Top-rated Ski Resorts in Austria: The Beginner Guide

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the number of ski resorts in Austria and don’t know how to choose the one that would fit your skills and interests? I have created a comprehensive guide that will help you to choose the best ski resort in Austria no matter if you are a beginner or an advanced skier. I don’t consider myself a top-tier skier but I have been living in the area for many years now and can’t imagine winter without skiing. If you are a beginner, there are ski rentals and ski schools available at the ski resorts listed below.

Me enjoying the morning sun on the “roof of Tyrol”

Best Ski Resorts in Austria

1. Sölden 

Sölden is a famous Ski resort in the Ötztal Alps best known for its 007 Elements James Bond installation at the top of Gaislachkogl mountain (3048m) and futuristic ice Q restaurant which was used for filming James Bond “Spectre”. Sölden also hosts the World Cup for the Giant Slalom and the annual Electric Mountain Festival at the beginning of April. In addition to fun activities, Sölden is a real paradise for skiers thanks to its perfect snow condition at high altitudes and beautiful slopes.

Panoramic View over Sölden Photo: Thomas Heeringa @thomasheeringa

Slopes and Facilities

  • Total 146 km of slopes
  • 34 huts and mountain restaurants
  • 31 cable cars and lifts 
  • 2 glacier areas and 3 peaks higher than 3000 meters
  • Reliable snow from October through May
  • Thw longest in Austria 15 kilometer black ski run down to the valley

Slope Types

  • Easy slopes (blue) – 69.8  km
  • Advanced slopes (red)  – 44.8 km 
  • Difficult slopes (black)  – 29.4 km 
  • Off-piste / freeride routes – 2 km

How to get to Sölden?

The nearest international airports to Sölden are in Innsbruck (88 km) and Memmingen (187 km). If you come by train, the closest train station is in Ötztal (35 km).

2. Kitzbühel  KitzSki

According to the world’s largest ski testing portal, the KitzSki resort in Kitzbühel is the best in the world. The famous Hahnenkamm Race has been held here every year since 1931, attracting many visitors from all over the world. Although KitzSki has over 100 kilometers of easy slopes, they are more difficult than easy slopes in other ski resorts (yes they are all called blue or easy slopes but there is a difference). That’s why KitzSki is more appropriate for intermediate and advanced skiers. I remember skiing here when  I was still a complete beginner. There was a lot of adrenaline involved and a glass of beer afterward, haha 🙂

Panoramic view over Kitzbühl Alps

Slopes and Facilities

  • Total 230 km (185 km marked and prepared ) of downhill slopes
  • 57 lifts, gondolas, and cable cars
  • 60 huts and mountain restaurants
  • Officially open from mid-October to 1st May, but snow is guaranteed from December to April
  • Baby lifts can be used for free

Slope Types

  • Easy slopes (blue) –  45 (106km)
  • Advanced slopes (red)  – 31 (60km)
  • Difficult slopes (black)  – 16 (19km)
  • Off-piste / freeride routes –  46 km 

How to get to Kitzbühel?

The nearest international airports to Kitzbühel are in Salzburg (70km), Innsbruck (97km) and Munich(194 km). Car hire options are available at all three international airports. Many ski buses are going to Kitzbuhel from Munich Main Train Station. Kitzbuhel also has its own train and bus station making it easily accessible by public transportation. 

3. St. Anton am Arlberg

St. Anton am Alberg is one of the oldest ski resorts in Austria which started operating already in 1937. Nowadays it is a modern ski resort. Its high-tech Alberg-Card ski pass automatically opens the ski-lift entrances and lets you reload it as many times as you want. This is a perfect solution for those who are annoyed by ski-lift entrances like me. With its 200 km of freeride routes, St. Anton am Alberg is a perfect destination for advanced skiers who love fresh untouched snow.

Skiing down the slope in St. Anton Alps
St. Anton am Arlberg Photo: Roman Huber @romempix

Slopes and Facilities

  • 305 kilometers of marked downhill runs
  • 88 lifts, gondolas, and cable cars
  • 18 huts and mountain restaurants

Slope Types

  • Easy slopes (blue) –  132 km 
  • Advanced slopes (red)  – 122 km
  • Difficult slopes (black)  – 51 km 
  • Off-piste / freeride routes –  200 km 

How to get to St. Anton?

The nearest international airport to St. Anton is in Innsbruck (100 km). I highly recommend choosing Innsbruck as your base for your vacation. Skiing from Innsbruck is quite easy because you will need around 30 minutes to get to great ski resorts and 300 km of ski runs. Other airports close to St. Anton are Friedrichshafen(130 km) and Zürich (197 km).  You can also get there from Munich International Airport (225 km). If you are renting a car, you can drive at unlimited speed on most of the German and Austrian highways. St. Anton also has its own train and bus station making it also accessible by public transportation.

4. Ischgl

Ischgl is a town in the Alps that has the best après-ski scene in Europe. It is also called Winter Party Capital and has one of the biggest freeride regions in Europe. The ski resort located near Ischgl is known as Silvretta Arena. It is connected with the Swiss ski resort Samnaun, together forming one of the largest ski areas in Europe. Ischgl claims to be a climate-neutral ski resort and runs almost all its facilities using electricity from renewable sources.

