Hallstatt winter in fairytale town
Hallstatt in winter? An ice kingdom offering warm hugs! Nature like a postcard, mountains like in the palm of your hand, a caress for the soul, a picturesque village – very few people have not heard of the Austrian village of Hallstatt and its incredible landscape.
The village is between the lake of the same name and the Dachstein mountain range, and together they are proud to be on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Weather in Hallstatt during winter
Surely every tourist, when going somewhere, wants to know what the weather is like in that place. Tourists from all over the world come here to admire the beauty of nature, especially in summer. However, Hallstatt has its charm even in winter – without a doubt, it can excite skiers, tourists, and even Christmas market enthusiasts!
As you can see winters in Hallstatt are cold. With an elevation of 523m / 1716feet, the average high temperature in December: -0.1°C, average low temperature in December: -6.5°C. The month with the lowest average high temperature is January (-1.8°C). The coldest month (with the lowest average low temperature) is February (-9°C).
We definitely recommend packing warm clothes. During the winter months, the temperature in Hallstatt is below freezing. In addition to frost, snowing is also every other day. On average, it snows for about 17.5 days in December.
Does Hallstatt lake freeze?
When it gets colder, the lake starts to freeze slightly on the sides. However, if you are worried that this will limit your ferry journey, there is no danger of this happening. Ferries operate here all year round, including winter. The Traun River is a powerful force of nature that flows from the mountains in the south, through the Hallstatt lake, and continues its strong current northward, making the lake a rare sight that never freezes.
What (not only) winter fun does Hallstatt offer?
If there is any place that has a warm atmosphere even on the coldest days, it is Hallstatt. The number of activities here is quite extensive and there is something for everyone.
A walk through the picturesque streets
Undemanding tourists or admirers of architectural gems will certainly appreciate a walk across the magical streets, which are surrounded by shops and hospitality establishments that invite fot FRESH LEBKUCHEN and PINECONE SCHNAPPS.
Hallstatt boasts a beautiful historic center – on the Marktplatz, from which you can walk at a leisurely pace to the Evangelische Pfarrkirche (church), which dominates most panoramic photos from this location. The church regularly hosts concerts that are open to the public. There are regular markets on the square, and the Advent markets are among the most popular.
There are regular markets on the square, and the Advent markets are among the most popular. If you would like to experience Austrian Christmas traditions, definitely visit Hallstatt during the month of December. Find out more about the Christmas markets.
Also worth mentioning is the Welterbemuseum Hallstatt, which exhibits an unrivaled collection of discoveries from its salt mines and burial grounds.
Salt Mine in winter
If you would like to visit the Salt Mine, check the opening hours, as it is usually closed in winter and does not open until February. You can secure your tickets online in advance on the mine’s official website, where you can also check the current opening hours.
Walk to the best views in winter Hallstatt
In addition to the beautiful village, if you are looking for a bit of alpine nature, we recommend visiting the Salzberg mountain with World Heritage Skywalk or Rudolfsturm restaurant above the town. In summer it is visited by many tourists. However, this is not the case in winter, when you will find peace and views without tourists.
From Hallstatt you can hike up there. However, an interesting experience can also be a ride on the Salzbergbahn cable car, which leaves directly from the town of Hallstatt and takes you to the breathtaking Rudolfsturm viewpoint in 3 minutes. You can enjoy the snow-covered surrounding landscape as you ride the orange cabin. If you’re a keen photographer, you won’t want to miss this place! In addition to the spectacular view, you will also find a home-style restaurant located right in the tower. For the adrenaline-seekers who want to enjoy the breathtaking Alpine panorama, there is the World Heritage Sky Walk, located 350 metres from the rooftops of the Hallstatt Houses. The attraction is located directly below the former defence tower on the Hallstatt Salt Mountain (Salzberg). From the top station of the Hallstatt cable car, it is only a 2-minute walk to the viewpoint! See Tickets to Skywalk.
In winter, we recommend checking the opening times of the cable car.
Five fingers – viewpoint near Hallstatt in winter
We’ll stay with the viewpoints for a while. Five fingers is an absolutely breathtaking panoramic point which is very easy to reach. The viewpoint is located at the top of Krippenstein, which can be reached by cable car from Obertraun.
For those who don’t have a ski pass, the price of the cable car is around 35€, but we recommend checking the official website for current prices. It is about a 30-minute walk from the exit station, during which the Dachstein massif and its beauty unfolds before your eyes. At the top you will find 5 outcrops where you can take a photo with this natural beauty.
Silence of the Hallstatt Winter Night
If you want to enjoy the glow of the winter decorations, the crunching snow underfoot and the starry sky, we recommend an evening walk. Most tourists come here only for sightseeing during the day. However, it is better to stay here, find nice accommodation and enjoy the atmosphere of Hallstatt in the evening. You will have the streets of Hallstatt to yourself in the evening.
Hallstatt – a paradise for skiers and snowboarders
Thanks to Hallstatt’s location, there are several options for skiing. With a Dachtein West ski pass you have access to several resorts in the area and can book online. The entire resort of Dachstein West is spread over three main locations and amongst others the boarding stations, which are Gosau, Russbach and Annaberg. Our recommendations:
Beautiful cross-country skiing trails near Hallstatt
When vacationing in Hallstatt, you can enjoy the picturesque scenery that lines the cross-country ski trails. The area around Hallstatt offers plenty of trails for cross-country skiing. From the groomed trails in Gosau, Bad Goisern and the Koppental Valley to the trails in Bad Mitterndof. Whether you prefer classic or skate, you can find the perfect ski trail for your needs. So, come explore Hallstatt and then experience the thrill of cross-country skiing around!
Alpine ski tour near Hallstatt
Ski alpinist lovers will not be disappointed here either. The Dachstein West resort also offers this option. The route called Atomic Backland is approximately 1.5 h long and open to the public during the opening hours of the centre in Russbach. And the Dachstein Krippenstein has 11km long ski slope where we saw many ski alpinists this February.
Therme – spa – winter in Hallstatt
After all the sports fun, many of us will appreciate relaxation in the form of wellness or sauna. In Austria, it is quite common to have a sauna in accommodation, many also offer certified massages, don’t be afraid to take advantage of it!
However, if you like water fun, visit the Grimming Terme, which offers not only many water attractions but also impressive views. With three indoor and four outdoor pools, relaxation zones on 5 floors, a separate children’s area with a giant water slide, a children’s pool, a sauna village with a sauna bar, with an impressive view of the Grimming massif. In the middle of nature. In the middle of the Alps.
It is about 30 min by car from Hallstatt, Obertraun area. Right next to these thermal baths is the start of the cross country ski track, so you can do a circuit on skis and then immediately regenerate in the spa without having to move your car.
If you are going to Hallstatt and its surroundings we recommend using the Salzkammergut WinterCard. You can get this card for free if you stay at establishments that support this program. Consequently, with this card you get 25% access to more than 60 attractions.
Conclusion to Hallstatt winter
Hallstatt in winter offers a broad array of activities for tourists, skiers and Christmas market enthusiasts alike. With picturesque streets, cross-country skiing trails, alpine ski tours, spa and winter walks to the best views, as well as the silence of the Hallstatt Winter Night, visitors to Hallstatt will be sure to find something to keep them occupied and entertained.
If you would like help planning your activities, you can take inspiration from Hallstatt itinerary