INNSBRUCK

Austria

Innsbruck is the capital city of Tyrol in western Austria. It is located in the Inn valley, at its junction with the Wipp valley, which provides access to the Brenner Pass some 30 km (18.6 mi) to the south.

Info Innsbruck

introduction

Innsbruck  is the capital city of Tyrol in western Austria. It is located in the Inn valley, at its junction with the Wipp valley, which provides access to the Brenner Pass some 30 km (18.6 mi) to the south.

Innsbruck lies about half way between Munich in Germany and Verona in Italy. Located in the broad valley between high mountains, the so-called North Chain in the Karwendel Alps (Hafelekarspitze, 2,334 metres or 7,657 feet) to the north, and the Patscherkofel (2,246 m or 7,369 ft) and Serles (2,718 m or 8,917 ft) to the south.

Innsbruck is an internationally renowned winter sports centre, and hosted the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics as well as the 1984 and 1988 Winter Paralympics. Innsbruck also hosted the first Winter Youth Olympics in 2012. The name translates as "Inn bridge".

info
POPULATION : 124,579
FOUNDED : 
TIME ZONE :• Time zone CET (UTC+1)
• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
LANGUAGE : German (official nationwide)
RELIGION :  Roman Catholic 73.6%, Protestant 4.7%, Muslim 4.2%, other 3.5%, unspecified 2%, none 12%
AREA : 104.91 km2 (40.51 sq mi)
ELEVATION : 574 m (1,883 ft)
COORDINATES : 47°16′N 11°23′E
SEX RATIO : Male: 48.83
 Female: 51.17
ETHNIC :
AREA CODE : 0512
POSTAL CODE : 6010–6080
DIALING CODE :
WEBSITE : www.innsbruck.at

Tourism

Innsbruck is the fifth-largest city in Austria and the provincial capital of Tyrol, as well as one of the largest cities in the Alps. Located in a valley of the river Inn between mountain ranges of above 2000 m above sea level, halfway between Bavaria and northern Italy, it is a hub of a region popular for skiing and other mountain-related activities and a busy tourist destination. Its popularity as a winter sports resort was underscored by its hosting the Winter Olympic Games twice.

Innsbruck is a very popular tourist destination, organizing the following events every year:

  • Innsbrucker Tanzsommer
  • Bergsilvester (New Year's Eve)
  • Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik (Innsbruck Festival of Early Music)
  • Christkindlmarkt (Christmas fair)

The city is well known for its sporting opportunities, especially alpine sports, as it is in the Alps and surrounded by mountains. Several ski resorts are situated inside the city territory or within short distance. Innsbruck was one of the centers of snowboard boom in the 1990s and the derived distinct subculture endured until today. The population of skateboarders, snowboarders and people alike is therefore above average and nothing unusual to the people. This culture is also celebrated by a lot of events in and around Innsbruck especially in the winter season, attracting (predominantly young) people from all around the world.

There are two universities and several colleges in Innsbruck, with over 25,000 students altogether, (including a significant Italian population) making the city's nightlife very lively.

History

Earliest traces suggest initial inhabitation in the early Stone Age. Surviving pre-Roman place names show that the area has been populated continuously. In the 4th century the Romans established the army station Veldidena (the name survives in today's urban district Wilten) at Oenipons (Innsbruck), to protect the economically important commercial road from Verona-Brenner-Augsburg in their province of Raetia.

The first mention of Innsbruck dates back to the name Oeni Pontum or Oeni Pons which is Latin for bridge (pons) over the Inn (Oenus), which was an important crossing point over the Inn river. The Counts of Andechs acquired the town in 1180. In 1248 the town passed into the hands of the Counts of Tyrol.  The city's arms show a bird's-eye view of the Inn bridge, a design used since 1267. The route over the Brenner Pass was then a major transport and communications link between the north and the south, and the easiest route across the Alps. The revenues generated by serving as a transit station enabled the city to flourish.

Innsbruck became the capital of all Tyrol in 1429 and in the 15th century the city became a centre of European politics and culture as Emperor Maximilian I also resided in Innsbruck in the 1490s. The city benefited from the emperor's presence as can be seen for example in the Hofkirche. Here a funeral monument for Maximilian was planned and erected partly by his successors. The ensemble with a cenotaph and the bronze statues of real and mythical ancestors of the Habsburgian emperor are one of the main artistic monuments of Innsbruck. A regular postal service between Innsbruck and Mechelen was established in 1490 by the Thurn-und-Taxis-Post.

In 1564 Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria received the rulership over Tirol and other Further Austrian possessions administrated from Innsbruck up to the 18th century. He had Schloss Ambras built and arranged there his unique Renaissance collections nowadays mainly part of Vienna's Kunsthistorisches Museum. Up to 1665 a stirps of the Habsburgian dynasty ruled in Innsbruck with an independent court. In the 1620s the first opera house north of the Alps was erected in Innsbruck (Dogana).

In 1669 the university was founded. Also as a compensation for the court as Emperor Leopold I again reigned from Vienna and the Tyrolean stirps of the Habsburg dynasty had ended in 1665.

During the Napoleonic Wars Tyrol was ceded to Bavaria, ally of France. Andreas Hofer led a Tyrolean peasant army to victory in the Battles of Bergisel against the combined Bavarian and French forces, and then made Innsbruck the centre of his administration. The combined army later overran the Tyrolean militia army and until 1814 Innsbruck was part of Bavaria. After the Vienna Congress Austrian rule was restored. Until 1918, the town (one of the 4 autonomous towns in Tyrol) was part of the Austrian monarchy (Austria side after the compromise of 1867), head of the district of the same name, one of the 21 Bezirkshauptmannschaften in the Tyrol province.

The Tyrolean hero Andreas Hofer was executed in Mantua; his remains were returned to Innsbruck in 1823 and interred in the Franciscan church.

During World War I, the only recorded action taking place in Innsbruck was near the end of the war. On February 20, 1918, Allied planes flying out of Italy raided Innsbruck, causing casualties among the Austrian troops there. No damage to the town is recorded.

In 1929, the first official Austrian Chess Championship was held in Innsbruck.

