Planning a Kitzbühel skiing trip? I just got back from a week attempting just that, so I thought I’d share everything you need to know below!

It’s been a minute since I’ve planned a ski trip. My last one was a few days in the Catskills at Belleayre Mountain, which is a very different experience to skiing anywhere with “alps” in the name. However when I no longer had plans of moving to the Netherlands, I decided to join my friends, Sher and Silvia, in Austria for their ski trip!

Now, you should know that I am pretty much a total beginner and this is my fist time ever skiing in Europe. I only started skiing again in Korea and have been on a handful of trips. Next time I ski, I’m going to invest in some lessons so I can properly learn. But keep in mind that this ski guide is written from that point of view – definitely not someone with tons of experience!!

A Kitzbühel Skiing Guide

A Brief Overview of the Mountain

Okay, so here’s the part where I give you a rough overview of the mountains themselves. They’re known as the Kitzbühel Alps (Kitzbüheler Alpen/Kitzbühler Alpen), and they surround the town of Kitzbühel. At their peak, they go up to 8,392 ft (2,558m)!

Within this mountain range, we skied down Hahnenkamm. That’s where main gondola from the town of Kitzbühel takes you, and it goes up 5,617 ft (1,712m). If you’re a big ski fan and that name sounds familiar, it’s because it where the Hahnenkammrennen, a World Cup alpine ski race, takes place each year.

This mountain really isn’t for beginners no matter who tells you it is! If you’re not comfortable with skiing, it pretty much jumps from the bunny hill to blues, which for a new skier is more intermediate than it is beginner. (Compare to the greens at Belleayre in New York, it’s a very big jump!) If you’ve never put on skis before in your life, you absolutely want to get lessons to learn. I’ve been skiing a number of times in the last few years and I couldn’t do most of the mountain.

Buying Tickets

*Note that Kitzbühel Tourism comped me two days of tickets. I paid for the other two days myself as well as the rest of this trip*

You can buy tickets online here. It’ll save you a bit of time since you can scan your QR code at one of the kiosks instead of having to wait in line to buy one.

Unless you know you’re skiing a certain number of days in a row and the weather will cooperate, I’d just buy your ticket the night before or even the morning of. As you can see from the price per day breakdown below, it’s not that drastically different until you get to 4 days and on. I bought a 2-day pass and then it rained and snowed heavily the next day, so I wound up wasting 71,5€!

Lift Option (Based on Adults)PricePrice Per Day
Seasonal Pass667,50€x
1 Day72€72€
2 Days143€71,5€
3 Days211€70,33€
4 Days266€66,5€
14 Days593€42,36€
*On the site you can plug in Days 5-13 too, I just figured that’d be a long chart here!

Opening Hours

Slopes open either 9:00 AM or 8:00 AM depending on the month and close at 5:00 PM. When we arrived towards the end of February, they had just bumped it up to 8:00 AM.

Where to Rent

One thing I really liked about our rental options in Kitzbühel is that they had lockers to store things overnight. No lugging your skis and poles back and forth, hurrah!

As for where to rent, we rented from Intersport. It’s literally connected to the main gondola, so it’s literally right there. As someone who likes to limit how much she has to walk in ski boots, this was absolutely perfect!

OptionPrices/Day
Economy – Skis & Poles18,86€
Premium – Skis & Poles24€
Superior – Skis & Poles27€
Ski Boots10€
Helmet4,29€
Ski Jacket & Pants28,43€

If for whatever reason Intersport is filled up, I also saw Element3 nearby. They had a sign that said they had rentals and free locker space but I didn’t look to much more into it.

Also note, it doesn’t look like they offer goggle rentals. They have a shop there you can buy some at or you can bring some with you. Amazon has plenty of inexpensive options, and I got mine from Goodr a while back. Some people also wore sunglasses but just know that can be unsafe if you fall forward.

Parking Options

Since we weren’t driving, we never had to worry about parking. However, I did notice there were quite a few lots, so it looks like there’s a decent parking available. Plus, if you do drive, it’d make it easier to check out other mountains.

Check here for all the different parking lots. Some are free!

Slightly old map via Snow Forecast but gives you the idea!

