Where to have fun in Cortina

All the places where to have fun in Cortina d'Ampezzo. From a drink in an unpretentious bar, to an aperitif in the most fashion places, withour forgetting mountain lodges and apres ski, both in summer and winter.


Cortina d'Ampezzo is not only skiing and sports, but also fun. The nightlife, especially during the Christmas holidays, is one of the most VIP in Italy. In this page we'd like to explain a little better the dynamics of the entertainment in Cortina, both in summer and in winter. Whether you are looking for the most exclusive, expensive and trendy clubs, or you just want to drink a few beers in a quiet place without spending too much, this is the page for you.

... this is the page for you...

The article turned out to be a bit long, so let's start by briefly summarizing the topics we are going to cover, so that you can jump directly to the part you'd be interested in by clicking on it, in case you don't want to read it all.

The Aperol Spritz, Veneto aperitif par excellence
A glass of Gin Tonic in Cortina d'Ampezzo
A good mug of beer, typical drink of the territories north of Cortina
(1) The Aperol Spritz, Veneto aperitif. (2) A glass of Gin Tonic. (3) A good mug of beer, typical drink.

After a brief introduction to talk about the seasonality of Cortina, we'll first list the less pretentious bars, mainly breweries and bars. The next chapter is about the more elegant bars, but without exaggerate. We'll then quickly see the most exclusive clubs, where you can expect high prices and elegance. We'll then continue writing about the mountain lodges, where to stop during or after activities in the mountains, and we'll finish talking about the nightclubs. In conclusion we'll see the differences between summer and winter and what are the typical beverages.

... we'll also try to describe the price ranges...

Most of the places we'll talk about are easy to reach simply walking down Corso Italia, the pedestrian area of Cortina. Here you can read our article on the most interesting buildings of the center of Cortina.

In this article we'll also try to describe the price ranges of the places that we are recommending, but consider that the final price depends mainly on what you order.

Some places could be missing, but only for a trivial oversight, we have no sponsorship and all the advice that you can see on this site are written on a non-profit basis. If you feel you have any suggestion, correction, or you see any omission, don't hesitate to contact us.

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Low and peak seasons

Let's see one last introductory topic that is very dear to us: the seasonality of Cortina d'Ampezzo. Many probably don't know that Cortina changes a lot according to the different periods of the year. The kind of tourists, the crowdedness and the air you breathe during Christmas time is not even remotely similar to what you can find if, for example, you come in autumn.

... Cortina changes a lot according to the different periods of the year...

Cortina is a rather small mountain town. Many houses are owned by vacationers, and remain closed for most of the year. In low season there are relatively few residents, so the clubs prefer to stay closed, while most of the bars remain always open, and some offer music till late hours.

Tourists crowd Corso Italia in Cortina d'Ampezzo in winter
The relaxing calm of the off-season of Cortina d'Ampezzo
The movida of Cortina in high season
(1) July in Corso Italia. (2) The relaxing calm of the off-season. (3) Cortina in high season.

Anyway keep in mind that, during most of the months, the atmosphere is more that of a quiet mountain town, rather than that of a super crowded tourist spot. If you want to learn more about this topic, we invite you to read the page we have written about the seasonality of Cortina during the different months of the year.

Drink something in an unpretentious bar

Going on vacation means first of all relaxing, then having fun. After a nice day outdoors, or if the weather is not the best, going to a "not too elegant" bar to sip a beer and chat a bit, without having to dress up, is always a great idea. So, in this chapter, we want to focus on the bars that are a bit "more rustic" in Cortina, which are also the places that you can find open all year round.

Many of the places we'll talk about also offer the possibility of eating something, but as for the best places to eat, we recommend you to read our article that you can find here.

Cortina is a mountain village, and we, as mountain people, often say that "the water makes you sick, the wine makes you sing". If you want to drink something in a cheerful and informal place, frequented also by residents who want to have fun and with reasonable prices, you should choose one of the following places:

If you want to experience the less tourist spirit of Cortina, we want to introduce you to two other bars that are very central, but frequented mainly by locals. These places should be considered by those who are looking for a bit of tranquility, even during the busiest periods. Consider that it's almost guaranteed the presence of some workers who drink something dressed for work. We are talking about the Bar "La Scaletta" .

If you want to take a dip in the past, there is a very quiet and typical place, whose decor has remained completely unchanged since the Olympics of '56. Here you can almost always find a free table, even in the middle of August. It's the Bar "del Nano" , a very picturesque place located on the road leading to the Ice Stadium. During the Christmas vacations it's closed, as if to emphasize its "local" nature.

There are many other bars and clubs in Cortina, all very welcoming, such as the Bar Dolomiti , the Bar "Becalen" , the Bar "Arnika" or, among those a little less central, the Bob Bar and the Bar Toto .

The reason why we haven't deepened these last names is because, even if they also are cozy environments, they are not directly associated with party and revelry. Finally, there are some names that we surely forgot to mention.

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A glass of wine

In the previous chapter we focused on the most "rustic" bars, but in this part we'll talk about the wine bars that are a bit more elegant. Of course, we are not talking about places where you need to use formal dress, even here you can go dressed as you wish. Let's say that, in the evening, you'll probably see most people wearing an elegant sweater or a classy shirt, but do not feel constrained. Especially when the sun is shining in the sky, even the most stylish people often wear sporty outfits, according to the season.

... in this part we'll talk about the wine bars that are a bit more elegant...

In this type of environment there is certainly a good chance of finding a more adult clientele. The maximum affluence is concentrated on the hours before dinner, or shortly after. Consider that these moments are suggested only for those who love a little crowd and higher volume music. With the sun high in the sky, generally, these bars are much quieter and less crowded.
All of these places are reasonably priced, proportionate however to a high profile tourist location.

You should always consider that Cortina, in peak season, is generally very busy, so if you want to drink something it will be difficult to find one of these places half empty. For those looking for a little more peace and quiet, we suggest to anticipate the time of the aperitif at 18:00 (even 17:00 in winter) and maybe have dinner a little earlier.

An evening at Suite in Cortina
Boys dancing on the Bilbò track of Cortina d'Ampezzo, photo downloaded from Facebook
Interior of the local Janbo without people, photo downloaded from Facebook
(1) An evening at Suite. (2) The dancefloor of the Bilbo Club. (3) The interiors of the Jambo bar.

In any case, don't worry, all the places proposed are relatively close to each other, so in 10 minutes you'll be able to check almost all of them, to see where there might be less people. If you see a free table, however, do not hesitate: sit down immediately. Usually, if a table is booked, you'll notice becuase it's clearly written on it. In Italy we use the word "Riservato" or "Prenotato" for a table that is not available, and it should be written on the table clearly visible.

VIP Aperitif

or those who are looking for a more exclusive place, where to have a "VIP" aperitif, all the places listed before are a little bit too accessible and crowded. The real exclusivity in Cortina are the hotel bars, mainly those in the center. If you want an absolutely prestigious aperitif, probably the best place is the bar of the Hotel "de la Poste" . Alternatively, it is also possible to head to the bar at the Hotel Cortina , whose terrace overlooks the bell tower. Another prestigious terrace on the Corso is that of the Hotel Ancora , where you can enjoy an enviable panorama.

... The real exclusivity in Cortina are the hotel bars...

There are many other hotels in the Ampezzo valley that offer the possibility to drink something, even without being a guest. These are generally cozy and relaxing places, but they are not directly associated with having fun in Cortina, so they'll not be discussed in this page. For completeness of information, however, we want to mention the most exclusive place to hang out in Cortina: the Cristallo Lounge Bar , inside the iconic Cristallo Hotel, where luxury reaches levels of excellence.

In addition to trendy clubs and bars, Cortina is also famous for the villas owned by wealthy entrepreneurs, celebrities or heirs. In these prestigious mansions the most prominent personalities of the national and international scene attend private parties, inaccessible to ordinary people.

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Mountain lodges and Apres Ski

For those who have never been to Cortina, alpine huts could be imagined as uncomfortable and spartan shelters, where a gruff manager serves polenta and sausages in a dark dining room. Even if some places would almost fit this description, most of the alpine lodges in Cortina are actually both luxury restaurants at high altitude and places of party and fun, with trendy menus and solarium terrace. Mountain lodges are the ideal place to relax and have fun surrounded by nature.

... most of the alpine lodges are actually luxury restaurants and places of party and fun...

In summer you can reach them walking, and then stay under the sun until late hours, thanks to the long days. Some mountain lodges can also be reached by jeep service, if you don't want to walk, you can ask if it's available.
In winter they can be chosen as a destination while you are skiing, on the ski slopes or while you are mountain skiing. Some mountain lodges organize the Apres Ski, an afternoon party set up right on the ski slopes, with music, DJs and parties. For a different evening, you might consider a dinner at the mountain lodge, then sledding down to the valley.

One photo of the concert in the five towers
Roasted chicken on the barbecue
Another photo of the cinque torri live music
(1) Rock concert in "Cinque Torri". (2) Roasted chicken on the barbecue. (3) Live music at a mountain lodge.

Just remember to not exaggerate with the drinks, because you have to get back to the valley. We, as mountain people, know one thing, it's not scientifically proven, but the experience teaches us that it works: descending rapidly in altitude, after having had a few drinks, is challenging. Lowering in altitude, makes drunkenness rise.

