Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Innsbruck, the capital of Austria’s Tyrol region, is a city where the charm of the Alps meets rich cultural history. For those considering things to do in Innsbruck, marveling at the iconic Golden Roof, a landmark structure adorned with over 2,500 gilded copper tiles, and exploring the Imperial Palace (Hofburg), a testament to the city’s Habsburg heritage, are essential experiences.

The city’s Nordkette Cable Car offers a journey from the heart of Innsbruck to the stunning peaks of the Nordkette mountain range, providing breathtaking views and access to hiking and skiing adventures. Nearby, the Ambras Castle, set amidst beautiful gardens, houses a remarkable collection of medieval art and armor.

Beyond its historical and architectural landmarks, Innsbruck is a hub for outdoor activities, from winter sports to summer hiking, making it a year-round destination. For those seeking the best places to visit in Austria, Innsbruck’s blend of alpine beauty, historical richness, and recreational opportunities makes it a captivating and diverse destination.

Attractions & Things to Do in Innsbruck, Austria

1. Golden Roof (Goldenes Dachl)

Golden Roof in Innsbruck, Tireol.
Golden Roof in Innsbruck, Tireol.

The Golden Roof, adorned with 2,657 fire-gilded copper tiles, is Innsbruck’s most famous landmark. Built in the early 16th century, it was originally a royal box where the Emperor and his court could watch tournaments in the square below.

Travel Tip: The Golden Roof is best enjoyed as part of a stroll through Innsbruck’s charming Old Town, where you can also find a variety of shops and cafes.

Experience Golden Roof

2. Nordkette Cable Car

Overhead cable car seen from above on the Austrian Nordkette Alps, Innsbruck below.
Overhead cable car seen from above on the Austrian Nordkette Alps, Innsbruck below.

The Nordkette Cable Car offers a journey from the city center directly into the heart of the Alps. The journey includes several stages and takes you up to the Hafelekar, where you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Innsbruck and the surrounding mountain landscape.

Travel Tip: For those interested in hiking, there are numerous trails at different stations of the cable car, ranging from easy to challenging.

Experience Nordkette Cable Car

3. Ambras Castle

Ambras Castle or Schloss Ambras Innsbruck is a castle and palace located in Innsbruck, the capital city of Tyrol, Austria.
Ambras Castle or Schloss Ambras Innsbruck is a castle and palace located in Innsbruck, the capital city of Tyrol, Austria.

Situated on a hill above Innsbruck, Ambras Castle is one of the most important sights in the city. This Renaissance castle is famous for its Spanish Hall, a magnificent banquet hall, and its extensive collections, including armor, art, and curiosities belonging to Archduke Ferdinand II.

Travel Tip: The castle’s extensive gardens are perfect for a leisurely stroll, especially during the summer months.

Experience Ambras Castle

4. Bergisel Ski Jump

Innsbruck, Austria: The Bergiselschanze is a ski jump on the Bergisel.
Innsbruck, Austria: The Bergiselschanze is a ski jump on the Bergisel.

The Bergisel Ski Jump is a prominent feature of Innsbruck’s skyline and a site of international sports events. Designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid, the ski jump tower offers a panoramic viewing platform overlooking the city and mountains.

Travel Tip: There is a restaurant at the top of the tower, offering a unique dining experience with stunning views.

5. Innsbruck Cathedral (Dom zu St. Jakob)

Dom Saint Jakob, Cathedral of Innsbruck, Austria.
Dom Saint Jakob, Cathedral of Innsbruck, Austria.

This 18th-century baroque cathedral is known for its lavish interior, including frescoes and a high altar. The cathedral is particularly famous for its painting of the Madonna and Child, known as the “Mariahilf” by Lucas Cranach the Elder.

Travel Tip: Take a moment to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere inside, which provides a stark contrast to the bustling city outside.

Experience Innsbruck Cathedral

6. Hofburg Imperial Palace

The Hofburg (Imperial Palace) in Innsbruck, Austria.
The Hofburg (Imperial Palace) in Innsbruck, Austria.

Once the winter residence of the Habsburgs, the Hofburg Imperial Palace in Innsbruck is now a museum showcasing the lavish lifestyle of the Austrian imperial family. The palace’s highlights include the Giant’s Hall, the imperial apartments, and the chapel.

Travel Tip: Guided tours are available and highly recommended for a comprehensive understanding of the palace’s history and significance.

Experience Hofburg Palace

7. Alpenzoo Innsbruck

Bear watching visitors of the Zoo in Innsbruck.
Bear watching visitors of the Zoo in Innsbruck.

Europe’s highest zoo, located on the foot of the Nordkette mountain range, focuses on Alpine creatures. The Alpenzoo offers a unique chance to see a range of animals native to the Alps, including ibex, brown bears, lynxes, and wolves.

Travel Tip: The zoo can be combined with a trip on the Nordkette Cable Car, as it’s located on the way to the top.

