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Innsbruck, Austria » City Info

Innsbruck is the provincial capital of Tyrol and the fifth largest city in Austria by population. It has twice hosted the Winter Olympics and was one of the host cities in the 2008 European Football Championships. This beautiful alpine destination, with its historical buildings, breathtaking scenery and snow-capped mountains, is one of the most wonderful places to visit in Europe.

Top 10 Innsbruck Landmarks

  

Goldenes Dachl Museum (Golden Roof) ( Visit Site )

The Goldenes Dachl in Innsbruck was explicitly created to commemorate the wedding of Emperor Maximilian I to Bianca Maria Sforza from Milan. Built in 1500, the golden roof's elaborate decoration with 2657 fire-gilded copper shingles attracts many photographers and visitors from all over the world. Today, it is home to a two-storied museum whose main purpose is to document and display the era of Kaiser Maximilian I. Latest technologies such as sound installations and touch screens installed at the museum give visitors a close-up view of the late medieval Tyrol.

  

Imperial Palace ( Visit Site )

The Imperial Palace is one of the three most important cultural landmarks in Austria alongside the Hofburg castle and Schönbrunn Castle in Vienna. Built by Archduke Siegmund in Gothic style in around 1460, the castle was once the seat of the Tyrolean sovereigns. The palace was redesigned in Baroque style between 1754 and 1773 on the orders of Empress Maria Theresa. An impressive two-storey Riesensaal painted in gold and white, themed museum areas and gala rooms exemplify the magnificence of the Imperial Palace. Emperor Maximilian, the Hapsburgs and Tyrolean folk hero Andreas Hofer all have enjoyed the grandeur of this majestic castle.

  

Hofkirche (Court Church) ( Wikipedia )

The Hofkirche is a Gothic church erected by Ferdinand I in memory of his grandfather Emperor Maximilian I, whose cenotaph bears an astonishing collection of German Renaissance sculpture. The most interesting amongst them are the 28 bronze statues of “black men” standing beside the tomb. Tyrol's national hero, Andreas Hofer is also buried in the church.

  

Alpenzoo (Alpine Zoo) ( Visit Site )

The highest zoo in Europe, Alpenzoo cares for animals typical to the Alps. Here, you can find a great variety of animal species resting safely in the beautiful alpine flora and fauna. While on a visit to the zoo, get acquainted with their breeding programs intended to protect the endangered species and return them securely to their natural habitat.

  

Schloss Ambras (Ambras Castle) ( Visit Site )

The Ambras Castle, a schloss located in the hills of Innsbruck, was the residence of Archduke Ferdinand II from 1563 to 1595. It's a culturally and historically important landmark of Tyrol since Ferdinand II was well-known to collect and promote grand art collections during his tenure, preserving them in his own prototype of a museum at the castle. Visitors will be able to view this priceless collection, covering thousands of years of European history, at the Lower & Upper Castle.

  

Bergisel Ski Jump ( Visit Site )

The Bergisel Ski Jump, towering above the Bergiselschanze hill is a redesigned, spectacular ski jump created by architect Zaha Hadid. Historically, the hill has witnessed many battles against the French and Bavarian forces. Today, the ski jump stands at 47 meters tall and accommodates 28,000 spectators for the annual Four Hills Tournament in January and the Summer Grand Prix Jumping Event. Fine dining restaurants, modern facilities and panoramic views of the surrounding peaks of Patscherkofel, Nordkette, Hohe Munde and Serles prettify the ambience of this place.

  

Tyrolean State Museum (Ferdinandeum) ( Visit Site )

The Tylorean State Museum, also known as the Ferdinandeum after Archduke Ferdinand, was founded in 1823 and reopened in 2003 after extensive renovation. Highlights at the museum include a superb Dutch collection from the 12th century along with relics dating from prehistoric times to the Roman era. Special exhibitions are held from time to time, to show off the rare collections preserved at the museum.

  

Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum (Tyrolean Folk Art Museum) ( Visit Site )

The Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum is situated right next to the Hofkirche church and houses a permanent exhibition of Tyrolean craftsmanship. One can find a wide variety of Christmas exhibits, old Tyrolean arts and crafts, masks and traditional costumes made by the locals from various social strata, right from peasants to the nobles.

