"Bad Gastein, Should be world famous..." Gastein by mcblacktiger
Gastein Travel Guide: 19 reviews and 38 photos
Bad Gastein is a small town that during the 19th century and early 20th century was a favorite of the Kaiser Wilhelm and many of the rich and royal of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Germany. But today, unless you live in Austria of were offered a ski package here, you probably have never heard of it. It is very beautiful and has amazing old European charm, with a very large, modern skiing system situated around it(compared to the "strip mall" look of it's very well known neighbor Zell Am See). It has a beautiful water fall that runs through the middle of the town, and has many nice walkways throughout the town. Price wise it is also very reasonable, considering it is a ski/tourist town only.
So why is it not much more popular and well known ??? Probably because many of the huge 18th and 19th century hotels are empty and have been so for at least 20-30 years, which gives it a feel of a ghost town and we were told that the town government are borderline incompetent(opinion of every local that we spoke to). Because of the government's lack of planning and thought, there have been many buildings that have been allowed to be built within the last 50 years that have an ugly modern,or cheap, look that contrast with the historical look of the town. While the historical ones are allowed to rot.
Many interesting sights, like the lower falls and hydro electric plant/museum, are not properly maintained and look really rundown.
The local bus system is poorly organised and makes it a pain in the ass when you are packing around ski boots, skis, poles, and all of your other ski gear and pretty much stops running after 6p.m..
There dosen't seem to be much effort to support the local restaurants, bars, or other buisnesses, so I suspect they don't last long and tend to be on the low budget side.
Despite it's drawbacks, we enjoyed the town and felt that it has a ton of potential and hope one day someone with a plan will organise and develop it from an nice place with issues, into a great ski destination.
Most of this bus tip applies to the winter ski season. Skiing in Bad Gastein consists of three different towns and... more travel advice
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