Guide to Seefeld, Austria
Austria is a place I can visit again and again. The summer months bring incredible green grasses and cows donning bells. The winter months showcase an epic landscape of snow and ice. No matter when you go there are always outdoor activities and beautiful scenery.
There is nothing quite like waking up to the view of rows and rows of beautiful snow-capped mountains on the horizon. This was the view out of my window during my weekend getaway to the Alps. I've created a quick guide to Seefeld, Austria and the various activities in the Alps.
Out of all the countries in Europe, I keep heading back to Austria. It lures me in with its beauty, then surprises me with something new every time. And I can definitely tell you Seefeld did just that. Read on to learn why.
How to Get to Seefeld
You can get to Seefeld by train, bus, or car. I drove from Heidelberg, Germany and took in the scenic views of the mountains along the way. However, if driving to Seefeld is not an option, you can fly into the Innsbruck Airport then take a cab, train, or bus to the village. Whichever option you choose, the commute should take between half an hour to an hour.
Where to Stay in Seefeld
Seefeld is the perfect base for all your fun, outdoor activities and sightseeing. With easy access to train stations, bus routes, and great restaurants this is the best place for your Alps adventure. We had the perfect stay at comfortable and convenient das MAX hotel. Located half an hour from Innsbruck, minutes from the mountains, and beautiful views of the alps, makes das MAX an ideal stay. Plus, it's dog friendly!
Boutique Hotel das MAX is located just across the road from the railway station, making it easily accessible even for a first-time visitor to Seefeld. You'll also find ample parking for your car. Tucked in the heart of the Alps, this hotel is a perfect place to treat yourself to their lovely spa and sauna- the best experience after a day outdoors. The breakfast at das MAX is the perfect way to start your day. Fresh juices, cold cuts, coffee, and oatmeal options make it easy to fill up.
Simple and functional design details make you feel right at home.
From the hotel, you can easily access all the routes that head up to the slopes and hiking trails. Das MAX Hotel offers 4-star bed and breakfast accommodation with a tranquil and relaxing spa center, a restaurant, a bar, shared lounge, and free Wi-Fi. I loved the roomy bathroom and lovely bath products.
The rooms at das MAX are tastefully designed and presented in a very modern, chic and cozy ambiance. Affordability and convenience are my perfect accommodation combination.
Where to Eat in Seefeld
I've been to lots of different cities in the Alps. But really, there is something that sets Seefeld apart. And it happens to be Le Treize. If you want to treat yourself to one of the best meals of your life, I have the perfect place for you: Le Treize restaurant.
Upon entering the restaurant you'll be swept up in the mesmerizing smell wafting from the kitchen. You'll see plush seating and low lighting with an open kitchen.
It felt like a dining experience, not just going out to eat. While it's not inexpensive, I cannot recommend Le Treize enough. It feels like you're at a live cooking show, eagerly awaiting the next course.
You can opt to order off the menu (it lights up to accommodate for the dim lighting). Or, like we did, you can opt for the fabulous 8-course expertly prepared meal.
We had a table right by the kitchen so we could watch the magic of top chef, Armin Leitgeb, and his team craft the most beautiful, and sumptuous plates. Leitgeb was named one of the top 50 chefs in the world and it showed in his artful but delicious cuisine. You can see the passion for food is unparalleled and it shows in the ornate details of each dish.
The wine pairings were fantastic as well, and brought out all of the flavors of our meal.
The restaurant is comfortable yet refined. Every detail is taken into account- from the elegant wine glasses to the beautiful cutlery.
Of course, the food was the star of the show. Some of the highlights of the meal for me were the parsnip cappuccino with grilled squid and shaved red wine foie gras. The triple blended cauliflower was unlike anything I've ever tasted. It felt like there must be some magical cream, but I was assured it was because of the finest ingredients, and the expertise of the chef. Of course, each dish was beautiful laid out:
The grapefruit “vodka” tonic was artfully displayed on a grapefruit slice and crushed can of juice. But I couldn't get enough of the Tyrolean dry aged beef paired perfectly with the wine.
