Hemingway set some of his short stories in Austria's idyllic Silvretta mountains, but today the once quiet hills are alive with the sound of house beats, Europop, and bachelor parties thanks to Ischgl, a resort that's more famous for its entertainment than its skiing. Often called "Ibiza on snow" (there's even a branch of famed Spanish super club Pacha), Ischgl takes après-ski to the next level with over 40 bars, plenty of dancing girls, and a season-opening and season-ending concert series that's counted Elton John, Katy Perry, and The Killers as headliners.
Welcome to the seedy side of the Alps.
Unlike most Austrian resorts, where the drinking takes place in small bars and huts on the mountain, Ischgl centralizes après festivities in town. The center of it all is Trofana Alm, a bi-level bar that gets going at 4 p.m. with a mix of live music, DJs, and plenty of drinking. The sweaty, elbow-to-elbow action can feel excessive – if not a bit cheesy – when you've just got off the slopes, but before long, you'll be happily downing schnapps and champagne and hugging it out with complete strangers (yeah, the latter is kind of a thing here, just go with it). By 6 p.m., the party invariably spills out into the streets, where it morphs with every other fete in town. From there, revelers head to dinner and dancing, typically still in their ski boots.