Hallstatt, Upper Austria, is a village in the Salzkammergut, a region in Austria. It is located near the Hallstatter See (a lake). At the 2001 census, it had 946 inhabitants. Alexander Scheutz has been mayor of Hallstatt since 2009.
Hallstatt is known for its production of salt, dating back to prehistoric times, and gave its name to the Hallstatt culture, a culture often linked to Celtic, Proto-Celtic, and pre-Illyrian peoples in Early Iron Age Europe, c.800-450 BC. Some of the earliest archaeological evidence for the Celts was found in Hallstatt.
In addition to its ancient history, Hallstatt is spectacularly picturesque, due to its location on a narrow rocky west bank of the Hallst?ttersee with the sheer rising mountains behind it. Considered by some to be one of the most beautiful places on earth, Hallstatt is sometimes called "the pearl of Austria".
The Hallstatt-Dachstein Salzkammergut area has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List with the following inscription: "Human activity in the magnificent natural landscape of the Salzkammergut began in prehistoric times, with the salt deposits being exploited as early as the 2nd millennium BC. This resource formed the basis of the area's prosperity up to the middle of the 20th century, a prosperity that is reflected in the fine architecture of the town of Hallstatt."
From the main line between Salzburg and Vienna, get off at Attnang-Puchheim. Take a train from here towards Bad Ischl and Obertraun. The Hallstatt station is south of Bad Ischl and one stop north of Obertraun; it is on the east bank of the Hallstattersee (Hallstatt Lake) and consist of just a boat dock next to the tracks. A regular ferry service will meet each arriving train and take you to the town across the lake. One of the best views of Hallstatt is from this ferry ride across the lake, especially in the morning when the sun is shining on the town.
There is only one road through the town; and automobile traffic is usually not allowed May to October, 10 am to 5 pm, when Hallstatt is essentially car-free. You can easily walk from one end of the town to the other in about a half hour.