Tucked in the middle of the Alps, the North chain of Karwendel Alps, Innsbruck is a city straight out of a postcard. A city where the fascinating past meets the modern world. The river Inn snakes its way through the city and the soaring mountains guard the city. Innsbruck which literally means ‘the bridge over river Inn’; flanked by colorful houses beside the river Inn, picture-postcard alleys lined with Baroque and Gothic buildings, cobbled pathways leading to museums, palaces, and churches; known for its culinary scene and the fascinating Tirol culture.
Things to do in Innsbruck:
We have compiled a list covering the best places to visit and things to do in Innsbruck. Here is a comprehensive list of must-do in Innsbruck:
Travel Tip: First and foremost, buy the Innsbruck Card to save money on the entrance fee for all the attractions. This card pays for itself if you intend to visit most of the popular paid attractions.
Also called ‘the jewel of the Alps’, Nordkette Mountain is a must-visit when in Innsbruck. The mountain is the very heart of Innsbruck and is the only Nature Park in Austria, Karwendel Nature Park. For adventure lovers, the 70-degree incline of the Hafeleker Run on this mountain is the steepest ski run in Europe, and promises an adrenaline-fuelled fun ski experience! Be it hiking or rope mountain climbing, this mountain has something for everyone while being just a few minutes from the town of Innsbruck.
Just minutes away from the old town, Hungerburg funicular takes you straight to Hungerburg. After reaching the Hungerburg station, a short walk across Hermann Buhl Square leads you to the cable car station. The cable car takes you to Seegrube, at an altitude of 6,250 ft and the Hafelekar at an altitude of 7,401 ft that offers mesmerizing 360-degree views that you surely don’t wanna miss. The mountain range is quite famous for skiing during winters and for hiking and bike trails during summer.
Don’t miss marveling the amazing view from the Seegrube restaurant’s terrace, Karstube restaurant or CLOUD 9 Iglu Bar.
Entrance Fee: € 38, Free with Innsbruck Card ( You can find more details here )
Innsbruck Old Town, the Altstadt
A visit to the old town in any city is a marvelous experience because it tells stories of the glory the place has seen in the past. Innsbruck’s historic old town has its own charm and is dotted with beautiful medieval houses, cafes, and shops. There are numerous spots to visit in the old town. Here we list down some of the places which you don’t want to miss.
MUST VISIT PLACES
Golden Roof – Also know as Goldenes Dachl, is the most famous landmark of the city. This structure was made to mark the wedding of Emperor Maximilian I to Bianca Maria Sforza in the year 1500, using 2,657 fire-gilded copper tiles. Do visit the museums to know more about the history of Emperor Maxmilian I.
Entrance Fee: € 4.80, Free with Innsbruck Card
City Tower – or the Stradtturm is another must-visit for the impressive views of the city surrounded by snow-covered mountains. Don’t forget to make the best use of your Innsbruck card and climb the 133 stairs for breathtaking panoramic views of the city. The city tower was once used by the guards to warn locals in case of any danger.
Entrance Fee: € 3, Free with Innsbruck Card
Maria Theresa Street – Enjoy people-watching, shopping, eating and drinking at one of the most beautiful boulevards of Europe. You can also find the famous St. Anne’s column located on this street.
Imperial Palace Innsbruck – Also known as Hofburg, it is a former Habsburg palace. It is one of the three most important buildings in Austria, the other two being the Schonbrunn Palace and Hofburg Palace in Vienna. The construction of the palace was completed in the year 1500 and it was built by Emperor Maximilian I (1459-1519). Impressive halls, furniture adorned with exquisite silk, different rooms painted in different colors, impressive chandeliers and paintings on the ceilings are some of the striking features of the palace.
Entrance Fee: € 9,50, Free with Innsbruck Card
Court Church – Visit the ‘Hofkirche’ for its mesmerizing Gothic style architecture, built by Emperor Ferdinand for his grandfather and there are 28 bronze sculptures of black men & women guarding the tomb of Emperor Maximilian. The church also contains the tomb of Andreas Hofer, Tyrol’s national hero. The church is located next to the Hofburg Palace.
Entrance Fee: € 8, € 11 for combi ticket, Free with Innsbruck Card
Museum of Tyrolean Folk Art – Located next to Hofkirche, the museum provides a window into the past of Tyrol. The museum has a collection of chests, furnishings, traditional costumes, and many other things. The museum is open every day of the week from 9 AM to 5 PM. It’s a great place if you are a history buff.
Entrance Fee: € 11 Combo Ticket, Free with Innsbruck Card
Triumphal Arch – This arch was built in the year 1765 when Archeduke Leopold got married to Maria Luisa. It is special because one, it is made out of stone, not wood, as was normally done during those times and two, since the groom’s father Francis Stephen of Lorraine died unexpectedly before the wedding, his motif was also carved on the structure. The arch represents both joy and sadness.
Entrance Fee: Free
Cathedral of St. James – or known popularly as Innsbruck cathedral, it is a cathedral from the 12th century. It was a part of the important medieval Christian pilgrimage route. The cathedral was rebuilt in the 17th century after it was destroyed by an earthquake.
Imperial Garden – a 10-hectare park located next to Nordkettenbahn is a great place to relax and unwind after a long day of exploration. The parks have been around since the 15th century.
Entrance Fee: Free
Market Square – Don’t forget to enjoy watching some street performance or dining at one of the many restaurants besides Inn river and taking in the views of snow-capped mountains.
Ambras Castle is a renaissance castle, converted to a safe house of art by Archduke Ferdinand II as he was a celebrated art connoisseur. There are close to 200 paintings of historical importance. The famous Spanish Hall is in this Castle and the Chamber of Art and Wonders holds important German renaissance art pieces in their original places and state.
