Real-life Frozen village invaded by thousands of tourists

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The mayor of Hallstatt is urging visitors to stay away

Just weeks after the release of the second Frozen movie, tourists are going crazy over the real-life Frozen village. A little hamlet in Austria Hallstatt is believed to have inspired the fairytale’s city of Arendelle, attracting thousands of visitors every day.

The village is home to about 800 people and it reportedly welcomes some 10,000 enthusiasts a day. There are reports of selfie-takers, wedding party photoshoots, and even piloted drones. 

The town’s mayor has been urging people to stay away and allegedly closed off several roads to keep the crowds out. 

“Hallstatt is an important piece of cultural history, not a museum,” said mayor Scheutz. “We want to reduce numbers by at least a third but we have no way of actually stopping them.”

Due to the increasing number of tourists, the picturesque destination has now reportedly become more expensive, even for the locals. Stores prioritize selling tourist trinkets over fresh produce. There have also been complaints about tourists entering the homes of local residents without permission.

Hallstatt has risen to stardom in the last decade

Hallstatt likeness to the fairytale’s city of Arendelle attracts thousands of visitors a day — eFesenko / ShutterstockHallstatt likeness to the fairytale’s city of Arendelle attracts thousands of visitors a day — eFesenko / Shutterstock

About a decade ago, this Unesco World Heritage Site saw some 100 visitors per day. These days it welcomes over one million of them a year.

Dubbed “the most Instagrammable town in the world”, the little village appeared on everyone’s radar after featuring on a South Korean travel show Spring Watch in 2006. In 2012, a Chinese tycoon spent almost a billion dollars to build his own Hallstatt replica in the Chinese province of Guangdong. 

However, its immense popularity has grown rapidly since the 2013 premiere of the blockbuster Frozen because of its supposed likeness to the franchise’s city of Arendelle.

Hallstatt is not the first place to suffer from overtourism. Venice has been suffocating from the number of tourists it sees every year and has been taking different measures to stop the influx of visitors.