Skiing and Snow Fun in Tyrol

Skiing and Snow Fun in Tyrol | Editor: Florian Lieke

Innsbruck - the ideal starting point for exploring the Tyrolean ski world. We will show you the loveliest ski areas around Innsbruck!

Skiers in a gondola at Patscherkofel

Skiing Patscherkofel: Innsbruck's home mountain

Patscherkofel, or "Kofel", is quite generally Innsbruck residents’ favourite place for an outing and thus thought of as the city’s "home mountain". It’s just south of town and can be comfortably reached by tram or bus. It was in 1928 that a gondola began whisking guests up to the Kofel’s 1,965-metre summit. And ever since the new 10-seat Patscherkofel Ropeway commenced operations in December 2017, it’s taken just under 10 minutes to go all the way to the top. Once there, the first thing you do is stand in awe of the nearby peaks that line the Wipp, Stubai, and Inn Valleys. And another source of perennial fascination is the view of the Nordkette range directly across the Inn Valley from here.


Distance from Innsbruck: a 10-minute ride

Ski lifts: new single-cable gondola, barrier-free

Combined trail length: 18 kilometres

Suitable for: families, ambitious athletes

View of the Nordkette

Skiing Nordkette: An alpine adventure playground

Nowhere else is the transition between urban space and the rugged alpine world so quick: it takes just 20 minutes on the Hungerburgbahn funicular railway to travel from Innsbruck's city centre to the Nordkette range, which is part of the high alpine Karrende group. The first cable car here, a pioneering technical achievement, was put up in 1906 and extended to Hafelekar in 1927. Today, a modern hybrid funicular - realized as a veritable artwork by star architect Zahl Hadid - takes just eight minutes to reach Innsbruck's Hungerburg district. From there, you take a gondola up to the Seegrube (1,905 metres) and then continue on another to the Hafelekar (2,300 metres).

Once arrived, you have two chair lifts to choose from. These provide access to an area that offers a wide range of winter sports highlights: from Europe's steepest ski route, the Hafelekarinne with its 70 percent grade, to the Nordkette Skylinepark, an institution among Austrian terrain parks. This is also the world's only terrain park that can boast the appellation "in-city", being accessed directly from the centre of town with no need to hit the road. A further highlight - alongside Nordkette's giant sun terrace - is Cloud 9, the Alps' largest event igloo, where Austrian and international DJs set crowds aglow at legendary après-ski parties.

View of valley and Nordkette from balcony
View of valley and Nordkette

Insider tip: The Ski Plus City Pass unites the ski area Axamer Lizum, Gelungener, Patscherkofel, Nordkette, Stubaier Gletscher, Schlick 2000, Kühtai, Bergbahnen Oberfuss and Mutteralm. Ski bus transfers are free for those staying in Innsbruck.


Distance from Innsbruck: inside the city limits

Ski lifts: one funicular and two gondolas plus two chairlifts

Combined trail length: 13 kilometres

Suitable for: freeriders, experienced skiers, snowboarders

Skiing Axamer Lizum: Innsbruck's White Roof

Much like the famous Golden Roof in historic Innsbruck, the Axamer Lizum is something of an Innsbruck landmark. Here, as well, 19 kilometres outside of town, there’s still a hint of Olympic flair wafting through the air. And on the legendary downhill and giant slalom runs on the "Hoadl", one of this ski area’s peaks, the high elevation (1,540–2,340 metres) and 100% snowmaking coverage mean that things get busy as early as November. The summit here is reached by a funicular railway built in 1975. In terms of variety, Axamer Lizum simply can’t be beat! Hit the practice area and the Snowpark one day, and the Funway, the mogul run, or the deep powder slope the next.