Kitzbühel Ski Map

There are a few options for seeing skip map. You can download the Kitzski app if you want to track yourself and see the map on your phone. However, the paper map is a little better as it has arrows showing you which directions to go. Plus the app won’t show anything if you don’t have cell service.

Also always double check the giant billboard maps because they’ll tell you what slopes are closed and what’s open for the day!

The Lifts Explained

All lifts are labeled with a letter and a number (ie A1 or D2). Just know you can’t go down a lift so if you make your way up to, say, Pengelstein at 1938m high, you’re going to have to ski or slide down! (Speaking from experience).

The main gondola in Kitzbühel is A1 Hahnenkammbahn. Everyone has to take this to get to the beginning of skiing – even super beginners who are learning on the bunny slope! It can get crazy crowded on the weekends, so try to get there as early as possible.

When you’re coming back down, you take this same gondola unless you want to ski down. There is a blue option that goes down (20) but it was closed the whole time we were there. Sher went down 21 or 22 and said it was definitely steep and quite narrow in some places.

What to Expect on the Slopes

The Slopes Overview

In Kitzbühel, the slopes are labeled with numbers. Some also have names, but if you look at a map, they don’t appear, so it’s easier to just learn the numbers.

Kitzbühel also divides its slopes into beginner (blue), intermediate (red), and advanced (black). There are both signs for where to go and right in front of the slopes’ beginnings. However, if there are multiple levels with the same entrance, they don’t always label them all at once.

Difficulty and Beginner-Friendliness

Like I said earlier, Kitzbühel is definitely not the most beginner-friendly mountain. You’ve got the bunny hill and then every blue we tried had at least one or two sections that would make a new skier nervous. I can’t imagine being brand NEW to skiing.

The further up you go, the blues feel harder too – especially if you’re there later in the day or on a warmer day when there are a lot of bumps and ski or snowboarding marks. We were literally sliding down our asses when we made the mistake of going all the way up to Pengelstein!

If you’re newer to skiing and ready to get off the bunny hill, I recommend trying 37, 36, and 21. If you take 21, ride A6, and then ski down 36, that’s a nice loop with some challenging bits but over all doable and safe.

Aprés-ski

One of the nice things about Kitzbühel and bigger ski mountains in general is aprés ski! Scattered around the mountain are little lodges and restaurants with hot food, drinks, and, of course, plenty of alcohol.

You may want cash for some of the restaurants but also if push comes to shove, they can run your credit card, they just get huffy about it if it’s under 20€.

Also the restaurant right at the top of the A1 gondola requires a reservation during busier periods.

Kitzbühel Travel Guide

Kitzbühel skiing

How to Get to Kitzbühel

For those taking public transport, know there are three different train station in Kitzbühel. You’ve got Kitzbühel Hahnenkamm right outside the A1 gondola and Intersports rental and regular Kitzbühel is about half a mile away. Then there’s Kitzbühel Schwarzsee Bahnhof which is further out.

Just check where you’re staying before you figure out the train station to get off at. Always makes it a littler easier with lugging luggage around.

Now to get to Kitzbühel or one of these train stations from where you’ve flown into is a different story. There are three airports you can use, so I’ll lay out the route options below. Note that I booked my stuff on Omio but I believe this is the main site you can book on.

Innsbruck Airport – 95km from Kitzbühel

With the right planning, Innsbruck is actually the most direct via public transport. All you have to do is go from Innsbruck Flughafen (Airport) – Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof – Kitzbühel. And if you miss the first connection, it’s a short Uber ride to Hauptbahnhof.

There are some other routes that take longer but this seems the most foolproof. Just play around with times on the ticketing site before you book your flight.

Salzburg Airport – 80km from Kitzbühel

Despite being the closest airport to Kitzbühel, Salzburg is actually really inconvenient via public transport. I’d only fly into here if you’re planning on getting a private transfer. Otherwise you’ll be spending as much time on trains with the same amount if not more transfers than Munich which is almost twice as far!

Munich Airport – 150km from Kitzbühel

This is where I flew in and out of. On the way back it was perfectly smooth and took us between 2 1/2 to 3 hours with 3 train transfers (Munich Airport – Munich Öst – Wörgl – Kitzbühel).