From the ambiance to the decadent food, you will have the most memorable experience. I have to come back to see what other creative dishes Le Treize will serve next. The menu of the restaurant is not a constant fixture. The chef prides himself in preparing his meals with in-season produce. I know I'll come back here to have one of the best dining experiences ever.
If I didn't convince you enough, when you stay at das MAX you can also get a discount!
What to Do In and Around Seefeld
Seefeld is a great destination for nature and outdoor lovers. Whether you're a fan of skiing, sledding, hiking, or sightseeing, Seefeld has a lot to keep you busy and entertained for an entire weekend.
Here is my guide to Seefeld, Austria that will ensure you experience the highlights of the Austrian Alps.
Day Trip to Innsbruck
The town of Innsbruck is a 50-minute train ride away from Seefeld. The drive from our hotel to the town took us about 35 minutes. This is the perfect way to kick off the trip: beautiful sights plus interesting history.
The view of the colorful buildings in Innsbruck look almost like a painting and make for a picture-perfect backdrop. You could spend a day or two exploring this city and still not see it all. But if you only have a few hours for your getaway, an afternoon is enough to see the best of Innsbruck. Check out my full guide to Innsbruck right here.
We started our afternoon adventure by exploring the Old Town of Innsbruck. We strolled in the colorful streets of the town peeking into various shops and sampling food like classic strudel from world famous Cafe Krôll (here you can also try the sachertorte – the infamous chocolate cake.)
Innsbruck is fairly small, so most of the sightseeing can be done by foot or by hopping on a bus.
Make sure you check out the Golden Roof (Goldenes Dachl), Maria Theresien Strasse for beautiful architecture, and head to the river to get a picture of the colorful houses. Don't forget to stroll by the arch to see the mountains peaking out in the background. Innsbruck is one of the biggest cities in Austria to be in the Alps so it makes for a great destination no matter the time of year.
Our final stop during our stroll in the Old Town of Innsbruck was the City Tower. The City Tower was built in 1450, and for almost 450 years, this tower was used by guards to keep watch over the city and the State of Tyrol at large. Today, this majestic tower is a landmark that offers a good vantage point with 360-degree views of the city.
To get to the top of the town tower you have to climb around 166 steps. This climb is not for the faint-hearted but the struggle is well worth it. In the end, you'll enjoy some breathtaking views of the Nordkette mountain ranges, the River Inn, Patscherkofel Mountain, and Bergisel.
No tour of Innsbruck is complete without a stop at the beautiful Imperaial Palace aka, the Hofburg. This showcases Emperor Maximilian I and Maria Theresia's reign, the Hapsburg dynasty, and you can also find out how Marie Antoinette ended up in France. It's fascinating to see how the Austro-Hungarian reign made such an impact and the rooms of the palace are beautiful to boot.
If you'd like to see another royal residence, head to the Ambras Castle. The drive from the city center to The Ambras Castle took us about 10 minutes from Innsbruck city center. The castle has 3 main sections: the museum, the Habsburg portrait gallery, and the armory. I would highly advise taking the audio guide as you wander into the rooms and exhibitions of the castle. The castle exhibits an extensive history of the Tyrol state. The armory contains some of Archduke Ferdinand II's amour from famous war heroes, as well as a collection of his antiques and curiosities. The art collection in the Habsburg portrait gallery features works of some famous artists such as Diego Valasquez as well as great royal deity such as Emperor Francis. The entire tour of the Ambras Castle takes about an hour and a half.
The Nordkette Mountains were our final stop in the city of Innsbruck. We drove back from Ambras Castle to get the Hungerburgbahn Station to catch our ride for the first leg of ascending to the peak of the Nordkette Mountains. The station is easily accessible by bus from any point of the city if you are not driving. We boarded the fascinating Hungerburg Funicular train that transports passengers to the first viewpoint: the Hermann Buhl Square, in under 10 minutes.
