Some have said that St. Anton is the après capital of the Alps. Now, I may be slightly biased having spent a season there, but I would be inclined to agree. I’ve never been anywhere that has such a large amount of après offering such variety. Be it on the slopes or in the town, live music or europop, there truly is something for everyone. Once you’ve experienced the incredible skiing the Arlberg area has to offer, make your way back to St. Anton and be prepared to get your dancing shoes on – apres in St Anton really is something that needs to be seen to be believed!
Apres in St Anton – on the Piste
Mooserwirt is the icon of apres in St Anton. Usually the lead image in any article discussing the resort’s huge number of on-slope offerings, Mooserwirt is incredibly deserving of this honour. At 3pm everyday, the blinds inside go down, the first notes of ‘The Final Countdown’ strike up, and the party begins. Dancing on tables, great beer, classic Europop, Lederhosen, – everything you could want from an après bar, Mooserwirt has, and then some. You almost can’t believe your eyes as trays UNBELIEVABLY full of beer steins, jägerbombs and shots of schnapps do the rounds (honestly, those bar staff must be superhuman the way they can carry those huge trays through a jam packed (probably inebriated) dancing crowds without dropping anything. Super. Human.)
Within the resort, it has gained something of a reputation as a more ‘touristy’ apres spot, perhaps due to its incredible popularity with the German and Dutch crowds. However, this does make it a unique experience, unlike some of the other bars, which have such an English crowd you could be forgiven for thinking you were back in the UK! This is what a lot of people love about Mooserwirt; it’s a completely different experience than you will get anywhere else. It’s big, bold, brash and a LOT of fun.
A few weeks before the end of our season, Mooserwirt was the only on-slope après bar still open. It’s not usually a spot seasonnaires tend to frequent, so those who were not yet convinced trudged in grumbling about how the music would be rubbish and the drinks would be expensive. Well, four hours later, these same seasonnaires were the ones crying out for ‘one more song’, proclaiming that this was the best après on the slope and slurring how much they regretted not coming there every week. The saying goes that you can’t please everyone, but in the case of Mooserwirt, it seems you can!
The Krazy Kangaruh bar, or KK’s as it is often known, is another St. Anton institution. Having been around since 1965, it’s a spot people return to year upon year thanks to its great food, large terrace and energetic parties. The huge terrace area gets filled to the brim and you can admire the incredible views of St. Anton on offer while you stomp your ski boots on a table! Meanwhile, inside, the party is equally as raucous, with a large indoor area and dedicated bar staff on hand to pull pints to perfection. You can always rely on KK’s to put on a good après party no matter what. There’s not a huge amount to say about this one because it is just brilliant! Definitely one of the top après bars in Anton, with great vibes, you will always have a lot of fun at Krazy Kangaruh – it’s one we can’t recommend enough.
Taps almost feels like the younger sibling of KK’s. The two occupy the same building, which can be confusing. Taps is on the front while the entrance to KK’s sits slightly around the right side, but interestingly you can only ever hear the music from one. Make the most of both by splitting your time between the two, or simply pick your favourite! Taps is particularly popular with seasonnaires, who love the mix of modern and classic après music as well as the decent prices (of course). This does mean that Taps can be quite hit and miss; sometimes the atmosphere is lacking, but on other days, it’s like a nightclub on the slopes that you never want to leave.
If you’re not a fan of crowds it’s probably best to avoid this one on a Thursday as it can get incredibly busy. The crowd is slightly younger than the other après bars, so if you want to dance your heart out to modern tunes, this may be your perfect spot! The DJ seems to read the crowd extremely well and always knows what tunes will go down like a house on fire. Indeed, one of my favourite things about Taps are the DJ’s not-so-subtle hints that the clock has struck 8 and it’s time to make your way home; ‘It’s Time to Say Goodbye’ swiftly followed by ABBA’s ‘Thankyou for the Music’. Works like a charm!
(Also be careful on the stairs here. They’re steep, slippery and with ski boots on can be a bruised coccyx waiting to happen.)
A more authentic Austrian experience, Heudstadl is one of the first of the après bars you come to on Blue Route 1. It’s got a huge outdoor area, with cosy tables around the edges, the perfect place for a gluwhein on a cold day. Inside, it’s like a large stone barn, decorated in true Tyrolean style. It’s a great place to stop for some food or drink during the day, but late afternoon is when it really gets lively. An outdoor stage often holds live music acts, which keep the party pumping until the evening. The crowd here tends to be more Austrian and German than in other bars further down the slopes, so the music is generally catered to these tastes. If you love your German euro-pop, this is the place for you!
Underground on the Piste
Definitely one of my favourite spots for apres in St Anton, if not spots in general, Underground on the Piste is somewhere you have to visit. A smaller more cosy venue, it’s got such a friendly atmosphere that you instantly feel welcome. In the afternoons it’s a great spot for a beer or two, with live music and good food on offer.
