…been there, done that, and loved it!
To get our share of fresh air, my companion and I spent four days in Innsbruck this summer.
On Monday, we arrive late and under pouring rain. After dropping our bags off at the hotel, we go to the tourist office to buy the 3-day Innsbruck card (€35/person) and 3 hours of wireless internet access (only €5,90: way cheaper than the one provided by our hotel). The Innsbruck card gives to its holder access to all public transport of the region, including the trams linking to neighboring villages, to all lifts (one ascent and one descent per lift) and all museums. This card is actually the way to go if you plan on using lifts because otherwise, it takes only two rides to spend more than €35… We then find an appropriate restaurant and dine… In terms of dining out, Innsbruck has a dozens of restaurant to choose from, from Thai cuisine to traditional Austrian cuisine. Even though I’m not a big fan of Austrian cuisine, we always find something pleasant. Note that sadly, like in most of Austria, the city becomes very very quiet after 8 or 9pm.
Since clouds are low and rain is to be expected, we decide to dedicate Tuesday to the visit Innsbruck and some of its museums. Touristy and very well maintained, the older part of Innsbruck is interesting and small enough to easily be visited on foot. In my opinion, the museum of the Golden Roof is the only one really worth seeing, and a climb up the stairs of Stadtturm (the town tower) is definitely worth the sweat. If you cannot or do not want to go up all those stairs (140+), you can head to the 360° Bar. The view is not quite as nice as from the tower, but at least the climb to the 7th floor is done by elevator.
Wednesday, the clouds finally lift and we can admire Innsbruck under the sun, surrounded by majestic mountains. We take the tram from the city center to the village of Mutters, where we ride the Muttereralm lift up to 1,600m and then walk the Innsbruck Almenweg. I say walk instead of hike because it’s almost on flat land, cows and sheep are met along the way and many parts are accessible to strollers and wheelchairs. It was pleasant but not very demanding, and the poorly done marking of the trails made us at all time wonder it we were on the right path.
Thursday, we decide to discover the Nordpark so we take the cable railway from the Innsbruck Congress Center up to 860m (section Hungerburg), and then a cable car to 1,905m (section Seegrube) and a second one to 2,256m (section Hafelekar). The panorama offered at that height is breathtaking. We then ride the lift back down to 1,905m, where we have lunch in a mountain hut and hike down to 860m. There is some nice hiking to be done but to our greatest surprise and disappointment, here too the trail marking is confusing. From 860m, we go back on the cable railway and make a stop-over at the Alpenzoo. Mostly for kids, the Alpenzoo presents alpine animals (bears, wild cats, wolves, different species of birds, etc.). It is a clean zoo and animals can enjoy reasonable living space. One last short ride on the cable railway and we are back in the city.
Will we return to Innsbruck? I’m not sure we would go back in summer (after all, been there done that) but probably in winter to ski, admire a completely different scenery and meet a different crowd.
Get more information about sights and hikes in and around Innsbruck here.
Get information and book your accommodation in Innsbruck here.