Innsbruck

Innsbruck is the fifth-largest city in Austria and the provincial capital of Tyrol, as well as one of the largest cities in the Alps. Located in a valley of the river Inn between mountain ranges of above 2000 m above sea level, halfway between Bavaria and northern Italy, it is a hub of a region popular for skiing and other mountain-related activities and a busy tourist destination. Its popularity as a winter sports resort was underscored by its hosting the Winter Olympic Games twice.

Understand

The first mention of Innsbruck dates back to the reign of Augustus, when the Romans established the army station Veldidena (the name survives in today's urban district Wilten) at the locality named Oeni Pontum or Oeni Pons, which is Latin for bridge (pons) over the Inn (Oenus), the important crossing point over the Inn river, to protect Via Claudia Augusta, the economically important commercial road from Verona-Brenner-Augsburg.

Innsbruck became the capital of Tyrol in 1429 and in the 15th century the city became a centre of European politics and culture as emperor Maximilian I moved the imperial court to Innsbruck in the 1490s. Many old buildings from the Middle Ages and modern times survived in the heart of old town.

The city is well known for its sporting opportunities, especially alpine sports, as it is in the Alps and surrounded by mountains. Several ski resorts are situated inside the city territory or within short distance. Innsbruck was one of the centers of snowboard boom in the 1990s and the derived distinct subculture endured until today. The population of skateboarders, snowboarders and people alike is therefore above average and nothing unusual to the people. This culture is also celebrated by a lot of events in and around Innsbruck especially in the winter season, attracting (predominantly young) people from all around the world.

There are two universities and several colleges in Innsbruck, with over 25,000 students altogether, (including a significant Italian population) making the city's nightlife very lively.

Climate

Innsbruck's fair distance from the coast and altitude lead to a continental climate. Winters are cold and snowy; summers are generally warm, with highly variable weather. Hot and dry days, with temperatures hitting 30°C, are quite common; but can be followed by a cool and rainy spell, with temperatures only around 17°C in the day. Be warned, however, at any time, summer nights are cool and temperature often drop quickly after sunset, sometimes falling below 10°C in early morning.

Get in

Innsbruck Airport

By plane

Innsbruck Kranebitten Airport (German: Flughafen Innsbruck) (IATA: INN) is the largest airport in Tyrol. Currently regular scheduled flights are available from:

Seasonal flights (mostly active during skiing season) are available from many more destinations including the UK, the Netherlands, Greece, and Scandinavia, as well as from Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Kiev and Moscow. There are also charter flights to several German cities - especially in winter.

The bus line F will take you to the city center (every 15 minutes / on Sunday it departs every 30 minutes).

Munich International Airport, 2.5 hours away, is another alternative. There are vans, such as those run by Four Seasons Travel that will meet you at the Munich Airport and take you directly to your lodging in or around Innsbruck for the price of a comparable intercity train ticket (~€49). If you prefer not to share a vehicle with other people, you can book a private airport transfer. There are a lot of companies, which offer this service, such as: Holiday Taxi Innsbruck, Resorthoppa, Holiday Taxis, Airport Private Transfer, LimoLo, etc. The approximate price of a transfer with a Sedan is 290-300€, with a Minibus - 330-350€.

Other nearby Airports include Memmingen (108 mi), Salzburg (114 mi), St. Gallen-Altenrhein (118 mi) and Friedrichshafen (135 miles).

By train

Regular (direct) trains operate from Venice, Bolzano/Bozen, Zürich, Munich, Graz, Vienna (via Linz and Salzburg) and many other destinations.

Despite being a smaller city Innsbruck has fantastic train connections to all major cities in its neighborhood. The main station, Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof, is located at Südtiroler Platz (South-tyrolean square) in the east of the city center. In addition there are several stations which serve suburban and regional train connections.

Discounts

See Austria#Discounts

By car

Innsbruck is reachable through both of Tyrol's motorways: Inntalautobahn (A 12) and Brennerautobahn (A 13).

By bike

Innsbruck can be reached on the Inntalradweg from Passau to St. Moritz. Even in the city this bicycle trail is signposted with small green road signs.

Get around

Most one-day visitors don't use any transport: all of the major Old Town sites are within a reasonable walking time.

