“Après ski” originated in the The Alps, a tradition of drinking adult beverages “after skiing” – hence the French expression. Après ski as a pastime is drinking, toasting, on the mountain or in the ski village, often accompanied by music and dancing, songs and cheers.
Ironically Après ski in the Alps starts during skiing, with wine, beer and schnapps at lunch at some charming mountainside chalet, or a sun terrace or heated umbrella bar. The Europeans love to party, and skiing is a lifestyle more than just a sport.
Austria has the best après ski… the self-proclaimed “worst après ski bar” is The Moosewirt in St Anton we have witnessed post-powder partying in the big league. Skiers drink shots – even shot skis- and steins, and dance in ski boots to the tunes of DJ Gerhardt.
France’s La Folie Douce is more “choreographed” but equally crazy, with an outdoor stage featuring cabaret style dancing, singing and drinking from 2pm to lift close at Méribel, Val Thorens, and Val Isère
Swiss après ski tends to be more cozy with gluwein in a chalet or on a sun terrace, though we have partied at Zermatt’s Unplugged at Cervo, and Lenzerheide’s Crest Ota during Live is Life music series!
The best and worst of these ski bars is that they are ski in ski out. The ski in part is cool – ski in on your last run for “cheers” with a view of The Alps. The tricky part is the ski out – clicking back in your bindings for those final turns to the village and your ski hotel after imbibing.
Italy’s après ski is more civilized and stylish, Italians change out of their ski attire into something more chic for the Passagiata, the chance to see and be seen over an espresso or prosecco in Cortina D’Ampezzo or Val Gardina.
Best Après Ski in The Alps of Europe
St Anton Austria – Moosewirt, Krazy Kanguruh, Stuben Austria’s Fuxbau
Ischgl Austria – Kuhstall
Serfaus Austria– Patchi Bar
Kitzbühel Austria – Stamperl
Innsbruck Austria – Bar 360
Mayrhofen Zillertal Austria – The Ice Bar
Zermatt – Cervo Hotel and Hotel Post
Verbier – The Farinet and The Casbah
Wengen– Tipi Bar
Arosa Lenzerheide – Crest’Ota DAYPARTY with live music/DJ
Bettmeralp, Aletsch Arena– Mountain Rock, Alpfreiden Disco
Engelberg – The Ski Lodge
Gstaad – Richie’s Pub, Stall-Bar and La Cave, Saanen Pub