Have you dreamed of skiing in Austria? We’re going to help you make that dream come true! And if you HAVEN’T, well, we’re going to make you really want to.
When you think about skiing in Europe the first thing that might come to mind is Switzerland and the Swiss Alps, of course. But the Austrian Alps can also offer you an amazing ski experience! In the winter, Austria is transformed into a winter wonderland with ski resorts, cozy picturesque villages, and adventures galore.
So why should you ski Austria? There are plenty of great reasons.
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Why Ski Austria?
First of all, snow is guaranteed in the Austrian Alps. With a long snow season and a high elevation at most of the ski resorts in Austria, the country is known as one of the best snow-sure skiing destinations. As for the lower elevation slopes, most of them are covered with state-of-the-art snow-making facilities, so no need to worry. And with five glaciers in the Tyrol region, some of the ski resorts can even offer 365 days of skiing per year.
It’s also cheaper than you think – and a ski holiday in Austria is usually much more affordable than one in Switzerland or France! If you choose the right place to go skiing in Austria, you’ll be traveling on a budget. With access to tons of ski areas, easy access to the lifts, cozy village accommodation, and traditional food, you get a lot of bang for your buck in Austria which isn’t quite as commercialized as the other popular skiing destinations both in Europe and around the world.
Next, you’ll have a great time even if you’re just a rookie. Austrian ski schools and their pro instructors are famous around the world. They’ll teach you everything you need to know before you try your hand at one of the marked slopes. Safety first!
Lastly, the après-ski scene is huge in Austria. From concerts and bars to friendly gatherings in cozy mountain huts, the après-ski parties start in the early afternoon. You’ll be able to enjoy delicious food, local beer and schnapps, lively company, and much more during your après-ski experience.
Overall, you’ll get an authentic Austrian skiing experience. With cozy traditional mountain huts and unrivaled ski slopes in the Austrian Alps, if you’re a winter sports enthusiast skiing in Austria should be at the top of your bucket list. But before you go, you’ll want some general information to help you get started.
General Info on Skiing in Austria
The first thing on your mind when you’re looking to ski Austria is probably how to get there. If you’re coming from far away, you’ll most likely be flying into Vienna or even to Innsbruck. From those airports, you’ll be able to take trains or shuttles to your chosen resort. Austria has a very convenient railway system and most of the resorts are easily accessible.
Once you’ve actually started your ski holiday in Austria, you’ll need a lift pass. This electronic pass, which will be kept in your ski jacket at all times, gives you automatic access to chair lifts, gondolas, and cable cars as you’re navigating the slopes. Be sure not to lose this as it is your ticket to the slopes!
Many of the people skiing in Austria will be bringing their own equipment, but if you don’t have any don’t fret! You can easily rent your ski gear at your resort and the friendly staff will help you find the perfect fit for your size and abilities.
Lastly, you should know what types of skiing are available and what other activities you’ll want to do. The resorts offer marked pistes in three levels of difficulty: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. You’ll want to choose a resort that is geared toward the level of most of your group members so everyone will be kept happy. There’s also cross-country skiing, tobogganing, ski tours, off-piste skiing, free-riding areas, snow parks, and even night skiing. Nail down your preferences and explore the activities different resorts have available in order to have your best possible ski holiday in Austria.
With all these options available and so many different ski resorts, which ones are the best ski resorts in Austria? It can be hard to decipher with endless options and research to do, so we’ve made it a bit easier for you by breaking down some of the best cities to ski out of along with the best ski resorts in each one.
The Best Ski Resorts in Austria
You’ve probably heard of Innsbruck before, as it is one of Austria’s most whimsical cities. It’s the capital of Austria’s Tyrol region and is in the heart of the Austrian Alps, surrounded by the Nordkette range. Tucked away in the valleys of these jagged mountain spires, Innsbruck is known for both its imperial and modern architecture.
Because of its location and scenery, it’s also one of the best cities to ski out of. Did you know you can take a cable car from the city center and be at 2000 meters above sea level in the mountains within 20 minutes? With a commute like that, it would be silly to miss this one if you’re looking for an easy and cozy mountain getaway.
Innsbruck itself isn’t actually a ski resort, but if you’re looking for a city experience along with great skiing, this will be your dream destination. With two ski resorts on the outskirts of the city, along with seven others within reach that are included in the Olympiaworld ski pass, you’ll have so many options to choose from. So what are the best ski resorts around Innsbruck? We’re glad you asked.
Originally a high-altitude farming settlement, Kühtai is one of Austria’s highest-altitude ski resorts at about 2020 meters above sea level. This ski resort in Austria has become the go-to ski destination for mountaineers looking for snow-sure slopes even at the beginning and end of the ski season.
