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Innsbruck - Capital of the Alps

The city of Innsbruck presides over the beautiful Tirolean region of the Alps. Its medieval centre has a spectacular mix of colourful stone buildings and cobbled passageways, and a fair few impressive sights lie within the bounds of the city: the Imperial Palace and Ambras Castle, to name just two.

But one of Innsbruck’s main draws is its surroundings. You only have to hop onto the Zaha Hadid-designed Hungerburg Funicular or climb into a cable car to rise above the city and into an alpine paradise. For half the year, Innsbruck is the winter sports capital of Europe – a title earned by its amazing ski area. The city is a great gateway to nine of Austria’s great alpine resort towns – including Kitzbuhel, St Anton and Seefeld. Fly in to Innsbruck and then make an easy journey to your cosy chalet in the Nordkette mountain range.

Innsbruck Christmas Market breaks

Ski holidays in the Austrian Tirol

Winter holidays in Innsbruck and beyond

Innsbruck
Innsbruck.

Innsbruck is charming in winter, with six Christmas markets in the town, and magical ski slopes just a free shuttle bus away. With nine extensive ski areas and guaranteed snow on its glacier, it’s no wonder the city has hosted two Winter Olympic Games. Innsbruck-Igls, just six kilometres from central Innsbruck, is a good starting point for beginners. High-altitude Kühtai, just 30 minutes west, has an even greater variety of slopes. The ski areas are well-connected so it’s perfectly easy to ski in the day and return to Innsbruck’s 800-year-old Old Town for a cosy après-ski.

Kitzbühel
Kitzbühel.

Kitzbühel is Innsbruck’s fashionable neighbour, easily reached from Innsbruck airport with a 90-minute transfer. This chic alpine town sits at the foot of the formidable Hahnenkamm mountain, the site of a thrilling annual downhill ski race. The piste map – consisting of a massive 215km of skiing and more than 50 lifts – has a lot to excite intermediate and expert skiers, but the town itself is all charm. A rather jet-set crowd frequent the town’s fashionable bars around the pedestrianised Vorderstadt. Kitzbühel even hosts snow polo – if you fancy something a little different.

St Anton
St Anton.

This upmarket village resort gets livelier every year. A lively, fun-loving crowd descend onto the town each winter, making its quaint medieval facades glow with life. The cobbled centre has a handsome onion-domed church, but even this is dwarfed by the impressive mountain range behind the buildings. St Anton has a great claim to fame: it’s considered the birthplace of modern skiing. The ski school here is well-regarded, but St Anton’s steep terrain is best for intermediate and expert skiers, and it has fewer beginner slopes than other resorts in the area.

Seefeld
Seefeld.

Just half an hour from Innsbruck by train or by car, the beautiful village of Seefeld is a popular base for a cosmopolitan crowd. There’s a pedestrianised city centre brim-full of quaint shops and bars – and Innsbruck’s flashier wares are just a short visit away. The surroundings of Seefeld are very, very pretty, making it the perfect Tirolean holiday bolthole. Visitors traditionally come to enjoy the winter sports, or just to relax and get some alpine air. There are floodlit slopes for late-shift skiers, plus excellent terrain for winter walking and cross-country skiing.

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