The view of the Nordkette mountain range and the Innsbruck city below is stunning. This is the first of the many breathtaking views of the city and the Alps you will experience should you choose to ascend higher on the mountain. After enjoying the view of the city of Innsbruck and taking some marvelous snapshots, we hopped onto the Nordkette cable car to the next viewpoint, Seegrube.
At Seegrube, you will most likely feel a change in altitude. It gets pretty chilly, so we grabbed a hot chocolate and enjoyed the magnificent views from the terrace before hopping on to the next cable car to get to the top.
If you would like to do some more exploration at Seegrube before getting on the next cable car, you can take a short circular hike around the Seegrube. This is fairly easy and takes about half an hour or take a short walk to the huge rock that the locals refer to as the “relax zone.”
Heading up, the Hafekelar viewpoint is about 2256 meters (7,400 feet) high. It provides a panoramic view of the Alps that was truly indescribable. However, this is not the highest point yet, you'll head to the Hafekelar peak to reach the top. A 15-minute climb will take you to the peak that is 78 m higher. And what a magnificent sight you'll have at the top.
You can see all the way to Germany in the North and Italy to the south. This is the perfect opportunity to sit at the viewpoint, enjoy a drink, and relax as you take in the view.
Hiking in the Olympia Region
Thanks to the convenient location of das MAX Hotel, we were able to easily access the hiking trails of the Olympia region. The hotel is very close to the Olympia Sports and Congress center, Seekirchl Church and Rosshutte.
There are numerous hiking trails to choose from in the Olympia region, depending on the distance you want to cover and your preferred level of difficulty. You can get all the information on the trails and routes right here. Another great tool for finding trails is Komoot, which will show you all different kinds of trails near you. Michael uses it religiously!
Since we were in Seefeld for a weekend, we only did two hikes. Both hikes were very scenic and extremely enjoyable. The experience made me want to plan for another weekend getaway in the summer just for hiking and spending time in the lovely hills of Austria. The hiking trails we explored were very accessible, well-marked, and the directions were simple to understand and follow.
Below are the details on the hiking trails we explored.
3-Lake Circular walk on the Seefeld Plateau
Route: Seefeld World Championship indoor tennis courts – Lake Moserer See – Lake Lottensee – Lake Wildmoossee – Seefeld Church Seekirchl
Distance: 12.3km (7.6 miles)
Level of difficulty: Medium
Total walk time: about 4 hours
Ascend to and from the Wildmoosalm Hut
Route: Seefeld – Kicrchwald Area – Haus Hosp – Hornnweng trail – Wildmooslam mountain and back.
Distance: 6 km (3.7 miles)
Level of difficulty: Easy
Total walk time: Roughly 2 hours
What to bring:
If you are new to hiking, make sure you have what you need for the best possible hike: comfortable walking shoes or boots and socks; you do not want to hurt your soles or end up with blisters. Comfortable wool or polyester pants, especially for winter hikes. Walking sticks- some terrains will be steep and rugged so the extra help will come in handy.
The Highest Mountain in Germany: Zugspitze
One of my favorite side trips we took was heading to Zugspite. You'll have to cross the border and head to Germany, so don't forget your passport! We headed to the mountains in the morning and took a short drive (just under an hour) to make it to the lift and head up the mountain- the tallest in Germany! You'll go to the Bibsee Cable Car station where you'll find ample parking. We brought along our sleds so that we could sled at the top of the mountain and take in the epic views.
If you are taking the train, you'll need to change trains at Garmisch – Partenkirchen station, depending on which side you want to access the mountain from.
The journey, right from the valley to the peak, took a little over ten minutes. The entire time, I was glued to the window to take in the picturesque scenery of the mountains rising out of the sky as the town below became just a speck.
The view at the summit of the Zugspitze Mountain is breathtaking. The terrace has restaurants, shops, and museums. The Peak of Zugspitze Mountain is marked by a golden cross on the German side. It is a short climb from the summit; however, there are evident warning signs of the dangers of taking the climb. I wasn't up for it, but it was incredible to watch people make the climb on the extremely steep and icy terrain.
