After a day tearing up the slopes, the first thing you probably want to do is just call it an early night, right? Wrong! When the sun sets on a day of speeding through the winter wilderness, it’s time for another sort of excitement. Skiing is thirsty work after all, which is why ski towns have some of the rowdiest bar scenes around. So grab at drink at one of these 21 amazing ski bars around the world...
1. The Oasis in Aspen
The Oasis is the world's first ‘ski-through’ bar. As in, you can actually ski in, pick up a glass of champagne, and then ski out. More than a few skiers have been surprised by this bar as it seems to pop up in the most random of places. The Oasis moves all around Aspen's ski trails to make sure it is where people want to be.
2. Rond Point in Meribel
Rond Point is one of the most world famous après-ski bars in the world. Since it is so world-renowned, it is something like a culture hub where all sorts of Europeans, North Americans, and South Americas join together for one big international party. Whether it is having drinks on the outdoor deck or crowd-surfing indoors to the live music every night, Rond Point is the biggest party on the French slopes.
This isn't a classy place for those that want to sip wine by the fireside – so be sure to leave any pride at the door as you challenge Germans to pint-chugging or the British to shooter contests. Be sure to try the world-renowned toffee vodka.
3. Hotel Post in Zermatt
At a glance, because of the five star hotels and massive casinos, Zermatt may seem like a proper dress-for-dinner sort of town. That may be good news for ritzy skiers, but for anyone who wants a true party after a day tearing up the powder, they have to dig a little deeper to find a suitable bar.
Hotel Post is for the rowdy bunch, although it is indeed also a pretty nice hotel as well. This bar is like a blast from the past—80s style. Packing in close with the local youths to dance to 80s classics while downing liberal amounts of lager is a great way to end the day, especially when a bed is waiting for you just upstairs.
4. Le P'tit Caribou in Mont Tremblant
During the day, this quaint little bistro serves-up food to hungry folks. However, you best fill up on food before the sun sets because you won't find much to eat after the sun goes down! This classy daytime bistro transforms into a legendary bar with loud music, rowdy patrons and cheap beer for all those who have come down from the mountain.
5. The Ice Bar in Mayrhofen
When it comes to skiing and then partying the night away, Austria is the capital of the world. While there are many a great après-ski bars in Austria, Mayrhofen boasts that it has the best. In the afternoon it has a nice laidback vibe as. However, once the sun goes down the party lights get turned on, the beer starts flowing like water and the music starts up. The Ice Bar is the most popular place to party the night away in Mayrhofen.
6. Garibaldi Lift Company
The Garibaldi Lift Company is not a lift company at all – it is the premiere hotspot for Whistler's ski freaks. It provides comfortable seats and soothing beer for all those that tackled — or at least attempted to tackle — the Lower Olympic Trail.
7. Trofana Alm in Ischgl
In the Austrian après-ski party scene, there is a healthy rivalry between St Anton and Ischgl when it comes to providing the best nightlife. While Krazy Kangaruh and Moosewirt rock St Anton, Trofana Alm is the key hot spot in Ischgl. Set in a huge, old, wooden barn, Trofana Alm always has live music thumping on the first floor where the people pack in tight.
This isn't a ski bar where you go in for ‘just one drink’ – going into Trofana Alm is an all night commitment. Give it an hour and you’ll be singing along to German songs like a native.
8. 39 Degrees in Aspen
More than a number of famous names have turned up at 39 Degrees, making it a popular spot for star-spotters. However, it is not just the possibly of seeing a stunning starlet that brings people down from the fine Aspen slopes to this bar – it’s the atmosphere. This is not some snobby lounge or sweaty dance club, but rather a mix of the two. The friendly atmosphere may just be why it is one of the most popular après-ski spots in Aspen.
9. High West Distillery in Park City
Need a hard shot of whiskey with a whiskey chaser and some whiskey cider to sip on after that? The High West Distillery has that covered. The High West Distillery has been serving up its locally brewed whiskey to thirsty skiers during the season for years. Based in a 100-year-old livery stable with the bar top made from the Great Salt Lake Trestle Bridge's remains, this bar is a living part of Utah’s history. While not the most rowdy of après-ski hotspots, it certainly has a lot of old world charm—and some fine and varied whiskeys.
10. Riders Palace in Laax
Located just across the road from the lifts, Rider's Palace is just that — a palace for the lift riders. Switzerland may seem like the pinnacle of peace, but once the music gets turned up loud at 4pm, travellers may as well forget where they are, especially after a few vodkas, a local favourite!
This party bar is also a hotel. However, due to the loud music at the bar, those who stay there are often given ear plugs to sleep. Due to Rider's Palace's cheap booze and cheap rooms it is much more like a hostel than a hotel. While it may not be the most relaxing place, it may certainly be the most fun.
