Hall in Tirol is a 700 year old town located 10km to the east of Innsbruck. In the past, around the Middle Ages, Hall in Tirol was more important than today’s state capital, Innsbruck. The town blossomed in the XIII century because of the vast deposits of salt in the area. The name Hall comes from this history with the Salt mines that made the city so important for so many years.
The significance of the town grew dramatically when, during the XV century, the ducal mint at Merano in South Tyrol moved to Hall in Tirol. Minted here was the first silver coin ever, in the history of money. The name was Thaler, that later mutated into “dollar”. Filling the place as prime location in the town’s historic core is one of the finest squares in the country, the Obere Stadtplatz. Of special interest here are the old town hall and the late-Gothic St Nikolaus parish church, but this city does not stop amazing you. Museums, parks, exhibitions and more are just some of the ideas I can give you of things to do in Hall in Tirol and region. The civic authorities in Hall in Tirol even won many awards for the successful restoration of the city’ old town. If your visit is during the months of November and December, a cute Christmas market awaits for you with food and wine.
A tour around the Old Town in Hall in Tirol
The glorious days of Salt mining and imprinting silver coins are past, but you can still see how thing were. What remains in Hall in Tirol’s old town is incredibly well-preserved. From the vast list of must-see you can add the “Royal Palace” and the Pfarrkirche St Nikolaus.
The Royal Palace was the name that Count Heinrich von Görz-Tirol (1295-1335) named this wonderful town hall with Austrian flag themed windows. The Habsburg Duke Leopold IV presented the building to the town in 1406, since when it has been used as the town hall. And the Pfarrkirche St. Nikolaus is in the very center of the old town and its interior is breathtaking. This Roman Catholic church is dated back to XIII and XIV century.
Besides the historical monuments and places, the old town if filled with amazing bars, restaurants and small local shops. Worth to mention that closer to Christmas, the whole downtown turns into a cute Advent Calendar with huge numbers projected on walls following the well-known advent calendar. The Christmas market in Hall in Tirol is the perfect excuse you need to eat delicious winter food and get drunk with its delicious glühwein.
Hall in Tirol’s Mint Tower and museum
Maybe the biggest symbol for Hall in Tirol is the Mint Tower. The tower is from the XV century and along with Burg Hasegg form the Mint Museum with the world’s only roll press.
Before my visit to this museum I have to say that I’d never thought that coins and the monetary system could be so interesting. History, curious facts, interactive pieces are just some of the things that drew my attention to this Museum. Besides the incredible view you can have from up top. You can see the whole valley, 360 degrees view and for photographers it is the perfect photo-spot.
Go for a walk with your camera
This region in Austria, like most of the country, is a dream for most amateurs and professional nature or landscape photographers. The mountains, the color of the river Inn, the nature, the picturesque city… you name it. The good thing about going to Hall in Tirol is the proximity to all the other villages and small towns. Each and every one has something that makes them unique, and can vary from architecture or the landscape you’ll see from the window of your car.
While in Hall in Tirol, I went by car to small villages like Tulfes to have a better look of the Alps, I went to Ampass to see the other side and it was incredible. I was with my Canon 24-70mm and another Tamron 70-200mm and the photos turned our perfect! In a good day you can see all the way to Innsbruck and beyond. A cool spot to go with or without a camera is the national park on the foot of the mountains, the Alpenpark Karwendel.
We were there during December so a hike was not possible due the amount of ice and snow on the ground. I know, very sad. But the view I had from the place made me swear that I would go back during summer. But everywhere you go, every small village and every corner you turn, you’ll be amazed with the natural beauty mixed with the medieval architecture.
A day at Kristallwelten Swarovski
I need to add this to the list for one reason: It is not what you expect. It is surreal and intense. When I first heard about a park built by Swarovski I thought to myself:
“Well, maybe I will skip this since I couldn’t care less about sculptures make with crystal”
I couldn’t be more wrong about the place.
The complex has 7 main areas: The Chamber of Wonders, The Crystal Clouds with a Mirror Pool, a Labyrinth, a garden with incredible art, Roman excavations, a super modern restaurant and a huge store filled with dreamy Swarovski pieces.
The Chamber of Wonders is one of the best modern art exhibitions I’ve ever seen. Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol are just one of the many names inside this giant museum dedicated to surrealism, interactive installations and more.
The crystal clouds are indescribably pretty and together with the mirror pool, makes one of the nicest walks you can have outdoor.
Kristallwelten is so worth it that you even find Roman excavations there!!! How crazy is this?
The store and the restaurants don’t fall behind on the uniqueness. The variety of pieces sold inside the store is incredible and the modern look and the presentation of the restaurant are to die for. I’ve tried the coq-au-vin and it was one of the best so far.
Prepare yourself to spend easily a whole day inside this place because, besides all this, they have an ice skating rink and much more. We loved it so much we even wrote a full article just about it.
Drinking rum in Rum
This one goes for everybody that like me, live for the joke.
When I saw on the map the town called Rum, I knew what I had to do.
Rum is just 1 or 2 stations by train from Hall in Tirol and we didn’t really explore it. We just went there to fulfill my life long dream to act like an idiot everywhere I can.
For those who know me, this will not come as a surprise. But if you’re new here, let me tell you something: one day I will drive a Ford Capri in Capri, I will meet a Sofia in Sofia, I will sing Danzig in Danzig and so on. The world is full of cities with perfect names for perfect puns and I intend to do them all. All the way from Fucking in Austria to eating a hamburg in Hamburg. I will conquer the world, one pun at a time.
And if you want to join me in my quest, I strongly recommend going to Absam and reaching out to Bogner Distillery. They have some of the finest brandies, whiskey and gin on the region. Does not hurt to check if they can point you to the right direction when it comes to rum. Those guys really knows their alcohol.
And besides all this, you can always go to Hall in Tirol for the incredible Ski resorts. Unfortunately, I can’t give you photos or a review since when we went there, there wasn’t enough snow for anything.
Fotostrasse was in Hall in Tirol enjoying everything about the Hall-Wattens regions by invitation from Hall-Wattens Tourism Board. Our trip was sponsored by OBB and you should travel through Austria by train.