Cortina is the most famous, fashionable and expensive Italian ski resort. In summer you may well find all camp sites full. Many VIPs from all over the world spend or have spent some time here and several movies have been shot here including 007 For Your Eyes Only. In 1956 Cortina hosted the Olympic Winter Games, in 2021 the town will host the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. In 2026, Cortina together with Milan will host the Olympic Winter Games: the competitions will be held on several locations in and around Cortina and Milan as well as Val di Fiemme and Valtellina. The closing ceremony will be held in Verona.
Driving in is the most obvious option. Cortina is not too far from the Autobahn to the Brenner Pass or there is the Autostrada A27 that goes from Venice to Ponte nelle Alpi, some 40km away from Cortina, where you take the SS51 "Alemagna". Thankfully the valley does not have a very high elevation so it is clear of treacherous road conditions for much of the year, be sure to check road conditions before driving and be aware that conditions tend to be far worse through the mountain passes, be sure you are driving on the most traveled passes as they get cleared first.
Cortina Express buses run somewhat frequently from Venice Mestre train station, Venice Marco Polo airport and from Treviso airport, daily off peak season and 5 times per day in high season. Journey time from Venice to Cortina 2 hours. In summer there is a daily bus service to Cortina from Bolzano through Dolomiti passes scenic road.
The closest train station is in Pieve Di Cadore, 35kms from Cortina, that comes direct from Venice (€7.50 each way) a 6 times a day during the peak winter season and takes approximately 2h45m, and then dolomitibus runs a bus that runs roughly 5-10min after arrival that will go to go to Cortina in approx a half hour, a ticket is €3 and can be purchased upon entering. Another close train station is in Dobbiaco, 31kms from Cortina, connected by local transport company SAD. Taxis to Cortina from here are €65. Similar public transport runs in summer.
Walking within the town is the obvious option, as it is relatively compact. There are also local public buses, the small orange ones which will take you in the very immediate vicinity. Connections with Dolomitibus at the bus station will take you to the surrounding towns and outlying areas, as well as to the ski areas, but do so rather infrequently. Please note skibuses do not run from 10am to 2pm, and stop at 5pm. The Dolomiti buses are very useful for hikers as they mostly go west and east to the mountain passes, from which cable cars or chair lifts ascend, and bus stops are often positioned at the starting points for hikes. Timetables for all these services are available in the bus station. Combination tickets are available for both buses and lifts and represent a good saving if you plan to be around for several days.
Taxis are generally available and can be called, some areas have a taxi stand like the bus station, or Passo di Falzarego. Taxis are very expensive in Cortina, expect to pay €3 per kilometer and they typically charge from Cortina to where they are picking you up and then to your destination. I.e a trip from Pocol ski lifts to Cortina an 8km trip will cost €30.
Based on convenience and the cost of a taxi, you are best advised to bring a car. However for many that will not be possible so buses are the next best option.
One local bus goes up to the Auronzo hutte/rifugio/mountain inn, which sits directly beside the Tre Cime de Lavaredo, one of the finest mountain blocks in the Dolomites. From the rifugio you can walk on a fairly level path anti-clockwise around the mountain, to get the very best views from the far side.
There are many and varied hiking routes, reached by buses, cable cars, gondolas or chair lifts, or on foot. Good maps are available, especially one at 1:25000, which have all the routes marked complete with their relevant numbering (which corresponds to the numbering on the actual paths themsleves. The Tourist Office has also a rather basic map which is also useful for orientation purposes. For the most part the routes are well marked in the usual red-white-red flashes common in many parts of the Alps.
There are three skiing areas in Cortina: Ski Area Faloria Cristallo Mietres, Ski Area Tofana and Ski Area Lagazuoi 5 Torri. There are 66 tracks (about 120 km). Cortina is part of the Dolomiti Superski: with a single skipass you can use 450 lifts and over 1200 km of tracks in 12 different locations.
If you like cross-country skiing you won't have problems. There are many tracks going through the Dolomiti d'Ampezzo Natural Park and thanks to Dolomiti NordicSki you can enjoy 1300 km of tracks.
In the Tofana Ski Area you'll find Cortina Snowpark for snowboarders and freestylers. There are also skating rings and curling tracks. You can also do snowmobile excursions, drive go-karts on the snow or going down with sledges from the refuges.
Summer in Cortina means outdoor activities. There are tennis courts, a golf club, you can go fishing, biking, hiking and rock climbing. There is much more to do in summer than during winter.
Alta Via is a 125kms route starting from Lake Braies and ending in Belluno. This is the first and most famous of the Dolomiti itineraries. It is not particularly difficult, however there are some rough passages and stretches but they are always equipped.
Corso Italia is the main shopping area in town.