They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. However, it might be difficult to convince the Austrian lake town of Hallstatt. A Chinese mining company built an exact copy of the town in Guangdong. But you really can’t blame the Chinese. Many consider the village to be the most beautiful town in the world. It’s easy to see why Hallstatt, Austria is this month’s featured location on My Must See List.
Hallstatt is a village on Lake Hallstatt in the Salzkammergut region of Austria between Salzburg and Graz. Notably, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you will find the world’s oldest salt mine which is not surprising since the village has been a salt town since prehistoric times. Until the late 1800s, the village was relatively cut-off from the outside world. The only way to reach Hallstatt was by boat or by way of narrow mountain trails. Due to that isolation, the village was able to maintain a special atmosphere. Access to the village has notably improved since then making the village a popular destination.
What to See & Do in Hallstatt
Today, the past is still present in this Alpine village. And it isn’t difficult to see why the village is arguably the world’s most beautiful. Home and shops feature the quaint Alpine-style architecture and each building seems to feature a different paint color. Nestled close together, the buildings create a sort of rainbow. As a result of the cozy village layout, the market square acts as a central hub for the village.
There is plenty to do as a tourist in Hallstatt. The village has a cultural heritage museum that documents 7000 years(!) of local history. Other popular destinations are the salt caves and ice caves. Take a walk or a tour and explore the town. Do some shopping and get a bite to eat. Fresh fish right from the lake is found on many local menus. If sightseeing isn’t your thing there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, such as hiking, boating and rock climbing.
Whether it be the Königssee or Friedrichshafen, I know firsthand just how peaceful, beautiful and fun Alpine lake towns can be. Add to that, the picturesque lake-front buildings. It is easy to see why Hallstatt is this month’s featured Must See. Sorry, China. But I mean the one in Austria.
Looking for more Must Sees? Explore previously featured locations!
Photo by Torsten Kraft ©Ferienregion Dachstein Salzkammergut / Kraft.Hallstatt