TaylorDeer-Hallstatt2

Christmastime in the Austrian Alps


A woman enjoying the Christmas season in Salzburg and Hallstatt

Prior to visiting Salzburg and Hallstatt during Christmas market season in December 2018, the Austrian Alps had been on my bucket list for quite some time. After a magical two days in these cities, I realized there was no better way to explore the jewels of the Alps during Christmastime than in a winter wonderland!

A snowy day in the Austrian Alps

After spending two days in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, I took the train via Omio to the beautiful Austrian city of Salzburg.

During my two days in the Austrian Alps, I strolled around the most peaceful Christmas markets in Salzburg and got lost in the city’s decorative alleyways. I also got to fulfill another dream by taking a day trip to the breathtaking mountain village of Hallstatt.

The Christmas-decorated streets of Salzburg, Austria

During my week exploring the Christmas markets in Central and Eastern Europe, I definitely spent the most time in Austria, between Salzburg and Hallstatt and then Vienna later on.

A beautiful winter day in Salzburg, Austria

Discover everything you must see and do during the Christmas season in the beautiful Alpine towns of Salzburg and Hallstatt, Austria.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

Christmas season in the Austrian Alps Salzburg and Hallstatt

Christmas in Salzburg & Hallstatt

Salzburg Christmas Markets

Christmastime in the Austrian Alps

Located near the Bavarian German border, Salzburg is divided by the Salzach River.

On the left side of the river is the medieval and baroque Old Town and on the right side is the 19th century New Town. I absolutely loved the beauty of Salzburg and definitely think it is one of the most stunning and elegant cities in Europe.

Where to Stay in Salzburg:

Christmas season in Salzburg, Austria

During my two nights in Salzburg, I stayed at Hotel Turnerwirt. It is a super cute and cozy mid-budget, boutique hotel that resembles an Austrian chalet.

The only downside to Hotel Turnerwirt was that it was a little far from the center of the city.

Beautiful Christmas decorations in Salzburg, Austria

What is great about Salzburg though is that they also have a trolleybus that is easy to navigate around. A day pass is around five euros and you could use it to go all around the city for up to 24 hours. Thankfully, there was a trolley stop right outside of the hotel. It was definitely convenient!

You could find other great hotels that suit your budget on Hotels.com and there are also a wide range of hostels in Salzburg. In addition, you could find a great rental on Airbnb or Vrbo.

Traveling to and around Salzburg:

The Christmas season in Salzburg and Hallstatt

For my 2018 Christmas market trip, I found great flight deals through Skyscanner!

From Newark International Airport to Munich International Airport with a short layover in Lisbon, I was able to grab a one-way flight for less than $200 USD without taxes!

On my way home, I got a flight out of Vienna International Airport to Newark with a short layover in Düsseldorf, Germany for less than $300 USD with taxes included. (Make sure to also check out Expedia for great deals too!)

A church in Salzburg, Austria

Since I flew into Munich, I started my Christmas market tour there and then made my way to Salzburg after two days.

Due to the holiday season, Europe is filled with many tourists and travelers alike so I made sure to book my train tickets to each city in advance through Omio. You could find great deals there!

From Munich Hauptbahnhof (main rail station), I took the train straight to Salzburg Hauptbahnhof in less than two hours. It was super easy, plus the views from the windows were incredible! 

Winter views in the Austrian Alps

The best way to get around Salzburg is by either walking or taking the Trolleybus es in Salzburg.

Like I mention above, the trolleybus in Salzburg is super easy to navigate and all you really need is a trolley map to see which lines to take around. They stop at every major area in the city and even go into some neighborhoods.

Things to see in Salzburg during Christmastime:

The main Christmas market in Salzburg

Austrian Alps Christmas Markets in Salzburg:

The language spoken in Salzburg (and Hallstatt) is German, so just like in Munich, the Christmas market is also referred to as Christkindlmarkt.

A woman enjoying Christmas season in Salzburg and Hallstatt

When I first arrived in Salzburg, my first stop was to the market and I have to say that even though it was one of the smaller Christkindlmarkt’s I explored during my trip, it was probably the most romantic and peaceful!

The Christmas markets of Salzburg

What makes Salzburg extra special during Advent season (the days leading up to Christmas Day) is that it was the location of where the Christmas song Silent Night was written by John Mohr.

The market itself is also located around Hohensalzburg Fortress near the Cathedral of Salzburg. It is absolutely stunning and you will definitely hear the choir sing carols as you stroll through the market with your glühwein.

Speaking of glühwein, Salzburg also offers a wide selection of Christmas goodies that you have to try!

