A visit to Hallstatt is not complete without enjoying some viewpoints from above the city. Getting those views of Hallstattsee, the village down below, and the surrounding mountainsides is a must do during a trip. This guide will go over the Hallstatt Skywalk viewpoint in particular, along with the relevant info about the Salzbergbahn Hallstatt funicular that takes you up to the viewing platform.
What's in this article?
1) What is the Hallstatt Skywalk and Salzbergbahn
Hallstatt is just a small lakeside village, home to less than 1,000 residents. Although small in size, it is one of the most popular places to visit in Austria. The town looks and feels like it is straight out of a fairytale with its variety of buildings built alongside a beautiful lake.
Located 350 meters / 1,150 feet above town, you will find the Hallstatt Skywalk World Heritage View Welterbeblick. From the Skywalk you will be able to take in some views of the town down below, alongside the lake and mountains in every which direction.
To get up to the Hallstatt Skywalk you will need to either make the one hour hike or take the Salzbergbahn Hallstatt – a 5-minute funicular ride that takes you right up to the viewpoint area, as well as to the famous Hallstatt Salt Mine.
Read on to learn more about the Skywalk, Salzbergbahn, Salt Mine, and the optional hike up for your visit to Hallstatt.
2) Getting In
In order to take part of the Hallstatt Skywalk, you of course first need to make your way to the town of Hallstatt first. There are really three main ways of getting yourself to town center:
Rental Car: If you have your own rental car, you should be good to go. Simply make your way to the “Hallstatt Parking P2” lot, and the Salzbergbahn is just right around the corner from there. If the P2 lot is full, continue just a bit further to the P1 lot and then start your walk from there.
OBB Train: You can also arrive to Hallstatt by train if coming in from other parts of Austria such as Vienna. The train station is directly across the lake from Hallstatt. Once off the train, simply take the quick ferry ride that brings you across to town.
Local Bus: Lastly, you can also arrive by bus if coming from a place like Salzburg for example. You can first take bus #150 that will get you from Salzburg to Bad Ischl. From Bad Ischl you can hop on the 542 bus to Hallstatt Gosaumuhle, and from there to Hallstatt Lahn on bus 543.
3) Where to Stay
When it comes to Hallstatt you can decide to stay within the town itself or choose a nearby town instead. While staying in Hallstatt is a great option, there is also a chance that either 1) all rooms are sold out or 2) the available rooms are out of your budget.
Since Hallstatt is pretty small, there are not that many options to choose from. So, if you can’t get something you are looking for, then it is time to choose a nearby town instead.
With that said, here are some alternatives to staying within Hallstatt – Bad Ischl, Bad Goisern, Obertaun, and Gosau. All of these towns are within a 10-30 minute drive to Hallstatt / you can leverage the trains and busses that pass through them to get to town.
Below are some of my recommendations to choose from in Hallstatt as well as in each one of the alternative towns. Each one is highly rated and would be a great option to choose from for your trip.
4) Hallstatt Skywalk and Salzbergbahn Location
See below for the Google Maps view of where the Salzbergbahn funicular and Hallstatt Skywalk are located.
Walking times from various parts of town are as follow: P1 Parking Lot (7 minutes), P2 Parking Lot (2 minutes), Town Center / Ferry Terminal (12 minutes), Hallstatt Lahn Bus Stop (4 minutes).
If you would like to take the zig zagging hiking trail up, you can catch the trail from right above the town center (more on that later).
5) Salzbergbahn Hallstatt
The easiest way to make your way up to the Hallstatt Skywalk World Heritage View is to take the 5 minute funicular cable car right up the side of the mountain that overlooks Hallstatt.
Below is a screenshot for the cable car hours until September 2020 as well as the current cable car prices (with an optional Salt Mine add on). Please take a look at the latest schedule and prices before you go.
Once you arrive at the bottom station, simply purchase your tickets and wait for the cable car to take you up. There are two funiculars, which go up and down the railway taking people in both directions.