In 1938 Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany in the Anschluss. Between 1943 and April 1945, Innsbruck experienced twenty-two bomb attacks and suffered heavy damage.

Climate

As with the rest of Central Europe, Innsbruck has an oceanic climate , although with continental influences (especially in winter) since it has larger annual temperature differences due to its location in the centre of the Continent and its position around mountainous terrains. Winters are cold (colder than those of most major European cities) and snowy. Winter nights can get frigid, occasionally dropping to −12 °C (10 °F).

Spring is brief; days start to get warm, often over 15 °C (59 °F), but nights remain cool or even freezing.

Summer is highly variable and unpredictable. Days can be cool 17 °C (63 °F) and rainy, or sunny and extremely hot, sometimes hitting 34 °C (93 °F). In summer, as expected for an alpine-influenced climate, the diurnal temperature variation is often very high as nights usually remain cool, being 12 °C (54 °F) on average, but sometimes dipping as low as 6 °C (43 °F).

The average annual temperature is 9 °C (48 °F).

Climate data for Innsbruck

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)20.2
(68.4)
18.6
(65.5)
23.9
(75)
26.4
(79.5)
32.2
(90)
33.6
(92.5)
37.7
(99.9)
35.0
(95)
32.1
(89.8)
26.0
(78.8)
21.2
(70.2)
17.1
(62.8)
37.7
(99.9)
Average high °C (°F)3.5
(38.3)
6.3
(43.3)
11.3
(52.3)
14.8
(58.6)
20.3
(68.5)
22.6
(72.7)
24.7
(76.5)
24.4
(75.9)
20.8
(69.4)
15.8
(60.4)
8.2
(46.8)
3.7
(38.7)
14.7
(58.5)
Daily mean °C (°F)−1.7
(28.9)
0.4
(32.7)
4.8
(40.6)
8.4
(47.1)
13.4
(56.1)
16.1
(61)
18.1
(64.6)
17.7
(63.9)
14.0
(57.2)
9.1
(48.4)
2.9
(37.2)
−1.0
(30.2)
8.5
(47.3)
Average low °C (°F)−5.2
(22.6)
−3.7
(25.3)
0.2
(32.4)
3.4
(38.1)
7.8
(46)
10.8
(51.4)
12.8
(55)
12.7
(54.9)
9.3
(48.7)
4.8
(40.6)
−0.5
(31.1)
−4.2
(24.4)
4.0
(39.2)
Record low °C (°F)−23.8
(−10.8)
−17.3
(0.9)
−16.5
(2.3)
−4.8
(23.4)
−2.3
(27.9)
3.0
(37.4)
4.4
(39.9)
1.9
(35.4)
−0.9
(30.4)
−6.6
(20.1)
−17.9
(−0.2)
−20.1
(−4.2)
−23.8
(−10.8)
              
Source: Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics

Economy

Innsbruck is the cultural and economic centre of western Austria. It is also a substantial tourist centre, with more than a million overnight stays. Innsbruck is a university city, with several locally based colleges and universities.

In Innsbruck, there are some 78,000 employees and about 8,000 employers. Nearly 35,000 people commute every day into Innsbruck from the surrounding communities in the area. The unemployment rate for the year 2012 was 4.2%.

The national statistics office, Statistik Austria, does not produce economic data for the City of Innsbruck alone, but on aggregate level with the Innsbruck-Land District summarized as NUTS 3-region Innsbruck. In 2013, GDP per capita in the NUTS 3-region Innsbruck was €41,400 which is around 60% above the EU average.

The headquarters of Tiwag (energy production), Bank für Tirol und Vorarlberg (financial services), Tiroler Versicherung (insurance) and MED-EL (medical devices) are located in Innsbruck. The headquarters of Swarovski (glass), Felder Group (mechanical engineering) and Swarco (traffic technology) are located within 20 km (12 mi) from the city.

Residential property is very expensive by national standards. The average price per square meter in Innsbruck is €4,430 (2015), which is the second highest per square meter price among Austrian cities surpassed only by Salzburg (€4,823), but followed by Vienna (€3,980).

Subdivisions

Innsbruck is divided into nine boroughs (cadastral settlements) that were formed from previously independent municipalities or villages.  These nine boroughs are further divided into twenty wards (cadastral districts). All wards are within one borough, except for the ward of Hungerburg (Upper Innsbruck), which is divided between two. For statistical purposes, Innsbruck is further divided into forty-two statistical units (Statistischer Bezirk) and 178 numbered blocks (Zählsprengel).

The following are the nine boroughs with the population as of 31 October 2011:

  • Innsbruck (inner city) (18.524), consisting of Oldtown (Altstadt), Dreiheiligen-Schlachthof, and Saggen
  • Wilten (15.772), consisting of Mentlberg, Sieglanger, and Wilten West
  • Pradl (30.890), consisting of Pradler-Saggen, Reichenau, and Tivoli
  • Hötting (31.246), consisting of Höttinger Au, Hötting West, Sadrach, Allerheiligen, Kranebitten, and part of Hungerburg
  • Mühlau (4.750), consisting of part of Hungerburg
  • Amras (5.403), consisting of Roßau
  • Arzl (10.293), consisting of Neuarzl and Olympisches Dorf
  • Vill (535)
  • Igls (2.204)

Prices in Innsbruck

PRICES LIST - USD

MARKET / SUPERMARKET

Milk1 liter€1.03
Tomatoes1 kg€2.00
Cheese0.5 kg€7.50
Apples1 kg€1.75
Oranges1 kg€1.95
Beer (domestic)0.5 l€0.93
Bottle of Wine1 bottle€7.00
Coca-Cola2 liters€2.15
Bread1 piece€1.40
Water1.5 l€0.62

PRICES LIST - USD

RESTAURANTS

Dinner (Low-range)for 2€32.00
Dinner (Mid-range)for 2€42.00
Dinner (High-range)for 2€56.00
Mac Meal or similar1 meal€7.00
Water0.33 l€2.20
Cappuccino1 cup€2.70
Beer (Imported)0.33 l€3.20
Beer (domestic)0.5 l€3.30
Coca-Cola0.33 l€2.65
Coctail drink1 drink€8.00

