Innsbruck - Austria‘s mountain city

As some of you already know, I'm from the southern part of Austria and even though Austria is one of the smallest countries in Europe, it is still a pain in the ass going from almost all the way in the east to all the way in the west. There are just too much huge mountains in between. Anyway, we had a family reunion - so this was a really good reason to do an almost 500 kilometer drive. Spoiling my own Blog Post - it was absolutely worth it. Innsbruck is a wonderful mixture of breathtaking nature sights, cool little bars, wonderful old K&K monarchy buildings and some really fine restaurants.


I spent 3 nights at Motel One, right next to the train station. This one is a thirteen stories high pretty new building located almost perfect for you to get around. The rooms were small but nice and clean, super friendly staff, the breakfast was really affordable, the roof top bar is unparalleled and gives you a 360 degree look all around town. Maybe give it a shot - you won't be disappointed.

where to start?

In 1964 and again in 1976 the Olympic Winter Games were held in Innsbruck. Therefor next to some big stadiums, the “Bergisel-Schanze“ (a huge Ski-Jumping-Hill) was build right next to the city. In 2003 the whole thing was re architected by Zaha Hadid and is now one of the main sights in Innsbruck. 


The Bergisel can be reached by taking tramway 3/1 or tramway 6 from downtown. From the station you have to walk for about 15 minutes to reach the first steps up the Bergisel. On your way you will pass a museum and the big statue of an important Austrian personality. Andreas Hofer who in 1809 became the leader of the Tyrolean Rebellion against the Napoleonic and Bavarian invasion. He somehow still is some kind of National Hero for Austria and especially for Tyrol.


Once you start climbing the "Bergisel-Schanze" you'll get a feeling on how amazing the view on the big mountains all around Innsbruck must be. Up on top of the old sporting sight you have a crazy view all over Innsbruck, with the city and the "Nordkette" (Huge mountain range) in front and the "Patscherkofel" (another over 2,200 meter high mountain) in the back. Maybe take your time and enjoy a coffee in the "Sky im Schanzenturm". 

Back in the Old Town the city has a lot of more stuff to offer you don't want to miss. On the Herzog-Friedrich-Straße you find the most popular landmark structure in town - "Das goldene Dachl". Well what should I say - it a building an a part of the roof is golden - that's about it. To be honest, it didn't impress me much. But go see for yourself!

Other really impressive sights are, "die Triumphpforte", "das Landesmuseum", "die Hofburg of Innsbruck" and the "St. Jakob Dom" all pretty close to each other in the center of the city.

A little further out of town you find Ambras Castle. An impressive architecture built in the 16th century surrounded by gorgeous park areas, giving you the chance to relax and escape the heat of the city when you visit in summer time. Ferdinand II, Archduke of further Austria ordered to build this castle for his wife Philippine. The whole lower castle should serve as a museum as Ferdinand was one of the biggest collectors of art at his time. Today you can probable take a good 3 hours do enjoy the whole park area, get to see the museum (fee in 2023 was 16 Euro) and probably have lunch in the Café & Bistro "Ferdinand".

all the way to the top of innsbruck

In other places with huge mountains you sometimes have to drive outside of town to get to the funicular station on the foot of the mountain. In Innsbruck, the city is the foot of the mountain and you can get on the funicular in the middle of Old Town. This is really cool!  


We did the whole package on the "Nordkette". To be honest, it's not cheap but definitely something you want to experience. In the summer of 2023 the fee all the way up to the Hafelekar on 2,334 meters was 44 Euro. You're about to take 3 rides till you all the way up on the peak. Next to the Congress building, where you can also purchase your tickets you get on the first ride which is taking you the "Hungerburg". Up there you are about to get the first impression of the mountain - but you're not even close.

Next stop - Seegrube. On this one you'll find a restaurant and some little attractions like a small skywalk. I was so lucky, the weather couldn't be any better on this day - the view was just stunning, but still more to come. The restaurant by the way is pretty nice - I had gorgeous Schnitzel. Friendly staff and actually fair prices. Highly recommended.

Hop on the next funicular for another 300 altimeter all the way up to the "Top of Innsbruck". On my day of arrival, I was having a drink at the Skybar in my hotel. Seen from that Skybar at night, the mountain station of the Hafelekar peak was only a small little shining dot, just like a star in the sky. It is very impressive how they got all that stuff up here all the way to the top.


A little extra walk from the station brings you all the way up to the summit cross. The days in Innsbruck were pretty crowded, a lot of tourists from all over the world were strolling the streets. Up there the area is so big  you can easily find spots for good photos or a little break for some snacks even if there are tons of people on the peak. It can get pretty chilly and windy even in July and August so you might want to bring a jacket.


All in all the ride up to the "Top of Innsbruck" is definitely worth it and should be on your bucket list when in town.

food and drinks


The city, as I already mentioned before gets really crowded - so it's kind of a pain in the ass to find a nice little spot for a coffee or a drink. The 2 places I really enjoyed were the "Blaue Brigitte" in the Herzog-Friedrich-Straße - a really cool cocktail bar / lounge to hang and as also mentioned before the Cloud one Bar in the Motel One. Even if you're not staying in the Hotel you can still get up there to enjoy some drinks and the 360 degree view over the capital of Tyrol.


For dinner I once had traditional cuisine and the next day I went to an Italian restaurant. Both were really delicious. "Die Wilderin" is offering locally sourced meats and ingredients. Fantastic! Wine from my hometown back in Southern-Styria - all perfect. Super friendly staff still fair prices.


The "Trattoria Due Sicilie" makes you feel like going to Italy for a view hours. La dolce vita at it's best. Italian waiters scurry around like crazy - bringing you amazing Pizzas, Pasta, Steaks and delicious red and white wine. Highly recommend this place to everyone.

5 things you don't wanna miss

  • Take a picture with "das goldene Dachl" just do have one.
  • Go up Bergisel
  • Visit Ambras Castle and its wonderful gardens
  • Enjoy some traditional Austrian cuisine 
  • Take the funicular up to the "Top of Innsbruck"

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