HomeGlobal Travel5 picture-perfect alternate options to the Austrian city over-run by Frozen followers

    5 picture-perfect alternate options to the Austrian city over-run by Frozen followers

    Hallstatt residents are up in arms over an inflow of vacationers to their picture-perfect city, in Austria’s Salzkammergut area.

    Hallstatt is the quintessential Alpine lakeside burg, its fairly homes and slender church spire clustered alongside the lakeshore in opposition to a spectacular backdrop of mountains. Vastly common with day-trippers from Salzburg, it’s a spot with fewer than 800 inhabitants – some would name it a village – but it sees as much as 10,000 vacationers a day, or round one million guests a yr.

     Hallstatt is drawing followers of the film Frozen © Andreas Gebert/Getty Photos

    Final month, round 100 residents blocked off entry to the city for a interval. They argue that their hometown has merely turn out to be too busy, too noisy and swamped with tour buses. They’ve referred to as for the day by day variety of guests to be capped, and a ban on tour buses getting into the city after 5pm. “Radical frontiers for mass tourism,” learn one protestor’s placard. 

    It’s not the primary time considerations have been raised by Hallstatt’s residents: just lately, they put up a picket “anti-selfie” fence, which successfully spoiled the view folks had traveled for. The transfer, nevertheless, backfired on social media, and the fence was later eliminated.

    Locals protest against “overtourism” and block the road tunnel in the world-renowned sightseeing town of Hallstatt near Gmunden in Upper Austria
    Final August, Hallstatt residents blocked a street to protest the ever-growing variety of guests © Reinhard Hoermandinger / AFP through Getty Photos

    A must-visit selfie cease off

    A Unesco website since 1997, Hallstatt is house to among the oldest salt mines on this planet, with a historical past stretching again 7000 years. Its use as a filming location for the favored Korean TV drama Spring Waltz, which first aired in 2006, catapulted it to fame in Asia – and in 2012 a full-sized reproduction of the city was opened in China’s Guangdong province. With its proximity to Salzburg, Hallstatt is now a must-visit selfie cease for a lot of vacationers to the area.

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    The flip facet to the current native opposition, after all, is that Hallstatt relies on the income from tourism – there’s no native business as such, and in contrast to the resorts within the surrounding Dachstein mountains, it’s not a ski vacation spot.

    A summer view of Hallstatt, the Salzkammergut, Austria
    There’s a motive so many flock to take pictures in Hallstatt © Rastislav Sedlak SK / Shutterstock

    A 2024 European Captial of Tradition

    In 2024, 23 cities, villages and different places throughout the Salzkammergut will turn out to be a European Capital of Tradition. The designation consists of Hallstatt – it will be inconceivable to exclude it – which suggests the city will inevitably see an extra inflow of tourists subsequent yr. Those that wish to keep away from the crowds may take into account going outdoors the principle peak season. Spring and autumn are nice instances to go to the Salzkammergut.

    To skip the crowds in Hallstatt, take into account these cities as an alternative

    Right here’s a easy secret: you solely should go a really brief distance from Hallstatt to search out your self in one other, frankly simply as lovely, Austrian lakeside city, set amid exquisitely lovely mountain surroundings – with a fraction of the variety of guests. With its 70-something picture-perfect lakes, the Salzkammergut definitely has no scarcity of gorgeous alternate options to Hallstatt.

    Two mountain climbers on a ridge on the way up to the summit of Loser mountain, Altaussee, Austria
    The mountains close to Altaussee function each simple walks and difficult hikes © / Shutterstock


    Altaussee is an virtually impossibly lovely spot, its glittering lake (Altausseer See) surrounded by a wall of mountains excellent for straightforward walks and difficult mountain hikes alike. (You may acknowledge the far finish of Altausseer See: it  was a filming location for the 2015 James Bond movie Spectre.) Altaussee is just a few stops previous Hallstatt on the prepare from Dangerous Ischl, adopted by a brief bus journey from Dangerous Aussee – however it’s a lot, a lot quieter. Not removed from Altaussee is likely one of the two well-known salt mines within the space, the place excursions are usually much less busy than these of the mine in Hallstatt.

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    St Gilgen

    Simply 45 minutes from Salzburg on the #150 bus to Dangerous Ischl, the picture-perfect city of St Gilgen stands on the shore of Wolfgangsee, a lake stretching beneath the steeply pitched slopes of Schafberg. Ferries run to the city of St Wolfgang, from the place a mountain railway carries passengers up Schafberg.


    On the lake of the identical identify, close by Mondsee seems out onto decrease, rolling hills, and has a properly preserved previous city middle, to not point out a massively spectacular church – greatest referred to as the filming location for the marriage scene in The Sound of Music.

    Passenger ship on the lake Grundlsee, Austria
    Soak up the fantastic thing about beautiful Grundlsee from a ship © Balakate / Shutterstock


    Additionally only a brief bus trip from Dangerous Aussee, Grundlsee is bigger than Altausseer See, and a well-liked spot for a refreshing swim and pedal-boat rides – and extra of these unbelievable mountain views. A brief stroll results in the extra secluded Toplitzsee, the place conventional flat-bottomed picket boats take passengers out onto the lake.

    Dangerous Ischl

    The elegant spa city of Dangerous Ischl was the summer season residence of Emperor Franz Josef for a few years, and nonetheless has one thing of an imperial air. This harks again to a time when this city, moderately than Hallstatt, was one of the crucial fascinating locations to be seen not simply within the Salzkammergut, however within the Habsburg Empire.

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