A woman eating a pretzel at a Christmas market in Salzburg

Just like in Germany, there are hot wine and beer stands (yes, they have mulled beer too), sausage stands, pretzel stations (Salzburg is known for their massive-sized pretzels), strudel stands, chocolate stands and so much more!

The dreamy Christmas decorations in Salzburg

They even sell homemade trinkets, decorative ornaments, Christmas village houses, clothing, jewelry and toys.

The Christmas markets in Salzburg, Austria

In addition to the main Christkindlmarkt, you could also find smaller markets situated around the Old Town. I found markets in the Hellbrunn courtyard, Mirabell Square and other parts of the city.

Mozart‘s Birthplace:

The streets of Salzburg, Austria

Prior to traveling to Salzburg, I had no idea that it was such a popular music city. Not only was Silent Night written in Salzburg, the city is also the birthplace of Mozart!

Mozart's house in Salzburg

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in 1756 in the “Hagenauer Haus” in the Old Town of Salzburg. Nowadays, the house that he was born in is one of the most visited museums in Austria!

When you enter the house, you could take a walk through the original rooms. You could also see original certificates, letters and memorabilia (such as a violin and clavichord) from Mozart’s life.

Hohensalzburg Fortress:

Hohensalzburg Fortress on a winter's day

A must see when visiting the city of Salzburg is Hohensalzburg Fortress. This fully preserved fortress is located on a cliff that overlooks the entire Baroque city.

If you decide to visit Hohensalzburg Fortress, you could walk up to it (which I did) or ride the funicular to the top.

A woman enjoying a winter's day in Salzburg, Austria

Once you make your way to the top, before you actually get to the fortress, definitely take a moment to admire the gorgeous views of Salzburg and the surrounding Austrian Alps!

Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg

When you get to the fortress, you could see the medieval chambers and the museum, which holds artifacts from the prince-archbishops. In addition to immersing yourself in the history of Hohensalzburg Fortress, there is also a mini Christmas market to check out!

If you have time, definitely get tickets to see a show at the Magical Theater as well.

Dom zu Salzburg:

The cathedral in Salzburg, Austria

One of the most iconic landmarks in Salzburg is the beautiful Dom zu Salzburg, also known as the Cathedral of Salzburg.

The cathedral has a beautiful dome and two towers, which leaves a lasting impression on Salzburg’s skyline.

Dom zu Salzburg in the Austrian Alps

A few important facts about Dom zu Salzburg are that it was where Mozart and John Mohr (who wrote Silent Night) were baptized. The architecture of Salzburg’s cathedral shows a tribute to early baroque. It is definitely a site you cannot miss seeing during your time in Salzburg.

The Sound of Music Museum:

Sound of Music World in Salzburg

The heartwarming movie of The Sound of Music was also taken place in and around Salzburg.

If you were someone who grew up watching this movie like I did, I highly recommend checking out The Sound of Music Museum. You could watch video clips from the movie and also check out artifacts from the Von Trapp family. 

Beautiful buildings in Salzburg

You could also do a private day tour from Salzburg to the rural Alpine areas and smaller towns of where The Sound of Music movie took place.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to do this tour during my Christmas trip in Salzburg and Hallstatt, but would totally consider it when I travel back to the Austrian Alps in the future. (This is definitely something that is ideal to do in the warmer months.)

Get Lost in the Alleyways:

Streets decorated for Christmas in Salzburg

One of the best things to do when you are in Old Town Salzburg is to just get lost. The city itself is absolutely stunning, clean and safe and during Advent season, it is absolutely magical!

The city of Salzburg does a great job decorating the streets with Christmas decorations, lights and other beautiful details. They also have alleyways that are so dreamy!

Where to Eat in Salzburg:

Konditorei Furst Confiserie in Salzburg

The food in Salzburg is amazing! From authentic Austrian-German food to Italian, you can’t go wrong with the restaurants in this beautiful city!

Below are the places I ate at during my time in Salzburg and I highly recommend that you check them out:

Zum Zirkelwirt in Salzburg, Austria

Zum Zirkelwirt (Austrian-German) – This amazing and authentic Austrian-German restaurant is situated five minutes from the main Salzburg Christmas market, by foot.

It is located in an adorable house and the staff was super welcoming and friendly to me. I enjoyed an amazing Austrian beer with a delicious chicken schnitzel salad with pumpkin oil. It was absolutely amazing!

A chicken schnitzel salad from Zum Zirkelwirt in Salzburg

To top it off, the restaurant was festive and cozy. I loved how they played Christmas music as well.

Café Konditorei Fürst (Chocolate/Cake) – Situated right in the heart of Salzburg is the famous café that holds the Salzburger Mozartkugel.

