Where to Stay and Eat: Bräu Gasthof
It is impossible not to fall in love with Hallstatt! This little lake-side town in Upper Austria is like a fairytale comes true. With pastel-colored houses that cast reflections onto the glassy waters of the Lake Hallstatt with towering mountains all around, Hallstatt's beauty is indescribable. Until the 19th century, this beautiful Austrian town was accessible only by boat or mountain trail. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an extremely popular tourist destination.
We arrived at Hallstatt just days before Christmas and it was snowing. The pure white snow is stunningly draped over the old wooden houses, icicles hang from the roofs, and the Christmas lights twinkle. It was pure magic.
During our visit, we stay at Bräu Gasthof, which is located right by the lake. Our rooms had original vintage furniture which was probably hundred years old. They were not only clean and cozy but also had amazing views of the lake and mountains. Originally the building of Bräu Gasthof was used for selling salt fresh from the mines. We particularly liked the restaurant, which offers traditional, long-established Austrian dishes and fresh fish from the Hallstatt Lake like Arctic charr. To round off your meal, try the delicious apple strudel and Kaiserschmarrn.
I went for an early morning walks in Hallstatt, when the tourists were still asleep and I have the town to myself. Overlooking the town with the mountains all around covered with morning mist was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.