Bad Ischl is considered a spa town owing to its history of involvement with salt mining and also brine pools
Bad Ischl is a spa town in Austria. It lies in the southern part of Upper Austria, at the Traun River in the centre of the Salzkammergut region.
It is connected to the village of Strobl by the river Ischl, which drains from the Wolfgangsee, and to the Traunsee, into which the stream empties. It is home to the Kaiservilla, summer residence of Austro-Hungarian monarchs Emperor Franz Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth.
During the 1500’s a salt mine was opened in the town which saw a boost to its economy and development, and then later in the 19th century when Brine became popular for medicinal purposes, Bad Ischl turned into a fashionable spa resort catering for famous and wealth Austrians.
Besides the Kaiservilla, the city offers several health spas and tourist attractions, like the historic Kongresshaus opened in 1875, the new Kurhaus built by Clemens Holzmeister in 1932, as well as the Lehár Villa, the former residence of Franz Lehár, that he acquired in 1912 and today serves as a museum. The Saint Nicholas parish church was first mentioned in a 1344 deed.
A gondola lift runs from the town up to the Katrin alpine pasture at 1415 m (4643 ft), which offers a panoramic view of the Salzkammergut mountains. The ruins of Wildenstein Castle, which burnt down in 1715, are nearby.
Discover Bad Ischl
The town is set against the backdrop of the mighty Katrin Mountain and remains a popular tourist destination in Upper Austria.
Once described as Heaven on earth by the great emperor Franz Joseph, the Kaiser Villa served as the summer residence for the Habsburgs in the 1800’s and onwards and was also a place that several historical meetings of world leaders took place.
The delightful Neoclassical architecture of the Villa contains many columns and tympana, while there are also plaster sculptured above each of the three wings depicting various classical scenes.
This treasured home of the Austrian Royalty is a spectacular tribute to their power and prowess and is a highlight of any trip to Bad Ischl.
Mount Katrin is considered the “Darling” of Bad Ischl and has amazing visitors with its breath-taking views and wonderful nature since imperial times.
To reach the top of this enticing mountain range, there is a cable car that has been operating since 1959 and takes approximately 15 minutes – Enjoy the scenery beneath you as you gently ascend.
Once you reach the top, you will be astounded by the expansive views of the seven lakes and the idyllic Austrian mountain landscapes.
Together with the views, there is also a café serving traditional and seasonal food and many different hiking trails to try your hand at.
This wooden lookout tower is perched on top of a hill just in the southern part of Bad Ischl – It stands out against the backdrop of the town and is covered by forest.
Enjoy a pleasant walk up the short (but steep) path that takes you to the tower and summit, and on the way engage with the different interactive stations that have been installed for a little fun.
At the top there is a children’s play area, a restaurant that serves a fine beer, and the commanding tower that gives you an unrivalled view of the little town below and the gorgeous countryside including Mount Katrin.
Salzkammergut Golf Club
Not only does Bad Ischl have a great range of relaxing activities, for sports lovers you can make use of the Salzkammergut Golf Course which is conveniently situated a short 15 minute car or bus journey to the west of Bad Ischl.
The course is set in a wooded landscape, close to the river Traun and features 18 full sized holes with a par of 71.