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Conquering Innsbruck’s Glacial Alps: My Unforgettable Ski Weekend at Stubai Glacier

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I spent an incredible weekend in Innsbruck for some spring skiing. It wasn’t my first time visiting Innsbruck, and it certainly won’t be my last. This time, it was the first time the opportunity to carve up some iconic snow that makes Innsbruck so famous.

So many resorts are anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, which is nearly intoxicating. I’m not even getting to the Aprés Ski yet. 

Innsbruck is one of my favorite Alpine cities in Europe. It’s been a known hub for local Europeans to enjoy the winter powder. I met local Europeans from the Czech Republic, Belgium, Germany, and the United States on my trip alone.

It was a true testament to the locality of Innsbruck in Europe. Who needs Chamonix, Monte Blanc, when you can have just as good, if not better, conditions for half the price?

Below, you’ll find a full experience of transportation, my favorite runs, and what to do while visiting, with all my images showcasing the experience. Watch my short TikTok on a few favorite moments, all in a few seconds.

Kyle Kroeger, author of things to do in Innsbruck at Stubai Glacier in snowy weather
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Here’s my weekend in Innsbruck itinerary highlighting how you can enjoy the perfect blend of city and skiing at Stubai Glacier. Watch the full weekend clips from the ViaTravelers YouTube channel below:

Travel Schedule

Transavia airplane departure at Innsbruck Airport with Austrian Alps backdrop
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

For your reference, my flight schedule for Amsterdam is below. This was my first time flying Transavia, a budget airline that operates as a subsidiary of KLM Airlines. I enjoyed my experience, and my flight cost was a bit higher, though at 240 euros because I paid extra for the baggage allowance since I would have all my ski gear with me.

Here’s a table of my flight schedule. 

DateDeparture TimeFromToArrival TimeFlight Number
Friday, March 22nd13:40Amsterdam (Schiphol)Innsbruck15:15HV6603
Monday, March 25th09:30InnsbruckAmsterdam (Schiphol)11:15HV6602
Note: All times are local.

This allowed me to spend enough time skiing and getting another round of exploration in Innsbruck. I stayed at the Hotel Grauer Bär, which was a pleasant experience as it featured a wellness area on the roof (essential when skiing and snowboarding).

It was conveniently located near the Hofburg, the Hofgarten, and was only a 7-minute walk into the heart of Old Town Innsbruck. Read our full review of the experience staying at Hotel Grauer Bär.

Things to Know Before Visiting

Carefully Plan Which Ski Resorts to Visit

Skiers and snowboarders navigate the snowy terrain of Stubai Glacier, Austria, under a cloudy sky with ski lifts and rugged mountains in the background.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

There are plenty of options to choose from, and if you come during peak season, you need to know your routes and what resorts you want to visit in advance. This is essential because the timing of when you want to leave will hinge on what ski resorts you want to go to. 

Get Your Ski Pass In Advance

Experience Winter Sports Adventure with the Stubai Glacier Ski Pass in Austria
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The ski pass to Innsbruck and surrounding resorts is very efficient. My visit was much more efficient because of the efficient and modern experience of using the Skicard for Stubai Glacier. This system enhances convenience by integrating several services under one card.

Notably, the card facilitated access to INTERSPORT® services, including shop, rent, and service options directly within the ski area, emphasizing a seamless skiing experience.

The ski resort has deployed four depot stations across the skiing area, ensuring easy access to stored equipment. It speaks volumes about the resort’s commitment to visitor convenience and operational efficiency.

This is a deposit card, non-transferable, and must be presented or handed over to cable car staff upon request. Additionally, discounted ski cards require proof of corresponding ID.

A standout feature is the ability to recharge the ski card online via their online shop, a testament to the resort’s modern approach to customer service. This functionality saves time and enhances the overall skiing experience by minimizing wait times.

What to Pack

Durable Lowepro Freeline Backpack at airport gate D19 with water bottle in side pocket
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Here’s what I packed for my trip using my Lowepro AW 350 travel backpack and my BEIS carry-on suitcase. 

  • One parka 
  • 3 hoodies and sweaters
  • 4 layers of Smart Wool long-sleeve liners
  • One pair of Smart Wool long johns
  • 3 pairs of Smart Wool socks
  • Snowboarding gloves
  • My ViaTravelers Dad Hat
  • A beanies
  • 2 pairs of jeans

Transportation Around Innsbruck

If you are staying in the city center of Innsbruck and are flying into Innsbruck International Airport, you’ll quickly realize how much of a breeze it is to get to the city. It’s around a 10-15 minute drive, a 15 euro taxi, or a 20-25 minute ride on public transportation. The airport is incredibly small, so getting out of there is a breeze. 

