Lech am Arlberg might be one of Austria's top ski resorts but it is far from the easiest to get to without transport arranged in advance.
Find out the most convenient way of getting to Lech with this information about the nearest airports and the best methods of getting to the Arlberg region.
Last updated: 21.04.20
The favourite airports for Lech skiing holidays are - unsurprisingly - Innsbruck and Zurich, with the former concentrating on ski charter flights and the latter on the scheduled market.
Friedrichshafen offers the budget option and a relatively close connection, while Munich and Salzburg both have involved and lengthy transfers.
Distances from Lech am Arlberg
Distance to Innsbruck Airport: 120km
Distance to Friedrichshafen Airport: 128km
Distance to Zurich Airport: 196km
Distance to Munich Airport: 248km
Distance to Salzburg Airport: 294km
Innsbruck Airport is the closest and most convenient for Lech. Innsbruck has long been known as a popular destination for ski charter flights - especially from the northern European countries - but now the introduction of new lower-fare scheduled flights from major destinations like London has made it into a real option for those flying from further afield.
Car drivers arriving on the main motorway routes from the north, east and south will also make their way towards Innsbruck on the motorway.
Coming from Innsbruck drivers should follow the main Inn valley motorway up to where the road splits for Ischgl or St Anton. The route through to St Anton is much easier now with the tunnels bypassing the small villages along the way but in bad snow conditions the route through St Anton and St Christoph and over the Arlberg and Flexen passes can be tricky (or even closed).
Driving time between Innsbruck and Lech am Arlberg should be under two hours in good conditions.
The easiest rail route from Innsbruck to Lech am Arlberg is to take the frequent service to St Anton am Arlberg and then use the public bus or a taxi onwards to Lech.
Zurich Airport is a popular airport for those arriving via scheduled flights. If a transfer hasn't been arranged, the Arlberg Express bus company runs an airport transfer bus service to Lech or Zürs. The service is more frequent at weekends, but there is also a single daily bus from the airport.
The rail connections from Zurich can be used to reach Langen am Arlberg followed by a bus or taxi.
Those driving will probably take the route from Zurich via St Gallen and then join the Austrian motorway system at Feldkirch before taking the route up towards the Arlberg pass. (The road junction to the Flexen pass and Lech is on the western side before the Arlberg pass.) Driving time is around three hours.
Friedrichshafen Airport is one of the "newer" destinations for winter charter and low-cost flights. It has transformed itself into a popular option for visitors wanting to head to the winter ski resorts of the Arlberg and is the second closest airport for a visitor to Lech.
The road route from the airport follows the northern shore of Lake Constance and then crosses onto the Austrian motorway system at Bregenz before following the same route as the one from Zurich above. Driving time should be under two hours in normal conditions.
The circuitous public transport option from Bodensee Airport would involve getting a bus or train into the town and then onward transport to Lindau and Bregenz before joining the Austrian rail system. Journey time would be around four hours with four changes!
Munich Airport is quite a trek from Lech and care should be taken when relying on computer programme routings as the most likely one to be recommended will head up the Lech valley and to a pass (at Warth) that is closed in the winter!
There are various ways to head into Austria from Munich - the easiest and most convenient is to follow the motorway south to Kufstein and then along the Inn valley to Innsbruck (and then follow the directions above from Innsbruck). This would take around four hours in decent conditions.
The quickest, however, would be to head via Memmingen and Lindau into Austria and then use the motorway to head up to the Arlberg. This should take around three and a half hours.
Alternatively, drivers who know the area might wish to head through the city and onto the motorway south to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. From Garmisch there is the option of heading into Austria via Mittenwald and Seefeld or via the Fernpass and Imst - in both cases joining up with the Inn valley motorway. Again driving time is probably three and a half hours.
Those travelling from Munich city centre as opposed to Munich airport should reduce driving times by around 30 minutes.
The most realistic way to get from Munich (airport or city) on public transport is to take the quick trains from Munich main station to Innsbruck and then a fast connection to St Anton, followed by bus or taxi. Even with the quickest of connections, travellers are probably talking about four hours to St Anton before the journey through to Lech.
Salzburg Airport is definitely the least convenient of the airports for Lech but, because of the variety of charter flights offered in the winter, it may be the only option available. A rail connection runs from the city to St Anton or Langen (and further via bus or taxi) or there is the road connection through Germany to Kufstein on the Austrian border (and then via the Inn valley motorway as described above).
Journey times are probably three and a half hours for public transport from Salzburg city centre and a similar time for those driving on the motorway route.
Nearest railway station to Lech am Arlberg: Langen am Arlberg - 15km
Langen railway station is the closest train station to Lech and is the most convenient for the airports of Zurich or Friedrichshafen. The train journey from Zurich takes around 2 hours and 20 minutes and the ride from Friedrichshafen around 20 minutes longer - however the trip from Zurich is direct and that from Friedrichshafen involves a number of changes.
At Langen a taxi can be hired or the local bus (which runs every 1 or 2 hours until around 22.00), if available.
Visitors to Lech arriving from the east can use Langen railway station or the St Anton railway station. The train journey from Innsbruck to St Anton takes around 1 hour and 20 minutes, from Munich 4-5 hours (with a couple of changes) and from Salzburg just over 3 hours, frequently with a change in Innsbruck.
St Anton, as a popular resort, probably has a wider range of taxi options to Lech, as well as a regular bus service until just before 22.00.