How to Best Enjoy Obertraun and Hallstatt in Winter (2-Day Itinerary)

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What better way to enjoy winter in all its glory than visit the Alps? Visiting the Austrian Alps was undoubtedly one of my unforgettable experiences. The miles of undisturbed snow, pine trees, and snow-capped mountains, with a beautiful lake in their midst, was such a treat to the eyes. Suppose you are in Austria and just have a weekend or only a couple of days to spare. In that case, I really recommend visiting Obertraun and Hallstatt in the Salzkammergut region of Upper Austria.

I have compiled the perfect Obertraun and Hallstatt itinerary for 2 days to explore this region in winter. I would certainly recommend having an additional spare day as everything in winter highly depends on the weather. It could really help to have an extra day in case the weather makes it difficult to enjoy being out in the cold.

Let’s start right away. You could do the two days in any order based on your preference and convenience. I have jotted it down to the one we followed during our trip.



Day 1 of Obertraun and Hallstatt Itinerary

To make the best use of the two days, we decided to reach Obertraun, where we stayed the night before, so we could start our day early the next morning. With winter, we also have limited daylight, so we chose to plan our travels accordingly.

If you reached Obertraun the previous night like us, then great! If not, travel as early as possible to Obertraun.

How to Reach Obertraun?

You could drive to Obertraun, but there are also convenient options to reach Obertraun by train from Salzburg and Vienna. It takes around 2 and a half hours from Salzburg and approximately 4 hours from Vienna to reach Obertraun by train.

Both options include a train ride to Attnang Pucheim and a transfer to Obertraun (Obertraun Dachsteinhöhlen Bahnhof).

Finalize the Itinerary Based on the Weather in Obertraun and Hallstatt

The 2 days you spend in Obertraun and Hallstatt can be swapped according to the weather. I highly recommend doing Obertraun’s winter activities on a good weather day with at least some clear sky and sunshine. As it involves some winter activities up in the Alps, you might not be able to fully enjoy the views on a cloudy day. With severe weather, it could be possible that the area might be challenging to access.

Start your day early with a good breakfast. We had our coffee and breakfast in Haus Hepi B&B, where we stayed. (I’ll talk more about that at the end of the post.)

Tip! If you are staying in the region, get your regional guest card, which could give you a free ride to the destination.

Enjoy Dachstein Krippenstein

Dachstein Krippenstein is an alpine area easily accessible from the Obertraun village. It is pretty popular in the region for epic winter activities.

Ride the Cable Cars

There are three sections of cable cars that you can take here. The view is stunning at the top. Even if you are not interested in any winter activities, you could still enjoy the views and later have a heartful meal at one of their cozy huts.

Go Snowshoe Hiking

It is one of the fun activities to do when you are in the snowy Alps. This is perfect when you don’t want to ski but still have a little adventure in the snow. We had no idea what snowshoe hiking was until we visited Dachstein Krippenstein. It is just regular hiking but with extra gear to walk in the snow.

The mountains are calling you. Rent your gear along with your cable car tickets, and get going!

Ski in the Austrian Alps

This area is home to an 11km long downhill route in the valley which is quite popular. If you are skiing, I recommend spending the entire day here as it is so much fun.

If you are interested, you can also do other activities like ice climbing and paragliding. We did not go skiing but spent half a day at the top enjoying different snowshoe hiking trails. It takes a bit of time and effort, but it’s absolutely worth it. If you are unsure of the route and find it a little dangerous, you could take a guide with you to have a pleasant and safe experience.

We did not take a guide as the weather was pleasant for a winter morning, and we explored the place on our own. After an exhausting hike, we enjoyed the warmth of a nice Austrian meal in the restaurant up there in the second section of the cable car station.

Check out our post on snowshoe hiking trails and cable car rides for complete information about winter activities around Obertraun.

What About Tickets?

