In my twenty two years of living in this world, nothing has been more beautiful than the little lake side town of Hallstatt in Austria. The town which overlooks Lake Hallstatt has been given the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered to be the oldest still-inhabited village in Europe. The architecture feels old worldly and the locals are the friendliest. If all this hasn't made Hallstatt climb up the top of your travel bucket list, then the next eight reasons definitely will.
Disclaimer: Be cautious as you'll soon experience some serious wanderlust.
Although the number of buildings in the small village of Hallstatt is limited, the architecture that is present is gorgeous. There is a mix of late Gothic style houses that makes up the old town of Hallstatt whilst in the southern part of the town there are timber houses that were built post 18th century. The architecture has been recognised as so beautiful that China has gone so far to build their own replica of the town in a sub region of China!
At the north side of the town, there is a funicular that takes you up to the Hallstatt Skywalk which gives you a birds eye view of the village. This is amazing in itself and I would highly recommend. But if you walk past the skywalk you'll notice a yellow building sitting on the edge of a cliff. This is Restaurant Rudolfsturm aka my favourite place ever. The foods not the best I'll admit (although they have some great traditional options) but it was still one of the best meals of my life since the view had me captivated for ages. Well worth a visit.
Hallstatt is more than just a beautiful place; it also has its fair share of culture and things to do. One of the most notable are the salt mines embedded into the mountains that surround the town. The town has experienced 7000 years of salt mining, and these mines are now open to public at certain times during the day.
An Adventurous Day Out
Theres really some thing for everyone here. If you're not one to just wander and sit around in a place and prefer more outdoorsy activities then Hallstatt can be perfect. There are many gorgeous hiking trails surrounding the town. As well as this theres a new rock climbing option if you're feeling out there.
Now if you're not one for adventurous rock climbing then just relaxing by the lake is enough reason to visit this town. Being surrounded by the towering Dachstein mountains, time stands still and you can really appreciate the world you live in.
The Fairytale Like Atmosphere
Hallstatt is just one of those unique places where you walk through the town, admire the view and begin to really feel like you're living in a fairytale. There is no where else like it (except now China maybe) in the world. The combination of the surrounding mountains and towering pastel coloured houses all overlooking the expansive lake makes for an unforgettable experience.