• Innsbruck Oldtown / Innsbruck
      Innsbruck in 3 Days

    Get to know the "Capital of the Alps" from its alpine-urban side. This itinerary takes you to Innsbruck's most celebrated historical sights and natural treasures.

    • About Innsbruck

      • Population: 130,000
      • Nearest Airport: Innsbruck Airport (INN)
      • Province: Tirol
      • Significance: Medieval Town surrounded by majestic Alps
    • Trip Highlights

      • See the Golden Roof, Innsbruck's iconic landmark in Old Town
      • Enjoy the views from the soaring Nordkette mountain range
      • Visit the worldfamous Swarovski Crystal Worlds
      • Feel like an eagle while visiting the Bergisel ski jumping area

    Day 1 in Innsbruck



    Innsbruck’s Old Town is full of contrasts: Colorful Gothic mansions pop against the mountain backdrop, and centuries-old church spires compete with some of Austria’s most interesting modern architecture. The Habsburgs made Innsbruck their home around the 1500s, leading to plenty of Imperial relics still dotting the inner city.

    After a bite at the adorable Breakfast Club, pick up your Innsbruck Card, which gives you access to 22 sights, two cable cars and public transport during your travels. Up next is Innsbruck’s landmark, the Golden Roof. It was built for the wedding of Emperor Maximilian I to Bianca Maria Sforza and comprised 2,657 fire-gilded copper tiles.

    Just behind the Golden Roof, you will find the Cathedral of St. James, another reminder of the Habsburg’s power over Innsbruck. The opulent Baroque cathedral holds the tomb of Emperor Maximilian III, the great-great-grandson of Maximilian I. Another highlight is the painting of “Mary of Succor” by Cranach above the main altar.

    Walk along Burggraben street to one of Innsbruck’s most impressive Habsburg landmarks. The Imperial Palace stretches out against the Nordkette mountain range with a bright Baroque facade. During the 15th century, it served as the official seat of the Habsburg Empire and became an important nexus of European power. Take a guided tour of the staterooms, the breathtaking banquet hall, the Imperial apartments, and the place tower.

    Hop next door for a look at Innsbruck’s Imperial Court Church, which was meant to be the final resting place of Emperor Maximilian I. His elaborate tomb sits empty (Maximilian’s remains lie near Vienna), but 28 larger-than-life bronze statues of historical figures still watch over the cenotaph. These “Schwarzmander” were created over the span of 53 years and involved contributions from a long list of famed 16th-century artists.


    Take your lunch at 1905 m (6,250 ft) by going up to the Nordkette mountain range! Hop on the cable car down in the Old Town and get off at Seegrube station, where the panoramic Seegrube Restaurant waits for you. The menu is packed with Tirolean classics like cheese or bacon dumplings and, of course, the classic Austrian Schnitzel.


    Those who can’t get enough mountain views should board the Hafelekarbahn cable car and continue up to 7,400 feet (2,256 m). The summit of Hafelekar mountain also referred to as the Top of Innsbruck, is just a 10-15 minute easy hike from the cable car and gets you the best-possible panorama over Innsbruck. Snap a photo with the summit cross before descending the mountain to the Alpine Zoo.

    Innsbruck has one of the highest-elevation zoos in Europe: the Alpenzoo nestles against the Nordkette mountains and offers refuge to endangered species roaming nearby mountains. Visit 2000 animals, which include ibex, marmots, bison, lynx, snow hare, wild bears, wolves, boars and even Alpine snakes and lizards.


    Restaurant Das Schindler has a modern dining room with black chandeliers and a colourfully-lit bar. The food is equally flashy, with menu items like braised veal and suckling pig dim sum. Order a la carte, or commit to a 3, 4, or 5-course menu.


    Innsbruck’s Court Theatre used to entertain Archduke Ferdinand Karl and his guests. Today, you can attend concerts, dance performances, theatre, and other cultural events in the heart of Innsbruck. Head to the neoclassical theatre building on the other side of the Imperial Palace for a night worthy of archdukes and emperors.

    Day 2 in Innsbruck



    Pastries, cakes, and oven-fresh bread line the vitrines at Cafe Munding. Tirol’s oldest cafe cooks up a sweet or savoury breakfast inside a charming Medieval building. After loading up on food and coffee, it’s time to head to the Swarovski Crystal Worlds shuttle bus, which is included with your Innsbruck Card. The bus takes you to the crystal maker’s iconic headquarters in nearby Wattens, where a glittering world of art sprawls across 18 acres of land. Discover 17 “Chambers of Wonder,” organised like a museum of crystal-inspired art and located next to a decorative pond.


