When the Krampus gets around in Salzburg

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Krampus in Gnigl

When Krampus and Perchten get around in Salzburg

If Krampus and Perchten go around too Christmas in Salzburg, then hell is going on in the Gnigl ​​district. Some years ago we came into contact with the alpine tradition of St. Nicholas for the first time. At that time one interrupted Group of Krampussen unexpectedly our dinner in a Salzburg suburban hotel. Since then we have been fascinated by the harsh fellows, St. Nicholas in the time before the 6. December on his way through the Salzburg Voralpenland accompany. They look wild, the shaggy creatures with their white, gray or black skins, the loud cowbells or chains that beat on metal containers and the gruesome masks with horns of local animals from the Alps.


When Krampus and Perchten are around - a custom from the Middle Ages

The tradition of Krampus and Perchten dates back to the Middle Ages. At that time, the church promoted the dramaturgy of the bogeymen who accompanied Saint Nicholas on his processions. Nicholas, on the other hand, expressed his goodwill to those who had kept the commandments during the year. In Salzburg and its surroundings, a Krampus looks terrifying. You rarely see the original Krampus with his fur and red head. When a Krampus walks around in Salzburger Land, you see the most terrifying masks.


Gnigl ​​- When Krampus and Perchten go around
Off to Gnigl ​​when Krampus and Perchten are around in Salzburg


Often, their appearance has mingled with that of the Wildperchten, which during the Raun nights after the 21. December cast out the spirits of winter. Do not forget in this context the Schönperchten, who also roam through the villages of the Salzburger Land during the rough nights at the end of December and beginning of January. They announce the spring as aesthetes. Actually, this is a different custom that is older. But over the course of history, the boundaries between Krampus, the Perchten and the Schönperchten mixed in the folk tradition of the Alpine foothills.

Grim masks when Krampus and Perchten are around in Gnigl

Of course, we don't see peaceful companions at the Krampus run in Gnigl, a suburb of Salzburg. Here's the real deal. When Krampus and Perchten get around in Salzburg, all hell breaks loose. If a Krampus hadn't run through the closed street before the start of the Krampus run and with the clattering of cowbells on his back to his girlfriend to get a kiss, I would hardly have guessed such young lads under the masks. These are terrifying. Some of the wild fellows seem big to me in their skins, which they shake under the din of the cowbells. They strapped the bells to their backs.



The Russian girl sitting on the fence in front of us doesn't seem to mind that every few minutes another Kramperl with a wild face and long horns is magically attracted to her. When Krampus and Perchten are around, it's not going to be gentle. Some try to frighten it, others swipe their cow and fur tails across its face. The little one can't get enough of it. The father next to her laughs at every Krampus who approaches his daughter.


Krampus in Gnigl
When Krampus and Perchten are around in Salzburg – Krampuses in Gnigl


Wild witches suit the Krampus

Even the witches show up. One performs leapfrogs and rollovers before approaching us. She swings her broom threateningly in the air. It moves towards us hesitantly and with uncoordinated leaps. Her nose sticks out like a hook from her wooden face, which is covered by a pointed hat that slips down her face with every step. The witches are in no way inferior to Krampus and Perchten in their unpredictability.

It's one hell of a spectacle when Krampus and Perchten go around, ringing in the Christmas season in Salzburg's Gnigl ​​district. Crowds line the path of the wild creatures, and in some places the people are so dense that it is almost impossible to make your way through. There is a tension in the air that makes the crowd vibrate. What an experience! How wonderful that this tradition is still alive in Salzburg.

Worth a visit when Krampus and Perchten are bustling in Salzburg.

You can see Krampus and Perchten in Gnigl ​​at:

Dec 2, 2023 (Sat)

  • from 19 pm

Krampus run in Gnigl

The Krampus Run in Gnigl ​​runs from Turnerstraße, where the groups gather, along Linzer Bundesstraße (towards the city) and Schillinghofstraße. There you can see up to 900 Krampus journeymen, Nikolos and basket bearers up to mischief. Kid friendly event!

For overnight we recommend this Naturidyll Hotel Hammerschmiede in Anthering *, which is only about 15 minutes outside of Salzburg in the middle of the forest.


Travel Arrangements:

Parking at the airport

Here you can reserve your parking space at the airport.

Arrival by plane, train and bus

Arrival by plane, bus or train*. Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and other airlines fly to Salzburg. It is possible to travel to Salzburg by train. Also drive Long-distance buses * to Salzburg.

Rental car:

Car hire - book here! *

Accommodation in Salzburg

Hotels in Salzburg * you can also conveniently book online via booking.com.

Our travel tips for Salzburg

These travel tips we tested ourselves. Maybe there is something for you?




Krampus run in Salzburg
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Do you also know:


Christmas customs from all over the world can also be found at We2ontour. Slow Travel Tips there's also here.

Source When Krampus and Perchten deal: On-site research. We would like to thank Salzburg Tourism for the invitation to this trip. However, our opinion remains our own.

Text Krampus: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline

When the Krampus gets around in Salzburg

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Slow Travel and Enjoyment travel blog TravelWorldOnline Traveller. You have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Your topics are Trips to Savor and wine tourism worldwide and Slow Travel. During her studies, Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she traveled to the USA and Canada - sometimes together with Petar Fuchs - and spent a research year in British Columbia. This strengthened her thirst for knowledge, which she pursued for 6 years Adventure Guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as Study tour guide for Studiosus Reisen tried to breastfeed all over the world. She constantly expanded her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: “What is beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do you eat in this region?” These are the questions she is now trying to answer as a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), among others. travel writer and travel blogger answers in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is below Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021 Other Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs. Recommendations on LinkedIn from tourism experts Further recommendations from cooperation partners and tourism experts Professional experience Monika on LinkedIn

3 thoughts too "When the Krampus gets around in Salzburg"

  1. Oh, that's an atmosphere of its own that you can not get enough of. Two years ago I experienced a Perchten run on the fortress Hohensalzburg for the first time and also last weekend in Hintersee it was again a varied spectacle.

    1. That's right, Gudrun. We saw our first Perchten run last January. However, it was very different from the Krampus run in Gnigl. At that time it was the great Schönperchten from Ebensee, which made a lot of noise, but their caps weren't as scary as those of the Krampuses. But I still wonder today how the runners can wear the heavy hats over miles ... That made a big impression on us.

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