Let’s be honest, skiing is more about the partying than the pistes. There is nothing better after a day on the slopes than a few drinks and a boogie to loosen up those legs. Young people from across Europe flock to the twin resorts of St Anton and Ischgl in Austria for this very reason. Nowhere else in the Alps can you find such a vibrant après scene where skiers count down the hours until 3pm when the bars open and the dance floors beckon.
Boasting 305km of pistes, a fast and efficient lift system and a great selection of chalets, hotels and restaurants in its bustling town centre, St Anton has got all your ski needs covered. Known as the home of the après ski, groups return to this resort year after year to hit its famous bars and make new memories. Of the six ski bars located on the mountain, two of the most fabled are The Mooserwirt and Krazy Kanguruh.
The Mooserwirt – most popular of St Anton’s ski bars – is an institution of Austrian slope culture. The bar offers more beer than you could shake a ski pole at and when the shutters close and the lights snap on at 3pm, the party really starts going. Expect skiers on tables, blaring music and blinding headaches the next day.
A bit higher up than other ski bars in the area, Krazy Kanguruh has some serious ski pedigree. Founded in 1974 by ex-Swedish ski racer Gunnar Munthe and now owned by local racer Mario Matt, this bar is run by skiers for skiers. The fun starts at 3pm with most revellers taking to the large sun terrace to sing, dance and spill beer all over themselves and their friends.
Ischgl is a party island up in the mountains, known more for its music scene than for its skiing. The over 238km of pistes are ample for budding skiers but are used by many as an opportunity to nurse weary eyes as a warm up to the main event: the après scene.
Getting up to no good is a way of life in Ischgl with 2 bars, the Trofana Alm and Schatzi, particularly popular places to do so. These bars, like most of the après scene, are located in the town rather than on the mountainside so it’s easier to stagger home after a few too many.
Trofana Alm is the most popular après ski in Ischgl. The key to a good boogie at this huge bar is to get in at 4pm sharp and find a place at the bar before it gets too busy. Accompanying the revellers are live DJ’s playing the hottest Europop bangers as well a huge selection of beers and spirits to lighten the step.
Ischgl meets Ayia Napa at Schatzi. Entry is age 20+ for a reason as visitors will discover from 4pm. Dressed in dirndl dresses and dancing on the bar, the dancing girls arrive at 4 and get everyone in the mood for a party. With ice cold beers in your hand and like-minded party goers by your side, truly anything can happen at Schatzi.
Top of the Mountain Festival
As well as bars and clubs, Ischgl is also host to the best music festival in the Alps. At 2320m up, Top of the Mountain has been headlined by the likes of Katy Perry and the Killers and has attracted tens of thousands of people to Ischgl every ski season. Held 3 times a year, at the start of the season, Easter, and the end of April, the festival is free with a ski pass so it’s definitely worth visiting when it’s on.
Where to Stay
Hotel Garni Passeire – Sitting only 400 yards from the ski lifts and a couple of minutes’ walk from the bars and restaurants of Ischgl, Hotel Garni Passeire is in a great position. The breakfasts here are to die for with cheese, juice and a selection of meats and freshly baked breads, guaranteed to soothe delicate heads. All the rooms here are also very spacious and modern and have flat screen TVs and free WiFi as standard.
Hotel Arnika – Hotel Arnika sits in the centre of Ischgl. The friendly staff at this family-run hotel are known to keep guests amply supplied with food and drinks throughout their stay. The steam bath and infrared sauna will help you sweat out last night’s alcohol, or, if you prefer to start early, the hotel has a cute garden terrace with drinks served at the bar.
How to Get to St Anton and Ischgl
Ischgl is within easy driving distance of 5 airports, all of which are less than 300km away from the resort. Of these, Zurich and Munich Airport are popular choices for UK travellers with more regular flights and typically cheaper fares. Direct flights from London to both airports are not too long, taking just under 2 hours.
Once on the tarmac at your chosen airport, the cheapest and most efficient way of getting to the party is by an airport transfer. Shuttle Direct have provided transfer services to Ischgl for many years and are the most reliable way to get from the airport to the action.
About Shuttle Direct
Shuttle Direct provides low-cost, reliable airport transfers for customers in Europe and North Africa. With Shuttle Direct you agree a fixed fee before setting out, so you keep all your spending money for the important stuff. If you are bringing you own ski gear, let them know before hand and they will take it along too, and for free.