From 8pm, you are only allowed to stay if you have booked in for dinner (which again, I would very much recommend). The fondue is incredible (meat and cheese) and comes with a huge selection of bread, potatoes, vegetables, and salad. After dinner (or even throughout dinner depending on the crowd) the live music returns. I had some of the best evenings of my entire season here. It’s quite a small place so you generally get to know other guests and it feels very much like you’re all at a party rather than a bar. Owner Joan further facilitates this, ensuring that everyone is constantly having a good time like a fun-loving fairy godmother. Located at the bottom of the piste, just to the right of the Galzigbahn list, this is one that should be on everyone’s St. Anton bucket list – après or not!
Another one of the bars located at the bottom of the ‘home run’, this is often where people wind up once Mooserwirt has shut. All the good intentions of an early night go rather out the window when you get to the bottom of the slope and find yourself right next to a buzzing party. Don’t get me wrong though, Basecamp is fun for more than just apres-apres! Throughout the day Basecamp offers great food and drink, transforming into a lively dance floor in the afternoon that draws in those who have just finished their last runs of the day. Live music takes centre stage, with a saxophone player who accompanies the DJ with staggering musicality. The vibe here is a bit more modern and more fashionable than the ‘traditional apres’ up on the mountain, and it’s equally as enjoyable. Later on, the DJs bring out the dance music and the party continues way into the night (if you can last that long!)
Similar to Basecamp, Anton Bar sits at the foot of the Galzigbahn gondola and the Blue 1 home run, meaning that it’s a popular watering hole for those fresh off the slopes. With decent drink prices and good music, the party is always pumping here. Anton Bar doesn’t really have an outside area as other bars do, but this is very much appreciated on cold, rainy or snowy days, when the last thing you want is to be partying outdoors with a frozen beer convincing yourself you’re having fun! On these days, Anton Bar’s wood fireplaces provide a welcome warmth and the perfect après ski spot.
Apres in St Anton – in the Town
Another favourite of many seasonnaires, sports bar Bar Cuba draws in a young, lively crowd. It’s a great place to head if you’re in town and need to catch that game of footy or the next rugby fixture. You can always be sure to get a large (and mixed) crowd of supporters, which makes the viewing experience much more entertaining. For après it’s somewhere that tends to fill up once the bars on-slope have wound down; those that don’t want the party to end quite yet will find Bar Cuba the perfect destination. It’s also got a pool table as well as two table football table if you fancy a bit of healthy competition off the slopes! Drinks are quite reasonably priced and there tends to be a happy hour each day where the house ‘cocktails’ are two-for-one. If you have a sweet tooth, you’re in for a treat with these.
If you don’t feel like you’ve had enough activity for one day and want to dance along to some great live music, Murrmel is the place to head. Just at the end of the main ‘strip’ (for want of a better word), Murrmel Bar have a large range of musical acts that play live throughout the season. The music isn’t quite what you’ll get at Mooserwirt or Krazy Kangaruh – live guitars over less euro-pop and dance music, but believe me, you will still get your groove on! The live acts tend to be really impressive and the intimate setting only serves to make it feel like your own private concert! Smaller than most of the on-slope après bars, Murrmel Bar maintains a really nice, friendly atmosphere and fantastic staff keep you well watered while you enjoy some great live music.
You can always count on Scotty’s for a no-frills, down to earth, party atmosphere. Also renowned as one of the best pizzerias in St. Anton, so it’s the perfect place to refuel and keep that stomach lined while you enjoy a few beers. With decent drinks prices and great music drawing in a younger crowd, it can get quite rowdy here as evening turns into night. Like Bar Cuba, they make their own ‘cocktails’, which can be the cheapest option but you won’t need too many – they are deceptively strong!
To round off, I’ll leave you with a few pointers about apres in St Anton that will come in very helpful if you do find yourself there this winter.Firstly, take a ski lock or split your skis up when leaving them outside a bar. Unfortunately, your shiny new skis might look extremely attractive to someone with bad intentions, so bringing a ski lock means you can relax without worrying whether your skis will still be there when you’re done! Secondly, if you’re planning on having quite a few drinks, it’s not a good idea to ski down after après, which goes on until 8pm on the mountain. While it’s not the most difficult run down, it’s very dark and very dangerous in bad conditions, especially for less confident skiers. There’s a bus that you can catch from a road about a 5-minute walk away from the après bars on the piste, so we’d definitely recommend you do that instead.
Apres in St. Anton is truly legendary and it’s something that every skier should experience at least once in their life! If you want an incredible ski area, insanely fun apres and brilliant nightlife, St. Anton is the resort for you.