Apres Ski in St Anton am Arlberg
St Anton am Arlberg offers superb skiing and vibrant après ski in a traditional village setting with a wide range of accommodation and plenty of activities for non-skiers.
St Anton am Arlberg is Austria’s most famous ski resort and among the best ski resorts worldwide. Originally a small picturesque farming village when skiing started here over one hundred years ago St. Anton has long since become a major international ski resort.
The railway line from Zurich to Vienna used to pass right through the village centre but was moved in 2000 to allow a bigger finishing area for the 2001 World Championships. An impressive new railway station was built on the Rendl side just two minutes walk from the village; the site just north of the old railway station was redeveloped to create a major new sports and leisure facility Arlberg-well.com which includes indoor and outdoor swimming pools, wellness centre and Benvenuto restaurant which is recommended.
Situated between the main ski area of Gampen, Galzig and Valluga to the north, and Rendl to the south and to the north of the main road, St Anton’s pedestrianised village extends eastwards along the valley floor for about 1km, with the main street running the length of the village. The village centre still retains an historic alpine charm but the redevelopment of the old railway area has left vacant space along parts of the former railway line which could still be put to better use.
Recent improvements have include massive investment in two landmark ski lifts, the state of the art Galzigbhan gondola was newly construced in 2006 and the new Rendelbahn gondola station was built in 2009 close to the centre of the village in place the old gondola on the outskirts of town. A number of designer boutique hotels now challenge the dominance of St Anton’s leading four-star hotels and planned development in the village includes a new luxury hotel which will be built on the site of Pangratz, Bar Platzl, Funky Chicken and the Pizzeria Pomodoro – each of these properties is being demolished to make way for the new hotel.
There are fast road and rails links so getting to St Anton by train, bus or car is easy with a variety of transfer possibilities from Zurich and Innsbruck airports.
Apres Ski Bars in St Anton
St Anton’s vibrant après ski includes the legendary Krazy Kanguruh and Mooserwirt bars on the slopes 500 meters above St Anton and many more après ski bars and restaurants in the village, but the late night offering is tame in comparison to Ischgl.
No skiing day is complete without a visit to at least one of six nearby après-ski bars located on the home run from Galzig to St. Anton. Off the mountain, the partying continues at Anton Bar, at the Underground on the Piste and in the centre of the village at Piccadilly Bar, which has live music daily. For those just wanting to relax and chill out there are many quieter bars and cafes in which to wind down after a day’s skiing. Pub 37 is a charming little bar and the sunny terrace at the Hotel Alte Poste is a popular hang-out late in the season when the weather warms up.
The Mooserwirt is St Anton’s best attended on-mountain apres ski bar and rumored to sell more beer per square metre than any other bar in Austria. The food is excellent and portions are large so it’s a popular place for lunch, but very busy in peak season, so you need to book a table. The real Mooserwirt Experience begins inside from 3pm when the “Final Countdown” starts, the shutters all close, the light show begins and the crowds pile in. The Mooserwirt is soon packed with skiers drinking and dancing on the tables, and singing along to mostly German music. The large outside terrace is jam packed by 4pm, but also great fun and a must have experience at least once during your trip. A new hotel – the Mooser – has been built next to the bar, but it’s a sophisticated designer boutique hotel, not a party hotel. Tel: +43 (0) 5446 3588.
A bit higher up and most easily reached by sking down from Gampen is The Krazy Kanguruh which is popular with seasonnaires and full of partygoers. Founded by ex Swedish ski racer Gunnar Munthe in 1974 the Krazy Kanguruh is legend for full-on apres ski with sun terrace pumping beer and party atmosphere from 3pm until after dark. The Krazy Kanguruh is now owned by local ski racer Mario Matt. Tel: +43 (0) 5446 2633. Adjoining the Krazy Kanguruh, Taps is a quieter yet still busy alternative with a good sun terrace. Tel: +43 (0) 5446 2628.
A traditional mountain restaurant and bar, just above the Mooserwirt and below the Krazy Kanguruh, Griabli has live music most days from talented rock, soul and blues band. Busy but mellow in comparison to either of its more rowdy neighbours and a popular apres ski bar from around 3:30pm each day. Tel: +43 (0) 5446 3673.
The Heustadl is one of the first bars you come to as you ski down the blue run (1) from the bottom of the Zammermossbahn chairlift. Located on the left hand side of the piste, a hundred meters or so after Sennhutte (on the right), Heustadl is a friendly bar restaurant with a large sun terrace in front and a good sound system playing mostly German music, and sometimes live music. The interior resembles an old hay loft with seating upstairs and downstairs. Tel: +43 5446 302 97
For traditional Austrian style apres ski with a predominantly German-speaking crowd try Sennhutte, a popular mountain hut with a big sun terrace and busy after skiing as well as at lunch times. Located to the right of the main piste leading from the bottom of the Zammermoosbahn chairlift to St Anton, Sennhutte is almost hidden from view, but the roof top is visible just off the main piste. DJ Didi Diesel serves up music and abundant humour even if you cannot understand German. Sennhutte. Tel: +43 (0) 5446 2048.