Panoramic view over Ischgl Ski Resort

Slopes and Facilities

  • 239 kilometers of slopes
  • Guaranteed snow from November to the beginning of April
  • 45 cable cars and lifts 

Slope Types

  • Easy slopes (blue) – 39 km 
  • Advanced slopes (red)  – 150 km  
  • Difficult slopes (black)  – 34 km  
  • Off-piste/freeride routes available -15 km 

How to get to Ischgl?

The nearest international airports to Ischgl are Innsbruck (100 km), Memmingen (208 km), and Zurich (230km). Ischgl’s nearest train station is Landeck, about 30 km away.

5. SkiWelt Wilder Kaiser Brixental

The SkiWelt (germ. Ski World) is the largest ski resort in Austria and one of the largest and most modern ski resorts in the world. It is a huge ski area made of interconnected slopes and passes. You can enter the ski area from 9 different villages: Brixen im Thale, Ellmau, Going, Hopfgarten, Itter, Kelchsau, Scheffau, Söll, and Westendorf. I love skiing in Austria and go there quite often. SkiWelt has wide beautiful slopes and usually, it is less crowded compared to other ski resorts in Germany or Austria. Perfect ski condition for me! How about you?

Beautiful Slope of SkiWelt Wilderkaiser

Slopes and Facilities

  • 284 kilometers of slopes
  • 81 Ski Huts
  • 90 lift facilities  
  • Austria’s longest-illuminated slope for skiing at night 
  • 3 slopes for sledding
  • Panoramic views from 70 peaks higher than 3000 Meters

Slope Types

  • Easy slopes (blue) – 121 km
  • Advanced slopes (red)  – 127 km
  • Difficult slopes (black)  – 10 km
  • Off-piste / freeride routes – 26 km

How to get to SkiWelt?

SkiWelt is about an hour’s driving distance from Munich, Innsbruck, or Salzburg. Keep in mind that if you are driving there in the morning, it might take longer due to traffic, especially on the weekends.

6. Saalbach-Hinterglemm 

Skiing networks consisting of Saalbach, Hinterglemm, Fieberbrunn, and Leogang form a 270 km long Skicircus. This is one of the largest and most laid-back ski areas in Austria. The nearest large city  Zell am See is located only about 20 km away. The best thing is that with only one Ski ALPIN CARD ticket you can access 3 ski regions (Skicircus Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Schmittenhöhe, Kaprun) and 408 km ski slopes!

Saalbach Hinterglemm Ski Resort

Slopes and Facilities

  • Total 270 km of slopes
  • 60  huts
  • 70 cable cars and lifts 
  • The resort is open from December to April although it is not as snow sure as Sölden

Slope Types

  • Easy slopes (blue) – 140 km 
  • Advanced slopes (red)  – 112 km 
  • Difficult slopes (black) – 18 km

How to get to Saalbach-Hinterglemm?

The closest airports to the Saalbach-Hinterglemm are the Austrian international airports in Salzburg and Innsbruck and the German Munich International Airport. Holiday Shuttle is a convenient option to get from the airports in Salzburg or Munich directly to your accommodation. The shuttle service runs 7 times a day in winter. Alternatively, you can hire a car directly at the airport. If you are coming by train, the nearest train station is at Zell am See. From there you will need to take a bus which runs approximately every hour.

7. Zillertal

Zillertal translates from German as Ziller Valley. It is the most popular and visited valley in Austria, located in the Tyrol region. Zillertal comprises 4 ski resorts: Hochzillertal, Zillertal Arena, Mayrhofen and Glacierworld Zillertal 3000. These 4 resorts combined have 535 ski slopes and 180 lift facilities. If you buy Zillertaler Superskipass, you’ll be able to ski in the whole area with just one ski pass.

Hochzillertal Ski Resort
Hochzillertal Ski Resort

How to get to Zillertal?

The nearest international airport to Zillertal is located in Innsbruck (60 km), Salzburg (135 km) and Munich(173 km). There are free ski buses available in the region which will take you from your hotel to the ski stations. You can stay in Zell am Ziller or Mayrhofen. They both are well-connected and have a train station. If you prefer to ski in Hochzillertal, then you can opt to stay in Kaltenbach village.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to ski in Austria?

Generally, expect to pay around 50-60 euros for a day ski pass at ski resorts in Austrian. If you take a ski pass for several days, it will get a bit cheaper. Some ski resorts also offer discounts during the first weeks of December and from the end of March. Expect to pay around 10-15 euros for a meal in a ski hut plus 3-4 euros for a drink.

What is the best time to ski in Austrian ski resorts?

The main ski season usually starts at the beginning of December and lasts till mid of April. Some ski resorts at higher altitudes offer year-round skiing. Sometimes in December, there is not much snow in the valley, so many slopes and lifts might be closed. I suggest always checking snow conditions before booking your trip or choosing ski areas at higher altitudes.

Best Ski Resorts in Austria

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  1. Информативная, интересная статья,а снимки-просто супер,так и хочется взять билеты и упорхнуть в австрийские Альпы…

  2. Those views!!

    I have a friend who grew up in the mountains in Austria, and he always says the slopes were stunning. I would LOVE to ski here myself and give it a try! The prices are so, so much less than places like Whistler here in Canada!

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