A hot chocolate from Cafe Konditorei Furst in Salzburg

In 1890, Salzburg confectioner Paul Fürst created a treat that is known around the world. The Mozartkugel is made from marzipan and pistachio surrounded by nougat and dark chocolate. It is delicious!

Not only could you enjoy a Mozartkugel at Café Konditorei Fürst, you could also enjoy their cakes, other chocolates, coffee or a hot chocolate (which I had).

Trattoria La Stella (Italian/Pizza) – On my second night in Salzburg, after coming back from my day trip to the magical Christmas town of Hallstatt, I was in the mood for Italian food.

A pizza from Trattoria La Stella in Salzburg

Since Austria borders Italy, I figured the Italian food in Salzburg wouldn’t disappoint. I found a great Italian restaurant and pizzeria called Trattoria La Stella right outside of a mini Christmas market in one of the squares.

I enjoyed a delicious personal pizza with bufala mozzarella. It was amazing!

A Day trip to Hallstatt from Salzburg

A woman walking through a square in Hallstatt during the Christmas season

Known as one of the most photographed destinations in the world, Hallstatt is an Alpine village on Lake Hallstatt’s western shore.

The village boasts 16th century Alpine houses, which are home to cafés, restaurants and souvenir shops.

Not only is Hallstatt known for its beauty, it is believed to be the oldest still-inhabited village in Europe. It is also known for its salt production.

Getting To and From Hallstatt in the Austrian Alps:

Beautiful evening views of Hallstatt

Prior to my trip, I was looking into staying a day or two in Hallstatt, but it is very expensive!

As much as I loved Hallstatt, I was happy to have booked both of my nights (in the Austrian Alps) in Salzburg because it is a larger and livelier city for a solo traveler like myself.

If you are looking for a quieter and more secluded getaway and don’t mind spending a lot, then I highly recommend staying in Hallstatt.

The Christmas village of Hallstatt

In regards to day trips to and from Hallstatt, you could book a private tour, but I highly recommend doing this many months before your trip because they are also very pricey!

Prior to heading to Europe, I saw private tours to Hallstatt from Salzburg during the Christmas season for $700 a person!

Instead, it was much easier and affordable for me to do a day trip to Hallstatt on my own via the train.

A small castle across from Hallstatt

On my second day in Salzburg, I woke up early and took the train from Salzburg Hauptbahnhof to Hallstatt Hauptbahnhof with a connection in Attnang-Punchheim. (I booked my train tickets in advanced through Omio.)

Overall, it took around two and a half hours (each way) to get to and from Hallstatt. When you arrive in Hallstatt, you will need to take a ferry (Hallstättersee – Schifffahrt) across the lake to the village. It is between five to ten euros for a round trip ferry ticket.

A mini snowman in Hallstatt

Once you get to the village, it is small enough to walk everywhere.

Things to do in Hallstatt:

A woman walking through Hallstatt on a winter's day

See the UNESCO World Heritage Site:

During my day in Hallstatt, I met up with another solo female traveler and we explored the village to our fullest.

A woman enjoying a day trip to Hallstatt from Salzburg during Christmas market season

The day we were in Hallstatt was heavily snowing, but it was super magical!

Hallstatt, a day trip from Salzburg during the Christmas season

Since the village of Hallstatt is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a super photogenic destination, there is a plethora of viewing points to capture amazing pictures. I could have literally sat in these locations for hours admiring the views.

A swan in Hallstatt

I loved the towering mountains, beautiful churches, gorgeous chalets and the lovely swans on the lake!

Get Lost in the Austrian Alpine Town:

The beautiful Austrian town of Hallstatt

The actual town of Hallstatt is small, quaint, charming and picturesque, making it the perfect place to get lost in.

Even though Hallstatt doesn’t have a Christmas market like Salzburg, there are so many beautiful decorations throughout the city that will leave you awestruck! (It will make you feel like you’re in a real life Christmas village.)

Houses decorated for Christmas in Hallstatt

My new friend and I enjoyed wandering through the adorable streets and alleyways that featured cute houses, stunning views of the mountains and so much more! It was such a perfect day.

Visit Church of Christ:

Hallstatt during the Christmas season - a day trip from Salzburg

Although Salzburg is predominately Catholic, Hallstatt is fairly Protestant.

In 1782, Emperor Josef II adopted the Patent of Tolerance, which contributed to the free exercise of religion in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Back in the day, the Protestants in the area did not have a church of their own, so they built a prayer house in the 18th century without a church tower or bells. 60 years later, the parish then built a beautiful rectory with a tower and bells.

