Innsbruck is the provincial capital of Tyrol. Its 110,000 residents make it the fifth largest city in Austria . It was one of the eight host cities in the 2008 European Football Championships. It has twice hosted the Winter Olympics making it not only an interesting and beautiful situated city but the "largest ski resort in the alps". It is located both close to Munich and northern Italy making it a must see alpine destination.
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 Innsbrucks old town.
Innsbruck has also hosted the Winter Olympics in 1964 and 1976 as well as the World University Games in 2005. In summer 2008 it will host several games of the EURO 2008 European Football Championship.
The city is well known for its sporting opportunities, especially alpine sports, as it is located in the Alps and surrounded by mountains. Several ski resorts are situated inside the city territory or within short distance.
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.
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.
Innsbruck Kranebitten Airport (German: Flughafen Innsbruck) (IATA : INN, ICAO : LOWI) is the largest airport in Tirol. Currently regular scheduled flights are available from Amsterdam , Antwerpen, Frankfurt , Gothenburg, Graz, Hannover, Hamburg, London (Gatwick), Rotterdam, Vienna . Austrian Airlines has daily scheduled flights to Innsbruck. The Munich Airport, 2.5 hours away, is another alternative. There are vans 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 train ticket.
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).
Other nearby Airports include Friedrichshafen, Klagenfurt, Munich, Salzburg and Zurich .
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.
Regular (direct) trains operate from Venice , Bolzano/Bozen, Zurich , Munich, Graz, Vienna (via Linz and Salzburg ) and many other destinations.
The Austrian train system is operated by the Österreichische Bundesbahnen, OEBB . Travelers with ÖBB Vorteilscard get up to 50% discount when traveling within Austria. There is a special Vorteilscard for people under the age of 26 which comes at a reduced price. With a RailPlus dicount cards travelers save up to 25% when traveling by train from any of the surrounding neighbour countries.
Innsbruck is reachable through both of Tyrol's motorways: Inntalautobahn (A 12) and Brennerautobahn (A 13).
The basic map of the city costs only 1 Euro at the TI. There are also maps available online . 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 (buses, trams) 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). Only recently new tram vehicles have been acquired which go into service in March 2008. A major extension of the tram network is planned and will be carried out in the following years.
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. Tickets are 1.70 euro in the city fare zone, which you can pay to the driver. Regardless of the door you enter, go to the driver and pay, exact change not necessary. Daily tickets are 4.00 euro and weekly ticket 12.30. Buy these from the machines at some bus and tram stops (just outside of Hauptbahnhof/main station for instance) or at a tobacco shop. You must validate the ticket when you get on your first bus or tram.
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
Two tram lines also go to villages in the neighborhood of Innsbruck. Tram line 6 connects Innsbruck and the mountain village Igls, which is worth a visit. The line goes through mountains and woods and provides some nice views for travelers. Igls lies within the city fare zone, so no additional ticket is needed. Tram line STB is 18 kilometers long and connects Innsbruck with several villages in the Stubaital valley.
Only recently a new suburban rail traffic system called "Inntal S-Bahn" has been established. Suburban trains between Telfs/Pfaffenhofen - Innsbruck - Hall travel every 30 minutes. Timetable: .
From the Hauptbahnhof/main station 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. This is the classic walk into old Innsbruck. All of the major Old Town sites are within a reasonable walking time.
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, 25/30/35 euro 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
- Hofkirche, Universitätsstraße 2, Innsbruck's Hofkirche has the most important emperor's tomb monument (of emperor Maximilian I) in Europe. Especially characteristic are the larger-than-life bronzes ("schwarze Mander") that show members of different dynasties. trance: 3 EUR, reduced: 1.50 EUR, free with the Innsbruck-Card.
- Cathedral at Saint Jacob (Dom zu St. Jakob), Domplatz, Baroque styled cathedral, with works of Lucas Cranach the Elder. From 1717-1724 it was rebuilt (after damage from an earthquake) according to the plans of Johann Jakob Herkomer and Johann Georg Fischer. Free entrance.
- Wiltener Basilika, Haymongasse, Baroque styled church with Rokkoko-stucco, built from 1751-1756. Free entrance.
- Stift Wilten, Klostergasse, Premonstratensian monastery with a baroque collegiate church, not far from Wiltener Basilika. Free entrance.
Castles and Palaces
- Schloss Ambras, Schloß Straße 20 (S-Bahn 3 and 6, Bus: C (Stop: Luidenstraße)), ☎ +43 1 525 24 4802 (fax: +43 1 525 24 4899), Open 10AM - 5PM. A renaissance style castle that was built on behalf of archduke Ferdinand II of Tyrol. Interesting things to see are portrait- and armor-collections, art and curiosity cabinets, the spanish hall and the palace garden. April to October: €8. December to March: €4.50.
