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Austria, Innsbruck and Kaltenbach advice please

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi All

We are heading to Innsbruck for a few days over Xmas to visit the Xmas markets then onto Kaltenbach to ski. We have had the benefit of SaraJ's invaluable advice so far. If anyone else had any tips and specifically on the following I would grateful.

Generally it appears that Austria is more cash based that our last destination Norway where we could have got away with having no cash at all. Do Austrian restaurants , taxis, smaller resort shops take cards or do they tend to want cash. Are ATMs common or should I get a lot of Euros before I go.

Innsbruck
Wondering if we should take public transport in from the airport. We will be a family of 4 with skis. We will be leaving Innsbruck by train so if we got to the train station on the way in first so could we leave some luggage there (incl skis) to pick up in a few days when leaving? If public transport is a pain are we able from the airport to get a decent sized taxi from the airport for all the luggage or best to pre-order one that would fit skis. Would the cost of the taxi be similar to 4 tickets in from the airport?

I see that that there are a few Xmas markets in Innsbruck (we will be there when all are open), are some better than others?

Any good restaurants/cafes for cake as its our youngest's birthday the day we get there.

There is an Innsbruck City ticket which has lots of free entry to attractions, we are unlikely to do many but is it good to have public transport included?


Zillertal
Fugen Public Swimming pool etiquette - are Board shorts allowed?
Valley train/ski bus, i think u need a valid ski pass for to be free - any ski pass (all areas/all duration)

Kaltenbach and Stumm
SaraJ has told us about good mountain huts, but happy to hear of any recommendations for village restaurants in either Kaltenbach or Stumm where we will be located?

Ski rental and lockers - any experience of these in Kaltenbach.

Ski school in Kaltenbach , mainly for kids group lessons? Any recommendations?

Any other tips gratefully received

Thanks in advance!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@ster, ATMs are freely available in all the places I’ve been in Austria recently and not had a problem using them at restaurants.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@ster, Plenty of ATMs around, smaller shops and taxis prefer cash but restaurants and larger shops, especially for larger amounts will take a card.
Bus from the airport to the train station in Innsbruck is easy - the bus stops outside the Arrivals door at the airport. I don't know how much it costs. I expect it's €2-3 per person. I have no idea about lockers at the station that would be big enough for skis.
The Christmas Markets in Innsbruck are all within walking distance of each other. Apart from the one at Hungerburg, for that you have to take the funicular. I've never been to that one, but I imagine the view from there over Innsbruck is very pretty.

Whenever I'm looking for cake in Innsbruck I go to Cafe Munding, in the old town. They also have hot chocolate where they bring you a mug of hot milk and a piece of chocolate to melt into it. Or, I go to Struedel Cafe Kröll, where they have many different types of strudel both sweet and savoury.

Board shorts are fine at the pool in Fügen.
Zillertalbahn train is free with a valid lift pass.

I hope that helps.
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Cash still very popular in Austria though plenty of ATMs About.

There are left luggage lockers (plenty big enough for skis) at Innsbruck station though have never left anything there for more than a day.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Everywhere takes cards, and pretty sure ATMs are everywhere too, but saying that I don't ever remember using one in Innsbruck, probably cos I usually have a stash of Euros anyway.

Bus F from the airport to the main station takes about 20mins iirc.
On the way back from the station you just need to pay attention, cos Bus F is the bus with the "number" F, and not bay F at the bus stop which seems to confuse brits.

Never been to a christmas market there, but I'd imagine there'll be one in the big long pedestrian area which has the Goldenes Dachl (golden roof) at one end.

I thought SaraJ was an instructor in Kaltenbach? Or was it in Hochfugen (the other side of the mountain)? There's definitely a kids ski school there, and I definitely remember going in there with Alastair Pink and other sH's one time (he knew someone that worked there).
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Not "everywhere" in Austria takes cards especially out in the countryside!
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
andy wrote:


I thought SaraJ was an instructor in Kaltenbach? Or was it in Hochfugen (the other side of the mountain)? There's definitely a kids ski school there, and I definitely remember going in there with Alastair Pink and other sH's one time (he knew someone that worked there).


Sadly the company (Skicheck) she works for is on the Hochfugen side and they only do kids lessons there, so a bit of a mission to get there from where we will be so looking for recommendations in Kaltenbach itself.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@andy, I teach mostly in Hochfügen. We don't offer kids group lessons, only private lessons.
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The Landgasthaus Linda in Stumm does seriously good food, I still look back on a New Year dinner there a few years ago with great fondness http://www.landgasthof-linde.at/en/home/

Kaltenbach is probably my favourite ski area, goodmpistes, great views and lots of variety. All the mountain huts are pretty good, although the big self-service one at the top of the access gondola feels a bit basic and soulless. Just above it is the Platzalm, which is really lovely. Might need a wee walk in if you don't carry enough speed off the piste, but it's worth it.

