Kitzbühel has been part of the Ikon Pass since 2021. Ikon Pass and Ikon Base Pass holders get seven or five day access respectively to the Kitzbühel ski area. Here are 10 reasons why you should head to Kitzbühel this season:
1. In the heart of Europe:
2. Ultra-modern lift infrastructure:
The resort possesses one of the most modern lift infrastructures in the world. There are 57 state-of-the-art gondolas and lifts servicing 145 miles of downhill runs, 119 miles of which are marked and groomed: 47 blue (66 miles), 32 red (41 miles), and 17 black (12 miles). The resort lifts are equipped with bubbles and seat heating and transport skiers and riders at record speed up the mountain, making queues minimal even at peak times.
Every year the resort is home to the famous Hahnenkamm race, the world’s most challenging downhill ski race. Roughly 100,000 people come every year to watch the spectacle live and millions tune in on TV as the world’s best alpine skiers race down one of the steepest race slopes in the world, the “Streif.” You can ski down this run, which is open to the public most days, or watch this spectacular FIS World Cup event if you happen to be there from January 16-22, 2023. The Streif starts at an elevation of 5,463 ft (1,665 m) and goes along 2 miles to the finish at 2,641 ft (805 m). The steepest part, the “Mausefalle”(or mouse trap), has a gradient of 40.4° and FIS athletes are known to hit speeds of over 75–80mph. Tickets for spectators go on sale this month.
4. Incredibly cheap skiing:
5. Strong US Dollar:
The Euro is the weakest it has been in 19 years and is currently trading around parity with the US Dollar. In other words, your money will go far and prices are easy to be compared. Also, remember, advertised prices in Europe always include the GST and tipping is not compulsory.
7. Dessert for Lunch:
Hands down my favorite thing about skiing in Austria is that it is perfectly acceptable to have all forms of dessert as your main course for lunch. I mean, what’s not to love about that? So earn some turns and then treat yourself to some delicious apple strudel with custard sauce, Germknödel (a yeast dumpling filled with plums and served with poppyseed and icing sugar sprinkle on top), Palatschinken (which is a stuffed crêpe), Salzbuger Nockerln (a sweet souffle), or Kaiserschmarrn (a pancake with raisins). The resort has over 60 mountain huts and restaurants, so you surely won’t go hungry.
Austrians have hands down perfected the art of après-ski. The scene in Kitzbühel is probably a bit more refined than in St. Anton or Sölden, but not any less fun. There are a few great bars on the bottom of the slope, like the Streifalm at the bottom of the famous Streif run or the Sonnenalm next to the Hartkaser chairlift. There are plenty more watering holes in town. The most famous spot is probably ‘The Londoner’ with live music and a party atmosphere every night.
Kitzbühel is home to several winter sports fashion brands, including the exclusive Sportalm and Frauenschuh brands. Sportalm was founded in 1953 by Willi Kruetschnigg and has grown over the years into a multi-national company with $60 million in sales. Aside from ski clothes they also sell traditional Austrian clothes (think Dirndls) and other sportswear.
10. Something for every budget:
While Kitzbühel is probably the most glamorous ski village in the Austrian Alps, lined with fancy shops and luxury hotels, you can stay for a lot less at Kirchberg, on the other side of the mountain range, with the exact same access to lifts but a more low-key atmosphere. You can find decent 4-star hotels here for as little as $150 while being in the same ski area.