During those peak summer months, you may find there to be a bit of a wait to head up/down, so going there earlier or later in the day may be your best bet if that is the case.
6) Hallstatt Skywalk Welterbeblick Viewpoint
Once you have reached the top station of the Salzbergbahn, it is time to enjoy the view from above at the Hallstatt World Heritage View Skywalk.
You can either head on the lift at the top station that takes you up to the Skywalk and towards the viewing platform, or you can exit the top station, walk around and then up the staircase that takes you to the viewpoint.
Up top you will also find the Rudolfsturm Restaurant, where you can grab a seat outside and have some lunch or drinks with a view.
Right below the restaurant platform is the main viewing area of the Hallstatt Skywalk. This triangle shaped platform, hangs off the side of the mountain as you get to really enjoy those views of Hallstatt and the lake down below, and the surrounding mountains in every which direction.
7) Hallstatt Salt Mine
If the Salzbergbahn and Hallstatt World Heritage View Skywalk weren’t enough for you, there is more that can be enjoyed up top as well. The other main attraction up here is the Hallstatt Salt Mine – the oldest salt mine in the world.
While I didn’t end up visiting the salt mine myself, many people say it is one of the top highlights when visiting Hallstatt. From the top of the funicular station you will walk along a 15-minute path across the Hallstatt High Valley to the entrance of the salt mine.
You can only access the salt mines as part of a guided tour though, and these last 90 minutes. The tours do run continuously throughout the day but if you would like to guarantee a funicular ride time, you can book in advance through the Hallstatt Salt Mine Online Booking service.
Including the round trip Salzbergbahn, the walk to and from the salt mine entrance, and the tour itself, expect to set aside around 3 hours of your day. And then before or after your tour, be sure to check out the Hallstatt Skywalk too!
You will get to walk about 2 km / 1.2 miles into the mine as you explore the tunnels and learn more about the history of Hallstatt mining. On top of that, you will be able to slide down 2 long miner slides and see a subterranean salt lake. At the end of the tour, you will hop on a mine train that will bring you back outside.
Helpful note: the temperature inside the mine is 8 degrees Celsius / 46 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. Since it is a bit cooler in there, be sure to come prepared with an extra layer.
8) The Hallstatt Hiking Trail
Instead of taking the funicular up/down the mountain, you can also opt for a zig zagging hiking trail that slowly takes you above Hallstatt and onto the Hallstatt Skywalk. This hour long trail heads through the forest, passing by waterfalls and some beautiful views of Hallstatt village.
You can catch the trail anywhere from town as you make your way up towards the main road and then begin the trail shortly thereafter. See below for a map of the trail to give you a better idea of what the hike looks like.
Along the way you will pass by a bunch of information boards with helpful info about the surrounding area, the old entrance to the Franz Josef salt mine, as well as various spots to sit down at and take in the views.
Once up top, you can head to the Skywalk, viewing platform, and restaurant as you get to relax above Hallstatt.
9) Other Activities & Attractions
While the Hallstatt Skywalk is one of the main attractions to visit, there are plenty more places in and around the Hallstatt area. Below are just some of those places that I visited during my time in Hallstatt.
Dachstein Krippenstein: home to the Dachstein Ice Cave, Mammut Cave, 5 Fingers Viewing Platform and Heilbronner Hiking Trail
Hallstatt Viewpoints: Small Island Viewpoint & Classic Village Viewpoint
Hallstatt Old Town: Beinhaus Ossuary, Hallstatt Lutheran Church, Marktplatz
Waterfall Trail: Waldbachstrub Waterfall → Learn more in the Waldbachstrub Waterfall Guide
» You can learn much more about the town and each one of these attractions in the Hallstatt Itinerary I have up on the site
» If you are up for an adrenaline option you can also check out the Donnerkogel Klettersteig located just 30 minutes away. The Donnerkogel can be summited either by a hiking trail or a Via Ferrata route that takes you to the top.
That about wraps up a guide to the Hallstatt Skywalk and Salzbergbahn Hallstatt. If you have any additional questions or comments about it all, write them in below.