Who the heck is culture?

Bad Ischl – Salzkammergut 2024 – European capital of culture

Born from salt, made rich by salt and with salt we move into the future: CULTURE IS THE NEW SALT.

The Salzkammergut offers a high density of exciting stories, places and people and is embedded in an impressive landscape. Characterized by the elements salt, water and wood, a complex region emerged here in which the history of salt mining began in Hallstatt 7,000 years ago. The salt trade has fed, enriched and connected the region internationally, it has attracted wealthy and powerful people to the country, the summer resort has made the Salzkammergut a place of longing, and the historical cultural landscape in the inner Salzkammergut is now part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

With its increased compactness, shielded by mountains, lakes and rivers, the Salzkammergut is an example for many other regions of the world. The globally observable gap from the industrialized north to the south, which is used for tourism and agriculture, is brought together here in vivid density and serves both as a prime example and as a laboratory for meeting the increasing political, cultural, economic and ecological challenges of Europe and the world.


Program lines

The programming for the 2024 European Capital of Culture Bad Ischl Salzkammergut uses four points of focus to create a balance between these important areas and uses a multitude of projects to point out possibilities for actively shaping our future.

In its four lines of programming, POWER AND TRADITION, CULTURE IN MOTION, SHARING SALZKAMMERGUT – The Art of Traveling and GLOBALOCAL – Building the New, the European Capital of Culture is dealing with important topics within our region, Europe and the entire world, setting new impulses for the future, putting on display the diversity in historically rooted and contemporary art and culture and networking the region internationally.



An open and active memorial culture without blind spots is a necessity for using the past to learn lessons for a careful and proactive approach to our present and future. The maintaining of tradition is a vibrant and strong practice in the Salzkammergut region. It covers a wide range of activities, extending from music, crafts, customs, theater and literature to restaurant culture. In order to understand traditions, however, a differentiated view of how they developed is also necessary. What power relationships have shaped this region and new modes of behavior and new customs? Remembering means shaping the future responsibly. This is exactly what POWER AND TRADITION recognizes and understands that their reciprocal effects are a prerequisite for understanding and respecting local and global identities as they change and evolve. Searching for the origins in our region reveals both the stories of their creation as well as global connections.

Culture is subjected to constant change; it arises from societal processes as well as sometimes from protests. Historically, workers culture was responsible for the first social demands and led decisively to the safeguarding of the professional life. Over the further course of events, the imperial court, the summer holidaymakers, Jewish life and its disappearance through the expulsion and extermination policy of the National Socialists, industry and tourism also shaped the cultural landscape. That is, culture is constantly in movement, it changes.



The need for a clear cultural identity seems to be comprehensible in a world where everything is globally dependent upon each other. But is this so clearly demonstrable? The French philosopher François Jullien states that the nature of culture is change. Customs, traditions or a shared language are seen as resources that are generally available to all and which can be used in a wide variety of ways.

They are the foundations upon which the societies build and further develop themselves. Unconventional art formats as well as sustainable concepts are made possible through curiosity, productive questioning, querying and researching, through new points of view and interpretations and with an international dialogue of cultures. Culture and thus cultural identity never stand still. CULTURE IN MOTION is a matter of course. It allows innovations and makes a region and its society strong and able to face the future. It recognizes diversity as a strength with which one can learn from each other and, in doing so, further develop and stand up to new challenges.



Tourism, grown out of the summer holidaymaking tradition in this extraordinary Alpine region, which began in the 19th century, is one of the most important lifelines in the Salzkammergut region, the place yearned for by many travelers.

The proper course, however, is not to see tourism as a service-providing one-way street with seasonally based peak times, but instead to see it as a fantastic opportunity to learn from each other. As in all regions of Europe, the side effects of a travel industry inspired by iconic landscape images cannot be overlooked. SHARING SALZKAMMERGUT – The Art of Traveling explores the diverse challenges as well as opportunities for a high quality further development of tourism and pursues the question of how Alpine space can be shaped attractively during the summer and winter months also beyond the field of tourism. How can an Alpine region whose landscape is to be preserved and is also intended to become a year-round travel destination prepare itself for the future?


GLOBALOCAL - Building the New​

Shaping the rural Alpine region in such a manner that the usual north-south divide is compensated for and supplemented, that the labor market is enriched with creative potential, that works against the emigration of young, well-educated people in order to make a life in the countryside possiblewhile still being networked and able to work globally. This means expanding mobility and digitalization, developing strategies to once again make agriculture possible as a livelihood, combine land use planning and the development of a reasonable construction culture, creating spaces for education and art, striving for sustainability in all areas within the Salzkammergut region as well as beyond. In GLOBALOCAL – BUILDING THE NEW, the focus has been placed on thinking about the world of tomorrow and developing strategies for action as well as dealing with the points of tension between the generations. After all, it is especially the young people who are affected by the careless use of resources; this is why young people are the central group being addressed when it comes to recognizing interim spaces for promoting the cultural and creative diversity in the rural Alpine area of the Salzkammergut region and creating the prospect of a life that is attractive for young and old alike.


ACCOMODATION:      Carefully selected *** hotels or inns in the Salzkammergut / Capital of Culture region


  • 4 x overnight stays incl. breakfast in selected *** hotels or inns in the Salzkammergut / Capital of Culture region
  • 1 x entry to the exhibition “sudhaus – art with salt and water” in Bad Ischl
  • 1 x sweet delicacy (Habsburg) to go at “Rührwerk” in Bad Ischl
  • 1 x coffee to go at “Hrovat’s” in Bad Ischl
  • 1 x entry to the exhibition „„The Journey of the pictures“ in the Kammerhof Part III in Bad Aussee *
  • 1 x Entry to the Contemporary History Museum in Ebensee *
  • 1 x Salzkammergut adventure card
  • 1 x Capital of Culture Present 2024
  • 1 x service / emergency number 24/7

Rate per person and arrangement in €:

Arrival 20.01. - 26.03.24*

27.03. - 28.04.24

01.09. - 27.10.24
29.04. - 31.08.24
Double room from 359,00 from 394,00 from 404,00
single room from 419,00 from 459,00 from 494,00
Arrival daily daily daily

*entry to Kammerfhofmuseum in Bad Aussee & contemporary history museum in Ebensee from 27.03. included

Children’s reduction in the parent’s room (2 full paying guests):
  0 -   3,9 years: 100 %              4 - 11,9 years:   40 %                12 - 14,9 years:   30 %


We are glad to offer upgrades to family rooms, 4* or 4*S hotels if requested too.


Extras payable on spot:
Pets:                against charge, on request       
Local tax:         2,20 - 4,00 € per person and night (from 15 years)
(Will be adjusted accordingly if the law changes).



The trip is guaranteed for 1 person or more. All trips and the program are done individually.

Booking and billing via Salzkammergut Touristik.

Arrival and departure can also be offered by train.

We recommend getting a travel cancellation insurance.

The terms and conditions of Salzkammergut Touristik GmbH apply in the currently valid version.

We recommend a travel insurance.
Hotel Cancellation Plus: https://www.europaeische.at/pip/en/hospl
Hotel Cancellation Premium: https://www.europaeische.at/pip/en/hospr

The standard terms and conditions of the Salzkammergut Touristik GmbH apply in the current version.

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