Austria is the home of après-ski
A ski holiday is not a ski holiday without a healthy dose of après-ski! Austria is generally recognised as the home of après-ski and the bars and nightclubs here certainly live up to this towering reputation. Whether you’re a Schnapps fan or more of a Jägertee person, there’s just no better way to end a successful day of skiing or snowboarding than by partying it up to cheesy après-ski music in your ski or snowboard boots in one of Austria’s legendary umbrella huts. From St. Anton to Mayrhofen, Ischgl to Kitzbühel, here’s our pick of the best ten ski resorts in Austria for après-ski.
St. Anton am Arlberg is where it all started, with venerable establishments such as the MooserWirt and the Krazy Kanguruh that ply the masses with booze and send them stumbling down the slopes on their skis at the end of the afternoon. If you’re looking for the quintessential Austrian après-ski experience, this is it.
St. Anton (© Miranda Muller)
Ischgl ski resort in the Paznaun Valley is one of Austria’s hippest ski resorts. But it’s when the ski lifts close that Ischgl really comes to life. In the village streets, bar after bar offer a lively ambiance and pumpin’ music. Also popular is the Paznauner Taja mountain hut, located on the slopes of the Silvretta Arena Ischgl-Samnaun. The legendary Top of the Mountain concerts, held three times a season, bring international artists and huge crowds to the impressive stage set in the heart of the ski area.
Silvretta Arena Ischgl - Samnaun (© Ischgl Tourismus)
The Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn offers 270km of skiing by day and neverending parties by night. Numerous umbrella bars invite skiers and snowboarders to toast the end of another ski day together, after which these drunken masses pour down into the streets to find the pubs and nightclubs. It’s no surprise that Saalbach is one of the most popular après-ski destinations in Austria.
Après-ski at Saalbach © Tourismusverband Saalbach Hinterglemm
Après-ski fans are spoiled for choice in Sölden-Hochsölden, which is crawling with bars and nightclubs as far as the eye can see. Party until the wee hours in the legendary Fire & Ice or in the Almrausch. The aptly named Bierhimmel (‘beer heaven’) is known not only for its fantastic assortment of beers but also for its live music. If you prefer to keep your ski boots on while dancing, head to the ski-in, ski-out Panorama Alm or the Gampe Alm.
Après-ski at Sölden (© Ötztal Tourismus)
In terms of après-ski, Mayrhofen is best known for the Snowbombing festival which lights up the slopes every spring. But the après-ski keeps going all winter here in exotic establishments such as the Caribbean-inspired Cohibar and the White Lounge igloo. For a more classic evening of après-ski, try the Yeti Bar, the Brückenstadl or the Hiatamadl.
Après-ski at Mayrhofen's Finkenberg (© Tourismusverband Finkenberg)
Nestled in the centre of the giant Ski Amadé area, Flachau boasts access to the largest ski area in Austria with an astounding total of 270 lifts and 760km of pistes! The fun keeps going after the last ski lift closes for the day, and true connoisseurs rank Flachau among the top ski resorts for après-ski in the Alps. From rustic pubs to stylish nightclubs, partyers are sure to find something to meet their needs here. Let loose at the Dampfkessel, the Fliegenpilz or the Herzerlalm!
Après-ski at Flachau (© TVB Flachau)
Obertauern, in the Austrian state of Salzburg, offers skiers and snowboarders nearly 100km of pistes with guaranteed snow. After dusk, you have the choice: night skiing, or après-ski. If you’re in the mood for a few pints, you can choose from no less than 25 mountain huts on the slopes to get the party started. Afterwards, Obertauern’s village centre has no shortage of bars and nightclubs, such as the Lürzer Alm, where you can keep the party going until dawn.
Après-ski at Obertauern (© Lürzer Obertauern GmbH )
The ski resort of Gerlos in Austria’s Zillertal Arena has a range of options on offer for night owls. DJ Jürgen gets the party started in Luigi’s Turbobar at the bottom station of the Isskogel lift. Later on, skiers and snowboarders move down towards the Little London, which stays open until 2 in the morning. Proper respect if you’re still first on the slopes the next morning!
Partying at the Zillertal Arena (© Skiinformatie.nl)
Kitzbühel offers up après-ski at a different pace, with inviting mountain huts and cosy après-ski bars chock-full of Tyrolean charm and welcoming locals. When the mountain huts close, hardcore partyers can move onto the nightclubs that are open late. Just don’t forget to get some beauty sleep so you can hit the freshly groomed slopes of the KitzSki area the next morning.
Kitzbühel (© hahnenkamm.com)
Schladming, along with Dachstein, boasts 230km of perfectly groomed pistes and 85 modern lifts, as well as plenty of quaint alpine huts where you can stop to grab a bite to eat and a pick-me-up. Those looking for a wilder evening of après-ski won’t be disappointed, with plenty of bars and nightclubs open for business practically all night long.
Hüttengaudi at the Hohenhaus Tenne (© Schladming)
Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!
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