Innsbruck, Austria’s fifth largest metropolis, may not be as well-known for tradition and classical music because the likes of Salzburg or Vienna, however its repute as a snowy winter wonderland – particularly with skiers and snowboarders – has been celebrated for hundreds of years, lengthy earlier than the town first hosted the Winter Olympics in 1964. However that doesn’t imply all the very best issues to do in Innsbruck are winter sport centered, and for those who enterprise to Austria in summer time, you’ll get pleasure from a superb weekend metropolis break with loads of castles, tradition, museums and mountains to maintain you busy.
Personally, I’m a lot happier up within the jagged snow-capped peaks with mountain climbing boots on fairly than skis, and through an extended weekend in Innsbruck, you’ll have loads of possibilities to discover the paths throughout the town’s loftiest peaks in addition to every thing else this underrated European metropolis has to supply. With cable automobiles and funiculars virtually delivering you from the beautiful Altstadt (Outdated City) to the very best factors in round half-hour, you may simply mix a metropolis break along with your nature repair right here.
Two days in Innsbruck is an effective period of time to get a really feel for the town and discover a number of the greatest museums and points of interest, however if you wish to spend just a few stable days mountain climbing, then I’d counsel extending this Innsbruck itinerary – particularly for those who additionally want to take day journeys into the magnificent countryside that makes the Tyrol area of Austria a real outdoor playground.
From studying in regards to the Habsburg dynasty and Tyrolean tradition to afternoons mountain climbing amongst nature, right here’s how you can spend a summer time weekend in Innsbruck, deliberate out as both a two-day or three-day itinerary.
Is the Innsbruck card price it? (and different FAQs)
For those who plan to expertise many of the prime issues to do in Innsbruck throughout your go to, then the Innsbruck card is a good funding. In most cities, I don’t suggest these playing cards, because it’s typically exhausting to get actual worth from them. Nonetheless, in Austria, I typically discover they’re worthwhile, particularly once you account for a way a lot particular person carry passes are.
With free entry to palaces, the Swarovski Crystal World, just a few totally different cable automobile rides (together with the Nordkette) and the Bergisel ski leap, the financial savings quickly add up. I’ve highlighted within the article which issues on this Innsbruck itinerary are included, and you’ll see a financial savings calculator right here.
Innsbruck is a metropolis of two tales; in winter, you’ll discover skiers and snowboarders strolling the streets clutching their gear, both heading up or coming back from the snow-capped slopes of certainly one of Europe’s greatest winter locations. With highs of round 4°C and lows slipping under zero, it is a true winter wonderland with Christmas markets and pistes in full swing. Innsbruck in summer time, nonetheless, is a distinct story, and temperatures often attain round 25°C in July and August.
For those who’re coming to get pleasure from all the very best issues to do in Innsbruck that aren’t snow-related, then summer time (or late spring and early autumn) is the very best time to go to – though within the shoulder months reminiscent of March, April and October, you’ll nonetheless have a lot to do between the museums and native points of interest, typically with higher offers on lodging.
One other advantage of visiting throughout summer time is the Innsbruck welcome card which is obtainable complimentary by taking part companion motels between Might and October for those who’re staying for at the very least two nights. The cardboard has numerous advantages, reminiscent of free public transport, some guided excursions and different actions. This differs from the Innsbruck card, which I’ve mentioned in additional element above.
Innsbruck is a incredible metropolis and properly price visiting, regardless of if you wish to hike within the mountains, go to cultural points of interest and museums, or simply get pleasure from strolls round a historic centre whereas having fun with Tyrolean and Austrian delicacies and beers. I’d counsel at the very least two days in Innsbruck to expertise the town, though you can additionally use it as a base to discover extra of the close by nature.
For those who’re deciding between Innsbruck or Salzburg, then the reply is absolutely each. Every metropolis has its personal appeal and points of interest, with Innsbruck maybe being higher suited to nature and outside actions, whereas Salzburg is extra about tradition and classical music. Nonetheless, they each are nice gateways to all of Austria’s pure points of interest and maybe after spending two days in Innsbruck, you can take the prepare (it’s solely two hours) to get pleasure from a go to to Salzburg too.
To profit from this Innsbruck itinerary, you’ll need to arrive as shortly and simply as doable, and the town’s airport is simply 20 minutes by bus from the centre. In winter, there are extra seasonal flights. Nonetheless, in summer time, the airport is related to London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, and different main European cities. You would additionally journey to Innsbruck flight-free from the UK, I’ve shared the route I took on the finish of this text.
