Top things to do

Palace in Bad Ischl


Franz Josef’s sprawling summer residence, the Italianate-style Kaiservilla, was an engagement present for him and his princess-to-be, Elisabeth of Bavaria, from his mother Princess Sophie. Elisabeth, who loathed the…
Cafe in Bad Ischl

Café Sissy

Yet another Sissy (or Sisi, Sissi or Princess Elisabeth) pilgrimage site, with reproductions of her covering the walls of this popular riverside bar/cafe. You can breakfast here, lunch or dine on a Wiener schnitzel …
Museum in Bad Ischl


The City Museum showcases the long history of Bad Ischl and stages changing exhibitions. This also happens to be the building where Franz Josef and Elisabeth were engaged, the day after they were formally introduced…
Pub in Bad Ischl

K.u.K. Hofbeisl

This rambling place has a Beisl (bistro pub; mains €11 to €22) open for lunch and dinner in one building, connected with a bar in the other, which is the liveliest late-night party place in town – DJs do their thing…
Pizza in Bad Ischl


Set among trees within the Kurpark, with plenty of outside tables for eating and drinking, this Heuriger (wine tavern) crosses the culinary line to serve pizza as well as light traditional tavern meals. Both can be …
Austrian in Bad Ischl

Restaurant Esplanade

This offshoot of the famous pastry shop Cafe Zauner serves quite decent Austrian staples – some using organic local meats – in a fabulously pleasant location beside the river. Given Zauner's pedigree, desserts are a…
Cafe in Bad Ischl

Cafe Zauner

Little has changed in grand Cafe Zauner since it opened in 1882. Its elegant interior with antique furnishings makes it the perfect place to relax over a luscious traditional pastry and black coffee.
Music in Bad Ischl

Lehár Festival

The home of operetta composer Franz Lehár, Bad Ischl hosts the Lehár Festival, which stages musical works by Lehár and other composers.
House in Bad Ischl

Lehár Villa

This pink villa was the home of opera composer Franz Lehár is a picture of late Imperial-era Austria in all its stuffy glory. Left exactly as Lehár left it, it's filled with period furniture, personal ephemera and a…