PRICES LIST - USD

ENTERTAINMENT

Cinema2 tickets€20.00
Gym1 month€48.00
Men’s Haircut1 haircut€16.00
Theatar2 tickets€75.00
Mobile (prepaid)1 min.€0.07
Pack of Marlboro1 pack€4.80

PRICES LIST - USD

PERSONAL CARE

Antibiotics1 pack€5.00
Tampons32 pieces€4.15
Deodorant50 ml.€3.40
Shampoo400 ml.€4.50
Toilet paper4 rolls€1.65
Toothpaste1 tube€2.40

PRICES LIST - USD

CLOTHES / SHOES

Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)1€92.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M)1€35.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)1€80.00
Leather shoes1€109.00

PRICES LIST - USD

TRANSPORTATION

Gasoline1 liter€1.25
TaxiStart
Taxi1 km
Local Transport1 ticket2.60

Transportation - Get In

Transportation - Get In

By plane

Innsbruck Kranebitten Airport (German:Flughafen Innsbruck) [www] (IATA: INN) is the largest airport in Tyrol. Currently regular scheduled flights are available from:

  • Austrian Airlines from Vienna
  • EasyJet from London-Gatwick
  • Lufthansa from Frankfurt and Berlin-Tegel
  • Thomson Airways from London-Gatwick and Manchester
  • Transavia from Amsterdam

Seasonal flights (mostly active during skiing season) are available from many more destinations including the UK, the Netherlands, Greece, and Scandinavia, as well as from Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Kiev and Moscow. There are also charter flights to several German cities - especially in winter.

The bus line F will take you to the city center (every 15 minutes / on Sunday it departs every 30 minutes).

Munich International Airport, 2.5 hours away, is another alternative. There are vans, such as those run by Four Seasons Travel that will meet you at the Munich Airport and take you directly to your lodging in or around Innsbruck for the price of a comparable intercity train ticket (~€49). If you prefer not to share a vehicle with other people, you can book a private airport transfer. There are a lot of companies, which offer this service, such as: Holiday Taxi Innsbruck, Resorthoppa, Holiday Taxis, Airport Private Transfer,LimoLo, etc. The approximate price of a transfer with a Sedan is 290-300€, with a Minibus - 330-350€.

Other nearby Airports include Memmingen [www] (108 mi), Salzburg[www] (114 mi), St. Gallen-Altenrhein (118 mi) and Friedrichshafen[www] (135 miles).

Transportation - Get In

By Train

Regular (direct) trains operate from Venice, Bolzano/Bozen, Zürich, Munich, Graz, Vienna(via Linz and Salzburg) and many other destinations.

Despite being a smaller city Innsbruck has fantastic train connections to all major cities in its neighborhood. The main station, Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof, is located at Südtiroler Platz(South-tyrolean square) in the east of the city center. In addition there are several stations which serve suburban and regional train connections.

Transportation - Get In

By Car

Innsbruck is reachable through both of Tyrol's motorways: Inntalautobahn (A 12) and Brennerautobahn (A 13).


Transportation - Get Around

Most one-day visitors don't use any transport: all of the major Old Town sites are within a reasonable walking time.

Transportation - Get Around

On foot

The classic walk into old Innsbruck follows.

From the main station (Hauptbahnhof) to the city center is a relatively short and enjoyable 10 to 15 minute walk. Walk out of the Hauptbahnhof, cross the street at the train station cross walk, turn to your right, and go down to the next street to your left. Walk on this street until Maria-Theresien Strasse, then turn right toward the city center. Taking this street all the way leads to the pedestrian zone and the Golden Roof.

Transportation - Get Around

By car

Big parts of the downtown area are declared (fee-based) short-term parking zones. For longer visits, it is highly recommended to park off-site and use public transportation.

Transportation - Get Around

By public transport

Public local traffic (4 tram-lines, and a dense network of buses) is operated by Innsbrucker Verkehrsbetriebe and a couple of private operators. All public services are organized in Verkehrsverbund Tirol, which means that tickets are valid in every public transport line (including buses, trams and trains). All buses and trams are modern low-floor vehicles. A major extension of the tram network is currently carried out (it is the line to the technical university campus, first phase to be completed in autumns 2012)

Visitors should be aware that there sometimes are bus lines that split up into different destinations (the bus line O, for example), and so it's important to pay attention to the destination displays (outside and inside) and the spoken announcements. Single-fare tickets are €2.70 in the city fare zone if paid by the driver or €2.00 if purchased at ticket machines. 5-trip tickets are available for €8.00 or €10.00, respectively. Regardless of the door you enter, go to the driver and pay, exact change not necessary. daily tickets, weekly tickets and other sorts of tickets are only offered at multi-language ticket machines to be found at many stations. They can also be purchased at the identically looking machines for short-term parking tickets. You must validate the ticket when you get on your first bus or tram. See [www] for all available tickets. A route map is available via [www].

The special bus line "TS" ("The Sightseer" [www]) connects the major sights like Schloß Ambras, Bergisel and Alpenzoo to downtown. However special fares apply for this line. If you don't plan to visit every museum it might be reasonably cheaper to use the normal 24 hour ticket without this bus.

Two tram lines lead to two villages in the neighborhood of Innsbruck.

Tram line nr. 6 connects Innsbruck and the mountain village Igls, which is worth a visit. The line passes the uplands with vast forests and gives some spectacular prospects for travelers either on Innsbruck or on the lovely landscape between Aldrans and Igls. It provides stops immediately near Schloß Ambras and the bathing-lake Lansersee (ice skating in Winter is also possible there). The terminus Igls lies within the city fare zone, so no additional ticket is needed. From there it is just a fine 10 Minutes walk to the Patscherkofel Ropeway.