In Cortina, during summertime, there are some events that attract sportsmen and fans from all over the world. Considering the large number of visitors, these events have become occasions to meet, which are now part of the heart of the Ampezzo summer:

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Nightlife in Cortina

Almost all the bars listed above, especially during the peak season, are open till late. However, the real nightlife in Cortina, meaning the clubs where you can dance until late, are mainly three. Let's understand in detail the type of clientele and the price range of these three clubs.

Before concluding this section about Cortina's nightlife, we would like to give you a couple of purely practical tips. In touristy places like Cortina, outside of bars, sometimes is possible to run into a few hotheads who might get on your nerves. It often happens because of their lack of ability to handle alcohol, or something else.

A night at the Suite
Bartender pours a cocktail into the glass
Proseccos at the bar counter waiting to be served
(1) Night at the Suite. (2) Bartender pours a cocktail. (3) Proseccos at the bar.

Cortina is a safe and quiet country, you don't have to be afraid neither at night nor during the day, but a few small brawls could happen. We advise you to ignore certain guys and not to waste time arguing with them, so as to avoid ruining your evening just because you've given rope to someone who is showing off, or who says a few bad words to you or your country. After all, everything's easier if we try to ignore the idiots, rather than indulge them.

Differences between summer and winter

The main differences between summer and winter is that the summer season in Cortina is rather short. The peak of tourists is concentrated mainly in the month of August. In summer the most popular activities are the outdoor sports. Here you can read our article about the best hiking in the mountains of Cortina. Our town, however, offers many alternatives, especially for lovers of a more mundane life, such as cultural events and meetings with book authors or famous people (an issue for foreigners is that the events are mainly in Italian).

The warm and long days tend to favor aperitif, which lasts until late in the evening. Another activity that is typical of the summer and is really appreciated by guests and residents are the country festivals: they are traditional events where you can eat, drink and have fun in an informal atmosphere. Here you can read our article about this topic.

The winter season is much longer, in fact it lasts from Christmas to Easter. In the months of January and March the presences are concentrated mainly in the weekends. On the contrary of the summer, the winter is cold and the days are short, places like restaurants and mountain lodges are taken by tourists, who look for warmth and a little of refreshment from the not always ideal temperatures. In this period we strongly recommend booking well in advance, especially if you want to eat in one of the most popular restaurants.

Aperitif at Baita Fraina wine bar
The Bar Sport in Corso Italia
The Suite in high season
(1) Aperitif at Baita Fraina wine bar. (2) The Bar Sport in Corso Italia. (3) The Suite in high season.

In winter, to have fun outdoors during the sunny hours, the best choice is to spend some time in the snow. You could take a bob and go on one of the many meadows, or go to eat in a mountain lodge, and then go down with the sled, or even practice a winter sport, such as downhill skiing, cross-country skiing or mountaineering.

Whether it is summer or winter, always remember that you are in the middle of the mountains, so the weather may not always be clear and may also change quickly. In case of rain, snow, wind or bitter cold some of your programs may skip. Before demoralizing you could read our page on what to do in case of bad weather. You can also consider that you are on vacation, so you could take the bad weather as an opportunity to make a little break to the rule: a long day with cocktails or a late night of dancing could be a good cure for bad weather melancholy.

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Typical drinks

After all this talk about fun and hangout, one question might come up: what do people typically drink in Cortina d'Ampezzo? The answer to this question comes from Cortina's geographical position.
To the north we can find Austria and Germany, homelands of the Lager Beer and Weissbier that, in the mountains, are both very appreciated.

To the south there are the territories of Prosecco, a white sparkling wine, and all the other exceptional vineyards of Veneto. I honestly think that in our region there are some of the best wines ever, in fact they are worldwide appreciated. The neighboring Friuli Venezia Giulia and Trentino Alto Adige also produce very respectable wines too.

... the Aperol spritz is the aperitif par excellence in Veneto...

Now let's see which are the drinks that, more than any other, are typical of our territory.

Always remember to drink responsibly: if you've had a little too much fun, call a Taxi. The country is small, the curves are tight, the roads are narrow, and the patrols know where to lurk....

A glass of wine, strictly Venetian like Cortina
Grappas, the perfect way to have fun in the mountain lodges
Moscow Mule, a more refined cocktail
(1) Red wine, strictly local. (2) Mountain grappa. (3) A more refined cocktail.

As you may have guessed, there are some places where to have fun in Cortina, but you shouldn't expect the nightlife of the metropolis or of the "fun factories" found by the sea. If you are not so young, or you simply don't want to be in the middle of the confusion, remember that it's possible to spend a fun evening also at the restaurant. A dinner with one or more friends at a table, maybe drinking a good bottle of wine, is perhaps one of the most pleasant activities that exist.


We hope you liked this page on where to party in Cortina d'Ampezzo. Before saying goodbye, we would suggest you read all the articles we wrote about Cortina d'Ampezzo by clicking here.

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