Empress Elisabeth, largely known as Sissi, was a passionate traveller and travelled extensively in Europe. On her travels, Sissi explored the most beautiful places in Europe and even today the numerous towns, castles and parks are still worth a visit. In 2002, the so-called Sissi Road was formed in memory of Sissi. It runs from Bavaria to the Ionian Sea, passing through Austria, Hungary, Italy, Switzerland and Corfu, where Sissi once had her Achielleion palace built. Sissi still enchants many people around the world today and her myth lives on. Nevertheless, even without any reference to Sissi, the route is suitable for cultural holidaymakers from all over the world, as it connects many of the most beautiful places in Europe and invites you on a cultural discovery tour. Even though Sissi travelled a lot in the wide world and eventually died tragically in Switzerland, the stations in Bavaria and Austria are probably among the most important in her life, as they shaped her childhood in addition to her time as empress.
A total of six different stops in Bavaria and Austria are part of the Sissi Road Cultural Route. These beautiful places once shaped the life of the empress and are still a popular destination today due to their magnificent architecture as well as unique locations.
The starting point of the trip is the fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein near Füssen in the Allgäu. King Ludwig II, the cousin of Empress Sissi, once lived there. The two were bound by a close relationship and a trusting bond. The dreamlike castle is still a popular destination for tourists from all over the world and invites you to immerse yourself in a bygone era and discover the charm of the imperial times.
The Romantik Alpenhotel Waxenstein also offers an exclusive retreat for sports enthusiasts, those seeking relaxation and gourmets. The rooms are furnished in a unique combination of Bavarian cosiness and French chic. The gourmet restaurant Henri-Philippe combines French haute cuisine with traditional Alpine dishes.
The next stop on the Sissi Route leads to the beautiful Lake Starnberg to Possenhofen Castle. Sissi spent carefree summer days there with her parents and siblings. The "Elisabeth Trail" invites you to an active tour of discovery. Follow in Sissi's footsteps from the castle to the only island of Lake Starnberg, the Roseninsel. A comfortable crossing on a wooden barge allows you to explore the variety of roses.
The Romantik Hotel Chalet am Kiental on the beautiful Ammersee is also close to Lake Starnberg. In the lovingly renovated farmhouse, noble nostalgia meets modern zeitgeist and offers guests true moments of pleasure in the gourmet restaurant, where only the best and predominantly regional products are used for the delicacies.
The Romantik Hotel zur Post in the heart of Fürstenfeldbruck's old town welcomes guests in cosy Biedermeier-style rooms. In the Poststüberl, international dishes as well as regional dishes are served according to the season and invite you to linger in the historic Posthof in summer.
Another highlight of the route is the birthplace of the empress: the stately Herzog-Max-Palais at Ludwigstraße 13, where Sissi was born Elisabeth von Wittelsbach, Princess in Bavaria, on 24 December 1837. It was not until 1854 that Sissi left Munich to marry her Franz Joseph in Vienna. Munich combines big city life with tradition and Bavarian cosiness and has numerous cultural highlights to offer.
In addition to the Romantik Hotel Chalet am Kiental as well as the Romantik Hotel zur Post, Das Lindner Romantik Hotel & Restaurants in Bad Aibling is also suitable for a trip to Munich. There, guests are welcomed in the former Prantshausen Castle and enjoy a stay full of tradition, comfort and gastronomic delights in Upper Bavaria.
The Sissi Route continues to beautiful Salzburg. In 1853, Empress Sissi and Emperor Franz Joseph celebrated their engagement in the stately Leopoldskron Palace, just a few minutes from the centre of Salzburg. Above all, however, Salzburg is also known as the city of Mozart. A stop is therefore worthwhile at his birthplace in Getreidegasse and his residence on Makartplatz. Discover more Salzburg tips.
As Austria's oldest family-run hotel, the Romantik Spa Hotel Elixhauser Wirt invites you to a relaxing stay on the green outskirts of Salzburg. Thanks to the hotel's spacious wellness area, guests are offered a relaxing stay in the lovingly furnished parlours as well as in the hotel's romantic garden. In addition, the Romantik Hotel Die Gersberg Alm is also an ideal place for an overnight stay near the city centre. The hosts warmly welcome guests in elegant rooms and spoil them with excellent regional and international cuisine.
It was in Bad Ischl that Sissi first met her future husband in 1853. The 15-year-old Sissi and Emperor Franz Joseph fell in love at their first meeting and subsequently became engaged on 19 August 1853 in the former Salzfertiger Haus Esplanade No. 10, today's museum. Especially the Kaiservilla and the associated Kaiserpark, the former summer residence of Emperor Franz Joseph I, are worth a visit. It is also worth taking a look at the photo museum in the Marmorschlössl, the empress's former retreat above the Kaiservilla. Discover even more tips for Bad Ischl.
Not far from Bad Ischl, the Romantik Hotel Im Weissen Rössl is located on Lake Wolfgang and combines tradition with charming hospitality. Especially the large SPA area of the hotel, with the heated pool in the lake, invites you to relax all year round. The Romantik Hotel Seevilla at Lake Altause welcomes guests with a spacious spa area and in-house bathing beach. The hotel offers a relaxed "place to be" far away from mass tourism and enables a cosy stay at the idyllic lake.
The last highlight and at the same time impressive centre of the imperial family is the city of Vienna. Sissi and Franz Joseph were married in the imperial palace and the couple moved into the imperial flats there in 1857. These are still preserved today and offer visitors insights into the past. A guided tour of Schönbrunn Palace is also highly recommended.