  

Stadtturm (Town Tower)

The Stadtturm is a 15th century medieval tower situated in the Old Town district of Innsbruck. Standing at almost 67 meters, this soaring tower gives splendid views of Innsbruck's various landmarks and monuments along with the far-away Nordkette Mountains.

  

Triumphpforte (Triumphal Arch)

Translated as Triumphal Arch, Triumphpforte is an honorary gate commissioned by Empress Maria Theresa on the event of her son Leopold's marriage. A photographer's delight, the Arch impressions have a distinct Italian identity inspired from the Roman Triumph Arch.

5 Top Bars

  

Piano Bar and Café ( Visit Site )

Piano Bar and Café caters to an older crowd who like to have an intellectual conversation over a glass of fine wine. The charming antique decor and vintage furniture turns back the clock to exude old world charm. Ask a local or your hotel as this place could easily go unnoticed due to its unassuming exteriors.

  

Hofgarten Cafè

Hofgarten Café deviates more towards the younger crowd who like to get high on the beats of bombastic party music. Tuesdays and weekends especially attracts a lot of party-goers who are there to savour the tasteful Austrian beer. But you'll see a lot of chilled out crowd as well, relaxing in the shade of trees, sipping a nice, hot cup of coffee.

  

Bacchus Discothek ( Visit Site )

Bacchus is open to people with gay or lesbian sexual orientation, but straight visitors also like this wine retreat for the food and cozy ambience it offers. With night dwellers occupying the place until the wee hours of the morning, it is a thumping, sweaty mix of an audience.

  

360° Cafe Winebar Lounge

With glass windows opening to a panoramic view of Innsbruck & the Alps, 360° is a rejuvenative joint for the tired soul. Creamy interiors, clean lines and modern architecture attract one and all to grab a cushion in the balcony adjoining the bar.

  

Dom Cafe-Bar ( Visit Site )

Dom Café is a Gothic-style bar characterized by tear drop chandeliers, flickering candles, whitewashed walls and vaulted ceilings. With its outstanding selection of wine & beer, having a drink or two within the romantic surroundings of Dom, is an experience in itself.

Top Activities

  

Visiting the Alpen Zoo ( Visit Site )

The highest zoo, located in Europe at the foot of the Nordkette mountain range, is a representative of the beautiful forest animals unique to the Alps. Children will enjoy feeding the animals as well as getting an insight into the alpine animal world that's normally not a sight at other zoos. Moreover, it offers a great view of the fascinating Alps and Innsbruck city.

  

Winter Sports ( Visit Site )

Considering Innsbruck is located at the foot of the Alps; it is natural for it have imbibed a culture that is strongly built around snow activities like skiing, snowboarding, and mountaineering. During winter, Innsbruck has many ski activities happening around the five hills surrounding the city. The world famous ski resort Nordkette and Olympia SkiWorld are perhaps the most famous of them but the slopes around Seefeld, Tulfes, and Stubai Valley offer equally adventurous opportunities.

Children and non skiers can ice skate on the Hofgarten frozen lakes or live life on the edge by taking a day hike to the Stubai glacier. Innsbruck is an impressive place to relax and enjoy a simple toboggan sled ride in the company of moonlight and the stars. Besides, you can also visit the Olympia World Innsbruck where you will find everything - public skating, ice hockey, bobsleighing, figure skating and more, under one roof.

Mountains & Hiking ( Visit Site )

Completely surrender yourself to the picturesque Alps if you are eager to discover medieval villages, soak in the beautiful mountain scenery and taste delectable gourmet menu at 2000 meters. The most popular trekking trails in Innsbruck are Patscherkofel to Zirbenweg along the south side of the Inn Valley, Haflekar to Hermann Buhl Weg and Goethe Weg, Schlegeisstausee glacier walk and trails above Hungerburg and Hötting.

If you want to try something out-of-the-box, then Nordic walking is an exciting outdoor activity and Igls-Lans is the place to master this fitness trend. There are twelve different routes in this area, suitable for running and gentle walking. But, remember trekking at a leisurely pace along the well-worn paths allows you ample time to explore the imposing views of Innsbruck.

