat will take you across the lake to Hallstatt town (Hallstatt Markt) boat jetty. The one way trip cost €2.40 and you pay on board. There will always be a boat waiting for the train. The boat will arrive earlier before the train arrival for departing passengers.
Once you are on the boat and nearing Hallstatt town ferry stop (Hallstatt Markt), you will be awe by the charm of this small township. It’s a short 10 minutes boat ride and you would want to take as many photos to cherish later on. What you used to see on postcards, screen savers and calendars is now right in-front of you.
We’ve made booking at Hotel Gruner Baum which is a short distance from the jetty. Alighting the boat, walk straight about 45m turn left and another 45m to your left is the hotel. We were given room 106 on the first floor facing the town square. What a perfect room with a perfect view. The room itself is super spacious with up-scale amenities.
After a couple hour’s rest, with the drizzle showing no sign of stopping, armed with umbrellas, we ventured Hallstatt’s square and it’s vicinity.
Austria, Day 6 – Hallstatt
With the light drizzle continuing on-and-off and tomorrow we’ll be leaving for Cesky Krumlov, we set to walk from our hotel to Hallstatt Lahn where the bus stop, 2nd jetty & public car parking are located. It’s a 650m, 10 minutes brisk walk. As you walk, on your left is the lake and on your right are houses built on the hillside. Charming scenery as can be seen from the following photos.
Once you reached this small flower round-about, you’ve reached Hallstatt Lahn. Those taking public transport and inter-city shuttle, will embark and disembark here. Private and public vehicles are not allowed to enter Hallstatt town proper. If you drive, you will have to park your vehicle at the paid public parking area further up. Hallstatt town do have van shuttle service to take you to your hotel in Hallstatt town proper but you have to make prior arrangement with your hotel.
Within 5 minutes walking distance from the bus stop, is the funicular station up to the hilltop restaurant and a further walk (quite a distance really), to the salt mine. You buy your funicular ticket and/or the salt mine ticket here. A return funicular ticket cost €13 and we only choose to go up to the viewing platform below the restaurant. After you exit the funicular, walk straight and to your right take the elevator up the panoramic bridge. Then make your way to the platform just below the restaurant. It’s called the Welterbeblick world heritage view.
The ‘V’-shaped steel platform protrudes from the mountain side 360 meters above Hallstatt. The structure weighs about 200 tons and 60 cubic meters of concrete were used as counterweight to make the platform a secure “floating” platform. Anyone venturing onto the platform will be rewarded with a spectacular and panoramic view of Hallstatt and it’s World Heritage region.
Hallstatt Markt to Hallstatt Lahn to funicular station. Don’t be intimidated by the distance. It looks far on the map but all within casual walking distance except Halstatt Bahnhst ….. you’ll need to swim there.
Panoramic bridge to the restaurant just above the viewing platform.
We ended our activity for the day just admiring the charm of Hallstatt as we walked back from the funicular station to our hotel. Of-course, we didn’t miss to photograph Hallstatt’s several favorite landmarks.