Kitzbühel is one of the "classic" ski resorts in Austria with tradition to spare. The renowned Hahnenkamm race, the famed ski schools and the historic pedestrianised town centre all exert their own unique pull.
A vacation bolthole for the chic media 'luvvies' of Munich, Kitzbühel is equally attractive to those on a budget - and the accommodation ranges from five-star luxury to small family hotels.
Last updated: 07.10.21
Location: 6370 Kitzbühel - Tyrol - Austria
Originally a mining town, the advent of mountain tourism was embraced with enthusiasm and 'Kitz' now revels in its reputation as a resort concentrating on the glitterati.
In the summer, the resort concentrates on tennis and the international stars it can attract to its yearly tournament. But in the winter, time is given over to one thing and that is skiing.
The World Cup downhill ski racing on the Streif piste is the equivalent of the Grand National horse race in the UK or the Indianapolis 500 in the USA, with thousands of visitors attracted to the event and live TV covering the race and all the personalities and stories surrounding it.
Individuals who have distinguished themselves in winter sports even get their own name on a dedicated Hahnenkamm gondola cabin!
The town is busy and larger than many ski resorts, with the result that lifts may not be particularly central or convenient. However, the scope of the skiing in the Kitzbuhel ski area at the top of them is outstanding and has been improved tremendously in the last few years with the building of new ski lifts, such as the 3S gondola and other lifts. Kitzbühel takes its challenge for the title of 'best Austrian ski resort' seriously.
The introduction of the formal connection to Westendorf from the edge of the ski area adds another reason for any keen advanced skier to add the resort to their must-visit list of Austria ski destinations. In the other direction skiers can head over to Pass Thurn and the high slopes which are popular early and late in the winter.
There is also a smaller ski area on the other side of the valley on the flanks of the Kitzbüheler Horn mountain.
Skiers looking for a quieter smaller village atmosphere should not forget the nearby resort of Kirchberg, which has tremendous access to some of the best skiing in the area and is uniquely placed to take advantage of the connections to the Wilder Kaiser area.
Read more about the ski slopes on our skiing page.
The resort is situated in the Kitzbühel Alps, about halfway between the state capitals of the Tyrol (Innsbruck) and Salzburg and thus fairly centrally located for the three main airports generally used by visitors, although transport to the resort ends up being on local roads or via a regional train line.
Find out more about getting to the resort on our travel information page.
This is a worldly town with a long history of tourism, which means it is infinitely more capable of dealing with the varied demands of visitors from around the world than a small village high in the mountains.
The resort can offer five-star hotel complexes which cater to ski tourism from just about any country, through to apartments and rooms in bed and breakfast pensions where the owner will be on first-name terms with her guests. It is one of the few resorts in Austria where the British ski holiday companies have traditionally offered their unique brand of ski chalet breaks and, as ever in Austria, there is a wide choice of self-catering apartments.
Those looking to plan their own independent Kitzbuhel ski holidays can check availability for specific dates on our accommodation page.
Those looking for somewhere a little smaller might prefer the neighbouring village of Kirchberg.
A mountain restaurant above Kitzbühel