Ischgl - Our all time favorite
Ischgl is often called the Ibiza of the Alps. Think of a cozy city center, plenty of restaurants, well prepared slopes and a vibrant apres ski. Since 2012 on, there was not a single year we didn’t visit Ischgl at least once. Well… seems that 2020, the year of Corona, will make us break this tradition.
Ischgl is famous for it’s apres ski parties with all kinds of bars. We still discover new bars every time we get here. The bars vary from easy going with local till parties at night.
A legend among the apres ski bars in Ischgl. It’s located directly at the slopes and as of 4 PM you have some girls (Dirndls) dancing at the bar. They change every 5 to 10 minutes and they earn some money by that. People put some bills between their garter. Mostly male audience and they play dance music which varies from day to day. Sometimes we like the music, sometimes we don’t. There is a bartender who makes somersault behind the bar or lightens a tray with Zippo gasoline and a lighter. It is mostly very crowded. As our default hotel is at this side of the village and we all stop at different hours with skiing, this if often the place where we gather before starting the party.
A die hard apres ski bar where they only play real apres ski music, mostly German. The DJ is the same for years and always succeeds in bringing a lot of ambiance. The bar is very big and you even have a smaller bar down stairs. When you would arrive and you don’t see that much people, make sure you go “deep” enough in this bar, as the party is often started in the middle of the bar.
We had some great parties here and sometimes bought Gin by the bottle, but last few years the prices has drastically increased. Some years ago we had Gin bottle including tonic for 135 euro, but nowadays a bottle only costs up to 140 euro. Knowing you get a “normal” bottle of Bombay it’s way overpriced. We also got the impression that it’s less crowded, but nevertheless, we had some unforgettable evenings in this place. Mostly German apres ski music with a DJ standing on the first floor who’s bringing a lot of ambiance.
Located close to the Pardatschgrat elevator you can find Freeride. A relatively new bar which also has female dancers as from 16:00. It is way less crowded compared to Schatzi’s Bar, but the bar attracts more and more people year over year. With 6 € for a 0.4 liter glass of beer the place is rather expensive. The music has a broad range and is quite good.
We have very mixed feelings with this ski bar. Sometimes it’s a real party, and sometimes there is just nobody. Years ago, when Niki was still alive it was often een big party, but recently, we don’t really go here. It used to be a vibrant spot with mostly German Schlager music. But as said, it really depends on the evening. This place will always stay very special, because here the idea was born for the bachelor party of our friend when we went to Riga back in 2012. Niki was making his own songs and video clips and one of them was of Niki as an Sheikh who had bodyguards and was moving around Dubai with a limousine.
A very trendy looking bar, but we have never seen a real party over there. There is nearly no crowd and there is no apres ski atmosphere. The last few years we even didn’t go check it out. Maybe we check at the wrong moments.
We did not yet visit this bar that often, as mostly it only starts later and we are in other bars. However, the bar has a nice interior and music was good. They have plenty of bottles of champagne to chose from, however, you can drink other drinks without a hassle. You are not obliged to drink champagne. The bar looks very nice in the dark, with all the little lights.
Easy going pub where there is no loud music or dancing. Here we sometimes go to have a beer in more quiet environment. They have a huge selection of Belgian beers which are still affordable priced for the location. They have also local and other foreign beers. It took us years before we entered this bar, but now we frequently visit it if we are in the mood. You can predict that up front
When we go in December this a more a quiet bar with an older audience. For this reasons we don’t visit it that often, but in the season, you can party here as well.
There is a very high snow guarantee in Ischgl and as we always go outside the holiday periods, the crowds are not that big. Often we don’t have to wait at the lifts, or if we have to, it’s limited to maybe 3-4 rows of people in front of us. The slopes are each day perfectly prepared.
- 1: Piste to the valley which splits several times. Make sure you prepare yourself to end up in the right part of the city, or you might need to walk the entire village with your skis on boots. Unless you just take the lift once again. There are plenty of steeper parts and especially the steep part ending at the Schatzi bar might be tricky at the end of the day. If you are a beginner, you might want to take the lift going down.
- 2: slope from Idalp to go the other side of the area. Often in bad shape and the steep part often has buckles. The trick is to go completely to the right of the slope, and then it’s easier and in better shape. Make sure you have speed enough at the end to reach the lift without having to walk or struggle.
