There are several excellent airports to reach the Alps that have extensive, international flight connections. Obviously the Alps are a very big area so where you fly largely determines the feasible locations you can reach within a reasonable time frame. In my opinion, the five best airports to fly to are: Munich, Zurich, Geneva, Venice and Milan Malpensa.

Munich

  • Although Innsbruck is in the middle of it, I think Munich is the best airport to reach Tirol in Austria simply because of the excellent international connectivity and (most of the time) reasonably priced flight.
  • Munich also works for accessing Süd Tirol, Ost Tirol and the Dolomites.
  • Even though the airport is some distance from the mountains the roads are excellent and fast – you’ll be on the Autobahn right from the airport.
  • There’s a railway station at the airport with great connections via downtown Munich or Munich’s Ostbahnhof.
  • Extremely well-connected to the entire world and cost efficient.
  • Check out my post on Munich International Airport

Zurich

  • Zurich is a very clear choice going to Switzerland, especially for reaching most of the eastern, central and southern parts. Zurich is also close to the western parts of Austria, like St. Anton, Lech and Montafon.
  • Railway station at the airport, excellent connectivity within Switzerland.
  • Downside is the price of everything as with the all of Switzerland nowadays – unfortunately.

Geneva

  • Geneva is really the only practical option for some of the awesome French locations like Chamonix, Val d’Isere, the Three Valleys etc. It is also a good gateway to the western Swiss areas which would include places like Verbier.

Venice

  • Venice is the nearest airport to the Dolomites. You can see the mountains from the airport. In addition to this, Venice in itself is, of course, a place to see at least once in your life. These facts together are why I’ve chosen to include it on this list…
  • … But the airport is way too busy and not very convenient in my experience. Expect long waits and don’t be surprised if luggage is lost.

Milan Malpensa

  • You can reach the beautiful lakes of North Italy from Milan easily by car. To the east are the Dolomites, although at some distance. To the North Lago Maggiore, Lago Como and southern parts of Switzerland and to the west the Aosta valley. These just to name a few.
  • I recommend driving from here.

There are, of course other good airports, too. Innsbruck, as mentioned, is right in the middle of Tirol. Salzburg provides easy access to, for example, the Hohe Tauern area. Turin competes with Milan. In my opinion, though, the five above beat the rest due to flight connections, convenience (apart from Venice) and the reach they offer to the Alps.