At the bottom of the tranquil Alpbachtal Valley, there is a picturesque village that ticks all the boxes of a rural Tyrolean hamlet: exceptional mountain scenery, farmhouses dotting the slopes, for there are more than one hundred working farms, traditional wooden chalets, and balconies brimming with colourful flowers.
So once you set foot there, you’ll soon understand why Alpbach has been proclaimed the most beautiful village in Austria in the 1980s and Europe’s most beautiful Floral Village. It partly owes this undeniable charm to its strict building code, implemented since the 1950s, according to which every new building must be constructed in traditional stone and wood style.
A popular hiking area in summer and an intermediate’s skiing paradise in winter, Alpbach begs for exploration. And here is how you’ll make the most of it!
Best Things to Do In Alpbach
Ort der Stille
Just behind the Böglerhof Hotel, you will find an enchanting chapel whose name translates to “Place of Silence”. The chapel is made out of wood and glass, and its nonagon shape represents the nine pillars of the Enneagram, which, in turn, describes the nine interconnected personality types. The fountain inside represents life and divine energy, while the bowl and glass stele are symbols of femininity/ receptiveness and masculinity/ transparency, respectively.
Follow the Skulpturenweg (Path of Sculptures), along which there are sculptures depicting envy, greed, pride, and other deadly sins, and you will get to the Lesehütte, a wooden hut full of books.
Opening Hours: from 09:00 to 21:00 | Entrance Fee: free
In the heart of the village, there is the parish church of St Oswald, whose patron saint is a former king of Northumbria. For those interested in science history, in its cemetery, you can find the grave of Erwin Schrodinger, a prominent figure in theoretical physics.
Congress Centrum Alpbach
Being the only exception to Alpbach’s building regulations, the Congress Centrum is an impressive building built into the slope so as to fit the village’s traditional architecture.
With optimized energy usage, natural daylight in all halls and foyers, and breathtaking views of the surrounding valley from the terrace, this is an ideal Green Meeting destination. The Congress Centrum hosts, among others, the annual European Forum Alpbach that draws together world-class scientists, renowned artists, and politicians for workshops and debates.
Built between 1636 and 1638 and inhabited up to 1952, the old farmhouse displays over 800 original pieces of furniture and utensils, providing a rare insight into the life of the farming community of Alpbach.
To get there, hop on Bus #4074 towards Inneralpbach and get off at the last stop after 7min. Right next to the museum, Zirmalm hut serves rustic dishes, with its specialty being the “Melchermus”, prepared on the open fireplace.
Opening Hours: Open on request – Monday to Friday 10:00-16:00, closed in winter | Entrance Fee: 3€ for adults, €1.50 for children
Hiking the Alpbacher Heimatweg (Mühlbachweg – Weg der Besinnung)
The Alpbacher Heimatweg is a 4km signposted walking path around the village, with stations providing an interesting insight into the local flora, fauna, and history. The hike, which starts and ends at the Wellnesshotel Der Alpbacherhof, takes you past the Mühlbach Bridge and, after a while, joins the Mühlbach Path of Contemplation. The board at the beginning of the path provides detailed information on the exact route.
And for avid hikers, this summit hike to Gratlspitze (1,893m) is second to none!
Attractions in the Wiedersberger Horn Region
Visiting in summer and looking for a forest playground, a thrill ride, or an adventurous hike? Or maybe coming in winter to practice your turns, swoosh down some long, tree-lined runs, or give cross-country a try? Well, there is a region that caters to all!
The Wiedersberger Horn is an easy-to-climb mountain, with its summit at 2,127m, accessible from Alpbach via cableways. Its mountainsides are used as a skiing area, forming part of the Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau.
To get there from Alpbach, take Bus #4074 towards Brixlegg/Radfeld and, after about 5min, get off at Alpbach Wiedersbergerhornbahn. Once there, you can either hike to the top or take the Wiedersbergerhornbahn, a six-seater gondola that takes you up to 1,850m in just 7min. There are different summer and winter tariffs and timetables for the mountain cable car, so always check beforehand.
Hiking the Panoramaweg (summer)
Starting from the cable car top station, take the A40 path, and after the lifts, you have two options: to hike around the Wiedersbergerhorn peak or hike up to it. This interactive map provides detailed information on these routes as well as others in the region.
| Hiking around the Peak: Living up to its name, the Panorama Path around the Wiedersbergerhorn peak offers splendid views over the neighboring valleys. After the lifts, follow the “Panoramaweg” either from the left or the right. It doesn’t matter which direction you choose since the hike is circular, and you will return back to the same point.
| Hike to the Summit: From the lifts, turn left to the Panoramaweg, and after a few meters, follow the signposts indicating “Wiedersbergerhorn Gipfel”. There is a rope-secured section, but if it looks hard for you, try the family-friendly alternative route just around the back of it. After about 45min and a fairly steep ascent of 300m, you will reach the summit cross. Descend via a short steep stretch to the Wiedersbergerhorn Hütte and then follow the Panoramaweg – either to the north or to the south – back to the lifts.
Lauserland & Lauser-Sauser (summer & winter)
Lauserland is an adventure playground located directly at the top station of the Wiedersbergerhornbahn (1.845m) in Alpbach. It features about 40 different game stations, as well as the popular Lauser-Sauser Alpine Coaster. With a downhill track of 1.035 m and an elevation drop of 134 m, the 7min ride provides a thrill for children and adults alike. The two-seater sledges can reach speeds of up to 42 km/h, descending over two jumps and through two 360° twists.
