You will find Bad Gastein in the Hohe Tauern National Park, south of Salzburg. The Austrian spa and ski paradise is a gem in all seasons. Built on a steep, forest-covered slope, the town is between the Grossglockner and the Ankogel mountains. One of the most beautiful cities in the Austrian Alps. It is home to 4,000 people who mainly sustain themselves from tourism.

The name "Bad" means "spa," which reflects the history of the city's spa. The local Heilstollen (literally “healing tunnel”) owes its reputation to spring water.

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Bad Gastein is part of the 3-town spa area in the Gastein Valley. The other two cities are Bad Hofgastein and Dorfgastein.

Quick Details

Bad Gastein Details
Country Austria
Province Salzburg
Location Hohe Tauern NP, Gastein valley, Alps
Distance from Salzburg 1.5 hours / 100 km
Distance from Vienna 4.5 hours / 400 km
Famous for Spa
Attractions nearby Kaprun, Ankogel, Grossglockner, Nockberg Reserve

Map - Where is Bad Gastein?

Address, distance, approach map

Bad Gastein is located in the valley of the same name, not far from the foot of Mt Ankogel. It is situated in Hohe Tauern National Park in the Alps. You can reach it from Vienna in about 4.5 hours by car. The nearest big city is Salzburg, only 1.5 hours away.

  • Distance from Vienna: 4.5 hours / 400 km
  • Distance from Salzburg: 1.5 hours / 105 km
  • Distance from Innsbruck: 2.5 hours / 190 km
Bad Gastein map - Vienna distance

History of Bad Gastein

Based on initial rumours, local silver miners talked about the beneficial effects of a river source. They have spread that the source has a healing effect on their joint diseases. The city's healing waters were studied as early as the 16th century when the Swiss physician and alchemist Theophrastus Parcelsus sought the secrets of spring water.

Later, even Marie Curie and Heinrich Mache researched the beneficial effects of the radon content of medicinal water. As a result, radon therapy began in the city.

Felsentherme Gastein Spa

The rock bath offers relaxation and regeneration along with a fabulous panorama. You can see the ski slopes directly from its pools. You can choose from seven saunas and steam baths in the area. You can find the spa under the name Felsentherme.

Ski resorts

There is a ski area on both sides of the city. One is on the slopes of the Stubnerkogel mountain (2,251 m), and the other is on the slopes of Graukobel (2,492 m). The other two towns in the Gastein Valley also have ski resorts: Hofgastein and Dorfgastein. The area is part of the Ski Amadé.

Gastein valley ski map

Attractions

What to see and what not to miss?

#1 Bad Gastein Falls

Following the Wasserfallweg trail, you can admire the Gastein waterfall, the city's most romantic attraction. Of course, you don't have to end the trip on the city's outskirts; there are several hiking trails nearby.

Bad Gastein waterfall

#2 Church of St. Nicholas

The church of St. Nicholas, decorated with Gothic frescoes, is also worth a visit. The building offers a beautiful view from inside and outside, as it fits subtly into the city skyline.

#3 Gasteiner Museum

For an indoor program, visit the Gasteiner Museum, which showcases the city’s thermal springs and famous guests.

#4 Stubnerkogel suspension bridge

The dramatic view of the 1-meter-wide suspension bridge only attracts hikers. If you’re not into space, you’ll want to take a trip to the nearby Stubnerkogel mountain, where you can test your courage and admire the breathtaking panorama.

  • Address: Stubnerkogel, 5645 Bad Gastein, Austria
  • Opening hours: every day, 09:00 to 17:00
Stubnerkogel suspension bridge

Krampus

Bad Gastein has a lively pagan tradition that has been assimilated into Roman Catholic traditions. Before the spread of Christianity, they believed in Krampus - the demonic being. It was much more integral in the local's life.

Today, the otherwise demonic character is only present as one of St. Nicholas' companions. A festival called Perchtenlauf (2010, 2014, 2018, ...) is held every four years when Krampus appears in the village.

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