Top tips for visiting Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Dolomites

CortinaAlthough Cortina is known as a high-end ski resort, it has a great deal on offer to the non-skier such as snowshoeing, excellent winter walks, cable cars, wonderful après ski and of course amazing designer shops. In the summer there are opportunities to go hiking, e-biking and walking in the mountains with a guide. There are also some delightful walks in the area starting in Cortina and crossing the alpine meadows. Cortina is in a spectacular location surrounded by the Dolomites.

If you are skiing and you have a ski pass, you will be able to use the buses free of charge to take you up to the lifts and slopes. Non-skiers can buy a ticket on the bus or at the bus station which is cheaper. Also available are travel passes.

There are lots of places to eat in the town, for cheaper options try the self-service restaurant at the bus station which is frequented by people working in the town or Birreria Hacker Pschorr which is just off the main street and is very popular with all ages. Great prices, lots of choice and plenty of atmosphere. The Embassy Café is also an excellent place to hang out. Their hot chocolate is to die for!

High altitude snowshoeing above CortinaIf you want to eat alongside the skiers, try the Chalet Tofane by the Socrepes chairlift. Under new management, there are plenty of tasty Alpine dishes on offer. Further up the valley and up in the mountains is Rifugio Scoiattoli. Located at 2,255 metres, it is run by a family who put customers first. Amazing views and excellent food.   

If you are flying into Cortina, then the best airports are either Innsbruck or Venice which have excellent coach connections. They are both around two and a half hours from the resort.

If you haven’t tried snowshoeing, you should take the opportunity whilst in Cortina. You can hire snowshoes in the town and they should be able to also sort out a mountain guide. Further details can be obtained from the information office next to the church in the town.

CasunzieiYou must try some of the regional food which is delicious. This includes Ampezzo potatoes made with onions and speck and also canederli, bread filled with pork or cheese. I particularly like casunziei, pasta with beetroot and herbs and shaped liked a half moon. As a sweet you should try buckwheat cake.

Local drinks include non-alcoholic ski wasser which is sparkling water and raspberry juice or a bombardino (best drunk after skiing).This is made from coffee, brandy, hot egg nog and cream. Quite delicious but with a kick! Another favourite is hot chocolate with cream on the side.

DolomitesA great place to shop is the Co-op which has been in Cortina a long time and can be found in the main pedestrian street. It includes a food supermarket. Also spend time people watching and look out for the designer dogs which seem to be everywhere.  

Make a visit to the Musei delle Regole d’Ampezzo to find out more about the area and the fascinating history of the Regole d’Ampezzo, a system of collective ownership which has existed for hundreds of years. The museum also houses some beautiful local jewellery and local costumes.  

For further information go to

Silver Travel Advisor recommends Inghams for trips to Cortina.


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Godfrey Hall

Award-winning travel writer

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