TOP destinations in the Salzkammergut

Video: © Salzkammergut Tourismus Marketing GmbH (STMG)
Bad Ischl

European Capital of Culture 2024

A place that continues to amaze: It is no wonder that Bad Ischl and the beautiful Salzkammergut were chosen as the European Capital of Culture 2024 – the entire region with all its villages, towns and landscapes is a true Austrian jewel that impresses with its rich cultural heritage and variety of natural treasures. The enchanting Salzkammergut, which stretches across Upper Austria, Salzburg and Styria, offers a wealth of experiences that will enchant every traveller: from strolling through charming villages and swimming in crystal-clear lakes to hiking in majestic mountains and an exciting journey of discovery of the traditional craftsmanship that has characterised the region for centuries: Gmunden Keramik.


A particular highlight on the summit is the Schafberg, which rewards the ascent with a breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view. On a clear day, you can even see as far as Lake Chiemsee.


If you prefer something a little more comfortable, but still want to enjoy a phenomenal view, you can also reach the 1,783 metre high summit in 35 minutes on the Schafbergbahn – Austria’s steepest cog railway. The summit of the Katrinberg promises another magnificent panoramic view – here, too, you save yourself a strenuous ascent and can completely immerse yourself in the mountains during the ride on the Katrin cable car and simply let your gaze wander.


For those looking for a little more thrill, the 5fingers viewing platform on the Krippenstein is an absolute must: while visitors hover over the abyss, they can also enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and lakes – an experience you will never forget. But the Salzkammergut offers unique natural spectacles not only above the clouds, but also below the ground.

Dachstein Giant Ice Cave

The Dachstein mountains are home to a cave formation known for its impressive landscape and geological formations. A 50-minute tour takes you into the subterranean realm of stalactites and stalagmites and allows you to experience the magic of the Dachstein ice caves up close.

Gmundner Keramik

However, no visit to the Salzkammergut would be complete without an insight into the region’s rich cultural tradition. And anyone who says ‘Salzkammergut’ must also say ‘Gmundner Keramik’ – because the manufactory has been producing colourful, hand-painted ceramics of the highest quality since the 17th century and has thus become a symbol of Austrian craftsmanship, tradition and the beauty of the region. Each unique piece is made with attention to detail and radiates timeless elegance – making them true treasures for every style of living.


The unmistakable ‘Green Flamed’ is the company’s trademark. Each piece in the flamed series has been produced in Gmunden for 300 years using a unique handicraft technique. When „flaming“, the colour is not painted on, but sprayed onto the ceramic with a fine hose – an art that requires two years of training, which only Gmunden still offers. For this reason, the ‘flaming of ceramics’ was even named a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage site in 2021.

Manufactory tour

Insights into production and factory tours

Anyone wishing to find out more about the creation of the unique pieces can take part in a guided tour of the manufactory: In addition to a short film, valuable exhibits, a touch and photo station, visitors are given exciting insights into the creation of the ceramics and the various production steps – from turning and glazing to painting and firing. A boutique shop with gift ideas from the manufactory right in the centre of Gmunden invites visitors to browse.


And if you’re ever in the Gmundner Manufaktur, you should have a look at the „Moss People“  exhibition by Kim Simonsson – until 7 September 2024. The Finnish artist gives new impetus to ceramic art and takes you into the fascinating world of ‘Moss People’. The figures in the exhibition represent the 23 municipalities that have joined forces for the European Capital of Culture Salzkammergut 2024.


The ‘AI WEIWEI – TRANSCENDING BORDERS’ exhibition is also waiting to be discovered in Bad Ischl’s Kaiserpark from 13 June to 27 October 2024: It offers a fascinating dialogue between the works of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and significant archaeological finds from the Hallstatt period in the Marmorschlössl. The presentation of archaic works of art and artefacts from different cultures creates a unique encounter between East and West in a historical setting that invites visitors to explore the connections and differences between the cultures.