  

Water Sports ( Visit Site )

Summer visitors to Innsbruck can indulge in all types of water sports activities including bathing, surfing, swimming, paddling and sailing. If you are ready to explore the surroundings beyond Innsbruck; sailing & windsurfing schools organize numerous adventure activities at the many lakes in Tyrol. Furthermore, summertime creates the perfect setting to have a dip in the Lanser See and Natterer See lakes. Here, we should be giving a special mention to Natterer See Lake's child-friendly programmes.

Stubai Tram Ride ( Wikipedia )

The Stubai Tram Ride connects Fulpmes with Innsbruck, on the way gathering marvellous views of the Stubai valley. Started in 1904, the tram travels through the beautiful larch forests via Telfes, Kreith, Raitis, Mutters and Natters to Innsbruck. Visitors from Innsbruck can reach the Stubai Valley Railway using public transport. The valley is also one of the many interesting points to start a hike or ski.

Mittelgebirge Carriage Ride

The idyllic Mittelgebirge region with its impressions of beautifully carved mountains and valleys should be certainly explored on a horse-drawn carriage ride. As the horses gallop in tandem, the Mittelgebirge region and its delightful towns between Rinn and Igls & Axams and Birgitz, shower you with their pristine beauty. In the winter, horse drawn sleigh rides are also available upon request. If you like to tap your feet to some local music ask your tour operator to organize a musical stopover at a traditional inn.

Market & Fairs

Innsbruck's main shopping happens in Old Town where tourists are most interested in buying local handicrafts and trinkets for their friends and family back home. Those in search of bargains should venture a little further; smaller shops are set up off the main streets. In Innsbruck, there's something for every taste. Be it homemade chocolates, traditional confectioneries, or locally fermented schnapps, every few steps there is a shop offering you tasty treats.

In Tyrol cities such as Innsbruck, Landeck, Kitzbühel and Lienz, flea markets, boutiques or specialised fairs are regularly organised where boutiques and delicatessen shops tingle your taste buds. Then, there are quaint places for clothes, shoes, leatherwear, antiques and farmer's organic produce to cater all tastes and needs.

Wellness

After a hectic day of action and sightseeing, an invigorating experience at a wellness spa is recommended for tourists who have come to Innsbruck-Tyrol for their holidays. Spruce up your body and soul with a thermal bath at one of the spa hotels or just relax in the laps of forests, mountains and meadows to calm your mind.

Food & Drinks

Sampling Austrian culinary fare is nothing short of a divine experience. Visit the restaurants lining the streets of Alstadt to gorge on mouth-watering food made from cheese, speck and schnapps. If you are not ready to tread the extra mile, there are restaurants that serve various international cuisines, such as Chinese, Italian, French, American and so on. A little outside Innsbruck, in the villages of Tyrol, different types of cheese, bacon and ham are also available and definitely worth a taste. Feel free to experiment with deer meat as well as sausages. Also ask for a mug of Zillertal beer, a must try for every visitor.

Top Innsbruck FAQs

Q.1) What is the capital city of Austria?

Ans: Vienna is the capital and largest city in Austria. Innsbruck is the capital city of the federal state of Tyrol in western Austria and lies about 400 kilometres from Vienna.

Q.2) What is the official language spoken in Innsbruck?

Ans: The official language spoken in Innsbruck is German. However, as English is the second language in the educational system, it is understood and spoken fluently by Austrian citizens.

Q.3) Which are the mountains surrounding Innsbruck?

Ans: Innsbruck is located in the Inn Valley, surrounded by Nordkette (Hafelekar, 2,334 metres or 7,657 feet in the north, Patscherkofel (2,246 m or 7,369 ft) and Serles (2,718 m or 8,917 ft) in the south.

Q.4) What is the population of Innsbruck?

Ans: As of 1st January, 2011, the population of Innsbruck was 120,147.

Q.5) What is the weather in Innsbruck like and when is the best season to go to Innsbruck?

