Salzkammergut in 3 Days

Photo by Kim Grant

Music, museums, gourmet feasts and traditional crafts in Austria's gorgeous Lake District

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Centuries-old traditions still remain in the Salzkammergut, or Salzburg Lake District. It’s not uncommon to see people in traditional costumes — at the various celebrations and festivals held throughout the year, certainly, but also just in daily life.

Things to Do in Salzkammergut

From Hallstatt, the city of Mozart and the Sound of Music, an hour’s drive leads past the numerous lakes and villages of the Salzkammergut. We recommend stopping in Bad Ischl and St. Gilgen for an in-depth exploration of the region.

For its part, Bad Ischl presents an unexpected outpost of Imperial Vienna. At the turn of the last century, this was the summer escape of choice for the emperor and Viennese nobility. Not wanting to give up the conveniences of city life, they selected a town that featured a typical Viennese coffeehouse, an Imperial Villa — home to Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth during their stay here — and a beautiful riverside esplanade, a perfect spot for people-watching.

Further west, on the shores of Lake Wolfgang, quaint St. Gilgen is renowned for its picturesque historic village center – and for being the hometown of Mozart’s mother. Groups of six or more can book a class at Konditorei Dallmann and learn to make the famous Mozartkugel chocolates. Otherwise, just stop for coffee and cake, and enjoy the unspoiled picturebook surroundings.

Many historic crafts from the region can be found at the Hand.Werk.Haus in Bad Goisern.

Restaurant Tips for Salzkammergut

For gourmets, the SalzburgerLand is a dream-come-true. You’ll find a surprisingly high number of top-tier restaurants, as well as traditional inns serving local specialties of the highest quality. From lake fish to alpine cheeses, lamb and beer, there is something here for every taste. The Salzburg Tourist Office has put together seven “gourmet road maps,” each with its own theme.

Stop for a bite of the famous Zaunerstollen, the signature cake at Bad Ischl’s venerable Konditorei Zauner, where the original ambiance has been preserved for nearly two centuries.

At the cozy Gasthof zur Post in St. Gilgen, expect outstanding local specialties — including fresh fish right from the lake – in a historic building that dates to 1330.

This itinerary is compliments of the Austrian Tourist Office.

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