I had the good fortune of being driven to Hallstatt by Vter globetrott, but I've also heard the train ride to Hallstatt is beautiful. The train will drop you off on the other side of the Hallstättersee (Lake Hallstatt) but you can take this ferry across the lake which will drop you off just below the main square.
If you take the bus, it will drop you off at the southern end of the tunnel where it's a short walk to the town center. If you drive you can park at either the northern or southern end of the tunnel for a small fee. The tunnel, by the way, runs the full length of the town through the mountain at its rear.
To get to Hallstatt by train, whether you are coming from Salzburg or Vienna, you need to change trains in Attnang Puchheim. From there it is a beautiful scenic journey to Hallstatt, especially if you sit on the left side of the train facing the front.
Don't be alarmed during the trip if the announcements of where the train is headed do not mention Hallstatt. I really thought that I was on the wrong train and finally I asked a man who seemed to be a local and he told me that Hallstatt was not the next stop but the one after that. I certainly breathed a sigh of relief.
At Hallstatt Train Station you transfer to a ferry that will take you across the Lake to Hallstatt proper for a cost of 2.20 euro. The trip across the lake affords a fabulous photo opportunity. Have your camera handy.
The train to Hallstatt stops across the lake from the town but you can catch the ferry for about 2 Euros. I think it meets most trains and runs until about 18:30 but for your return check the schedule. The TI or hotel should be able to help and as I recall there is a schedule posted near the dock. What a great way to start your visit to this small but superb town!
The quickest way to get up to the salt mines is by taking the funicular. The cost is 12,60 euro, and this includes the entrance fee to the mines. Once off the funicular, it's a 20-minute walk up to the visitor's centre. Along the way there are exhibits about the first people who worked the mines and the settlers of that area. The entrance to the salt mines, called Miner's Refuge, is located 928 meters above sea level!
One of the easiest ways to arrive in Hastatt is to arrive by train which stops on the opposite side of the lake and take the little boat across. Parking is difficult in high season and is limited to pay and display car parks so this is the best way into the small town.
Salzburg to Hallstatt:
From Salzburg central bus station(opposite Hbf train stn) to bad Ishl by bus cost Eur 8.20 pax
Then by train Bad ishl to Hallstatt,cost Eur 3.30 pax.
From thepier take a boat ride across to Hallstatt Eur 3 pax
RETURN JOURNEY TO SALZBURG:
Walk 10 mins to the other end of town and took a bus near the road barrier.This feeder bus took us across the tunnel and we board another bus to Bad Ishl.From bad ishl we board another bus all the Way to Salzburg.One ticket cost Eur 11.20,much cheaper and faster despite connections.
If you arrive at Hallstatt by train, you will have to take a ferry across Lake Hallstatt to the village. From the train platform take the gravel path down to the dock. The ferry costs 1,90 euro each way. The ferry leaves shortly after each train arrives, and boats leave Hallstatt with enough time to get each train back.
Trying to drive to Hallstatt is difficult, and parking here is next to impossible, so taking the train would be the lessor of the two evils.....
The train line to Hallstatt is out on a spur off the main lines. Once you disembark from the train, your out all by your lonesome on the other side of the lake from town... (A ferry will be hopefully there waiting for train passengers when you arrive...)
I suppose the easiest way to get to Halstatt is by train. However, when you arrive, you will find that the train station is all by itself on the far side of the lake from town.
Fortunately, it seems that they sync the lake ferries with the arriving trains, so there should be one there waiting for you when you arrive. If not, I'm told that you can ride the train up to the next stop, and then use whatever means available to get back to Halstatt. (Walk, hitch, crawl.... )
... and cable cars, that go half way to the STARS... when I come home to you... SAN FRANCI... Oh sorry, got carried way... wrong page...
Anyway if you want to save time and some wear on your legs, you can ride up to Salzbergwerke in the cable car..
You will arrive at Hallstatt via an unmaned train station which drops you off across the lake. From here you will need to take a short 5 minute boatride across the lake to reach the town itself. the boatride will cost $2 Euro per person so make sure you arrive with pocket change to pay with as there is no ATM machine at the train stop. Be aware though that the ferry across the lake leaves rather early in the day so you'll have to coordinate the ferry times with you're train's arrival time.
I think arriving in Hallstatt by train/boat early morning is very nice, € 22,50 (+ 2,20 for the boat) you have to change train in Attnang Puchheim. You can go also via Bad Ischl by bus (Halstatt Lahn in the Oebb website). Or go by bus via Gosau lake (Gosau Gosauer Hof in the Oebb website, not as frequent connection, at post bus interchanges they wait if on a delayed bus).
The nicest way to get to Hallstatt is by train, a bit slow and not luggage friendly (closest lockers are in Bad Ischl), you arrive at the other side of the lake, from where you have a beatifull boatride, 2,20 Euro.
Some direct trains from Vienna, more trains from Attnang-Puchheim on the Vienna to Salzburg line, and from Stainach-Irdning on the Graz to Innsbruck line.