You will need to pinch yourself to see if you're dreaming while visiting Hallstatt, Austria! Trust me, you're not dreaming but it really will feel like a fairytale! The colorful houses are stacked on the side of the mountain next to a beautiful waterfall, the city is full of yummy cafes, cute little boats and all of this is situated on a seriously gorgeous lake.
Austria already is amazing but this just bumped it wayyy up to the top of my bucket list.
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Rent A Tug Boat
For 20 Euros (about $23) you can rent a cute little tug boat to cruise around the lake in. The boat only goes about 2mph but the views you get from the water are unbeatable and gives you a really neat perspective of the quaint village. Plus, 20 Euros split between a few of you in your ILP group isn't too bad at all!
The Funicular And Salt Mine
Maybe I'm like a little kid, but I still think funiculars are so cool! Ride the funicular up the mountain to the Hallstatt Salt Mines. Not only is it fun but it will save you an hour hike up the mountain. From there you can go underground and walk through the tunnels and rooms. You can even visit the underground lake (okay, awesome!!), take the slide down deeper into the mine, or ride the miner's train.
Take A Hike
Hallstatt has some beautiful hikes that can take you around the lake and through the mountains. A recommended one would be The Salt Brine Trail. This can be reached by taking the funicular up the mountain. Instead of taking the funicular down you can hike this trail down. This hike will take you right passed the Mühlbach (Millbrook Waterfall ) back to the heart of town.
Another hike is the Panorama Trail. This is more of a leisurely walk than a hike. The trail starts behind the cemetery at the Catholic church. Take a few steps onto the forest road and you will have amazing views as you take this hike. At the bridge to the Mühlbach the road will change to asphalt and will lead you back down a small hill the the bottom of the mountain,
Market Square is the center of town and something you will definitely stumble upon. Full of cafes and shops it is a nice place to explore and pick up souvenirs. Throughout the year they have different events like Christmas markets, concerts and other holiday celebrations. I could sit here for hours and people watch!
Check out the museum to learn more about the history of Hallstatt. Starting from the Stone Age and ending at present day you can learn all about the city's history, Salt Mines and cemeteries. *The museum has been open since 1888 even that on its own is a piece of history!
This is the place to go if you want to try some delicious traditional Austrian pastries. Fresh bread, drinks and desserts will welcome you and have you drooling. Mmmm. So good! Here's the address so you know where to go:
Bäckerei und Cafe Maislinger
Hallstatt truly will leave you in awe. It's magical and something that you just need to experience! Check it out and soak it all in, you will love it!
Ready to visit amazing places like Hallstatt? Spend a semester volunteering in Europe! Whether you end up volunteering in Ukraine, Poland or one of ILP's other European countries you really can't go wrong!
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