The Anton Bar modern apres ski bar located next to the Galzigbahn cable car. Invariably busy, with good atmosphere including skiing and snowboarding videos, DJ’s playing good music and plenty of alcohol fuelled fun. If you fancy a snack, try the Anton cafe next door which serves good food and has outside table and chairs with sheepskin rugs. Tel: +43 (0) 5446 2408
The hugely popular Undergound Bar & Restaurant in the village closed its doors for the last time in May 2004. After more than 20 years as one of St Anton’s most popular apres ski venues, it was sadly missed, but owner Joan Devey has created a similarly popular restaurant and bar, The Underground on the Piste. In a quiet location at the bottom of the home run, next to the ski museum and just a stone’s throw from the Galzig cable car station, the Underground on the Piste is more sedate and a good place to chill out and relax away from the crowd. There’s live music most days after skiing and it’s also a popular place for dinner or for after dinner drinks in an uncrowded private house party setting. Tel: +43 5446 2000.
A British-style pub underneath the Hotel Post, The Picadilly Bar has great atmosphere for apres ski and live music every day 4:00 pm, so get there early to be sure of a table and a seat. Busy again from 9:00 pm until late and conveniently next to Post Kellar disco allowing you to flit between the two. Tel: +43 (0) 5446 2213 276.
The smallest and one of the longest established bars in St Anton, Pub 37 is well worth a visit, but get there early after skiing to ensure a table or a seat at the bar. Tel: +43 (0) 5446 2965.
Restaurants & Nightlife in St Anton
With around 70 restaurants to choose from, including restaurants in more than twenty leading hotels, there are plenty of good dining options in St. Anton. For excellent food and wine in a wonderful traditional setting, book a table for dinner at The Hospiz Alm in nearby St Christoph. You will not be disappointed. And for those travelling on a tight budget there are a number of places to refuel at low cost. Hazienda is a well established stylish bar-restaurant that is popular with a smart local crowd and visitors alike. At Mexican style Bo Bo’s bar you can dance the night away, helped by shots of Tequila after a meal of Tortillas.
A walk through the village at night reveals a reasonable choice of late night bars and clubs. Bar Cuba is popular with a predominantly English 20-30 crowd.Night owls, the Piccadilly Bar features live music and the neighbouring Post Keller and the Kandahar nightclub across the main street are populatr for partying and dancing until late.
Other Activities in St Anton
St Anton is first and foremost a resort for experienced skiers and although non-skiers are welcome the choice of other activities is relatively limited and not always very apparent.
ARLBERG-well.com Leisure Centre
The new ARLBERG-well.com conference and leisure centre opened in 2002. Besides 2,000 sq m (21,520 sq ft ) of floor space suitable for all types of sporting events and concerts, it includes an excellent health centre with 3 swimming pools, sauna and steambaths, fitness studio, ice skating and curling on the front square, and the Ben Venuto gourmet Italian and Asian restaurant.
Other Wintersports Activities
There’s ice-skating and curling at the new leisure centre; the cross-country ski and walking trail winds through the Ferwall forest. You can eat and drink at the Verwall Inn at the far end of the valley and call a taxi for the return journey. There is a 4 km (2.5 miles) illuminated toboggan trail from Gampen plateau (accessed via the Nassereinbahn gondola), which takes 10-15 minutes to descend from top to bottom.
St Anton Museum
The St Anton Ski & Local Heritage Museum offers a detailed historic journey through the skiing archives of the Arlberg. Set in an idyllic Alpine villa built by Bernhard Trier in 1912 and just left of the piste close to the Galzigbahn cable car St Anton the museum reveals an interesting history of the town, past sporting events and more famous members of “Ski-Club Arlberg” notably Hannes Schneider (1890-1950) whose statue can be seen in the grounds. Also in the same building and well worth visting is the Restaurant Cafe Museum.
Shopping in St Anton
Aside from an impressive array of shops selling ski equipment, clothing and the usual souvenirs there is little in the way of retail therapy to satisfy the serious shopper. For telemark and off-piste ski equipment we recommend Pete’s Telemark shop and for ski and leisurewear there is a branch of Peak Performance which is also good for exercising your credit card. However, unlike some other big name ski resorts, major fashion brands are conspicuous by their absence as most people come to St Anton to ski, not to shop. The main street is being overtaken by too many banks and ordinary shops, the latest addition being a large BIPA (think Superdrug) outlet complete with supermarket style shopping trolleys for those that need to stock up with shampoo.