    You can either opt for an exclusive lunch at Daniels Kristallwelten, Swarovski’s in-house gourmet eatery or make your way to 1809 at Bergisel Ski Jump Tower. This glass-enclosed spot is perfect for travellers who appreciate a dramatic setting as well as a killer “Tiroler Gröstl”. 


    Continue towards the Bergisel Ski Jump, a sleek metal tower that pokes out of the forest. It was designed in the early 2000s by architect Zaha Hadid and continuously hosts some of the world’s elite ski jumpers for training and competitions. Between May and October, Wednesday through Monday, you can watch ski jumpers soar and take the lift up to get the same views as them when sitting on the start bar.

    Visit the Tirol Panorama Museum, home to one of the few remaining 19th-century panoramic paintings showcasing Tirol’s struggle for freedom. In the 19th century, fierce military battles were fought between the proud Tiroleans and the Kingdom of Bavaria. 

    To finish off your day of sightseeing, head to the Grassmayr Bell Foundry, Austria’s oldest family business dating back to 1599, which dazzles with tradition and craftsmanship. Grassmayr bells can be heard in over 100 countries worldwide, and it all starts in the human-sized casts at their Innsbruck foundry. Watch the artisans produce and restore their mighty bells (each weighs around 10 tons) and learn about why Grassmayr found international success with their brass creations.


    Innsbruck is all about local food - especially when it comes to meats and produce. The restaurant Die Wilderin takes this philosophy to the next level by sourcing a highly seasonal menu almost entirely from nearby farms. Find the names and locations of the producers right next to the daily offerings of fresh veggies, herbs, and highest-quality meats.

    Day 3 in Innsbruck



    Don’t leave Innsbruck without a visit to the romantic Schloss Ambras, perched on the city’s hillside. Built in the 16th century, it’s divided into a lower and an upper castle and features the remains of a medieval fortress, extensive gardens and forests. This was the emperor’s favourite residence and the centre of his court’s cultural life. Schloss Ambras is also home to a museum that houses the Habsburg Portrait Gallery. The Innsbruck sightseer bus and tram line number 6 take you there directly.

    Just beyond the castle, Innsbruck’s rural side starts to show. Small villages skirt the city, like Lans and Igls, which count among the most beautiful. On a sunny day, you can walk to the town squares of Igls and Lans and experience the rural quiet of their historic hearts. Highlights include the picturesque architecture, golf courses, and the Lanserhof - a luxurious spa hotel with excellent amenities.


    Try an authentic Tirolean village tavern for lunch, such as the Wilder Mann Restaurant in Lans! The restaurant is rustic, cosy, and modern all at once.


    A walk around Lake Lans is not only rewarding for outdoor enthusiasts. The gentle landscape surrounding this small lake is easy to navigate and doesn’t require more than basic fitness levels. Bask in the views of Innsbruck’s iconic mountain panorama and dip your toes in the water of an actual Alpine lake! Swimming is allowed, so you might see the locals sunbathing and splashing around during the summer months.

    Equally popular with Innsbruckians is taking the cable car to Patscherkofel mountain. This is the domed elevation opposite the Nordkette, which provides stunning views in summer and even some skiing in winter. Visit the 800-year-old pine forest on top of the mountain before returning to the city for a memorable final evening. Alternatively, visit the Mutterer Alm, another mountain near Innsbruck. Take the cable car to go up while going down by using their Mountain Carts. A fantastic experience, not only for adrenaline junkies but also for families.


    If you are interested in a traditional evening show featuring yodel songs and folk dances, book a ticket for a Tirolean Evening. A traditional Tirolean dinner is served at 7:30 pm at the Gasthaus Sandwirt. The show itself, which the Gundolf family has performed for over 50 years, starts an hour later. Tickets can be booked online, with a special discount available for holders of an Innsbruck Card.

    In July and August, the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music will fill Tirol’s capital with music and offers an incredible and less touristic musical experience. Use the chance to journey through rarities, musical treasures, and operas from former centuries.

    Want to end your stay by enjoying the views of Innsbruck one last time? Move on to the 360° Cafe, one of the most scenic rooftop bars located in the city centre.