Jewel of the Alps

I still like spending some money and time for traveling. Not only to give myself a break from daily routine life, but also to enjoy what nature has to offer.

And for the latter, it never gone wrong.

Therefore, I decided to give Austria a second try. My first visit was somewhere in 2 years ago, but I only went for Salzburg. And this time, I chose Innsbruck, Salzburg (again), and Hallstat.

I departed from Netherlands by train (just because it was the cheapest option), and it took ~12hours with 3 x transits. I know it seemed quite a lot, but trust me that you can still rest comfortably if you purchase the City Night Line (CNL) train. As for this train, it is equipped with bunk beds. The rate may be varied during the season, but one thing for sure, make a plan ahead. Usually the price is cheapest if you book the train a few months in advance. To check the train, you can follow this link.

For accommodation, if you travel together with 1 or 2 friends, then I recommend to look an apartment from AirBnb. It may be cheaper than hostel/hotel, and way more comfortable. As you would have your own bed, shower, toilet, living room, by yourself. In addition, you can cook your own meals. Thus it may save some money. However, on top of that, AirBnb gives you a chance to meet local people. To get to know the city better from the local people’s point of view, instead of Googling. For the apartment of AirBnb, I stayed in a small village outside Innsbruck city center, namely Igls. It is very quiet and tidy village little bit higher than Innsbruck (somewhere around ~1,000m above sea level). However, the distant was still fine, it takes 15 min by bus from Igls to Innsbruck. And the bus is available every 15 min.

Another option is also Couchsurfing. There you ask for a host from people in the city you are visiting. It is totally free! Because the idea of Couchsurfing is to connect people who share the same passion of traveling and do not reluctant to meet and get to know new strangers. One thing for sure, if you want to choose this option, please pick a host/guest who have verified account and/or nice reviews. Therefore, you can be sure about the person. And top of that, listen to your gut feelings! As the intuition (even the smallest one), is still your very reliable survival kit. Safety first is a must!

To go around Innsbruck, it’s better to purchase the “Innsbruck card”. It is 39 Euro for 1 day, and 48 Euro for 2 days. The card is including all transportations in Innsbruck, museum fee entrance, renting a bike, and a cable ride to Alps (Hungerburg and Hafelkar). I like this card, as this will save your money a lot!

Meanwhile, for Salzburg, the main attractions are salt mines, “Sound of the Music” tour, and a cable car ride to Untersberg mountain (~1,800m above sea level). It is not necessary to purchase the “Salzburg card”, but it is not a waste at all if you spend your time mainly in Salzburg. The price is 27 Euro and valid for a day.

However, I didn’t really go around Salzburg as I ever visited it before, therefore I chose to go to Hallstat. A small village surrounded by a lake. To go to Hallstat, it may take a whole day. As the transportations take ~3 hours from Salzburg – Hallstat, and of course you may spend ~6-7 hours to go back and forth. To go there, you can simply take bus No.150 (which is available every 1 hour), and it costs 10.5 Euro. The bus will take you to the Bad Ischl train station. And during the journey, your eyes may be pleased with beautiful scenery, flowery hills, and even beautiful lakes! Boredom will not be in your dictionary!

After you arrive in Bad Ischl, continue your journey by local train from Bad Ischl – Hallstat. It only takes ~15 min and costs only 4.2Euro.

So, do you think you finally arrive at Hallstat?

Sorry people, not yet!

You still need to take a ferry from train station to Hallstat village. It only takes ~5min to across the lake and costs only 2.5Euro. By then, you finally arrive at Hallstat. Hallstat reminds me a lot with the Petite France in South Korea. Or, it was just the Petite France copied the landscape of European style village. I must say that nothing much to do in Hallstat. I was more excited seeing the scenery during my journey to Hallstat, which was more picturesque.

The following are some pictures I get from journey. Enjoy it!

Alps-1

Alps-2

Alps-3

Alps-4

Alps-5

Alps-6

IMG_9863-2

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