Throughout my lengthy weekend in Innsbruck in June, I discovered the Nordkette vary nonetheless, with some now at its highest factors. Whereas that is definitely not skiable, it does add a little bit of magic to the setting, and given the peak of the vary (over 2250 metres), somewhat contemporary snow in the summertime isn’t out of the query.
Issues to do in Innsbruck: your weekend information
My recommendations for this weekend in Innsbruck itinerary are based mostly on arriving Friday after which departing on Sunday or Monday (if an extended weekend). All recommendations ought to work with the numerous opening hours; nonetheless, it’s all the time greatest to test closing occasions to test that you just expertise every thing there may be to do in Innsbruck with none surprising closures, particularly as these are summer time opening hours and in winter, they may fluctuate.
Arrival and Verify-in: the place to remain in Innsbruck
After arriving within the metropolis, it’s time to dump the baggage and head out for dinner – however the place do you have to keep to your lengthy weekend in Innsbruck? Fortunately, you might have loads of selections – from city-centre motels to extra country-style Alpine lodges on the fringes. Listed below are just a few of my central recommendations of the place to base your self.
Funds(ish) – Montagu Hostel
Innsbruck and Austria aren’t probably the most wallet-friendly nations, however there are just a few hostels within the metropolis, and this is without doubt one of the hottest selections for a motive. Set simply throughout the bridge from the Outdated City, the clear and trendy picket decor is fairly stylish for a hostel, and there’s a vary of dorm choices, together with pod-style and bunk-free selections – test opinions and costs right here. There are additionally just a few campsites not removed from the town.
Mid-range – Ibis Lodge
I’m actually not a fan of chain motels, however I had a very late arrival on the station and so I booked my first evening right here. It’s a reasonably trendy Ibis, has a 24-hour reception, and is actually in entrance of the bus and prepare stations, so it really works as a fair-priced and comparatively central keep. Verify costs.
Premium – Stage 12 Lodge by Penz
That is the place I stayed for my most up-to-date go to, and the cocktail bar (certainly one of Austria’s hottest and award-winning) is what actually put this lodge on the map. There are a number of good issues in regards to the family-operated Stage 12 – the sauna is incredible, the aforementioned bar, the town centre location (it’s proper on the principle sq.), trendy and comfy rooms, and the very beneficiant breakfast buffet. Nonetheless, you’ll need to select both a mountain or Outdated City view room to make it worthwhile, because the view from my normal room (into an workplace constructing, with little privateness) was a bit disappointing. Verify costs.
Friday evening: River Inn strolls adopted by dinner and drinks
For those who’re fortunate sufficient to reach earlier than sundown, there isn’t a higher place to get pleasure from an orientation stroll than alongside the River Inn, which cuts by way of the town. Stroll by way of the Outdated City and head in the direction of the Mariahilf district, the place pastel-hued homes in mustards, child blues and salmon pink line the river.
As soon as again on the Altstadt facet, you’ll discover a energetic nighttime setting across the Markthalle, the place night leisure and bands (in summer time) present an ideal begin to your two days in Innsbruck. There are just a few restaurant selections close to the river, reminiscent of Wonderful Butcher or Soultans, otherwise you’re simply moments from the Outdated City for those who’d want one thing somewhat extra conventional.
What to do in Innsbruck on day one (Saturday)
Day certainly one of this Innsbruck itinerary goes to concentrate on the principle highlights, each within the Outdated City but additionally the town’s most well-known mountain vary, the Nordkette. This stuff to do in Innsbruck might be simply bundled collectively right into a self-guided strolling tour because of the Altstadt’s compact measurement.
Morning: Outdated City (Altstadt) Strolling Tour together with the Golden Roof and Metropolis Tower
Enter the Altstadt by way of the Triumphal Arch (Triumphpforte), one of many metropolis’s most well-known landmarks and gateways to the Outdated City. Constructed in an Italian fashion, the doorway was constructed on the order of Empress Maria Theresa (you’ll be studying a lot extra about her over this Innsbruck weekend) as each a memorial for her husband and to honour her son.
From right here, observe the Maria-Theresien-Straße, one of many metropolis’s principal thoroughfares, which additionally acts as a pedestrianised sq. in components, to the early 18th-century Annasäule column, hovering within the center. Persevering with straight forward, you’ll arrive on the Metropolis Tower (Stadtturm), which gives a number of the greatest views of the town from above. The tower is open from 10 AM – 5 PM and included within the Innsbruck Card.
Again on floor zero, you’ll be within the coronary heart of the Altstadt, the place a number of the metropolis’s most iconic and delightful structure surrounds the small sq.. On one facet, you’ll see the Golden Roof (Goldenes Dachl) shimmering with greater than 2500 gilded copper tiles above the frescoed balcony. Constructed round 500 years in the past on the instruction of Emperor Maximilian I, it’s probably the most well-known factor to do in Innsbruck, though most of the artistic endeavors have now been moved into the town’s museum for defense.
