Is That All There Is to This Picturesque Town in the Austrian Alps?

Innsbruck, the capital of the Austrian state Town of Tyrol and the fifth-largest city in the country, is located in a picturesque alpine valley on the banks of the Inn River and is surrounded by numerous world-famous ski resorts. When winter arrives and the snow begins to fall, tourists from all over Europe and the world come to enjoy the white landscape. The Bergisel Ski Jump and other sites from the Winter Olympics of 1964 and 1976 are open to the public. In addition, the rugged mountains include an outstanding network of beautiful cable cars that take visitors to the top for breathtaking views.

Houses along the river at sunrise with towering mountain behind in golden light

Even while high-altitude activities are the most popular, visitors will find that this little city in the Alps has much more to offer than simply snow and ice. Off-season visitors to the “Bridge Over the Inn” may still enjoy the city’s hiking trails, explore Schloss Ambras Innsbruck, and take in the Old Town’s churches and gabled buildings.

In this guide, we’ll give you the insider’s scoop on how to make the most of your stay in Innsbruck, Austria, by combining exciting activities, stunning sights, and delicious traditional fare, no matter what time of year you visit.

Building facade and Alps mountains behind in Innsbruck in a beautiful summer day, Austria

Best Hotels in Innsbruck

Hotel Leipziger Hof

The family-run Hotel Leipziger Hof is a perfect example of Innsbruck’s skill at integrating the city’s rich history with modern amenities. The rooms above appear more modern and renewed due to the use of light wood and elegant furniture, while the lower areas are decorated in deeper tones and heavier textiles. After a day on the slopes, you may unwind in the sauna and infrared chairs in the spa on the hotel’s fifth floor.

Best Western Plus Hotel Goldener Adler

The Goldener Adler, a Best Western, can be found smack dab in the midst of the city’s historic Gothic district. “Built in 1390, it’s one of the oldest buildings in Innsbruck,” explains Alexander Bader, a guide with ToursByLocals located in Tyrol. Also, “It’s quite walkable and makes a great home base for exploring.”

Hotel Innsbruck

Hotel Innsbruck, located on the river, provides a great location near the attractions of Old Town, as well as nice rooms and a place to store ski equipment. Expert local guide and Alpine Adventures staff Angelika Mair recommends the spa’s indoor pool, Finnish sauna, aromatherapy steam bath, and floating tub.

The Penz Hotel

The Penz Hotel is housed inside a futuristic glass structure, and its chic public spaces and refined rooms reflect this same forward-thinking aesthetic while providing all the necessary comforts. The rooftop bar is fantastic, as Mair attests. The hotel also boasts “one of the city’s best breakfast spreads.”

This is a photo of people walking on the Christmas market of Innsbruck, Austria.

Best Things to Do in Innsbruck 

Try a new winter sport

Skiing is what made Innsbruck famous, and to this day, racing down the Alps at breakneck speeds is a favored pastime. The alpine landscape is ideal for a variety of winter activities. According to Mair, “snowboarding, bobsledding, and tobogganing are popular with visitors in the winter.” And of course, the Bergisel Ski Jump is a major draw for tourists.

Stroll through the Old Town

Exploring the winding alleys of Innsbruck’s Old Town is a must if you find yourself in the city. Bader promises that visitors will be able to see examples of Habsburg-era construction. The Imperial Palace, the Court Church, and the renowned Golden Roof are among iconic monuments. Against the backdrop of the Austrian Alps, the city’s medieval architecture makes for a picture-perfect backdrop.

Visit Schloss Ambras Innsbruck

Mair recommends seeing “one of the most significant sights in all of Austria,” Schloss Ambras near Innsbruck, since it was the first museum in the world. The Renaissance castle was erected in 1563 and stands at an elevation of 2,073 feet above the city, where it protects an extensive collection of armor, weaponry, and works of art. Make time for a walk around the beautiful grounds.

Take a cable car up the mountains

From the heart of Innsbruck, you can take the cable car to dordle the peak in approximately 30 minutes. The futuristic Hungerburgbahn funicular was designed by famous architect Zaha Hadid and travels to a mountain plateau. Take the Nordkettenbahn or the Seegrubenbahn to the peak for even more breathtaking views.

Go hiking

As soon as the snow melts, the sunlit peaks are repopulated by a wide variety of plant and animal life. From spring through autumn, the alpine landscape is at its most beautiful, making it the perfect time to hike across it, see local wildlife, eat wonderful meals at mountain huts, and take in the breathtaking panoramas.

Daytime aerial view of Innsbruck, Austria surrounded by mountains

Best Restaurants in Innsbruck

die Wilderin

Die Wilderin is more than just another great farm-to-table spot since it also practices nose-to-tail cooking, which involves utilizing every part of the animal. Meats are presented with seasonal vegetables and herbs from the area to create a memorable dinner with a strong feeling of location.


Stiftskeller is a historic restaurant with a great beer garden and typical Tyrolean fare like spinach dumplings with Vorarlberg cheese sauce, as well as a wood-beamed ceiling and elegant chandeliers. “It’s also great for larger groups if you’re traveling with family or friends,” says Bader.


Olive is a wonderful surprise since vegan cuisine isn’t something often associated with Innsbruck. The restaurant’s warm ambiance and eco-friendly mountain furnishings set the stage for creative vegetarian fare.

Trattoria & Pizzeria “Da Rocco”

Italian cuisine is good in Innsbruck, which, since the boot-shaped country Italy lies just south of Austria, shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to geography lovers and foodies. The pasta, fish, meat, and pizza at Trattoria & Pizzeria “Da Rocco” are delicious and soothing since they include authentic Italian ingredients.

Restaurant Oniriq

Reserve a reservation at Restaurant Oniriq in Innsbruck for a once-in-a-lifetime gourmet meal. Customers love the seven-course tasting menu that comes with paired wines or non-alcoholic beverages and beautifully presented food.

River view of Christmas Market in Innsbruck, Austria

Best Time to Visit

Innsbruck’s peak season runs from December to March due to the city’s popularity as a winter sports destination. However, the off-season is a great time to enjoy the mountains without the crowds. At the end of each year, the city also offers attractive Christmas markets.

How to Get There

International visitors to Innsbruck often depart via Munich’s airport, MUC. It takes roughly two hours and fifteen minutes to drive or take the train from the Bavarian capital. Regional flights into Innsbruck Airport (INN) and a well-connected rail system make it simple to get to Innsbruck from anywhere in Europe.

How to Get Around 

Since many of the city’s best sights are so close together, Innsbruck is ideal for strolling about on foot. If you’d rather not drive, but still want to get about town, you may use the convenient cycling lanes. In addition, the cable cars provide a picturesque means of transportation for trips to higher elevations.

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