Bad Gastein – the Berlin of the Alps

Bad Gastein – the Berlin of the Alps. Fascinating, versatile, cosmopolitan and always in motion, like Berlin. This is how the legendary winter sports resort in the Gastein Valley in Salzburg, Austria, presents itself amid crisp alpine air. Some people say that the Grand Hotel de l’Europe or the Selina (formerly Hotel Weismayr) resemble the famous Hotel Adlon at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Others say the empty congress center is reminiscent of Berlin’s Alexanderplatz. However, I would like to give you an overview of current highlights, construction zones and addresses. As a long-time visitor and fan of this picturesque place, I’ve wanted that for a long time. Now it’s time. Enjoy!

Nice to ski you Bad Gastein! There is a lot to discover in and around the spa town.

The special flair of Bad Gastein

Bad Gastein is famous for the Belle Époque buildings that tower on the slopes of the valley and still give the town its classy appearance. They date back to the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, when the small town began to boom as a health and spa resort. Emperors, kings, celebrities and intellectuals came to visit and enjoy the healing springs, and made Bad Gastein world famous. A fundamental reminder of yesterday’s future is the congress center by architect Gerhard Garstenauer. The imposing concrete building in the style of brutalism with its futuristic aluminum spheres was built in the 1970s. The building represents a radical counterpoint to the usual appearance and is still controversial today. In addition, an aluminum sphere can also be found as a satellite in Sportgastein at 2,686 m above sea level.

Left: Memorial plaque at Graukogel for the Alpine Skiing World Championships 1958 | Right: Aluminum sphere by architect Gerhard Garstenauer at Kreuzkogel, Sportgastein

A walk around Bad Gastein is always a good idea.

Current major construction site

At Straubinger Platz, where the legendary Hotel Straubinger and the Badeschloss are located right next to the world-famous waterfall, renovation work is currently underway and a new building (a modern hotel tower) is being built. On behalf of Hirmer Immobilien, BWM Architects would like to revive the old splendor of the place, according to the guiding principle of preserving history and adding new elements in a worthy manner. The hotels will be renovated and, after the planned completion in 2023, will open under the Travel Charme Hotels & Resorts brand. I’m excited to see how things will continue.

Left: The Hotel Straubinger was the largest hotel in the spa town during the heyday of Bad Gastein. | Right: The new hotel tower is right behind the Badeschloss.

Waterfall with a drop of 341 meters in 3 levels trough the centre of Bad Gastein. The stone waterfall-bridge was built in 1840 and extended in 1927.

The German Emperor Wilhelm I lived at Hotel Badeschloss in 1864, 1865 and from 1871 to 1887 on the occasion of his cures. Therefore Bad Gastein became world famous.

Living in Bad Gastein

There are many nice hotels and accommodations in and around Bad Gastein, here is a small selection:

Hotel Selina | Hotel Miramonte | Hotel Alpenblick | Hotel Regina | Haus August | Tauernstöckl | The Lodge at Bad Gastein | Rudolfshöhe | New: The Cōmodo

In summer ‘21 the Selina hotel reopened its doors with a fresh new feel complete with Selina’s signature upcycled design.

Relaxing in Bad Gastein

Take a stroll through the village, visit the waterfall bridge and enjoy the air on the legendary Kaiser-Wilhelm-Promenade. Chill in the famous Gastein thermal water of Felsentherme (also designed by architect Gerhard Garstenauer) which is slightly mineralised and wonderfully relaxing. When the weather is nice, you can take a trip to the beautiful Kötschachtal, enjoy the sun on the slopes or in front of the Valeriehaus in Sportgastein. In summer the Festival of Contemporary Art “sommer.frische.kunst.” enlivens Bad Gastein.

Left: Skiing connects people. Bad Gastein too! | Right: Alpine air is great. Above all, it keeps you healthy.

Culinary delights in Bad Gastein

Best coffee in town: The Blonde Beans
Good wine: KWP
Legendary place on the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Promenade: Café Schuh
Restaurants: Betty’s Bistro | Jägerhäusl |La Pizzeria Napoletana at waterfall bridge | Lutter & Wegner | Orania Stüberl
Places to be in Kötschachtal: Himmelwandhütte | Alpenhaus Prossau
Hint in Hofgastein: Schmaranz

Premium coffee! In other words, visit this Scandinavian esque coffee shop and bakery!

The Bad Gastein ski areas

4 ski areas with a variety of blue, red and black pistes (which have a total length of approx. 200 km) and some nice off-piste runs await you:

Schlossalm-Angertal-Stubnerkogel | SportgasteinGraukogelDorfgastein-Großarl

Ski rental: FIRST DESCENT | Skistall Lederer | Sport Schober

Après-Ski: Silver Bullet Bar | Lederhosenbar

Always a pleasure! Firstly, taking a photo at Stubnerkogel. Secondly, skiing!

My first choice – ski rental FIRST DESCENT at Grillparzerstraße 2. Staff member August always has the perfect selection of freeride skis for you! Thanks mate!

Places to be – the mountains around Bad Gastein

During ski break visit the 140 m long suspension bridge on the Stubnerkogel. Nice!

In conclusion, Bad Gastein is worth a trip. Visit the Gastein tourism site to get lot more information about the village and the Gastein valley.


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Bye-bye Bad Gastein! Ski you soon again!

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