Nowhere else are there so many different types of slopes, events and family…
Tips for a Ski Day in Kitzbühel
Think of Kitzbühel and you conjure up ski pioneers, cat-suited ski racers and fur-clad celebrities. A legend in its own right, Kitzbühel is known around the world as the winter playground of the rich and famous. Keen to know more, I joined up with a local for the day to explore the resort and grab a few insider tips on what to see and do away from the glitz and glamour.
On my visit to Kitzbühel I want to challenge my preconceptions and maybe discover new sides to the resort I wasn't aware of until now. Joining me for the day is Christine Edenstrasser. A coach and mental trainer, Christine lives just outside town and often visits her friends living there. What she loves most about Kitzbühel is the full roster of adventures and activities available both in the resort and on the mountain.
Our guide for the day, Christine Edenstrasser.
09:00 // Hahnenkammbahn cable car
There is only one way to start the ski day in Kitzbühel – by riding the cable car up onto the famous Hahnenkamm mountain, where the world's best ski racers do battle on the fearsome Streif downhill course each January. It also happens to be home to several excellent restaurants.
One of Christine's favourites is the Restaurant Hochkitzbühel. Run by the Tomschy family, it offers excellent food, a warm welcome and a wonderful terrace with spectacular views as far as the Großglockner, Austria's highest mountain. On Friday and Saturday nights there are top international DJs on the decks, flown in from legendary party spots such as Miami and Ibiza.
Things are generally a Hahnenkamm Stüberl, a charming hut located just a stone's throw from the bottom of the Hahnenkamm cable car. You will find lots of locals there, including the famous Austrian singer Hansi Hinterseer.
10:30 // Up, up and away – the Kitz 3S-Bahn in Kitzbühel
Kitzbühel has been voted not once, not twice but three times in a row as the best ski resort in the world by the online platform Skiresort.de. During our visit Christine and I were lucky enough to have not only fantastic snow but also plenty of sunshine.
From the Penelstein mountain we hop on the Kitz 3-S Bahn, officially the highest cable car in Europe.
12:00 // Enjoying the sunny side of life
After plenty of carving the slopes at Hahnenkamm, Pengelstein, Jochberg and Aurach, it's time for a break.
We choose to have lunch at the Berggasthof Sonnbühel. It is one of those picture-perfect alpine lodges with plenty of natural wood both inside and out. The food is of a very high standard and beautifully prepared. Book a table in advance to avoid disappointment.
15:00 // Shopping and more in the centre of Kitzbühel
We decide to call it a day on the slopes and head into the medieval centre of town. The main pedestrianised road through the heart of Kitzbühel is a who's who of the most famous and exclusive international fashion brands. In between you will also find a boutiques selling fine local craftswork as well as stylish fine-dining restaurants. It really is like no other ski resort I have ever been to before.
As we do a little window shopping, Christine tells me that last winter she treated herself to a pair of Dale Boots. These exclusive hand-made ski boots are available from a boutique in the centre of town established by Robert Graham, a former professional mogul skier. She explains that customers are invited to come to the shop twice in order to achieve the perfect fit, which takes into account not only the shape of the foot but also things like the angle of the knee. They're not cheap, but like many other pieces of fine craftsmanship Dale Boots are an investment that will give you much pleasure for many years.
Dale Boots is an exclusive boutique selling made-to-measure ski boots.
Those looking for the perfect ski outfit to go with their new boots should head over to one of the Toni Sailer shops, which take their name from a legendary Austrian ski racer of the 1950s born and raised in Kitzbühel.
The Toni Sailer shop in the centre of town offers a range of stylish, warm and comfortable ski suits.
And when it comes to traditional fashion away from the slopes, Christine recommends a visit to Sportalm. Among the items on offer here are the famously pretty Dirndl dresses synonymous with Austria and Tirol.
Visitors to Kitzbühel keen to get their hands on a traditional Dirndl dress should head to Sportalm.
18:00 // Where to spend the night...
As the day draws to a close, my thoughts turn to a warm bed for the night. Christine recommends the Hotel Villa Licht. It may not be as glamorous and luxurious as some of the more famous places in Kitzbühel, but visitors can look forward to a genuinely warm welcome. The hotel's location close to the lifts and ski slopes make it an excellent base in winter. A quick look at some of the most popular online rating platforms confirm that the Hotel Villa Licht seems to be a real hit among those who have stayed there.
The Hotel Villa Licht offers traditional suroundings and a genuinely warm welcome.
Those in search of more modern and stylish surroundings will feel right at home at the Hotel Kitzhof. With its interior design combining modern and traditional elements, it has earned a reputation as one of the top spots in Kitzbühel for discerning visitors.
The stylish lounge at the Hotel Kitzhof fuses modern and traditional elements.