On foot

The classic walk into old Innsbruck follows.

From the main station (Hauptbahnhof) to the city center is a relatively short and enjoyable 10 to 15 minute walk. Walk out of the Hauptbahnhof, cross the street at the train station cross walk, turn to your right, and go down to the next street to your left. Walk on this street until Maria-Theresien Strasse, then turn right toward the city center. Taking this street all the way leads to the pedestrian zone and the Golden Roof.

By car

Big parts of the downtown area are declared (fee-based) short-term parking zones. For longer visits, it is highly recommended to park off-site and use public transportation.

By public transport

Public local traffic (4 tram-lines, and a dense network of buses) is operated by Innsbrucker Verkehrsbetriebe and a couple of private operators. All public services are organized in Verkehrsverbund Tirol, which means that tickets are valid in every public transport line (including buses, trams and trains). All buses and trams are modern low-floor vehicles. A major extension of the tram network is currently carried out (it is the line to the technical university campus, first phase to be completed in autumns 2012)

Visitors should be aware that there sometimes are bus lines that split up into different destinations (the bus line O, for example), and so it's important to pay attention to the destination displays (outside and inside) and the spoken announcements. Single-fare tickets are €2.70 in the city fare zone if paid by the driver or €2.00 if purchased at ticket machines. 5-trip tickets are available for €8.00 or €10.00, respectively. Regardless of the door you enter, go to the driver and pay, exact change not necessary. daily tickets, weekly tickets and other sorts of tickets are only offered at multi-language ticket machines to be found at many stations. They can also be purchased at the identically looking machines for short-term parking tickets. You must validate the ticket when you get on your first bus or tram. See for all available tickets. A route map is available via .

The special bus line "TS" ("The Sightseer" ) connects the major sights like Schloß Ambras, Bergisel and Alpenzoo to downtown. However special fares apply for this line. If you don't plan to visit every museum it might be reasonably cheaper to use the normal 24 hour ticket without this bus.

Two tram lines lead to two villages in the neighborhood of Innsbruck.

Tram line nr. 6 connects Innsbruck and the mountain village Igls, which is worth a visit. The line passes the uplands with vast forests and gives some spectacular prospects for travelers either on Innsbruck or on the lovely landscape between Aldrans and Igls. It provides stops immediately near Schloß Ambras and the bathing-lake Lansersee (ice skating in Winter is also possible there). The terminus Igls lies within the city fare zone, so no additional ticket is needed. From there it is just a fine 10 Minutes walk to the Patscherkofel Ropeway.

Tram line STB is 18 kilometers long and connects Innsbruck with several villages in the Stubaital valley. This tram provides also access to Bergisel (Tirol Panorama) at the station Sonneburgerhof. This station is also situated within die city fare zone. In Mutters, Nockhofweg access to an easy skiing area, the Mutteralm, is provided (10 Minutes walk). A beautiful hour's ride will take you at least the small town of Fulpmes. The new red liveried trams offer great scenic views on the journey. It is recommended to make a trip around Halloween, when the larch-trees on the Telfer Wiesen have got their best autumn colour.

By S-Bahn

A suburban train system called S-Bahn with five routes (S1 - S5) connects Innsbruck to villages and towns around the city, from Landeck to Kufstein or Kitzbühel and from Mittenwald to Brennero. Timetables and fares can be found at .

By bike

Cycling is common in Innsbruck and especially popular among students. Innsbruck has some bicycle paths, but they are not very well interlinked within the city. A map of all bicycle ways/lanes is available here. In 2012, Innsbruck was awarded Fahrradhauptstadt (cycling capital) by VCÖ (an Austrian traffic advocacy group).

Since 2014, Innsbruck offers short-term shared bike system Stadtrad. It is subject to compulsory registration via this page or machines standing next to the bikes, and requires a credit card number. The registration costs €1.00 and yields a credit of €1.00 on the account. A ride less than 30 minutes costs €1.00, less than 1 hour €3.00, and for every additional hour €3.00 (see their fare overview). The locations are displayed on a map on this site.

