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.
|Location||Hohe Tauern NP, Gastein valley, Alps|
|Distance from Salzburg||1.5 hours / 100 km|
|Distance from Vienna||4.5 hours / 400 km|
|Attractions nearby||Kaprun, Ankogel, Grossglockner, Nockberg Reserve|
Map - Where is Bad Gastein?
Address, distance, approach map
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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
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.
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.
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.
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.
#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
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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