Known as the capital city of the Alps, Innsbruck is fairly unique as far as skiing destinations go. Unlike other famous ski resorts in the Alps, Innsbruck is no charming Alpine village – it’s a full blown, major city, offering all the facilities that one could expect, including shops, restaurants, sight-seeing and numerous other attractions besides its skiing, not to mention a major international airport and a train station with links to the rest of Europe.
And let’s not forget the actual skiing. Innsbruck is blessed with nine different ski areas, the furthest of which is no more than an hour away. Having twice hosted the Winter Olympics (1964 and 1976), Innsbruck is set to become the first city in the world to host an Olympic event for the third time, as it has been named as the host for the Winter Youth Olympics in 2012. What’s more, nine ski areas can be accessed with just one ski lift pass, which includes transport from the city to the slopes.
Perhaps one of the best things about staying in Innsbruck is that it’s pretty much guaranteed to have good snow conditions in at least one of its main ski areas. On the down side though, the most snow sure area - the Stubai Glacier at 3,200m - is pretty much jam packed when this does happen, so expect a bit of a wait for the ski lifts. Second choice Kuhtai, at 2,600m, is also pretty snow sure throughout the season so this represents a good alternative.
Most of the other areas are pretty low lying, yet the snow conditions are usually pretty decent throughout the mid-December to early-April season.
Altogether, skiers at Innsbruck have access to more than 300km of slopes, including the famous Olympic slopes of Axamer Lizum and Patscherkofel. The Seegrube slopes, known for their awesome panoramic vistas, are accessible via a cable car that goes directly from the city and are home to some of the most challenging runs in the entire area. For something easier, beginners may want to check out the slopes of Schlick 2000, Muttereralm and Rangger Kopfl.
And Much More…
Innsbruck also has great facilities for snowboarders and freestylers. The Nitro Skylinepark is just one example of the excellent terrain parks in the area, situated within sight of the city.
On the downside though, it should be mentioned that Innsbruck is an actual city, not a ski resort, and so sometimes it lacks the “feel” of a true skiing holiday. And although the entire area of more than 300km adds up to a lot of skiing, apart from the Stubai Glacier the areas are actually rather small in themselves, averaging just 35km of slopes.
Budget for one week: Over €1000 per week
Taxes and gratuity: Tipping is recommended
Official language: German
Area: 104.91 km2 (40.5 sq mi)
- Voltage: 220-240 Volts (U.S./Canada are 110-120 Volts)
- Primary Socket Type: Europlug, Schuko
- Multi-voltage appliances (laptops, etc.)
- 110-120V electronics: Plug adapter + step-down transformer
- 100V Japanese appliances: Japan to U.S. reducer transformer
Other key facts:
- Elevation – highest lift 3150m
- Total Pistes - 282km
- Total Runs – 69 Pistes
- Snowfall – 200+ in./year