One other architectural spotlight in the identical spot is the ornate Hölbling Haus, with its lovely baroque facade. For those who’re fortunate, classical musicians will likely be performing right here, so seize a desk for a espresso. Alternatively, the grand Dom Cafe-Bar makes a incredible espresso a brief stroll away.
Lunch: Restaurant Seegrube
Whereas the Outdated City is a good place to get pleasure from lunch, I’d personally counsel heading up the mountains to eat as an alternative. From the Golden Roof, you may simply and shortly stroll to the Innsbruck Station Congress, the place the funicular-like inclined railway will take you to the primary Hungerburgbahn station. From right here, experience as much as the Nordkette Mountain Vary, arguably the very best place to go to in Innsbruck. It solely takes round half-hour the entire approach. In case you have the Innsbruck Card, the funicular and gondola are included (which is without doubt one of the card’s largest financial savings).
Cease on the Seegrube station, the place a restaurant of the identical title has wonderful views overlooking Innsbruck under. Right here, you may order some conventional Tyrolean mountain dishes to maintain you powered all through your weekend in Innsbruck. There is likely to be a little bit of a anticipate an outdoor desk, because the dishes are fairly moderately priced for the placement (round €20), however you may benefit from the views or stroll across the Path of Views, with its overhanging viewpoints and chill-out areas.
Afternoon: Discover Nordkette, the ‘High of Innsbruck’
After lunch, it’s time to experience the ultimate stretch of the cable automobile (additionally included within the Innsbruck Card) to the ‘High of Innsbruck’. Even in summer time, you’ll discover a very totally different panorama from the decrease stage right here, and I discovered a good chunk of snow even in late June.
From the very best viewpoint at 2334 metres, you’ll get pleasure from panoramic views throughout the valley, whereas behind, you may admire the jagged-toothed views of the Nordkette, which is a part of the Karwendel, Austria’s largest nature park. Taking a hike round this space is maybe one of many prime issues to do in Innsbruck, so there is likely to be some traces for the gondola, however when you see these cinematic landscapes, I’m certain you’ll be in awe like I used to be. Sadly, in summer time, the cable automobile closes earlier than dawn, though for many who fancy it, you may make an alternate route again down on foot.
Night Dinner & Drinks: Flo Jo’s and Cafe Bar Moustache
For those who’re following this Innsbruck itinerary for the weekend, then it’s Saturday evening, that means there’s loads of nightlife to get pleasure from within the metropolis. For dinner, I’d suggest Flo Jo’s within the Outdated City because it’s on a pleasant quiet nook away from the extra touristy streets, and it has a good selection of burgers and trendy delicacies alongside conventional dishes and first rate beers. I truly had the very best Tiroler Gröstl (a typical dish of potatoes, beef, bacon and egg) of my journey right here on the terrace, having fun with the views, earlier than transferring into the funky inside to strive just a few different beers.
There are many different nice bars I visited, however one I significantly preferred for its laid-back vibe and first rate beer choice was Cafe Bar Moustache (money solely). It’s open to 2 AM, which is a bonus if you need someplace to get pleasure from a extra peaceable beer within the early hours.
What to do in Innsbruck on day two (Sunday)
For those who simply have two days in Innsbruck, then this second day presents a few choices, relying on whether or not you like the mountains or museums. You may additionally need to contemplate the issues to do in Innsbruck on day three under to plan the very best day to fit your pursuits.
Morning: Hofburg, Hofkirche and the Tyrolean Folks Artwork Museum
There’s a good assortment of museums in Innsbruck, however making an attempt to cram all of them into one go to wouldn’t be enjoyable. These three had been my favourites, and given just a few hours, they’ll give you an perception into the town’s historical past and the tradition of the larger area too. All three of those museums are included within the Innsbruck Card.
I’d counsel beginning on the Imperial Palace (Hofburg – 9 AM – 5 PM) as early as doable, because it is without doubt one of the hottest issues to do in Innsbruck. Inside pictures aren’t allowed, however it’s a fairly grand house with some very attention-grabbing exhibitions, each within the everlasting and non permanent areas. One other of Emperor Maximilian I’s contributions to the town, the constructing dates again to 1500, the identical because the Golden Roof. Nonetheless, a lot of what you see now’s the affect of Maria Theresa, the Habsburg Empire ruler from 1740-1780. She adored Innsbruck and this palace, and far cash was spent on adorning and renovating the house; future rulers additionally left their marks, though none fairly like she did.
