Best Après Ski Resorts in Europe
One thing we love about skiing is a good après vibe at the end of the day. Whether it’s just for a couple, or to take you late into the evening... European ski resorts have got après down to a ‘t’, and with so many options we’ve highlighted a few of our top picks.
Val d’Isere, France
Val D’isere has long been a favourite destination for those looking not just for favourable snow conditions, but also good après, and you can rest assured that you won’t be the only one clambering to the tabletops in your ski boots for a late afternoon boogie. La Folie Douce, is usually first on the apres-ski agenda (given its elevation on the mountain). Perfectly situated in a way that makes it hard to avoid. Even when passing overhead on the chairlift, you can enjoy the bass as it carries through the pylons. Live DJs, dancers, singers and saxophonists perform through the afternoon as guests take to the table tops! Cocorico, in the village centre, is very much a similar vibe, with a fantastic street food offering and open until 8 pm. Some smarter spots for a drink (once changed out of your ski kit) are La Cave sur La Comptoir – a lovely little wine bar serving tapas and cheese/charcuterie platters and ‘The M Bar’ (in La Tsanteleina Hotel)– a favourite for cocktails. Then, for the late evening, there’s the legendary Dick’s Tea Bar. Open until 5am and with a capacity of 500, for us it’s the only place to be.
Boasting some of the best après ski in the Alps, Verbier has a range of bars, pubs and clubs for you to choose from. For those looking to get the ball rolling mid-afternoon, there’s Bar 1936, which consists of two rustic styled yurts, hosting BBQs when the sun is out and fondue evenings on request. Le Rouge is a cosy chalet-style bar/restaurant at the foot of Le Rouge piste – enjoy a vin chaud by the fire or a cocktail on the terrace as you listen to their resident DJ. Farinet has got to be visited, the town's oldest hotel that really caters to all – a lively apres-ski bar that has everyone up and dancing, no matter the age, a smart lounge bar for the evening, sports bar and nightclub - think sushi, sparklers and funky cocktails. An iconic landmark for Verbier, and open since 1977 is the well-known Pub Mont Fort. There’s nothing ‘bouji’ about this place, just good food, good drinks and a hell of an atmosphere. For the late evening you have The Farm, a stylish and chic venue, or Monoski for any house/techno lovers.
St Anton, Austria
I don't think there’s anyone who’d forget to mention Mooserwirt… Again conveniently positioned on the slope as you head back to the village. If you aren't feeling it when you get there you certainly will be after a couple of steins or Jägerbombs, as the music carries itself through the mountains and the light shows and smoke machines seemingly distract from any lingering hangovers. Interestingly, if you head there for lunch, there’s a far more low key atmosphere.
Krazy Kangruhs – well, it’s in the name really. This place really kicks off mid-afternoon and is a great spot for all ages. Owned by two-time slalom world champion Mario Matt – you can really get yourself in a pickle here, you just need to remember you need to ski down after. Or neighbouring here you have Taps bar as an option– usually popular amongst the locals and ski instructors.
From all those mentioned above you can ski down to Basecamp (which is also great for lunch). With Live DJs and saxophonists, it’s a later option once the piste-side parties have died down. If you’re wondering if family après is a thing, or even a good idea…we can tell you it is. Heustadl (located at the bottom of Blue 1) is great for this – still with live music, but far more relaxed and deck chairs to catch the last rays.
As always a little option for the later evening when everyone’s dolled up - Hospiz Alm has a beautiful wine bar under the hotel, upmarket and civilised, a great date spot if you’re travelling as a two. The list could go on, but we know if you make it to just a few of these, you’ll be on your way to having a good time!
With more nightclubs than any other resort in the Valais, Zermatt is a hub of life both on and off the slopes. The Hennu Stall is located on the valley descent between Furi and Zermatt, attracting anyone looking for a good knees up – with a live band inside, DJs on the deck and a good selection of beer – what’s not to like? A ski-in ski-out option is Cervo. Either sit inside by the fire and enjoy a glass of red, or take to the terrace for live music and spectacular views of the Matterhorn.
In the village you have Harry’s Bar where you can enjoy après the classic alpine way, with staff dressed in traditional costumes, pouring freshly drawn Stiegl beer. If you’re looking for a civilised affair, look no further than Elsie’s – a cosy, wooden style chalet with oysters, champagne and whisky at the ready. Other hotspots to consider are; 1818, Vernissage, Gees & Cuckoo Club, and Iglu-Dorf.
Broken Bar Disco is a legendary nightclub in Zermatt – a vaulted cellar in the basement of Hotel Post. Within the same hotel you can find The Brown Cow Pub, Papa Caesar (lounge bar), Pink (live music bar), and Loft Club – ensuring a dance floor filled with only the best 80's, 90's and charts music. Away from the hotel, you can try Hexenbar, cosy and authentic with an impressive cocktail selection.
Home to another Folie Douce, which will likely serve as a key landmark for your trip, it is the perfect way to finish a great day on the slopes. Of a similar ilk is Le Rond Point, with its it’s vast terrace, providing just enough room to throw some shapes in the crowd, the party really gets going as the sun sets. Table dancing, crowd surfing, DJs and everyone's favourite ‘free-flowing toffee vodka’ are what keep the party goers heading back. It benefits from being on the sunny side of the valley, meaning you can catch every last ray before the ski down into the village. One’s you're down the mountain you can try Jack’s Bar – a more relaxed live music offering, The Doron Pub, O’Sullivan’s (previously Dicks T Bar), Barometer and L’Abreuvoir – a chic and trendy bar with repurposed ski bubbles, cosy wooden booths lined with sheepskin and a delicious tapas menu.