Tram line STB is 18 kilometers long and connects Innsbruck with several villages in the Stubaital valley. This tram provides also access to Bergisel (Tirol Panorama) at the station Sonneburgerhof. This station is also situated within die city fare zone. In Mutters, Nockhofweg access to an easy skiing area, the Mutteralm, is provided (10 Minutes walk). A beautiful hour's ride will take you at least the small town of Fulpmes. The new red liveried trams offer great scenic views on the journey. It is recommended to make a trip around Halloween, when the larch-trees on the Telfer Wiesen have got their best autumn colour.


By S-Bahn

A suburban train system called S-Bahn with five routes (S1 - S5) connects Innsbruck to villages and towns around the city, from Landeck to Kufstein or Kitzbühel and from Mittenwald to Brennero. Timetables and fares can be found at [www].

Transportation - Get Around

By Bicycle

Cycling is common in Innsbruck and especially popular among students. Innsbruck has some bicycle paths, but they are not very well interlinked within the city. A map of all bicycle ways/lanes is available here. In 2012, Innsbruck was awarded Fahrradhauptstadt (cycling capital) by VCÖ (an Austrian traffic advocacy group).

Since 2014, Innsbruck offers short-term shared bike system Stadtrad. It is subject to compulsory registration via this page or machines standing next to the bikes, and requires a credit card number. The registration costs €1.00 and yields a credit of €1.00 on the account. A ride less than 30 minutes costs €1.00, less than 1 hour €3.00, and for every additional hour €3.00 (see their fare overview). The locations are displayed on a map on this site.

Innsbruck Ski Resort


Innsbruck Ski Resort

City life, old traditions and a huge love of sport come together in Innsbruck, the capital of Tyrol which is surrounded by the Nordkette mountains.

Head into the heart of the city and you’re met by the historic centre – with its grand baroque buildings along Maria-Theresien-Straße, painted pastel pinks and oranges with beautiful frescoes. Famous parts of the city include the gothic Golden Roof and the Hofburg Imperial palace built by Emperor Maximilian I in 1500. Elsewhere, you’ll find more innovative builds, with striking structures like the Bergisel ski jump and the BTV-Stadtforum. Together they create a wonderful mix of old and new that works, rather than feeling disjointed: tour a Renaissance Castle or Christmas market in the morning, then clip into your skis for a high-speed lift ride up a glacier in the afternoon - Tyrol’s your oyster.

A short ride on the ‘Scibus’ from the centre lands you in the midst of the mountains, where nine ski resorts provide more than enough skiing for a week. Find your favourite and stick to that, or visit a different one each day – even skiing more than one each day is doable. The Olympia Skiworld Innsbruck area is so named because the ‘64 and ‘76 Winter Games took place around here – it covers the resorts of Axamer Lizum, Kühtai, Igls and Patscherkofel, Muttereralm, Nordkette, Rangger Köpfl, Fulpmes-Schlick 2000, Glungezer and the snow sure Stubai Glacier.


Skiing in Innsbruck

The Nordkette ski area is the smallest, with 15km of slopes, mostly reds, served by five lifts. Muttereralm pips it to the post size-wise, with an extra kilometre of terrain – it’s also a slightly better bet for beginners with more by way of blue runs.

There are 17km of slopes in Rangger Köpfl, including 2km of expert terrain and the majority of slopes (8km) graded blue. The Patscherkofel totals 18km of terrain, with no black runs for experts but a decent amount for beginners and intermediates.

Next up, Fulpmes and Schlick 2000 have a decent amount of skiing for all levels, thanks to the presence of unpisted ski routes on top of a kilometre of black-graded piste. Glungezer’s seven lifts serve 23km of pistes, most blue and red.

Kuhtai and Axamar Lizum are considerably bigger, each with around 40km of terrain including a good amount of groomed and ungroomed slopes for experts. Kuhtai’s slopes reach up to 2520m, making it a good choice if you’re skiing here towards the end of the season. The snowpark is amazing too.

But the biggest and snowiest of them all is the Stubai Glacier area. It’s Austria’s biggest glacier resort, with 60km of pistes for every level, including a whopping 20km of ski routes for experts and 21km of terrain for beginners. Pistes flow down from as high as 3210m, and the snow usually remains from October until June.


Innsbruck Apres Ski

Mountain bars and restaurants can be found around all of the individual ski resorts – though none of them are known for being big party towns, there are still some good options like Kuhtai’s Graf Ferdinandhaus, Leo’s Stadlbar in Fulpmes and the Schirmbar in Axamer Lizum.

Back in Innsbruck there are bars of all shapes and sizes, from Tribaun with its craft beers to 360o in the Old Town for fine wines. Later on, Gossers has a cracking menu of beers and cocktails and Couch Club stays open until 4am for dancing to live music and DJ’s. M+M is a favourite for cocktails.

There’s no end to the activities on offer here, from shopping and sightseeing to Olympic sports like bobsleighing, ski jumping and ice skating. Indoor activities range from bowling to billiards, not forgetting the swimming pools at Axams Leisure centre and Amraser Straße.

Innsbruck's heritage of Olympic winter sports installations means that there is an ongoing program of competitive events such as ski jumping, bob-sledding, figure skating, and ice hockey. All these facilities are also open to the public, the guest bob-sled ride (appointments on request) being a particular attraction. In addition, virtually every ski resort in Tirol (there are over a hundred with at least a 600m / 2000 ft vertical ) can be accessed within one hour from Innsbruck for ski sampling. Even hardcore skiers can rarely resist Innsbruck's cultural and historic attractions. Innsbruck is the perfect jumping-off point for day explorations, and scheduled sightseeing buses run to St Moritz, Salzburg, Munich, the Bavarian Castles, and even to Venice. As may be expected in a European city, Innsbruck has a continual performance program of opera, symphony, exhibitions and festivals. The Christmas Holiday season is particularly inviting with Advent concerts, a giant Christmas Tree surmounting a Christkindl Market, and an active outdoor New Year Eve celebration with drink stands, entertainment, fireworks and laser displays.

Innsbruck Ski Areas

Olympia SkiWorld Innsbruck offers a choice of nine varied ski areas with a combined offering of 240km and 9,000 vertical metres of skiing and boarding for all abilities from beginner to expert including 140 pistes, 20 ski routes and four snowparks.