When to Visit
You can visit the Zugspitze peak during summer or winter seasons. The temperatures are much more comfortable during summer, while winter presents the perfect skiing conditions.
Regardless of the season, it's important to consider the weather forecast of the day before you make the trip up the peak. Ensure you go on a clear day because rain and clouds effect the probability of the gondola making a trip. The clear skies and brilliant sunshine will ensure that you get a stunning 360-degree view of the Alps.
What to Bring
Warm clothes are a must. Depending on the season, you can either go with a single jacket or arm yourself with a heavy coat.
From here you can go sledding (tobogganing), skiing, or snowboarding. There are many options for winter sports here.
Austria is known for having some of the best mountains for skiing in Europe, and the Seefeld Village does not disappoint. I have highlighted two areas that you can check out when in Seefeld that are perfect for sledding, skiing, and snowboarding. Or the new trend we saw: snow biking (Michael wants to try this.)
If you want a low-key kind of ski area, the Pill Ski area should be a perfect fit for you. But if you are a ski enthusiast who wants the ultimate skiing experience, you should head out to the Soelden Ski area.
Activities in Pill Ski Area
The Pill ski area is a quiet and family-oriented ski area, located in Silberregion Karwendel near the town of Schwaz in Tyrol. The Pill village is a great starting point when heading into the Silberregion-Karwendel Mountains for skiing.
One of the most popular destinations is the Kellerjoch Mountain. From the hamlet of Pill, the Kellerjochbahnen lift transports you up to an altitude of 1,887m (6,190 feet) where the beautiful slopes of Mt. Kellerjoch awaits.
The Kellerjoch Mountain has a number of small but very good skiing areas suitable for family experiences. The Grafenast Kid's park has great gentle slopes to keep the kids skiing and sledding. For a more challenging experience, the Waizer slope is the perfect spot.
Other surrounding ski destinations and resorts in the Silberregion Karwendel region that you can check out include: Kolsassberg Burglift, Stans Schwannerlift, Weerberg Huttegglift – Weerberg.
Since I'm extra adventurous, I was there for sledding. And we found a great course here. When we go sledding we prefer to have a gondola or lift (so we don't have to keep walking up) and a long path (at least a couple kilometers) so it takes some time to get down the mountain. This guide will help you navigate where to ski or sled on any of the mountains in Tyrol.
Activities in Soelden Ski Area
The Soelden area is one of the most popular winter destinations in the Austrian Alps. This is mainly because it is home to the FIS World Cup opening skiing course. Every year in October the best skiers in the world kick off the racing season on the Soelden slopes.
The Soelden ski area covers 3 mountains that are over 3000m (nearly 10,000 feet) in altitude with 144km (90 miles) of slopes and 2 fabulous glacier ski areas (Tiefenbach and Rettenbach). The Soelden ski area features easily accessible free ski shuttles, 31 top-notch modern mountain lifts, and 33 huts within the ski area. If you are a ski enthusiast then Soelden Ski area should be your next destination.
The ski area has a vast range of pistes that are good for all abilities, from gentle beginner's slopes to expert level piste runs for skiers and snowboarders. Other than the amazing skiing experience, the Soelden Ski area also offers a fun nightlife. There are numerous cozy restaurants together with the plenty of bars in the area which always have fun apres-ski activities to keep the party going on every season.
The ski area also hosts a number of great festivals during peak seasons such as the Mountain Electric Festival and the Hannibal reenactment that fuel the wild nightlife experience. The Soelden Ski area is definitely the “Ibiza” of the Alps.
Pro Tips: For skiing beginners, the Tiefenbach glacier is more favorable due to its wide and gentle slopes. This glacier is also perfect for an entire family skiing experience.
If you want to stay away from the crowds when skiing, then try to get there as early as possible. Or, like me, just opt for the much more fun (and safer) sledding or tobogganning.
The Bottom Line? A weekend getaway in Seefeld will give you the best of the Austrian Alps. Seefeld, Austria is a perfect destination for any season. Each time I go, I have a different experience when visiting and always find a reason to keep coming back.
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