Church of Christ is one of the most iconic landmarks in Hallstatt and can be seen from so many different viewpoints. 

Enjoy Austrian Food in Market Square:

A snowy day in the Christmas town of Hallstatt

Located in the city center of Hallstatt is the oh-so-adorable Market Square that includes a few hotels, restaurants, cafés, a bar and shops.

It is definitely an enchanting area to spend time in and I highly recommend grabbing lunch or dinner at one of the restaurants there.

Austrian buildings in Hallstatt

For lunch, my friend and I ate at Gasthof Simony, a hotel with an authentic Austrian restaurant attached.

Christmastime in the Austrian Alps Salzburg and Hallstatt

It was super cute inside and we both enjoyed some glühwein (all the glühwein!!!) For my meal, I enjoyed a delicious chicken schnitzel dish with potatoes and cranberry sauce. It was awesome!

As a mid-afternoon coffee and cake break, I stopped at Marktbeisl Zur Ruth.

Go Christmas Shopping in Hallstatt:

A Christmas store in Hallstatt, Austria

Throughout the town of Hallstatt, are cute souvenir shops that sell beer steins, ornaments, lace and textiles, cuckoo clocks, soaps and other trinkets.

Since Hallstatt is known for its salt production, you could also find shops that sell healing crystals and other cool earthly artifacts.

Hallstatt Salt Mine in the Austrian Alps:

A winter's day in the Austrian Alps

The Hallstatt Salt Mine is one of the oldest in the world. Since it was a super snowy day, we unfortunately didn’t take the gondola to the top of the mountain where you could learn about the salt mines and also catch breathtaking views of the Alpine peaks.

If you travel to Hallstatt during the warmer months, I highly recommend putting this on your list of things to see!


A woman enjoying a winter day in Hallstatt, Austria

I hope you all enjoyed reading about my time in Salzburg and Hallstatt within the Austrian Alps and discovering the magical adventures you could partake in when you travel here during the Christmas season.

If you have any questions about my time in the Austrian Alps during Advent season, please feel free to email me at [email protected]

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Christmas Season in Salzburg and Hallstatt

Basic Facts of Austria:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Vienna, Time Zone: Central European Time

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10 Comments

  1. Judith on October 3, 2019 at 1:05 pm

    Hello! Were you in Hallstatt between the 24th to 26th of December (Christmas time)? I’m thinking of paying a visit over Christmas and wondering if it’s a good idea!

    • Taylor Deer on October 3, 2019 at 6:26 pm

      Hi Judith, I was there the second week in December. Hallstatt doesn’t have a Christmas market, but it is so adorable and the perfect place to celebrate the holiday. Also if you are planning on visiting the European Christmas markets, I recommend going earlier since most of them end on Christmas Eve. 🙂

  2. Zsuzsi on October 18, 2019 at 7:53 am

    Hallstatt is so beautiful in the wintertime, we have been there last year as well! And we haven’t been in Salzburg yet, but it looks so beautiful on your photos, that now we’re also planning a visit there! 😀

    • Taylor Deer on October 18, 2019 at 5:30 pm

      Ah yes, I loved Hallstatt! Also Salzburg is so beautiful too. I stayed there for two days and did my day trip from there. 🙂

  3. Simone on October 31, 2019 at 6:57 am

    Hi there! Your photos are so dreamy! My husband and I are planning to go to Salzburg and Hallstatt for 3 nights just to relax and enjoy the winter before we fly out to Hamburg for a wedding. We should be there 9th December or so, I was just wondering – Is it already snowing by then? I’d love to witness some snowfall so was just wondering if the time you visited was the same and if you did have the chance to experience snowfall. Thanks!

    • Taylor Deer on October 31, 2019 at 9:07 am

      Hi Simone,
      Thank you so much! You’re going to love both Salzburg and Hallstatt. If you’re going to be in Hallstatt around December 9, there is a high chance you will see snow. I went around that time last year and it was a winter wonderland! You will probably see snow in Salzburg too since it is also in the mountains. 🙂

  4. Kerrin on November 22, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    What a magical experience this looks like! There is nothing quite like a European Christmas, and your post and gorgeous images make me want to travel so much! Beautiful!

    • Taylor Deer on November 23, 2020 at 6:41 pm

      It sure was incredible Kerrin! Thank you! 🙂

  5. Traveler's Itch on November 23, 2020 at 10:31 am

    So cool you were here during X-mas! We were planning to go this year, but hey… it looks like such a dream!

