We began life in Kitzbühel, Austria, in December 2019. It was our first stop on our van life journey. Before we got here, we had no idea what to expect, we had never heard of Kitzbühel or the events that take place here. We needed a home in Austria for the winter season and Camping Schwarzsee offered this at a hard to turn down deal.
On arrival, we were speechless at how close we indeed were to the beautiful Lake Schwarzsee, as well as the incredible view of the stunning Wilder Käiser mountain range that watches over her. It is by far my favourite spot in Tirol that we have gotten the chance to experience so far. If you are ever in Austria, it is definitely worth visiting. I assure you, you will not be disappointed!
During our time here, in true Lockie and Ash form, we have of course been on the hunt for the best coffee in town. Lockie’s pick on the best coffee in town goes to Pano. He was a morning regular before he headed off to work and reckons it’s on point with the best cappuccino he has had in Europe, thus far. I must admit they do in fact do a delicious cappuccino however, moving to Europe has made my love of coffee change from a milky cap to a stronger black coffee with a dash of milk. Therefore my pick on the best coffee in town goes to Bastians. They are a fairly new bar and bakery in town which is beautifully decked out, so I really enjoy sitting in there relaxing, while I sip away. In a close second place, I do love a coffee at café EcKing. They have the best view in town, with outdoor seating and an amazing view of the mountains! The food is typical Austrian/tyrolean food, so you will get the full experience while you are there too! You could say I am biased though, as I may have been the cook here ;P
As for food in town, you are not short of options. For a tasty and quick meal, our pick is Simple Food and Drinks. They have a huge range of delicious burgers and salads and also serve sweet potato fries! Shev the owner here, also does a good coffee or fresh juice! So it is definitely a must visit while you are in Kitzbühel. Shev is also one of the friendliest people you will meet, so he makes you feel at home here. Did I mention he’s also an Aussie himself?
Centro Kitzbühel is a great spot to go out for a nice dinner out and a drink. They have a great selection on there menu and it is very reasonably priced for the quality. There woodfired pizza and pasta options were a winner for us!
If you like Asian food, Shang-Hai China restaurant is for you. There menu includes Chinese, Japanese and thai options. They also do a weekday lunch buffet for 8.60 euro. Lockie enjoyed this offer a few times!
If you are after traditional Austrian dishes, Landhaüsl, we found had a good selection and also had a nice range of alcoholic beverages to go with your meal.
Kitzbühel never seems to have a dull moment over the busy winter season. We were lucky enough to get to experience the Kitzbüheler Advent Christmas markets and the special events that go with it. Krampus was definitely a highlight for us! Being both from Australia, we had never experienced this European tradition. It was a whole lot of fun and very entertaining to watch the Krampus chase the ‘naughty’ kids and give them a good fright!
The Hahnenkamm Rennen was by far the stand out in terms of events. Never in my life have I or even Lockie, experienced anything close to it. The amount of people that flock to town for this ski race is unbelievable! The crowds and atmosphere is incredible and to be a part of it is something we will never forget. This event goes for 3 whole days and during this time, I don’t think the town sleeps! By day, the slopes are filled with passionate fans, cheering on their home countries competitors and by night the centre of town is a massive party, people are everywhere; eating, drinking and celebrating all night long! The locals told us stories about this event, but you truly don’t believe it or understand it, until you experience it for yourself! I can see why people travel from all over Europe for this event as it’s so unique and a load of fun.
There are many accommodation options here in Kitzbühel. Kitzbühel is well-known for the rich and famous so the close by suburb of Kirchberg seems to be a hit for the average person. We stayed at Camping Schwarzsee which is half way between Kitzbühel and Kirchberg and is walking distance to both. Camping Schwarzsee does also offer cabin style accommodation and is also connected to Hotel Buggerhoff which is at the entrance. Staying at either gives you access to the wellness centre which is a massive plus!
Public Transport in the Kitzbühel region seems to be a good option for a lot of people especially those heading to and from the slopes. Trains can also be used for this depending on where you are located. If you hold a season pass you can use buses free of charge and you can also use trains free of charge if you are in your ski gear. If not, transport is fairly reasonable. A trip locally will cost you between 1.30-2.50 euro one way. Depending on where you are staying, public transport can come quite regularly or it can be a little painful. I personally chose to walk a lot of the time, if it was possible. I did use the bus and train too, if I wanted to go further or times matched up. During the week, buses come a lot more regularly than weekends. On Sundays, the bus timetable had minimal options to a fair few locations so you really need to plan your trip if you want to use it on these days.
As for the best places to visit in Kitzbühel, as I mentioned earlier, Lake Schwarzsee is definitely a highlight as well as the Wilder Käiser. The Wilder Käiser is visible from many towns located close by, but you can, infact, get to the foot of it at Ellmau. It is a beautiful spot and to see if up close is amazing! We have tried to work our way around the whole region and go exploring as much as we can. The region has so much to offer and its beauty will not disappoint!
I hope this insider information is helpful to you on your trip to Kitz!