The ticket for accessing only cable cars (Panorama Ticket) costs 39.60 (37.50 online) for an adult. This is the best option for just accessing all 3 sections of the cable cars, including ascent and descent.

Going snowshoe hiking but don’t have your own gear? In that case, you could get the Yeti Ticket, which includes the snowshoe rentals, pointy sticks, and the ascent and descent of 3 cable car sections.

The Yeti Ticket costs 46.50 (44 online) for an adult.

If you are interested in skiing, you could take the tickets only for ascend. For more information on the tickets, check out the official site of Dachstein Krippenstein here.

Tip! I always recommend buying your ticket online as it saves you money (in most cases, like this one) and time. Also, the lines could get crowded at the ticket desk.

How to Reach Dachstein Krippenstein’s Base?

From Obertraun (and some of the nearby villages, including Hallstatt), a ski bus (542 or 543) operates in the winter, taking you free of charge to the Free Sports Arena Dachstein Krippenstein from where you can take the cable cars.

The bus is free if you belong to one of the below categories:

  • If you are skiing in the region and when you carry your winter sports equipment.
  • If you have a guest card. When you are staying in the region, your stay provides you with a guest card.
  • If you have a Salzkammergut Winter Card.

You could just download your free ski bus ticket here.

After spending most of your day in Dachstein Krippenstein, return to Obertraun town. As much fun as the winter activities are, they are also quite exhausting. So it would be a nice balance to do something that won’t tire you out.

Wander in Snowy Obertraun

Obertraun is a small village that mostly looks empty as it is not a popular tourist place, making it so special. As far as the eyes can see, you can see so much snow, and the pine trees are dusted with powdery snow. The place is so peaceful you can hear your feet crushing the snow as you walk the deserted roads. You might see a couple of locals and very few tourists. It was nice to surrender yourself to nature by taking a walk exploring the little village covered in white wonder.

As soon as we started to walk, it started snowing, and we still kept walking and ended up in the woods covered in snow. We didn’t go much deep into the unknown but kept walking through the snow-covered trails, and it was pure bliss. I found so many cats out there chilling and playing, and many were friendly. As a dog person, I made quite a lot of cat friends on this trip.

There is no starting or ending point nor a trail. This is the best way to relax and explore at your own pace and return to your cozy stay or a restaurant based on your preference. We roamed till our feet dropped dead, freezing in the snow, after which we went to the only restaurant we could find, Pizzeria Kegelbahn. We loved the food and ambiance, which we needed after a full day out in the cold. There were a few other restaurants, but most were closed when we visited, and some were closed for the entire season.

End of Day 1 in Obertraun

The sun sets around 5:00 pm, so you cannot do much outside. We enjoyed the evenings in the restaurant, returned to our B&B early, and enjoyed the snowfall outside from inside the warmth of the house. We also took takeout from the Pizzeria to satisfy our late-night cravings.

Must Try! If you love spicy food, you will absolutely enjoy their Spaghetti Aglio Olio. We ordered this at least thrice during our 2 day stay in Obertraun. It was that good!

Where to Stay in Obertraun?

We stayed in an excellent place called Haus Hepi B&B. The hosts were friendly and warm. The room had a balcony overlooking the mountains, and the view was simply incredible. There is a nice little lounge area to relax, with great views and comfortable couches. You could also enjoy some board games or read books once the sun is down.

Alternate Options in Obertraun

Want to explore more options in Obertraun? Please search in Booking.com here. We use Booking.com to book all our stays and have always had a good experience.

Day 2 of Obertraun and Hallstatt Itinerary

Today is the day we visit the popular village of Hallstatt, which looks right out of a fairytale and really lives up to its expectation, and is insanely beautiful. Let’s start the day early to make the best of our last day in the Salzkammergut area.

Hike from Obertraun to Hallstatt Train Station

Although a train connects Obertraun to Hallstatt and is a swift ride, probably taking less than 5 minutes, we could experience so much just by skipping the train. Yeah, that’s right! We walk instead (you can call it hiking or walking or whatever suits you). But why should you walk? You could walk from Obertraun station to Hallstatt station in just about 30 minutes.