11. Flocons de Sel in Megeve
When it comes to amazing food and drink, France has a monopoly on it. At Flocons de Sel, chef Emmanuel Renaut believes that people shouldn't be eating just so they can ski – but also that they should be skiing so that they can eat. Which explains the unique placement of his bar and restaurant upon the pistes. Now after a few hours of shredding the slopes, guests can slide on up to Flocons de Sel, hang up their skis and enjoy amazingly eclectic French cuisine, such as the polenta with black truffles with crepes and juniper berries and Lake Geneva crayfish with grilled almonds.
12. Hinterhagalm Tea Bar in Saalbach
Hinterhagalm is legendary, partly due to its amazing live music scene. Some of the best local and worldwide talent hit up this Austria party dome to play on stage. The clientele sprawl out over the beer-soaked aged wooden floors that have held up rowdy Austrians for years. And there’s no need to change from your ski boots into your dancing shoes here – more than a few people merely ski on up to the bar and set their skis up in the coat room before dancing the night away into their ski boots.
13. Gold Pan in Breckenridge
The Gold Pan is a bar for those that don't want to have to fight their way to the bar for a drink after a day of skiing. While a band plays every now and then, there are no sweating, swelling masses packing the dance floor. In fact, other than drinking, there is only one other favourite activity at the Gold Pan. It is a game that involves trying to swing a chain with a ring on the end of it that dangles from the ceiling and getting the ring onto a hook in the wall. It may not seem like much, but after a few beers, the game really hooks people.
While getting a ring on a hook may seem dull, the Gold Pan is a proper western bar, with pictures of famous cowboys adorning the walls, sawdusted floors and whiskey flowing liberally at the bar.
14. The Farinet, Verbier
The Farinet is a legendary name for those who are fans of the après-ski scene. While many ski bars host more than a few liquored up locals dancing on the tables, the crowd at The Farinet literally swing from the rafters. For party-loving skiers in Switzerland, there is no better place.
15. Dick’s Tea Bar, Val d’Isère
Don't be fooled by the name, Dick's Tea Bar serves up anything but tea! Although it is a popular spot for locals and skiers alike, Dick's Tea Bar is more of a nightclub than a bar. For those that are tired after a day on the powder, they will find cheap lager and plenty of open seats – not because no one is there – but because the more energetic folks are out packed ten deep on the dance floor. With live bands and party-hardy DJs, there is never a lack of music.
16. Krazy Kangaruh in St Anton
Krazy Kangaruh is one of two bars in St Anton that are located not in the village, but up along the piste. Don't worry about the party crowd being split between Krazy Kangaruh and Moosewirt's though, by 3pm both establishments are equally packed with skiers who have done their bit on the slopes earlier and have worked up a heroic thirst.
17. Mooserwirt in St Anton
creativecommons.org/ruben van eijk There is a classic dilemma for skiers in St Anton, when it comes to hitting up the bar for après-ski drinks—do you turn left for Krazy Kangaruh or right for Mooserwirt? St Anton and its party-hardy locals and ski enthusiast guests are great enough in number that a good time can be found no matter which establishment you choose! While Krazy Kangaruh is a bit more like a super-crowded tavern full of partiers, Moosewirt is a bit like a dance club.
18. Sparkling Hill Resort in Vernon
Usually, spas don’t serve alcohol, but the Sparkling Hill Resort is different. It realizes that after a day of hard shredding, a spa treatment is more effective with a little liquor in the body. So sip on champagne while enjoying a soak in a salt water bath. While Sparkling Hill isn't the biggest party in BC, it will assure that you are more than ready to hit up the slopes again the next morning.
19. Smithy’s in Les Deux Alpes
Not everything in France is classy, as Smithy's proves. Smithy's isn't about to win any awards for its alpine charm, but travellers can rest assured that there will always be a party going on inside. With so many people packed into this two-story barn building, it is probably the physically hottest place in the Alps!
20. Popcorn in Saas Fee
To be honest Popcorn is more of a hot after-party for snowboarders, due to the large amount of big-name snowboarders who end up partying there. However, a number of local skiers end up at Popcorn more often than not. It may seem cheesy with the 1950s jukeboxes and pool tables, but once the DJs get in it is as fun as any modern bar.
21. The Beach in Arapahoe Basin
The Arapahoe Basin hosts some of America's best and steepest terrain around. With only four lifts and no accommodation in the nearby area, the only reprieve is The Beach. American's have never really done après-ski bars with as much gusto as the Europeans, but The Beach gives any ski bar a run for its money. The Beach isn't so much a bar as it is a do-it-yourself carnival affair. Barbeques, kegs of beer, and lawn chairs – they all get set up at the bottom of the piste from the boots of cars in the middle of a car park. It's the biggest and least-known party in the U.S!