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With the winter season starting, Winterberg is the ultimate getaway for a weekend of fun in the snow. Together with neighboring villages, Winterberg forms the largest ski resort North of the Alps; called Wintersport Arena Sauerland.
Before you go, make sure you’re well stocked up with warm gear for the slopes! You can get some pretty good deals at local shops like Decathlon (basically the IKEA of sporting goods).
Where is Winterberg and how do I get there?
Winterberg is located in the far east of North Rhine-Westphalia, roughly a two-hour drive from Düsseldorf by car or 3 hours by public transportation. That is one of Winterberg’s many advantages; it is very well connected with public transportation. For a full day of ski fun, the best connection is the RE10103 at 6:21 AM from Düsseldorf to Dortmund and from there you can catch the direct connection RE10751 to Winterberg(Westf) at 7:41 AM. If you don’t have a car, but would prefer to drive, rent a car! You can often find deals between 15 – 40 Euros per day which can also work out to be much cheaper than the train.
Winterberg has a long history of winter sports that started back in 1906. The same year, the first ski community was grounded and during the years ‘Wintersport Arena Sauerland’ was created (with more than 100 ski lifts). Wintersport Arena Sauerland includes (besides Winterberg) other ski villages such as Willingen, Züschen, and Niedersfeld. The main organization for most of the ski lift systems and slopes is Skiliftkarrussel Winterberg; they own 26 lift systems including chairlifts, toboggan lifts, T-bars, and travelators. A day of skiing is really easy to organize, Winterberg is overflowing with ski rental places and it’s just a matter of where you are parked or where you are heading to in order to pick one.
But before you go, you might need a bit more information to plan your perfect winter weekend getaway in Winterberg.
How Much Does it Cost to Ski/Snowboard in Winterberg?
The prices don’t vary that much and are still pretty affordable; around €17,- for a full carving ski set or snowboard. A day pass for skiing is around €35,-. The two bigger ski rental places are located by the ski lift called Rauher Busch.
Generally, a day of skiing (including train tickets, rental, ski pass, and lunch), will cost you around; €93,-.
What are the best ski slopes in Winterberg?
Winterberg has a total of 14 km of blue (or easy) slopes, 12 km of red (intermediate) slopes and 1.5 km of black (advanced) slopes. With so much blue and red, it is no wonder that Winterberg is seen as the ultimate winter sport-beginner experience. The best blue to start off with is Rauher Busch, it is very mellow and close to all the ski rental places and parking facilities (and walking distance from the main station). The perfect slope to do some warming up and a stress-free introduction to winter sports!
The ultimate red must be Poppenberg; it has a wonderful steep and mellow side with a big capacity 8 seater lift (which means generally no big lines). The lift is fast which makes it possible to do many up and down runs, definitely worth your money. There is also parking space close by, but for people coming with the train, it is easier to go there via Rauher Busch.
The most popular black slope is Kappe; it is next to the Bikepark were you can do the gnarly downhill trails in summer (can recommend!). It is very steep and technical because of the moguls formed at the end of the day (mounds of snow created by skiers). You can snowplow your way down, but this is no fun and hurts your knees, therefore only recommended for the advanced skiers.
|Beginners / blue||Rauher Busch||Remmeswiese 10|
|Intermediate / red||Poppenberg||In der Büre 32|
|Advanced / black||Kappe||Kapperundweg|
*The addresses are an indication of the location of the lifts, however, keep in mind that all the slopes are connected, so you can park at any lift and reach them all.
What else can you do in Winterberg other than skiing?
Wintberg is much more than just winter sports! The town center has many shops and restaurants, and even a bowling alley and movie theatre. If you are looking for more relaxation, you can eat your heart out in the many choices of spas and wellness centers. There is always the opportunity to hike and enjoy the beautiful nature too, absolutely free. Be sure to check in to the tourist info center (Am Kurpark 4) for an overview of all the countless options you can experience during your stay in summer and in the winter season.
Where can you stay in Winterberg?
Winterberg has a long history of a steady stream of tourism, which allows you the opportunity to choose between many places to stay overnight, varying from budget hostels to very luxurious wellness spas. You can easily compare your options online, but here are a couple of my favorite options:
One of my favorites when it comes to choosing a stay in Winterberg. Airbnb offers a variety of stays; cheap one-room apartments to complete private holiday homes. Just be aware that you need to plan this quite in advance, or otherwise all the affordable options can run out and prices can go up into the hundreds for just one night! Also, be aware of how flexible you are, if you came with a car, you can afford to stay a bit more outside of Winterberg were the places are often cheaper. If you come by train, it is wise to stay close to the city center or ski pistes so that you don’t have to walk too much or waste a lot of time with public transportation.
Hotel: Der Brabander (Am Waltenberg 65)
A well-known hotel in the town center and close to the ski slopes is Der Brabander Hotel (Am Waltenberg 65). It is rated 4 stars and has both excellent facilities for summer guests (outside swimming pool) and winter guests (like ski storage and ski rental on site!). They also have access to a very elaborate spa area with sauna and fitness. Definitely worth your time and money, but also more on the expensive side with the average night costing around €120.
Hostel: Erlebnisberg Kappe
If you want to go cheap and less luxurious than you have plenty of choices too. Winterberg has a good collection of (youth) hostels. One of those which is very closely located to the slopes, is Hostel Erlebnisberg Kappe, Am Waltenberg 89. In which you can get a bed for around €20,- per night.
Looking for more options? You can use the zoom function on the map below:
Winterberg in a nutshell.
The positive aspects of Winterberg for winter sports fans are; slopes are snow guaranteed during ski season from Mid-December till mid-March with help of their numerous snow cannons. It is the closest natural snow ski area to Düsseldorf, perfect for a day of fun! However, Winterberg also has a well known negative aspect; it can get very crowded during the high peak winter season, this can cause traffic jams if you come by car and waiting for lines at the rental places. But there are easy ways to avoid these lines, just prepare in advance and come early in the morning before the Dutchies wake up!
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