The trail looks scenic, and you get the best views of the Hallstatt village from across the lake. In winter, mostly everything is covered in snow, which makes it feel like heaven. The terrain of the trail and the scenery around it kept changing every few meters. Every few minutes, I expressed that the view was more beautiful than anything.

Tip! Once you reach the Hallstatt Station, walk a little further towards the other end of the station platform. Just walk for another 300m, leading to a small suspension bridge worth visiting.

If you are up for more walking, you have a lot of trails to walk around this region, and everything is spectacular and gives you fantastic opportunities to click a lot of pictures. You can check more on the hiking trails in our complete guide about Obertraun.

Our next stop is the much-awaited village of Hallstatt. As you have already reached the Hallstatt station, you just have the last leg of the journey to walk yourselves into fairyland.

Take the Ferry to Hallstatt

Haven’t we already reached Hallstatt? Yes, but not really. As you are on the other side of the Hallstatt lake, to get to the town, here comes the surprise, you need to hop on a ferry for a short ride of 10 minutes which takes you to the village of Hallstatt. The ferry point is just a few meters on foot from the railway station.

Good to know! Are you visiting Hallstatt first? Then you need not wait long to take the ferry as the ferry timings are matched to conveniently take the passengers coming by train from the Attnang-Puchheim direction.

What About Ferry Tickets?

The tickets for the ferry to Hallstatt are not included as part of your rail ticket, so you have to buy them separately. If you are returning by train, the obvious and more economical choice is to buy a return ticket which costs €7 per person. The one-way fare is €5 per person. (That is why I suggested a return ticket.)

Tip! If you are interested in hiking, you could walk to Obertraun from the Hallstatt village on the other side of the lake. In this case, you need not take a return ticket for the ferry.

Good to know! Carry cash and preferably carry some change. Also, you are not allowed to consume food while on the ferry. You could also bring along your dogs, but they need to be on a leash.

Roam Around the Village of Hallstatt

Before we explore this pretty village, I want to set your expectations right. Hallstatt is indeed very beautiful. That said, do not expect to exactly see what you have seen on Instagram or anywhere. The beauty of the place could be tainted by the number of tourists visiting this tiny little place. The entire village has only around 800 residents. You can imagine how only as few as 50 tourists at once could make the place look crowded. If you are stuck with many tourists, look for my tips to escape crowds later in the post.

Also, this differs from visiting any tourist place, where you can have a packed itinerary filled with many things to do and see. This is an actual village filled with picturesque pastel-colored houses built right into the side of a mountain overlooking a beautiful lake. Yeah, which leaves you with endless beauty in every direction, allowing you to click a ton of pictures until your phone runs out of battery or memory.

Patience is Key in Hallstatt

Having said that, there aren’t many things to do here in Hallstatt other than the splendid beauty around you. I am sure that just nature in its all spectacular form is more than enough for me, but if you still prefer having some specific list of things to do while visiting any place, here are some experiences you can enjoy in Hallstatt.

Hallstatt is originally known for its salt mines, which led to this beautiful village’s creation. You can go visit the salt mine and take a tour. For more information on the salt mine tour, check out the official website.

You must take a funicular from Hallstatt to go to the salt mine. You could also ride the funicular and visit the Hallstatt Skywalk, even if you do not plan to tour the salt mine. You can see some aerial views of the lake and the village from up there.

Hallstatt may seem like just a small village tunneled into the Alps, but it has quite some history. You could learn all about the 7000-year-old history of the village and the salt mining by visiting the museum of Hallstatt at the center of the village.

You could do all these based on your preference or just explore the village on foot and just keep walking around enjoying the beautiful views and tasting some of the finest Austrian foods in the restaurants and cafes.

