Tyrol is one of the top 20 tourist regions in Europe in terms of nights spent by domestic and inbound tourists (according to the latest statistics from Eurostat). What’s more is that most overnight stays (90.4% in 2014) are booked by non-residents. Foreigners also spend more nights in Tyrol than in the Austrian capital of Vienna.
The number of overnight stays by foreigners in Tyrol accommodation amounted to 43,5 million in the 2015/2016 tourism year, according to more detailed statistics from the Austrian business chamber. The top 5 destinations are Sölden, Innsbruck, Mayrhofen, Ischgl and Neustift im Stubaital.
Accommodation in Tyrol is generally not ridiculously overpriced. However, prices can double and even triple over Christmas, New Year and the skiing holiday in February. July and August are also more expensive than the rest of the year.
I won’t give myself out as an expert on accommodation in Tyrol, although I was an Airbnb host for a couple of months in 2013. I can however give you a summary of the different types to help you decide where to stay.
Tyrol’s most popular valleys are lined with hotels ranging from those owned by large corporations and catering for big groups to small, family run establishments. Most hotels have all the added bells and whistles like saunas, swimming pools and jacuzzis. The larger ones have special holiday programmes for guests (in season) and keep the kids busy too. Dinner bed and breakfast deals are often the best value for money and can start at as little as €50 per person per night. Also look out for hotels where kids stay for free when sharing a room with their parents. Booking.com makes it easy to search for hotels in Tyrol.
Holiday Apartments or Chalets
Holiday apartments or Ferienwohnungen are especially popular among families and groups of friends in Tyrol. They range from the most basic to the upmarket with saunas and jaccuzzis. Some even come with a catering service. It is also not uncommon for most to offer a service where you can order fresh bread rolls to be delivered in the morning. You can find entire buildings consisting of holiday apartments, but also apartments attached to people’s private homes. The latter is a good way to get to know the locals and get first-hand information about activities and attractions. Look at these tips from Austria Info to find apartments and booking sites.
Driving through Tyrolean villages, you will often see a sign saying Ferienzimmer or Gästezimmer displayed on private homes. If you are spontaneous and don’t like to plan in advance, this is where simply knock on someone’s door and ask if they have a room available. Double rooms can be as cheap as €35 per night. Just remember that you will probably have to pay cash.
Why not stay on a working farm where the kids can help feed the animals and see how the cows are milked? There are more than 400 of these in Tyrol where you can reload your batteries in the fresh farm air. Sometimes you stay in a separate apartment, other times you live in the farmhouse (with the stables attached!). Feasting on locally grown products and sampling traditional Tyrolean food made by the farmer’s wife, are just some of the benefits of a farm stay. Holidays on the Farm (Urlaub am Bauernhof) is a dedicated website to help you find the rural breakaway that suits you.
Tyrol’s mountains are dotted with traditional huts (called an Alm after the mountain pastures where the cows graze in summer). While some huts only offer food and drink, others have guest rooms. Catering for hikers, the accommodation is very basic, with mostly bunk beds in dorm rooms. However, more and more huts are offering smaller rooms with private bathrooms at a higher rate. These are especially attractive to families with small kids. Many huts can only be reached on foot, but at least you don’t have to carry all your food with you. It is recommended to take a sleeping bag inner, though.
For a real budget holiday close to nature there are around 90 campsites in Tyrol. They range from very small and basic to glamping. Big, modern camping sites offer from empty stands to mobile homes and permanent tents. The latter usually has a holiday programme with fun activities for kids and adults alike. Check out these recommendations on www.tyrol.com.
Let’s work together
I would love to fill the pages of www.traveltyrol.com with features about particular hotels, guesthouses, farm stays, chalets and hiking huts. Please drop me a line if you are interested to work with me to promote your accommodation.