True "après ski" originated in the European Alps, hence the
French name meaning after ski. Ironically, après ski in the Alps starts during
skiing, with wine, beer and schnapps at lunch at some charming mountainside
chalet, or a sun terrace or under a heated umbrella bar. The Europeans love to
party, and skiing is a lifestyle more than just a sport. Après ski in Austria, Switzerland and France is the best in the
world, continuing from the ski slopes to ski bars dancing to a DJ or
live band in ski boots.
We have been to the self-proclaimed "worst après ski bar" in the Alps, The
Moosewirt in St Anton where we witnessed
post-powder partying in the big league. The Moosewirt rocks every afternoon
from 3-8pm with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of skiers drinking shots and
steins, dancing in ski boots to the tunes of DJ Gerhardt. It's a wild winter
scene. And that's not the only crazy ski bar! Just across the ski slope is the
Krazy Kanguruh, or KK to those in the know, with more hopping après ski - owned
by world champion ski racer Mario Matt.
The best and worst aspects of these ski bars is that they are ski
in ski out. The ski in part is cool - click out of your ski bindings and drink
beer with a view of St Anton's village 200 yards down the snowy trail. But
imagine the ski out, skiing those finally 20 turns after drinking for four
hours! We enjoy our après, but like to spa and savor a gourmet dinner in a slopeview restaurant,
and still be able to find our hotel bed.
awesome high altitude bar in Austria is the panoramic
Mountaintop Star at Obergurgl - it takes
three lift rides to reach the 10,111' summit lodge, where the bartender told us,
"Sorry, we don't serve food, just drinks!" It's a long ski down after those
libation. Better is the Ice Bar at Mayrhofen, at the base of the slopes, so you
are done skiing and can move to drinking, and dancing on the tables with a
If this Austrian après ski sounds enviable, St Anton tourism officials might
disagree. They have introduced a volunteer but suggested no-ski-boots-after-8pm
policy, fed up with drunk skiers stumbling around their pretty alpine village
after dark in full ski attire. So bars must close and send the crazies home by
8pm. The hope is that the après-ski crowd will go back to their St Anton hotels,
remove their stinky ski boots and ski togs, shower, sober up, then patronize the
village's restaurants for a satiating dinner before sleep, and skiing the
amazing Alps again the next day. Italy's après ski is more civilized and stylish, Italians change
out of their ski attire into something more chic for the passagiata, seeing and
being seen over prosecco in Cortina D'Ampezzo, for
Here are our
Best Après Ski Places in Europe but we are still skiing and
drinking our way through Europe!
Top Après Ski in the Alps of Switzerland, Austria and France
The Moosewirt at St Anton
Austria - This ski bar rocks every afternoon from 3-8pm with hundreds of
happy, dancing drinking skiers and DJ Gerhardt pumping out the dance music.
Krazy Kanguruh at St Anton
Austria - owned by famed ski racer Mario Matt - this is a must stop on your
last run at St Anton for singing dancing and cavorting.
The Farinet at Verbier,
Switzerland - The Farinet jams with locals, ski guides and instructors,
particularly popular on Wednesday nights and end of the season when the
retractable roof is often open to the great outdoors.
The Casbah at Verbier,
Switzerland - opens late for late night dancing and drinking with the chic
The Tipi Bar at Wengen, Kleine Scheidegg in the Jungfrau - this
upper mountain Tipi Bar rocks from mid-afternoon on with music, beer, and
bleachers for extra seating capacity, in the shadows of the Eiger North Face. It really is a Tipi too. If you get to
tipsy at the Tipi you can take the Train, just a stumble away, back to
Ski Lodge at Engelberg,
Switzerland - the outdoor deck with views of Titlis Glacier is popular with
locals and guest alike for an après ski beer at this alpine chic hotel owned by
two amiable ski loving Swedes. The outdoor hot tub and sauna or for guests only,
so don't assume a cocktail buys you dipping rights.
The Ski Lodge Engelberg is a
cool place to stay for passionate skiers.
Cervo Hotel in Zermatt –at the base of the Sunnega slopes, this is a chic alpine
mod bar scene with two huge sun decks. Enjoy some truffle fries with your Swiss
beer to quench your après ski appetite.
Hotel Post in Zermatt has 5 bars including PINK which is hot after dark.
Ice Bar at Mayrhofen, at the base of the Penken gondola, you are done
skiing so you can move to drinking, and dancing on the tables with the Polar
Bear. This place fills in the Zillertal ski region and rocks inside and out on the
Kitzbühel on Franz Reische Street is the place to be seen après ski in this
medieval ski village. The outdoor bar gives you a view of the parade of
skiers pouring off the slopes in their finery, chic shoppers in furry boots, and
fancy cars arriving for the Hahnenkamm.
Mountain Rock at Bettmeralp at Aletsch Arena in Switzerland -
this village bar is popular with the locals and especially the ski instructors
for a ski in après ski at this car free, carefree village. No one has to drive
home, so the beer flows at this Swiss bar.
Alpfreiden Disco at the Chalet Alpfreiden at
Bettmeralp, Atesch Arena in
Switzerland - the same DJ for over 20 years packs the discothèque from 10pm to late night and plays
music and videos from oldies to today.
Murin in Corvara in the Dolomite ski
region is a rustic Chalet with ski slope access on property of the 5 star
Hotel Del La Perla. The Murin rocks inside and out on a patio with music,
dancing and drinks from 4-6 après ski. Italian don't party late since they have
to go back to their chalets and change into something more stylish for their