Also, I forgot to mention the swans in the lake. There are plenty of them, making it so romantic. They seemed to be incredible posers as well. I think they adapted themselves to the millions of tourists visiting every year. They are so cute, graciously gliding through the lake. You could just side by the lake and watch them for hours, let your hair down, and unwind yourselves from the chaos of everyday life. If you are already enjoying a peaceful life, this would only make it more pleasant.

Tips to Escape From the Crowd in Hallstatt

Most tourists arrive by ferry, and luckily there is always a gap between the arrival of two ferries. So if you want to have a more enjoyable experience, the key is patience. If you don’t like waiting in line so others can finish clicking pictures, just grab a coffee like we did, have a snack, or wait. Most people move toward the viewpoint or the main square, and within a couple of minutes, they will be gone; this way, you can still get good views without crowds.

If you are stuck with tourists, just climb all the stairs you see. Most people won’t take up those icy stairs, and you will lose the crowd quickly. One of the stairs was covered with a wooden roof and had a bench to sit mid-way and enjoy the lovely views.

Some Extra Helpful Information for Your Hallstatt Visit

Luggage Storage

Are you visiting Hallstatt with a lot of baggage? Just check with the ferry crew. They can help you with luggage storage options so that you can enjoy the village without having to lug your suitcase up and down the stairs.

Public Washrooms

You can find public washrooms almost everywhere, with clear signs directing you to them.

ATMs

There are only a few ATMs in Hallstatt. Some shops and restaurants accept only cash, so carry some cash in hand.

Must try! Take a coffee break and load yourself with some sugar-loaded pastries and baked goods at Maislinger. It was just too delicious to say no to. Well, you could maybe climb more stairs later in the day and compensate for it or not (Who counts calories on a vacation?).

Where to Stay in Hallstatt?

Let’s see some of the best places to stay if you want to enjoy more of this fairytale village.

Bräugasthof Hallstatt (One of the best places to stay. You could get great deals if you plan your travel well ahead.)

Alternative Options

Other great options could be a wee bit pricier, though, but with Hallstatt, the stays are pretty expensive. But they have some enchanting views.

Want to explore more options in Hallstatt? Please search in Booking.com here. We use Booking.com to book all our stays and have always had a good experience.

End of Day 2 in Hallstatt

After a day of being swayed by the beauty and history of the village, mountains, swans, and snow-covered houses, it is probably time to retire to your stay, return back home, or continue your journey to a different place, taking back all the beautiful memories and tons of pictures, I suppose. My phone was so full it took me days to upload all the pictures in batches.

If you are to return to Obertraun (maybe to pick up your luggage from your stay, like we did), I suggest you hike back through the long route if you have some energy left to spend. The views are obviously breathtaking. If not, it is time to hop back on the ferry and head home. You could take a train from the Hallstatt station to Vienna or Salzburg via Attnang Puchheim.

Do you want a heads-up about the best photo spots in Hallstatt? Check out our post on the best Hallstatt photo spots. Also, if you are traveling in Winter, read our detailed guide about visiting Obertraun in winter.

Kiki from RooKiExplorers posing in a field of pink hyacinths in the Netherlands.
The Face Behind the Post

Hey, I am Kiki! A full-time software developer and hardcore travel enthusiast who is always up for a new adventure and the author of RooKiExplorers. I love to travel the world and enjoy talking about it, helping everyone around me plan their trips, and avoiding making the mistakes I made.

8 thoughts on “How to Best Enjoy Obertraun and Hallstatt in Winter (2-Day Itinerary)”

  1. I will admit that I am not a cold wintery person but your pictures make me want this experience. It looks like something from a movie. I want the train ride and the snowshoeing and ALL of it! Thank you so much for sharing. It’s dreamy!

    Reply
    • Thanks for the compliments! Happy that you liked our pics. 🙂

      Hope you plan to visit Austria soon in winter! After visiting, maybe you might warm up to winter. 😀

      Reply

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