    • Taylor Deer on November 23, 2020 at 6:42 pm

      Yes, it was so amazing! I hope you get to go next year. 🙂

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TaylorDeer-Hallstatt2

Christmastime in the Austrian Alps


A woman enjoying the Christmas season in Salzburg and Hallstatt

Prior to visiting Salzburg and Hallstatt during Christmas market season in December 2018, the Austrian Alps had been on my bucket list for quite some time. After a magical two days in these cities, I realized there was no better way to explore the jewels of the Alps during Christmastime than in a winter wonderland!

A snowy day in the Austrian Alps

After spending two days in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, I took the train via Omio to the beautiful Austrian city of Salzburg.

During my two days in the Austrian Alps, I strolled around the most peaceful Christmas markets in Salzburg and got lost in the city’s decorative alleyways. I also got to fulfill another dream by taking a day trip to the breathtaking mountain village of Hallstatt.

The Christmas-decorated streets of Salzburg, Austria

During my week exploring the Christmas markets in Central and Eastern Europe, I definitely spent the most time in Austria, between Salzburg and Hallstatt and then Vienna later on.

A beautiful winter day in Salzburg, Austria

Discover everything you must see and do during the Christmas season in the beautiful Alpine towns of Salzburg and Hallstatt, Austria.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

Christmas season in the Austrian Alps Salzburg and Hallstatt

Christmas in Salzburg & Hallstatt

Salzburg Christmas Markets

Christmastime in the Austrian Alps

Located near the Bavarian German border, Salzburg is divided by the Salzach River.

On the left side of the river is the medieval and baroque Old Town and on the right side is the 19th century New Town. I absolutely loved the beauty of Salzburg and definitely think it is one of the most stunning and elegant cities in Europe.

Where to Stay in Salzburg:

Christmas season in Salzburg, Austria

During my two nights in Salzburg, I stayed at Hotel Turnerwirt. It is a super cute and cozy mid-budget, boutique hotel that resembles an Austrian chalet.

The only downside to Hotel Turnerwirt was that it was a little far from the center of the city.

Beautiful Christmas decorations in Salzburg, Austria

What is great about Salzburg though is that they also have a trolleybus that is easy to navigate around. A day pass is around five euros and you could use it to go all around the city for up to 24 hours. Thankfully, there was a trolley stop right outside of the hotel. It was definitely convenient!

You could find other great hotels that suit your budget on Hotels.com and there are also a wide range of hostels in Salzburg. In addition, you could find a great rental on Airbnb or Vrbo.

Traveling to and around Salzburg:

The Christmas season in Salzburg and Hallstatt

For my 2018 Christmas market trip, I found great flight deals through Skyscanner!

From Newark International Airport to Munich International Airport with a short layover in Lisbon, I was able to grab a one-way flight for less than $200 USD without taxes!

On my way home, I got a flight out of Vienna International Airport to Newark with a short layover in Düsseldorf, Germany for less than $300 USD with taxes included. (Make sure to also check out Expedia for great deals too!)

A church in Salzburg, Austria

Since I flew into Munich, I started my Christmas market tour there and then made my way to Salzburg after two days.

Due to the holiday season, Europe is filled with many tourists and travelers alike so I made sure to book my train tickets to each city in advance through Omio. You could find great deals there!

From Munich Hauptbahnhof (main rail station), I took the train straight to Salzburg Hauptbahnhof in less than two hours. It was super easy, plus the views from the windows were incredible! 

Winter views in the Austrian Alps

The best way to get around Salzburg is by either walking or taking the Trolleybus es in Salzburg.

Like I mention above, the trolleybus in Salzburg is super easy to navigate and all you really need is a trolley map to see which lines to take around. They stop at every major area in the city and even go into some neighborhoods.

Things to see in Salzburg during Christmastime:

The main Christmas market in Salzburg

Austrian Alps Christmas Markets in Salzburg:

The language spoken in Salzburg (and Hallstatt) is German, so just like in Munich, the Christmas market is also referred to as Christkindlmarkt.

A woman enjoying Christmas season in Salzburg and Hallstatt

When I first arrived in Salzburg, my first stop was to the market and I have to say that even though it was one of the smaller Christkindlmarkt’s I explored during my trip, it was probably the most romantic and peaceful!

The Christmas markets of Salzburg

What makes Salzburg extra special during Advent season (the days leading up to Christmas Day) is that it was the location of where the Christmas song Silent Night was written by John Mohr.

The market itself is also located around Hohensalzburg Fortress near the Cathedral of Salzburg. It is absolutely stunning and you will definitely hear the choir sing carols as you stroll through the market with your glühwein.

Speaking of glühwein, Salzburg also offers a wide selection of Christmas goodies that you have to try!

