Innsbruck is the provincial capital of Tyrol. Its 120,000 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 hosted several games of the EURO 2008 European Football Championship.
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 1990's and the derived disctinct 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 winterseason, 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.
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 temperatures 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 Tyrol.
Currently regular scheduled flights are available from
Austrian Airlines from Vienna
Lufthansa from Frankfurt
Seasonal flights (especial in Winter) are available from several destinations in the UK, the Netherlands as well as from Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Kiew and Moskow.
There are also charter flights to several German cities - especially in winter.
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.
The bus line F will take you to the city center (every 15 minutes / on Sunday it departs every 30 minutes). Cost €1,90 (Dec/2012)
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.
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).
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.
Most one-day visitors don't use any transport: all of the major Old Town sites are within a reasonable walking time.
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.
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 ist 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 1.90 euro in the city fare zone if paid by the driver or 1,80 euro if purchased at ticket machines. Regardless of the door you enter, go to the driver and pay, exact change not necessary. 24-hour 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.
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 visite every museums it might be reasonable 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 acces to Bergisel (Tirol Panorama) at the station Sonneburgerhof. This station is also situated within die city fare zone. In Mutters, Nockhofweg acces 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.
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 .
If you don't mind a little exercise you can get everywhere in Innsbruck by bike as shown by the many students, who are not willing to pay for a bus ticket. The biking lanes have been improved recently, so it's probably one of the most uncomplicated ways of transport throughout the city.
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 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. Entrance: 3 EUR, reduced: 1.50 EUR, free with the Innsbruck-Card.
St Jacob cathedral
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 (Tramlines 6 (nearest stop) and 3, Bus: C (Stop: Luigenstraße)), ☎ +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.
Bergisel ski jumping hill by Zaha Hadid
Bergiselschanze (ski jump by Zaha Hadid), Bergiselweg 3 (frp, the train station, walk 30 minutes to South. Or 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. Standard adult entry when no sporting events are taking place is €9, with some discount available for families/groups.
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.
A combined ticket for the Tyrolean Sate 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.
Alpinist Association Museum, Wilhelm-Greil-Straße, ☎ +43 (512) 587186 12 (email@example.com, fax: +43(512)587 18613), . 9AM-5PM. €1.10..5.50; free with Innsbruck Card.
Anatomical Museum, Müllerstraße 59, ☎ +43 (0)512 9003 71111 (reservation 0043/(0)664 3587985 (custodian Dr. Mager), fax: +43 (0)512 9003 73112), . Fridays only, 2-4PM (and on reservation), Oct-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 been lead by the same family for 14 generations.
Hofburg, Rennweg, . 9am - 5pm daily (last entry 4.30pm). It was modified to rokoko-style by order of the empress Maria Theresia.
Das Tiroler Panorama, Bergisel 1 (S-Bahn 1 to the Bergisel stop), (fax: +43 (0/512) 588 675), . Incorporating the Kaiserjägermuseum (Imperial Hunting Museum)
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.
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.
Sparkassenplatz and BTV Forum. Innsbrucks modern urban center, accessible from Maria-Theresien-Straße and close to the Old Town. Has a range of cafés and restaurants, as well as shops. Farmers' market on Fridays and free concerts, film screenings and concerts in summer.
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.
Hofgarten (Imperial Court Park), Two minutes away from the Old Town (Entrances at Rennweg and Kaiserjägerstraße). (47.271666666667,11.397611111111)
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.
Nordpark is accessible via the tram line 1, 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 mountain bike 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 bus line J, destination "Patscherkofelbahn" or "Olympiaexpreß" and tram line 6 to Igls. Tram line 6 is particularly worth taking - a beautiful meandering route up the mountain and included in the city zone of Innsbruck's public transport. Much better value than the Hungerburgbahn on the Nordkette. 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.
Tiroler Abend with the Gundolf Family - For almost half a century this show is visited by travellers and gives good insight on traditional Tyrolean culture— everybody who likes everything stereotypical about the alpine culture will be served the full menu: Yodeling, traditional dances, plays, music and clothing are mixed with typical surroundings.
New Orleans Festival - Since New Orleans is the partner city of Innsbruck a festival is held every summer featuring a lot of prominent musicians and focussing on Jazz, Blues, Gospels and other styles from the region around New Orleans.
