So for all of you wondering where offers the best après-skis in the Alps, we have decided to make it easy for you après-ski lovers by making a list of some of the best.
France is still the favourite destination for British skiers and despite being relatively expensive it is becoming ever more popular for university students and younger skiers. We have selected some of the best that France has to offer.
Val Thorens is undoubtedly the place to be for après-skis if you decide to go to France. Val Thorens is the highest ski resort in the 3 vallées resort and consequently has the largest open air-club in Europe. La Folie Douce is a well-known favourite and it attracts big name guest DJs here. As a rule, après-ski venues here play modern house music unlike the cheesy European pop songs you’d find in Austria. While the music is blaring out from the balcony above it’s almost a certainty that you’ll be getting sprayed with champagne at the same time. La Fruitere is a partnering restaurant which is popular destination for lunch. The 360 bar is not too different from La Folie Douce, with similar music and a huge terrace. There are a lot of good pubs and like The Frog and Roast beef pub or The Saloon bar where you can chill out watching sports on tv or enjoy pitchers full of cocktails. In the night there is 3 mains clubs to choose from; Baramix, Klub Summit and Malaysia. Malaysia is the biggest club in the Alps and has previously had artists like Calvin Harris and Afrojack perform there.
Val d’isère is notorious for its après-ski, after all, both Dick’s Tea Bar and La Folie Douce were established here. La Folie Douce’s terrace is larger than the one in Val Thorens and you can hear the music from a good few hundred metres away. You will find a relatively similar atmosphere here to in Val Thorens with DJs blaring out house music or bands playing from the balcony above. However, Cocorioco’s is a good alternative and it offers a similar, lively atmosphere. For the 2015/16 season they are developing terrace and adding a second bar which, should in turn, reduce the amount of time spent queuing for drinks and improve the existing, top-quality atmosphere. Most of the Brits in Val d’isère head towards Dick’s Tea bar in the evening for the live music and then from 1am until 4am it turns into a nightclub. Café face not only has a good après-ski but also acts as a good night club for all you late-nighters. If you get your times right however, you will be able to miss both après-ski masses and all the clubbers and can enjoy a few evening drinks. In comparison with other bars here the beers are relatively cheap during the early evening (please note: The drink’s prices increases as the night goes on and also increases as more and more people come through the doors).
Austria is referred to as ‘the king of après-skis’. The atmosphere in some of the après-ski venues are likened to that of Oktoberfest. Euro pop, cheesy sing-along songs and constant flow of beer and jaeger are just some of the many adored characteristics of Austrian après-skis. Whilst French après-skis are rather new and trendy, Austrian resorts promise that classic, alcohol-filled madness.
St. Anton is often regarded as the number one après-ski resort in the entire world. There are an endless amount après-ski bars to go to here. However, there are two bars that stand out amongst the rest. Moosewirt and Krazy Kanguruh are both well-known throughout the après-skiing world for their crazy atmospheres, their excellent service (waiters can career up so 20 beers at once) and their especially cheesy pop songs. Moosewirt also claims to sell over 5,000 litres of beer a day! Both venues start their après-ski from the early afternoon and you are guaranteed a good time. Most of the clientele here are German speaking, nevertheless, it still remains a popular destination for British tourists. If you are not in the mood for Austrian or German pop there are a good number of bars like the Kandahar, which become quite popular in the evening.
Sölden is renowned for having a very lively atmosphere, even so lively that it is common for girls to be dancing inside and outside bars with very little clothing on. In addition to the various strip clubs it has here, it has over 45 après-ski venues with both indoor and outdoor bars (there normally isn’t so much inside these bars). The huts can be heard blaring European pop hits from mid-afternoon onwards. One of the favourite bars here is fire and ice, where there is enough space to dance and a really good drinking atmosphere. Speaking of fire however, Katapult is the destination you want to be at night, they have pyrotechnic displays and DJs playing more upbeat music. It important to note that Sölden is relatively unknown to the British skiers but over the last couple of years the popularity has started to increase. The majority of skiers here are Germans, Dutch and also a few Russians. Sölden also hosts the Electric mountain festival every year which attracts more than 10,000 people to the resort. The finale is due to take place on the 8th and 9th April in 2016 and all you need to enter is a valid ski pass for Sölden's ski resort.
