City and CultureOpen or Close
City & cultureThe list of majesties who ennobled Bad Gastein to a spa town is almost endless; Emperor Franz Joseph I and Empress Sissi being at the top of the list of course. For members of the nobility, politicians and artists alike, a visit to Bad Gastein was a must, a question of etiquette.
Historical strollDuring the historical stroll through Bad Gastein you will come across many important names and memorable events of the "Belle Epoque".
Cultural functions and eventsBad Gastein's calendar of cultural events held in the modern Congress Centre boasts international flair.
Jazz concerts and eventsA contrast programme for the younger generation. The Gastein Cultural Circle provides an extensive range of events in the Gastein valley all year round. Theatre, cabaret, film and literature are on the programme as well as a wide array of music ranging from classic to chanson and folk.
Burg KlammsteinA visit to the Klammstein castle will take you to the very origins of the Gastein population. This is probably the oldest historical structure in the Gastein valley.
SalzburgThe Mozart and music festival city of Salzburg is just 100 km from Gastein. Salzburg is a real baroque jewel. The historical centre and Schönbrunn castle were declared part of the World Cultural Heritage in 1997. Whatever your reason is to come to Salzburg, be it shopping and strolling around, a Mozart trip, a visit to the Music Festival, with its world famous musicians, actors and singers or if you want to visit the castles and Hellbronn water games or any of the many other attractions - you will find this city enchanting.
SightsOpen or Close
Day trips and outings
Giant ice cave worldExperience the mountains from the inside. Discover the wonder of the world's biggest ice cave. You will see ice palaces of crystal clear beauty, which will take to a wintry ice world even on hot summer days.
Die Eisriesenwelt hat von Mai bis Oktober geöffnet.
For more information click www.eisriesenwelt.at
GroßglocknerTake a trip to Europe's most famous panorama road. Enter a world of ice and rock, go through fragrant mountain woodland and blooming Alpine meadows and feel the chill of arctic conditions at 2369 m altitude.
Die Großglockner Hochalpenstraße ist von Mai bis Oktober geöffnet.
For more information click www.grossglockner.at
Salzwelten Salzburg/Bad DürrnbergA trip to the "Salzwelten" salt mines will take back in time to the age-old tradition of salt mining. Via the mine railway, miners' slide and raft, you will be taken to the very heart of the mountain, a mystical spot.
Das Salzbergwerk Bad Dürrenberg hat ganzjährig geöffnet.
For more information click www.salzwelten.at
Kaprun/High mountain reservoirsUnforgettable images and impressions! A ride in Europe's biggest open-top diagonal lift will take you to the breathtaking high mountain range. Enjoy the unlikely combination of high tech and nature. The Electricity and Ice Adventure World and the guided tours of the dam walls will round of your trip.
Die Kapruner Hochgebirgsstauseen haben von Juni bis Oktober geöffnet.
For more information click www.tauerntouristik.at
Visit the legendary, world famous gorge in St. Johann. Situated in the heart of the Salzburg state, this is a worthwhile attraction. The Liechtensteinklamm is not just the most beautiful but also one of the deepest and longest gorges in the Alps.
Die Liechtensteinklamm hat von Mai bis September geöffnet.
For more information click www.liechtensteinklamm.at
Customs and TraditionsOpen or Close
Customs and traditions
Cattle drive to and from the summer pasturesEach June the century-old tradition takes place: The farmers drive their herds up to the summer pastures from the Gastein valley. The cattle thrive on the full-flavoured alpine herbs and flowers and mountain air. The dairy products, which are made are especially delicious; discover some of the 55 alpine meadows in Gastein.
A special event in mid-September is the traditional herding down of the sheep in Sportgastein.
A meadow hike is suddenly transformed into a festival, if you are lucky to chance upon the herding down of cattle. The animals are festively decorated as they make their way down from the summer mountain pastures back to the barn, where they spend the winter. At the farmers' markets delicacies from Gastein can be purchased. A tasty roast lamb is traditionally prepared at this time and should not be missed.
Harvest FestivalWhen the sun's rays start to lose their intensity and the woodland foliage is bursting with vibrant colours, then it's time to welcome the autumn!
At the end of August the harvest festival begins with an exuberant opening. The local population from the valley adorn their surroundings with festive decorations and dress themselves in traditional costumes.
Experience the colourful side of Gastein with its genuine traditions, maintained throughout centuries. Gather lots of new impressions at the Harvest Festival which lasts until the end of October!
Gastein "Krampus" celebrationOn December 5 each year a "Krampus" run takes place all over Gastein, the main event is in Gastein itself. Fearsome creatures with devil's masks carved from wood and with goats'horns attached go from house to house accompanied by St. Nicholas.
Beneath the disguise are young boys. They are dressed in lamb fleece and have large cowbells round their midriff which cause a hellish racket, audible from afar.
Each set of "Krampus" figures consists of a basket carrier, the "Girzeltroger" or "Guazltrager", who has pastries and nuts in his basket, and a St. Nicholas figure, with an ornate costume. Each set of "Krampus" has its own name, passed on through generations, e.g. the "Hochalm-Pass", the "Stubner-Pass" etc.
Gastein "Perchten" (Winter)The Gastein "Perchtenlauf" has been in existence for centuries, and is one of Salzburg province's oldest traditional customs. Every 4 years the "Perchten" in Bad Gastein and in Bad Hofgastein are out and about all day and all over the valley on January 1. and 6. from 7 a.m. till late in the evening.
They dance around with their heavy headgear. The witches sweep incessantly, the workmen offer their services, meanwhile the music strikes up... This is a special occasion for locals and participants alike. Women are not allowed to take part, following the age-old tradition.