Experience Alpenzoo

8. Swarovski Crystal Worlds

Swarovski Crystal Worlds, entry under the waterfall of the head of the Giant, Wattens Tyrol, Austria, Europe.
Swarovski Crystal Worlds, entry under the waterfall of the head of the Giant, Wattens Tyrol, Austria, Europe.

Just a short drive from Innsbruck, Swarovski Crystal Worlds is a magical attraction dedicated to the art, history, and magic of crystals. The park-like grounds include artistic installations, gardens, and the iconic giant head with a waterfall cascading from its mouth.

Travel Tip: Besides the artistic exhibits, there’s a shop where you can purchase Swarovski products, often at lower prices than found elsewhere.

Experience Swarovski Crystal Worlds
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Innsbruck, Austria: Ratings

Kid-Friendly Activities in Innsbruck: 8/10 – Innsbruck offers a variety of activities for families, including the Alpenzoo, the interactive Audioversum Science Center, and the enchanting Swarovski Crystal Worlds nearby. The city’s parks and playgrounds, as well as the nearby mountains, provide ample outdoor fun for children.

Nightlife in Innsbruck: 6/10 – Nightlife in Innsbruck is relatively laid-back, featuring a selection of bars, pubs, and a few nightclubs. The scene is more relaxed compared to larger cities, focusing on cozy, social settings rather than high-energy clubs.

Sport in Innsbruck: 9/10 – Innsbruck is a paradise for sports enthusiasts, especially those who love winter sports. The city is surrounded by alpine ski resorts, and offers hiking, mountain biking, and climbing in the warmer months. Innsbruck also hosts significant sporting events and has excellent facilities for both active and passive sports.

Culture and Attractions in Innsbruck: 8/10 – Innsbruck boasts a rich cultural heritage, with attractions like the Golden Roof, Ambras Castle, and the Imperial Palace. The city’s blend of medieval and modern architecture, along with its vibrant arts scene and numerous museums, makes it a compelling cultural destination.

Gastronomy in Innsbruck: 7/10 – The culinary scene in Innsbruck is diverse, featuring traditional Tyrolean dishes such as Gröstl and Kaiserschmarrn, alongside international cuisine. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, and bars that offer a pleasant dining experience, catering to various tastes and budgets.

Shopping in Innsbruck: 7/10 – Innsbruck offers a good shopping experience with a mix of local boutiques, modern shopping centers, and markets. The Maria-Theresien-Straße is a popular shopping street, and the city provides a range of options from high-end stores to quaint souvenir shops.

Prices in Innsbruck: 6/10 – Innsbruck can be moderately expensive, especially in tourist areas and during peak seasons. However, the city offers a range of accommodation and dining options to fit different budgets.

Average price for a hotel night: 130 €
Cost of a lunch at a local restaurant: 15 €
Price of a beer: 4.50 €
Price of a coffee: 3 €

Beyond the City: Exploring Surroundings and Stays in Innsbruck, Austria

For those looking to explore beyond Innsbruck’s alpine charm, top day trips near Innsbruck open the door to breathtaking adventures. From the crystal-clear waters of Achensee to the medieval beauty of Hall in Tirol, each destination promises an unforgettable journey through Tyrol’s stunning landscapes and rich history.

When it comes to finding the perfect place to stay, Innsbruck accommodations range from cozy, alpine inns nestled in the heart of the city to luxurious mountain resorts that offer panoramic views of the surrounding peaks, ensuring a memorable stay in this picturesque Austrian city.

FAQ About Things to Do in Innsbruck, Austria

What are the must-visit attractions in Innsbruck?

Top attractions in Innsbruck include the Golden Roof, the Nordkette Mountains, the Ambras Castle, and the Innsbruck Imperial Palace.

Can I go skiing in Innsbruck?

Yes, Innsbruck is a world-renowned skiing destination. The Nordkette Mountains offer excellent ski slopes accessible directly from the city center.

Is the Golden Roof in Innsbruck worth visiting?

Definitely! The Golden Roof is Innsbruck’s most famous landmark, adorned with 2,657 fire-gilded copper tiles. It’s a stunning piece of late Gothic architecture.

What cultural experiences can I have in Innsbruck?

Innsbruck offers a rich cultural experience, including visiting historic sites like the Hofkirche and the Tyrolean State Museum, as well as attending classical music concerts.

Are there outdoor activities in Innsbruck besides skiing?

Yes, Innsbruck is great for hiking, mountain biking, and paragliding in the summer, with stunning alpine scenery as a backdrop.

Can I enjoy local Tyrolean cuisine in Innsbruck?

Absolutely! Tyrolean cuisine is a highlight in Innsbruck. Try local dishes like ‘Speckknödel’ (bacon dumplings), ‘Kaiserschmarrn’ (shredded pancake), and ‘Tiroler Gröstl’ (pan-fried potatoes and meat).

What are the best shopping areas in Innsbruck?

Maria-Theresien-Straße and the Old Town offer a variety of shops, from traditional Tyrolean products to international brands.

Are there any day trips from Innsbruck?

Popular day trips from Innsbruck include the Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Wattens, the medieval town of Hall in Tirol, and the scenic Zillertal Valley.


By Lala