Après-ski is a loaded term in Europe that evokes strong emotions among ski enthusiasts. Pronouncing it incorrectly can bring shivers to the spine of ski veterans who have moved on from Jäger-soaked terraces and boot stomping to hammams or hot chocolate and movie nights. But they were once part of the ap-ray (winces) crowds with semi-peeled salopettes, smudged mascara, and wild abandon.
The tradition of après-ski started in the 1950s as a French term for post-ski socializing and has since become a beloved ritual in many parts of Europe. Each ski resort has its own identity and unspoken codes, from high-altitude cabarets to low-key institutions with hot drinks and live music. Scandinavians have their sauna-and-fika take on the ritual, while Italians prefer to shower first and party later.
Explore the ultimate post-piste experience with our guide to the best après-ski scenes in Europe. From sun-blasted terraces to low-key venues, find your perfect après-ski destination and make lasting memories on the slopes
Excellent for: Beer soaked live gigs and entertainment + glamour on an international level!
Verbier is renowned for its top-notch skiing and après-ski scene. Skiers flock to this Swiss resort to tackle the challenging Tortin run or enjoy the wide, cruisy reds of Gentianes-La Chaux. With its ski-hard, play-hard mentality, Verbier is the perfect destination for those who want to make the most of their slope time and après-ski activities.
From long, sun-soaked lunches at Chez Dany to afternoons fueled by rosé at Bar Le Rouge, Verbier has something for everyone. For those looking to pound tables and dance to live music, Le Mouton Noir, Le Farinet, and Pub Montfort are must-visit spots. The Farm Club is a Verbier institution that has attracted well-oiled princes, heiresses, and celebrities to its smokey dance floor.
No après-ski experience in Verbier is complete without a visit to a hole-in-the-wall bakery for a pain au chocolat. So, whether you're a seasoned skier or a first-time visitor, make sure to visit these après-ski hotspots and experience Verbier's ski-hard, play-hard mentality.
Excellent for: Mountains that offer a metropolitain experience.
The après scene in Chamonix, France is renowned for its diversity, attracting serious skiers who venture into the backcountry with their guides. After a challenging day on the slopes, skiers flock to local mountain restaurants for hearty dishes such as fondues and tartiflettes. While some après may start early at these restaurants, the majority of the après activities take place in town or near the ski lifts.
At the bottom of the Argentiere ski run, skiers gather at Marmottons terrace to enjoy panachés and live Indie performances. Meanwhile, at the north end of town, Chambre Neuf is a classic spot for live music, cool beer, and a lively atmosphere. Opposite Chambre Neuf, ski guides and mountaineers come together to debrief at Elevation 1904, which transforms into a bar as the evening progresses.
In the town center, L’Alibi offers a laid-back tapas, wine, and whisky scene that continues until the early hours of the morning. La Terrasse is another popular après destination, known for its live music and pink deco building. For those seeking a wild night, L'Amnesia is the place to be, offering international DJs and cocktail rounds.
Overall, the après scene in Chamonix provides skiers with a range of options, from classic brasseries to lively music venues, to unwind after a full day on the slopes.
St. Anton, Austria
Excellent for: A "Stomping" good party!
St. Anton is known for its lively après ski scene, with a focus on beer-hall style terraces and live music. The party scene in St. Anton starts early, with the iconic Krazy Kangaruh opening its doors for schnitzels, beer, and table dancing as early as 11 a.m. MooseWirt is another popular après ski destination, known for its Euro music and dancing. For those who don't want to leave the party, Basecamp is the place to be. In town, Bobo's is a popular spot for karaoke and cocktails, while Bar Cuba is a must-visit for sports fans who enjoy live music. The dress code in St. Anton is more relaxed compared to other ski resorts like Courchevel or Verbier.
Val Thorens, France
Excellent for: Cabaret and clubbing in high and low places.
The high-altitude resort of Val Thorens is known for its sensational snow cover and lively après scene. Skiers flock to La Folie Douce for a unique spin on the après scene, where performers put on a show from the chalet balcony stage. For those looking for a happy hour and British-style pub grub, The Frog and Roastbeef is a popular spot, while Rhum Box is the place to go for an unbuttoned après with a wide selection of rum. For clubbing, Malaysia is the biggest club in the Alps, attracting world-famous DJs and providing non-stop partying until the early hours.