One of Austria’s most photographed places, Hallstatt attracts visitors from all over the world who are drawn to the adorable town and its stunning natural surroundings. Hallstatt sits on the edge of Lake Hallstatt and is flanked by majestic mountains that are part of the Upper Austrian Alps. With all this natural beauty, who wouldn’t be tempted to bring their dog? But how dog-friendly is Hallstatt? Read on to find out.
Getting to Hallstatt with a dog
The easiest way to travel to Hallstatt with a dog is to drive. Although some of the winding roads on the way may be tough for a dog who gets carsick, this is the fastest way to get to Hallstatt from other major cities like Salzburg, Linz, or Vienna.
Luckily, you can also transport your dog on Austrian trains. Assistance dogs as well as dogs that are small enough to be carried in an enclosed carrier can travel for free. If you have a larger dog, you have to buy a ticket for them according to the distance being traveled. Dogs that are not transported in a carrier must be muzzled and leashed.
When you arrive at the Hallstatt train station, you’ll find yourself across the lake from Hallstatt. The fastest way to get to the city is to take a ferry, which is also dog-friendly. Your dog will likewise have to be muzzled and leashed and can ride the ferry for the price of a child.
Dog-friendly activities in Hallstatt
Salzbergbahn funicular and Hallstatt Skywalk
One of the most popular things to do in Hallstatt is take the funicular up to the Skywalk to catch the famous World Heritage view over the lake. The funicular itself is dog-friendly, and dogs can even ride for free as long as they are on a leash and wearing a muzzle as the funicular can get quite crowded.
The area where the Skywalk is offers amazing views and will provide your dog a good place to run around in the woods. While you’re up there, you can learn more about the area with the Salzwelten Audio Guide App.
If you have the time and energy, you can even get up to the Skywalk (or down from it) by hiking up the mountain instead of taking the funicular. This will also save you the cost of the funicular and save your dog the trouble of having to wear a muzzle if they’re especially prickly about that. You can pick up the trail near the funicular or from the center of Hallstatt where you’ll see stairs to the road above, though this route is a bit longer. The trail zig zags 930 feet up the mountain and can take 45 minutes to an hour depending on whether you’re walking up or down.
Not dog-friendly: Hallstatt Salt Mine
Whether you walk or take the funicular up to the Skywalk, you’ll find yourself just 15-20 minutes away from the entrance of the Hallstatt Salt Mine, the oldest in the world. In fact, these attractions are bundled together, so you can buy your ticket for the salt mine when you buy your ticket for the funicular. However, the tour of the salt mine, which is an hour and a half long, is not dog-friendly. Rather than skip it, you can leave your dog in a kennel which is provided at the mine entrance for free.
Stroll around the lake
If you prefer a more leisurely walk rather than a grueling uphill hike, a great way to enjoy the scenery in and around Hallstatt is to walk around the perimeter of the lake. This will give you plenty of opportunities to see the town and the lake from different viewpoints, and it will give your dog plenty of time to splash around and play with the ducks and swans that swim in the lake.
Boating on Lake Hallstatt
If you want to get away from the crowds and enjoy Hallstatt views from the lake, a good way to do that with your dog is to rent a motorboat or paddleboat by the hour and take it for a spin. Not interested in captaining your own boat? As mentioned above, the Hallstatt ferries also allow dogs on board as long as they’re muzzled. In addition to shuttling you to and from the train station, you can take the ferries to other points on the lake like Obertraun and Steeg.
Swimming in the lake
In addition to boating on Lake Hallstatt, the clear waters would be inviting to anyone on a hot day. Both you and your pup can take a dip in the lake at the dog bathing area Hundestrand Obertraun, located near the Landbetter parking lot.
Sightseeing in Hallstatt
Hallstatt itself is just 14 kilometers squared, which is about the size of LAX. It’s not a terribly large area to explore, but it’s easy to spend a while immersed in the quaint architecture and bustling shops that look like you’re in a fairytale. In addition to the lake promenade, you can enjoy walking through Hallstatt Marktplatz and the small streets that lead to it. Even the short walks to the nearest parking stations outside of Hallstatt take you through quiet country homes and small creeks that are worth seeing.
Dog-friendly dining in Hallstatt
As a general rule, if a place has an outdoor seating area, your pup is probably fine to dine with you. We saw tons of dogs even in early March when crowds were sparse, so I imagine the local restaurants are used to accommodating them. But just in case, here are a few places where your dog will definitely be allowed:
Perhaps the best dining view in Hallstatt is Restaurant Rudolfsturm, which is in the high valley just a few steps from the peak of the Skywalk. The restaurant has a sizable outdoor area that has the same view as the Skywalk, so you can’t beat it for ambiance.
Just next to the entrance to the funicular, you’ll find a small food truck-esque outpost with a couple of outdoor tables where you can chow down on some burgers and fries with your dog.
Vets in Hallstatt
Though Hallstatt is pretty pet-friendly, it’s far too small to have veterinary clinics. Should you find yourself needing vet assistance for your pup during your visit, you can find help just outside Hallstatt.
Located in Bad Goisern, this vet has a number you can call outside working hours.
Tierambulanz Salzkammergut in Bad Ischl
That covers just about everything. Now you’re ready for a trip to dog-friendly Hallstatt!