In a country such as Austria, many cities are overshadowed by Vienna, the gem in Austria’s crown. However, having seen more of the cities that this country has to offer, we can happily testify that there is much more to Austria than Vienna. The city of Innsbruck is one example of a place we find that is unjustly overlooked in Austria, as there are so many sights to see and things to do here. As it lies within the beautiful Austrian Alps, that’s hardly surprising!
During our stay at The PENZ Hotel we had the chance to get to know this city a little better and loved what we found. Here’s our rundown of a few unmissable things to see and do in Innsbruck.
Go to the Alpine Museum
As a city surrounded by mountains, it’s natural that there would be a museum dedicated to mountaineering and the daring activity of scaling the world’s greatest peaks here. The Alpine Museum in Innsbruck is one of the best mountaineering museums in Europe, or even the world, and gives an in-depth look into the history of alpinism in the area. The building was bombed during the war in 1944 and, after laying dormant for 33 year, reopened it’s doors and has since grown to be one of the best museums in Austria. Even if mountaineering isn’t really your thing, you can still appreciate the determination it takes to make it to the top of the world.
Take a stroll around the Markthalle
If you’re a bit more of a foodie than a mountaineer than there’s nothing quite like going to a good market. Markthalle in Innsbruck is the perfect place in the city to go and take a stroll around, and pick up some local fresh food. At this indoor market you’ll not only find food, but also plenty of beautiful flowers to admire. Pick up some fresh produce and make yourself a little picnic to enjoy somewhere in the city. All the bright and vibrant colors you’ll find here are sure to brighten even the gloomiest of days in Innsbruck, making it a great activity if the weather isn’t looking good.
Visit Schloss Ambras
Schloss Ambras is a castle and palace located up in the hills surrounding Innsbruck and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. This sixteenth-century castle is full of chambers showcasing artwork and armory from across the ages, from portraits to suits of armor and sculptures. Admission is 30 euros for adults, but going to the castle is worth it if you want to get connected with traditional and classical Innsbruck.
Climb the Stadtturm
Otherwise known as the City Tower, this is the spot in Innsbruck city center to really drink in the views of the city and mountains beyond. This beautiful 15th century tower has 148 steps to climb before you reach the top, and get that extraordinary panoramic view of Innsbruck. At the bargain price of just 3 euros for entry and 1.50 for children, it’s a nice little activity to do if you have a bit of free time and you’re in the area. To really get the feel and picture of a city, there really is nothing quite like breathing in the view from high above, and looking out across the city from its roofs and spires.
Do some snow sports at Olympia Bobbahn
This Olympic bobsleigh track was built back in 1976 for the Winter Olympics, but is still used today for the very same reason. If you’re looking for something a bit different to do in Innsbruck that will get your blood pumping and adrenaline going, take a ride on the 1.2km bobsleigh track. The track is only open from December to March, and in July and August, so if you’re in Innsbruck during that time, make sure you go and check this out. It costs 30 euros for the privilege, but for this unique experience I feel like the price isn’t so bad.
Visit the Hofburg
The Hofburg in Innsbruck is one of the most important buildings in Austria. This huge ornate palace was once the home to some of the most important families in Austria, and today it stands as a testament to how beautiful the architecture can be in this country. These state apartments are adorned with stunning gold paintwork and grand features, and one of the best rooms in which to see such examples is the Giant Hall, the grand center masterpiece for the entire building complex. This is definitely a sight to be seen if you’re in Innsbruck.
Tuck into some local food
We’ve covered a lot of culture here, but we’re not going to forget your stomachs. Austria is a country that has a varied food scene as, due to close proximity to other neighboring countries, there are so many different culinary influences flying around. You’ll find dishes with a touch of Italy, Hungary, and Germany all over the place, but Innsbruck is also a great place to get acquainted with some traditional Austrian cuisine. Gasthaus Goldenes Dachl, a restaurant right in the center of Innsbruck, is very famous for serving classic Austrian dishes to a high standard. It’s a fairly humble place, but serves up hearty and delicious food. There are many other places in Innsbruck where you can find a similar feast.
Take a trip up the funicular
If you fancy taking a little break from the city and getting yourself up into the mountains, there’s no better way to do so in Innsbruck than with the funicular. Over the centuries its construction has been been an ongoing process, and it took a while for the government to get on board with the project, but eventually it expanded so much that there is a funicular stop right in the center of the city that will take you up to the hills. From there, you can enjoy some incredible views of the Alps and Innsbruck below.
Visit the Golden Roof
Known to the locals as Goldenes Dachl, the Golden Roof is one of the most iconic pictures of Innsbruck. This beautiful and ornate façade on one of the buildings in the Old Town of Innsbruck is one of the top attractions in the city, and you can’t visit Innsbruck without missing a sight of this gorgeous structure. It was completed back in 1500 by the order of Emperor Maximilian I, who was ruler at the time, and inside the building there is a museum dedicated to his life, as well as other history from the area.
Do you have any other suggestions for Things to See and Do in Innsbruck?