The town of Ischgl in Austria, in Tirol’s Paznaun region, has long made a name for itself as a lifestyle metropolis in the Austrian Alps.
This holiday destination is known for providing fun on and off the pistes, and hosts a number of world class events. Also Ischgl gained an incredible reputation when it comes to cuisine. The wide range of accommodation options (from modest ski lodges right through to sophisticated establishments) all serve award-winning cuisine, and ensure no-one is left standing in a queue for too long.
With 14 mountain restaurants and ski lodges in the Silvretta Arena, you can consider yourself warmly welcomed into this lovely resort.
Many of the lifts and cable cars are newly installed, and offer state of the art facilities which all converge on the Idalp plateau, and provide access to the larger Silvretta Arena ski area.
The town is also known for a lively après-ski scene and some enjoyable live concerts. The Top of the Mountain concerts hosted music stars like Elton John, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Robbie Williams and many others.
From great skiing to great entertainment and culinary delights, Ischgl has it all and that’s why I would always recommend this place for a winter ski break.
Here is Your Winter Guide to Exploring Ischgl in Austria:
Getting to Ischgl
The closest airport to get to Ischgl is Innsbruck, which is a very cozy airport in Tirol with a very exciting landing, flying in over the city and having the mountains on your left and on your right. You can get many convenient UK flight connections here. Your transfer time to Ischgl is around an hour by car.
Alternatively, you can fly to Munich airport and hire a rental car to reach the resort area (about 3 hours ride), which is what we ended up doing when we went to Ischgl.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Skiing in Ischgl: 93.800 people per hour, 238 kilometres of very well prepared pistes, 45 state-of-the-art cable cars and lifts, 1100 snow machines.
This resort offers almost unlimited fun skiing and snow-certainty from November right until the start of May.
Whether it‘s boarding or skiing, jumps in snow fun parks, or free-riding in the powder snow away from the pistes – there’s action for every type of snowsports adventurer here.
The beginner’s terrain has wide ski pistes, and you can head up to challenging steep slopes.
Also, those of you who enjoy crossing borders can just pick up your skis and head from Austria to Switzerland for some international skiing, this is a great day out.
A joint ski pass from Ischgl in Austria and the Swiss duty-free region of Samnaun connects the Silvretta-Arena – a high altitude, snow-assured winter sports paradise that has over 238 kilometres of pistes.
Ischgl Snow Park
For 2018 season, Ischgl Snowpark is undergoing a complete refurbishment. Along with new rails, boxes and obstacles by the company Schneestern, the set-up has been fine-tuned to make the fun factor even greater. While the park spans two sections as usual, in the funline there are a few surprises in store. Be sure to give it a go if you’re brave enough.
Fun Ischgl Slope Facts
– 238 kilometres pistes
– 515 hectares piste surface area
– 93,000 people – the total conveyance capacity per hour 1100 snow machines
– Longest piste: 11 km
The Silvretta Ski Passes
With the Silvretta ski pass holiday makers have access to a total of 73 facilities in the towns of Ischgl, Samnaun, Galtür, Kappl and See.
This is a great pass for winter athletes who want to experience as many ski areas as possible.
Be sure to dine in Ischgl, It’s a special experience
In the Silvretta Skiarea Ischgl you can find some of Tirol’s best pleasures, including dining and enjoying classic Tirolean cooking.
Tuck into a wonderful feast whilst enjoying a superb panorama of the scenic mountain views.
For the gourmet side of things, book a table at one of the resort’s many fine dining restaurants for a truly special experience.
Alternatively for your aprés-ski lunches, indulge yourself with speedy snacks, all the way through to refined menus, with tasty culinary treats from the region and international delights from all over the world.
Top Restaurants in Ischgl
Situated on the Pardatschgrat, Restaurant Pardorama allows you to explore delicious treats and dine in style. With wonderful views overlooking the mountains and cable car, you will love this spot to kick back and relax after a fun morning of skiing. Perfect spot for a hot chocolate and apple strudel to soak in the sunshine, and enjoy views all around in this contemporary ski lodge.
Want things to be charming and sophisticated? What about probably the most stylish ‘ski lodge’ in the Tirolean Alps, the contemporary Alpenhaus on the Idalp.