- Bergiselschanze, Bergiselweg 3 (take the tram lines 1, 6, STB or the bus line TS), The Bergisel jump was replaced according to plans of the Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid in 2001. Because of its design and prominent location (on Bergisel, south of Innsbruck) it is considered a new city landmark. There is a cafe on top, which offers views of Innsbruck and the surrounding mountains. During sporting events, the jumping tower is not accessible, and a ticket is needed to enter the terrain.
- Goldenes Dachl (Golden Roof), Herzog-Friedrich-Straße, Late-gothic alcove balcony, with 2657 fire-gilded cupreous shingles. It was built on behalf of emperor Maximilian I.
- Annasäule (St. Anna Column), Maria-Theresien-Straße, The column, which is made of Tyrolean marble, was created in 1706, in memory of the drawback of Bavarian troops.
- Triumphpforte (Triumphal Arch), Maria-Theresien-Straße (Southen end of Maria-Theresien-Straße), It was built in 1765 to mark the marriage of archduke Leopold and the spanish princess Maria Ludovica. The north side displays mourning themes on the occasion of Franz Stephan of Lothringen.
- Alpinist Association Museum, Wilhelm-Greil-Straße,
- Anatomical Museum, Müllerstraße, Open every friday, 14:00-16:00 (and on reservation), from October through May. June through September it is only open on advance notification. Objects from human preparations, to history of development and old anatomical devices.
- Bell Museum, Graßmayr, Leopoldstraße (tram lines 1, 3 and TS), The Bell foundry has existed for 400 years, and is lead by the same family in 14 generations.
- Hofburg, Rennweg, It was modified to rokoko-style by order of the empress Maria Theresia.
- Kaiserjägermuseum (Imperial Hunting Museum), Bergisel 1 (S-Bahn 1 to the Bergisel stop), ☎ +43 (0/512) 582 312 (fax: +43 (0/512) 588 675), The museum is currently undergoing renovation and is closed.
- Maximilianeum Goldenes Dachl, Herzog-Friedrich-Straße, Information on the impressive life of emperor Maximilian I.
- Riesenrundgemälde , Rennweg (bus lines 4, O, E). A Panorama painting of the Battle of Bergisel, August 13th 1809, over 1000 square meters in size. One of the world's last 24 panoramas.
- Stadtturm Innsbruck (City Tower), Herzog-Friedrich-Straße.
- Tiroler Landesmuseum : Ferdinandeum, Museumstraße, Scientific collection, Feldstraße and Museum im Zeughaus, Zeughausgasse
- Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum (Folk Art Museum), Universitätsstraße 2, ☎ +43 (0/512) 59489 510 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +43 (0/512) 59489 520), The museum is closed until May 18, 2008..
Boulevards and Squares
- Maria-Theresien-Straße, Innsbruck's Boulevard and central pedestrian area. St. Anna's Column and the prominent Nordkette mountain range make popular backgrounds for holiday photos.
- Herzog-Friedrich-Straße. The Old Town's "main street" (now a pedestrian area). It expands to a square in front of the Golden Roof.
- Alpengarten (Alpine Garden), Open June until September from 9AM to 5PM.
- Botanischer Garten (Botanical Garden), Sternwartesstraße 15 (Bus A will take you just outside of the main entrance), ☎ +43 (0/512) 507 5910 (Botanischer-Garten@uibk.ac.at), Open daily from 7:30AM until 7PM. In the winter, the garden is open until 4:30PM. Adults: €2, Children, students, and seniors: €1.
- Alpenzoo, Weiherburggasse 37 (accessible using the Hungerburgbahn - short footway - or by bus, line TS), The alpine zoo is Europe's highest situated zoo (727 m), and is specializing in alpine animals. It contains outdoor enclosures, terrariums, aviaries, aquariums (world's biggest collection of alpine fish species) and a barnyard with old farm animal races. The zoo is in hillside situation, so there's a certain altitude difference to cover. Free entrance with the Innsbruck-Card.
Things to do
- Nordpark is accessible via the bus lines 1, 4, A, D, E, J and T. The Nordkettenbahn goes up to Seegrube and Hafelekar, where many hiking routes and trip routes start. In August 2004, the Nordpark Singletrail, one of the most ambitious mountainbike freeride routes of Europe, was opened (more information: ).
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.
- Patscherkofelbahn is accessible via the bus line J, destination "Patscherkofelbahn" or "Olympiaexpreß". The Patscherkofel is a skiing region south of Innsbruck, that has a number of timbered ski-runs of the former olympia-routes. In summer it is a great region for hiking along the forestline.
- One ascent&descent is free with the Innsbruck-Card.
- Magic Pizza Kebab, Innrain 1 (old town, close to Ottoburg, entrance from Herzog Friedrich Str.), ☎ +43 512 56 02 03 Daily till 24.00. A pizza and kebab place in the middle of the old town. The place looks like a 70ies American diner and is usually quite populated. The best thing about Magic are the cheap prices (€2.9 for a Pizza!) and great portions. cheap.