Kühtai is also known for its family-friendly facilities like their lifts specially designed to fit the little ones’ needs. This ski resort in Austria also has a funpark where snowboarders and freestylers can test out their moves and plenty of slopes for those looking to catch a little speed. The resort also offers a unique ski touring area as well as night skiing twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays, when the slopes are open until 11:30 pm.
After your full day of skiing, relax and refuel in one (or many!) of the resort’s après-ski bars, pubs and restaurants. There’s no shortage of activities at Kühtai and it’s easy to get to from the Innsbruck airport, making this one of the best ski resorts in Austria.
Have a look at some hotel, resort, apartment, or pension options in Kühtai here.
This ski resort in Austria looks like what you would typically picture when you think about a European ski resort: quaint, cozy, and small, yet picturesque. The resort lies on what used to be old European trading routes and although it is somewhat small and isolated, the terrain is unique and interesting for skiers looking for a bit of adventure.
Lermoos is home to the Grubigstein mountain at 2100 meters above sea level and therefore provides one of the most spectacular views of the landscape. Despite its altitude, Lermoos is also known to be one of the most beginner-friendly ski resorts in Austria, with most of the slopes being easy or intermediate. As such, advanced skiers will probably want to check out the slopes elsewhere, as families and rookies will be taking their time heading down the slopes.
Have a look at some hotel, resort, apartment, or pension options in Lermoos here.
You probably know Salzburg as the city featured in the world-famous classic The Sound of Music, but did you also know you can find world-class skiing here? Located right on the river and near the strategic motorway connections, it’s super easy to get to the mountains from the city. Here are our picks for the best resorts in the area:
Zell am See
Only about 100 kilometers away from Salzburg, Zell am See is a favorite of skiers around the world because of its beautiful views of the surrounding landscape as well as Lake Zell at the bottom of the resort, tucked away in the middle of the snow-capped mountains.
Zell am See offers a wide variety of perfectly-groomed ski slopes, as well as night skiing, some of Austria’s most popular freeride routes, and snow parks for the more adventurous skiers. If you’re not quite at that level yet, check out Zell am See’s ski school to brush up on your skills before you head out for a run.
Zell am See is good for groups who are also looking for a livelier nightlife, as the town is bigger than most other ski resorts in Austria. Zell am See is also famous for its après-ski scene, so there’s no shortage of things to do once you’re done for the day or even if you want to spend a day off the slopes.
Have a look at some hotel, resort, apartment, or pension options in Zell am See here.
Saalbach-Hinterglemm is one of the largest ski areas in Austria with about 270 kilometers of slopes and 70 cableways and lifts. These slopes offer enough variety that you’ll have to get up and go right away if you want to explore the whole valley.
Saalbach-Hinterglemm is also part of the “Skicircus” area which is one of the largest ski tour areas in Austria. If you’re looking to do the whole thing, you’ll need a full day, but you can choose one of four circuits if you’re looking for a bit of a shorter adventure. This ski resort in Austria also includes freeride terrain, “funslopes” with curves and obstacles, speed and race slopes, night skiing, toboggan runs, and more.
Most of the slopes here are intermediate, so there may not be as much available for expert skiers. This ski resort in Austria also has a good après-ski scene that is also family-friendly, so people of all ages will enjoy the atmosphere.
Have a look at some hotel, resort, apartment, or pension options in Saalbach-Hinterglemm here.
Of course, as the capital of Austria, Vienna is probably already on your travel bucket list, but if you visit in the winter did you know you can also get to some of the best ski resorts in Austria from the city?
If you’re looking for a quick and easy pit stop instead of a full-on mountain vacation, it might be easiest for you to ski out of Vienna, as the locations aren’t quite as remote as some of the others on this list.
Probably the most well-known of the ski resorts near Vienna, it’s about an hour’s drive outside the city. Even though it’s smaller and not as challenging as other places where you can ski Austria, visitors will still be satisfied with the variety of slopes and activities available.
The Zauberberg area has just a handful of lifts and an altitude of 336 meters above sea level, while the neighboring Stuhleck area reaches 1000 meters above sea level. With a variety of beginner, intermediate, and advanced slopes as well as the family run and the FIS World Cup Panorama Piste, skiers of every level can find something to challenge them.
There are also six night slopes operating nightly and Split Park – a freestyler’s dream. As this ski resort isn’t as high in altitude as the others, you may be worried about whether or not there will be snow! But not to worry, all the slopes are covered with snowmakers so no matter the forecast, you’ll be sure to have a good run.
Have a look at some hotel, resort, apartment, or pension options in Semmering here.
The largest ski resort near Vienna with ten lifts, Hochkar is about a two-hour drive to the southwest of the city. With an altitude of 1808 meters above sea level, snow cover and spectacular views of the surrounding landscape are certain.
