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100 Things That Tell You You're in Tirol

Updated on 04.05.2021 in Bits & Pieces

Hiking in the mountains, like here in the Brandenberg Alps, everyone is on first-name terms.
, © Tirol Werbung / Jens SchwarzHiking in the mountains, like here in the Brandenberg Alps, everyone is on first-name terms. © Tirol Werbung / Jens Schwarz

The roads are steep not straight? The air smells of snow or flowers? You are offered a shot of schnapps at 10 o'clock in the morning? Three sure signs you are in Tirol. Check out our list of 100 things that tell you you're in Tirol.

  1. At altitudes above 1,000 metres everyone is on first-name terms.
  2. There is an event called the Cheese Olympics. No, really.
  3. What Germans call "geil" and "cool", Tiroleans call "bärig", "brutal" and "lässig".
  4. When meeting new people, a shot of homemade schnapps is the best way to break the ice. 
  5. If you open up the local newspaper you might find yourself reading about joggers being chased by wild boars.
  6. You don't travel to the mountains. You are IN the mountains.
  7. Every snapshot looks like a perfect picture postcard.
  8. There is one word which can be used to describe almost anything: "zach". Cheap meat from the supermarket? "Zach". Slow traffic at rush hour? "Zach". Getting up early in the morning? "Zach". You get the idea.
  9. Other places have superstar footballers, we have skiing legends.

    One of Tirol's most famous sons, former ski racer Benni Raich, won two Olympic golds, three World Championships and the overall title in the FIS World Cup.
, © Tirol Werbung / Severin WegnerOne of Tirol's most famous sons, former ski racer Benni Raich, won two Olympic golds, three World Championships and the overall title in the FIS World Cup. © Tirol Werbung / Severin Wegner
  10. Everyone is a member of some kind of club – voluntary fire brigade, local brass band, mountain rescue service, etc. 
  11. You can spend the night high in the mountains.
  12. There's free wireless on the bus, even in the middle of nowhere.
  13. Anything under 1,000 metres is not a mountain but a hill.
  14. So many dialects – and you don't understand any of them.
  15. Almost every question can be answered with "wird scho" ("it'll be okay") or "passt scho" ("it's okay").
  16. From every balcony hang fabulous fresh flowers. Always.

    The village of Alpbach is one of many places in Tirol where the houses are decorated with colourful flowers.
, © Tirol Werbung / Ruth WytinckThe village of Alpbach is one of many places in Tirol where the houses are decorated with colourful flowers. © Tirol Werbung / Ruth Wytinck
  17. There is a bus stop even at the end of the most remote valley.
  18. Uno simply won't cut it when you meet up with your mates to play cards.
  19. Everyone learned Standard German at school – but nobody speaks it.
  20. Total strangers greet you in the mountains with a friendly "Servus" or "Griaß di".
  21. You can drink a Vodka Martini with 007 at 3,000 metres above sea level.
  22. Who needs Google Maps? There are mountains everywhere to show you north, south, east and west. 
  23. What the Germans call "Wiener Würstchen" are known here as "Frankfurter". 

    There is nothing better at the end of a long hike than a hot soup with a few Frankfurter sausages.
, © Tirol Werbung / Frank BauerThere is nothing better at the end of a long hike than a hot soup with a few Frankfurter sausages. © Tirol Werbung / Frank Bauer
  24. Going for a "walk" can mean climbing a mountain.
  25. Running up mountains is considered not crazy but healthy.
  26. There's more folk music than pop music on the radio.
  27. Wood, leather, glass and felt instead of plastic waste.
  28. Beards aren't just for hipsters.
  29. Indoors versus outdoors? See you in the mountains...
  30. If you're lucky you may well see a real eagle or chamois.

    Chamois can be found in the Nordkette mountains above Innsbruck.
, © Tirol Werbung / Patrick Centurioni Chamois can be found in the Nordkette mountains above Innsbruck. © Tirol Werbung / Patrick Centurioni
  31. After-work drinks are taken in front of a stunning alpine backdrop.
  32. If you look hard enough you will find a place for a snowball fight even in the middle of summer.
  33. What's for dinner? Cheeese dumplings, spinach dumplings, bacon dumplings, liver dumplings. You get the idea.
  34. Not all mobile phones are smart.
  35. Women often have more ski boots, climbing shoes and hiking boots than high-heels and sneakers.
  36. Hikes are rated not by distance covered but vertical metres climbed.
  37. You will find some of the best plum schnapps you have ever tasted in the unassuming village of Stanz.
  38. After work it's time to head for the mountains rather than hit the couch.
  39. Winter starts in September and ends in May.
  40. Apple strudel is served with a hearty dollop of (real) whipped cream.

    Apple strudel with fresh whipped cream at the Aldranser Alm hut.
, © Tirol Werbung / Janine HofmannApple strudel with fresh whipped cream at the Aldranser Alm hut. © Tirol Werbung / Janine Hofmann
  41. Ötzi is both a 5,000-year-old mummy and a cheesy folk-pop DJ.
  42. Toni Sailer is God. Don't know who he is? Look him up...
  43. The locals wear clothes branded with the word ... Tirol.
  44. Walking paths and mountain biking trails end up at mountain dairies and schnapps distilleries. 
  45. Alpine wildlife could cross your path anytime – even when you're driving.
  46. Don't be fooled if somebody says they have been for a "short walk".
  47. Nobody needs rouge to look healthy.
  48. After hour = après-ski.
  49. Cows and goats wear flowers in their hair as they wander down from the pastures at the end of summer.