This gourmet hub – one of the highest in the Alps – can be accessed in just a few minutes from the mountain stations for the Silvretta and Fimbabahn cable cars. Inside Alpine style meets sophisticated, pure design – cowhides, wood and glass merge to create a harmonious and stylish atmosphere. The open fire in the fireplace and the wonderful mountain backdrop which you can enjoy from the panoramic windows will tempt you to stay a while longer.
On the ground floor of the restaurant the self-service area offers space for some 430 guests and has everything that a skier’s heart craves – from ‘Kaiserschmarrn’ to ‘Jagatee’ and tasty delights form the charcoal grill.
The VIP lounge is located on the first floor – with lots of privacy, sophisticated service and a refined atmosphere, this is a place for you to relax, as is the sun terrace.
In the restaurant‘s lounge the menu is pretty impressive – Carpaccio of beef, veal fillet duet and prime boiled beef, fillet of turbot, sweet trio: nougat, chocolate and apricot. Be sure to order from the incredible cheese station if you can.
The menu is perfect for those looking to take their dining experience to the next level. Best to make a reservation in advance if this sounds like your cup of tea for lunch on the mountains.
Fine dining at its best, be sure to try this gourmet experience set out at Gourmetrestaurant Stiar.
The restaurant is located in town and is famously known for its extraordinary cuisine that reaches far beyond the borders of Ischgl and even Austria.
The crossover-cuisine offers down to earth Austrian tidbits as well as modern dishes.
The essential qualities of simplicity, tastiness and clarity. Prepare yourself to go on a journey and be sure to try the classic wine paired menu to enjoy all the culinary delights this place has to offer.
This is a perfect location for an evening dining experience you will never forget, and a great way to sample the culinary delights that Ischgl has to offer.
For a local and traditional treat, be sure to try out the Wirtshaus Walserstube. Situated in an old Tirolian house (more than 400 years old) that has been passed down the family for generations, this location serves up traditional classics in a warm local setting, it’s really like going back in time.
Be sure to try the local game meat as well for the added bonus. Also make sure you have a schnapps with the owner and check out his Paznauner Bauernmuseum up stairs in the same building, there’s some interesting things in there.
Other Activities of Ischgl in Austria
Top of the Mountain Stage for Live Performances
There is something so magical about attending a music concert on top of a mountain whilst ski lifts are going over your head.
This is a really unique experience that I really enjoyed so much on my visit here, and this is something you can’t do anywhere else.
The Top of the Mountain stage brings top stars from around the world in to Ischgl to perform on a stage set aright t the top of the Silvretta ski area. The stage is lifted up by helicopter or cable car piece by piece to be built there, and get the stage ready for action.
With big names on the bill in the past such as Robbie Williams, Tina Turner and Sir Elton John, be sure to keep an eye out for who might be performing when you’re there.
All you have to do is purchase a ski pass to ensure your spot at the concert, as all the performers are funded by the locals who have a share in the cable car company and put the funding back into local projects and events – such as these live performances.
It’s great to see communities thriving like this, and enjoy fantastic live music at the top of a mountain.
Skiing in winter in Ischgl doesn’t just mean the best snow conditions, superb ski runs, winter sun, sophisticated après-ski culture and sport. This resort also provides adventure in the natural surroundings and a great atmosphere at the annual Top of the Mountain Concerts.
SkyFly – Fly on a Zip Line Through the Valley
If you want to try something other than skiing, give the SkyFly zipline a go. Fly at speeds of up to 85 km/hour into the valley from the Silvrettabahn intermediate station (1683m), and go right beneath Kitzloch bridge and the Fimbabahn.
2 cables run next to each other, which means that two people can use the zip line in parallel together. Zip lining in a snowscape location really is so much fun to do, if the conditions are OK and it’s all operational of course.
I really did feel a warm sense of Tirolian hospitality in Ischgl. They put their heart into everything they do, and you can tell that the the local community wants to stand out by doing things a bit differently.
For example, self funding state of the art ski lift facilities and hosting world class entertainment. It’s a great place to visit and support an independent, welcoming community resort.
The locals live for hospitality, and that is what makes Ischgl so warm and welcoming for visitors to the region.
I hope you found this guide useful, and I wish you a great winter holiday in Ischgl.
Travel tip shared by Dave for Travel Dudes.