Entrance Fee: 10 Euro, Free with Innsbruck Card
Swarovski Crystal World
Established in 1995 by artist Andre Heller is a beautiful, bejeweled park full of artistic representations using the Swarovski crystals – consisting of 160 crystalline facets – as well as beautiful exhibits sprinkled all around. There is a play tower, Chambers of wonder, hedge maze, crystal trees also known as crystal cloud forests and the iconic face with the waterfall. The most amazing is the crystal dome with its 595 mirrors and the crystal cloud forest consisting of more than 600,000 crystals above a mirror pool.
Entrance Fee: € 19 , Free with Innsbruck Card
Bergisel Ski Jump
Located in the historic site of 1809 battle in which Andreas Hofler led the peasant army defeated the French and Bavarian armies in Tyrolean War of Independence, the Bergisel Ski Jump offers amazing views to behold. The stadium can hold 28,000 spectators. The stadium facilities, including gondola, elevator, panoramic cafe, and vantage spot on the jumping platform are open to visitors.
Entrance Fee: € 9.50, Free with Innsbruck Card
Tirol Panorama and Museum of the Tyrolean Imperial Infantry
Check out the 1000 sq m painting about the Tyrolean fight for freedom. Not only is this painting huge but it is also 360 degrees. The Imperial Infantry Museum is “a museum within a museum”. The historical collection documents Tyrol’s military history from the 18th to the 20th century and is, therefore, directly linked to the drama at Bergisel.
Entrance Fee: Free with Innsbruck Card
Alpine Zoo Innsbruck
Enjoy the sight of rare alpine animals up and close in the Alpine Zoo, located in Weiherburggasse. It is also the highest themed zoo in Europe. You can easily club your visit with the visit to the Nordkette mountain.
Entrance Fee: EUR 11, Free with Innsbruck Card
Hop over on the scenic tram no. 6 to another famous local mountain of Innsbruck that offers stunning views and famous for skiing. Night skiing (Tue – Thu) is also quite popular at Patscerkofel. There are also evening rides from 5 PM to 10 PM with the Patscherkofelbahn.
Entrance Fee: € 39, Free with Innsbruck Card
Grassmayr Bell Foundry
Makers of church bells for 400 years now, this archaic bell foundry can be visited to see how they make legendary bells like the oldest bell in Italy from 1635. It is not just a museum but also a live workshop where you can witness the bell casters in their work mode and the entire manufacturing process of bronze bells.
Entrance Fee: € 9, Free with Innsbruck Card
Audioversum Science Center
A science museum with a difference – the Audioversum specializes in the science of sound and there are a lot of interactive stations in the place for kids and adults both to enjoy.
Entrance Fee: € 9, Free with Innsbruck Card
Enjoy your time at Beautiful Lakes – Lansersee, Baggersee
Relax and unwind on the banks of the beautiful lakes of Lansersee and Baggersee. You can swim in them too! ( during Summers) Just check on the days when they are open for swimming, pack your gear and go swim!
Nothing short of a paradise for the lovers of ski and snow – Muttereralm has all sizes of slopes and the famous Gotzens descent is unmissable for the views it offers.
Entrance Fee: € 17.00, Free with Innsbruck Card
IS INNSBRUCK CARD WORTH?
Based on our experience, it’s worth every penny. Let’s do the maths. Just a visit to Nordkette mountains and Swarovski museum will set you back by 53.50 Euros. And, here you have the pass for just 43/50/59 euros covering all the popular attractions and much more.
Here are some of the benefits of the card —
- Public transportation within the city. Be it a train or bus on all IVB routes.
- Free travel on scenic tram lines to Igls and Muttereralm.
- Guided City Walk Tour
- Hop-on Hop-off Tours are also included.
- Free admissions to all museums and attractions in Innsbruck.
- Includes cable car rides — Nordketteenbahan, Muttereralm, Patscherkofelbahnen, Axamer Lizum, Gungezerbahn and many more)
|Swarovski Crystal Worlds||€19,00|
|Ambras Castle||€ 10|
|Court Church + Museum of Tyrolean Folk Art||€ 11,00|
|City Tower||€ 3,50|
|Imperial Palace||€ 9,50|
|Bergisel Ski Jump||€ 9,50|
You can find the entire list of attractions and cable cars included on their official site.
WHERE TO BUY INNSBRUCK CARD
- Innsbruck Tourism offices
- Cable Car stations
- Trafik shop at Innsbruck Airport
- Railway Station
- Book Store & Hotel Receptions
WHERE TO STAY IN INNSBRUCK
We would highly recommend staying at the Hotel Grauer Bar. It is just minutes away from the Old town with an impressive rooftop hot tub and pool with views. You can also consider staying at below properties or Airbnb ( Use our code and get discount on your first booking ). You can find hotels on Booking.com and compare prices on Hotelscombined.com.
BEST PLACES TO EAT IN INNSBRUCK
- For best Strudel, check out Strudel cafe Kroll
- For smoked meat, visit Speckeria in the Old Town
- For Indian food, check out Jaipur
- For rooftop views, Alders Rooftop Bar & 360 Grad ( next to the Lichtblick)
- For fine dining – do check out Schindlers, Lichtblick, Olives or Ottoburg
Must try – Apfel Knodel, Kiachl, Apfelradln, Kasspatzln
HOW TO REACH INNSBRUCK:
By Flight: You can fly into Innsbruck Airport. Nearest airports are Munich or Salzburg.
By Train: From Munich or Salzburg, it takes around 2 hours by train to reach Innsbruck.
Innsbruck is nothing but a wholesome, wonderful nature and architecture feast to the traveler. One can do a family trip to Innsbruck and ensure everyone enjoys and has a time of their life!
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Disclaimer – We would like to thank Innsbruck Tourism for making this post possible.