Some 55 kilometers east from Salzburg, Bad Ischl is the cultural hub and geographic center of Salzkammergut Lake District. Emperor Franz Joseph I selected Bad Ischl as the summer holiday seat of the Hapsburg Empire and celebrated his birthdays there from 1848 to 1914. No other Austrian resort captures the glamour of the long-departed empire quite like this one.
Bad Ischl – it's summer's most beautiful freshness
Bad Ischl is the oldest salt water spa in Austria, and since 1823 it has offered cure treatments. With the Austrian Royalty taking their cures in Ischl, the remote salt village became a fashionable spa and the whole region developed into a huge recreational landscape.
Today, Bad Ischl still is one of the country’s most fashionable spas. The town still reflects a certain imperial conceit in its architecture, much of it left over from the heyday of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. One may stroll through the resort and experience old traditions as they were long ago, but now carefully renovated and modernized.
The thriving, dynamic town, a popular tourist destination, offers an eclectic life style appealing to a wide variety of people from the most physically active to those seeking to enjoy the cultural arts and historical pursuits. The sheer beauty of the surrounding scenery, snowcapped peaks and crystal-clear lakes, create a dramatic setting of unparalleled mystique.
In Bad Ischl, visitors can choose between several natural ways of curing (healing springs): Salt water with three per cent salt content, the cold sodium-chloride sulfate-sulfur spring and a Glauber salt spring, a salt water drinking spring and mud from the salt mountain.
The health treatments have beneficial impacts on the respiratory tracts, bones and joints (rheumatism), inner organs, cardiovascular system and on women’s disorders and children’s diseases.
What’s more, the Emperor’s Thermal Spa is home to a new center of personal well-being, the Yasumi Sauna, and to the Oriental-style “Alhambra” wellness complex, featuring Sabbia-med, Rasul, Turkish steam bath and Hamam.
Sights & Attractions:
Emperor’s Villa (the elegant mansion where Emperor Franz Joseph used to spend his summer sojourns), Lehár Villa (home of famous Austrian composer Franz Lehár), Municipal Museum of Bad Ischl (the place were Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria celebrated his engagement to Elisabeth of Bavaria), Photo Museum at Marble Castle (the former tea pavilion of Empress Elisabeth), Congress & Theater House at the Spa Park.
18–hole golf course and golf academy, 25 indoor and outdoor tennis courts, indoor and outdoor horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, running, fishing.
Rettenbachalm Nordic Ski Center, cross country skiing and indoor golf. The Dachstein Ski Resort (some 65 km of downhill runs) is within easy reach (20km).
Lehar Festival (operetta) in July and August, Spa Concert Orchestra, k&k Wine Village, open air concerts, Emperor’s Fair, International Country Music Festival, Shake the Lake, New Orleans Music Festival, folklore events, farmer’s fall, Advent & Christmas events, Concerts (classical music, jazz), horseback riding tournaments, exhibitions, and much more…
Bad Ischl is home to Salzkammergut’s biggest state-of-the art convention center, the Congress and Theater House that can accommodate up to 1,200 people.
The Lehár Theater cinema and events center can seat up to 300 people.