With pastel-coloured houses casting shimmering reflections onto the looking-glass lake and with lofty mountains rearing up on all sides, Hallstatt’s beauty borders on the surreal and the sublime. Boats chug tranquilly across the lake from the train station to the village, situated precariously on a narrow stretch of land between mountain and shore. (So small is the patch of land occupied by the village that its annual Corpus Christi procession takes place largely in small boats on the lake.) The sheer volume of visitors here can be nerve-fraying, especially in summer, with a sea of cars, buses and tour groups descending.
The centre of Hallstatt is at Hallstatt Markt, and Hallstatt Lahn is on the edge of town near the funicular to the Salzbergwerk. The train station is across the lake from Hallstatt; to get into town you have to take the ferry.