Austria is renowned worldwide for its picturesque Alpine scenery and top-notch skiing facilities, making it one of the most popular winter sports destinations in Europe. From beginners to experts, the country has something to offer for every skiing enthusiast. In this ultimate guide to skiing in Austria, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to plan your perfect ski vacation in this beautiful country.

Best time to ski in Austria

The ski season in Austria usually begins in early December and runs until late April, depending on the region and altitude. The best time to ski in Austria is between mid-January and late February, when the snow cover is at its thickest and the weather conditions are most favorable. However, this period is also the most crowded and expensive, so if you’re looking for a quieter and more budget-friendly ski vacation, consider traveling in early December or late March.

Ski resorts in Austria

Austria boasts more than 400 ski resorts, ranging from small, family-friendly destinations to large, internationally renowned ski areas. Some of the most popular ski resorts in Austria include:

  • St. Anton am Arlberg: one of the largest ski resorts in Austria, with over 300 km of slopes and a vibrant après-ski scene.
  • Kitzbühel: a picturesque medieval town with a charming atmosphere and over 180 km of slopes.
  • Ischgl: a high-altitude ski resort known for its extensive off-piste skiing opportunities and lively nightlife.
  • Saalbach-Hinterglemm: a large ski area with over 270 km of slopes and a wide range of activities for non-skiers.
  • Zell am See-Kaprun: a scenic ski resort with over 130 km of slopes and stunning views of Lake Zell.

Skiing for beginners

If you’re new to skiing, Austria has plenty of beginner-friendly ski resorts and slopes to choose from. Look for resorts with dedicated beginner areas and easy slopes, such as Ellmau, Obergurgl, and Gerlos. Most ski resorts also offer ski lessons and equipment rental, so you can learn the basics and get comfortable on the slopes in no time.

Skiing for advanced skiers

For more experienced skiers, Austria offers a wide range of challenging slopes and off-piste skiing opportunities. Some of the most famous ski runs in Austria include the Streif in Kitzbühel, the Harakiri in Mayrhofen, and the Schindlergrat in St. Anton. However, it’s important to note that skiing off-piste can be dangerous and should only be attempted with proper equipment and training.

Après-ski in Austria

No ski vacation in Austria is complete without experiencing the vibrant après-ski scene. From cozy mountain huts to lively bars and clubs, Austrian ski resorts offer a wide range of après-ski activities for every taste. Some of the most popular après-ski destinations include the MooserWirt and Krazy Kanguruh in St. Anton, the Ice Bar in Ischgl, and the Hinterhag Alm in Saalbach.

Skiing with kids

Austria is an excellent destination for a family ski vacation, with many resorts offering kid-friendly slopes, ski schools, and child care facilities. Some of the most family-friendly ski resorts in Austria include Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis, Alpbach, and Bad Kleinkirchheim. Many resorts also offer non-ski activities for children, such as tobogganing, ice-skating, and snowshoeing.

Ski Areas in Austria Austria is home to some of the world’s best ski areas, including:

Arlberg: Arlberg ski area is located in Tyrol and Vorarlberg, and it has 305 km of ski runs, making it one of the largest ski areas in Austria. It’s also the birthplace of modern skiing.

SkiWelt: SkiWelt is one of Austria’s largest ski areas, with 280 km of ski runs. It’s located in the Tyrol region and has over 90 lifts.

Kitzbühel: Kitzbühel is a popular ski area located in Tyrol, known for its challenging ski runs and the famous Hahnenkamm downhill race.

Zillertal: Zillertal is a large ski area located in Tyrol, with over 500 km of ski runs across four resorts.

Sölden: Sölden is a popular ski area located in Tyrol, known for its extensive glacier skiing and challenging ski runs.

Skiing in Austria Tips If you’re planning a skiing trip to Austria, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Book early: Austria is a popular skiing destination, so it’s best to book your accommodations and lift passes early to avoid disappointment.

Check the weather: The weather in the Alps can be unpredictable, so be sure to check the weather forecast before you go skiing.

Dress appropriately: Make sure you dress appropriately for the weather conditions, including wearing warm, waterproof clothing, gloves, and goggles.

Take ski lessons: Even if you’re an experienced skier, it’s always a good idea to take ski lessons in Austria. Not only can you improve your technique, but you’ll also learn about the local ski culture.

Apres-ski: Don’t forget to enjoy the apres-ski culture in Austria. Many ski resorts offer bars, restaurants, and entertainment after a long day on the slopes.

Conclusion Austria is a fantastic destination for skiing enthusiasts, with its vast ski areas, stunning alpine scenery, and rich ski culture. From the world-famous resorts of St. Anton and Kitzbühel to lesser-known gems like Saalbach-Hinterglemm and SkiWelt, there’s something for everyone in Austria’s ski areas. So grab your skis, pack your bags, and head to Austria for an unforgettable skiing adventure.


  1. What is the best time to go skiing in Austria? The best time to go skiing in Austria is typically from December to April, when the snow is at its best.
  2. How much does it cost to ski in Austria? The cost of skiing in Austria can vary depending on the resort, but lift passes typically range from €50-60 per day.
  3. Is it necessary to take ski lessons in Austria? While it’s not necessary to take ski lessons in Austria, it’s highly recommended, especially if you’re new to skiing or unfamiliar with the local ski culture.
  4. What should I pack for a skiing trip to Austria? You should pack warm, waterproof clothing, gloves, goggles, and appropriate ski gear.
  5. Is apres-ski culture popular in Austria? Yes, apres-ski culture is an essential part of skiing in Austria, with many resorts offering bars, restaurants, and entertainment after a long day on the slopes.