Austria has always been one of my favourite destinations in Europe - probably because I was in awe of the very first place I visited in this country- the beautiful city of Innsbruck. Tucked in the lap of the Austrian Alps, Innsbruck is a very pretty and quaint town which you should definitely visit when planning a trip to Austria. Read this blog to know the fun things to do on your Innsbruck trip.

1. Scratch the map

Innsbruck is the capital city of Tyrol in western Austria located on the river Inn (as most of you would know, it gets its name after the bridge on Inn river!). Being situated close to both the German and Italian borders, Innsbruck is a perfect fit in your itineraries while traveling to these countries as well.

2. How to reach

We drove from Friedrichshafen to Innsbruck. However, it is easily accessible by trains from multiple known cities. You can also fly to Innsbruck at the Kranebitten Airport. This is the airport serving for the entire Tyrol region in western Austria. It is located 4km from the city centre of Innsbruck. From the airport you can catch a bus, taxi or other airport transfer services to get to city centre.

3. Our Tour Highlights

3a. Altstadt (Old Town)

The historical old town /city centre is a great place to start exploring Innsbruck. The main tourist sites are all mostly close by and can be covered by foot. The city also well connected by trams. Strolling along the streets in the city centre is in itself a charming experience.

  • Golden Roof and Golden Roof museum: While wandering in the bustling old town, it is impossible to miss this famous landmark of Innsbruck shining brightly amongst other adjoining buildings. Well you guessed it right!! I am talking about the Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof) which was decorated with 2,657 bright copper tiles. The building was built as a residence for Tyrolean sovereigns around 1420. The famous balcony was later constructed to celebrate the second wedding of Emperor Maximilian I with Maria Bianca Sforza. The balcony roof covered with gilded copper tiles, came to be known as the "Golden roof". The balcony was designed by architect Nikolaus Base. The parapet in the balcony has reliefs of the emperor with his wives Mary of Burgundy and Bianca Maria Sforza together with Morris dancers. Alongside the Golden Roof is the Golden Roof museum where you can learn about the life and achievements of Emperor Maximilian I. The museum tickets cost approx. 5 euro per person and you can complete the tour inside the museum within an hour.

The Golden Roof- Emperor Maximilian I enjoyed the view of Alps from this balcony

Inside the Golden Roof Museum

Beautiful architecture in Altstadt

  • StadtTurm: Situated very close to the Golden Roof, this historic watchtower has a great observation deck from where you can get a 360 degree view of the main sights of the city and the surrounding snow-capped mountains. Also, remember that you need to climb up a spiral staircase (around 140 steps) to reach the viewing platform; but believe me its totally worth the effort to get amazing pictures for your album! The entry tickets cost approx. 5-6 euro per person.

View of Golden Roof from StatdTurm

Spiral staircase

View of Alps from StadtTurm

  • Hofkirche: A beautiful royal court church, the Hofkirche was built by Emperor Ferdinand I in 1553 to honour his grandfather Maximilian I. Although Maximilian I isn’t buried here, his cenotaph present in this court church and surrounded by 28 large statues (said to be guarding the tomb) is a magnificent example of European court art. The entry ticket for Hofkirche costs approx. 8 euros per person.

  • Hofburg: The Hofburg Imperial Palace is a major attraction in Innsbruck which gives us a glimpse into the lavish lifestyles of the past rulers in this region (primarily the Habsburg Dynasty).

Hofkirche Courtyard

Beautiful interiors

Inside the Hofkirche

3b) Swarovski Kristallwelten

  • The magic world of crystals is a place which you cant afford to miss if you are fond of Swarovski crystals! It is located in Wattens approx 20 km away from the city of Innsbruck and consists of a crystal museum, park and a restaurant. The location of the Swarovski crystal world is absolutely stunning being surrounded by beautiful snow-capped mountain ranges. There are shuttle buses the ply between Innsbruck city centre and Swarovski Crystal world at frequent intervals.

Beautiful landscape of Wattens

Entrance of Swarovski Crystal World

Inside the museum

Cinderella's slippers in the museum

3c) Nordkette

  • Nordkette mountain is a part of the Karwendel Nature park in Austria and can be reached from Innsbruck city centre via the Nordkette cable car. There are 2 parts or stops in this journey- first one from Hungerburg to Seegrube and the next one from Seegrube to Hafelekar peak. Both the sites undoubtedly have some of the best views of Alps with the city of Innsbruck below. Nordkette is very popular for skiing- so if you are fond of skiing, then it surely has to be on your to-do list. Also, don't forget to taste Tyrolean cuisine at the Seegrube restaurant while enjoying unhindered scenic views of the surrounding mountains.

Hungerburg Funicular

View from the Nordkette Bahn

Top view of Innsbruck

Mountain view

4) Goodbye Notes

Although I have been to Innsbruck twice, I would still love to visit it again - such is the charm of this amazing city!! So if you have not visited Innsbruck yet, start planning now so that you don't miss out on this unique combination of lovely panoramic views of nature and beautiful medieval architecture of typical European old towns that this city has to offer.