View of Axamer Lizum

Distance from Innsbruck: 19 kilometres

Ski lifts: 10 lifts (funicular/chair/surface)

Combined trail length: 41 kilometres

Suitable for: beginners, powder lovers, athletic skiers

Cross-country skier at Mutteralm

Skiing Mutteralm: A mountain's worth of experiences

Taking the tram directly out of town and onto the high alpine meadow – that puts a smile on the faces of young and old alike. And at this family-friendly ski area, two ski schools cater to the littlest skiers as well as senior citizens and beginners. Muttereralm, with its 16 kilometres of slopes, is one of the region’s smaller ski areas, but even so, it offers everything a winter athlete’s heart desires – even a permanent fatbike & skibob run that extends all the way down to the valley floor. The intermediate family trail to Götzens was used as an alternate slope by the 1976 Winter Olympics. It descends into the valley through four kilometres of snow-covered fairytale forests.


Distance from Innsbruck: 6 kilometres

Ski lifts: 2 gondolas, 1 chairlift, 1 surface lift, and several children’s lifts

Combined trail length: 16 kilometres

Suitable for: children, beginners, advanced skiers, ski tourers

Skiing Stubaier Gletscher: Skiing royally

Austria’s largest glacier ski area, which is just a 45-minute drive from Innsbruck, makes it possible to enjoy winter sports activities all the way into June. Since 2016, a large new gondola here has provided access to 35 different downhill slopes, most of which are rated either easy or intermediate. They start at elevations of up to 3,200 metres, which guarantees not only perfect natural snow conditions but also fascinating high alpine scenery as a backdrop. The grandiose views range from the Zillertal and Stubai Alps to the Dolomites and the Limestone Alps. One can marvel at over 109 peaks that stand at 3,000 metres or taller from the summit platform "Top of Tyrol".

View of the Stubaier Gletscher
View of the mountains at Stubaier Gletscher

Standing on this construction, which extends nine metres beyond the cliff ’s edge, one virtually floats above the abyss – so the fact that it’s been used for things like a 2019 Bollywood film shoot is anything but surprising. Further standouts here include the giant slalom course on the Eisjochferner, the speed measurement run on the Daunferner, and the Big Family, Children’s, and Youth Ski Camp with four magic carpet lifts and fun runs for up-and-coming young skiers


Distance from Innsbruck: 45 minutes’ drive

Ski lifts: 26 gondolas and lifts

Combined trail length: 110 kilometres

Suitable for: all levels and ages

Skiing Arlberg: The cradle of alpine skiing

In this place, where latter-day celebs and crowned heads have themselves hoisted upward by over 100 chairlifts and cable lifts, it was long only rough-and-ready "mountain men" who got to swing their way down the slopes here on self-carved boards after having spent hours clambering up the slopes. The history of the Arlberg began long before the era of chairlifts or gondolas. It was in St. Christoph – which remains a centre of training for ski instructors – that the Skiclub Arlberg was founded all the way back in 1901. The first skiing school then opened in St. Anton in 1921, while 1928 saw the first edition of the famed Arlberg-Kandahar-Race. The first surface lift started in Zürs in 1937.

Skiers in gondola at Arlberg
Skier on the Arlberg

And two years later, Lech had a lift, as well. Today, with four Olympic gold medallists, this Arlberg community is home to the highest density of Olympic skiing medallists anywhere in the world. The Arlberg, just one hour’s drive from Innsbruck, is the non plus ultra of winter sports.


Distance from Innsbruck: 1 hour

Ski lifts: 88 total

Combined trail length: 305 kilometres

Suitable for: all levels and ages

Discover Tyrol's most beautiful ski areas with Austrian Airlines

Already packed your ski equipment and suitcase? Then off to Innsbruck! Tyrol can be reached within a few hours from Vienna. It's best to book your flight with Austrian Airlines directly here:

Find Flights


(up to 11 years)

(without seat up to 24 months)

Other Interesting Posts

  1. Discover the Best Film Locations in Austria

    Charming Austria
  2. Weekend Trip to Tyrol - Tips & Highlights

    Charming Austria
  3. Silent Night! Holy Night! - the History of its Origins

    Charming Austria
  4. Carnival in Austria

    Charming Austria