Despite being surrounded by mountains, and twice playing host to the Winter Olympics, Innsbruck isn't a real ski resort at all. At least not in the sense of being a place that exists for skiing. Instead, it has all those things you expect to find in a city – sights, hotels of all kinds (the Weisses Kreuz is one of the nicest), plus restaurants and nightlife to suit any budget.

Despite being surrounded by mountains, and twice playing host to the Winter Olympics, Innsbruck isn't a real ski resort at all. At least not in the sense of being a place that exists for skiing. Instead, it has all those things you expect to find in a city – sights, hotels of all kinds (the Weisses Kreuz is one of the nicest), plus restaurants and nightlife to suit any budget.

This immediately gives it an advantage over the average resort: you can spend as much or as little as you want to. It also has a few things you don't expect to find, in particular, its own ski slopes. These are so close to the city centre that you feel that if you lived there you would stop off at the Hungerbergbahn railway and go to the top of the Hafelekar for a couple of runs on the way home from work. Unfortunately, a couple of runs is (almost) all you will find up there. But there are other slopes close by, and you can ski any of them with a single lift pass, and a Club Innsbruck Card which provides free access to the ski buses.

The local ski areas include Igls, with its downhill racecourse, and the Stubai glacier at Neustift, which is one of the best summer ski areas in Europe – a total across the Innsbruck region of more than 500km of slopes.

The most challenging skiing is to be found at Axamer Lizum, which is also a popular snow-boarding resort, and there are some steeper slopes at Kitzbühel, which can be reached during the week with the same bus pass.

Made to Measure (01243 533333) offers skiing holidays in Innsbruck

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