Mixing beautiful scenery with a fascinating history and a host of outdoor activities, Hallstatt is one of the premier destinations in the Austrian Alps. With trains to Hallstatt running to nearby Obertraun-Dachsteinhöhlen, travelling there by rail is an excellent way to arrive.
It's not actually possible to take the train all the way to Hallstatt. Instead, almost all trains will arrive at Obertraun-Dachsteinhöhlen Bahnhof, which is located on the other side of the Hallstättersee. From there, travellers will need to transfer to the ferry service that meets each train and transports visitors to Hallstatt itself.
Trains to Obertraun-Dachsteinhöhlen Bahnhof are operated by ÖBB, the Austrian national rail network. To get there, visitors will need to take rail connections from either Salzburg or Vienna (both of which have airports with excellent UK connections), before changing at Attnang-Puchheim.
Travelling to Hallstatt by train is almost always the best transportation option, even though there's no station actually in the town itself. Trains run to docks located 15 minutes from Hallstatt, and the journey times from airports in Salzburg or Vienna can be as quick as 2 hours 30 minutes. Moreover, rail travellers can board services at airport stations, instead of heading to city centre bus stations, cancelling out any time advantages that coaches might have. ÖBB's prices are very reasonable, which makes visiting Hallstatt a little cheaper. Finally, arrival by train is a wonderful experience, as routes snake through valleys, and the ferry glides across the lake to its destination. It's a great way to start a holiday in Hallstatt.
When arriving by train, visitors should remember that ferry journeys are required. They may want to arrive around sunset to enjoy the finest views as their boat crosses the lake. In Hallstatt itself, there's no need to worry about transport. Cars and buses are absent and everything is very compact. Visitors can walk between the Cultural Heritage Museum and the Beinhaus (Bone House), or walk to the famous Salt Caves. However, the natural surroundings are really Hallstatt's superstar attraction. Join boat tours, swim in the lake, hire bikes, and simply bask in one of Austria's most beautiful valleys.