Olympia SkiWorld Innsbruck’s nine ski areas are served by 88 ski lifts including an imposing funicular and cable car ascent from Innsbruck city to the south-facing Nordkette, and an efficient free ski bus service for commuting between Innsbruck city centre and eight more ski areas to the south of the city; chiefly Patscherkopfl, Axamer Lizum, Schlick 2000 and more snowsure skiing at higher altitude at Stubai Glacier and Khutai. Some ski areas are exposed to wind from the south with high winds up to 150-160km at altitude sometimes causing some ski lifts to close temporarily or for a few days even!

With 20 ski routes, 18 black runs, 74 red runs and 48 blue runs the variety of ski terrain ranges from sublimely easy to seriously tough and the chance to enjoy fast downhill cruising on Patscherkopfl where Franz Klammer famously won gold in the 1976 Winter Olympics Downhill. There’s plenty of family-friendly skiing on offer, but Innsbruck as a base will appeal more to grown ups able to enjoy Innsbruck city life, history and culture to the full and to move quickly from one ski area to the next.

Nine distinct ski areas combined offer very diverse experiences. Ranging from 15km to 60km in extent with longest runs between 5 km to 7.5 km and widest possible variety of ski terrain from novice to expert depending on snow conditions. Where else in the Alps can you enjoy breath taking city views, in bound aircraft landing in the valley 1,700 m below then ski 40 degree south-facing slopes and 4.5km relaxing red run to base station, then hop in a taxi for a final 30-minute sprint to the airport? Or ski the 10km longest run from the Stubai Glacier Wildspitz top station (3,210 m) to the base station (1,750 m) then a mere 45-minute taxi ride to the airport?


Nordkette / Seegrube (860-2,300 m)

The Nordkette is reached by a 21st century funicular mountain railway, which runs from the Congress station (just 400 meters from Innsbruck’s historic city centre) to Hungerburg, then cable car connections to Seegrube (1,950 m) and Hafelekar (2,300 m). The panoramic views of Innsbruck (575 m), the Inn valley and Southern Alps from the Restaurant Seegrube and hip sun terrace are truly breathtaking. The top lift station at Hafelekar offers more distant views and a choice of extremely steep off-piste descents for experts only, which are not to be underestimated. Small, but sweet with 1,440 metres vertical and 15km of challenging skiing including four ski routes, one black, four reds, a blue run and the Nordkette Skyline Snowpark, all south facing and offering magnificent views of the city. Easily skied in half a day and a “must visit” for skiers and non-skiers. Also home to some of the steepest mountain bike trails in the Alps in summer.


Patscherkopfl (900-2,250 m) 

The closest of eight ski areas to the south of Innsbruck, the Patscherkopfl above Igls is a small family-friendly ski area with a choice of nine pistes (three reds and six blue runs) served by a cable car, two chairlifts and a handful of surface lifts. The runs are pleasantly wide, undulating and well groomed, but never boring. Ideal for beginners they are also wide enough for cruising safely at speed and for perfecting your carving technique with expert tuition available from the local ski school should you need it. Ski the 3.5km Olympic red run from the top immortalised by Franz Klammer’s victory in the 1976 Winter Olympics with a winning time just under 1 minute 46 seconds. The Schutzhaus Panorama Restaurant, originally a mountain refuge established over 150 years ago, is worth visiting and a good bolthole in bad weather. Situated just 8km / 15 minutes drive from Innsbruck with accommodation available locally in Igls.


Gunglezer (950-2,334 m)

Gunglezer is a small ski area above Tulfes offering 1,384 m vertical and 21km of skiing on easy red and blue runs, and for ski touring or hiking to the Glunglezer Hutte. Mainly for the convenience of locals, Gunglezer is not a priority for those visiting on a short ski break. 16km / 25 minutes drive from Innsbruck.


Axamer Lizum (1,580-2,340 m)

With 760 m vertical and 22 pistes offering over 30km of mostly easy red and blue runs for intermediates and beginners with spectacular views of the Kalkkogel (chalk cliffs) to the south. There is snowpark for boarders and freestylers, good off-piste terrain between some pistes and ski touring tracks on the Kalkkogel reveal the ambitions and antics of some local experts. Proposals for a new ski lift connecting Axamer Lizum to Schlick 2000 are opposed by some on environmental grounds but likely to be granted sooner or later. About 21 km / 45 minutes drive from Innsbruck and the huge car park at the base station is evidence of the popularity of Axamer Lizum ski area for day visitors from Innsbruck and beyond.


Mutteralm (950-1,800 m)

A small ski area for locals with 850 metres vertical and 20km skiing including relatively steep red runs reached by gondola from Gotzens (or can ski over from Axamer Lizum) and easier blue runs and tobogganing accessed by gondola from Mutters. Just 7km / 13 minutes drive from Innsbruck to Mutters and 8km / 15 minutes drive to Gotzens.


Schlick 2000 (1,000-2,300m)

Schlick 2000 in Stubaital offers 1,300 meters vertical and 20km piste skiing for all abilities including interesting off-piste opportunities in good conditions. Marked pistes include eight blue runs, five red runs, three black runs and a marked ski route. Quiet and family-friendly Schlick 2000 is a useful alternative to the bigger and more popular Stubai Gletscher ski area at the far end of the Stubaier valley. Just 17km / 25 minutes drive from Innsbruck and with a accommodation available locally at Fulpmes,


Stubai Glacier (1,750-3,210m) 

The biggest of nine ski areas commutable from Innsbruck, the Stubaier Gletscher ski area offers 1,460 metres vertical between 1,750 m and 3,210 m and 23 ski lifts serving 60km of skiing for all abilities including nine ski routes, three black runs, seven red runs and 11 blue runs. The highest and only glacier ski area in Olympia SkiWorld, the Stubai Glacier is open for skiing from October until May, but no longer for summer skiing due to environmental concerns. With a full range of accommodation in the nearby villages of Neustift and Fulpmes and dotted along the Stubai valley, the Stubai Glacier is both a stand alone ski destination and a must-ski day or more in any Innsbruck City & Ski experience. Approximately 40km / 55 minutes drive from Innsbruck City centre and just 45-minutes from the airport.


