Hallstatt Skywalk hike is a popular trail which takes about 1 hour up and 45 minutes back down. The hike is of moderate difficulty on gravel road, but prepare for steep sweaty walk up the mountain. The trail is well marked and you will pass many educational boards explaining interesting history of salt mining. We will describe it in the next chapter in details.
You can alternatively take cable car (funicular), but hiking it up on your own is much more rewarding experience and your body will thank you for that. Fresh mountain air and spectatular views opening with every curve are totally worth it.
How to get there
Hallstatt is accessible by train and bus, but because of the high ticket prices around Austria, we prefer to rent a car. We will still describe all 3 options.
Coming by train from Salzburg or Vienna, you will change once in Attnang-Puchheim and the price for one way ticket will be around 50 euros from Vienna or 30 euros from Salzburg. You can book tickets online here. But be aware that train doesn’t actually bring you to Hallstatt village, but over the lake to the train station from where you have to take a ferry (4 euros) to get to the village and starting point of Hallstatt skywalk hike.
Bus is quite convenient mean of transport if you come from Salzburg. You will change only twice and pay around 15 euros for one way. Bus will bring you directly to city of Hallstatt (unlike train). Check schedule here and don’t forget to untick train in advanced options to see only buses. Tickets can be bought at bus station or directly from driver.
If you come from Vienna consider switching to train instead otherwise prepare for 5-6 changes.
Seeing how complicated and pricey it is to come by public transport, it is better to rent a car. You can check the car rentals comparison for best offer.
It is very easy to navigate to Hallstatt, especially in the times of GPS and smartphones. It becomes a bit tricky with parking, but we have both paid and unpaid options for you.
There are 3 paid parking lots (P1, P2, P3) with signs pointing to them around the Hallstatt. The parking fee is in our opinion ridiculously high.
Prices for parking in 2018:
- 20 minutes free
- 20 minutes to 1 hour: 3,50 Euro
- 1 hour to 2 hours: 6,50 Euro
- 2 hours to 3 hours: 8,50 Euro
- 3 hours to 12 hours: 9,50 Euro
- 12 hours to 24 hours: 0,50 Euro / per hour
There is official free parking 3km away from the city center – you can find it here. But as it is half an hour walk from starting point of Hallstatt skywalk hike, it is probably not the most convenient option.
We found one more free parking in the city center. You cannot rely on it being always available and at the time of our visit there were only 2 empty spots. You can find it here. It is great place just meters from the start of the Hallstatt skywalk hike.
There are not many free parking spaces like this around Hallstatt, but generally if there is no sign forbidding to park then you can park there.
Hallstatt skywalk hike
The Hallstatt skywalk hike starts at the cable car station here. From here you go on asphalt road up the hill in forest until you reach small wooden pergola. This is where you turn left and gravel trail starts. From now on you follow the path curving left and right while enjoying the views (once you leave the forest canopy) and reading about salt mining history.
After about 1 hour of walk you will reach Hallstatt Skywalk station. There is also restaurant with great views.
After you enjoyed the magnificent views all around you can continue walking up the hill to salt mine station where you can get a tour explaining you everything from history to techniques and tools of mining. If you had enough, you turn and go back down the same way you came here.
From skywalk station it is about 40 minutes to get back down. We recommend not to go down to the cable car station where you started, but instead to deviate from the asphalt road few meters under the wooden pergola to the left (about here). The road will turn into set of stairs with beautiful views above heart of Hallstatt and eventually end up in Hallstatt village.
After you walk around small village center you can finish the circle along the lake coast and get back to where you started.
Where to stay
In case you want to enjoy Hallstatt for more than a day and walk around beautifuly lit village at night or to have early morning walk in the empty misty streets then we have some options for you.
Best price – value ratio
This small hotel is located just in the center with amazing views on the lake. Older furniture, but it gives a soul to the place. Note that the place is not a barrier free as you need to walk a narrow stairs to the room. Great value for the price.
Couple honeymoon place
This is the perfect honeymoon place. Lovely decoration, view on the lake and private location. Perfect romantic hideaway for couples.
Quiet family place
This family holiday place is about 1km away from the center in peaceful location. It has everything a family needs. 2 bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen with complimentary food, garden, big parking and last but not the least super friendly owners. Restaurant is around the corner. You will feel like home away from your home.
Hallstatt is a beautiful and cozy village with plenty of outdoor activites both in summer and winter. To be honest in the main season you might find it bit overcrowded and commercialized. But that is the price every magnificent place has to pay.