I've never seen anyone check tickets on the Zillertal train, as long as you're wearing ski gear it shouldn't be a problem regardless of what pass you've got. Worth taking the train up to Zell am Ziller for a day, it's a great ski area too.
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I’d second @SaraJ’s suggestion of Cafe Munding, not least because at that time of year they tend to have a glühwein stall outside. As if that’s not enough, the stall has in the past had a remarkable mechanical crow on the roof...I think it’s some sort of Hansel u. Gretel thing but happy to be corrected. Anyway - it’s well worth seeing for the comedy value Happy.
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andy wrote:
I thought SaraJ was an instructor in Kaltenbach? Or was it in Hochfugen (the other side of the mountain)? There's definitely a kids ski school there, and I definitely remember going in there with Alastair Pink and other sH's one time (he knew someone that worked there).


I knew Gerhard Wildauer who ran the skischule Hochzillertal in Kaltenbach. I gather that within the last year he has sold it to the Eberharter brothers (Christoph and Stephan), although Gerhard still has some involvement with the skischool I believe. The Hochzillertal ski school office is next to the Kaltenbach gondola base station, to the left of it as you face the base station, the building has a red sign saying Ski Schule Ski Verleih. (Incidentally the top floor of the ski school office has a small cosy bar run by the Wildauer family, the cafe Wedelstube) The Hochzillertal kids' nursery slope and Bobo's children's club is at the top of the gondola - just walk a few yards to the right when you get off the gondola.

As regards eating places in Kaltenbach itself the Pizzeria 12 Apostel (12 Apostles) was good. If you want to go slightly further afield then in the adjacent village of Ried the hotel Alpina has a very nice restaurant, I don't know whether it's open to non-residents but worthwhile enquiring if it is.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
nozawaonsen wrote:
Not "everywhere" in Austria takes cards especially out in the countryside!


+1

In Innsbruck you can mostly get by with card, but taxis, any Ruetz bakery and a couple of smaller restaurants (like Machete, which does great burritos) only take cash. On the mountain it can be a toss up whether cards are accepted too. There are ATMs everywhere though.

I don't know anything about lockers at the train station, but the F bus takes you there from the airport for €2.80 I think. But you will find a taxi big enough for all over you + skis at the airport, which would also get you there for somewhere around €15 (should be under €20 anyway). Once in Innsbruck everything is in walking distance.

Re. Christmas markets the best two are the one in the old town in front of the Goldenes Dachl, and the one between the old town and the river. The market up in Hungerburg does afford a cool view over the city, but it's a lot smaller and closes earlier. Worth going up for a glühwein if you have time though. Depending on snow and your exact dates you could also go all the way up to Seegrub (Nordkette's mid-station) for a drink + sledging/skiing there too.

For cake, there's also the Cafe Sacher in the Altstadt, as in part of the hotel chain that originally invented the famous chocolate Sachertorte cake in Vienna. Along the same street there's also a tiny little strudel cafe (can't remember the name, sorry). Cafe Central is another option too, again in the style of the Viennese coffee houses.

If you'll be visiting the Christmas markets over the weekend and want to eat between 6-8pm it's a good idea to book a restaurant as they get very busy. Stiftskeller is a good option and pretty authentic/traditionally Austrian.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@ster, we have only been to the region once, last xmas, we also had fantastic advice from sara j.

+1 for the pool in fugen, it was open xmas day, budgie smugglers were not compulsory!!!!. had fantastic slides, wave machine and whirlpool that flings you out at speed amongst other attractions!!.

if you are there for Christmas, I would recommend the xmas eve nativity service in the main church in fugen, it was truly breathtaking when the lights are turned off and "silent night" is performed. we are planning to go back next Christmas as it will be 200 years since silent night was first performed there.

we skied in kaltenbach, absolutely loved it, we also found the restaurants (sorry cannot remember names) on the mountain to be inexpensive, there was a large one at the top of the gondola station where we had hot choccies and beers, and another one a short ski from there opposite a t-bar where we stopped generally for lunch and sunning ourselves on the terrace (50euros for four of us including drinks and deserts, we reduced the amount by a third the next day as we could not eat it all!)
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Hi All

All good stuff, thanks for the info. I'd only been to Austria (Mayrhofen) once but that many many years ago pre Euro so keep the tips coming

Very happy to hear all the good opinions about the skiing in Kaltenbach and the other bits in valley surrounds. Very interesting to know about the Fugen church.

I'll will let you know how it all goes with a TR.

The relative inexpensiveness of the eateries will be a pleasant experience!

