Holidays to Kitzbühel, in the heart of the Kitzbüheler Alps, mean exploring a cosmopolitan mountain town bordered by pretty walking paths and the sparkling Schwarzsee lake.
Affectionately known as Glitzy Kitz thanks to its upmarket shops and cafés, there’s so much more to Kitzbühel than meets the eye. Dating back to medieval Bavaria, it’s filled with cobbled streets and colourful, frescoed buildings. And towering over its rooftops is the Church of St Catherine, considered a perfect example of the high Gothic style. But it’s those views from the mountaintops that’ll really take your breath away – just hop on the summer lifts and you’re there.
Lakes and peaks
The lake and the mountains come together in Kitzbühel. One day, you’re soaking up the sun on the shores of the Schwarzsee lake. The next, you’re picking up a wanderwegplan, or walking map, and exploring the mountain paths on the Kitzbüheler Horn – and spotting some of the 300 different species of plants in its Alpine flower gardens.
The town really comes alive in summer, with loads of different events and festivals - from the Kitz on Wheels festival in mid-July, when bikers spend the weekend showing off their wheels, to the highly popular Town Band festival in early August, which is an amazing weekend of music and fun. So whenever you choose to visit, there will always be something to make your holiday memorable.
Out and about
• Lakeside promenade
• Lake bathing
• Cycle routes
• Alpine flower garden
• Tennis courts
• Wildlife spotting
Places To Stay In Kitzbühel View all places to stay »
Things to See and Do in Kitzbühel
Kitzbühel’s closest bathing lake and beach area can be found 2.5km north-west of the main metropolis. Schwarzee lake contributes to Kitzbühel’s reputation as a spa town, as the mud is packed full of rich natural minerals that are great for your skin.
Get back to nature
The deep emerald-green water of the lake is exceptionally clean. It's surrounded by the Wilder Kaiser Mountains and certain expanses of the shore are protected as nature reserves.
What to expect
Even though some areas have a safeguard status, there are still plenty of grassy sunbathing areas with easy access to the lake. You can hire boats, go fishing or swim in the warm waters. Kids - and bigger kids - love the slide and diving board.
To pick up some bargain bits, walk a little further out of Kitzbühel’s main town, towards the MPreis supermarket on Jochberger Strasse - there you’ll find some good outlet clothes shops. There’s also a weekly farmers' market from August to November, in the centre of Kitzbühel.
Kitzbühel has an excellent array of casual clothing shops, speciality shops, traditional Austrian-dress stores and places to purchase activewear. There’s even British high street favourite, Superdry, in the main square.
If you’re in the market for something special, Kitzbühel’s the perfect place to pick up a designer treasure - from discreet, high-end jewellery stores to celebrated, world-renowned labels. The exclusive boutiques add to the Glitzy Kitz reputation, which attracts glamourous jet-setters all year round.
If buzzing bars aren’t your thing, you’ll find a number of late-night pavement cafes and restaurants where you can have a quiet drink or after-dinner treat.
For a fun-filled evening with a couple of cocktails, drop by The Londoner bar. This legendary haunt is an old school, small and quirky venue. It comes complete with dingy lighting and a rocking late-night atmosphere, especially if the house band is playing.
Fashionable Kitzbühel is a paradise for lovers of fine food, with its range of award-winning restaurants, family-run mountain huts and contemporary cafés. Be sure to sample traditional Austrian dishes like kaiserschmarrn, a sweet dessert of chopped up pancakes, or käsespätzle - an Austrian take on macaroni cheese.
Homemade beer at Huberbraü Stüberl
In the centre of Kitzbühel, and with its very own brewery, Huberbraü Stüberl is a great place to pop into for lunch or dinner. You can sample Austrian classics like goulash and schnitzel, soak up the lively atmosphere and savour the fresh beer.
Fresh food with a view at Berggasthof Hagstein
The family-owned Berggasthof Hagstein sits perched at the top of the Horn. When taking a walk on the mountain, this Austrian chalet is a popular place for a pit stop. Everything is homemade and prepared with fresh local produce, and the views are fantastic.
Lakeside romance at Barrique
A little further out of town is Barrique, on the edge of Lake Schwarzsee. With stunning views of the lake from its outdoor terrace, it’s a lovely setting for a romantic meal. The traditional Italian dishes and fish dishes also go down a treat with its customers.
Within its city walls, Kitzbühel’s centre is predominantly car-free, meaning you can wander around ancient streets admiring the pastel shades of the historical buildings without worrying about rush hour.
There are two stations in Kitzbühel – the Hahnenkamm which is a 10-minute walk from resort, and Kitzbühel Station, which is a 15-20 minute walk towards St Johann. From the stations you can reach nearby St Johann in 8 minutes, Zell am See in 1 hour and Innsbruck in 2 hours.
The efficient local bus service connects Kitzbühel to loads of resorts in the Brixen Valley and Kufstein. Buses run every day and depart once or twice an hour. The buses are cheaper than using the trains, and you’ll be able to savour the wonderful views of huge mountains and little villages.
A lot of lifts, including the Hahnenkamm cable car and Kitzbüheler Horn cable car 1 (both accessible from the resort centre), are open throughout the summer. They operate between approx 8.30am and 5pm and provide amazing panoramic views of the mountains and valley.
With over 1,000km of marked trails, from the valley floor to the peaks, Kitzbühel really is a walker’s paradise. If you like to take it easy, go for a gentle 20-minute stroll to Lake Schwarzee, or follow the nature trail at Hintenbachalm to see the many species of flora and fauna. If it’s views you’re after, jump on the Hahnenkamm gondola and follow the Panorama Loop Trail or Hahnenkamm ridge walk for stunning scenes of the Wilder Kaiser mountains. Other marked routes will take you to impressive sights such as the Sintersbacher waterfalls or the towns of Kirchberg or Aschau.
A picturesque route to Steurberg
Get a real feel for the area with this gentle walk, which winds through woodland, meadows and farms to the charming Steurberg restaurant. Relax in the garden there and soak up your surroundings, or grab a bite to eat. From there, it’s a short stroll through the trees to Lake Schwarzee - one of the warmest bathing lakes in the Alps and a lovely place to spend a lazy afternoon.
Explore a bit further afield on this medium difficulty walk. You’ll need to catch a bus to Jochberg and then follow signs for the waterfalls. The walk up through the woods can be tricky so take it easy – and know the sight at the top is well worth the effort. Spend some time admiring the spectacular sight, and snap some photos, before carrying on to the Wildaalm mountain restaurant to refuel for the descent.
Things To Do View all »