However with so many transfers, you run the risk of one of the trains being stalled and it seriously messing up the rest of your route. This happened to us on the way into Kitzbühel. Our Airport to Munich Öst train got held up because of police activity so we had to take a 150€ Uber an hour away to try and catch the train going to Wörgl.

(If you have more than 3 people in your group, this private transfer might honestly be worth paying a little more to use – with 7 people the price comes down to 56€/head)

Bonus: For anyone who has to stay overnight in Munich, I stayed at the Hilton Munich Airport Hotel. Honestly worth the price since I was getting in super late and had to be at the airport at 4:00 AM. It’s literally a two minute walk from the entrance to Terminal 2 and maybe a 10-15 min walk to Terminal 1.

Where to Stay in Kitzbühel

We stayed in the actual town of Kitzbühel so that we could walk everywhere and to the ski lifts easily. By the time we booked, we only had ERIKA Boutique Hotel left. It actually worked out nicely because they serve gourmet breakfast and dinner every day which made thinking about what to eat each day easy. The meals are big enough that I was fine with a Luna bar midday to tide me over instead of stopping for lunch.

Plus ERIKA has a small gym, two pools, and a sauna and cold plunge – perfect for after the slopes. Location-wise, it’s about a 10-15 minute walk to the gondola and you’ll walk through the colorful downtown to get there!

Here are all the other hotels I looked at as well:

Hotel NameDetailsPrices
ERIKA Boutique Hotel $$$$10 mins from main lift, breakfast and dinner includedView Here
Hotel Goldener Greif $$4 mins from main lift, breakfast includedView Here
Eggerwirt Kitzbühel, Hotel & Restaurant $$$right near downtown, 10 mins to gondola entranceView Here
Hotel Resch $$6 min walk to gondolaView Here
Hotel Kaiserhof Kitzbühel $$$right at the gondola entrance, breakfast includedView Here
SnowBunnys BackPackers Hostel $6 mins on footView Here
Kitzbühel skiing

What to Do Besides Skiing

While there are things to do in and around Kitzbühel, it’s definitely a ski spot come winter. I don’t know that it’s worth coming all this way if you don’t plan on skiing at least a little. Better to come in nicer weather when you can drive around more easily or plan to be outdoors more.

However, for the day or two you might need a break, here are some fun things to do.

Shop around downtown Kitzbühel

Downtown Kitzbühel is exactly the kind of colorful, medieval-esque downtown you’d want when thinking of anywhere in Austria. I think I took a million photos just of the main street!

There are, of course, a ton of shops both luxurious and more budget-friendly, so it’s fun to do a little window shopping. I don’t know if this is an Austrian thing or just Kitzbühel but I appreciate the price tags in all the window displays so I knew if a store was going to be out of my budget without needing to go in lol.

Check out Museum Kitzbühel

For those of you that like a good museum – Kitzbühel has one! Museum Kitzbühel is a very cute 4-story museum that gives you both an overview of the town’s history and highlights the work of Alfons Walde, famous for his skiing paintings and wintry landscapes. I even picked up a print because I loved it so much!

Kitzbühel skiing

Do some snow hiking

If you prefer two feet on the ground but still want some mountain views, I did see a lot of people with hiking poles mosying their way around. When you get up the gondola lift, there’s even a side bit that’s meant for people who are walking up instead of skiing down.

For obvious reasons the only photo I have of the sauna

Embrace sauna life – in the buff

Nothing like a bit of sauna to unwind after a day of skiing! At least at our hotel, we had two dry saunas at 60C and 90C and then a little cold plunge pool right outside. Apparently if you go back and forth it’s good for your circulation.

Here’s the catch for Austrian saunas though – you’ve gotta go in the nude. And, yes, the saunas are mixed gender. If you’re shy, you can wrap one of the towels around you, but a lot of people just stripped down and laid on their towels.

And there you have it – all you need to know about Kitzbühel skiing! Hopefully if I come back I’ll be much better on the slopes and able to try some more intermediate and advanced options.

For more wintry European travel:

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