Best Things To Do in Bad Gastein Austria – 2024

Best Things To Do in Bad Gastein Austria – 2024

I put together this guide with the best things to do in Bad Gastein to inspire you to visit this lovely town and enjoy all it has to offer. Read on and plan your trip to Bad Gastein!

Bad Gastein is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Austria, yet it seems it’s in the shadow of more popular nearby destinations (mostly Zell am See or Hallstatt). Located in the Salzburg Region, the picturesque town, wrapped in breathtaking surroundings, is a perfect mix of cultural and active holidays, with many great things to do in Bad Gastein that will surely keep you busy.

1. Visit the Bad Gastein Waterfall: This spectacular waterfall is located right in the center of the town. The water cascades down over 200 meters and is a truly breathtaking sight to behold.

2. Explore the Felsentherme Spa: This thermal spa is perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation. It offers indoor and outdoor pools, saunas, and a range of wellness treatments.

3. Go Skiing: Bad Gastein is a popular destination for skiing with plenty of slopes for both beginners and experienced skiers. The area is part of the larger Ski Amade region, which boasts over 700 kilometers of ski runs.

4. Hike the Hohe Tauern National Park: This national park offers a range of hiking trails with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

5. Visit the Stubnerkogel Suspension Bridge: This suspension bridge is located at a height of over 2,000 meters and offers panoramic views of the surrounding Alps.

6. Explore the Gastein Heilstollen: This therapeutic cave system is known for its radon-infused air, which is said to have healing properties for a variety of ailments.

7. Enjoy Local Cuisine: Try some traditional Austrian dishes like Wiener Schnitzel or Kaiserschmarrn in one of the many local restaurants.

8. Visit the Belle Epoque Museum: This museum offers a glimpse into the history of Bad Gastein during the Belle Epoque era, with a range of exhibits and artifacts.

9. Take a Ride on the Bad Gastein Funicular: This funicular railway is a great way to get a bird’s eye view of the town and the surrounding landscape.

Whether you enjoy hiking or skiing, would like to relax a bit, or prefer admiring the beautiful architecture and interesting art – Bad Gastein, Austria, is a place for you.

A brief history of Bad Gastein, Austria

The valley of Bad Gastein was settled in the 9th century and quickly gained importance as the alpine farming and gold mining center. In 1230, the local hot springs were first mentioned, which eventually turned the place into a popular health treatment destination. Already in the 15th century, some of the most prominent Habsburgs, including emperor Fredrick III, visited Bad Gastein to repair their health.

Over the centuries, the popularity of Bad Gastein only grew. The town became a favorite destination to high society, welcoming notable guests from Europe: artists, politicians, and rulers, including Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Empress Sisi.

At the end of the 19th century/beginning of the 20th century, when skiing became a favorite pastime activity and the railway line reached Bad Gastein, the town reached its peak of popularity. Most of the beautiful buildings in the center that we can admire still date back to that period.

Today, this is still a popular destination, and numerous Bad Gastein attractions can entertain every visitor.

things to do in bad gastein austria

How to get to Bad Gastein

Bad Gastein is located in the Salzburg region, a bit over 100 km south of its capital. Vienna, the capital of Austria, is 400 km away from Bad Gastein.

The best way to reach the town is by train. There are direct trains from Salzburg every two hours, arriving at Bad Gastein an hour and a half later. This is a very picturesque railway route, so the journey itself is a treat.

The train station in Bad Gastein is located in the upper part of the town, next to the cable car station. The altitude difference between this area and the center of Bad Gastein is significant, and the roads are steep, so if your accommodation is in the lower parts of the town, you should consider taking a taxi; there is also a city bus you can use.

things to do in bad gastein austria

Where to stay in Bad Gastein

Since Bad Gastein is a popular tourist destination, you will find numerous accommodation options to choose from. Here are the recommended places to stay in Bad Gastein:

things to do in bad gastein austria

Things to do in Bad Gastein

And finally, here are the best things to do in Bad Gastein, in no particular order.

Take the Stubnerkogel cable car

One of the biggest Bad Gastein attractions is the Stubnerkogel cable car, which will take you all the way to the altitude of 2200 meters above sea level. Once there, you can admire the stunning panorama of the surrounding mountains and enjoy some cool activities the place offers.

things to do in bad gastein austria

The most thrilling one is the suspension bridge, the highest in Europe, hanging 28 meters above the abyss. The bridge is 140 meters long, but crossing it is not for the faint of heart, as the sense of surrounding space can get a bit overwhelming. Not to mention, the bridge can shake a bit when many people walk it.

I’m a rather brave person, but there were moments when my heart beat slightly faster. Still, I couldn’t help myself, and I kept returning to cross the bridge a few times; it was so much fun.

things to do in bad gastein austria
things to do in bad gastein austria

things to do in bad gastein austria

Another attraction on Stubnerkogel is the quirky-looking Glocknerblick viewing platform offering a breathtaking 360-degree panorama of surrounding mountains, including Großglockner – the highest mountain in Austria. On a sunny and clear day, you can see not only a few regions of Austria but also Bavaria in Germany. The views are truly spectacular! The viewing platform is only a short walk away from the upper station of the cable car.

things to do in bad gastein austria

things to do in bad gastein austria

To get a different perspective of the area, you can try paragliding from the slopes of Stubnerkogel. This is an unforgettable experience; with the stunning landscape around Bad Gastein, you can expect some exceptional views.

