Kempinski Blog Article
Kitzbühel is one of Austria’s most famous skiing destinations, but there is much more to this historic mountain town than winter sports. From gourmet food to astounding landscapes, come and fall in love with the Austrian alps.
Kitzbühel’s unique position in the Austrian alps, on the banks of the river Kitzbüheler Ache, has made it a popular winter sports destination for many decades. This charming medieval town, the centre of which is almost completely pedestrianised, offers breathtaking mountain views in every direction
While skiing is the main event during the winter season, with over 170km of slopes in the local area, it is also a much-loved spot for hikers and ramblers in the summer – anyone who loves the natural world will feel right at home here.
As well as a number of world-famous skiers, Kitzbühel is known for producing the painter Alfons Walde, whose distinctive winter landscapes were inspired by his local surroundings. But you don’t have to just look at paintings – come and experience the beauty of Kitzbühel for yourself!
While Kitzbühel enjoys quite a remote and secluded location, its popularity as a ski resort means there are good transport links to and from the town. These include an international train station which has numerous daily arrivals via Austrian Railways routes – Tirol, Salzburg and Zurich are just some of the large cities serviced. You can even travel by night train if you would like to enjoy a good night’s sleep before your arrival!
The nearest urban areas with international airports are Munich in Germany, and Innsbruck and Salzburg in Austria. If you are hiring a car, it is about a two-hour drive from Munich and one hour from Innsbruck and Salzburg. The roads leading to Kitzbühel are pleasant, well-maintained mountain routes that offer plenty of opportunities to stop and take photographs.
If you would rather leave the car at home, a direct rail service is available from Innsbruck airport, and regular shuttle services operate from all three airports.
Planning a visit to Kitzbühel? Kempinski Hotel Das Tirol is just a few kilometres down the road in Jochberg and offers a perfect, luxurious base for exploring this beautiful part of Austria.
If you are travelling in via Munich, it is the perfect opportunity to stop over and experience some of the city’s best attractions, such as the magnificent Residenz palace or the charming Englischer Garten, and stay at Kempinski Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten. Alternatively, if you are travelling through Vienna, why not consider staying at Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna and exploring this elegant city en-route?
The cuisine of the Tyrol area is heavily influenced by local produce – sausage and smoked meats, mountain cheeses and delicious fruit pastries. It is simple, hearty and delicious, and you will have no problem keeping the cold out with the region’s choice of hot broths and dumplings.
Similar to the Swiss rosti, Tiroler Gröstl is Alpine food at its finest – a pan-fried egg served on top of a hash of bacon, onion and potato, sometimes with sliced beef added. It is often served for lunch but it is suitable for any time of the day.
Local variations on dumplings include Kaspressknödel (cheese dumplings, often floating in a beef broth) and Speckknödel (boiled bread dumplings), while Kasspatzln are soft egg noodles cooked with grated cheese. For dessert, try Kiachl (cranberry tart) or Moosbeernocken (blueberry pancakes) – delicious!
From perfect alpine vistas to excellent museums, Kitzbühel may be out of the way but it has no shortage of unmissable sights. Whether you are here to ski, to appreciate the scenery or a bit of both, you are guaranteed to go home satisfied.
Standing just short of 2,000m tall, this peak is a spectacular sight even from a distance. Several mountain inns offer sustenance along the way if you are climbing it on foot, but there is no need to scale it to appreciate the view from the top. There is a cable car that will take you all the way from the town centre to the summit, where you will find a chapel, a restaurant and a beautiful alpine flower garden.
Town Museum Kitzbühel
Located in a historic former granary, the Town Museum showcases Kitzbühel’s heritage as a sports destination stretching back to 1870, as well as the work of its most famous artist, Alfons Walde. Alongside this are a number of artefacts from even earlier in the town’s history, including its time as an important mining centre in the 16th and 17th centuries and many Bronze Age tools and instruments. Visit the roof terrace for an amazing view.
Located just a few kilometres out of Kitzbühel, Schwarzsee or “black lake” makes a superb destination for a gentle hike that is suitable for all. Despite the name, the lake water is actually a deep green colour due to high concentrations of natural minerals, making it perfect for a summertime swim – or, if you are visiting during the colder months, ice skating. Surrounded by woodlands and overlooked by mountains, it is also ideal for photography – or simply enjoying the setting.
The site of the annual Hahnenkamm Race since 1931, this mountain has perhaps some of the finest slopes in the area, and should not be missed by anyone who loves to ski, although beginners are best heading over to the gentler Kitzbüheler Horn. Known for its huge network of skiing runs, from the moderate to the seriously challenging and technical, Hahnenkamm is also one of the best vantage points for appreciating the beauty of the surrounding area.
An excellent example of the Gothic style, the Franciscan monastery church Franziskaner Der Immakulata has recently been completely restored following a 40-year project. It has a beautiful interior featuring many stained-glass windows and chandeliers.
The Liebfrauenkirche, with its a tall bell tower, can be seen from all over Kitzbühel and is just as breathtaking inside. Believed to date back to at least the 14th century, its decorations include an impressive ceiling fresco and gold-adorned altar.
If you have any questions about Kitzbühel or the Kempinski destinations nearby, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with our team.