See

Mariahilf quarter of Innsbruck

The Innsbruck-Card offers free entrance to all of Innsbruck's sights, free use of public transportation (including the TS line). It also includes a one-time ascent&descent to Nordkette, Patscherkofel and Axamer Lizum and free entrance to Swarovski Kristallwelten in Wattens. The Innsbruck-Card is valid for 24/48/72 hours and can be purchased at Innsbruck Information (Burggraben 3), the TI in Hauptbahnhof, and several museums and tourist offices. Tip: The Innsbruck card is pretty expensive, €29/€34/€39 for 1/2/3 day cards. And daily or weekly public transport cards are cheap - the "all inclusive" sales pitch is alluring to disoriented travelers, but make sure the discounts are worth the initial price. If you are not seeing these major entrance-fee sites, remember that you may buy more than one daily card at a time, as the 24 hours only starts once validated. Be sure to compare with the price of a weekly ticket too.

The bus line Sightseer (TS) connects the major sights in Innsbruck. However it there is always a cheaper public transport line going to the same destination, though it might take you more time.

Churches and Cathedrals

St Jacob cathedral

Castles and Palaces

Buildings

Bergisel ski jumping hill by Zaha Hadid

Memorials

Goldenes Dachl

Museums

A combined ticket for the Tyrolean State Museums is available for €10, or €6 discount, and offers entry to The Ferdinand, Hofkirche, Volkskunst, Zeughaus and Das Tiroler Panorama Museums until the end of the calendar year. The ticket includes a free audio guide (which is worth getting as information is otherwise only in German) at some locations.

Boulevards and Squares

Parks

Zoos

Do

Wintersports

There is a substantial number of ski resorts located in the mountains surrounding Innsbruck, many of which offer free ski buses from the city center so long as you have ski gear and/or a valid ski pass, making it a great place to base one's self. Below is an overview of notable ski areas easily accessible from Innsbruck. For full information about resorts around Innsbruck and Tirol, see Bergfex.com .

NameTel.Altitude / / / /
Seegrube – Nordkette +43(0)512 / 29 33 44 860 - 2.260m4 Lifts: 2 / 2 / - 14 km Pistes: 1 / 8 / 5
Igls – Patscherkofel +43 (0)512 / 377234 900 - 1.960m8 Lifts: 1 / 2 / 5 18 km Pistes: 10 / 8 / -
Axamer - Lizum +43 (0)5234 / 68240 (Kasse)1.583 - 2.340m10 Lifts: 1 / 6 / 3 41 km Pistes: 4 / 27 / 10
Kühtai +43 (0)5239 52222.020 - 2.520m11 Lifts: 1 / 4 / 6 44 km Pistes: 7 / 29 / 8
Schlick-2000 +43 (0)5225 62270 1.000 - 2.230m 10 Lifts: 2 / 1 / 7 25 km Pistes: 18 / 8 / 1
In winter, the Nordpark can offer several ski routes. They are steep and offer a great view of the nearby mountains and the city itself.
One ascent&descent is free with the Innsbruck-Card.
It is possible to walk/hike all the way up to the summit without taking the cable cars. It is vigorous but doesn't require special equipment. There are places where it is not completely clear which way to go (even with local hiking.
One ascent&descent is free with the Innsbruck-Card.

Spectator Sports

Events

Buy

Malls: There are several shopping malls in Innsbruck:

Inner City

Outside Down Town

Furthermore, there are several warehouses, especially in the suburb of Neu-Rum.

Shopping areas: There are numerous shops in central pedestrian areas like Maria-Theresien-Straße, the Old Town, Franziskanerplatz, Sparkassenplatz and Anichstraße as well as Museumstraße. You will also find shops/stores in quarter centers of Wilten (tram lines 1, 6 and STB) and Pradl (tram line 3).

Souvenir stores in the Old Town offer souvenirs of varying origin, but the Tiroler Heimatwerk (Meranerstraße 2) offers real Tyrolean handcraft. However most of the shops are real tourist traps and are overpriced by far. You will probably find more authentic and cheaper souvenirs in one of the surrounding villages of Innsbruck.

Clothes and footwear

Buy creative footwear:

For children

Eat

Drink

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Cope

Religious services

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, January 24, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.