During our three week stay in Germany, we decided to head south and spend a few days traveling through Bavaria and northern Austria. On our route, we passed through Innsbruck, known as the Capital of the Alps, we we decided to spend the night and explore some of the sights. Although 24 hours is a short amount of time to see any city, we were still able to experience most of the main attractions during our stay.
Innsbruck is historical city placed against a beautiful, mountain setting. The old streets and quaint buildings give you a glimpse into its past and reveals its unique character.
Here are my travel tips and must see sights for when you visit Innsbruck.
Where to Stay
For our trip, we were needing a hotel or Airbnb that was cheap and baby friendly. Unfortunately, we decided to stay in Innsbruck at the same time of their fall break and most of of the Airbnb options were booked. We ended up finding a nice hotel, Hotel Sailer, near the city center and in walking distance from a lot of the sights. Many of their rooms have been recently updated and the staff was very accommodating. We enjoyed their complimentary breakfast and it was very convenient being in walking distance from a lot of shopping.
A few other hotels that are budget friendly and located in the city center are:
What to Do
Herzog Friedrich Street
Herzog Friedrich Street is a must see when you're visiting Innsbruck. It crosses through the historical district and is lined with important monuments like the Golden Roof (the symbol of the city), Helblinghaus, Old Town Innsbruck and the City Tower. Walking along the street you feel transported back in time as you pass by beautiful, Tyrolese architecture, ornate doorways, and the pedestrian precinct where street performers and cafes fill the streets.
We took a stroll during the afternoon and took in the sights while drinking coffee and people watching. It was beautiful and a highlight of our trip.
Imperial Palace (Hofburg)
As one of the three most significant, cultural buildings in Austria, the Imperial Palace (known as Hofburg to locals) offers visitors a close-up look at the prominent lifestyles of famous Austrians who have influenced the city. Its a well maintained museum that was extensively restored. Beautiful portraits decorate the walls and the palace's apartments are filled with 18th century furnishings, tapestries and works of art.
The City Tower was once a watch tower for guards in the Middle Ages and looks over rooftops of Innsbruck. With over 133 steps leading to the top, the 31 meter high platform overlooks the city and is an iconic landmark to the Old Town.
Innsbrucker Nordketten Cable Cars
The Nordketten Cable Car is only a few minutes away from the city center and offers a panoramic view of Innsbruck and surrounding mountains. The cable car is great all year round and has several stops along the way including the Alpine Zoo.
A short drive east of Innsbruck (about 8 minutes) is the Swarovski Crystal Worlds, a museum and art gallery that showcases the world famous company.The iconic Giant, a large landscaped waterfall shaped into a human head, is a fascinating centerpiece of the museum and offers a great photo op.
Tickets are bit pricey but it was an interesting visit and we had a fun time exploring the quirky art exhibits.
Where to Eat
Whenever I travel to a new city, I am most excited to try their local cuisine. And while in Innsbruck, I knew we needed to find an authentic, Austrian restaurant that served Weiner Schnitzel, Käsespätzle and of course Apfelstrudel.
A few travelers recommended Stiftskeller so we checked it out for dinner and had a great experience. The restaurant is located in Old Town Innsbruck and it has a Beer Garden thats perfect for drinking a local, Augustiner beer. The staff was friendly and service was very quick which is always great with a baby. We all enjoyed our food and after a long day of touring the city, the cold beer was much needed.
A few other Austrian restaurants to try are: