Kitzbühel

Kitzbühel is arguably Austria’s most beautiful alpine resort village, its authentic, historic and charming. This medieval silver mining valleys sits between three ski-able mountain peaks, making it a gold mine for skiers. Skiing began here in 1893 thanks to a brave Austrian Franz Reisch, who climbed to the summit of the Kitzbüheler Horn to descend on wooden skis. Now Kitzbühel’s ski fame continues, hosting the biggest ski race in the world, the Hahnenkamm Men’s Downhill held on the Strief trail every January. Beyond its alpine racing legend, Kitzbühel is one of the best ski villages for a ski holiday in Austria.

Kitzbühel’s only Achilles heel is its moderate elevation. The village is only 770 M (2,526′) which is unfortunately low for reliable snow in the Alps these days, with summit elevations at just 2,000 meters (6,561’). The good news is the ski slopes are grassy, requiring less natural snow. In fact Kitzbühel is typically the first non-glacier ski resort to open in Austria, behind Stubaier and Hintertux which is open year-round.

Kitzbühel’s skiing is VAST, with 54 modern cable cars and lifts, 179 km of well-groomed slopes spread across several peaks.

There is so much to Kitzbühel skiing, 36 marked trails are groomed daily (179 kilometers) with a hyper efficient modern lift system of cable cars, eight and six passenger chairs with heated seats at every turn, and grand gondolas. Kitzbühel has invested heavily in lifts and snowmaking. Besides all the well-prepared ski terrain, there is limitless “off-piste” just off the prepared runs, easy to reach and get back to the trails and lifts. If you can see it – you can ski it, but be cautious and hire a mountain guide – we suggest Alpin Experts. Markus Dagn he’s an amazing ski guide delivering an epic ski day. Kitzbühel has 22 ski schools, and several guide services, catering to kindergarten age on up to experts.

You can ski the Hahnenkamm at Kitzbühel, the steep exciting racecourse that hosts the world’s best downhill racers and 100,000 fans each January. The Family Streif is a race run designed so everyone can experience the World Cup racecourse, but it skips the really extremely steep part  and still ends at the Seidlalm finish line. Experts can ski the entire Streif when its open, but be warned, it has wild drop offs and reverse fall line pitches, often icy. 

Kitzbühel on mountain dining and après ski is famous for good reason, 56 ski chalets dot the mountain slopes – these ski in-ski out huts are independently owned by families who farm these alpine slopes with cows in the summer. Ski in for homemade lunch, a café or cocoa, or schnapps at these delightful spots, most have sun decks for those beautiful blue-sky days often with music playing. See are our Review of Kitzbuhel’s Top Huts and Mountain Restaurants.

Fleck Alm above Kirchberg is a favorite. This family-owned hut is charming, since 1897! Sit on the sun deck or in the cozy wood interior. We had one of best lunches in Kitzbuhel here, the Berner Wurst – a cheese and bacon stuffed local sausage served with pomme frites and a fresh side salad. 

Schi Alm Pengelstein is fun, look for the Red Cow on the roof as you are skiing down toward Kirchberg. This umbrella bar and ski hut has great lunches inside or out. This place becomes a dance party après ski.

Seidlalm has the best view of the Streif and town – located halfway down the Hahnenkamm race course. The historic Hut is run by three gals, and was the birthplace of the World Cup in 1966. 

Toni Alm, in Mittersill, has cheery yellow umbrellas and beach chairs outside. This classic chalet serves traditional Tyrolean fare and homemade schnapps too!

Panorama Alm also on the Mittersill side has a huge sun terrace, with a retractable roof, plus a cozy interior. Sit on the terrace by the bar for the best views and try the pizza!

Kitzbüheler Horn is a separate ski area, across town with more lifts, we didn’t ski it. 

Kitzbühel has 4- and 5-star hotels, it can be pricey since the celebs have discovered this ski village. We enjoyed four-star Hotel Rasmushof -with its indoor pool, half board with meals, and prime location right at the Hahnenkamm finish line, an easy walk to the gondola and town. Hostess Signe takes great pride in her mountain hotel!
Pension Hinterseer is a lovely family chalet BnB, where we could watch the gondolas pass over our balcony. Owned by the famed Hinterseer race family, you can feel the heritage and ski passion at this ski lodge.

Kitzbühel’s village offers fun après ski including sledding, skating, horse drawn carriage rides, exploring Legends Park, and the pedestrian cobblestone streets of Kitzbühel, now lined with very chic boutiques and après ski bars. Kitzbühel is easy to reach from Innsbruck, and Munich, and also close to nearby family ski resorts SkiWelt and Ski Juwel.

Kitzbühel Ski Stats:
Base Elevation: 770M (2,526’)
Summit Elevation: 2000M (6,561’)
Vertical Drop: 1230 M (4,035’)
1,230 ski-able acres, 54 lifts, longest run 5 miles, 106 miles of trails, home of the world-famous downhill run – The Streif – host of the Hahnenkamm race.

 

See our Kitzbuhel Ski Videos