- Cammerlander (Restaurant, lounge and tapa bar), Innrain 2 (close to the old town next to the river Inn), ☎ ++43-(0)512-58 63 98 (email@example.com), restaurant 11:30 - 24:00, tapabar 08:30 - 01:00. Cammerlander is the place to go if you want great international kitchen and fancy environment. High prices.
- Papa Joe's (Grill, cantina and bar), Seilergasse 12 (in the old town near the Golden Roof), ☎ ++43-(0)512-583046 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Sunday-Wednesday 16:00 - 01:00, Thursday-Saturday 16:00 - 2:00. Great place to get good Mexican, Carribbean and Creole food right in the middle of the old town. Serving sizes are very generous and the ambiance is laidback. Average.
- Zappa Music Bar, Rechengasse 5 (close to clinic and university main building), ☎ +43 512 581057 mo-so 18.00 to 2.00. Zappa is a great place to have a drink or two and listen to some nice music. Every day of the week has special offers and events. Since it's close to the university there are a lot of students and you might need to call in and order a table.
- Limerick Bill's Irish Pub, Maria-Theresien-Strasse 9 (close to the old town), ☎ +43 512 582011 The place is lively and usually crowded with students and visitors from all over the world, especially a lot of English speakers. Staff is bilingual, so this might be a great place for you to feel home.
- Weekender (cafe and club), Tschamlerstraße 3, ☎ +43 512 570570 (email@example.com ), 18:00 - 02:00 (cafe), club longer. Weekender is a great place to both go out have a drink and to dance. Almost everyweek there are national and international live bands. A must for indie fans!
- Campsite Innsbruck Kranebitten, Kranebitter Allee 214, .
- Youth Hostel St.Nikolaus, Weiherburggasse 3 (Bus '''D''' from main station to busstop ''Schmelzergasse'', pass the church to Weiherburggasse, 2nd house on the left), ☎ +43 (0)512 28651 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +43 (0)512 284791-14), Breakfast and sheets are included. extra charges apply to use kitchen and WIFI. A 3€ charge will be applied on your first night. €16 to 26€ (sr).
- Hotel Binders, Dr. Glatzstrasse 20, A-6020 Innsbruck, ☎ +43 (0)512/33436 (email@example.com, fax: +43 (0)512/33436-99),
- Austrotel Innsbruck, Bernhard-Höfel-Strasse 16, A-6020 Innsbruck, ☎ +43 (0)512/344 333-0 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +43 (0)512/344-428),
- Grand Hotel Europa, Südtiroler Platz 2, A-6020 Innsbruck, ☎ +43 (0)512/5931102 (email@example.com, fax: +43 (0)512/587800),
- Hotel the PENZ, Adolf Pichler Platz 3, A-6020 Innsbruck, ☎ +43 (0)512/575657 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +43 (0)512/5756579),
There are four shopping malls in Innsbruck: Sillpark (just outside downtown, take the bus lines "C" and "S"), DEZ (bus lines C, S and T), Cyta (in the suburb "Völs") and Rathaus Gallerien in the inner city. Furthermore, there are several warehouses, especially in the nearby village Neu-Rum.
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.
Holy mass in catholic churches in Innsbruck (pdf):
- Dom St. Jakob , Domplatz 6 (Oldcity). Sun: 10:00, 11:30; Mon-Fri: 09:30; Mon-Thu: 08:00 (Unterkirche)
- Jesuit church , Karl-Rahner-Platz . Sat: 18:00 (English), 19:00; Sun: 11:00, 18:00, 21:30; Mon-Sat: 07:30 (Krypta), 19:00; Thu: 21:30 (Krypta) The only English Mass in the city.
- Kapuzinerkirche , Kaiserjägerstraße 6 (near the bus parking at Hofgarten). Sun: 10:00; Mon-Fri: 06:30, 09:00
- Alte Spitalskirche zum Hl. Geist , Maria-Theresien-Straße 2 (Oldcity). Sun: 09:30; Mon-Fri: 18:30
- Servitenkirche, Maria-Theresienstraße. Sat: 17:30; Sun: 06:30, 10:00, 17:30; Mon-Fri: 06:30, 10:30, 17:30
- Herz Jesu , Maximilianstraße 8 (south of Oldcity). Sat: 18:00; Sun: 07:00, 09:30, 11:00 (croat.), 18:00; Mon-Fri: 07:00, 08:00, 18:00
- Directory [#] of cath. churches in Innsbruck
- Kaunertal glacier and a skiing resort.
- Stubaier glacier and a skiing resort.
- Natterer See lake and recreational site in Natters.
- Lanser See lake and recreational site in Lans. Take the J bus past Igls. If you are staying in a hotel you can get a "club innsbruck" card (different from the tourist Innsbruck card) and get admitted free.