- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- German Phrases
Following the bumpy old road westward (often closed in winter) from Hallstatt, you'll find yourself in company with the railroad and the Traun River (watch out for the precipitous 23% gradient at one point) and entering a region dotted with small lakes. The heart of this region is Bad Aussee, a great lure in the summertime, for the town's towering mountains and glacier-fed lake keep the area cool. In the town, several miles from the lake, salt and mineral springs have been developed into a modern spa complex, yet the town retains much of its 15th- and 16th-century character in the narrow streets and older buildings, particularly in the upper reaches. To see its quaintest corners, head for Chumeckyplatz, lined with centuries-old houses.
The 1827 marriage of Archduke Johann (notoriously nicknamed the "father of Styria"—at last count, he had 1,200 descendants) to Anna Plochl, the daughter of the local postmaster, brought attention and a burst of new construction, including some lovely 19th-century villas. Of special note is the little late-Gothic hospital church, with its 16th-century frescoes. In the mid-19th century musicians flocked here to relax and compose. Nikolaus Lenau worked on his version of Faust here, Mahler began his Fourth Symphony in 1899, and right after the turn of the century Hugo von Hofmannsthal wrote his famous Jedermann play as well as the beloved libretti for Richard Strauss's operas Der Rosenkavalier and Ariadne auf Naxos. You can walk along a marked "Via Artis" here and in Altaussee to see all the different locales that gave inspiration to such famed creative souls. Aussee is a good base for hiking in the surrounding countryside in summer and for excellent skiing in winter. Many travelers come to Bad Aussee via the train from Salzburg, making a connection southward at the Attnang-Puchheim junction.
Bad Aussee at a Glance
Elsewhere in Salzkammergut
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- Altstadt Kaisererbraeu on Sale: Book 3 Nts in May Fr $198+/Nt Save with Expedia, $94/night less
- Save in Salzburg: Book 3 Nts in May Fr $134+/Nt Save with Expedia, $17/night less
- Star Inn Salzburg Airport on Sale: Book 3 Nts in May Fr $90+/Nt — $90 Save with Expedia, $7/night less
- Save in Salzburg: Book 3 Nts in May Fr $135+/Nt — $135 Save with Expedia, $17/night less
- Book 3-Star Schone Aussicht in Salzburg Fr $105+/Nt — $105 Expedia