Innsbruck is the place to go if you want to combine your city trip with experiencing unspoiled Alpine nature.
Imperial Elegance & Natural Beauty
When you first discover Innsbruck, you might wonder why you didn’t visit sooner. After all, this city offers a unique combination: You can stroll its streets full of imperial elegance and beautiful Baroque and Gothic architecture in the Old Town, and then take a cable car from the city centre and be at 2,000 m in just 20 minutes.
Even at first sight, when you arrive, this city and its setting amidst majestic peaks is breathtaking. But, it’s never intimidating: Innsbruck’s warm, friendly atmosphere – perhaps owing to its Southern influence – and its relaxing nature experiences and cosy surrounding villages will make you feel at home in no time.
Facts & Figures
Nearest AirportInnsbruck (INN)
Sightseeing and Foodie Tours
The city of Innsbruck is compact enough to be experienced on foot or a bike. Check out the famous sights such as the Golden Roof, the Helbing House and Innsbruck's most famous street Maria-Theresien-Strasse, then head to one of the hip districts such as Mariahilf and St. Nikolaus where Innsbruck’s uni students like to meet for a beer or cocktail.
Curious about the Tirolean cuisine? Join a Food Tour and spend four hours with a local guide, walking through the city and sampling all the typical and local delicacies while learning more about their history and ingredients. The only rule is: eating, walking, talking... repeat!
Innsbruck Welcome Card
If you stay in Innsbruck for 2 nights or more, your free Welcome Card ensures you will enjoy your holiday to the fullest and can explore everything Innsbruck has to offer at a great price. It includes:
- All public transport in the region (plus four cable cars if you stay for at least 3 nights)
- Free hiking and e-biking tours with local guides
- Lama and alpaca hiking
- Half-price entry at bathing lakes
- Countless discounts on family programmes, pools and other activities
Pick up your Welcome Card, which gets you access to sights, cable cars, and public transport, then head to Innsbruck’s most famous landmark, the Golden Roof. It was built for the wedding of Emperor Maximilian I to Bianca Maria Sforza and comprises 2,657 fire-gilded copper tiles. Just behind, find the Cathedral of St. James. The opulent Baroque cathedral holds the tomb of Emperor Maximilian III, the great-great-grandson of Maximilian I.
Walk along Burggraben street to the Imperial Palace, stretched 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. Take a guided tour of the state rooms, banquet hall, Imperial apartments, and 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 (called “Schwarzmander”) still watch over the cenotaph.
Take your lunch at an altitude of 1,905 m by going up Nordkette mountain range! Simply hop on the cable car down in the Old Town and get off at Seegrube station, where a panoramic restaurant waits for you. The menu is packed with Austrian classics like cheese dumplings and of course a classic Schnitzel!
Those who can’t get enough of mountain views should board the Hafelekarbahn cable car and continue on to 2,256 m. The mountain summit is just a 10-15 minute easy hike away and gets you the best-possible panorama over Innsbruck. Snap a photo with the summit cross before making your descent down the mountain to the Alpine Zoo stop.
Innsbruck has one of the highest-elevation zoos in Europe: the Alpenzoo nestles against the Nordkette mountains and offers refuge to endangered species in the area. Visit 2,000 animals, including ibex, marmots, bison, lynx, snow hare, bears, wolves, 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 à 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, stage plays, and other cultural events in the heart of Innsbruck. Head over to the neoclassical theatre building opposite the Imperial Palace for a night worthy of archdukes and emperors.
Pastries, cakes, and oven-fresh bread line the vitrines at Cafe Munding. Tirol’s oldest café cooks up a sweet or savoury breakfast inside a charming Medieval mansion. 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," which are 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, 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. Designed in the early 2000s by Zaha Hadid, it 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. Take the lift to the top to experience a ski jumper's viewpoint right before the jump.
Visit the Tirol Panorama Museum, home to one of the few remaining 19th-century panoramic paintings showcasing Tirol's struggle for freedom. It was here that fierce military battles were fought between the Tiroleans and Bavarians. Then, head to the Grassmayr Bell Foundry, Austria’s oldest family business (dating back to 1599!). Their bells can be heard in over 100 countries – and it all starts in the man-sized casts at their Innsbruck foundry.
Innsbruck is all about local food – especially when it comes to meats and produce. Restaurant Die Wilderin takes this philosophy to the next level by sourcing a highly seasonal menu almost entirely from nearby farms.
Don’t leave Innsbruck without visiting Schloss Ambras, perched on a hillside of the city. 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. It is home to a museum housing the Habsburg Portrait Gallery. The Innsbruck sightseer bus and tram number 6 take you there.
Just beyond the castle, Innsbruck's rural side starts to show. Beautiful small villages such as Lans and Igls skirt the city. 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 picturesque architecture, golf courses, and the Lanserhof – a ritzy spa hotel with amazing amenities.
Try a real 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 panorama and dip your toes in the water of the lake! Swimming is allowed, so you might see the locals sunbathe and splash around during the summer.
Equally popular with Innsbruckians is the cable car to Patscherkofel mountain. This is the domed elevation opposite the Nordkette, which provides great views in summer and even some skiing in winter! Visit the 800 year-old pine forest before making your way back into the city.
If you are interested in a traditional evening show featuring yodelling and folk dances, book a ticket for a Tirolean Evening. The show, which has been performed by the Gundolf family for over 50 years, is performed daily from April to October, and 2-3 times a week during the rest of the year. Holders of the Welcome Card get a special discount.
New flights to Innsbruck
From 28 May 2022, getting from the UK to Tirol by plane could not be easier! Jet2 flies you to Innsbruck from the following cities:
- from Birmingham to Innsbruck every Saturday
- from Bristol to Innsbruck every Saturday
- from Manchester to Innsbruck every Wednesday and Saturday
easyJet takes you to Innsbruck from London Gatwick:
- 19 April - 25 June 2022 on Tue | Thu | Sat
- 26 June - 3 September 2022 on Tue | Wed | Thu | Sat
- 4 - 30 September 2022 on Tue | Thu | Sat