Throughout the road, you may then go to the Courtroom Church (Hofkirche) and Tyrolean Folks Artwork Museum, that are accessed by way of the identical entrance and open from 9 AM – 5 PM. It gained’t take too lengthy to go to the Hofkirche, which is most well-known for the life-size sculptures that act as ‘guards’ to Emperor Maximilian I’s tomb.
The museum, nonetheless, I discovered much more fascinating – other than the fairly creepy life-size mannequin room – as they’ve reconstructed conventional and typical rooms from properties throughout the area inside, permitting for an actual glimpse into Tyroleon tradition. The opposite exhibitions on arts, crafts and costumes (the woodwork particularly is beautiful) will take at the very least one hour to understand.
Lunch: Ludwig Burgers or Das Kofel up the Patscherkofel
Relying on which of the next choices on this Innsbruck itinerary you select subsequent, listed here are two lunch choices. I extremely suggest Ludwig Burgers within the Outdated City, which serves some wonderful selections utilizing attention-grabbing native produce, or the Das Kofel restaurant atop the Patscherkofel for extra mountain panoramas from the broad home windows. I solely stopped right here for espresso, however the big parts regarded as scrumptious because the views.
Afternoon choice one: Patscherkofel for extra mountains
Nordkette isn’t the one simply accessible mountain vary from Innsbruck, and the Patscherkofel throughout the opposite facet of the valley is one other nice typically. Much less lofty, the paths listed here are extra typical Alpine, and I get pleasure from a pleasant stroll right here, stopping on the Alpine Botanical Backyard as Das Kofel for breaks. The cable automobile station is definitely related to the Outdated City by bus, and there are just a few cute villages, reminiscent of Iglis, you would possibly need to cease at on the best way. The transport and gondola are included within the Innsbruck Card.
Afternoon choice two: Swarovski Kristallwelten (and Corridor in Tirol)
Even now, I’m nonetheless a bit speechless about Swarovski Kristallwelten (9 AM – 6 PM), because it’s like stepping right into a fantasy world. After strolling by way of a large backyard head embellished by Swarovski crystals (the corporate was based right here), you’ll be whisked right into a whimsical collection of rooms the place snow falls, star-studded outfits worn by stars on pink carpets, and all and any form of imitation diamond paintings you can consider. There’s additionally a stunning backyard – with extra crystal decorations – looking onto the Alps.
It’s a tough place to try to describe, however seeing as Kristallwelten is included within the Innsbruck Card (together with the bus switch), it’s price a go to for those who’re curious. On the best way again, cease off in Corridor in Tirol, a reasonably city with some lovely buildings.
Night Dinner: Stiftskeller
For those who’re prepared for an additional conventional dinner, then I can’t suggest Stiftskeller sufficient, which in flip, was prompt to me by an area. It has an enormous beer backyard terrace within the outdated city, however consuming inside is a good suggestion because of the historically embellished wooden-clad eating room with frescoes. If sampling a wide range of conventional dishes is without doubt one of the principal stuff you need to embody in your Innsbruck itinerary, this place is a goldmine. Schnitzel, roasted porks, cheese spaetzle (pasta-like dish), and goulash all function, alongside a good alternative of Austrian beers – this place has even been brewing its personal since 1516.
Extra issues to do in Innsbruck on day three
If you’ll be able to get pleasure from Innsbruck for an extended weekend, then there are just a few extra well-known sights across the metropolis’s limits to discover. Alternatively, you can contemplate taking a day journey barely additional afield.
Morning: Bergisel Olympic Ski Leap
One of the well-known causes to go to and issues to do in Innsbruck in winter is snowboarding, and even for those who come right here in summer time, you may nonetheless spot some daredevil jumps on the Bergisel Olympic Ski Leap website. The jumpers normally practise between 10 AM and 12 PM, however the location is equally as spectacular because the tower designed by the late architect Zaha Hadid whose trendy constructing now occupies one of many venues from the 1964 Winter Olympics. Even for those who solely have two days in Innsbruck, you would possibly nonetheless need to make an hour to come back right here, particularly because it’s included within the Innsbruck Card.
Lunch: Restaurant SKY on the Bergiselweg
The restaurant, which appears over the ski leap at Bergisel, has a number of the greatest views within the metropolis, so for those who’re already right here, why not seize a chunk to eat? I solely had espresso and apple strudel – completely scrumptious – however they’ve a full lunch menu. Simply you’ll want to get in as near lunchtime as doable to get one of many tables subsequent to the home windows for the very best views.