Ans: Innsbruck is a unique city visited by travellers during both winter and summer seasons. The location of Tyrol (Tirol) is such that its outdoors can be enjoyed all year round. During the winter months from late December until early April, skiers love the slopes of Alps while the same mountains in summer become the base for campers. The snow capped mountains and valleys are spread with a blanket of wildflowers and camping tents as hikers and mountain bikers edge to capture the mountain tips.

Q.6) What is the currency of Innsbruck and where could I exchange foreign currency?

Ans: The unit of currency used in Austria is Euro. European citizens shouldn’t have any problem since Euro is used in many countries in Europe. Other foreign travellers can exchange their local currency at ATM’s, exchange bureaus and banks. Banks in Austria charge a fee for every transaction plus a small fee for every traveller’s cheque. So it is advisable to encash more amount at a time.

Q.7) What is the electric current voltage in Innsbruck?

Ans: The electric current is 220 Volts, 50Hz. You’ll need a two-pin Europe adapter for appliances that operate on 110 Volts.

Q.8) What type of clothing should I carry when travelling to Innsbruck?

Ans: Depending on when you’re travelling to Innsbruck, carry a lot of warm clothes during winters when temperatures can drop to -10°C. Also, carry winter accessories such as gloves, caps and leather shoes to prevent slipping on ice. On other days, in the summers and rains, bring along rain gear and practical clothing to keep you cool as well show off colour.

Q.9) What are the tipping practices followed in Innsbruck?

Ans: In Austria, restaurants include tax and service charge in their bills, but it is customary to round up the total while paying. Taxi drivers receive 10% of the meter fare while bell porters receive €1 per bag.

Q.10) What is the Time Zone of Innsbruck?

Ans: The Standard Time Zone for Innsbruck is CET (UTC+1). Daylight saving time during summers is CEST (UTC+2) hours. The time zone abbreviation is CET – Central European Time.

Q.11) What are the Visa Requirements for Innsbruck?

Ans: Please visit our Visa Requirements page for more details.

Q.12) What are the Emergency Numbers in Innsbruck?

Ans: The emergency numbers to call for if in distress and need help.
  • Ambulance: 144
  • European emergency number: 112
  • Fire Department: 122
  • Police: 133
The ambulance (Rettung) will offer English speaking doctor. To be on the safer side, its better to know some medical terms in German.
  • Accident - Unfall
  • Emergency- Notfall
  • Heart - Herz
  • Heart Attack- Herzanfall
  • Severe Pain - Heftige Schmerzen

Q.13) What is the country code and area code for Innsbruck?

Ans: The country code of Austria is +43 while the area code is 0512.

Q.14) What are the major attractions of Innsbruck?

Ans: The major attractions of Innsbruck are Goldenes Dachl Museum, Imperial Hofburg, Hofkirche, Alpenzoo, Schloss Ambras, Bergisel Ski Jump, Tyrolean State Museum, Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum, Stadtturm and Triumphpforte.

Q.15) What are the Important Phrases in German while conversing with locals?

Ans: Learning a few phrases in German is always helpful, especially when you have to converse with the locals at restaurants, taxi stands, hotel, markets and during emergencies.
Good MorningGuten Morgen (Morgen)
Good DayGuten Tag
Good ByeAuf Wiedersehen / Auf Wiederschauen or
simply Wiedersehen or Wiederschauen
Bye!Tschuss
Excuse MeEntschuldigung
Do you speak English?Sprechen Sie Englisch?
Thank YouDanke
PleaseBitte
I am lostIch habe mich verirrt
Can you help me?Können Sie mir helfen
The bill please!Zahlen, bitte!

Getting Around in Innsbruck

Use of public transportation in Innsbruck is to the minimal since most of the Old Town sights are within a reasonable walking distance. They are best explored on foot and tourists should take a bus only when they plan to visit the outskirts of the city. Since much of the city area is pedestrianized, it doesn’t make sense driving a car or hiring a taxi when your two little feet can get you around much faster. If you plan to rent a car in Innsbruck, parking wouldn’t pose a problem with many underground parking spaces located near the city centre.

Tourists are recommended to buy the ‘Innsbruck Card’ which is all inclusive of museums and other visitor attractions, 1 ascent and 1 descent on any cable cars, funicular railways or lifts in the Innsbruck region, free travel to a wide range of visitor attractions on the Sightseer Bus, Crystal Worlds Shuttle, travel on all public transport in Innsbruck, as well as to and from the towns of Igls, Rum/Hall and Natters/Mutters and discounts on events.