A woman eating a pretzel at a Christmas market in Salzburg

Just like in Germany, there are hot wine and beer stands (yes, they have mulled beer too), sausage stands, pretzel stations (Salzburg is known for their massive-sized pretzels), strudel stands, chocolate stands and so much more!

The dreamy Christmas decorations in Salzburg

They even sell homemade trinkets, decorative ornaments, Christmas village houses, clothing, jewelry and toys.

The Christmas markets in Salzburg, Austria

In addition to the main Christkindlmarkt, you could also find smaller markets situated around the Old Town. I found markets in the Hellbrunn courtyard, Mirabell Square and other parts of the city.

Mozart‘s Birthplace:

The streets of Salzburg, Austria

Prior to traveling to Salzburg, I had no idea that it was such a popular music city. Not only was Silent Night written in Salzburg, the city is also the birthplace of Mozart!

Mozart's house in Salzburg

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in 1756 in the “Hagenauer Haus” in the Old Town of Salzburg. Nowadays, the house that he was born in is one of the most visited museums in Austria!

When you enter the house, you could take a walk through the original rooms. You could also see original certificates, letters and memorabilia (such as a violin and clavichord) from Mozart’s life.

Hohensalzburg Fortress:

Hohensalzburg Fortress on a winter's day

A must see when visiting the city of Salzburg is Hohensalzburg Fortress. This fully preserved fortress is located on a cliff that overlooks the entire Baroque city.

If you decide to visit Hohensalzburg Fortress, you could walk up to it (which I did) or ride the funicular to the top.

A woman enjoying a winter's day in Salzburg, Austria

Once you make your way to the top, before you actually get to the fortress, definitely take a moment to admire the gorgeous views of Salzburg and the surrounding Austrian Alps!

Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg

When you get to the fortress, you could see the medieval chambers and the museum, which holds artifacts from the prince-archbishops. In addition to immersing yourself in the history of Hohensalzburg Fortress, there is also a mini Christmas market to check out!

If you have time, definitely get tickets to see a show at the Magical Theater as well.

Dom zu Salzburg:

The cathedral in Salzburg, Austria

One of the most iconic landmarks in Salzburg is the beautiful Dom zu Salzburg, also known as the Cathedral of Salzburg.

The cathedral has a beautiful dome and two towers, which leaves a lasting impression on Salzburg’s skyline.

Dom zu Salzburg in the Austrian Alps

A few important facts about Dom zu Salzburg are that it was where Mozart and John Mohr (who wrote Silent Night) were baptized. The architecture of Salzburg’s cathedral shows a tribute to early baroque. It is definitely a site you cannot miss seeing during your time in Salzburg.

The Sound of Music Museum:

Sound of Music World in Salzburg

The heartwarming movie of The Sound of Music was also taken place in and around Salzburg.

If you were someone who grew up watching this movie like I did, I highly recommend checking out The Sound of Music Museum. You could watch video clips from the movie and also check out artifacts from the Von Trapp family. 

Beautiful buildings in Salzburg

You could also do a private day tour from Salzburg to the rural Alpine areas and smaller towns of where The Sound of Music movie took place.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to do this tour during my Christmas trip in Salzburg and Hallstatt, but would totally consider it when I travel back to the Austrian Alps in the future. (This is definitely something that is ideal to do in the warmer months.)

Get Lost in the Alleyways:

Streets decorated for Christmas in Salzburg

One of the best things to do when you are in Old Town Salzburg is to just get lost. The city itself is absolutely stunning, clean and safe and during Advent season, it is absolutely magical!

The city of Salzburg does a great job decorating the streets with Christmas decorations, lights and other beautiful details. They also have alleyways that are so dreamy!

Where to Eat in Salzburg:

Konditorei Furst Confiserie in Salzburg

The food in Salzburg is amazing! From authentic Austrian-German food to Italian, you can’t go wrong with the restaurants in this beautiful city!

Below are the places I ate at during my time in Salzburg and I highly recommend that you check them out:

Zum Zirkelwirt in Salzburg, Austria

Zum Zirkelwirt (Austrian-German) – This amazing and authentic Austrian-German restaurant is situated five minutes from the main Salzburg Christmas market, by foot.

It is located in an adorable house and the staff was super welcoming and friendly to me. I enjoyed an amazing Austrian beer with a delicious chicken schnitzel salad with pumpkin oil. It was absolutely amazing!

A chicken schnitzel salad from Zum Zirkelwirt in Salzburg

To top it off, the restaurant was festive and cozy. I loved how they played Christmas music as well.

Café Konditorei Fürst (Chocolate/Cake) – Situated right in the heart of Salzburg is the famous café that holds the Salzburger Mozartkugel.