Afternoon: Ambras Fort
Fancy squeezing one other citadel into your Innsbruck itinerary? Then hop on the tram to Ambras Fort (open 10 AM – 5 PM), included within the Innsbruck Card. I truly discovered Ambras extra attention-grabbing than the Hofburg, so it makes for a stable various choice to the town centre palace too.
Claiming the customarily disputed title of the ‘Oldest Museum within the World’, there’s a fascinating assortment right here, together with a really intriguing and considerably vulgar ‘Plate of Fools’. You’ll additionally discover all the same old suspects: armour, portraits and sculptures, alongside some extra distinctive items, such because the Ottoman assortment. One other heyday citadel of the Habsburg Dynasty, there’s an attention-grabbing story about hidden love which unfurls in these Sixteenth-century partitions, alongside some spectacular grand rooms, with the Spanish Corridor a specific standout.
Day journeys from Innsbruck
There are some incredible day journeys close by to Innsbruck, each within the Tyrol mountains and likewise different cities, villages and glowing lakes. Plus, you can all the time contemplate travelling to a different metropolis, reminiscent of Salzburg – nonetheless, these are all somewhat nearer.
Escape to Lake Achensee
One of the spectacular lakes within the area of Tyrol, turquoise-fringed Lake Achensee is dreamy, making it a super day journey on a summer time’s day. By automobile, it can take round one hour, whereas public transport includes a prepare to Jenbach adopted by two buses – if deliberate properly, the journey will take round 80 minutes.
Fortress side-trip to Kufstein
Kufstein is a smaller city to the west of Innsbruck and is hottest for the imposing Kufstein Fortress, which towers above surveying the river. Sadly, I solely noticed it from the prepare, however for those who want to get pleasure from a day journey right here, it can solely take 40 minutes by rail.
White water rafting on the River Inn
For those who’d like somewhat extra adrenaline when planning what to do in Innsbruck, why not go on an alpine white water rafting journey alongside the River Inn, the identical physique of water which cuts by way of the town.
The right way to get to and round Innsbruck, Austria
It’s simple to discover all the very best issues to do in Innsbruck by public transport – particularly you probably have the Innsbruck card, because it contains most transport. Town has trams and buses, and the native trains are additionally nice for reaching close by locations. That stated, for a lot of the town centre, exploring by foot is simple – it’s flat and comparatively compact. For those who plan to go to the mountains as a part of your Innsbruck itinerary, the funiculars and cable automobiles are properly appreciated and assist to make sure the Alps are accessible for all.
Travelling to Innsbruck by prepare and public transport
For those who’re coming from elsewhere in Austria, reaching Innsbruck is fairly fast and simple. From Salzburg, it takes round two hours, whereas Vienna is round six hours.
Travelling to Innsbruck flight-free from the UK by prepare
If you wish to go to Innsbruck from the UK with out flying, the most suitable choice is to reach by prepare, though the bus additionally works, and I discovered the scenic daytime journey by way of Switzerland fairly spectacular as I used to be coming from spending two days in France.
To profit from your lengthy weekend in Innsbruck by prepare from the UK, you’ll need to take the Eurostar from London to Amsterdam in time to make the OBB Nightjet service to Innsbruck, which departs at 19:30, arriving in Innsbruck simply after 9 am. I’ve ridden the Nightjet each within the seating carriages (which, being six seats going through one another, wasn’t so snug) and within the couchette choice, which was a lot nicer because of the wake-up name breakfast, showers, and mattress. For those who guide prematurely, you’ll get the very best offers.
On the return journey to London, I truly went again by way of Nuremberg and Frankfurt, two cities I’d needed to name in for some time, earlier than taking the evening bus to get the early-morning Eurostar from Brussels. Whichever approach you go, there are many choices for different pit-stop locations en route.
Travelling to Innsbruck by aircraft
In winter, there are extra seasonal flights. Nonetheless, in summer time, the airport is related to London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, and different main European cities.
The place to journey after Innsbruck
For those who’re planning a weekend in Innsbruck as a part of an extended journey in Austria, then you definitely’re in luck; it’s simple to get between the nation’s principal cities and points of interest by prepare.
From right here, you can proceed to discover all the highest issues to do in Salzburg (two hours by prepare), discover Saalfeden Leogang (somewhat over two hours) and hike my favorite peak, The Asitz Mountain, or proceed to get pleasure from among the finest Austrian metropolis breaks in Vienna, the nation’s grand capital (round 5 to 6 hours).
There are such a lot of wonderful issues to do in Austria, together with some lesser visited spots just like the sustainable metropolis of Graz, which is a little bit of a detour, certainly one of my favorite cities in Europe – right here’s my metropolis information to Graz to get you began!
Finest locations to go to in Austria