If you get hungry when visiting Stubnerkogel, a nice restaurant at the cable car station building serves local food at decent prices. It is a good place to get to know some of Austrian cuisine, and you can eat surrounded by majestic mountains!

The cable car to Stubnerkogel is conveniently located next to the train station in Bad Gastein. The ticket price depends on the season; I paid €33 for the return ticket in summer 2023. Be sure to check the operating hours as the cable car closes surprisingly early, also in the summertime (it was 4 pm when I visited), and you don’t want to be left on the top of the mountain.

Admire the architecture of Bad Gastein

One of my favorite things to do in Bad Gastein was wandering around the town and admiring the beautiful Belle Epoque architecture (which happens to be among my favorite styles). Bad Gastein was like the perfect Central European spa town, with many impressive buildings and beautiful surroundings – everything worked so well together.

In the 1800s, Bad Gastein became a favorite destination of notable European guests, including Franz Joseph and Empress Sisi. Most of the elegant hotels were built then, making Bad Gastein such a beautiful place. Even today, they create a fairytale-like town. Some of the hotels, like Grand Hotel de l’Europe, reminded me a lot of Grand Budapest Hotel from the famous Wes Anderson movie (which, by the way, was filmed in Goerlitz, Germany).

Overall, I constantly felt like this place was too beautiful to be real. What surprised me the most when visiting Bad Gastein was that the town was not overflowing with tourists (like nearby Zell am See); even in the middle of the summer, it was pleasantly manageable.

things to do in bad gastein austria

things to do in bad gastein austria

While the Belle Epoque architecture was my highlight of Bad Gastein, there are a few more interesting landmarks in the center, such as the picturesque Catholic parish church from the 19th century or the impressive concrete congress center (my brutalist-loving heart definitely liked that one).

things to do in bad gastein austria

things to do in bad gastein austria

Admire magnificent waterfalls

Another Bad Gastein attraction located right in the heart of the town is the impressive waterfall, which drops 341 meters on three levels through the center. This is such an excellent addition to the town’s scenery, and the sound of the rushing river accompanies you during Bad Gastein sightseeing.

In some parts, the waterfalls are squeezed between the rocks and buildings, creating a unique and beautiful vista. For years, this has been one of the favorite views of painters who captured this part of Bad Gastein in their numerous works.

things to do in bad gastein austria

things to do in bad gastein austria

things to do in bad gastein austria

Enjoy art

Another thing I liked about Bad Gastein was the art around. The town has always been a popular place among artists; over the years, this hasn’t changed, especially in the summertime. That’s when some interesting cultural events take place in the town, such as the jazz festival, the art festival, or classical music concerts.

During my visit, there were some interesting works displayed around the town. The historic power plant next to the waterfall hosts art exhibitions. There are even more of them along the art mile on the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Promenade. The thriving cultural scene is yet another good reason to visit Bad Gastein.

things to do in bad gastein austria

things to do in bad gastein austria

things to do in bad gastein austria


With its perfect location with the Alps around, Bad Gastein is a good destination for those who enjoy hiking. There are many hiking trails around, with different lengths and difficulty levels, so everyone should find something suitable for themselves.

You can stay in the town and go for hikes around, or you can take the cable car (or walk up) to the mountains and start your journey there. Either way, you are in for a treat, as the views will be spectacular.

things to do in bad gastein austria

things to do in bad gastein austria


If you visit Bad Gastein in the wintertime, you can enjoy snow activities such as skiing and snowboarding. This is one of the popular winter sports destinations in the region, with around 200 km of slopes, some of them located up to 2650 meters above sea level. The skiing infrastructure in Bad Gastein is good, too, so you can enjoy the snow and rush down the slopes instead of waiting too long in queues.

things to do in bad gastein austria

things to do in bad gastein austria

Try local food

Bad Gastein is a good destination for foodies, too. There are numerous restaurants to choose from, serving both local and international cuisine. Most places take products directly from local farms so you can enjoy fresh and organic ingredients.

Some of the local dishes you can try are Tafelspitz (boiled beef), Salzburger Schnitzel (filled with ham and cheese), or Kaspressknödel (cheese dumplings). Since you are in the mountains, you can expect the food to be a bit heavy but very filling and tasty.

things to do in bad gastein austria


Even if the town and its surroundings are packed with attractions, one of the best things to do in Bad Gastein is simply relax. After all, this is a spa town with numerous hot and thermal springs that you can take advantage of. The most popular place to relax is the Felsentherme, where you will find different areas to relax, including the outdoor pool with views of the surrounding mountains.

Explore the area near Bad Gastein

If you are staying a bit longer in Bad Gastein, you can use the town as a base to explore more of this beautiful region, not only along the Gastein Valley but also beyond. Public transport is decent here, but sometimes having a car can be much more convenient, as some of the places are not reachable by train or bus.

The best day trips from Bad Gastein are:

  • Zell am See with the picturesque lake
  • A fairytale-alike Sigmund Thun Gorge in Kaprun
  • Krimml Waterfalls – the largest waterfalls in Europe
  • The scenic Grossglockner High Alpine Road, reaching the altitude of 2504 meters above sea level
  • Werfen castle and ice cave
  • Salzburg

things to do in zell am see austria

things to do in bad gastein austria

things to do in bad gastein austria

But even if you only stay in Bad Gastein and focus on the town and its surroundings, you will surely have amazing holidays as this place is simply amazing

Tours4fun, Let us take you on a journey!

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