Kuhtai (2,020 – 2,520m)

One of the highest ski villages in Austria, Kuhtai is a purpose built ski resort now occupying the former hunting grounds of the Emperor Maximilian and home to the exclusive 5-star Hotel Jagdschloss Kuhtai, whose aristocratic owner Count Christian zu Stolberg-Stolberg carefully scrutinises each booking request before reservations can be confirmed. Just 500 metres vertical separate top and bottom lift stations and the 44 ski runs totalling nearly 40km in extent offer good skiing for all abilities including eight black runs, 29 red runs and seven blue runs served by 11 ski lifts. Located entirely above the tree line it offers great skiing and pleasing views on a blue ski powder day, but in poor weather it’s a bit exposed and under a cloudy grey ski the village looks distinctly ordinary, more industrial than alpine and unlikely to charm you unless hidden away in the Jagdschloss Kuhtai apart from the hoi polloi. Approx 40km / 55 minutes drive from Innsbruck.


Oberperfuss Rangger Kopfl (800-2,000 m)

A small stand-alone ski area with 1,200 metres vertical and five lifts serving just 12 ski pistes totalling17km in extent including nine red runs and three blue runs. Also tobogganing from the Rosskogelhutte and from middle station at Stiglreith on a tree-lined descent to the base station at Oberperfuss. Easy family-friendly skiing, mainly for locals and just 16km / 20 minutes drive from Innsbruck.

Shopping

Malls: There are several shopping malls in Innsbruck:


Inner City

  • Rathaus Gallerien. 2 minutes walk from the Old Town, main entrance via Maria-Theresien-Straße
  • Kaufhaus Tyrol. Recently opened shopping mall with five levels, located right in the inner city just opposite Rathaus Gallerien.
  • Sillpark (just outside downtown—turn right from train station (Hauptbahnhof)). Walk one block, turn right, walk under a railway—and you are looking at it. All major bus and tram lines take you there.

Outside Down Town

  • DEZ (bus lines C, R, S and T). Many stores just right around it, such as Ikea etc.
  • Cyta (S-Bahn S1 or S2, or bus line T). in the suburb "Völs"

Furthermore, there are several warehouses, especially in the suburb of Neu-Rum.

Shopping areas: There are numerous shops in central pedestrian areas like Maria-Theresien-Straße, the Old Town, Franziskanerplatz, Sparkassenplatz and Anichstraße as well as Museumstraße. You will also find shops/stores in quarter centers of Wilten (tram lines 1, 6 and STB) and Pradl (tram line 3).

Souvenir stores in the Old Town offer souvenirs of varying origin, but the Tiroler Heimatwerk (Meranerstraße 2) offers real Tyrolean handcraft. However most of the shops are real tourist traps and are overpriced by far. You will probably find more authentic and cheaper souvenirs in one of the surrounding villages of Innsbruck.

Clothes and footwear

Buy creative footwear:

  • El Natura Lista in Salamander shop (Maria-Theresien 1; also great choice of Tomy Hilfiger shoes)
  • Think! in Stiefelkater (Marktgraben str. 14, +43 512 583065)
  • GEA+43 512-582 829. "Arts & Crafts" footwear in a funny plain design, not cheap, but very durable (Anichstraße 20,

For children

  • Humanic KidsMaria-Theresien 17-19. Also has discounts in early January, with a decent selection.

Restaurants

  • Gasthaus AnichAnichstraße 15 (city center, close to Maria-Theresien Strasse),  +43 512 570450. M-Sa 9:00 - 24:00, closed on Sundays. This is a real "Gasthaus" (tavern) with Austrian cuisine. Not too crowded and mostly visited by locals, it's an insider tip. Great portions. Offers separate smoking and non-smoking areas.
  • BuzzihütteBerchtoldshofweg 14 (remote; take bus H to Berchtoldshof (or O to Allerheiligen) and walk a steep street upwards),  +43 512 283333. Tu-Fr 08:00-24:00; Sa,Su 11:00-24:00. Traditional cuisine; known for "Eiterbeule" (alike Wiener Schnitzel)
  • Shere PunjabInnstraße 19 (city center, close to the Golden Roof, just cross the bridge), +43 512 282755. M-Sa 11:00 - 14:30, 17:00 - 22:00. Indian Restaurant. Great portions.
  • Magic Pizza KebabInnrain 1 (old town, close to Ottoburg, entrance from Herzog Friedrich Str.),  +43 512 560203. Daily till 24.00. The place looks like a 70s American diner and is usually quite populated. Great portions. €2.9 for a Pizza!
  • Mamma MiaKiebachgasse 2+43 512 562902. Excellent Salmon Tagliatelli. No wifi. Walk to the 2nd floor for a more quiet and spacy seating. Soups €3.5; pastas €7.5-8.
  • FloJos (Grill, cantina and bar), Seilergasse 12 (in the old town near the Golden Roof), +43 512 583046. 10:00–02:00. Mexican, Caribbean and Creole food. Serving sizes are very generous and the ambiance is laidback. Average.
  • Specialita Italiane e PizzeriaSt. Nikolausgasse 1. Tu-Su 10AM-2.30PM, 4PM-11PM. Italian food. They have handmade Gnocchi but it can run out early, so go early if you want to try.

Sights & Landmarks

The Innsbruck-Card offers free entrance to all of Innsbruck's sights, free use of public transportation (including the TS line). It also includes a one-time ascent&descent to Nordkette,Patscherkofel andAxamer Lizumand free entrance to Swarovski Kristallwelten in Wattens. The Innsbruck-Card is valid for 24/48/72 hours and can be purchased at Innsbruck Information(Burggraben 3), the TI in Hauptbahnhof, and several museums and tourist offices. Tip: The Innsbruck card is pretty expensive, €29/€34/€39 for 1/2/3 day cards. And daily or weekly public transport cards are cheap - the "all inclusive" sales pitch is alluring to disoriented travelers, but make sure the discounts are worth the initial price. If you are not seeing these major entrance-fee sites, remember that you may buy more than one daily card at a time, as the 24 hours only starts once validated. Be sure to compare with the price of a weekly ticket too.