Hochkar is also perfect for family activities beyond just the slopes. Check out their winter hikes, snowshoe trails, 32 kilometers of cross-country skiing, sled runs, and more. Perfect for anyone looking for a day of skiing close to Vienna, Hochkar is your best bet if you’re not looking for a full-on ski holiday in Austria, but you’re looking to get just a taste of it during your trip.
Have a look at some hotel, resort, apartment, or pension options in Hochkar here.
Tyrol is a western state in the Austrian Alps known for – you guessed it – its ski resorts! It’s home to some of the best ski resorts in Austria. We’ve already covered its capital city of Innsbruck, but there are plenty of other beautiful ski resorts in throughout the rest of the region.
St. Anton am Arlberg
If you’re looking to ski Austria, this is your best bet. This ski resort in Austria is one of Europe’s – and the world’s – top resorts for serious skiers. It’s actually historically important in the skiing community as well: it was the site of the first ski club in the Alps, opening in 1901. This ski resort is home to some of the most challenging slopes in the Alps so make sure you know what you’re getting into before you go!
With about 300 kilometers of marked slopes, 200 kilometers of open terrain, fun parks, racetracks, almost 90 lifts, and an altitude of 2800 meters above sea level, this is one of the country’s biggest and most crowded ski resorts, and for good reason, as it’s one of the best ski resorts in Austria.
Mostly for expert skiers, stronger intermediate skiers will also find some runs up to their level of difficulty. For beginners and families, this ski resort can be intimidating, but the Arlberg ski pass also includes access to some other less challenging ski resorts nearby.
If you’re looking for a lively après-ski scene, as well, this is the place for you. Because of the crowds of visitors flocking to this resort for some legendary skiing in Austria, the nightlife scene is one of the best.
Have a look at some hotel, resort, apartment, or pension options in Sankt Anton am Arlberg here.
While St. Anton am Arlberg is the top choice for advanced skiers, Kitzbühel is the top choice for the rest of us regular folk to ski Austria with an elevation of just 800 meters above sea level. Located snugly between Salzburg and Innsbruck, winter sports fans know Kitzbühel as the site of the annual Hahnenkamm, the most difficult of downhill ski races. But never fear – skiers of all levels will be able to find something suited to their abilities on the 200 kilometers of slopes here.
At this ski resort in Austria, the ski area is divided into three portions: the Kitzbuheler Horn, the Hahnenkamm (where you’ll find the steeper vertical slopes), and Bichlalm – a smaller area for freeriders. This resort also connects to the SkiWelt by bus, which adds another 280 kilometers of slopes to this already expansive resort.
This fairly large town also pulls in a lot of visitors who don’t necessarily want to ski, so the après-ski and nightlife scenes are lively, as well.
Have a look at some hotel, resort, apartment, or pension options in Kitzbühel here.
The largest ski resort in the ötz valley, Sölden is one you won’t want to miss. Linked to two glaciers reaching a high altitude of 3250 meters above sea level, this resort is a favorite for almost year-round snow-sure skiing in Austria. You may know it as the setting of the 2015 James Bond film Spectre.
This largely underrated resort is one of the best ski resorts in Austria and often gets skipped over, but is more versatile than many of the other places to ski Austria. It boasts about 150 kilometers of mixed terrain along with many beginner and intermediate runs, as well as some off-piste skiing and, of course, the glaciers. The part of this ski area called Rettenbach has even been the site of the World Cup circuit since 2000.
This resort has a pretty energetic après-ski scene, so there’s plenty to do once you’re off the slopes as well!
Have a look at some hotel, resort, apartment, or pension options in Sölden here.
Ischgl and the Silvretta
Known as the après-ski capital of the Alps, this ski resort in Austria has something for everyone. This resort has a high altitude and many north-facing slopes so snow-sure runs are guaranteed throughout the season.
The Silvretta slopes offer a unique experience for intermediate skiers: cross-border skiing into Switzerland. An adventure normally reserved only for expert skiers, you’ll find some wide slopes to easily cruise on down into the Swiss Alps. But there are a variety of runs available for experts too, with several black slopes and off-piste skiing.
Ischgl is a pretty well-known resort and holds big events, such as concerts featuring international stars, at the top of the mountain. For its après-ski scene and its high-profile events, along with the legendary skiing experience, this is one of the best ski resorts in Austria.
Have a look at some hotel, resort, apartment, or pension options in Ischgl here.
Once named the best value ski area for your money, Mayrhofen is a European favorite. With its terrain parks and open snowfields on the higher slopes at 630 meters above sea level, it attracts mostly snowboarders looking for deep powder.