A hot chocolate from Cafe Konditorei Furst in Salzburg

In 1890, Salzburg confectioner Paul Fürst created a treat that is known around the world. The Mozartkugel is made from marzipan and pistachio surrounded by nougat and dark chocolate. It is delicious!

Not only could you enjoy a Mozartkugel at Café Konditorei Fürst, you could also enjoy their cakes, other chocolates, coffee or a hot chocolate (which I had).

Trattoria La Stella (Italian/Pizza) – On my second night in Salzburg, after coming back from my day trip to the magical Christmas town of Hallstatt, I was in the mood for Italian food.

A pizza from Trattoria La Stella in Salzburg

Since Austria borders Italy, I figured the Italian food in Salzburg wouldn’t disappoint. I found a great Italian restaurant and pizzeria called Trattoria La Stella right outside of a mini Christmas market in one of the squares.

I enjoyed a delicious personal pizza with bufala mozzarella. It was amazing!

A Day trip to Hallstatt from Salzburg

A woman walking through a square in Hallstatt during the Christmas season

Known as one of the most photographed destinations in the world, Hallstatt is an Alpine village on Lake Hallstatt’s western shore.

The village boasts 16th century Alpine houses, which are home to cafés, restaurants and souvenir shops.

Not only is Hallstatt known for its beauty, it is believed to be the oldest still-inhabited village in Europe. It is also known for its salt production.

Getting To and From Hallstatt in the Austrian Alps:

Beautiful evening views of Hallstatt

Prior to my trip, I was looking into staying a day or two in Hallstatt, but it is very expensive!

As much as I loved Hallstatt, I was happy to have booked both of my nights (in the Austrian Alps) in Salzburg because it is a larger and livelier city for a solo traveler like myself.

If you are looking for a quieter and more secluded getaway and don’t mind spending a lot, then I highly recommend staying in Hallstatt.

The Christmas village of Hallstatt

In regards to day trips to and from Hallstatt, you could book a private tour, but I highly recommend doing this many months before your trip because they are also very pricey!

Prior to heading to Europe, I saw private tours to Hallstatt from Salzburg during the Christmas season for $700 a person!

Instead, it was much easier and affordable for me to do a day trip to Hallstatt on my own via the train.

A small castle across from Hallstatt

On my second day in Salzburg, I woke up early and took the train from Salzburg Hauptbahnhof to Hallstatt Hauptbahnhof with a connection in Attnang-Punchheim. (I booked my train tickets in advanced through Omio.)

Overall, it took around two and a half hours (each way) to get to and from Hallstatt. When you arrive in Hallstatt, you will need to take a ferry (Hallstättersee – Schifffahrt) across the lake to the village. It is between five to ten euros for a round trip ferry ticket.

A mini snowman in Hallstatt

Once you get to the village, it is small enough to walk everywhere.

Things to do in Hallstatt:

A woman walking through Hallstatt on a winter's day

See the UNESCO World Heritage Site:

During my day in Hallstatt, I met up with another solo female traveler and we explored the village to our fullest.

A woman enjoying a day trip to Hallstatt from Salzburg during Christmas market season

The day we were in Hallstatt was heavily snowing, but it was super magical!

Hallstatt, a day trip from Salzburg during the Christmas season

Since the village of Hallstatt is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a super photogenic destination, there is a plethora of viewing points to capture amazing pictures. I could have literally sat in these locations for hours admiring the views.

A swan in Hallstatt

I loved the towering mountains, beautiful churches, gorgeous chalets and the lovely swans on the lake!

Get Lost in the Austrian Alpine Town:

The beautiful Austrian town of Hallstatt

The actual town of Hallstatt is small, quaint, charming and picturesque, making it the perfect place to get lost in.

Even though Hallstatt doesn’t have a Christmas market like Salzburg, there are so many beautiful decorations throughout the city that will leave you awestruck! (It will make you feel like you’re in a real life Christmas village.)

Houses decorated for Christmas in Hallstatt

My new friend and I enjoyed wandering through the adorable streets and alleyways that featured cute houses, stunning views of the mountains and so much more! It was such a perfect day.

Visit Church of Christ:

Hallstatt during the Christmas season - a day trip from Salzburg

Although Salzburg is predominately Catholic, Hallstatt is fairly Protestant.

In 1782, Emperor Josef II adopted the Patent of Tolerance, which contributed to the free exercise of religion in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Back in the day, the Protestants in the area did not have a church of their own, so they built a prayer house in the 18th century without a church tower or bells. 60 years later, the parish then built a beautiful rectory with a tower and bells.

