Snow on the nbuildings and trees in Bad Gastein in winter.

7 reasons to visit Bad Gastein, Austria

Abbey Rae

Contributing writer

Planning a trip to Bad Gastein? Stay at the Comodo Bad Gastein with comfortable rooms and stunning views.

When people dream of visiting Austria, famous cities like Vienna, Salzburg, and Innsbruck often take centre stage. But, if you have a few more days to spare, it’s well worth venturing a bit further into the mountains, to the enchanting town of Bad Gastein. 

Located inside the Hohe Tauern National Park near Salzburg, this beautiful alpine village is surrounded by towering mountain peaks that few travellers explore. However, those in the know have discovered the stunning scenery, relaxed atmosphere, and rejuvenating thermal waters that make Bad Gastein a totally underrated destination. 

Here are just a few reasons why Bad Gastein deserves to be higher on your European vacation list. 

The route to Bad Gastein through the Austrian Alps.

1. Bad Gastein is surrounded by the Austrian Alps

Bad Gastein is tucked into the Hohe Tauern mountain range, making it a wonderful base for experiencing the stunning natural beauty of the Austrian Alps.

The snow-covered peaks reach up to 3,798 meters at the top of the Grossglockner, before dipping down to beautiful green valleys filled with wildflowers during the spring. Rest or picnic by crystal-clear alpine lakes, also perfect for swimming or soaking your feet, if you don’t mind braving the cold water.

Hiking trails crisscross these beautiful landscapes, ranging from easy walks to very challenging climbs. If you plan to do some hiking through the alpine meadows in the summer, you'll find colourful wildflowers, while a winter hike might take you through snow-covered evergreens and past frozen waterfalls.

The Gasteiner Höhenweg is a panoramic hiking trail which links Bad Gastein with the nearby town of Bad Hofgastein. This trail is approximately 9 km long and takes around 2.5 hours to finish, depending on how often you stop to take in the views. 

This region is also home to several national parks. The most popular is the Hohe Tauern National Park, where you can explore over 1,800 square kilometres of protected land. 

The waterfall and Old Mill House in Bad Gastein, Austria

2. The famous Gasteiner Waterfall runs through the town

The wasserfall Bad Gastein is one of the town’s most popular attractions. This huge waterfall cascades down 340 feet into a deep ravine in the heart of the city. 

This waterfall is so iconic that it has been the main subject of many painters and poets over the years who have captured the beauty and power in their works.

A less-known fact about the Gasteiner Waterfall is how it vaporizes the air. This cascade is not only beautiful to see, but it also has therapeutic benefits. The ionized air around the falls is said to have a positive effect on people’s mood and health.

It is easy to find in the middle of town, but there are also other ways to view this beautiful waterfall in Bad Gastein. Follow one of the walking trails to see the waterfalls from a different perspective. These trails are well-marked, and the routes range in difficulty, so everyone should be able to find a path which suits their needs.

The Gasteiner Waterfall also changes with the seasons. In the warmer months, the surrounding landscapes are full and green, while in the wintertime, the waterfall can partially freeze, creating an icy natural sculpture.

Frozen lake in Bad Gastein

3. Bad Gastein is an idyllic winter playground

Not only does the town look magical covered in snow, but if you're looking for a unique skiing experience, Bad Gastein should be high on your list. You will be in the High Tauern mountains and this region promises a beautiful skiing adventure!  

Bad Gastein has a diverse skiing terrain with adventure available in multiple areas. These include the interconnected Stubnerkogel-Angertal-Schlossalm, the harder Graukogel, and the very high-altitude Sportgastein. 

Each of these slopes provides a different level of skiing, ensuring that everyone on the slopes has a great experience. You can enjoy a longer skiing season at Sportgastein. They have modern lift systems that give fast and easy access to the slopes.

Snowboarders won’t left out either. Bad Gastien has several snow parks with jumps, rails, and halfpipes.

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Bad Gastein also has snow activities like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and even tobogganing! It's the perfect winter playground!

An alpine lake surrounded by wildflowrs in Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria.

4. The area is beautiful in spring

During the spring, the landscapes in Bad Gastein wake up from their winter sleep. The many wildflowers bloom, turning the ground into colourful meadows. The weather is also pleasantly crisp, and the perfect temperature for bonfires, and prices are more affordable than in the peak summer season.