For skiers and boarders alike, Mayrhofen features 142 kilometers of slopes and 58 lifts, but the Zillertaler Superskipass covers 489 kilometers of slopes in the whole valley so be sure to check out the connections. Of all the ski areas offered at this place for skiing in Austria, the most popular ones are probably Penken and Ahorn. The highlight of Penken is the Harakiri Piste, Austria’s steepest ski slope, with a 78% gradient. Ahorn is more leisurely, with 5.5 kilometers of fairly challenging slopes for beginners and families.
This young ski resort is another one that’s known for its wild après-ski and nightlife scene, so be sure you know what you’re getting into!
Have a look at some hotel, resort, apartment, or pension options in Mayrhofen here.
Söll and the SkiWelt
If you’re looking for some extensive action during your ski holiday in Austria, this is the resort for you. Söll is the major resort of the twelve SkiWelt villages and helps make up the largest interconnected ski area in Austria. With 280 kilometers of slopes and 90 lifts, there’s something for every type of skier to be found at this ski resort in Austria. As part of the SkiWelt, it is also linked to Kitzbühel, which adds another 170 kilometers of fresh runs to explore.
While most of the runs at this resort are geared towards intermediate skiers, you will still find a few places to challenge the experts, as well. As for the beginners, you can enjoy the famous ski school to practice your skills before getting out on the slopes.
Söll is known to offer some of the best value in the Alps despite the range of skiing available, making it one of the best places to ski Austria – it is famous for its budget-friendly accommodation options and après-ski scene.
Have a look at some hotel, resort, apartment, or pension options in Söll here.
Alpbach has been named Austria’s prettiest village and it’s easy to see why: its traditional buildings and huts surrounded by the snow-peaked mountains are a beautiful sight to behold. From the top of Wiedersbergerhorn at 2128 meters above sea level, you can see the entire Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau area before heading down the slopes at this ski resort in Austria.
The Alpbach side is also linked via gondola to the Wildschönau valley, connecting it to three other ski resorts for a total of 145 kilometers of slopes, making it one of the largest trail systems in the Tyrol region. Of those 145 kilometers, 78 of them range from intermediate to upper-intermediate, so mid-range skiers have a wide variety of terrain to choose from.
The scenery and the variety of skiing and other winter activities available make this one of the best ski resorts in Austria.
Have a look at some hotel, resort, apartment, or pension options in Alpbach here.
This region in the south of the country is known for its wine, spas, and castles, but did you also know that this is one of the best places to ski Austria?
This hidden gem of skiing in Austria is, in our opinion, unfairly overlooked because it isn’t in the most famous skiing region in Austria: Tyrol. However, set around four ski mountains, this is one of the top intermediate ski resorts in the country.
With 230 kilometers of perfectly groomed slopes across these four mountains, it’s perfect for all types of skiers, whether you’re looking for long challenging top-to-bottom runs or more of a cross-country skiing experience on the Dachstein glacier.
Schladming is also the host of several ski championships, races, and other competitions, including the 2013 World Championships. Although it is in a more remote location and lacks the charm of a traditional Tyrolean village, it is one of the most diverse ski areas in the country and skiers looking for a good long run should be sure to check this one out! As it is less well-known than the others on this list, it is also guaranteed to be less crowded. All these elements combined make this one of the best ski resorts in Austria.
Have a look at some hotel, resort, apartment, or pension options in Schladming here.
This region is known to have one of the best snow records in the Alps, so it’s a must if you’re looking for some good skiing in Austria. There are several resorts here linked by cable cars, gondolas, and the like, but one stands out as the favorite.
Lech-Zürs am Arlberg
This ski resort in Austria is a favorite of the rich and famous because of its remote location and high-end accommodation options, but all of us regular folk can find ways to enjoy it, too. The ski resort boasts 305 kilometers of ski slopes along with over 200 kilometers of high Alpine powder runs which are snow-sure from November to April.
The resort is especially popular for its wide range of diverse terrain for all levels of winter sports enthusiasts as well as some backcountry terrain for the off-piste skiers. The most famous run in the resort is “The White Ring,” which provides 22 kilometers worth of stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and will be the most unforgettable experience when you decide to ski Austria.
This ski resort is also now connected to St. Anton so you will have even more ski runs to choose from once you arrive.
Have a look at some hotel, resort, apartment, or pension options in Lech-Zürs am Arlberg here.
If you’re looking for the best ski resorts in Austria the ones on this list are a great place to start. Skiing in Austria is quite the experience, as you can see: stunning views, legendary slopes for all types of skiers, an unrivaled après-ski culture, and a traditional and authentic European ski holiday. So what are you waiting for? Check out these resorts and get ready to ski Austria this winter!
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