The striking alpine town of Kitzbühel lies in the heart of Austria’s Tirol region. Once a silver mining town, Kitzbühel is full of character and is often regarded as one of the most beautiful ski towns in Europe. The town is largely car-free, with cobbled streets winding past brightly-coloured buildings and designer shops. The impressive Gothic St Catherine’s church stands tall over the town, serving as a reminder of Kitzbühel’s medieval roots.
Don’t let this towns quaint appearance fool you though; skiing in Kitzbühel is anything but quiet. Home to one of the most notorious ski races in the world, The Hahnenkamm Downhill, the resort holds an international reputation for world-class ski racing. This notorious race takes place on the ‘Streif’ on the Hahnenkamm mountain and sees fearless skiers hurtle down twists and turns, reaching speeds of 140kph and tackling a gradient of up to 85%. Taking place every January, the race draws in the best male ski racers from around the world with the crowds to match and you can expect a festival atmosphere to grip the town, with parties running into the night.
With over 179km of varied, groomed pistes, Kitzbühel ski resort is one of the largest in Austria and has invested a lot in a modern, high-speed lift system. While the Hahnenkamm’s Streif run might not be for the faint-hearted, Kitzbühel is otherwise a brilliant choice for intermediate skiers. There’s a huge variety of blues and reds to discover and intermediates will find most of the slopes here accessible. More advanced skiers might like to head off-piste with a guide to discover some of the 200 square kilometres of terrain that’s hidden away.
Whilst the skiing in Kitzbühel is more geared to intermediate and advanced skiers, there are a number of lifts serving the green practice slopes which are free of charge, allowing first-time skiers to get to grips with the basics before investing in a pass.
Night-skiing is also popular in Kitzbühel, taking place every Thursday and Friday. Freshly groomed slopes re-open on the Gaisberg from 18:30pm to 21:30pm by floodlight and mountain huts are open for a well-earnt refreshment.
Boarders should head to the Horn where there’s a half pipe, fun park and boardercross course. The major lifts in resort are gondolas or chairlifts, which certainly makes life easier for beginners. Advanced boarders will enjoy the backcountry terrain which presents plenty of freeride opportunities.
We recommend flying into either Salzburg or Innsbruck airport for the shortest transfer time to resort, which both have a journey time of around 90 minutes.
Kitzbühel doesn’t disappoint when it comes to finding somewhere to eat with no shortage of restaurants both on and off the slopes. Whether you’re looking for a traditional stübli serving Austrian classics, of which there are plenty, international cuisine or gourmet dining, you’ll find it all here.
Huberbräu-Stüberl and Hotel Rasmushof are amongst our favourites for hearty Austrian specialities. If you’ve had your fill of Austrian fare, you’ll find everything from rooftop sushi at KITZnBAR to fresh seafood at 1st Lobster.
For a special occasion, head to The Gourmet Restaurant Tennerhof, based in the five-star Hotel Tennerhof. This restaurant is regarded as one of the best in Austria and serves regional specialities with an imaginative twist. The restaurant has been continuously awarded by the Gault Millau for the last 30 years.
Kitzbühel is usually the first of Austria’s non-glacial resorts to open, with skiers often gracing the slopes as early as mid-October and the resort boasts staying open for 200 days each season. Many of the north-facing slopes maintain great snow until spring and see the resort staying open through until May. The lower slopes do run relatively low as the resort sits at 800m but thanks to extensive snowmaking, these slopes are well-looked after. View snow conditions for Kitzbühel ski resort here.
To find out more about skiing in Kitzbühel, please visit our website or speak to our experts on 0207 471 7700.