Bus System

Public transportation in Innsbruck comprises of two modes - Buses and Trams. The bus network which includes more than 20 lines is operated by Innsbrucker Verkehrsbetriebe, covering all areas of Innsbruck and its suburbs. Tickets with a standard fare are issued for travelling within the Kernzone but may differ according to the distance travelled when leaving the city limits. Multi-ride and 24-hour passes are available for the convenience of tourists which are to be purchased from local vending machines, tourist offices, tobacco stores, newspaper kiosks, convenience stores and government offices. Purchase the more expensive, single trip ticket in the bus itself. Tourists can hop aboard the "TS" ("The Sightseer") which connects major vantage points such as Schloß Ambras, Bergisel and Alpenzoo to downtown. However, these are expensive and if you don’t plan to visit each and every sightseeing point, purchasing the regular 24-hour ticket would suffice.

Trams

Trams of Innsbruck are operated by Innsbrucker Verkehrsbetriebe, connecting several mountain villages in the Stubaital valley, downtown, Old Town, Saggen, parts of Wilten and parts of Pradl. Riding on a tram gives tourists a chance to photograph the lovely landscape on the way to the Alp villages such as Aldrans, Fulpmes and Igls. Various attractions such as Lansersee Lake and Patscherkofel Ropeway are within minutes from the tram station. The trip too good to be missed, drenches the tourists with varied colours of the cloudy mist screening the larch trees to wildflowers blanketing the valleys.

Taxis

Taxis are a convenient way of getting around in Innsbruck but do not offer much than walking faster. Taxis can be hailed anywhere on the street or hired at one of the taxi stands in the city. Tourists, who want to book a taxi in advance, can inquire at their hotel desk. Travelling by taxis is a relaxing experience, since their service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Travellers can also book airport taxis for instant pick-up service from Innsbruck Central Station (Hauptbahnhof) or Innsbruck Airport. Those preferring a dash of luxury and corporate companies could opt for executive cars and limos for personalized comfort.

Car Rental

To discover its magnificent Alpine beauty, many travellers rent a car in Innsbruck. Car hire is a common service required by travellers, upon arrival at the airport or train station. But if you prefer to drive in and around Innsbruck, remain on your toes while choosing the car hire company. Experienced travellers will be acquainted with the huge price gap among local car rental companies but the inexperienced may be taken for a ride. There are enough fee based, short term parking zones in the downtown area of Innsbruck. While visiting the suburbs or on longer visits, preferably make use of public transportation.

Communication in Innsbruck (Austria)

Telecommunications in Austria is a highly competitive field with Telekom Austria AG and Austrian Postal Service (Österreichische Post AG) operating the postal and mobile communications, respectively. The telephone lines in Austria are well developed and efficient. The extensive range of lines provides fibre optic coverage and a full range of telephone and internet services.

The mobile phone market in Austria is known to offer some of the cheapest rates in Austria. Today, A1, T-Mobile, Drei and Orange are the three nationwide GSM networks with Drei running its own UMTS network. In 2008, mobile phone portability was introduced allowing users to retain their mobile number when switching from one operator to another.

Till recently, internet in Austria was available over DSL and cable. But renewed competition fever is gaining ground thanks to UMTS/HSDPA and LTE available over mobile phones. Nowadays, SDSL and optical fibre access is also available. Typical internet speeds are 10Mbit download and 1Mbit upload over DSL, and up to 30Mbit Download and 2Mbit upload over cable.

There are about 2 AM, 160 FM and 1 shortwave radio broadcast stations available in Austria. In respect to television, there are 45 broadcast stations but the main ones are ORF, ATV, Puls 4, Servus TV and Austria 9 TV.

Österreichische Post AG manages the postal services in Austria. The main post office is open 24 hours, but after 9 pm one must ring a bell to enter through the main door. There are other 12 post offices located throughout the greater Innsbruck area. Stamps, envelopes and cardboard boxes can be brought at tobacco shops. The main post office is open from 8 am to 6 pm.