Ski Juwel Ski Area (winter)
Alpbach sits at the heart of the Ski Juwel Alpbachtal Wildschönau ski area, home to 45 lifts and more than 100km of slopes and ski routes. So if you visit during ski season, you will fall head over heels for the region!
The ski area is attractive to both beginners and experienced winter sports lovers thanks to its diversity of long and wide slopes as well as challenging runs and freeride zones. Alpbach, in particular, is an intermediate’s paradise and only has a small beginner zone and a draglift. So for the best beginner facilities, you’ll need to head to Inneralpbach or up to the Gmahkopf.
How to Get to Alpbach
The closest airports to Alpbach are the ones of Innsbruck (INN, 60km), Munich (MUC, 130km), and Salzburg (SBG, 140km). Getting there by car is a piece of cake but unnecessary since there are excellent public transport connections.
By Public Transport
No matter where you land, to reach Alpbach by public transport, first, catch a train as far as Brixlegg Bahnhof, and then hop on Bus #4074 (2-4€) towards Inneralpbach. Be aware that the journey between the train stations of Jenbach and Brixlegg, or Wörgl and Brixlegg is free for everyone who has booked accommodation in Alpbachtal by simply showing the booking confirmation.
Depending on whether you want to visit the Wiedersbergerhorn hiking and skiing area, the Alpbach village itself, or the Inneralpbach at the head of the valley, you will get off at Wiedersbergerhornbahn, Raika, or Inneralpbach stops, respectively.
Getting around with the Alpbachtal Seenland Card
The village is tiny, and you don’t need any means of transport to navigate it – except for your feet! But if you want to explore a bit further, such as the Wiedersberger Horn region or the other villages of the valley, you can use the VVT buses.
Keep in mind that if you spend the night in any of the Alpbachtal villages, on checking in at your accommodation, you are given your Alpbachtal Card. That is a visitor’s card that, among others, offers you free Regiobus rides throughout the region. During the skiing season, numerous bus services shuttle back and forth to the lift stations of Wiedersbergerhornbahn, Pöglbahn, and Reitherkogelbahn are also free with the card.
Where to Eat in Alpbach
When it comes to recommending places to eat in Alpbach, we have to admit that our go-to’s are the mountain huts. Scattered in the valley, these Almhütte welcome weary walkers for hearty meals and warm hospitality. From Kaiserschmarrn to Gröstl and Knödl, the Austrian mountain food is designed to ward off the cold and keep ski legs hot to trot.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the mountain huts are closed in between the summer and winter seasons, so always check before taking that extra walk.
Jausenstation Zottahof: If you hike the Heimatweg, this hut is totally worth the little detour. It serves fairly priced and delicious Tyrolean classics, as well as heavenly views from the balcony. Don’t miss the omelette-style Kaiserschmarrn and the Löffelmilch, whose recipe may be a secret, but we do know that it contains fresh milk with a shot of rum and wine!
Jausenstüberl Oberthaler: A couple of meters after Zottahof at the Heimatweg, Oberthaler is an excellent option too. The freshly prepared Kaiserschmarrn is out of this world, while the Alpbachtaler Hüttenjause platter is also highly recommended.
Cafe Genuss: Spoil yourself with a hearty breakfast buffet at Genuss (€26,50), held every Friday and Saturday from 08:30 to 12:30. Cafe Genuss also doubles as a concept store and is housed at the Weiherhof Guesthouse.
Böglalm: Böglalm is a rustic mountain hut at Inneralpbach, a 7min ride on Bus #4074 from Alpbach. It is particularly praised for the roasted chicken (Grillhendl) and the Knödl, while excellent breakfast is served, provided you have ordered it the day before.
Zirmalm: This is another nice mountain hut at Inneralpbach, right next to the Bergbauernmuseum. It’s a great place to try rustic Tyrolean food while soaking up some sun and enjoying views of the valley.
Where to Stay in Alpbach
Alpbach can easily be visited as a day trip from Innsbruck or Kufstein. But spending a couple of nights in one of its wooden chalets to ski the slopes or hike the valley is so much worth it! Plus, you will get free access to public transport and many attractions throughout the region with the Alpbachtal Card.
| Budget: A lovely guesthouse with spacious rooms and sweeping views up the valley, Gästehaus Larch is just steps from Alpbach centre and a 5min bus journey to the slopes. Situated slightly outside the village of Alpbach but with easy access by road or two short hiking path, Bergwald is another charming chalet with cosy rooms and a sauna upon request.
| Mid-range: Right in the middle of the village, Chalet Waschkuchl offers upscale 2-bedroom apartments beautifully decorated with natural materials. Close by, Gästehaus Weiherhof is another great option, where guests can choose between rustic double rooms, studios, and two-bedroom apartments. Café Genuss is the guesthouse’s on-site café open for coffee and buffet breakfast.
| For groups: Traveling with a large group of friends (up to 20!) and looking for a place with all the bells and whistles to have to yourself? Then you can’t go wrong with Chalet Bischoferalm, offering gorgeous rooms, with some having the option of a fireplace and bathtub.
Map of Alpbach
Alpbach is just one of the ten villages that constitute the Alpbachtal valley. And with so many other gorgeous places around, such as Rattenberg and the Wolfsklamm Gorge, it’s a pity not to explore a bit further.
So book a couple of nights in the region, get your Alpbachtal Card, leave your car behind, and get ready to be awed by the hidden gems of the Austrian Alps!