The bus line Sightseer (TS) connects the major sights in Innsbruck. However, there is always a cheaper public transport line going to the same destination, though it might take you more time.


Churches and Cathedrals

  • HofkircheUniversitätsstraße 2. Innsbruck's Hofkirche has the most important emperor's tomb monument (of emperor Maximilian I) in Europe. Especially characteristic are the larger-than-life bronzes ("schwarze Mander") that show members of different dynasties. Entrance: €3, reduced: €1.50, free with the Innsbruck-Card.
  • Cathedral at Saint Jacob (Dom zu St. Jakob), Domplatz. Baroque styled cathedral, with works of Lucas Cranach the Elder. From 1717-1724 it was rebuilt (after damage from an earthquake) according to the plans of Johann Jakob Herkomer and Johann Georg Fischer.Free entrance.
  • Wiltener BasilikaHaymongasse/Pastorstraße.Baroque styled church with Rokkoko-stucco, built from 1751-1756. Free entrance.
  • Stift WiltenKlostergasse.Premonstratensian monastery with a baroque collegiate church, not far from Wiltener Basilika. Free entrance.

Castles and Palaces

  • Schloss AmbrasSchloßstraße 20 (Tramlines 6 (nearest stop) and 3, Bus: C (Stop: Luigenstraße)), +43 1 525 24 4802fax: +43 1 525 24 4899. Open 10AM - 5PM. A renaissance style castle that was built on behalf of archduke Ferdinand II of Tyrol. Interesting things to see are portrait- and armor-collections, art and curiosity cabinets, the Spanish hall and the palace garden. April to October: €8. December to March: €4.50.

Buildings

  • Bergiselschanze (ski jump by Zaha Hadid), Bergiselweg 3 (frp, the train station, walk 30 minutes to South. Or take the tram lines 1 (to Bergisel), 6, STB (to Stubaitalbahnhof or Sonnenburgerhof) or the bus line TS (to Tirol Panorama)). The Bergisel jump was replaced according to plans of the Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid in 2001. Because of its design and prominent location (on Bergisel, south of Innsbruck) it is considered a new city landmark. There is a cafe on top, which offers views of Innsbruck and the surrounding mountains. During sporting events, the jumping tower is not accessible, and a ticket is needed to enter the terrain.

Memorials

  • Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof), Herzog-Friedrich-Straße. Late-gothic alcove balcony, with 2657 fire-gilded cupreous shingles. It was built on behalf of emperor Maximilian I.
  • Annasäule (St. Anna Column), Maria-Theresien-Straße. The column, which is made of Tyrolean marble, was created in 1706, in memory of the drawback of Bavarian troops.
  • Triumphpforte (Triumphal Arch), Maria-Theresien-Straße (Southen end of Maria-Theresien-Straße). It was built in 1765 to mark the marriage of archduke Leopold and the Spanish princess Maria Ludovica. The north side displays mourning themes on the occasion of Franz Stephan of Lothringen.

Boulevards and Squares

  • Maria-Theresien-Straße. Innsbruck's Boulevard and central pedestrian area. St. Anna's Column and the prominent Nordkette mountain range make popular backgrounds for holiday photos.
  • Herzog-Friedrich-Straße. The Old Town's "main street" (now a pedestrian area). It expands to a square in front of the Golden Roof.
  • Sparkassenplatz. and BTV Forum. Innsbrucks modern urban center, accessible from Maria-Theresien-Straße and close to the Old Town. Has a range of cafés and restaurants, as well as shops. Farmers' market on Fridays and free concerts, film screenings and concerts in summer.

Parks

  • Alpengarten (Alpine Garden). Open June until September from 9AM to 5PM.
  • Botanischer Garten (Botanical Garden), Sternwartesstraße 15 (Bus A will take you just outside of the main entrance), +43 -512 507 5910, e-mail:. Open daily from 7:30AM until 7PM. In the winter, the garden is open until 4:30PM. Adults: €2, Children, students, and seniors: €1.
  • Hofgarten (Imperial Court Park), Two minutes away from the Old Town(Entrances at Rennweg and Kaiserjägerstraße).

Zoos

  • AlpenzooWeiherburggasse 37 (accessible using the Hungerburgbahn - short footway - or by bus, line TS). The alpine zoo is Europe's highest situated zoo (727 m), and is specializing in alpine animals. It contains outdoor enclosures, terrariums, aviaries, aquariums (world's biggest collection of alpine fish species) and a barnyard with old farm animal races. The zoo is in hillside situation, so there's a certain altitude difference to cover. Free entrance with the Innsbruck-Card.

Museums & Galleries

A combined ticket for the Tyrolean State Museums is available for €10, or €6 discount, and offers entry to The Ferdinand, Hofkirche, Volkskunst, Zeughaus and Das Tiroler Panorama Museums until the end of the calendar year. The ticket includes a free audio guide (which is worth getting as information is otherwise only in German) at some locations.

  • Anatomical MuseumMüllerstraße 59,  +43 512 9003 71111fax: +43 (0)512 9003 73112. Fridays only, 2-4PM (and on reservation), Oct-May. June through September it is only open on advance notification. Objects from human preparations, to history of development and old anatomical devices.
  • Bell Museum, GraßmayrLeopoldstraße (tram lines 1, 3 and TS). The Bell foundry has existed for 400 years, and been lead by the same family for 14 generations.
  • HofburgRennweg. 9AM - 5PM daily. It was modified to rokoko-style by order of the empress Maria Theresia.
  • Tirol PanoramaBergisel 1 (S-Bahn 1 to the Bergisel stop), fax: +43 (0/512) 588 675. Incorporating the Kaiserjägermuseum (Imperial Hunting Museum)
  • Riesenrundgemälde [www], Rennweg (bus lines 4, O, E). A Panorama painting of the Battle of Bergisel, August 13, 1809, over 1000 square meters in size. One of the world's last 24 panoramas.
  • Tiroler Landesmuseum. Ferdinandeum, Museumstraße, Scientific collection, Feldstraße and Museum im Zeughaus, Zeughausgasse

Things to do


Wintersports

There is a substantial number of ski resorts located in the mountains surrounding Innsbruck, many of which offer free ski buses from the city center so long as you have ski gear and/or a valid ski pass, making it a great place to base one's self. Below is an overview of notable ski areas easily accessible from Innsbruck. For full information about resorts around Innsbruck and Tirol, see Bergfex.com [www].