Mayrhofen is said to have the largest British influence here and most of the bars double as restaurants. One place worthy of a visit is the White Lounge, here there is a hotel and bar located in a massive 6m tall igloo which serves cocktails and a wide variety of drinks. It is important to note that if you do go here the hotel’s prices are pretty high, they are often around 400€ for 2 people just for one night stay or €160 between 4 to sleep in a sleeping bag. The main places to go for your après-ski are either the Pilzbar at the top of the Penkenbahn gondola or the Ice Bar next to the Penkenbahn village station. The Pilzbar’s fairly wild après-ski starts relatively early and it offers a large terrace whereas the Ice Bar has a mostly Dutch clientele and also has staff dressed as a polar bears dancing on the tables. The Ice Bar is situated inside Hotel Strass at the bottom of the Penkenbahn gondola. The Scotland Yard pub is definitely worth a visit to as this pub used to be a police station. The cells in the cellar were actually previously used to lock up the drunk and disorderly until it was transformed into a British-Irish-Austrian pub. Each year Mayrhofen hosts Europe’s biggest snow festival from 4th-9th April. The Snowbombing festival prides itself on its fancy dress as much as its music. Groove armada, Hannah wants, Blonde and The Prodigy are just a few of headlining acts which have been announced for the festival in 2016. Prices start from 299€ for 5 nights’ accommodation and this includes your festival ticket.
Ischgl is a small Austrian town: 400 buildings and 1,562 inhabitants in total. The bars are all gathered in one street that you will probably get to know soon enough. But don’t let the small size of the town discourage you. Ischgl offers some of the best après-ski parties of the whole Europe. The town is located at 1377m above sea level in the Austrian state of Tyrol on the Swiss border. Compared to the other Austrian ski resorts, you could spend a couple of euros more for its night life. However, it is still a much cheaper solution than most French and Swiss resorts. Trofana Alm has proclaimed itself to be the best club in the world. The atmosphere is classically Austrian; cheesy sing-along songs, Tyrolean decoration, dirndl wearing waitresses, catchy dances that involve every one on the dance floor and waiters with an obscure and brute strength able to carry up to 10 beers at once! The Schatzi Bar in Hotel Elizabeth is one of the most appreciated bars in town. It offers the similar Austrian environment with the nice bonus of good looking dancing girls. The music is loud and modern and the après-ski here begins at roughly 3pm. Kuhstall is a little bit different than the other two. It is the largest of all the clubs in Ischgl, it plays English music and it remains open until 2 am. The Allegra is the most chilled of bars listed here. Here you can get great tasting food (like steaks or salads) and drinks. Nikis Stad is just over the bridge, this is by far the craziest of all bars here and some stories told about this place have to be experienced personally.
Flachau is located in the region of Salzburg just under an hour away from the airport. The mountainous farming village lies home to roughly 3,000 inhabitants. This ski resort is one of the top Austrian destinations if you are going for the après-ski, and it is even more so loved among the Austrians and the Germans. Don’t let the size of the village deter you from coming here as there are a vast numbers of bars and restaurants here, and they offer something for everyone. One of the après-ski bars situated in this resort is Dampfkessel. Dampfkessel is an open air bar with dancers wearing lederhosen and dirndls. Hofstadl is a choice for après-skiers, it so popular in fact that it has labelled itself the ‘temple’ of après-ski bars. You can get good quality food here from lunchtime onwards and you will not only get Austro/German pop song and après-ski classics but also a few Italian and Spanish pop songs too. Due to its popularity it gets very busy here and can often get quite claustrophobic, not to worry if Hofstadl gets too much for you can leave the bar by a slide! The Downtown & Showtown bar is a futuristically furnished with exotic dancers, normally the nights here don’t finish until the early hours of the next morning.