Innsbruck, in the western Austrian state of Tyrol, is possibly just as famous for its spectacular architecture as it is for its long-standing success as a ski resort.
This is a well-developed but carefully protected Alpine city, with its collection of fascinating Imperial buildings complemented by many modern structures. Standing out in more ways than one is the Hungerburg funicular, rising 2,256m above the Nordkette natural park. This incorporates eye-catching cable car stations designed by architect Zaha Hadid. It provides ease of access and unforgettable views for winter skiing, taking you from the city to the slopes in minutes. It is also popular as a starting point for the area’s stunning hiking and mountaineering trails.
The Hungerburgbahn (as it is referred to locally) has understandably been referred to as “the jewel of the Alps”. It can transport 1,100 visitors every hour. The contemporary appeal of the Hungerburg funicular is a wonderful contrast to Innsbruck’s old town, which has been standing proud since the Middle Ages. Some of the highlights of the city’s colourful history include: The Golden Roof; the Imperial Palace; Ambras Castle; and the City Tower.
Living in Innsbruck and Things To Do
This area is also highly popular with families as a holiday destination due to its success in bringing together everything you could want for a child-friendly vacation in Austria. The convenience and comfort to be found in the city and wider communities of Innsbruck are to be applauded. However, Innsbruck’s incredible natural landscape makes it a magnet for adventurers too, and those who seek to vacation in quieter places “off the beaten track”.
Of course, Innsbruck’s ultimate draw is its fabulous skiing and snow sports opportunities. The Nordkettenbahnen lifts mentioned above can take passengers up to Seegrube at 2,000 metres - from a lift station conveniently located near the Imperial Palace - in just 20 minutes. There is another cable car from Seegrube, to lift you a further 300 metres to the Hafelekar.
These lifts reach great heights without any walking and offer wheelchair access too. Just another example of how incredibly inclusive and universally appealing Innsbruck is.
This “evergreen” Austrian destination offers different experiences depending on the season – including lush green Alpine meadows in the summer. Then in winter, there’s a reliable blanket of perfect snow cover. It keeps people coming back, for their own reasons, whether it’s to ski or swim, hike or visit the authentic Christmas Markets in Innsbruck
One attraction that should be on everyone’s to do list is the Alpenzoo Innsbruck, a family favourite with 2,000 animals kept in spacious enclosures surrounded by the alps. Nor should you miss out on seeing the historical buildings mentioned above.
Leisure and Culture in Innsbruck
The area has been developed to offer the ultimate in convenience, without detracting from the natural beauty and enviable heritage it provides. For example, free ski buses scuttle around every ski resort in Innsbruck, making local transport easier and managing traffic levels.
All the great benefits of city life are nicely balanced with Innsbruck’s “village” and community appeal. This includes clusters of stylish and compact shops that include fine examples of Austrian arts and crafts and welcoming speciality stores.
The range of cultural, music and family events in the area are far too numerous to list. Eating out in Innsbruck is equally diverse, and you can select from the wood-burning taverns that have welcomed visitors for decades, or strikingly contemporary restaurants with roof top views that you will never forget!
Innsbruck Snow & Weather Report
As indicated above, Innsbruck has seasonal variations to add to its many visitor attractions and to keep residents interested too! The climate in May, June, July, August and September is likely to include mild and pleasant temperatures. July tends to be the area’s wettest month. The best snow cover is generally in the winter months, and its coldest month tends to be January.For updated snow and weather reports, take a look at our Innsbruck resort guide here.
Transport to Innsbruck
Getting to the area couldn’t be easier, including regular flights in to Innsbruck Airport which is about 5km or a 15-minute taxi journey from the city centre. Even a bus can get you from the airport to a central location in just 20 minutes
One of the primary reasons Innsbruck has grown to be such an important Austrian destination is that it has truly captured “year round” appeal. It provides a wide range of reasons to visit, as well as many that are completely independent of the weather.