The sparkling town of Innsbruck is a jewel in Austria’s crown. Innsbruck is located on the River Inn at about 1880 feet above sea level. The name Innsbruck is derived from the original meaning “bridge over the Inn”.
What to do in Innsbruck
Set amidst spectacular mountains, Innsbruck is a year-round destination with a wide variety of activities, historical/cultural attractions, boutique shopping, and fine dining. Summers are great for hiking or biking in and around Innsbruck, whether it be within the city, along the river, or in the nearby mountains. In winter, Innsbruck is a mecca for skiers and snowboarders who want only the best Tirol skiing experience.
We spent a few days in Innsbruck in the fall, enjoying fantastic weather, the friendly people and the absence of great crowds. While there were other tourists enjoying the city, we never felt the crush of masses of people.
Be sure to buy an Innsbruck Card at the tourist office so you can enjoy Innsbruck’s sights at no additional cost or at a great discount. It is available in 24 hr, 48 hr and 72 hr increments and offers discounts on Innsbruck’s museums and attractions as well as full access to all mass transportation in the city.
Favorite Sights in Innsbruck
Hofkirche. (Court Church)
This church, Tirol’s most important monument, is notable for the 28 larger-than life bronze statues guarding the tomb of Maximilian I. The bronzes of both men and women are known as the Schwartzen Mandern. The silver chapel is also worthy of a visit.
This Innsbruck museum of folk art depicts life in the Tirol through its arts and crafts. It also shows the customs and mode of dress of the people in this region. Included is a display of handcrafted nativity scenes, a regional tradition.
The Imperial Residence was built in 1460 and rebuilt by Maria Theresia from 1754-73. Maria Theresia, her husband and her family of 16 children lived there at times and sought to restore the palace to its earlier importance. Visiting the special purpose, varied rooms of the Hofburg, give a glimpse of life in a 15th – 18th century Austrian palace.
Goldenes Dachl (Museum of the Golden Dachl)
Documenting the era of Maxmillian 1 (1459-1519), this interactive Innsbruck museum shows life during the late Middle Ages
Tirolean State Museum Ferdinandeum
Culture, music and art are all showcased in this Innsbruck museum. International and regional art spanning from prehistory to the present are on display.
Once the residence of Fredinand II, this renaissance Castle holds art masterpieces collected by him and the “Cabinet of Curiosities”.
Alpine Areas in Innsbruck
Take a cable car or lift up to some of Innsbruck’s alpine areas.
Bergisel-Sprungstadion (Ski Jump Station)
This ski-jump tower was designed by architect Zaha Hadid. Topped by a panoramic restaurant, the tower offers a year-round view.
This cable car goes from the city center by way of the Alpine zoo to the Hungerberg (860 meters), to the Seegrube (1905 meters), and the Hafelekar( 2256 meters) in just a few minutes! Along the way, you will see breathtaking vistas and fabulous views of the city.
This lift runs from Mutters to the Mutter Alm and through beautiful alpine pastures.
This cable car takes you to Patscherkofel, Innsbruck’s Olympic mountain. At 2300 meters, the mountain offers excellent views of Innsbruck.
The Glungezer mountain at 2677 meters offers great views of the Nordkette Range.
Whatever the season, when you visit Innsbruck, you will be warmly welcomed and will have plenty to keep you busy.
Written by Terri Fogarty and photos by Bill Fogarty for EuropeUpClose.com