Getting to the ski resorts

Stubai Glacier is only a 45-minute drive from Innsbruck. The closest ski resort is Schlick 2000, near Fulpmes in the Stubaital. It takes just 20 minutes to travel from Innsbruck to the various nearby ski resorts, with Stubai Glacier and Kühtai slightly further away.

There is a longer public bus, which costs 4 euros if you do not have a ski pass (free if you have a ski pass). Alternatively, you can take a semi-private bus for hotel guests, which is completely free.

Day One: Arrival at Innsbruck

Hotel Check-In and Book Ski and Snowboard Equipment

Hotel Grauer Bär in Innsbruck, Austria - Iconic bear mural and classic architecture
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The first day, I arrived on a Friday mid-afternoon. I took the easy taxi ride to Hotel Grauer Bär and checked in. The quick arrival allowed me to grab my rental skis, snowboard, and clutch. If you need to rent outdoor sports equipment, always lock that in when you arrive.

I’ll get to that in more detail later as to why it’s so important. We rented our equipment from DIE BOERSE and paid for the additional hotel drop-off and pick-up charges, making it a seamless experience. 

Read Also: Best Hotels in Innsbruck

Pre-Dinner: Drinks and Walk Old Town

A glass of Augustiner Bräu München beer with the historic Triumphforte of Innsbruck in the background.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

It was too late to ski and snowboard, so this was the essential time to explore some top attractions. DIE BOERSE was right next to the Triumphforte and an Augustiner, so after getting suited up, I grabbed a beer at the Augustiner and enjoyed the view of the Triumphforte. 

From there, I walked the city more along Maria-Theresenstraße towards the Golden Roof. There was a spring market at the Golden Roof, which was lovely. Read our full guide to attractions in Innsbruck or watch our travel guide on YouTube.

Dinner at Altstadt-Schmankerl

Golden-brown Wiener Schnitzel with potato salad and jam, Altstadt-Schmankerl, Innsbruck
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Day Two: Hit the Slopes at Stubai Glacier

Interior view of bus traveling from Innsbruck to Stubai Glacier, showcasing scenic Austrian Alps.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

For the first ski day, I decided to sleep in and spend a couple of hours exploring more of the old town of Innsbruck before leaving for Stubai Glacier. There’s a bus that runs every 20 minutes. It was free from the hotel.

The latest was 8:45 a.m. I’d rather opt for the later bus, which is the transportation bus that costs four euros and is about twice as long because of the stop or 41 stops to get to this stupid glacier. The bus is free for the glacier. 

This was a mistake because we had to carry our ski and snowboard equipment to the public bus stop. It was only an eight-minute walk to the stop, so it was not too bad, but when you have a full half-day of skiing ahead, do you want to save energy for skiing and enjoying the resort? 

Purchasing the Lift Tickets for Stubai Glacier

Skiers enjoying fresh snowfall at Stubai Glacier, Austria, during a blizzard.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

We arrived at Glacier at 11:35 AM and tried to purchase the ticket. The ticket agent suggested we wait 20 minutes to save €24 on a lift ticket by the team for a half-day, which is what we did. We bought a half-day and a full-day ski lift ticket. 

Once you have the lift ticket, it’s a smart card, as I alluded to earlier, where you can load lockers and scan yourself upon entry onto the gondola to get up to the mountain.

Here’s a summary of all that is offered at Stubai Glacier ski resort:

FeatureDescription
LocationSituated at the end of the Stubai Valley, about 45 minutes from Innsbruck
ElevationSki resort extends up to 3,210 meters (10,531 feet) above sea level
SeasonOctober to June (one of the longest ski seasons in Europe)
Terrain63 km (39 miles) of pistes, including 22 km (14 miles) of ski touring routes
Difficulty37% intermediate runs, suitable for families and beginners. Also has expert terrain and freeride zones.
Family-FriendlyBig Family Ski Camp with trained staff, children’s restaurant, snow obstacle course, and Kids’ Line in the snowpark
DiningSchaufelspitz gourmet restaurant at the top of Eisgrat cable car (highest fine dining in the Alps)
AccommodationVarious lodging options in nearby villages like Neustift im Stubaital
EventsHosts events like the Stubai Zoo Spring Sessions in late March/early April

Skiing and Snowboarding at Stubai Glacier

Stubai Glacier Ski Resort, Austria - Alpine skiing paradise with snow-covered slopes and majestic mountain backdrop
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Since it was only a half day, we opted to stay in the main central area of the ski resort. We made it to the top to run throughout the day and stopped for lunch in the main area at the restaurant to have traditional German goulash soup, which is delicious, and Austrian beer. After lunch, we did a few more runs.

