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Hallstatt and Austria near Christmas time

Hallstatt and Austria near Christmas time

Old Feb 10th, 2021, 09:23 AM
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Hallstatt and Austria near Christmas time

Hi all, hope you're staying safe and healthy in this crazy era...

My wife and I are looking ahead at planning a trip to central Europe to take in various Christmas markets for (hopefully) 15 nights. We'll definitely start in our favourite, Prague, for 5 or 6 nights. From there, I'm trying to decide if it's worth a side trip to Cesky Krumlov and Hallstatt (combined 3 nights) and then move on to Vienna.

I'm aware that Hallstatt won't have a Christmas market at the anticipated time we'd be there, but know that the scenery is spectacular, would provide a break from Christmas markets and there are local retailers selling unique items. I also realize that the best way to get there from Cesky Krumlov would be to have a driver take us from CK to Hallstatt and then take a train from Hallstatt to Vienna via LInz. Plus, of course, any potential weather issues going to a mountainous area in the month of December.

So... worth the 3-night detour with extra hoops to go through for travel arrangements, or give it a pass and spend more time in easier-to-reach places and tack on extra days in places such as Bratislava or Budapest? Prague, CK, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest are all places I've been to in the summer, but not in the winter. Hallstatt would be the only place I'd be visiting for the first time.

Thanks for any feedback/ideas you may be able to offer.
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Old Feb 10th, 2021, 10:41 AM
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We visited Hallstatt in December 2018 as a day trip from St Gilgen.


It was damn cold (thanks to the lake) and this is from someone who likes the cold.

Frankly, I was underwhelmed, and a bit put off by the hoards of Chinese tourists and their selfie sticks.

I had the opportunity to revisit in December 2019 while my niece and I were in Salzburg, but I took one look at the massive queue for the bus from Salzburg to Hallstatt and changed my mind.

Having said that, I am mildly curious about what it'd be like to spend a night or two in Hallstatt, after the day trippers have gone. So, I may give it another go at some point. We were unable to go up to Five Fingers (winter) so were limited to visiting the church and poking through town.

So, to answer your question, it probably wouldn't be worth the extra effort for me.

Last edited by Melnq8; Feb 10th, 2021 at 11:30 AM.
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Old Feb 10th, 2021, 10:57 AM
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I spent a night Hallstatt back in 2006. It was crowded during the day, but over-loud Americans rather than selfie-stick Chinese. Loved it, especially the boat ride across the lake from the train station.

Not sure I would say it was worth a three day detour, though. Would need to see the rest of the itinerary.
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Old Feb 10th, 2021, 03:10 PM
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Thanks Melng8 for the feedback, appreciate it!
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Old Feb 10th, 2021, 06:39 PM
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Hallstatt, Austria November ,2020


Hallstatt in November, 2020
It was a 3 and a half hour drive from Vienna. Very beautiful.
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Old Feb 10th, 2021, 09:54 PM
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We had a couple of nights in Hallstatt in June a number of years ago and it didn't feel very welcoming. Maybe they were sick of tourists. There were a lot of other places in Austria we enjoyed more.
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Old Feb 11th, 2021, 05:31 AM
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Thanks for the snapshot of Hallstatt during the pandemic mendota. It'll be interesting to see how long it stays that way. The locals are probably loving it.
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