As the snow melts away, you can enjoy hiking the nature trails that wind through the mountains. The Gastein Alpine Path is very popular and has valley and mountain views. Several biking trails are open in spring, with mountain biking and flat routes available. The Tauern Bike Path is a popular and easy-to-ride choice.

The Gastein Ache River is also home to trout, char, and grayling, making spring an excellent time for fishing. You must have a local fishing permit, but you can head down to a local shop and easily pick one up. 

Plus, spring is a fantastic time for photographing the natural beauty of the landscapes, wildlife, and flowers blooming. It's also a beautiful time for camping if you want to make the most of the outdoors.

Some popular campsites are Kur-Camping & Appartementhaus Erlengrund and Camping Bertahof. These are situated in great locations for easy access to local attractions. Many campsites in Bad Gastein also organise sunrise yoga sessions in peaceful surroundings.

A man climbing a rocky cliff in Bad Gastein, Austria

5. It’s also a great rock-climbing destination

During the warmer months, rock climbing is a popular activity in Bad Gastein. Both seasoned climbers and newbies can find suitable challenges, with a mix of routes, all surrounded by magnificent scenery. 

Beginners and families can easily access two practice climbing areas in Bad Gastein and Klammstein, with routes ranging from easy to challenging. These areas provide an ideal setting for first-climbing experiences, with lessons and equipment rentals available. 

More adventurous climbers can try one of the via ferrata routes in Schlossalm. These secured routes provide a safe climbing experience while allowing climbers to enjoy the magnificent Gastein mountains and its landscapes. There are six different via ferrata routes with varying difficulty levels suitable for beginners to experienced climbers. 

For advanced rock climbers with their own equipment, Bad Gastein also offers a variety of traditional rock climbing routes. There are several routes in the Ertl and Klammstein sectors of the Bad Gastein crag which provide a range of challenges for seasoned climbers.

The Angerer Alpine & Ski School offers guidance and safety training, especially for beginners or those unfamiliar with the area.

People walking on the Stubnerkogel Suspension Bridge with snow-capped mountains in the background.

6. You can visit the Stubnerkogel Suspension Bridge

Just an hour out of Bad Gastein, the Stubnerkogel Suspension Bridge rises 28 meters above the ground with unobstructed 360-degree views of the alpine landscape.

Although the bridge is only a meter wide and will lightly swing as you walk across, the strong rope ensures your safety. On clear days, you can see the mountain peaks for miles, ski runs, beautiful valleys, and even distant towns.

It also holds two world records. It was the first suspension bridge at 2,300 meters above sea level, and at 140 meters long, it's considered Europe's highest suspension bridge. Plus, there are numerous hiking trails nearby, and it is the ideal spot for extreme sports like bungee jumping or paragliding. 

For those after something more relaxing, have coffee and cake on the terrace of the Gipfelrestaurant Stubner restaurant. It’s on one one side of the bridge, and you can enjoy the amazing view with your food.

Thermal pools at a spa near Bad Gastein, Austria.

7. Bad Gastein has thermal springs

Relaxing and rejuvenating in the spas in Bad Gastein is an experience that combines the healing powers of nature with luxurious spa treatments. Bad Gastein is best known for its thermal spas that use naturally hot and mineral-rich water from the local springs. 

The spa treatments available range from deep massages to toning wraps and cellulite treatments. The water in Bad Gastein is rich in minerals like radon, which is known for its pain-relieving effects. So, in addition to the luxurious spa treatments, simply soaking in the thermal waters of the spas has health benefits. 

So when you visit, treat yourself to a thermal bath that soothes aching muscles, or try out saunas to detoxify your body. It’s not only relaxing but also naturally therapeutic. Felsentherme is one of the most popular spas in the area and offers relaxation and wellness treatments. Its remote location on the mountainside only enhances the serene vibe. 

Planning a trip to Bad Gastein? Stay at the Comodo Bad Gastein with beautiful views and a wellness area.

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Abbey Rae

Author - Abbey Rae

Abbey is a full-time traveller and blogger originally from Virginia Beach in the USA.

Last Updated 13 January 2024

View of the Alps near Halstatt, Austria.


Situated in the heart of Europe, Austria has a rich history, long culture and truly spectacular scenery. From Vienna's Baroque architecture to rolling countryside and the majestic alps, there are many different sides of Austria to explore.