In the main area, there was also an excellent Aprés Ski. It was a Saturday, and it was very busy with many people partying and celebrating. There was an overall lively environment that I was happy to experience even though it was just a short period.

We purchased a €10 overnight locker for our skiing and snowboarding equipment. This was a cost-effective way to make it convenient so we didn’t have to lug all our equipment back to our hotel.

Lockers equipped for ski and snowboard storage at Stubai Glacier, Austria.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

This is where the ski card was incredibly handy, as it was completely touchless when we arrived the next day. I’ll get into a second.

Day Three: Full Day at Stubai Glacier

Journey to the Snowy Alps: Private Bus En Route to Stubai Glacier from Innsbruck
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

For the second day of skiing at Stubai Glacier, we took the shuttle directly from our hotel at 8:45 in the morning and were completely free. The bus was not overly busy either and even more spacious than the public transport bus the prior day. Food and drinks are also offered and available for purchase. 

There were no stops, taking this to the glacier, which translated into half the time taking 45 minutes. We could get to the top of the mountain by 10 AM. It was a gorgeous day for skiing and snowboarding since there was snowfall the prior day. 

An Unforgettable Day Shredding the Slopes at Stubai Glacier

Alpine skiing and snowboarding at Stubai Glacier, featuring modern chairlift system and snow-covered slopes.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

As an avid skier and snowboarder, I was excited to spend a full day at Stubai Glacier, one of Austria’s premier ski resorts. We quickly geared up and hopped on the gondola, ready to explore more of the diverse and interesting terrain Stubai Glacier is known for.

Exploring the Ski Runs

Journey to the Summit: Chairlift at Stubai Glacier, Austrian Alps
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The resort boasts an extensive network of ski runs catering to all skill levels. As intermediate to advanced riders, we were particularly drawn to these notable runs:

  • Fernau: This long, wide run offered a fantastic warm-up, allowing us to find our rhythm and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding peaks.
  • Daunferner: With its challenging steps and moguls, Daunferner tested our skills and provided an adrenaline rush.
  • Wildspitz: The resort’s highest ski run, Wildspitz, offered an unforgettable experience with its amazing panoramas and varied terrain. It was incredibly windy and snowy up there. This truly capped off a great memory of spending time at Stubai Glacier.

What makes Stubai Glacier truly unique is its glacier skiing, which allows for a longer season and reliable snow conditions. We were thrilled to carve turns on the pristine, groomed runs while soaking in the majestic alpine surroundings.

Lunch to Refuel and Relax

Traditional Goulash Soup with sour cream and bread
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

After a morning of intense skiing and snowboarding, we decided to take a break and refuel at one of the resort’s many dining options. We opted for a cozy mountain hut, where we indulged in traditional Austrian cuisine like hearty goulash and crispy schnitzel. The warm, comforting food was just what we needed to recharge for an afternoon of more thrilling runs.

As the day wore on, we immersed ourselves completely in the Stubai Glacier experience. We challenged ourselves on the more advanced runs, perfected our technique on the groomed slopes, and even ventured into some off-piste areas to test our skills in the powder.

An Unforgettable Experience

Kyle Kroeger and mascot at Stubai Glacier, Austria in color photography
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

As the lifts began to close and the sun set behind the peaks, we reluctantly returned to the base. Our legs were tired, but our hearts were full of the joy and exhilaration that only a day spent on the slopes could bring.

Stubai Glacier exceeded all our expectations, offering a world-class skiing and snowboarding experience that we’ll never forget: the diverse terrain, stunning scenery, and excellent facilities made for an unforgettable day on the mountain.

Leaving and Final Moments

Person walking in Hofgarten park, Innsbruck, with Nordkette mountain range in the background
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Finally, I woke up early for the final day before heading to the airport. I toured around the Hofgarten and walked along the Inn River. This was my snowboard and ski weekend in Innsbruck itinerary from my visit.

If you have questions or want to maximize your trip, please contact me or join our travel newsletter, which sends direct tips and tricks for destinations worldwide.

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