The Ski Jump Contest around new year at the Begisel stadium is one of the few moments when Austrians demonstrate true patriotism. As Austrians are very competitive in alpine disciplines this is one of the events that many people follow.
For the younger generation the Air & Style Snowboard Contest is the high point of the year when the best snowboarders of the world compete in the biggest snowboard event of Europe. The event is the first snowboard competition that ever featured the straight jump, it's accompanied by international bands and a crowd beyond the 10.000's. Usually it is held either around the beginning of December or end of January.
In late spring a lot of clubs and pubs participate in the city event Sound City, where downtown Innsbruck becomes a network of discos. Shuttle busses circulate around the city and bring the guests to various locations where a range of international DJ's play different styles.
The Hafen, the Treibhaus and the p.m.k. are event centers downtown or a little oustide of the city. Many concerts, events and parties take place all around the year and are visited by young locals, students and travellers.
Note: In the summer season Innsbruck is flooded by tourists from the far east and far west - predominantly older people who are mostly on a European tour - the event calendar adapts to this. The winter season is dominated by younger people, especially students and travellers from all around the world, who provide the city with a vivid nightlife.
Malls: There are several shopping malls in Innsbruck:
Rathaus Gallerien, 2 minutes walk from the Old Town, main entrance via Maria-Theresien-Straße
Kaufhaus Tyrol, recently opened shopping mall with five levels, located right in the inner city just opposite Rathaus Gallerien.
Sillpark (just outside downtown--turn right from train station (Hauptbahnhof), walk one block, turn right, walk under a railway--and you are looking at it. The 3, C, F, J, and O lines take you there.
Outside Down Town
DEZ (bus lines C, R, S and T), many stores just right around it, such as Ikea etc.
Cyta (in the suburb "Völs") (S-Bahn S1 or S2, or bus line T)
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:
El Natura Lista in Salamander shop (Maria-Theresien 1; also great choice of Tomy Hilfiger shoes)
Think! in Stiefelkater (Marktgraben str. 14, +43 512 583065)
GEA "Arts & Crafts" footwear in a funny plain design, not cheap, but very durable (Anichstraße 20, Tel. 0512/582 829)
Humanic Kids, Maria-Theresien 17-19. Also has discounts in early January, with a decent selection.
Gasthaus Anich (Restaurant, Gasthaus, Austrian cuisine), Anichstrasse 15 (city center, situated close to Maria-Theresien Strasse at the corner Anichstrasse-Fallmerayerstrasse), ☎ +43 512 570450. M-Sa 9:00 - 24:00, closed on Sundays. This is a real "Gasthaus" (tavern) with delicious Austrian cuisine in the city center. Not too crowded and mostly visited by locals, it's an insider tip. Great portions for moderate prices. Offers separate smoking and non-smoking areas. Update: closed for renovation throughout August 2012, reopening on 3rd September.
Shere Punjab (Restaurant, Indian cuisine), Innstrasse 19, ☎ +43 512 282755. M-Sa 11:00 - 14:30, 17:00 - 22:00. This is a real Indian Restaurant with delicious Indian cuisine in the city center. Great portions for moderate prices.
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.
Mamma Mia, Kiebachgasse 2, ☎ 0512 562902. Good value for money pasta. Excellent Salmon Tagliatelli. No wifi. Walk to the 2nd floor for a more quiet and spacy seating.Soups €3.5; pastas €7.5-8.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 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!
The Galway Bay Pub, Kaiserjäger Strasse 4 (Take a right in front of the goldenes dachl and walk approx. 500m straight ahead), ☎ +43512251541, . Daily 17:00-01:00. Authentic Irish pub with two large floor. Pub quizzes every Monday (except during Summer), Open Mic Night every Thursday mid range.
Treibhaus, Angerzellgasse 8 (right next to Old Town), ☎ +43 512 572000, . café daily 5PM to 1AM. Almost daily events, e.g. concerts, film/tv screenings, comedy shows and dances (see ). Every Friday free concerts. Spacious café with garden, jazz salon and two big event halls. The all-female staff ("Weiberwirtschaft") serves food and snacks (pizza, kebab) in the café till midnight.cheap.
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 (email@example.com, fax: +43 (0)512 284791-14), . Breakfast and sheets are included. extra charges apply to use kitchen and Wi-Fi. 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +43 (0)512/33436-99), .
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.
Seefeld in Tirol is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Tyrol both for winter sports & active holidays in summer.