Church of Christ is one of the most iconic landmarks in Hallstatt and can be seen from so many different viewpoints. 

Enjoy Austrian Food in Market Square:

A snowy day in the Christmas town of Hallstatt

Located in the city center of Hallstatt is the oh-so-adorable Market Square that includes a few hotels, restaurants, cafés, a bar and shops.

It is definitely an enchanting area to spend time in and I highly recommend grabbing lunch or dinner at one of the restaurants there.

Austrian buildings in Hallstatt

For lunch, my friend and I ate at Gasthof Simony, a hotel with an authentic Austrian restaurant attached.

Christmastime in the Austrian Alps Salzburg and Hallstatt

It was super cute inside and we both enjoyed some glühwein (all the glühwein!!!) For my meal, I enjoyed a delicious chicken schnitzel dish with potatoes and cranberry sauce. It was awesome!

As a mid-afternoon coffee and cake break, I stopped at Marktbeisl Zur Ruth.

Go Christmas Shopping in Hallstatt:

A Christmas store in Hallstatt, Austria

Throughout the town of Hallstatt, are cute souvenir shops that sell beer steins, ornaments, lace and textiles, cuckoo clocks, soaps and other trinkets.

Since Hallstatt is known for its salt production, you could also find shops that sell healing crystals and other cool earthly artifacts.

Hallstatt Salt Mine in the Austrian Alps:

A winter's day in the Austrian Alps

The Hallstatt Salt Mine is one of the oldest in the world. Since it was a super snowy day, we unfortunately didn’t take the gondola to the top of the mountain where you could learn about the salt mines and also catch breathtaking views of the Alpine peaks.

If you travel to Hallstatt during the warmer months, I highly recommend putting this on your list of things to see!


A woman enjoying a winter day in Hallstatt, Austria

I hope you all enjoyed reading about my time in Salzburg and Hallstatt within the Austrian Alps and discovering the magical adventures you could partake in when you travel here during the Christmas season.

If you have any questions about my time in the Austrian Alps during Advent season, please feel free to email me at [email protected]

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Christmas Season in Salzburg and Hallstatt

Basic Facts of Austria:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Vienna, Time Zone: Central European Time

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10 Comments

  1. Judith on October 3, 2019 at 1:05 pm

    Hello! Were you in Hallstatt between the 24th to 26th of December (Christmas time)? I’m thinking of paying a visit over Christmas and wondering if it’s a good idea!

    • Taylor Deer on October 3, 2019 at 6:26 pm

      Hi Judith, I was there the second week in December. Hallstatt doesn’t have a Christmas market, but it is so adorable and the perfect place to celebrate the holiday. Also if you are planning on visiting the European Christmas markets, I recommend going earlier since most of them end on Christmas Eve. 🙂

  2. Zsuzsi on October 18, 2019 at 7:53 am

    Hallstatt is so beautiful in the wintertime, we have been there last year as well! And we haven’t been in Salzburg yet, but it looks so beautiful on your photos, that now we’re also planning a visit there! 😀

    • Taylor Deer on October 18, 2019 at 5:30 pm

      Ah yes, I loved Hallstatt! Also Salzburg is so beautiful too. I stayed there for two days and did my day trip from there. 🙂

  3. Simone on October 31, 2019 at 6:57 am

    Hi there! Your photos are so dreamy! My husband and I are planning to go to Salzburg and Hallstatt for 3 nights just to relax and enjoy the winter before we fly out to Hamburg for a wedding. We should be there 9th December or so, I was just wondering – Is it already snowing by then? I’d love to witness some snowfall so was just wondering if the time you visited was the same and if you did have the chance to experience snowfall. Thanks!

    • Taylor Deer on October 31, 2019 at 9:07 am

      Hi Simone,
      Thank you so much! You’re going to love both Salzburg and Hallstatt. If you’re going to be in Hallstatt around December 9, there is a high chance you will see snow. I went around that time last year and it was a winter wonderland! You will probably see snow in Salzburg too since it is also in the mountains. 🙂

  4. Kerrin on November 22, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    What a magical experience this looks like! There is nothing quite like a European Christmas, and your post and gorgeous images make me want to travel so much! Beautiful!

    • Taylor Deer on November 23, 2020 at 6:41 pm

      It sure was incredible Kerrin! Thank you! 🙂

  5. Traveler's Itch on November 23, 2020 at 10:31 am

    So cool you were here during X-mas! We were planning to go this year, but hey… it looks like such a dream!

    • Taylor Deer on November 23, 2020 at 6:42 pm

      Yes, it was so amazing! I hope you get to go next year. 🙂

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