- 2b: A bit hidden to find it, and not that long. Never crowded as most people overlook the slope. When you go down behind Ide Alp buildings on slope 1, you almost immediate have the slope on your left side. This also means it’s still well prepared even late in the afternoon. When we want a more easy slope, we often take this in between. You can then take the lift and come back on the 8 or the baby piste, which are also always good till end of the day.
- 7: Cool red slope which starts from 2 different locations. The start at the Pardorama is easier because it bypasses the steep part from the start at elevator B1. In December, when we go, the second part (7a) is mostly closed. This part is rather hard because there are longer steeper parts and it keeps you going. So in December you probably will have to take the oldest elevator of the area (F1) which bring you back up,
- 14a/b/c: The steepest slope in the area which goes up 70%. It took a long time before we dare to take this slope. By stating the percentage so explicitly it somewhat hold us back. We took it on a nice day with good snow conditions and in fact the slope is like any other steep black slope. Off course there are longer steeper parts, but all experienced skiers will survive 🙂
- 20/21: Black slopes which look steep depending from the angle you look at them. We will always remember these as when you want to start the slope, you don’t see it, so you gently go deeper and deeper, till you see the slope. Once you see the slope, you are to far down to return. They are steep, but very wide and always in good condition. You can end them with a flat part, so even if you are a beginner and loose a bit the control, you can normally safely quickly stop on the flat part. These were one of our first black slopes ever. We like them.
- 23: This is traditionally one of our first slopes of our trip as we try to do some blue slopes when we arrive. Typically we arrive at Pardorama, go down on blue slope 6, following on 2 and taking the lift to slope 23. After this we are well warmed up to start our day.
- 34/35: Nice black slopes which are normally not that crowded. For some reason it took us some years before we started to take these slopes, but we really enjoy them.
- 38: Horrible slope which starts with a very small and steep part, luckily not that long. This slope is often very icy and has a lot of skew parts. Some of our friends love this slope, and other don’t love it. It’s far from my favorite, but mostly we end up on it every year. You can leave the slope by continuing on the black slope, which it crosses.
- 40: Very long red slope which get hard if you don’t stop a single time. There is somewhere shortly after the start a very technical short turn and often it’s not in good shape, but don’t be too scared, normally everyone manages to take it without accidents. I think this is one of the longest slopes in the area.
- 42: Rather new and only open since the new Piz Val Gronda (E5) elevator was opened. The slope 42 is often closed, but the ski route 42 is mostly open. That is an unprepared slope, but that should not hold you back. The red slope is not too steep but make sure you have enough speed at the end to overcome the gentle uphill and flat ending.
- 60: Awesome blue slope where you can keep going and take quite some speed and nice turns. Only annoying part is that you end in a small village where you have to take the bus to the big Twinliner or its neighbor. We take this slope for lunch and eat in the restaurant at the end of the slope. Then we can easily time well to get a bus without too much waiting.
- 80: In the beginning rather technical but real fun but it end with 2 km flat where you have to do cross-country. We don’t enjoy this, so we only take this slope once per 3-4 years.
Located in the main street just outside the city center. A very decent hotel with very good breakfast. They prepare the eggs fresh how you request them.
Located above the square of Silvretta bahn. However, you have to make a little detour to take the small street going up. Very good hotel with a great breakfast.
Located at the opposite side of the village compare to the hotels above. It’s close to Schatzi bar and Pardatschgratbahn. Friendly host, good rooms and modest breakfast buffet.
Ski Closing: Top of the Mountain Concert
In 2016 we went to the famous closing event in Ischgl, known as the top op the mountain concert. It is a concert on an altitude of 2300 meter. Over the past years they hosted a wide range of famous artists from Tina Turner, Robbie Williams, Elton John, P!nk and many more. During our edition back in 2016 we saw a concert of Muse. As newbies we thought we could not bring drinks to the concert but when looking around all people had their own drinks with them. And the best thing is you don’t have to worry to keep them cold. Some people even make little bars with ski poles and snowboards. They bring snacks and have a great time awaiting the start of the concert. But even if you didn’t bring your own drinks, you can easily order them over there.
After the concert people go back down to the village and continue to party till late hours.
Make sure you go visit the Schatzi Bar as there is a big party in front of the bar and with good weather the the dancing girls are outside on stages. Nice atmosphere when we were there.
The squares at the Kuhstall and Trofana Alm are also very crowded but there are drink stalls where you can easily get drinks.