Cheers


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Tue 26-09-17 19:11; edited 1 time in total
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Stubai valley is probably the closest big ski area to Innsbruck - there is a regular bus. 2 main ski areas Schlick 2000 (nearest) and Stubai Glacier. I stayed in Neustiff a couple of years ago and the skiing was excellent. Schlick 2000 is nearest to Innsbruck

https://www.stubai.at/en/

https://www.stubai.at/en/skiing-resorts/schlick2000/skiing-resort/

https://www.stubaier-gletscher.com/en/
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Actually there are others even closer to the city, Igls, Tufles and my favourite Axamer.

http://www.axamer-lizum.at/de/winter/
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@edwardsnde, @northantsred, cheers but already booked into Kaltenbach for the Hochzillertal ski area so looking for info about there but with Innsbruck only for tourist aspects not skiing.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Sorry I misunderstood.
Kaltenbach- Hoch Fugen is good.
I've always stayed at Mayrhofen but ski the other areas, Hintertux, Zell-Gerlos and Kaltenbach too.
Your lift pass should cover you for entire valley and can use buses and train. You have to be carrying ski equipment or it is not valid. I have seen them check people on the train and once on a bus. If you get chance try Zell am Ziller ~10 minutes on the train then a bus a few miles to the lifts. I like that area - particularly above Gerlos. Look out for the giant spider in Kaltenbach.
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edwardsnde wrote:
. Look out for the giant spider in Kaltenbach.


Giant spider???

Oh and something I should have checked earlier with you all, the accommodation I am looking at wants a bank transfer in advance (of course) deposit now and rest 14 days before arrival. I think I have read on here that bank transfers for accommodation is not uncommon in Austria? Appears to be privately owned but managed by an agent.

Advertised on HomeAway, has own website as well, easy/good to contact but of course all this can be faked. And its not too expensive.
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What do you mean faked? have you the link?
I visit Austria since 2007 and usually when i book something a couple of months earlier, i always have to make a deposit with a bank transfer.
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In so far as anyone can set up a site and purport to have the service/goods.

http://www.fw-steiner.de/wohnungen

Highly trusted per https://www.scamadviser.com/

But not many reviews on-line.

Its all in German as is the contract as sent (using google translate and seems reasonable) and other info. If this is a common approach for small scale Austria/Europe accommodation as it has been in your experience then there's a a bit more comfort that its not usual.
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Well as i said i travel to Austria since 2007. I had many times booked something and communicated in English. Why dont you try to send an email ? or maybe call them? In the website i saw the the manage of the appartment makes the Ventus Reisen GmbH...
If you feel unsafe try to contact both of them.
However i had never during this 10 years noticed something like a scam. And i always booked something without the help of a travel agency.
The other thing you can do is to see if the appartment is in the village catalogs...
I have to say that usually i send a deposit and pay the rest when i get there. However when you booked that through an agent is a little bit different. Thats why you have to pay the rest 14 d. before arrival....
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Have already communicated via email (owner and agent), nice and easy so far. They seem to have local knowledge etc. I might also try to call the tel number I have, managed via an agent in Berlin.

Nothing has made me feel uneasy in this alone apart from its a good price with cash up front and seeing all the other scare stories about.
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@ster, yes bank transfer is pretty common in Austria, so nothing odd about that. There are also standard T&Cs about cancellation.
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big metal spider sculpture aqt top of ski lift near top left corner of piste map.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/crystalski/12584439135
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when you had already paid the deposit then it is too late.
When not try to delate it and if you want find something other...use the search engine from best-of-zillertal.at and find something where you speak straight to the owner... 95% you will pay a 20% deposit and the rest by arrival...
what to you mean good price? under 500€???
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Its E770 per week so maybe not all that low but as we seem to be booking late its the best I can see having searched several sites including the one above.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Probably i will go also with family in Zillertal for Christmas and i to be honest i didnt book anything...i always do it last time
However when i search from 23 to 30 Dec i find many appart. from 550 till 750 and of course much more....it is not to late for Zillertal
my opinion
However i can not say 101% it is not a scam...but by my opinion 99% it is not a scam. As i said i travel to Austria almost 10 years now, sometimes 4 or 5 times pro Year and i always book something direct with the owner. I look the websites, photos, send email etc...
I had never problem with scams etc...


Last edited by So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much on Wed 27-09-17 9:03; edited 1 time in total
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I quoted the per week price for an easy comparison but we only want it for 5 nights. When I searched a few places showed available for that time but no one replied, I can only assume they didnt want a short week and woild rather wait to see if they could get a full week booking or are just not good at replying to contact forms. Then I found this who would do 5 nights.

It doesnt feel wrong. I think I will also call and see what that contact is like.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
ok...thats possible...usually these days they want a whole week sat-sat
however i always managed to find something for more or less days...in Austria its quite possible
another thing is that the price you have may be the same price if you book for one week...probably they charge a little bit more so they can have the money for the other two nights because they will find noboby for two nights
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Have phoned as well. Good answers re the apartment and appears like the agent has been to it alright.

As we are four and not as flexible as some in terms of hoping last minute stuff shows up also want to get a stake in the ground for other planning and bookings soon (i.e ski school)
might take the plunge. Wish me luck.
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Details of travel options from Innsbruck to Kaltenbach here:

https://www.rome2rio.com/s/Innsbruck-Airport-INN/Kaltenbach-Austria
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Cheers. Think we'll take the train. Sounds like they are well run and not too expensive.
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