One of the main strengths of Kitzbühel is the town itself – its picturesque, colourful medieval centre has several churches and a nearby castle, which is now a hotel. The vibrant après-ski scene is typically Austrian and the nightlife alone is worth the visit. The ski area has a good variety of runs for all abilities, including the legendary Hahnenkamm downhill run – one of the toughest in the ski world cup. The low altitude is the downside; at just 760m, Kitzbühel’s lower slopes can suffer, although good grooming and extensive snowmaking do their bit.
Skiing reputedly started in Kitzbühel in 1893 after local hero Franz Reisch brought a pair of skis from Norway to try out on the mountains of Austria. From these beginnings the town has become one of the largest and liveliest resorts in the country, and a decent place to visit for a winter holiday with non-skiers in the group. There are all sorts of other activities to do, from a flutter at the casino to bowling, tobogganing, paragliding and high-end shopping, and the bars and restaurants are varied and good quality.