Village life, accommodation and nightlife
Very few English people stay here so the place is filled with Dutch and Germans who like to board and party. The town stretches out along the main road for a couple of miles with the 2 main gondolas at each end of the town. The Gaislakogel gondola is in the West, and the Giggijoch is in the East. The queues at both of these gondolas can get quite bad, so miss the ski school rush at 9am, or take the small, slow, but tranquil single chair lift hidden away just to the west of the Giggijoch.
The Giggijoch gondola serves the other end of town and both are linked with a frequent bus service. Every Friday there is a big party at the top of the gondola with bands playing. Rettenbach also hosts a huge outdoor musical every April incorporating 500 actors, lasers and fireworks. At the bottom of the World Cup Run on Rettenbach, next to the Stadium there is the Salomon station with a really cool bar upstairs.
One night a week the Gaislakogel opens in the evening and you can go nightboarding on a few of the slopes if you buy the extra night ticket. There is also a big ski / snowboard and firework show on the same night which is worth a look.
EatingThere are plenty of restaurants in the town. Those definitely worth visiting are the Alm Haus with its wooden exterior and traditional Austrian fodder, the Nudeltopf for great pizzas and pasta or Monty burger for rubber burgers. The Otzi Keller is now a posh restaurant for a slap up meal
If you're on the Schwarze Schneide mountain stop at the Sonnblick bar on run-19/20 and drink a beer before descending. On the Gaislachkogel, head to the Philips bar in Innerwald. These will get the cogs moving again.
After the lifts close at 4pm, the party commences with most of the après ski bars full of people wanting to do some serious drinking. It is possible to board right to the door of Marco's bar which is near the Post Office. This is a great spot to sit outside next to a heater and watch the sun set over the peaks then eat a burger from the BBQ outside.
Since they enclosed the Schrim umbrella bar, this has been the apres ski place to try and squeeze yourself into.
For more serious partying and dancing on tables there is the Bla bla Bar and Hinterherr which is opposite the Dutch bar, Alm Rausch. These three bars get crowded but the staff are highly efficient and always manage to serve you pretty quick.
Once you have eaten dinner enjoy a digestif at the Grizzly bar which is very chilled with log fires. After a couple of quiet years Fire & Ice has picked up and is usually pretty rammed. The new modern Party Haus a bit further along has an open plan dancefloor/bar on the ground floor, a VIP bar, and even a Kebab shop upstairs. Lavina's nightclub is no longer open, but head over the bridge to the rejuvinated Stamperl bar or Kuhstall until 8am ready for the slopes.
There's around 10,000 beds in town, but it can be extremely difficult to get accommodation here so it is better to book through the Tourist Office before arriving. The place works very much on the saturday-saturday booking so you may struggle to book a part week until afew days before you get there. If you just turn up then head to the main tourist information in the leisure centre, or if thats closed then look out for the green room available signs on the hotels & pensions. If Solden is full then try nearby Vent or Obergurgl, but you might need a car as the buses finish early.
There are a great variety of places to stay, some top 4 star hotels and pensions you can pick up for 25 euros a night.
Take a good look at the position of where you'll be staying before you book and don't just rely on the blurb on the website that says in 500m from the lift. Those 500m might be vertical, and while places like Innerwald and Unterwald offer by far the cheapest prices, it is one hell of a hike back from the bars.READ NEXT: Mountain statistics
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