    Cows being brought down from the pastures at the end of summer.
, © Tirol Werbung / Bernhard AichnerCows being brought down from the pastures at the end of summer. © Tirol Werbung / Bernhard Aichner
  50. Vegan is okay, low carb isn't recommended.
  51. The sky is full of gondolas, lifts, cable cars and helicopters.
  52. There is no rush hour. 
  53. Children's buggies have three wheels and are built for offroad.
  54. For one weekend a year Kitzbühel is the centre of the skiing world.
  55. Young people aren't influencers. They are mechanics, carpenters and snowboard instructors.
  56. The average speed on the motorways? About 40 km/h.
  57. Summer is that one month of the year when there is no snow on the mountains.
  58. You can visit three countries in one day ... on foot.
  59. You can spot people who aren't from Tirol. They're the ones wearing suits.
  60. There are no haircuts. There's hair. There's hats. There's helmets.

    Centuries-old traditions are kept alive in Tirol.
, © Tirol Werbung / Bernhard AichnerCenturies-old traditions are kept alive in Tirol. © Tirol Werbung / Bernhard Aichner
  61. Beer + lemonade = "süßer Radler", beer + sparkling water = "saurer Radler"
  62. Take cash with you when you go into the mountains. Most huts don't accept cards.
  63. "Organic" is not a trend but everyday life.
  64. The KAT Walk leads through the Kitzbühel Alps.
  65. When it comes to clothing, function trumps fashion.
  66. Buses have special racks on the back to transport mountain bikes.
  67. Kiting and surfing are possible, albeit in an environment which is a little cooler than Bali.
  68. The brave and the bold can take on the Olympic bobsleigh run.
  69. Outdoor clothing is just as popular for nights out as it is for days in the mountains. 
  70. Everyone has their own favourite mountain. Just ask them.

    The Nockspitze mountains towers above the villages of Axams, Götzens, Mutters and Telfes.
, © AnjaThe Nockspitze mountains towers above the villages of Axams, Götzens, Mutters and Telfes. © Anja
  71. Hot summer days almost always end with a spectacular thunderstorm.
  72. There are more sports shops than supermarkets – and they all have a SALE on right now.
  73. "Le Miracle", "White Giant", "Puls 2000" and "Number One" are not the names of local wrestlers but instead rock climbing routes.
  74. You spend more time up in the mountains than down in the city.
  75. There are bars for chilling and bars for partying.
  76. More nature than civilisation.
  77. The food is hearty – but with all that exercise it doesn't matter!
  78. It's just 20 minutes by cable car from the high culture of the opera to the high mountains of the Nordkette.
  79. Gyms are few and far between. Nature is our playground.
  80. In June the mountains are on fire to mark the summer solstice.
  81. Cow bells and church bells are the soundtrack to everyday life.

    The belltower of the Spitalskirche church in Innsbruck.
, © Tirol Werbung / Erwin HaidenThe belltower of the Spitalskirche church in Innsbruck. © Tirol Werbung / Erwin Haiden
  82. Fearsome devil-like creatures roam the villages in Advent.
  83. The mountain summits glow as the sun slowly sets.
  84. You can get everywhere you need to be without a car.
  85. With the right gear and strong legs you can cross the Alps by bike.
  86. You can swap chlorinated swimming pools for fresh mountain springs.
  87. Telling stories is part of local heritage not local politics.
  88. In spring you may well find yourself standing next to someone in full ski gear – while you are wearing shorts and a T-shirt.
  89. Medieval castles and futuristic cable cars stand side by side.
  90. Gentians and Edelweiss dot the mountain meadows.

    Edelweiss on the meadows in the Gschnitztal Valley.
, © Tirol Werbung / Angela FuchsEdelweiss on the meadows in the Gschnitztal Valley. © Tirol Werbung / Angela Fuchs
  91. Even the smallest village has its own swimming pool, spa, ski lift, bar, restaurant, sports shop and, of course, friendly locals.
  92. Young people like folk music.
  93. Homemade schnapps is considered a medicine.
  94. The tapwater tastes like it is fresh from the mountains – because it is.
  95. Shopping in the morning, lunch in the city, rock climbing in the afternoon. Why not?
  96. You can cross the region from east to west on the Eagle Walk.
  97. The restaurants are rated not with Stars but with Toques (those big points hats worn by chefs).
  98. Snacks ("Jause" or "Marend") are never eaten alone – and in other places would qualify as a full-on meal.
  99. Roofs have golden tiles. At least one does.
  100. The eagle of Tirol can be seen gazing down from the region's flag.

    The flag of Tirol flies above stage 11 of the Eagle Walk leading from the Karwendelhaus to the Hallerangerhaus.
, © Tirol Werbung / Holger GasslerThe flag of Tirol flies above stage 11 of the Eagle Walk leading from the Karwendelhaus to the Hallerangerhaus. © Tirol Werbung / Holger Gassler

Pauline Krätzig likes nothing more than writing about people – their culture, their (hi)stories, their traditions. Tirol is home to plenty of each. And to some seriously good pine schnapps.

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