Located in the Hohe Tauern mountains, Bad Gastein is an attractive spa town in the Austrian state of Salzburg. It was once an alpine farming and gold mining area before its thermal waters were discovered. In the 19th-century, Bad Gastein grew into a fashionable resort town visited by Europe’s rich and famous.
Things to do in Bad Gastein
To learn more about Bad Gastein’s thermal springs and spa culture, visit the Gasteiner Museum, which opened in 1936 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Emperor Friedrich III’s stay. Hear about famous guests who have visited the town and learn about its links to the Austrian writer, Karl Heinrich Waggerl. Guided walks depart from the museum through the town’s historical centre.
One of Bad Gastein’s most popular hiking trails is the Wasserfallweg, which offers spectacular views of the multi-tiered Gasteiner Waterfall as it cascades through the town. Instead of returning along the same trail, you can veer right to enjoy magnificent views across the town and the Church of Saints Primus and Felician. Designed in a Neo-Gothic style, it features beautiful stained-glass windows and an 1874-built organ.
Don’t miss St. Nicholas Church, which was originally established in 1389 and stands as the oldest building in the Gastein Valley. Step inside to admire its beautifully preserved frescoes and centuries-old stone pulpit, as well as the Baroque altar with a painting depicting the church’s patron saint.
Getting around Bad Gastein
Bad Gastein is around 1.5 hours’ drive from Salzburg and Salzburg Airport, which has seasonal flights to destinations across Europe and the Middle East. Regular trains connect to the Bad Gastein railway station and the town centre is small enough to explore on foot. Ski lifts ascend to the surrounding slopes.