It only takes 20 minutes to get from city center to high mountain terrain. Starting at 560 metres above sea level, the funicular first travels through a tunnel, then over an imposing bridge across the Inn River, before it finally traverses an incline of 46 per cent to reach the Hungerburg, at 860 metres. The panorama from there is cloud-free 350 days a year.
Hungerburg funicular is not only the gateway to an tremendous high mountain terrain but also an indelible mark in the city of Innsbruck: The visual appearance of the lower terminus of the Hungerburg funicular sprung from the imagination of star architect Zaha Hadid, who also designed the new Bergisel Ski Jump in Innsbruck. Aimed to imitate the morphology of the Alps in winter, Zaha Hadid set new standards in international architecture.
From the Hungerburg a panorama gondola continues up to the 1,905-metre-high Seegrube, where one has magnificent views of the entire Central Inn Valley, the Stubai and Zillertal Alps, and even to the Italian border. If the air here is still not thin enough for you, climb on the Hafelekarbahn and ride up to the 2,256-metre-high Hafelekar, where experienced skiers will find their challenge. The ski run of Hafelekarrinne will make their hearts beat faster, as it is one of the steepest ski runs in Europe. With a gradient of 70% this run is reserved for real experts.
On the Nordkette, a proper shot of adventure is added to the romance factor: Innsbruck’s steepest – and most crazy – park, the Nordkette Skyline Park with its “Medium Kickerline” – two kickers rising up to 6 – 8 metres - towers over the city. Aptly named ‘in-city’ snow park, it will play host to ‘Nightsessions’ on the first Friday of each month. Prior to major contests, renowned snowboarders and freestylers practice their tricks at the Skylinepark. In addition, numeruos top-class events are sure to fire up the crowds.
Even though the Nordkette has so much to offer for those seeking adrenaline, rumour has it that some people set out with their skis slung very purposefully over their shoulders - but when they arrive at Seegrube suddenly they feel like a little sunbathing – and that’s all they do for the remainder of the day. Which isn’t surprising at all, as its unique location surrounded by nature makes the sunny terrace the perfect spot to relax. The ambiance is almost picture-perfect too, featuring comfortable deck chairs, sweeping panoramic views of Alpine peaks from the Ötztal to the Zillertal valley, exhilarating mountain air, a steel-blue sky and glorious sunshine. And as night falls, the Seegrube turns into a unique chill-out lounge. To boost the romance factor there will be deck-chairs that transform into cosy loungers, fur throws and warm blankets, as well as torch light and camp fires. Thanks to Cloud9, a huge iglu that fits perfectly into the snowy winter landscape, every Friday from January until April, the entire area becomes an ‘al fresco’ party zone with the weekly Friday Night Party for which the Nordkettenbahn runs convenient evening rides.
Find out more about the Innsbrucker Nordkettenbahnen