Ischgl: Home to liveliest apres-ski bars in the Alps

With about 238 km of groomed pistes, fun après sessions in the mountain huts and the village nightlife, and a sophisticated lift system, Austria’s Ischgl is considered internationally considered the country’s second most significant resort next to St. Anton. The two ski centers are only 45km apart and were established along parallel lines during the early 20th century. However, St. Anton gain international fame while Ischgl remained largely the private haunt of ski-tourers.

Ischgl ski resort is situated in the Silvretta mountains of western Tyrol. It has carved a good name for excellent skiing and snowboarding besides a host to prestigious events with celebrities. The resort is also interlinked by piste with Samnaun ski resort in Switzerland, creating a vast and diverse ski area of over 239km of trails and 45 ski lifts.

Come along and visit the resort and enjoy fun-filled nights of music, drink, and dancing. Despite its transformation into a tourism spot, the sophisticated look, its modern and colorful nightlife, the resort was once an old farming village.

The resort now is home to world-class entertainment destinations, smart hotels, cavernous spas, and some of the liveliest apres-ski bars in the Alps.  It also has an airport-style pedestrian walkway, cut through the crag around which the town was built, allows easy access to pistes, shops, and restaurants – regardless of where you choose to stay.

The resort’s name further gained an international reputation for an excellent ski destination because of its Top of the Mountain Festival that opens and closes the ski season.

A concert stage

International singers like, and entertainers like Elton John, Bob Dylan, Tina Turner, Sting, Bon Jovi, Deep Purple, Diana Ross, Mariah Carey, Kylie Minogue, The Scissor Sisters, The Killers, Muse, James Blunt, and Robbie Williams have performed concerts at this resort.

Recently, the focus has switched to the European stars from British and American, and the popularity of the concerts escalated. Zucchero, an Italian star, closed the 2016-7 season with 18,200 crowds.

Although the neighboring resorts have tried to replicate this way of attracting visitors to boost ticket sales in the low season, nowhere does it better than Ischgl, which has created a worldwide brand that it now fervently guards.

Skiing and Snowboarding Terrain

Switzerland’s Samnaun complements Ischgl. The resort has the colder north-facing, more adventurous terrain, while Samnaun has sun-drenched south-facing terrain where beginner and intermediate cruisers can enjoy.

The Ischgl’s 1500m+ skiable vertical is seemingly intimidating to some, but the reality is many of the piste trails are relatively easy-going and accessible to most skiers.

If you are a beginner or novice in skiing, Idalp is the perfect hub for you, with an excellent series of snow parks complete with ski-thru punching bags! Palinkopf will thrill the adventurous of its long & challenging descents off the 2864m (the second highest peak within the resort) and the more remote Piz Val Gronda.

Lift System

  • Number of ski lifts: 41
  • Total capacity: 90733 Passengers/hour
  • Total lift length: 59.6 km Total

Ischgl has a great freeride terrain, an esteemed quad chair that is an endangered resort. Silvretta Pass is the main lift ticket in the region. This pass includes unfettered access to all the combined ski lifts (73) and trails (365km) of Galtuer, Ischgl-Samnaun, Kappl, and See resorts.

The resort’s chairlifts are the most comfortable, as they have weather-protection covers and some have heated seats. Visitors and skiers are transported from the valley to the resort via the efficient gondola lifts and cable cars transport.

Ischgl Accommodation

Lodging is the last thing you need to worry about when visiting Ischgl. It comprises a wide variety of accommodation on the mountain area, in town, ski-in or ski-out, and anywhere else in the valley.

The prices vary based on the lodging place’s proximity to the main ski lift bases. The entire village is so splendidly connected to lifts and trails, so any point in town will be good. There are also multiple parking garages, underground tunnel links, and walkways; getting to the three main access lifts is easy.

Visiting the ski resort during peak season might cause some hotels of your choice to be booked out, but the good thing is that you can try any of the villages up and down the valley like Galtür (& Wirl), Kappl & See. They have their own excellent ski resort with regular ski-bus connections to Ischgl. The buses from Galtuer to Ischgl are less crowded than those coming up the valley from Kappl & See.