NameTel.AltitudeLiftsPistes
Seegrube – Nordkette+43(0)512 / 29 33 44860 - 2.260m4 Lifts: 2 / 2 / -14 km Pistes: 1 / 8 / 5
Igls – Patscherkofel+43 (0)512 / 377234900 - 1.960m8 Lifts: 1 / 2 / 518 km Pistes: 10 / 8 / -
Axamer - Lizum+43 (0)5234 / 68240 (Kasse)1.583 - 2.340m10 Lifts: 1 / 6 / 341 km Pistes: 4 / 27 / 10
Kühtai+43 (0)5239 52222.020 - 2.520m11 Lifts: 1 / 4 / 644 km Pistes: 7 / 29 / 8
Schlick-2000+43 (0)5225 622701.000 - 2.230m10 Lifts: 2 / 1 / 725 km Pistes: 18 / 8 / 1

  • Nordpark is accessible via the tram line 1, the bus lines 1, 4, A, D, E, J and T. The Nordkettenbahn goes up to Seegrube and Hafelekar, where many hiking routes and trip routes start. In August 2004, the Nordpark Singletrail, one of the most ambitious mountain bike freeride routes of Europe, was opened (more information: [www]).
In winter, the Nordpark can offer several ski routes. They are steep and offer a great view of the nearby mountains and the city itself.
One ascent&descent is free with the Innsbruck-Card.
It is possible to walk/hike all the way up to the summit without taking the cable cars. It is vigorous but doesn't require special equipment. There are places where it is not completely clear which way to go (even with local hiking.
  • Patscherkofelbahn. Is accessible via bus line J, destination "Patscherkofelbahn" or "Olympiaexpreß" and tram line 6 to Igls. Tram line 6 is particularly worth taking - a beautiful meandering route up the mountain and included in the city zone of Innsbruck's public transport. Much better value than the Hungerburgbahn on the Nordkette. The Patscherkofel is a skiing region south of Innsbruck, that has a number of timbered ski-runs of the former olympia-routes. In summer it is a great region for hiking along the forestline.
One ascent&descent is free with the Innsbruck-Card.
  • Stubaital. Offers several ski resorts in the winter.

Spectator Sports

  • The Tirol Raiders (as of 2015 they bear the sponsored name Swarco Raiders) play American Football in the first division Austrian Football League (that's the actual name). They have been among the top contenders for the championship for most of the 2010s. They have played in the big six in 2014 and will again in 2015. The big six is the top American Football competition for club teams in Europe.

Festivals and events

  • Tiroler Abend with the Gundolf Family. For almost half a century this show is visited by travellers and gives good insight on traditional Tyrolean culture— everybody who likes everything stereotypical about the alpine culture will be served the full menu: Yodeling, traditional dances, plays, music and clothing are mixed with typical surroundings.
  • New Orleans Festival - Since New Orleans is the partner city of Innsbruck a festival is held every summer featuring a lot of prominent musicians and focussing on Jazz, Blues, Gospels and other styles from the region around New Orleans.
  • The Ski Jump Contest around new year at the Begisel stadium is one of the few moments when Austrians demonstrate true patriotism. As Austrians are very competitive in alpine disciplines this is one of the events that many people follow.
  • For the younger generation the Air & Style Snowboard Contest is the high point of the year when the best snowboarders of the world compete in the biggest snowboard event of Europe. The event is the first snowboard competition that ever featured the straight jump, it's accompanied by international bands and a crowd beyond the 10.000's. Usually it is held either around the beginning of December or end of January.
  • In late spring a lot of clubs and pubs participate in the city event Sound City, where downtown Innsbruck becomes a network of discos. Shuttle busses circulate around the city and bring the guests to various locations where a range of international DJ's play different styles.
  • The Hafen, the Treibhaus and the p.m.k. are event centers downtown or a little oustide of the city. Many concerts, events and parties take place all around the year and are visited by young locals, students and travellers.
  • Note: In the summer season Innsbruck is flooded by tourists from the far east and far west - predominantly older people who are mostly on a European tour - the event calendar adapts to this. The winter season is dominated by younger people, especially students and travellers from all around the world, who provide the city with a vivid nightlife.

Nightlife

  • Zappa Music BarRechengasse 5 (close to clinic and university main building),  +43 512 581057. mo-so 18.00 to 2.00. Every day of the week has special offers and events. Since it's close to the university there are a lot of students and you might need to call in and order a table.
  • Limerick Bill's Irish PubMaria-Theresien-Strasse 9 (close to the old town), +43 512 582011. The place is lively and usually crowded with students and visitors from all over the world, especially a lot of English speakers. Staff is bilingual, so this might be a great place for you to feel home.
  • WeekenderTschamlerstraße 3+43 512 570570, e-mail:. 18:00 - 02:00 (cafe), club longer. Weekender is a place to both have a drink and to dance. Almost every week there are national and international live bands. A must for indie fans!
  • The Galway Bay PubKaiserjäger Strasse 4 (Take a right in front of the goldenes dachl and walk approx. 500m straight ahead), +43512251541. Daily 17:00-01:00. Authentic Irish pub with two large floors. Pub quizzes every Monday (except during summer), Open Mic Night every Thursday. mid range.
  • TreibhausAngerzellgasse 8 (next to Old Town),  +43 512 572000. café daily 5PM to 1AM. Almost daily events, e.g. concerts, film/tv screenings, comedy shows and dances. Every Friday free concerts. Spacious café with garden, jazz salon and two big event halls. The all-female staff ("Weiberwirtschaft") serves food and snacks (pizza, kebab) in the café till midnight. cheap.

Safety in Innsbruck

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Safety in Innsbruck

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Safety (Walking alone - day)

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